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Manage Research Papers

935 - Priming and the Reliability of Subjective Well-being Measures

Daniel Sgroi, Eugenio Proto, Andrew J. Oswald and Alexander Dobson

Economists and behavioural scientists are beginning to make extensive use of measures of subjective well-being, and such data are potentially of value to policy-makers. A particularly famous difficulty is that of “priming”: if the order or nature of survey questions changes people’s likely replies then we have grounds to be concerned about the reliability of wellbeing data and inferences from them. This study tests for priming effects from important life events. It presents evidence from a laboratory experiment which indicates that subjective well-being measures are in general robust to such concerns

Date
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
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934 - On the theory of a firm : The case of by-production of emissions.

Sushama Murty

Five attributes of emission generating technologies are identified and a concept of byproduction is introduced, which implies these five attributes. Murty and Russell [2010] characterization of technologies, which requires distinguishing between intended production of rms and nature's laws of emission generation, is shown to be both necessary and suficient for by-production. While intended production could be postulated to satisfy standard input and output free-disposability, these will necessarily be violated by nature's emission generation mechanism, which satises costly disposability of emission as defined in Murty [2010]. Marginal technical and economic costs of abatement are derived for technologies exhibiting by-production. The former measures the loss in intended outputs when the firm is mandated to reduce emissions, while the latter measures its loss in profits under regulation. The by-production approach reveals a rich set of abatement options available to firms. These include reductions in the use of fuel inputs, inter-fuel substitution, increase in cleaning-up efforts, and technological change. In a simple model of by-production, we show that, when faced with regulation, the firm will use all or some of these strategies. This is in contrast to the standard input-approach to modeling emission generating technologies, where we show that, under a Pigouvian tax, a firm will reduce its emissions, solely, by increasing its cleaning-up eort. The standard input-approach also allows some paths of inputs and outputs, which seem inconsistent with nature's laws of emission generation, to become technologically feasible. Our model of by-production illustrates that, while common abatement paths considered in the literature do involve a technological trade-off between emission reduction and intended production, there also almost always exist abatement paths where it is possible to have both greater emission reductions and greater intended outputs. Further, marginal abatement costs will usually be decreasing in the initial level of emissions of firms. Counterintuitive as these results may sound in the first instance, they are intuitively obvious in the by-production approach as it is rich enough to incorporate both standard economic assumptions, such as diminishing returns, with respect to intended production of firms and the rules of nature that govern emission generation.

Date
Tuesday, 14 July 2015
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933 - Control Rights in Complex Partnerships (updated)

Marco Francesconi and Abhinay Muthoo

This paper develops a theory of the allocation of authority between two players who are in a “complex” partnership, that is, a partnership which produces impure public goods. We show that the optimal allocation depends on technological factors, the parties’ valuations of the goods produced, and the degree of impurity of these goods. When the degree of impurity is large, control rights should be given to the main investor, irrespective of preference considerations. There are some situations in which this allocation is optimal even if the degree of impurity is very low as long as one party’s investment is more important than the other party’s. If the parties’ investments are of similar importance and the degree of impurity is large, shared authority is optimal with a greater share going to the low-valuation party. If the importance of the parties’ investments is similar but the degree of impurity is neither large nor small, the low-valuation party should receive sole authority. We analyze an extension in which side payments are infeasible. We check for robustness of our results in several dimensions, such as allowing for multiple parties or for joint authority, apply our results to interpret a number of complex partnerships, including those involving schools and child custody.

Date
Monday, 13 July 2015
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932 - Money, Mentoring and Making Friends : The Impact of a Multidimensional Access Program on Student Performance

Kevin Denny, Orla Doyle, Patricia O’Reilly and Vincent O’Sullivan

There is a well established socioeconomic gradient in educational attainment, despite much effort in recent decades to address this inequality. This study evaluates a university access program that provides financial, academic and social support to low socioeconomic status (SES) students using a natural experiment which exploits the time variation in the expansion of the program across schools. The program has parallels with US affirmative actions programs, although preferential treatment is based on SES rather than ethnicity. Evaluating the effectiveness of programs targeting disadvantaged students in Ireland is particularly salient given the high rate of return to education and the lack of intergenerational mobility in educational attainment. Overall, we identify positive treatment effects on first year exam performance, progression to second year and final year graduation rates, with the impact often stronger for higher ability students. We find similar patterns of results for students that entered through the regular system and the affirmative action’ group i.e. the students that entered with lower high school grades. The program affects the performance of both male and female students, albeit in different ways. This study suggests that access programs can be an effective means of improving academic outcomes for socio-economically disadvantaged students.

Date
Sunday, 12 July 2015
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931 - On modeling pollution-generating technologies

Sushama Murty and R. Robert Russell

We distinguish between intended production and residual generation and introduce the concept of by-production. We show that by-production provides the fundamental explanation for the positive correlation that is observed between intended production and residual generation. Most of the existing literature attributes the observed positive correlation to abatement options available to firms. We show that abatement options of firms add to the phenomenon of by-production in strengthening the observed positive correlation. The existing literature usually does not explicitly model abatement options of firms, but considers a reduced form of the technology, which satises standard disposability assumptions with respect to all inputs and intended outputs. We show that more than one implicit production relation is needed to capture all the technological trade-os that are implied by by-production. From our model, we are able to derive a reduced form of the technology that is in the spirit of the one that is usually studied in the literature. However, we nd that our reduced form technology violates standard disposability with respect to inputs and intended outputs that cause pollution. We derive implications from the phenomenon of by-production for the econometric and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) specications of pollution-generating technologies. We derive a DEA specification of technologies that satisfy by-production. Such a specification can be used to study issues relating to measurement of efficiency, marginal abatement costs, productivity, etc., of firms with technologies that generate pollution.

Date
Saturday, 11 July 2015
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930 - Beer - the ties that bind

Michael Waterson

It started with the Beer Orders (1989). A watershed decision was made by the Law Lords in July 2006. For one man, Bernie Crehan, this was the culmination of a 15 year episode in the pub trade, in which he has made legal history as the first UK case of damages for breach of competition law being awarded by a court. Possibly hundreds of other cases hung on their Lordships’ decision and Nomura, the Japanese bank that took over the chain called Inntrepreneur, had a total potential liability of £100m. And it all concerns Article 81, vertical agreements, and the price of a pint of beer.

Date
Friday, 10 July 2015
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929 - International Trade without CES: Estimating Translog Gravity

Dennis Novy

This paper derives a micro-founded gravity equation in general equilibrium based on a translog demand system that allows for endogenous markups and substitution patterns across goods. In contrast to standard CES-based gravity equations, trade is more sensitive to trade costs if the exporting country only provides a small As a result, trade costs have a heterogeneous impact across country pairs, with some trade flows predicted to be zero. I test the translog gravity equation and find strong empirical support in its favor.

