# Abstracts of 2002 Working Papers

Frank H.Page Jr and Myrna H. WoodersThe main contribution of this paper is to provide a framework in which the notion of farsighted stability for games, introduced by Chwe (1994), can be applied to directed networks. In particular, we introduce the notion of a supernetwork. A supernetwork is made up of a collection of directed networks (the nodes) and uniquely represents (via the arcs connecting the nodes) agent preferences and the rules governing network formation. By reformulating Chwe’s basic result on the nonemptiness of farsightedly stable sets, we show that for any supernetwork (i.e., for any collection of directed networks and any collection of rules governing network formation), there exists a farsightedly stable directed network. We also introduce the notion of a Nash network relative to a given supernetwork, as well as the notions of symmetric, nonsimultaneous, and decomposable supernetworks. To illustrate the utility of our framework, we present several examples of super-networks, compute the farsightedly stable networks, and the Nash networks.[TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 659Sheer Class? The Impact of Degree Performance on Graduate Labour Market Outcomes Robin Naylor, Jeremy Smith and Abigail McKnightWe exploit individual-level administrative data for whole populations of UK university students for the leaving cohorts of 1985-1993 to investigate the determinants of graduate occupational earnings. Among other results, we find that there are significant differences in the occupational earnings of leavers, according to university attended, subject studied, and degree class awarded, ceteris paribus. We also find that the premium associated with the award of a high degree class increased between 1985/6 and 1993/4, a period of substantial expansion in the graduate population. We suggest that this is consistent with a signalling model of the returns to higher education qualifications.[TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 658Parents' Current Income, Long-Term Characteristics and Children's Education: Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study Massimiliano BrattiThis paper investigates the effect of parents’ current income and long-term family characteristics on individuals’ highest educational qualification obtained by age 26 using UK data from the 1970 British Cohort Study. The issues of the possible sample selection bias produced by the not completely random omission of current family income and that of its potential endogeneity are addressed, using a hot-deck multiple imputation procedure and including an indicator of child ability, respectively. I find evidence that current family income has a statistically significant positive impact on children’s education, although it is one of negligible magnitude. Long-term family characteristics are far more important[TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 657Schooling Effects on Subsequent University Performance: Evidence for the UK University Population Robin Naylor and Jeremy SmithFrom a unique data-set identifying the school attended prior to university for a full cohort of UK university students, we examine the determinants of final degree classification. We exploit the detailed school-level information and focus on the influence of school characteristics, such as school type, on subsequent performance of students at university. Weestimate that, on average, a male (female) graduate who attended an Independent school is 6.5 (5.4) percentage points less likely to obtain a `good' degree than is a student who attended an LEA (that is, state-sector) school, ceteris paribus. We also find considerable variation around this average figure across different Independent schools. We find that, for males, the variation in the probability of attaining a `good' degree across schools can largely be explained by the level of school fees. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 656Consumption Patterns Over Pay Periods Clare Kelly and Gauthier LanotThis paper establishes a theoretical framework to characterise the optimal behaviour of individuals who receive income periodically but make consumption decisions on a more frequent basis. The model incorporates price uncertainty and imperfect credit markets. The simulatednumerical solution to this model shows that weekly consumption functions are ordered such that the functions within the payment period are highest in the first and the last week of the payment cycle for all wealth levels. Using weekly expenditure data from the FES, we estimate the coefficient of relative risk aversion (point estimates are between 1.2 and 7) and the extent of measurement error in the data (which accounts for approximately 60% of the variance in thedata). [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 655Fast Food- the early years: Geography and the growth of a chain-store in the UK* Joanne Sault, Otto Toivanen and Michael WatersonWe examine the development of UK outlets of a major fast food chain, from inauguration in 1974 until 1990, after which industry structure changed somewhat. The chain effectively introduced the counter-service burger concept. Locational spread across local authority district markets is explained by the characteristics of the areas where the outlets are sited. Of special interest is the effect of scale economies, measured by outlet numbers in neighboring districts. Both first and second entry are examined. We find that the hazard of first entry is positively influenced by market size and population density and negatively by distance from company headquarters.[TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 654Testing for Cointegration Rank Using Bayes FactorsThis paper proposes Bayesian methods for estimating the cointegration rank using Bayes factors. We consider natural conjugate priors for computing Bayes factors. First, we estimate the cointegrating vectors for each possible rank. Then, we compute the Bayes factors for each rank against 0 rank. Monte Carlo simulations show that using Bayes factor with conjugate priors produces fairly good results. We apply the method to demand for money in the US.Katsuhiro Sugita [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 653The Propertiers of Some Goodness-of Fit Tests Gianna Boero, Jeremy Smith, and Kenneth F. WallisThe properties of Pearson’s goodness-of-fit test, as used in density forecast evaluation, income distribution analysis and elsewhere, are analysed. The components-of-chi-squared or “Pearson analog” tests of Anderson (1994) are shown to be less generally applicable than was originally claimed. For the case of equiprobable classes, where the general components tests remain valid, a Monte Carlo study shows that tests directed towards skewness and kurtosis may have low power, due to differences between the class boundaries and the intersection points of the distributions being compared. The power of individual component tests can be increased by the use of nonequiprobable classes[TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 652Why Are Trade Agreements Regional? Ben ZissimosThis paper argues that free trade agreements (FTAs) are regional because, in their absence, optimal tariffs are higher against (close)regional partners than (distant) countries outside the region. Optimal tarffs shift rents from foreign firms to domestic citizens. Lower transport costs imply higher rents and therefore higher tarffs. So regional FTAs have a higher pay-offthan non-regional FTAs. Therefore, only regional FTAs may yield positive gains when sponsoring a FTA is costly. To analyze equilibrium, standard theory of non-cooperative networks is extended to allow for asymmetric players. Naive best response dynamics show that ‘trade blocks can be stepping blocks’ for free trade. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 651Smooth Particle Filters for Likelihood Evaluation and Maximisation Michael K. PittIn this paper,a method is introduced for approximating the likelihood for the unknown parameters of a state space model.The approximation converges to the true likelihood as the simulation size goes to infinity. In addition,the approximating likelihood is continuous as a function of the unknown parameters under rather general conditions.The approachadvocated is fast, robust and avoids many of the pitfalls associated with current techniques based upon importance sampling.We assess the performance of the method by considering a linear state space model, comparing the results with the Kalman filter, which delivers the true likelihood. We also apply the method to a non-Gaussian state space mo del, the Stochastic Volatility model, finding that the approach is efficient and effective. Applications to continuous time finance models are also considered. A result is established which allows the likelihood to be estimated quickly and efficiently using the output from the general auxilary particle filter. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 650On the Size and Structure of Group cooperation Matthew Haag and Roger LagunoffThis paper examines characteristics of cooperative behavior in a repeated, n-person, continuous action generalization of a Prisoner’s Dilemma game. When time preferences are heterogeneous and bounded away from one, how “much” cooperation can be achieved by an ongoing group? How does group cooperation vary with the group’s size and structure? For an arbitrary distribution of discount factors, we characterize the maximal average co-operation (MAC) likelihood of this game. The MAC likelihood is the highest average level of cooperation, over all stationary subgame perfect equilibrium paths, that the group canachieve. The MAC likelihood is shown to be increasing in monotone shifts, and decreasing in mean preserving spreads, of the distribution of discount factors. The latter suggests that more heterogeneous groups are less cooperative on average. Finally, we establish weak conditions under which the MAC likelihood exhibits increasing returns to scale when discounting is heterogeneous. That is, larger groups are more cooperative, on average, than smaller ones. By contrast, when the group has a common discount factor, the MAC likelihood is invariant to group size. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 649Pay Cuts and Morale: a Test of Downward Nominal RigitityThis paper tests the "morale" theory of downward nominal wage rigidity. This theory relies on workers disliking nominal pay cuts: cuts should make workers less happy. We investigate this using panel data on individual employees' pay and satisfaction. We confirm that nominal cuts do make workers less happy than if their pay had not fallen. But we find no difference in the effect on happiness of cuts and pay freezes. This represents important information about the nature of wage rigidity in practice and the applicability of the morale theory. The morale theory may be able to explain generalised downward wage rigidity, but apparently fails to explain downward nominal rigidity.Jennifer C. Smith [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 648Power Indices as an Aid to Institutional Design: The Generalised