2018 Working Papers
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1185 - Migrants and Firms: Evidence from ChinaClement Imbert, Marlon Seror, Yifan Zhang, & Yanos Zylberberg
This paper estimates the causal effect of rural-urban migration on urban production in China. We use longitudinal data on manufacturing firms between 2001 and 2006 and exploit exogenous variation in rural-urban migration due to agricultural price shocks. Following a migrant inflow, labor costs decline and employment expands. Labor productivity decreases sharply and remains low in the medium run. A quantitative framework suggests that destinations become too labor-abundant and migration mostly benefits low productivity firms within locations. As migrants select into high-productivity destinations, migration however strongly contributes to the equalization of factor productivity across locations.
1183 - The Financial Alchemy that FailedMarcus Miller
With his conception of successive ‘Ages of Capitalism’, Anatole Kaletsky provides a canvas broad enough to encompass the banking crisis of 2008 and much more. After briefly outlining the Four Ages he identifies, we focus on the period of the Great Moderation when Inflation Targeting seemed to have solved the problem macroeconomic management – until it ended in spectacular failure. The rapid growth of cross-border banking – with securitized assets funded by wholesale money – evidently posed threats to financial stability that had been ignored by a regime targeting consumer prices. We look at three: the pecuniary externalities exerted by asset price changes on investment banking; information failures leading to an exaggerated banking boom; and the risk of insolvency in the subsequent ‘bank run’. The financial system pre-crash was, it seems, flawed by two Fallacies of Composition: by regulation that reckoned making individual banks safe guaranteed systemic stability; and a business model that reckoned securitization ensured liquidity whenever necessary. Finally, we discuss how, in different countries, the law has variously been invoked to handle reckless banking.
1182 - Wars, Local Political Institutions, and Fiscal Capacity: Evidence from Six Centuries of German HistorySascha O. Becker, Andreas Ferrara, Eric Melander & Luigi Pascali
We study the effect of warfare on the development of state capacity and representative institutions using novel data on cities and territories in the German lands between 1200 and 1750. More specifically, we show that cities with a higher conflict exposure establish more sophisticated tax systems, but also develop larger councils, councils that are more likely to be elected by citizens, and more likely to be independent of other local institutions. These results are consistent with the idea of a trade-off between more efficient taxation and power sharing proposed in earlier work. We make headway on establishing a causal role of wars by using changes to German nobles’ positions within the European nobility network to instrument for conflict.
1181 - Politics in the Facebook Era Evidence from the 2016 US Presidential ElectionsFederica Liberini, Michela Redoano, Antonio Russo, Angel Cuevas and Ruben Cuevas
Social media enable politicians to personalize their campaigns and target voters who may be decisive for the outcome of elections. We assess the effects of such political “micro-targeting” by exploiting variation in daily advertising prices on Facebook, collected during the course of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. We analyze the variation of prices across political ideologies and propose a measure for the intensity of online political campaigns. Combining this measure with information from the ANES electoral survey, we address two fundamental questions: (i) To what extent did political campaigns use social media to micro-target voters? (ii) How large was the effect, if any, on voters who were heavily exposed to campaigning on social media? We find that online political campaigns targeted on users’ gender, geographic location, and political ideology had a significant effect in persuading undecided voters to support Mr Trump, and in persuading Republican supporters to turn out on polling day. Moreover the effect of micro-targeting on Facebook was strongest among users without university or college-level education.