Date
Thursday, 09 July 2015
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928 - Out of Equilibrium Dynamics with Decentralized Exchange Cautious Trading and Convergence to Efficiency

Sayantan Ghosal and James Porter

Is the result that equilibrium trading outcomes are ecient in markets without frictions robust to a scenario where agents' beliefs and plans aren't already aligned at their equilibrium values? In this paper, starting from a situation where agents' beliefs and plans aren't already aligned at their equilibrium values, we study whether out of equilibrium trading converges to efficient allocations. We show that out-of-equilibrium trading does converge with probability 1 to an efficient allocation even when traders have limited information and trade cautiously. In economies where preferences can be represented by Cobb-Douglass utility functions, we show, numerically, that the rate of convergence will be exponential. We show that experimentation leads to convergence in some examples where multilateral exchange is essential to achieve gains from trade. We prove that experimentation does converge with probability 1 to an efficient allocation and the speed of convergence remains exponential with Cobb-Douglass utility functions.

Date
Wednesday, 08 July 2015
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927 - Opting for Opting In? An Evaluation of the European Commission’s Proposals for Reforming VAT on Financial Services

Rita de la Feria and Ben Lockwood

This paper provides a legal and economic analysis of the European Commission’s recent proposals for reforming the application of VAT to financial services, with particular focus on their “third pillar”, under which firms would be allowed to opt-into taxation on exempt insurance and financial services. From a legal perspective, we show that the proposals’ “first and second pillar” would give rise to considerable interpretative and qualification problems, resulting in as much complexity and legal uncertainty as the current regime. Equally, an option to tax could potentially follow significantly different legal designs, which would give rise to discrepancies in the application of the option amongst Member States. On the economic side, we show that quite generally, when firms cannot coordinate their behaviour, they have an individual incentive to opt-in on business-to-business (B2B) transactions, but not on business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. We also show that opting in eliminates the cost disadvantage that EU financial services firms face in competing with foreign firms for B2B sales. But, these results do not hold if firms can coordinate their behaviour. An estimate of the upper bound on the amount of tax revenue that might be lost from allowing opting-in is provided for a number of EU countries.

Date
Tuesday, 07 July 2015
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926 - Pessimistic Foreign Investors and Turmoil in Emerging Markets : The Case of Brazil in 2002

Sandro C. Andrade and Emanuel Kohlscheen

Using survey data, we document that foreign-owned institutions became more pessimistic than locally owned institutions about the strength of the Brazilian currency around the 2002 presidential elections. As a result of their relative pessimism, foreign owned institutions made larger forecast errors. Consistent with the emergence of their
relative pessimism, foreign investors heavily sold Brazilian stocks and the Brazilian currency in futures markets ahead of the 2002 elections. Periods of stronger foreign sell-off were associated with larger equity price declines and larger depreciation of the Brazilian Real in spot and futures markets. These results are consistent with foreign investors’ lack of knowledge of Brazilian institutions contributing to the sharp depreciation of the Brazilian currency and stock market ahead of the 2002 presidential elections.

Date
Monday, 06 July 2015
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925 - Do reductions of standard hours affect employment transitions? : Evidence from Chile

Rafael Sánchez

This study exploits the reduction of weekly working hours from 48 to 45 occured in Chile in January 2005. We use this pure and exogenous policy change to identify the employment effects of such a policy. Our main contribution is that we overcome the problems of previous studies such as: selection between hours and employment, lack of identification strategy due to the joint implementation of policies and lack of crucial variables (like hourly wages and usual hours). Our results suggest no significant effects of a reduction of standard hours on employment transitions and a significant effect on hourly wages (i.e. wage compensation). These results are robust to several specifications.

Date
Sunday, 05 July 2015
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924 - The Interaction between Antitrust and Intellectual Property : the Interoperability Issue in the Microsoft Europe Case

Alessandro Diego Scopelliti

The present work analyzes the interaction between antitrust policy and intellectual property protection, with particular reference to the cases of refusal to supply, when it concerns ideas or inventions protected by an IP right. For this purpose, the paper preliminarily discusses the governing principles of antitrust policy on abuse of dominance and refusal to deal, as they have been implemented in the decisions of the EU Competition Authority, and it presents the specific issues related to the implementation of antitrust policy in the innovative industries.Then, the paper examines in particular the Microsoft Europe Case, as decided by the European commission in 2004, focusing on the issue of the interoperability between the operating systems for personal computers and the operating systems for work group servers. The theoretical model, developed as an extension of the framework proposed by Choi and Stefanadis (2001) to the case of refusal to deal, suggests an explanation of the case, alternative to the one adopted by the Commission, if not necessarily in the final outcome of the decision, at least in the analytical arguments and in the dynamics of the market structure. In particular, we show that the refusal to supply the compatibility between the two complementary products was determined not only by the intention to leverage its dominant position to the adjacent market of server operating systems, but especially by the concern for keeping the monopoly on its core market, that is the one of PC operating system, given the future evolution of the software market, due to the diffusion of cloud computing.

Date
Saturday, 04 July 2015
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923 - Did Children’s Education Matter? Family Migration as a Mechanism of Human Capital Investment. Evidence From Nineteenth Century Bohemia

Alexander Klein

This paper analyzes the rural-urban migration of families in the Bohemian region of Pilsen in 1900. Using a new 1300-family dataset from the 1900 population census I examine the role of children‘s education in rural-urban migration. I find that families migrated to the city such that the educational attainment of their children would be maximized and that there is a positive correlation between family migration and children being apprentices in urban areas. The results suggest that rural-urban migration was powered not only by the exploitation of rural-urban wage gaps but also by aspirations to engage in human capital investment.

Date
Friday, 03 July 2015
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922 - A Nonparametric Analysis of the Cournot Model

Andres Carvajal and John K H Quah

An observer makes a number of observations of an industry producing a homogeneous good. Each observation consists of the market price, the output of individual firms and perhaps information on each firm's production cost. We provide various tests (typically, linear programs) with which the observer can determine if the data set is consistent with the hypothesis that firms in this industry are playing a Cournot game at each observation. When cost information is wholly or partially unavailable, these tests could potentially be used to derive cost information on the firms. This paper is a contribution to the literature that aims to characterize (in various contexts) the restrictions that a data set must satisfy for it to be consistent with Nash outcomes in a game. It is also inspired by the seminal result of Afriat (and the subsequent literature) which addresses similar issues in the context of consumer demand, though one important technical dierence from most of these results is that the objective functions of firms in a Cournot game are not necessarily quasiconcave.