Apportionment ProblemA priori voting power analysis can be useful in helping to design a weighted voting system that has certain intended properties. Power indices can help determine how many weighted votes each member should be allocated and what the decision rule should be. These choices can be made in the light of a requirement that there be a given distribution of power and/or a desired division of powers between individual members and the collective institution. This paper focuses on the former problem: choosing the weights given that the power indices and the decision rule are fixed exogenously[TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 647Optimum Currency Area Theory: An Approach for Thinking about Monetary IntegrationThe optimum currency area (OCA) theory tries to answer an almost prohibitively difficult question: what is the optimal number of currencies to be used in one region. The difficulty of the question leads to a low operational precision of OCA theory. Therefore, we argue that the OCA theory is a framework for discussion about monetary integration. We summarize theoretical issues from the classical contributions to the OCA literature in the 1960s to the modern “endogenous view”. A short survey of empirical studies on the OCA theory in the connection with the EMU and the Czech Republic is presented. Finally, we calculate OCA-indexes for the Czech Republic, EU, Germany and Portugal. The index predicts exchange rates variability from the view of traditional OCA criteria and asseses benefit-cost ratio of implementing common currency for a pair of the countries. We compare the structural similarity of the Czech Republic and Portugal to the German economy and find that the Czech economy is closer. The results are reversed when the EU economy is considered as a benchmark country.Roman Horvath and Lubos Komarek [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 646Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of the Debt-Adjusted Real Exchange Rate in Selected Transition Economies During 1994-2001This paper aims to enrich the debate on the overvaluation/undervaluation of the Czech koruna and the currencies of other selected transition economies by applying the concept of the debt-adjusted real exchange rate (DARER), thereby offering monetary policy makers another indicator for more responsive management of this important economic variable. The motivation for constructing DARER is the fact that many transition economies finance their long-term current account deficits with capital flows, which often leads to real overvaluation of their currencies. DARER can signal to the authorities that the real exchange rate is becoming unsustainable in the medium term and that if this signal is ignored, a currency crisis may ensue. The paper is in seven parts. The first three parts contain the theoretical underpinning of the concept. Part four defines newly proposed indicators of exchange rate overvaluation. Part five contains empirical DARER results for the Czech Republic. Part six and annex 1 to this work contain empirical DARER results for selected transition countries, including a brief description of those countries’ exchange rate histories. The final part examines the possibilities and limitations of the DARER concept in practice. The primary aim of this part, however, is to explain the information content of the real exchange rate as a very good warning signal of potential currency crisis.[TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 645The Use of Coleman's Power Indices to Inform the Choice of Voting Rule with Reference to the IMF Governing Body and the EU Council of MinistersIn his well known 1971 paper the mathematical sociologist James S. Coleman, proposed three measures of voting power: (1) "the power of a collectivity to act", (2) "the power to prevent action" and (3) "the power to initiate action". (1) is a measure of the overall decisiveness of a voting body taking into account its size, decision rule and the weights of its members, while (2) and (3) are separate indices of the power of individual members, in being able to block or achieve decisions. These measures seem to have been little used for a variety of reasons, although the paper itself is widely cited. First, much of the power indices literature has focused on normalised indices which gives no role to (1) and means that (2) and (3) are identical. Second, Coleman's coalition model is different from that of Shapley and Shubik which has sometimes tended to dominate in discussions of voting power. Third, (2) and (3) are indistinguishable when the decision quota is a simple majority, the distinction becoming important in other voting situations. In this paper I propose that these indices, which are based on a fundamentally different notion of power than that assumed by game-theoretic approaches, have a useful role in aiding a better understanding of collective institutions in which decisions are taken by voting. I use them to illustrate different aspects of the design of a weighted voting system such as the governing body of the IMF or World Bank, or the system of QMV in the European Council.[TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 644Computation of Power IndicesPower indices are a useful tool for studying voting systems in which different members have different numbers of votes. Many international organisations are organised in this way in order to accommodate differences in size of countries, including the system of QMV in the European Union Council of Ministers. A power index is a measure of power based on the idea that a member’s power is his ability to swing a decision by changing the way his vote is cast.Dennis Leech This paper addresses the problem of the computation of the two most widely used power indices, the so-called classical power indices, the Banzhaf index (and also the related Coleman indices) and the Shapley-Shubik index. It discusses the various methods that have been proposed in the literature: Direct Enumeration, Monte Carlo Simulation, Generating Functions, Multilinear Extensions Approximation, the Modified MLE Approximation Method. The advantages and disadvantages of the algorithms are discussed including computational complexity. It also describes methods for so called “oceanic games”. The paper also discusses the so-called “inverse problem” of finding what the weights should be given the desired power indices. The method is potentially useful as providing a basis for designing a voting system with a given desired distribution of power among the members, for example, to reflect differences in population or financial contributions. Examples are given from the International Monetary Fund, shareholder voting and the European Union Council. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 643From Drought to Flood: Environmental Constrints and the Policial Economy of Civic VirtueThe paper models co-operative engagement under varying environmental constraints giving rise to different forms of collective action problems, specifically focussing on water management in pre-industrial societies. I show that societies where water availability is strongly seasonal develop no mechanism to encourage society-wide co-operative behaviour because the benefits of water storage are fully excludable. With pre-industrial technology water storage is a pure club good, and optimal club size can be shown to be very small under credible parameter values, converging to 1 in some cases (private good). The social consequences of the environmental constraint include strongly circumscribed co-operation and rent seeking. In contrast, areas where water management involved flood control and irrigation develop society-wide institutions based on self-sustaining co-operative engagement assisted by external policing. The model thus offers an explanation of varying levels of "civic virtue" in different areas.Francesco L Galassi [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 642Do Countries Compete over Corporate Tax Rates?This paper tests whether OECD countries compete with each other over corporate taxes in order to attract investment. We develop two models: with firm mobility, countries compete only over the statutory tax rate or the effective average tax rate, while with capital mobility, countries compete only over the effective marginal tax rate. We estimate the parameters of reaction functions using data from 21 countries between 1983 and 1999. Wefind evidence that countries compete over all three measures, but particularly over the statutory tax rate and the effective average tax rate. This is consistent with a belief amongst governments that location choices by multinationalfirms are discrete. We alsofind evidence of concave reaction functions, consistent with the model outlined in the paper.Michael P Devereux, Ben Lockwood and Michela Redoano [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 641Advances in the Theory of Large Cooperative Games and Application to Club Theory: The Side Payments CaseIn a series of papers (Kovalenkov and Wooders 2001a, Games and Economic Behavior, 2001b, Mathematics of Operations Research, and 1997, Journal of Economic Theory to appear), the authors have developed the framework of parameterized collections of games and also that of parameterized collections of economies with clubs. These papers apply to collections of games with nontransferable utility and similarly to economies with clubs and general preferences. The game theoretic framework encompasses the earlier `pregame' framework (cf., Wooders 1994b Econometrica) and also earlier models of economies with clubs and with possibly multiple memberships in clubs (cf. Shubik and Wooders 1982). In this paper, we consider the special case of games with side payments and illustrate the application of our more general results in this special, and much simpler but still important, framework. The motivation for this line of research is developed and application to environmental problems is discussed.Alexander Kovalenkov and Myrna Wooders [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 640Dynamic Club Formation with CoordinationWe present a dynamic model of jurisdiction formation in a society of identical people. The process is described by a Markov chain that is defined by myopic optimization on the part of the players. We show that the process will converge to a Nash equilibrium club structure. Next, we allow for coordination between members of the same club,i.e. club members can form coalitions for one period and deviate jointly. We define a Nash club equilibrium (NCE) as a strategy configuration that is immune to such coalitional deviations. We show that, if one exists, this modified process will converge to a NCE configuration with probability one. Finally, we deal with the case where a NCE fails to exist due to indivisibility problems. When the population size is not an integer multiple of the optimal club size, there will be left over players who prevent the process from settling down. We define the concept of an approximate Nash club equilibrium (ANCE), which means that all but k players are playing a Nash club equilibrium, where k is defined by the minimal number of