1180 - The Race to the BaseDan Bernhardt, Peter Buisseret & Sinem Hidir
We study multi-district legislative elections between two office-seeking parties when the election pits a relatively strong party against a weaker party; when each party faces uncertainty about how voter preferences will evolve during the campaign; and, when each party cares not only about winning a majority, but also about its share of seats in the event that it holds majority or minority status. When the initial imbalance favoring one party is small, each party targets the median voter in the median district, in pursuit of a majority. When the imbalance is moderate, the advantaged party continues to hold the centre-ground, but the disadvantaged party retreats to target its core supporters; it does so to fortify its minority share of seats in the likely event that it fails to secure a majority. Finally, when the imbalance is large, the advantaged party advances toward its opponent, raiding its moderate supporters in pursuit of an outsized majority
1179 - Unemployment Volatility in a Behavioural Search ModelChris Martin & Bingsong Wang
Recent evidence that the opportunity cost of employment is pro cyclical implies that existing models based around search frictions in the labour market cannot match the large volatilities of unemployment and vacancies observed in the data. In this paper, we incorporate insights from behavioural economics into the search frictions framework. The resultant model can match observed volatilities even if the opportunity cost is strongly pro cyclical. The key mechanism in the model is that the pro-cyclicality of the opportunity cost has a limited impact on the reference wage of workers; this feeds through into a limited volatility of the wage and so to a large unemployment volatility
1178 - Sustainable DebtGaetano Bloise, Herakles Polemarchakis & Yiannis Vailakis
Debt is sustainable at a competitive equilibrium due solely to the reputation of debtors for repayment; that is, even absent collateral or legal sanctions available to creditors. Under incomplete markets, when the rate of interest (net of growth) is recurrently negative, self-insurance is more costly than borrowing, and repayments on loans are enforced by the implicit threat of loss of risk-sharing advantages of debt contracts. Private debt credibly circulates as a form of inside money and, in general, is not valued as a speculative bubble; it is distinct from outside money. Competitive equilibria with self-enforcing debt exist under a suitable hypothesis of gains from trade.
1177 - Ticketing as if consumers matteredMichael Waterson
There are continued complaints on matters of event ticketing, particularly in music, despite recent changes in legislation and in practice. This report, a development of ideas following from Waterson (2016), sets out a personal view on the market, focusing on the UK and in particular the music sector, as it now exists. In it, I ask and respond to a self-imposed question- what might an improved ticketing system set out to achieve? In my view, a desirable ticketing system would be one that puts consumers first, both in terms of ease, fairness and choice. Hence the title. Currently, many of the participants in the market do not have consumers foremost in mind, and the lesson from various other markets where technology has shown significant potential is that ultimately, a framework that provides what (most) consumers want wins out.
1175 - The Green Revolution and Infant Mortality in IndiaPrashant Bharadwaj, James Fenske, Rinchan Ali Mirza & Namrata Kala
We use a difference in differences approach to show that the adoption of High Yielding Varieties (HYV) reduced infant mortality in India. This holds even comparing children of the same mother. Children of mothers whose characteristics predict higher child mortality, rural children, boys, and low-caste children benefit more from HYV adoption. We find no obvious evidence that parental investments respond to HYV adoption. We find little evidence of selection into child bearing in response to HYV adoption.
1174 - Should We Discount the Welfare of Future Generations? Ramsey and Suppes versus Koopmans and ArrowGraciela Chichilnisky, Peter J. Hammond & Nicholas Stern
Ramsey famously pronounced that discounting “future enjoyments” would be ethically indefensible. Suppes enunciated an equity criterion implying that all individuals’ welfare should be treated equally. By contrast, Arrow (1999a, b) accepted, perhaps rather reluctantly, the logical force of Koopmans’ argument that no satisfactory preference ordering on a sufficiently unrestricted domain of infinite utility streams satisfies equal treatment. In this paper, we first derive an equitable utilitarian objective based on a version of the Vickrey–Harsanyi original position, extended to allow a variable and uncertain population with no finite bound. Following the work of Chichilnisky and others on sustainability, slightly weakening the conditions of Koopmans and co-authors allows intergenerational equity to be satisfied. In fact, assuming that the expected total number of individuals who ever live is finite, and that each individual’s utility is bounded both above and below, there is a coherent equitable objective based on expected total utility. Moreover, it implies the “extinction discounting rule” advocated by, inter alia, the Stern Review on climate change.
1173 - Bargaining and Hold-up: The Role of ArbitrationYannick Gabuthy and Abhinay Muthoo
This paper analyses arbitration as a surrogate for complete contracts. We embed this idea in a simple model of a long-term relationship between a firm and its workforce, in which they can make productive-enhancing, relationshipspecific investments, and then negotiate over the division of the resultant surplus. It is shown that the mere presence of the arbitrator (in the background of negotiations) may enhance investment incentives ex-ante by minimising each party’s ability to engage in hold-up behaviours ex-post. Furthermore, we highlight notably that the partners should optimally commit to call an arbitrator ensuring a compromise by awarding a reasonable share of the surplus to the worker. Indeed, this type of arbitrator would harmonise the parties’ bargaining powers and then weight their investment incentives optimally.