Date
Thursday, 02 July 2015
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921 - Consumption Dynamics in General Equilibrium : A Characterisation when Markets are Incomplete

Pablo Beker and Subir Chattopadhyay

We introduce a methodology for analysing infinite horizon economies with two agents, one good, and incomplete markets. We provide an example in which an agent’s equilibrium consumption is zero eventually with probability one even if she has correct beliefs and is marginally more patient. We then prove the following general result: if markets are effectively incomplete forever then on any equilibrium path on which some agent’s consumption is bounded away from zero eventually, the other agent’s consumption is zero eventually–so either some agent vanishes, in that she consumes zero eventually, or the consumption of both agents is arbitrarily close to zero infinitely often. Later we show that (a) for most economies in which individual endowments are finite state time homogeneous Markov processes, the consumption of an agent who has a uniformly positive endowment cannot converge to zero and (b) the possibility that an agent vanishes is a robust outcome since for a wide class of economies with incomplete markets, there are equilibria in which an agent’s consumption is zero eventually with probability one even though she has correct beliefs as in the example. In sharp contrast to the results in the case studied by Sandroni (2000) and Blume and Easley (2006) where markets are complete, our results show that when markets are incomplete not only can the more patient agent (or the one with more accurate beliefs) be eliminated but there are situations in which neither agent is eliminated.

Date
Wednesday, 01 July 2015
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920 - Nash Implementation with Partially Honest Individuals

Bhaskar Dutta and Arunava Sen

We investigate the problem of Nash implementation in the presence of "partially honest" individuals. A partially honest player is one who has a strict preference for revealing the true state over lying when truthtelling does not lead to a worse outcome (according to preferences in the true state) than that which obtains when lying. We show that when there are at least three individuals, the presence of even a single partially honest individual (whose identity is not known to the planner) can lead to a dramatic increase in the class of Nash implementable social choice correspondences. In particular, all social choice correspondences satisfying No Veto Power can be implemented. We also provide necessary and sufficient conditions for implementation in the two-person case when there is exactly one partially honest individual and when both individuals are partially honest. We describe some implications of the characterization conditions for the two-person case. Finally, we extend our three or more individual result to the case where there is an individual with an arbitrary small but strictly positive probability of being partially honest.

Date
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
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919 - Tear Down this Wall : On the Persistence of Borders in Trade

Volker Nitsch and Nikolaus Wolf

Why do borders still matter for economic activity? The reunification of Germany in 1990 provides a unique natural experiment for examining the effect of political borders on trade both in the cross-section and over time. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rapid formation of a political and economic union, strong and strictly enforced administrative barriers to trade between East Germany and West Germany were eliminated completely within a very short period of time. The evolution of intra-German trade flows after reunification then provides new insights for both the globalization and border effects literatures. Our estimation results show a remarkable persistence in intra-German trade patterns along the former East-West border; political integration is not rapidly followed by economic integration. Instead, we estimate that it takes at least one generation (between 33 and 40 years or more) to remove the impact of political borders on trade. This finding strongly suggests that border effects are neither statistical artefacts nor mainly driven by administrative or “red tape” barriers to trade, but arise from economic fundamentals.

Date
Monday, 29 June 2015
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918 - Counter-Terrorism in a Police State : The KGB and Codename Blaster, 1977

Mark Harrison

The paper provides a rare case study of terrorism and counter-terrorism within a closed society, carried out under a blanket of official secrecy. This case is unexpectedly revealing in what it tells us about terrorism, counterterrorism,
and the relative strengths of open and closed societies. Documents from the archive of the Lithuania KGB show how the Soviet authorities managed the hunt for the perpetrators of bombing attacks carried out in Moscow in January 1977. Lithuania, a sensitive border region with a troubled history, was far distant from the epicenter of the conspiracy in Soviet Armenia, but the authorities did not know this beforehand, and made considerable efforts to establish or rule out a Lithuanian connection. It was a problem that the KGB, like other Soviet organizations, was vulnerable to boxchecking and other kinds of perfunctory working to the plan. The career concerns of regional KGB leaders appear to have countered this tendency. The paper evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of a counter-terrorist operation carried out under conditions of the intense secrecy that was normal in the Soviet police state.

Date
Sunday, 28 June 2015
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917 - An Economic Model of Strategic Electoral Rule Choice Under Uncertainty (updated March 2011)

Dimitrios Xefteris and Kostas Matakos

We study electoral rule choice in a multi-party model where parties are office-motivated and uncertainty over the electoral outcome is present. We show that when all dominant parties (parties with positive probability of winning the elections) have sufficiently good chances of winning, then they agree to change the PR with a more majoritarian rule. We identify the exact degree of disproportionality of the new rule and we prove that it is increasing in the expected vote share of the minority parties (parties with zero probability of winning). The necessary and sufficient conditions for such collusion in favour of a majoritarian rule are: a) the high rents from a single-party government, b) sufficient uncertainty over the electoral outcome and c) ideological proximity of the dominant parties.

Date
Saturday, 27 June 2015
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916 - Personal Income of U.S. States : Estimates for the Period 1880–1910

Alexander Klein

This paper constructs an estimate of the total personal income for every U.S state in 1880, 1890, 1900, and 1910. The series includes new figures for 1890 and 1910, and updated figures for 1880 and 1900, which were originally estimated by Richard Easterlin more than fifty years ago. The estimation follows the methodology developed by Easterlin. The paper presents a comparison of the original with the updated 1880 and 1900 figures, a formalization of Easterlin’s methodology, the details of the data sources and the calculation of the new 1890 and 1910 U.S. states’ total personal income estimates.

Date
Friday, 26 June 2015
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915 - Unilateral measures and global emissions mitigation

Shurojit Chatterji, Sayantan Ghosal, Sean Walsh and John Whalley

In this paper we discuss global climate change mitigation that builds on existing unilateral actions to deliver ever deepening emission cuts over time. A wide array of unilateral environmental measures have been documented. We discuss the rationale for suchmeasures and argue that unilateral initiatives have the potential to generate positive spillover effects both within and across countries. Using a simple dynamic model of learning, we show how global negotiations can accelerate convergence to a global low emissions regime by building on and strengthening the positive spillovers inherent in unilateral initiatives.