left over players. We show that the modified process converges to an ergodic set of states each of which is ANCETone Arnold and Myrna Wooders [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 639Competitive Pricing in Socially Networked EconomiesIn the context of a socially networked economy, this paper demon-stratesNizar Allouch and Myrna Wooders an Edgeworth equivalence between the set of competitive allocations and the core. Each participant in the economy may have multiple links with other participants and the equilibrium network may be as large as the entire set of participants. A clique is a group of people who are all connected with each other. Large cliques, possibly as large as the entire population, are permitted; this is important since we wish to include in our analysis large, world-wide organizations such as workers in multi-national firms and members of world-wide environmental organizations, for example, as well as small cliques, such as two-person partnerships. A special case of our model is equivalent to a club economy where clubs may be large and individuals may belong to multiple clubs. The features of our model that cliques within a networked economy may be as large as the entire population and individuals may belong to multiple cliques thus allow us to extend the extant decentralisation literature on competitive pricing in economies with clubs and multiple memberships (where club sizes are uniformly bounded, independent of the size of the economy). [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 638The Effects of Entry in Bilateral OligopolyWe show that a firm’s profits under Cournot oligopoly can be increasing in the number of firms in the industry if wages are determined by (decentralised) bargaining in unionized bilateral oligopoly. The intuition for the result is that increased product market competition following an increase in the number of firms is mirrored by increased labor market rivalry which induces (profit-enhancing) wage moderation. Whether the product or labor market effect dominates depends both on the extent of union bargaining power and on the nature of union preferences. A corollary of the results derived is that if the upstream agents are firms rather than labor unions, then profits are always decreasing in the number of firms, as in the standard Cournot model. We also show that if bargaining isRobin Naylor centralized then there is no wage moderation effect and wages are the same independent of the number of firms, as in the standard model with exogenous factor costs. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 637Arbitrage, Equilibrium and NonsatiationIn his seminal paper on arbitrage and competitive equilibrium in unbounded exchange economies, Werner (Econometrica, 1987)proved the existence of a competitive equilibrium, under a price no-arbitrage condition, without assuming either local or global nonsatiation. Werner's existence result contrasts sharply with classical existence results for bounded exchange economies which require, at minimum, global nonsatiation at rational allocations. Why do un-bounded exchange economies admit existence without local or global nonsatiation? This question is the focus of our paper. We make two main contributions to the theory of arbitrage and competitive equilibrium. First, we show that, in general, in unbounded exchange economies (for example, asset exchange economies allowing short sales), even if some agents' preferences are satiated, the absence of arbitrage is sufficient for the existence of competitive equilibria, as long as each agent who is satiated has a nonempty set of useful net trades - that is, as long as agents' preferences satisfy weak nonsatiation. Second, we provide a new approach to proving existence in unbounded exchange economies. The key step in our new approach is to transform the original economy to an economy satisfying global nonsatiation such that all equilibria of the transformed economy areNizar Allouch, Cuong Le Van and Frank H Page Jr equilibria of the original economy. What our approach makes clear is that it is precisely the condition of weak nonsatiation - a condition considerably weaker than local or global nonsatiation - that makes possible this transformation. Moreover, as we show via examples, without weak nonsatiation, existence fails. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 636Social Conformity and Equilibrium in Pure Strategies in Games with Many PlayersWe introduce a framework of noncooperative pregames, in which players are characterized by their attributes, and demonstrate that for all games with sufficiently many players, there exist approximate (Myrna Wooders, Edward Cartwright and Reinhard Selten e )Nash equilibriain pure strategies. In fact, every mixed strategy equilibrium can be used to construct an e-equilibrium in pure strategies, an ‘e -purification’ result. Our main result is a social conformity theorem. Interpret a set ofplayers, all with attributes in some convex subset of attribute space and all playing the same strategy, as a society. Observe that the number of societies may be as large as the number of players. Our social conformity result dictates that, given e > 0, there is an integer L, depending on e but not on the number of players, such that any suffciently large game has an e -equilibrium in pure strategies that induces a partition of the player set into fewer than L societies.[TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 635Information and CommandInformation adds value to transactions in three ways: it supports reputations, permits customisation, and provides yardsticks. In the Soviet economy such information was frequently not produced; if produced, it was often concealed; whether concealed or not, it was often of poor quality. In short, the Soviet command system forced economic growth on the basis of a relatively low–value information stock. This may help explain aspects of Soviet postwar economic growth and slowdown, the collapse of the command system, and the persistence of low output after the collapse.Mark Harrison [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 634Approximate Cores of Games and Economies with ClubsWe introduce the framework of parameterized collections of games with and without sidepayments and provide three nonemptiness of approximate core theorems. The parameters bound (a) the number of approximate types of players and the size of the approximation and (b) the size of nearly effective groups of players and their distanceAlexander Kovalenkov and Myrna Holtz Wooders from exact effectiveness. Our theorems are based on a new notion of partition-balanced profiles and approximately partition-balanced profiles. The results are applied to a new model of an economy with clubs. In contrast to the extant literature, our approach allows both widespread externalities and uniform results. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 633Consolidation, Market Power and Cost Economies in the Banking Industry: Empirical Evidence from ArgentinaThe Argentine banking industry has experienced increasing consolidation during the last decade. On the one hand, it can be argued that this has resulted from cost economies, perhaps associated with technical change. But on the other, it can also be argued that increased concentration in this industry may allow the exploitation of market power in the input (deposits) and output (loans) markets. These issues are addressed in this study using bank-level data for Argentine retail banks over the period 1993-2000 to estimate a cost-function based model incorporating deposits- and loans-market pricing behaviour. The results provide evidence of market power exploitation in both the markets for loans and deposits but also the presence of significant cost economies. The findings further show an increase in consumers’ surplus and banks’ profits over the period possibly associated to the exploitation of cost economies and technical change which may have counteracted the effect of market power.Maria Eugenia Delfino [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS]
Incentives to Corporate Governance ActivismThis paper considers the incentives faced by investors (financial institutions) to become actively involved in the direction of their under-performing portfolio companies as proposed by recent policy reports on corporate governance. It proposes a metric by which to measure the returns to activism in terms of the size of holding, measures of risk and return to the company, the degree of under performance and the level of commission received by fiduciary fund managers. By comparing this with costs of activism it proposes a method by which 'significant shareholdings' may be estimated. A significant shareholding is the level above which a shareholding in a company may be said to have private incentives to activism. This approach is applied to two groups of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, the top 250 and a ten percent random sample. The results indicate that there are very strong incentives for shareholders to be activist participants in corporate governance among the top 250 companies while there is much more diversity among the smaller companies. Results differ considerably between those where the shareholder is an own-account investor and a fund manager.Dennis Leech [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 631The Cournot-Bertrand Profit Differential: A Reversal Result in a Differentiated Duopoly with Wage BargainingThis paper compares Cournot and Bertrand equilibria in a downstream differentiated duopoly in which the input price (wage) paid by each downstream firm is the outcome of a strategic bargain with its upstream supplier (labour union). We show that the standard result that Cournot equilibrium profits exceed those under Bertrand competition - when the differentiated duopoly game is played in imperfect substitutes - is reversible. Whether equilibrium profits are higher under Cournot or Bertrand competition is shown to depend upon the nature of the upstream agents’ preferences, on the distribution of bargaining power over the input price and on the degree of product market differentiation. We find that the standard result holds unless unions are both powerful and place considerable weight on the wage argument in their utility function. One implication of this is that if the upstream agents are profit-maximising firms, then the standard result will obtain. Monica Correa Lopez and Robin A. Naylor [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 630The Impact of the Introduction of the UK Minimum Wage on the Employment Probabilities of Low Wage WorkersThis paper uses longitudinal data from three contrasting datasets (matched Labour Force Surveys, the British Household Panel Survey and matched New Earnings Surveys) to estimate the impact of the introduction of the UK minimum wage (in April 1999) on the probability of subsequent employment among those whose wages would have needed to be raised to comply with the minimum. A difference-in-differences estimator is used, based on position in the wage distribution. No significant adverse employment effects are found for any of the four demographic