1172 - Who Voted for Brexit? Individual and Regional Data CombinedEleonora Alabrese, Sascha O. Becker, Thiemo Fetzer and Dennis Novy
Previous analyses of the 2016 Brexit referendum used region-level data or small samples based on polling data. The former might be subject to ecological fallacy and the latter might suffer from small-sample bias. We use individual-level data on thousands of respondents in Understanding Society, the UK’s largest household survey, which includes the EU referendum question. We find that voting Leave is associated with older age, white ethnicity, low educational attainment, infrequent use of smartphones and the internet, receiving benefits, adverse health and low life satisfaction. These results coincide with corresponding patterns at the aggregate level of voting areas. We therefore do not find evidence of ecological fallacy. In addition, we show that prediction accuracy is geographically heterogeneous across UK regions, with strongly pro-Leave and strongly pro-Remain areas easier to predict. We also show that among individuals with similar socioeconomic characteristics, Labour supporters are more likely to support Remain while Conservative supporters are more likely to support Leave.
1171 - Security TransitionsThiemo Fetzer, Pedro CL Souza, Oliver Vanden Eynde & Austin L. Wright
How do foreign powers disengage from a conflict? We study the recent largescale security transition from international troops to local forces in the context of the ongoing civil conflict in Afghanistan. We construct a new dataset that combines information on this transition process with declassified conflict outcomes and previously unreleased quarterly survey data. Our empirical design leverages the staggered roll-out of the transition onset, together with a novel instrumental variables approach to estimate the impact of the two-phase security transition. We find that the initial security transfer to Afghan forces is marked by a significant, sharp and timely decline in insurgent violence. This effect reverses with the actual physical withdrawal of foreign troops. We argue that this pattern is consistent with a signaling model, in which the insurgents reduce violence strategically to facilitate the foreign military withdrawal. Our findings clarify the destabilizing consequences of withdrawal in one of the costliest conflicts in modern history and yield potentially actionable insights for designing future security transitions.
1170 - Did Austerity Cause Brexit?Thiemo Fetzer
This paper documents a significant association between the exposure of an individual or area to the UK government’s austerity-induced welfare reforms begun in 2010, and the following: the subsequent rise in support for the UK Independence Party, an important correlate of Leave support in the 2016 UK referendum on European Union membership; broader individual-level measures of political dissatisfaction; and direct measures of support for Leave. Leveraging data from all UK electoral contests since 2000, along with detailed, individual-level panel data, the findings suggest that the EU referendum could have resulted in a Remain victory had it not been for austerity.
1169 - Tax Progressivity and Self-Employment DynamicsWiji Arulampalam & Andrea Papini
Analysis of the relationship between taxes and self-employment should account for the interplay between responses in self-employment and wage employment. To this end, we estimate a two-state multi-spell duration model which accounts for both observed and unobserved heterogeneity using a large longitudinal administrative dataset for Norway for 1993-2011. Our findings confirm theoretical predictions, and are robust to various changes to definitions and sample selections. A policy experiment simulating a flatter tax schedule in the year 2000, is found to encourage both entry into and exit from self-employment, with an increase of about 11.5 percent in net inflow into self-employment.
1168 - Taxes and the Location of TargetsWiji Arulampalam, Michael P. Devereux, Federica Liberini
We use firm-level data to investigate the impact of taxes on the international location of targets in M&A, allowing for heterogeneous responses by companies. The statutory tax rate in the target country is found to have a negative impact on the probability of an acquisition in that country. In addition, the estimated size of the effect is found to depend on whether (i) acquirer is a domestic or a multinational enterprise; (ii) the acquisition is domestic or cross-border; and (iii) the acquirer’s country has a worldwide or territorial tax system.