Date
Thursday, 25 June 2015
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914 - Reforming IMF and World Bank governance : in search of simplicity, transparency and democratic legitimacy in the voting rules

Dennis Leech and Robert Leech

We discuss the reform of the voting rules at the heart of the governance of the IMF and World Bank (the BWIs) in terms of three principles that we suggest ought to be fundamental: simplicity, transparency and democratic legitimacy. By simplicity we mean that the rules should make sense in terms of the purposes of the BWI and be easy to understand. By transparency we mean that the rules mean what they appear to mean in the sense of leading to the same distribution of voting power as the institution's designers intended. We show using voting power analysis that the inequality in the distribution of voting power among countries is greater than that of their voting weight. By democratic legitimacy, we consider whether we can reconcile weighted voting with democracy. Our conclusion is that the voting rules as they currently exist are far from satisfying any of these criteria and that recent reform proposals do not lead us to change this conclusion.

Date
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
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913 - Price transmission in the UK electricity market : was NETA beneficial?

Monica Giuletti, Luigi Grossi and Michael Waterson

This paper explores the relationship between domestic retail electricity prices in Great Britain and their determinants in the particular context of the New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA) introduced in 2001. The analysis requires a consistent comparison of wholesale power price series before and after NETA, which we investigate using a range of wholesale future price series. Despite its stated intention of reducing prices, we conclude that the net effect of NETA alongside other developments instead merely rearranged where money was made in the system.

Date
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
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912 - Topology of utility possibility frontiers of economies with Ramsey taxation (revised)

Sushama Murty

We explore the scope of employing standard assumptions and replicating standard (Kuhn-Tucker-type) techniques that are used to study the rst-best Pareto frontier to the study of Pareto frontiers of second-best economies. In the context of a simple second-best situation created by the inability of the government to implement personalized lump-sum transfers and where the government takes recourse to linear (Ramsey) commodity taxes as alternative redistributive devices, we identify at least three potential problems that second-best situations create for obtaining well-behaved Pareto frontiers. We show that additional conditions are required to ensure that the second-best Pareto frontier of an economy with H consumers will have the expected structure of a H -1-dimensional manifold. Second-best Pareto optima, as is well-known, are characterized by consumption and/ or production inefficiencies. In a class of private-ownership economies with Ramsey taxation, we show that, generically, while the jointly production and consumption inefficient component of the second-best Pareto manifold is a submanifold that also has a dimension equal to H 􀀀 1, the production efficient but consumption inefficient, consumption efficient but production inefficient, and the first-best components are lower dimensional, and hence negligible in size, submanifolds. Thus, we formally demonstrate that, generically, in second-best economies, joint production and consumption ineciencies are prevalent and, hence, neither producer nor consumer prices reveal the true social shadow prices of resources. The recovery of unobservable shadow prices from observable data is crucial for cost-benet analysis of competing public sector projects. Our results demonstrate the important need for further research for recovering the true social shadow prices from observable data in second-best economies.

Date
Monday, 22 June 2015
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911 - Russia’s Real National Income: The Great War, Civil War, and Recovery, 1913 to 1928

Andrei Markevich and Mark Harrison

We are working towards filling the last remaining gap in the historical national accounts of Russia and the USSR in the twentieth century. The gap includes the GreatWar (1914 to 1917), the Bolshevik Revolution, the Civil War and War Communism (1918 to 1921), and postwar recovery under the New Economic Policy of a mixed economy (1921 to 1928). Our work builds on our predecessors and also returns to a number of original sources. We find that the economic performance of the Russian Empire in wartime was somewhat better than previously thought; that of War Communism was correspondingly worse. We confirm the persistence of losses associated with the Civil War into the postwar period, or the failure of the New Economic Policy to achieve full recovery, or some mixture of both.We conclude that the GreatWar and CivilWar produced the deepest economic trauma of Russia’s troubled twentieth century.

Date
Sunday, 21 June 2015
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910 - Inflation and welfare in long-run equilibrium with firm dynamics

Alexandre Janiak and Paulo Santos Monteiro

We analyze the welfare cost of inflation in a model with cash-in-advance constraints and an endogenous distribution of establishments' productivities. Inflation distorts aggregate productivity through firm entry dynamics. The model is calibrated to the United States economy and the long-run equilibrium properties are compared at low and high inflation. We find that increasing the annual inflation rate by 10 percentage points above the average rate in the U.S. would result in a fall in average productivity of roughly 1.3 percent. This decrease in productivity is not innocuous : it is responsible for about one half of the welfare cost of inflation.

Date
Saturday, 20 June 2015
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909 - Forging Success : Soviet Managers and False Accounting, 1943 to 1962

Mark Harrison

Attempting to satisfy their political masters in a target-driven culture, Soviet managers had to optimize on many margins simultaneously. One of these was the margin of truthfulness. False accounting for the value of production appears to have been widespread in some branches of the economy and some periods of time. A feature of cases of false accounting was that they commonly involved the aggravating element of conspiracy. The paper provides new evidence on the nature and extent of false accounting; the scale and optimal size of underlying conspiracies; the authorities’ difficulty in committing to penalize it and the importance of political connections in securing leniency; and the importance of herd effects, leading to correlated risk taking and periodic asset price bubbles in the socialist market where interpersonal trust was traded.

Date
Friday, 19 June 2015
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908 - Constraints on Income Distribution and Production Efficiency In Economies with Ramsey Taxation

Charles Blackorby and Sushama Murty

We study the link between second-best production efficiency and the constraints on income distribution imposed by private ownership of firms in economies with Ramsey taxation. We review the result of Dasgupta and Stiglitz [1972], Mirrlees [1972], Hahn [1973], and Sadka [1977] about firm-specific profit taxation leading to second-best production efficiency. Problems in the proofs of this result in these papers have been identified by Reinhorn [2005]. We provide an alternative, and with some hope a more intuitive, proof of this result. The mechanism employed in our proof is also used to show second-best production efficiency under some configuarations of private ownership without any (or at best, uniform) profit taxation. The results obtained raise questions about the genericity of the phenomenon of second-best production inefficiency and about recovering social shadow prices in such economies.

Date
Thursday, 18 June 2015
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907 - Ability Bias, Skewness and the College Wage Premium

Robin A. Naylor and Jeremy Smith

Changes in educational participation rates across cohorts are likely to imply changes in the ability-education relationship and thereby to impact on estimated returns to education. We show that skewness in the underlying ability distribution is a key determinant of the impact of graduate expansion on the college wage premium. Calibrating the model against the increased proportion of university students in Britain, we find that changes in the average ability gap between university students and others are likely to have mitigated demand-side forces.