groups considered (adult and youth, men and women) or in any of the three datasets used. Mark B. Stewart [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 629Cost Monotonicity, Consistency and Minimum Cost Spanning Tree GamesWe propose a new cost allocation rule for minimum cost spanning tree games. The new rule is a core selection and also satisfies cost monotonicity. We also give characterization theorems for the new rule as well as the much-studied Bird allocation. We show that the principal difference between these two rules is in terms of their consistency properties Bhaskar Dutta and Anirban Kar [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 628Equilibrium Agenda FormationWe develop a definition of equilibrium for agenda formation in Bhaskar Dutta, Matthew O. Jackson and Michel Le Breton general voting settings. The definition is independent of any protocol. We show that the set of equilibrium outcomes for any Pareto efficient voting rule is uniquely determined. We also show that for such voting rules, if preferences are strict then the set of equilibrium outcomes coincides with that of the outcomes generated by considering all full agendas for voting by successive elimination and show that the set of equilibrium outcomes corresponds with the Banks set. We also examine the implications in several other settings. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 627Firms' Strategies for Reducing the Effectiveness of Consumer Price SearchThis paper considers a simple model of competition based on some buyers making price comparisons between two suppliers. The difficulties of making appropriate comparisons are made greater by exclusive dealer agreements and restrictions, and by suppliers trading under more than one name. It is argued that suppliers will set prices using mixed strategies, and that prices become less competitive as price comparisons become more difficult. The implications for competition policy are considered in the light of recent judgements of the UK’s Office of Fair Trading and the European Court of Justice.Normal J. Ireland [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 626Corporate Governance and the Public InterestA theory of the firm based on strategic decision-making highlights governance as a central issue. Preferences vary over strategy but not all interests are currently being represented, resulting in a failure to govern in the public interest. As solutions, we consider the design ofJ. Robert Branston, Keith Cowling and Roger Sugden company law and also more immediate ways forward, focusing on regulation and democratically controlled public agencies, but stressing the fundamental significance of active, effective citizens. Throughout, the arguments are illustrated using examples from various countries and industries, including education, information technology, football and public utilities in Europe and the US. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 625The Problem of Regional "Hollowing Out" in Japan:This paper considers the problems of "hollowing out" using a Case Study of Japan's machinery sector. In doing so, it explores the roots of the present crisis by focusing upon the role played by Japan's large transnational corporations. This is important because these corporations are the "central actors" within the Japanese economy and they control a significant proportion of Japanese manufacturing. It is their strategic decisions - those that determine the level and location of investment, employment and output - which ultimately shape the development path for Japanese industry (see Cowling and Sugden, 1994, 1998). In recent years, Japan’s large transnationals have become engaged in the process of elite globalisation, pursuing their own interests at the expense of domestic Japanese industry. This is a fundamental insight that is crucial for designing appropriate policy responses to arrest Japan's current industrialLessons for Regional Industrial Policy Keith Cowling and Philip R. Tomlinson decline. It is argued that the lessons from Japan's experience might guide policy-makers in other regions, such as Wisconsin, who are concerned with future industrial development, the effects of globalisation and problems of "hollowing out". [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] WORKING PAPER NO 624Re-Visiting the Roots of Japan's Structural Decline:For a long period in the twentieth century, the development of the Japanese corporation appeared congruent with the development of the Japanese economy. The growth maximising behaviour of the Japanese corporation and the preference for internal growth over acquisitions (see Odagiri, 1992) appeared to suit the long-term ambitions of Japan. Now, that formerly clear connexion between the ambitions of corporate Japan and the Japanese public interest is no longer so clear. Increasingly, the global ambitions of the corporation appear as an impediment to Japan'sThe Role of the Japanese Corporation Keith Cowling and Philip R. Tomlinson development. By favouring the development of large-scale transnational corporations, Japanese industrial policy-making appears to have contained a fundamental flaw. Japan is now dominated by large-scale organisations that are controlled by a corporate elite. It is unlikely that their strategic decisions will correspond with the wider public interest, which raises the possibility that Japan is now afflicted with "strategic failure". Other examples from around the world suggest that Japan is not unique in this respect. Alternative ways forward are suggested. [TOP OF TWERPS ABSTRACTS] [ LIST OF TWERPS] |