1167 - Financial and Fiscal Interaction in the Euro Area Crisis : This Time was DifferentAlberto Caruso, Lucrezia Reichlin & Giovanni Ricco
This paper highlights the anomalous characteristics of the Euro Area `twin crises' by contrasting the aggregate macroeconomic dynamics in the period 2009-2013 with the business cycle fluctuations of the previous decades. We report three stylised facts. First, the contraction in output was marked by an anomalous downfall in investment, while consumption, savings and unemployment followed their historical relation with GDP. Second, households' and financial corporations' debts, and house prices deviated from their pre-crisis trends. Third, the jump in the public deficit GDP ratio in 2008-2009 was unprecedented and so was the fiscal consolidation that followed. Our analysis points to the financial nature of the crisis as a likely explanation for these facts. Importantly, the `anomaly' in public deficit is in large part explained by extraordinary measures in support of the financial sector, which show up in the stock-flow adjustments and reveal a key interaction between the fiscal and the financial sectors.
1166 - Cohesive Institutions and Political ViolenceThiemo Fetzer and Stephan Kyburz
Can institutionalized transfers of resource rents be a source of civil conflict? Are cohesive institutions better in managing distributive conflicts? We study these questions exploiting exogenous variation in revenue disbursements to local governments together with new data on local democratic institutions in Nigeria. We make three contributions. First, we document the existence of a strong link between rents and conflict far away from the location of the actual resource. Second, we show that distributive conflict is highly organized involving political militias and concentrated in the extent to which local governments are non-cohesive. Third, we show that democratic practice in form having elected local governments significantly weakens the causal link between rents and political violence. We document that elections (vis-a-vis appointments), by producing more cohesive institutions, vastly limit the extent to which distributional conflict between groups breaks out following shocks to the available rents. Throughout, we confirm these findings using individual level survey data.
1165 - Has Eastern European Migration Impacted UK-born Workers?Sascha O. Becker and Thiemo Fetzer
The 2004 accession of 8 Eastern European countries to the European Union (EU) was accompanied by fears of mass migration. The United Kingdom - unlike many other EU countries - did not opt for temporary restrictions on the EU’s free movement of labour. We document that following EU accession more than 1 million people (ca. 3% of the UK working age population) migrated from Eastern Europe to the UK. We show that they mostly settled in places that had limited prior exposure to immigration. We provide evidence that these areas subsequently saw smaller wage growth at the lower end of the wage distribution and increased pressure on the welfare state, housing and public services. Using novel geographically disaggregated data by country-of-origin, we measure the effects of Eastern European migration on these outcomes for the UK-born and different groups of immigrants. Our results are important in the context of the UK’s Brexit referendum and the ongoing EU withdrawal negotiations in which migration features as a key issue.
1164 - Forced Migration and Human Capital : Evidence from Post WWII Population TransfersSascha O. Becker, Irena Grosfeld, Pauline Grosjean, Nico Voigtländer and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
We exploit a unique historical setting to study the long-run effects of forced migration on investment in education. After World War II, the Polish borders were redrawn, resulting in large-scale migration. Poles were forced to move from the Kresy territories in the East (taken over by the USSR) and were resettled mostly to the newly acquired Western Territories, from which Germans were expelled. We combine historical censuses with newly collected survey data to show that, while there were no pre-WWII differences in education, Poles with a family history of forced migration are significantly more educated today. Descendants of forced migrants have on average one extra year of schooling, driven by a higher propensity to finish secondary or higher education. This result holds when we restrict ancestral locations to a sub sample around the former Kresy border and include fixed effects for the destination of migrants. As Kresy migrants were of the same ethnicity and religion as other Poles, we bypass confounding factors of other cases of forced migration. We show that labor market competition with natives and selection of migrants are also unlikely to drive our results. Survey evidence suggests that forced migration led to a shift in preferences, away from material possessions and towards investment in a mobile asset – human capital. The effects persist over three generations.
1163 - The Political Economy of IdeasSharun W. Mukand and Dani Rodrik
We develop a conceptual framework to highlight the role of ideas as a catalyst for policy and institutional change. We make an explicit distinction between ideas and vested interests and show how they feed into each other. In doing so the paper integrates the Keynes-Hayek perspective on the importance of ideas with the currently more fashionable Stigler-Becker (interests only) approach to political economy. We distinguish between two kinds of ideational politics – the battle among different worldviews on the efficacy of policy (worldview politics) versus the politics of victimhood, pride and identity (identity politics). Political entrepreneurs discover identity and policy ‘memes’ (narratives, cues, framing) that shift beliefs about how the world works or a person’s belief of who he is (i.e. identity). Our framework identifies a complementarity between worldview politics and identity politics and illustrates how they may reinforce each other. In particular, an increase in identity polarization may be associated with a shift in views about how the world works. Furthermore, an increase in income inequality is likely to result in a greater incidence of ideational politics. Finally, we show how ideas may not just constrain, but also ‘bite’ the interests that helped propagate them in the first instance.