Date
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
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906 - Educational Returns, ability composition and cohort effects : theory and evidence for cohorts of early-career UK graduates

Norman Ireland, Robin A. Naylor, Jeremy Smith and Shqiponja Telhaj

An increase over time in the proportion of young people obtaining a degree is likely to impact on the relative ability compositions (i) of graduates and non-graduates and (ii) across graduates with different classes of degree award. In a signalling framework, we examine the implications of this on biases across cohorts in estimates of educational returns. In an empirical analysis, we exploit administrative data on whole populations of UK university students for ten graduate cohorts to investigate the extent to which early labour market outcomes vary with class of degree awarded. Consistent with our theoretical model, we find that returns by degree class increased across cohorts during a period of substantial graduate expansion. We also corroborate the empirical findings with evidence from complementary data on graduate sample surveys

Date
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
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905 - Emerging Floaters : Pass-Throughs and (Some) New Commodity Currencies

Emanuel Kohlscheen

In spite of early skepticism on the merits of floating exchange rate regimes in emerging markets, 8 of the 25 largest countries in this group have now had a floating exchange rate regime for more than a decade. Using parsimonious VAR specifications covering the period of floating exchange rates, this study computes the dynamics of exchange rate pass-throughs to consumer price indices. We find that pass-throughs have typically been moderate even though emerging floaters have seen considerable nominal and real exchange rate volatilities. Previous studies that set out to estimate exchange rate pass-throughs ignored changes in policy regimes, making them vulnerable to the Lucas critique. We find that, within the group of emerging floaters, estimated pass-throughs are higher for countries with greater nominal exchange rate volatilities and that trade more homogeneous goods. These findings are consistent with the pass-through model of Floden and Wilander (2006) and earlier findings by Campa and Goldberg (2005), respectively. Furthermore, we find that the Indonesian Rupiah, the Thai Baht and possibly the Mexican Peso are commodity currencies, in the sense that their real exchange rates are cointegrated with international commodity prices.

Date
Monday, 15 June 2015
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904 - Domestic vs. External Sovereign Debt Servicing : An Empirical Analysis

Emanuel Kohlscheen

This paper analyzes the incidence of domestic and external debt crises for a sample of 53 emerging economies between 1980 and 2005. Even though there is substantial time variation in the default rates during the period, sovereign default rates for domestic debts are typically lower than those for external debts. The incidence of both types of defaults is explained by means of the estimation of independent and simultaneous limited-dependent variable models. The results show that while there is considerable evidence that external defaults trigger domestic defaults, evidence for the reverse link disappears when default propensities are estimated in a simultaneous equation model

Date
Sunday, 14 June 2015
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903 - Hydrogen Transport and the Spatial Requirements of Renewable Energy

Andrew J. Oswald, James I. Oswald and Hezlin Ashraf-Ball

Unlike oil and coal, which are compressed forms of energy, renewable energy requires unusually large land areas. This article calculates the consequences of a switch to hydrogen-cell vehicles powered by electricity from wind turbines. It then re-does the calculation for three other green energy sources: wave power; biofuels; solar energy. We argue that policy-makers and social scientists need to understand the significant spatial demands of a move to a carbon-free society.

Date
Saturday, 13 June 2015
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902 - Implementation in Mixed Nash Equilibrium

Claudio Mezzetti and Ludovic Renou

A mechanism implements a social choice correspondence f in mixed Nash equilibrium if at any preference profile, the set of all pure and mixed Nash equilibrium outcomes coincides with the set of f-optimal alternatives at that preference profile. This definition generalizes Maskin’s definition of Nash implementation in that it does not require each optimal alternative to be the outcome of a pure Nash equilibrium. We show that the condition of weak set-monotonicity, a weakening of Maskin’s monotonicity, is necessary for implementation. We provide sufficient conditions for implementation and show that important social choice correspondences that are not Maskin monotonic can be implemented in mixed Nash equilibrium.

Date
Friday, 12 June 2015
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901 - Sovereign Debt Default : The Impact of Creditor Composition

Amrita Dhillon, Javier García-Fronti and Lei Zhang

The main motivation of this paper is to study the impact of the composition of creditors on the probability of default and the risk premium on sovereign bonds, when there is debtor moral hazard. In the absence of any legal enforcement, relational contracts work only when there are creditors who have a repeated relationship with the borrower. We show that ownership structures with a larger fraction of long term lenders are associated with a lower default probability and lower risk premia. Moreover, competitive markets structures lead to loss in efficiency as well when there is moral hazard, in contrast to the case with perfect enforceability and information

Date
Thursday, 11 June 2015
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900 - Non-Existence of Competitive Equilibria with Dynamically Inconsistent Preferences

Tommaso Gabrieli and Sayantan Ghosal

This paper shows the robust non existence of competitive equilibria even in a simple three period representative agent economy with dynamically inconsistent preferences. We distinguish between a sophisticated and naive representative agent. Even when underlying preferences are monotone and convex, we show by example that the induced preferences, at given prices, of the sophisticated representative agent over choices in first period markets are both non convex and satiated. Therefore, even allowing for negative prices, the market clearing allocation is not contained in the convex hull of demand. Finally, with a naive representative agent, we show that perfect foresight is incompatible with market clearing and individual optimization at given prices.

Date
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
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899 - Parametric inference for functional information mapping (revised 2010 - 938)

Dennis Leech, Robert Leech and Anna Simmonds

An increasing trend in functional MRI experiments involves discriminating between experimental conditions on the basis of fine-grained spatial patterns extending across many voxels. Typically, these approaches have used randomized resampling to derive inferences.

Date
Tuesday, 09 June 2015
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898 - Power indices taking into account agents' preferences

Fuad Aleskerov

A set of new power indices is introduced extending Banzhaf power index and allowing to take into account agents’ preferences to coalesce. An axiomatic characterization of intensity functions representing a desire of agents to coalesce is given. A set of axioms for new power indices is presented and discussed. An example of use of these indices for Russian parliament is given.

Date
Monday, 08 June 2015
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897 - Modelling Stochastic Volatility with Leverage and Jumps: A Simulated Maximum Likelihood Approach via Particle Filtering

Sheheryar Malik and Michael K Pitt

In this paper we provide a unified methodology in order to conduct likelihood-based inference on the unknown parameters of a general class of discrete-time stochastic volatility models, characterized by both a leverage effect and jumps in returns. Given the non-linear/non-Gaussian state-space form, approximating the likelihood for the parameters is conducted with output generated by the particle filter. Methods are employed to ensure that the approximating likelihood is continuous as a function of the unknown parameters thus enabling the use of Newton-Raphson type maximization algorithms. Our approach is robust and efficient relative to alternative Markov Chain Monte Carlo schemes employed in such contexts. In addition it provides a feasible basis for undertaking the non-trivial task of model comparison. The technique is applied to daily returns data for various stock price indices. We find strong evidence in favour of a leverage effect in all cases. Jumps are an important component in two out of the four series we consider.

Date
Sunday, 07 June 2015
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896 - The U-Shape without Controls

David G. Blanchflower and Andrew J. Oswald

This paper is a continuation of results in Blanchflower and Oswald (2008). It provides new evidence that well-being follows a curve through life. We use data on half a million randomly sampled individuals across eight major European nations. Importantly, we show that in this set of countries there is a U-shape even in unadjusted data, that is, without the inclusion of control variables. But we also advise against a focus on elementary bivariate associations

Date
Saturday, 06 June 2015
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895 - Does strengthening Collective Action Clauses (CACs) help?

Sayantan Ghosal and KannikaThampanishvong

In a model with both issues of sovereign debtor moral hazard and creditor coordination under incomplete information, we show that the resulting con‡ict between ex ante and interim efficiency limits the welfare impact of strengthening CACs. Conditional on default, we show that an interim efficient CAC threshold exists and improving creditor coordination results in welfare gains. However, when ex ante efficiency requires the sovereign debtor to choose actions that reduce the probability of default, improved creditor coordination reduces ex ante efficiency and the interim efficient CAC threshold is higher than the ex ante efficient CAC threshold.

Date
Friday, 05 June 2015
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894 - Inflation Targeting as a Means of Achieving Disinflation

Christian Saborowski

In this paper, we take an analytical approach to examine possible adverse effects of the use of inflation targeting as a disinflation regime. The idea is that a strict interpretation of an inflation target may preserve inflationary distortions after price stability is attained. We show that such a policy not only creates a slump in output but may increase macroeconomic volatility substantially in a model in which wages are subject to a Taylor staggering structure.

Date
Thursday, 04 June 2015
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893 - The estimation of pensioner equivalence scales using subjective data

Mark B Stewart

This paper uses panel data on pensioners’ subjective evaluations of their financial positions to construct equivalence scales for pensioners. A pensioner couple is estimated to require an income 44% higher than a comparable single pensioner to reach the same standard of living. This is significantly less than the equivalence scale value implied by the ratio of state pension rates, the McClements equivalence scale value and the scale value derived from Engel curve estimation for food expenditure using the same data source. The estimated equivalence scale value is robust to variations in the definition of the pensioner sample, the measurement of income and the econometric model used.

Date
Wednesday, 03 June 2015
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892 - Rien Ne Va Plus - The 2007/2008 Credit Crunch and What Gambling Bankers Had to Do With It

Anett Hofmann

The paper argues that the incidence of moral hazard played a significant role in the 2007/2008 credit crunch. In particular, bank traders subjected to asymmetric compensation structures have an incentive to take excessive risks even when the bank's shareholders would prefer prudent investment. Traders' incentives are shown to be unaffected by capital regulations, with the associated financial burden falling upon the taxpayer through deposit insurance or government bail-outs. Selected case studies further indicate that the phenomenon of “gambling traders” was widespread during the credit crunch, when high bonuses tempted bank employees to invest in risky subprime-backed securities. The intransparency of structured products and the inaccuracy of credit ratings contributed to the employees' ability to conceal the underlying risk from the banks' shareholders. The analysis points to an urgent need to reform compensation practices in the financial sector.

Date
Tuesday, 02 June 2015
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891 - Corporate Control and Multiple Large Shareholders

Amrita Dhillon and Silvia Rossetto

Many rms have more than one blockholder, but nance theory suggests that one blockholder should be sufficient to bestow all benefits on a firm that arise from concentrated ownership. This paper identifies a reason why more blockholders may arise endogenously. We consider a setting where multiple shareholders have endogenous conflicts of interest depending on the size of their stake. Such conflicts arise because larger shareholders tend to be less well diversified and would therefore prefer the firm to pursue more conservative investment policies. When the investment policy is determined by a shareholder vote, a single blockholder may be able to choose an investment policy that is far away from the dispersed shareholders' preferred policy. Anticipating this outcome reduces the price at which shares trade. A second blockholder (or more) can mitigate the conflict by shifting the voting outcome more towards the dispersed shareholders' preferred investment policy and this raises the share price. The paper derives conditions under which there are blockholder equilibria.The model shows how different ownership structures aeffect firm value and the degree of underpricing in an IPO.

Date
Monday, 01 June 2015
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890 - Whistleblower or Troublemaker? How One Man Took on the Soviet Mafia

Mark Harrison

The paper tells the story of a pensioner’s fight against a local mafia of Soviet party and government officials and farm managers in a remote rural locality in the 1950s. To Moscow, he was a whistleblower. To the leaders of his local community, he was a troublemaker. Working together, the local people went to extraordinary lengths to suppress his criticisms. Eventually, Moscow intervened to vindicate him. The story illustrates vividly the political and economic issues that arose when a centralized dictatorship that relied on mass mobilization over a vast territory with sometimes poor communications tried to contain local rent seeking while moving away from mass terror as its chief instrument of control.

Date
Sunday, 31 May 2015
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889 - Minimum Cost Arborescences

Bhaskar Dutta and Debasis Mishra

In this paper, we analyze the cost allocation problem when a group of agents or nodes have to be connected to a source, and where the cost matrix describing the cost of connecting each pair of agents is not necessarily symmetric, thus extending the well-studied problem of minimum cost spanning tree games, where the costs are assumed to be symmetric. The focus is on rules which satisfy axioms representing incentive and fairness properties. We show that while some results are similar, there are also significant differences between the frameworks corresponding to symmetric and asymmetric cost matrices.

Date
Saturday, 30 May 2015
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888 - Child Labor and Household Wealth: Theory and Empirical Evidence of an Inverted U

Kaushik Basu, Sanghamitra Das and Bhaskar Dutta

Some studies on child labor have shown that, at the level of the household, greater land wealth leads to higher child labor, thereby casting doubt on the hypothesis that child labor is caused by poverty. This paper argues that the missing ingredient may be an explicit modeling of the labor market. We develop a simple model which suggests the possibility of an inverted-U relationship between land holdings and child labor. Using a unique data set that has child labor hours it is found that, controlling for child, household and village characteristics, the turning point beyond which more land leads to a decline in child labor occurs around 4 acres of land per household.

Date
Friday, 29 May 2015
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887 - World-Leading Research and its Measurement

Andrew J. Oswald

Journalists and others have asked me whether the favourable RAE 2008 results for UK economics are believable. This is a fair question. It also opens up a broader and more important one: how can we design a bibliometric method to assess the quality (rather than merely quantity) of a nation’s science? To try to address this, I examine objective data on the world’s most influential economics articles. I find that the United Kingdom performed reasonably well over the 2001-2008 period. Of 450 genuinely world-leading journal articles, the UK produced 10% of them -- and was the source of the most-cited article in each of the Journal of Econometrics, the International Economic Review, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Rand Journal of Economics, and of the second most-cited article in the Journal of Health Economics. Interestingly, more than a quarter of these world-leading UK articles came from outside the best-known half-dozen departments. Thus the modern emphasis on ‘top’ departments and the idea that funding should be concentrated in a few places may be mistaken. Pluralism may help to foster iconoclastic ideas.