1162 - Allocation Mechanisms, Incentives, and Endemic Institutional ExternalitiesPeter J. Hammond
Whether an economic agent’s decision creates an externality often depends on the institutional context in which the decision was made. Indeed, in orthodox economics, a technological or exogenous externality occurs just in case one agent’s economic welfare or production possibilities are directly affected by the market decisions of other agents. A pecuniary externality occurs just in case one consumer’s economic welfare or producer’s profit is affected indirectly by price changes caused by changes in other agents’ decisions. Similarly, an institutional or endogenous externality may arise whenever allocations are determined by a mechanism that is not strategy proof for some agent. Then even a resource balance constraint creates an institutional externality except in special cases such as when no individual agent’s action can affect market clearing prices — i.e., there are no pecuniary externalities.
1161 - Costs and Benefits of Seasonal Migration : Evidence from IndiaClément Imbert and John Papp
This paper provides new evidence on rural-to-urban migration decisions in developing countries. Using original survey data from rural India, we show that employment provision on local public works significantly reduces seasonal migration. Workers who choose to participate in the program forgo much higher earnings outside of the village. Structural estimates imply that the utility cost of one day away may be as high as 60% of migration earnings. Up to half of this cost can be explained by higher living costs and income risk. The other half likely reflects high non-monetary costs from living and working in the city.
1160 - Why an EU Referendum? Why in 2016?Sascha O. Becker & Thiemo Fetzer
The outcome of the UK’s Brexit Referendum has been blamed on political factors, such as concerns about sovereignty, and economic factors such as migration, and trade integration. Analyses of the cross-sectional referendum voting pattern cannot explain how anti-EU sentiment built up over time. Since UKIP votes in the 2014 EU Parliament elections are the single most important predictor of the Vote Leave share, understanding the rise of UKIP might help to explain the role of political and economic factors in the build-up of Brexit. This paper presents new stylized facts suggesting that UKIP votes in local, national and European elections picked up dramatically in areas with weak socio-economic fundamentals, but only after 2010, at the expense of the Conservatives, and partly also Labour. The timing suggests that the Government’s austerity measures might have been a crucial trigger that helped to convert economic grievances into UKIP votes, putting increasing pressure on the Conservatives to hold the EU Referendum.
1159 - Bayesian Vector AutoregressionsSilvia Miranda-Agrippino & Giovanni Ricco
This article reviews Bayesian inference methods for Vector Autoregression models, commonly used priors for economic and financial variables, and applications to structural analysis and forecasting.
1158 - Exchange Rate Exposure and Firm DynamicsJuliana Salomao and Liliana Varela
This paper develops a heterogeneous firm-dynamics model with endogenous currency debt composition to jointly study financing and investment decisions in developing economies. In our model, firms’ foreign currency borrowing arises from a trade-off between exposure to currency risk and growth. We assess econometrically the pattern of foreign currency borrowing using firm-level census data on Hungary, calibrate the model and quantify its aggregate impact. Our counterfactual exercises show that foreign currency borrowing can lead to higher growth and that the efficiency of the banking sector to screen productive and capital-scarce firms is essential to reap up the benefits of this financing.
1157 - Exchange Rate Exposure and Firm DynamicsJuliana Salomao and Liliana Varela
This paper develops a heterogeneous firm-dynamics model with endogenous currency debt composition to jointly study financing and investment decisions in developing economies. In our model, firms’ foreign currency borrowing arises from a trade-off between exposure to currency risk and growth. We assess econometrically the pattern of foreign currency borrowing using firm-level census data on Hungary, calibrate the model and quantify its aggregate impact. Our counterfactual exercises show that foreign currency borrowing can lead to higher growth and that the efficiency of the banking sector to screen productive and capital-scarce firms is essential to reap up the benefits of this financing
1156 - Money Aggregates and Determinacy: A Reinterpretation of Monetary Policy During the Great InflationIrfan Qureshi
Should a policy rule include money? Including money exerts policy inertia and increases inflation aversion. In a New-Keynesian model with trend inflation, these features guarantee price determinacy even when the Taylor principle is not satisfied. Novel Greenbook data confirm money aggregates as U.S. Federal Open Market Committee policy objectives, enabling monetary policy to insulate the U.S. economy from self-fulfilling fluctuations despite positive trend inflation. A high response to inflation and low trend inflation guarantees determinacy post-1982. Cross-country applications highlight the superiority of the rule with money. Raising the inflation target from 2 percent to 4 percent violates the Taylor principle; including money resolves this issue.
1155 - Efficient Partnership Formation in NetworksFrancis Bloch, Bhaskar Dutta,and Mihai Manea
We analyze the formation of partnerships in social networks. Players need favors at random times and ask their neighbors in the network to form exclusive long-term partnerships that guarantee reciprocal favor exchange. Refusing to provide a favor results in the automatic removal of the underlying link. When favors are costly, players agree to provide the first favor in a partnership only if they otherwise face the risk of eventual solitude. In equilibrium, the players essential for realizing every maximum matching can avoid this risk and enjoy higher payoffs than inessential players. Although the search for partners is decentralized and reflects local incentives, the strength of essential players drives efficient partnership formation in every network. When favors are costless, players enter partnerships at any opportunity and every maximal matching can emerge in equilibrium. In this case, efficiency is limited to special linking patterns: complete and complete bipartite networks, locally balanced bipartite networks with positive surplus, and factor-critical networks.
1154 - Is Envy Harmful to a Society’s Psychological Health and Wellbeing? A Longitudinal Study of 18,000 AdultsRedzo Mujcic& Andrew J. Oswald
Nearly 100 years ago, the philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell warned of the social dangers of widespread envy. One view of modern society is that it is systematically developing a set of institutions -- such as social media and new forms of advertising -- that make people feel inadequate and envious of others. If so, how might that be influencing the psychological health of our citizens? This paper reports the first large-scale longitudinal research into envy and its possible repercussions. The paper studies 18,000 randomly selected individuals over the years 2005, 2009, and 2013. Using measures of SF-36 mental health and psychological well-being, four main conclusions emerge. First, the young are especially susceptible. Levels of envy fall as people grow older. This longitudinal finding is consistent with a cross-sectional pattern noted recently by Nicole E. Henniger and Christine R. Harris, and with the theory of socioemotional regulation suggested by scholars such as Laura L. Carstensen. Second, using fixed-effects equations and prospective analysis, the analysis reveals that envy today is a powerful predictor of worse SF-36 mental health and well-being in the future. A change from the lowest to the highest level of envy, for example, is associated with a worsening of SF-36 mental health by approximately half a standard deviation (p <0.001). Third, no evidence is found for the idea that envy acts as a useful motivator. Greater envy is associated with slower -- not higher -- growth of psychological well-being in the future. Nor is envy a predictor of later economic success. Fourth, the longitudinal decline of envy leaves unaltered a U-shaped age pattern of well-being from age 20 to age 70. These results are consistent with the idea that society should be concerned about institutions that stimulate large-scale envy.
1153 - Unhappiness and Pain in Modern America: A Review Essay, and Further Evidence, on Carol Graham’s Happiness for All?David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald
In Happiness for All?, Carol Graham raises disquieting ideas about today’s United States. The challenge she puts forward is an important one. Here we review the intellectual case and offer additional evidence. We conclude broadly on the author’s side. Strikingly, Americans appear to be in greater pain than citizens of other countries, and most subgroups of citizens have downwardly trended happiness levels. There is, however, one bright side to an otherwise dark story. The happiness of black Americans has risen strongly since the 1970s. It is now almost equal to that of white Americans
1152 - The social value of information in economies with mandatory savingsPablo F. Beker & Conrado Cuevas
We study the value of public information in a stochastic exchange economy where agents trade assets to reallocate risk and mandatory (retirement) savings imposes a lower bound on the market value of some agents’ holdings of a financial asset. Since equilibrium prices depend on the agents’ beliefs about the states of nature, the arrival of information shifts the agents’ mandatory savings constraints. We show that the arrival of public information can generate an ex-ante Pareto improvement relative to an uninformative equilibrium even when ex-post improvements are not possible.