Date
Thursday, 28 May 2015
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886 - Leader Reputation and Default in Sovereign Debt

Amrita Dhillon and Tomas Sjostrom

This paper compares default incentives in competitive sovereign debt markets when leaders can be either democratically elected or dictators. When leaders can be replaced as in democracies, the incentives for repayment are mainly the ego rents from office and the possibility of getting a corrupt leader from replacement. In a dictatorship, on the other hand, the cost of not repaying loans is the permanent loss of reputation and the loss of future access to credit. There is a trade off between repayment and risk sharing. We show, counter-intuitively, that when ego rents are low, and value of reputation to dictators is high, then democracies repay more often and have lower risk premia than dictatorships.

Date
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
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885 - First Announcements and Real Economic Activity

Michael P. Clements and Ana Beatriz Galvão

The recent literature suggests that first announcements of real output growth in the US have predictive power for the future course of the economy. We show that this need not point to a behavioural relationship, whereby agents respond to the announcement, but may instead simply be a by-product of the data revision process. Initial estimates are subsequently subject to a number of rounds of revisions: the nature of these revisions is shown to be key in determining any apparent relationship between first announcements and the future course of the economy.

Date
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
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884 - Simplified Implementation of the Heckman Estimator of the Dynamic Probit Model and a Comparison with Alternative Estimators

Wiji Arulampalam and Mark B. Stewart

This paper presents a convenient shortcut method for implementing the Heckman estimator of the dynamic random effects probit model and other dynamic nonlinear panel data models using standard software. It then compares the estimators proposed by Heckman, Orme and Wooldridge, based on three alternative approximations, first in an empirical model for the probability of unemployment and then in a set of simulation experiments. The results indicate that none of the three estimators dominates the other two in all cases. In most cases all three estimators display satisfactory performance, except when the number of time periods is very small.

Date
Monday, 25 May 2015
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883 - Income Rank and Upward Comparisons

Christopher J. Boyce and Gordon D. A. Brown

Many studies have argued that relative income predicts individual well-being. More recently, it has been suggested that the relative rank of an individual’s income, rather than how that income compares to a mean or reference income, is important. Here the relative rank hypothesis is examined along with the additional hypothesis that individuals compare their incomes predominantly with those of slightly higher earners. A study of over 12,000 British adults using the British Household Panel Survey (a) confirms the importance of rank and (b) finds evidence that individuals compare upwards and to those most similar. This paper appears to be the first to show in fixed effect well-being equations that the influence of rank is more important than the influence of relative pay.

Date
Sunday, 24 May 2015
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882 - Happiness and Productivity

Andrew Oswald, Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi

Little is known by economists about how emotions affect productivity. To make persuasive progress, some way has to be found to assign people exogenously to different feelings. We design a randomized trial. In it, some subjects have their happiness levels increased, while others in a control group do not. We show that a rise in happiness leads to greater productivity in a paid piece-rate task. The effect is large; it can be replicated; it is not a reciprocity effect; and it is found equally among males and females. We discuss the implications for economics.

Date
Saturday, 23 May 2015
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881 - Intellectual Property Disclosure as 'Threat'

Scott Baker, Pak Yee Lee and Claudio Mezzetti

This paper models the disclosure of knowledge via licensing to outsiders or fringe …rms as a threat, useful in ensuring firms keep their commitments. We show that firms holding intellectual property are better able to enforce agreements than firms that don’t. In markets requiring innovation to make a product, IP disclosure presents a more powerful threat than entry by the punishing firm alone. Occasionally, a punishing firm won’t be able to translate its intellectual property into a full-blown product, making it impossible for it to enter the cheating firm’s market and punish. Even if it can’t make a product itself, the punishing firm can always credibly threaten to license the intellectual property it has on hand to someone else. With this intellectual property as a springboard, chances are at least one fringe firm will be able to do the translation, make the product and enter the cheating firm’s market. In short, the potential for licensing increases the likelihood of punishment for uncooperative behavior. In the model, firms contract explicitly to exchange knowledge and tacitly to coordinate the introduction of innovations to the marketplace. We find conditions under which firms can self-enforce both agreements. The enforcement conditions are weaker when (1) firms possess knowledge and (2) knowledge is easily transferable to other firms. The disclosure threat has implications for antitrust law generally, which are considered.

Date
Friday, 22 May 2015
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880 - Trust-Based Mechanisms for Robust and Efficient Task Allocation in the Presence of Execution Uncertainty

Rajdeep K Dash, Andrea Giovannucci, Nicholas R. Jennings, Claudio Mezzetti, Sarvapali D. Ramchurn Juan A. Rodriguez-Aguilar

Vickrey-Clarke-Groves (VCG) mechanisms are often used to allocate tasks to selfish and rational agents. VCG mechanisms are incentive-compatible, direct mechanisms that are efficient (i.e. maximise social utility) and individually rational (i.e. agents prefer to join rather than opt out). However, an important assumption of these mechanisms is that the agents will always successfully complete their allocated tasks. Clearly, this assumption is unrealistic in many real-world applications where agents can, and often do, fail in their endeavours. Moreover, whether an agent is deemed to have failed may be perceived differently by different agents. Such subjective perceptions about an agent’s probability of succeeding at a given task are often captured and reasoned about using the notion of trust. Given this background, in this paper, we investigate the design of novel mechanisms that take into account the trust between agents when allocating tasks. Specifically, we develop a new class of mechanisms, called trust-based mechanisms, that can take into account multiple subjective measures of the probability of an agent succeeding at a given task and produce allocations that maximise social utility, whilst ensuring that no agent obtains a negative utility. We then show that such mechanisms pose a challenging new combinatorial optimisation problem (that is NP-complete), devise a novel representation for solving the problem, and develop an effective integer programming solution (that can solve instances with about 2×105
possible allocations in 40 seconds).