1151 - The measurement of welfare changeWalter Bossert & Bhaskar Dutta
We propose and characterize a class of measures of welfare change that are based on the generalized Gini social welfare functions. In addition, we analyze these measures in the context of a second-order dominance property that is akin to generalized Lorenz dominance as introduced by Shorrocks (1983) and Kakwani (1984). Because we consider welfare differences rather than welfare levels, the requisite equivalence result involves linear welfare functions (that is, those associated with the generalized Ginis) only, as opposed to the entire class of strictly increasing and S-concave welfare indicators
1150 - Ignoring Good AdviceDavid Ronayne and Daniel Sgroi
We ran an experiment where 1,503 subjects (advisees) completed tasks, and then had the choice to submit either their own score or the score of other subjects (advisers). The observed data are difficult to reconcile with rational behavior. First, good advice was ignored: about 25% of the time, advisees chose to submit their own score instead of the higher score of an adviser, reducing their payoff. Second, when the adviser was superior in skill, good advice was ignored more often. Third, when the adviser was relatively highly paid, subjects were less likely to make use of them. We offer an explanation of the data focused on two behavioral forces: envy and the sunk cost fallacy. The role of envy was complex: more envious advisees, as measured using a dispositional envy scale, opted to follow advisers more often in the skill-based task revealing a positive, motivational effect of envy. However, higher adviser remuneration reduced this effect, revealing a negative side of envy as a constraint on rational decision-making. Susceptibility to the sunk cost fallacy, measured using a novel scale we developed, had a negative impact on the uptake of good advice. This is consistent with the idea that subjects feel resistant to changing their answers when they put in effort to formulate them. We also present findings from a new survey of 3,096 UK voters who took part in the national referendum on EU membership, consistent with some of our experimental results.
1149 - The Effects of Entry in Oligopolistic Trade with Bargained Input PricesRobin Naylor & Christian Soegaard
Firms which face the threat of import competition from foreign rivals are conventionally seen as favouring import protection. We show that this is not necessarily the case when domestic firms’ input prices are determined endogenously. In a framework where the input price is determined through bargaining with an (upstream) input supplier, the relationship between a domestic (downstream) firm’s profits and the number of foreign competitors depends on trade costs. If trade costs are sufficiently high, then an increase in the number of foreign entrants can raise the profits of a downstream firm in a home market characterised by Cournot competition. The intuition for this result is that increased product market competition through the entry of foreign firms is mirrored by profit-enhancing moderation of the bargained input price. We examine a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade and identify conditions under which import-competing firms will favour the removal of barriers to foreign competition
1148 - The Effects of Entry in Oligopolistic Trade with Bargained Input PricesRobin Naylor & Christian Soegaard
1147 - Falling Behind and Catching up : India’s Transition from a Colonial EconomyBishnupriya Gupta
India fell behind during colonial rule. The absolute and relative decline of Indian GDP per capita with respect to Britain began before colonization and coincided with the rising textile trade with Europe in the 18th century. The decline of traditional industries was not the main driver Indian decline and stagnation. Inadequate investment in agriculture and consequent decline in yield per acre stalled economic growth. Modern industries emerged and grew relatively fast. The falling behind was reversed after independence. Policies of industrialization and a green revolution in agriculture increased productivity growth in agriculture and industry, but Indian growth has been led by services. A strong focus on higher education under colonial policy had created an advantage for the service sector, which today has a high concentration of human capital. However, the slow expansion in primary education was a disadvantage in comparison with the high growth East Asian economies
1146 - The Impact of Public Employment : Evidence from BonnSascha O. Becker, Stephan Heblich and Daniel M. Sturm
This paper evaluates the impact of public employment on private sector activity using the relocation of the German federal government from Berlin to Bonn in the wake of the Second World War as a source of exogenous variation. To guide our empirical analysis, we develop a simple economic geography model in which public sector employment in a city can crowd out private employment through higher wages and house prices, but also generates potential productivity and amenity spillovers. We nd that relative to a control group of cities, Bonn experiences a substantial increase in public employment. However, this results in only modest increases in private sector employment with each additional public sector job destroying around 0.2 jobs in industries and creating just over one additional job in other parts of the private sector. We show how this finding can be explained by our model and provide several pieces of evidence for the mechanisms emphasised by the model.