Date
Thursday, 21 May 2015
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879 - The Frequency of Wars (updated)

Mark Harrison and Nikolaus Wolf

Wars are increasingly frequent, and the trend has been steadily upward since 1870. The main tradition of Western political and philosophical thought suggests that extensive economic globalization and democratization over this period should have reduced appetites for war far below their current level. This view is clearly incomplete: at best, confounding factors are at work. Here, we explore the capacity to wage war. Most fundamentally, the growing number of sovereign states has been closely associated with the spread of democracy and increasing commercial openness, as well as the number of bilateral conflicts. Trade and democracy are traditionally thought of as goods, both in themselves, and because they reduce the willingness to go to war, conditional on the national capacity to do so. But the same factors may also have been increasing the capacity for war, and so its frequency.We need better understanding of how to promote these goods without incurring adverse side-effects on world peace

Date
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
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878 - On Risk Aversion in the Rubinstein Bargaining Game

Emanuel Kohlscheen and Stephen O’Connell

We derive closed-form solutions for the Rubinstein alternating offers game for cases where the two players have (possibly asymmetric) utility functions that belong to the HARA class and discount the future at a constant rate. We show that risk aversion may increase a bargainers payoff. This result - which contradicts Roth’s 1985 theorem tying greater risk neutrality to a smaller payoff - does not rely on imperfect information or departures from expected utility maximization.

Date
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
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877 - The Optimal Choice of Pre-launch Reviewer: How Best to Transmit Information using Tests and Conditional Pricing

David Gill and Daniel Sgroi

A principal who knows her type can face public testing to help attract endorsements from agents. Tests are pass/fail and have an innate toughness (bias) corresponding to a trade-off between the higher probability of passing a softer test and the greater impact on agents’ beliefs from passing a tougher test. Conditional on the test result, the principal also selects the price of endorsement. The principal always wants to be tested, and chooses the toughest or softest test available depending upon the precision of the agents’ and tests’ information. Applications abound in industrial organization, political economy and labor economics

Date
Monday, 18 May 2015
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876 - Testing for Smooth Transition Nonlinearity in Adjustments of Cointegrating Systems

Milan Nedeljkovic

This paper studies testing for the presence of smooth transition nonlinearity in adjustment parameters of the vector error correction model. We specify the generalized model with multiple cointegrating vectors and different transition functions across equations. Given that the nonlinear model is highly complex, this paper proposes an optimal LM test based only on estimation of the linear model. The null asymptotic distribution is derived using empirical process theory and since the transition parameters of the model cannot be identified under the null hypothesis bootstrap procedures are used to approximate the limit. Monte Carlo simulations indicate a good performance of the test.

Date
Sunday, 17 May 2015
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875 - Family Labor Supply and Aggregate Saving

Paulo Santos Monteiro

I study the impact of idiosyncratic risk on savings and employment in a small open economy populated by two-member families. Families incur a fixed cost of participation when both members are employed. Because of market incompleteness and information asymmetries, this cost coupled with labor market frictions can generate multiple equilibria. In particular, there might be one equilibrium with high employment and low saving and another one with low employment and high saving. The model predicts that aggregate saving and employment rates are negatively correlated across countries. I present empirical evidence that supports the general equilibrium prediction of the model.

Date
Saturday, 16 May 2015
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874 - Testing Full Consumption Insurance in the Frequency Domain

Paulo Santos Monteiro

Full consumption insurance implies that consumers are able to perfectly share risk by equalizing state by state their inter-temporal marginal rates of substitution in the presence of idiosyncratic endowment shocks. In this paper I test the implications of full consumption insurance using band spectrum regression methods. I argue that moving to the frequency domain provides a possible solution to many difficulties tied to tests of perfect risk sharing. In particular, it provides a unifying framework to test consumption smoothing, both over time and across states of nature. Full consumption insurance is soundly rejected at business cycle frequencies.

Date
Friday, 15 May 2015
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873 - Cash Breeds Success : The Role of Financing Constraints in Patent Races

Enrique Schroth and Dezsö Szalay

This paper studies the impact of financing constraints on the equilibrium of a patent race. We develop a model where firms finance their R&D expenditures with an investor who cannot verify their effort. We solve for the optimal financial contract of any firm along its best-response function. In equilibrium, any firm in the race is more likely to win the more cash and assets it holds prior to the race, and the less cash and assets its rivals hold prior to the race. We use NBER evidence from pharmaceutical patents awarded between 1975 and 1999 in the US, patent citations, and COMPUSTAT to measure the effect of all the racing firms’ cash holdings on the equilibrium winning probabilities. The empirical findings support our theoretical predictions.

Date
Thursday, 14 May 2015
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872 - Are Central Banks following a linear or nonlinear (augmented) Taylor rule?

Vítor Castro

The Taylor rule establishes a simple linear relation between the interest rate, inflation and output gap. However, this relation may not be so simple. To get a deeper understanding of central banks’ behaviour, this paper asks whether central banks are indeed following a linear Taylor rule or, instead, a nonlinear rule. At the same time, it also analyses whether that rule can be augmented with a financial conditions index containing information from some asset prices and financial variables. A forwardlooking monetary policy reaction function is employed in the estimation of the linear and nonlinear models. A smooth transition model is used to estimate the nonlinear rule. The results indicate that the European Central Bank and the Bank of England tend to follow a nonlinear Taylor rule, but not the Federal Reserve of the United States. In particular, those two central banks tend to react to inflation only when inflation is above or outside their targets. Moreover, our evidence suggests that the European Central Bank is targeting financial conditions, contrary to the other two central banks. This lack of attention to the financial conditions might have made the United States and the United Kingdom more vulnerable to the recent credit crunch than the Eurozone.

Date
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
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871 - Was Germany ever united? Evidence from Intra- and International Trade 1885 – 1933

Nikolaus Wolf

When did Germany become economically integrated? Within the framework of a gravity model, based on a new data set of about 40,000 observations on trade flows within and across the borders of Germany over the period 1885 – 1933, I explore the geography of trade costs across Central Europe. There are three key results. First, the German Empire before 1914 was a poorly integrated economy, both relative to integration across the borders of the German state and in absolute terms. Second, this internal fragmentation resulted from cultural heterogeneity, from administrative borders within Germany, and from geographical barriers that divided Germany along natural trade routes into eastern and western parts. Third, internal integration improved, while external integration worsened after World War I and again with the Great Depression, in part because of border changes along the lines of ethno-linguistic heterogeneity. By the end of the Weimar Republic in 1933, Germany was reasonably well integrated.

Date
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
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870 - Explanations of the inconsistencies in survey respondents'forecasts

Michael P Clements

A comparison of the point forecasts and the central tendencies of probability distributions of in‡ation and output growth of the SPF indicates that the point forecasts are sometimes optimistic relative to the probability distributions. We consider and evaluate a number of possible explanations for this finding, including the degree of uncertainty concerning the future, computational costs, delayed updating, and asymmetric loss. We also consider the relative accuracy of the two sets of forecasts

Date
Monday, 11 May 2015
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869 - Rounding of probability forecasts : The SPF forecast probabilities of negative output growth

Michael P. Clements

We consider the possibility that respondents to the Survey of Professional Forecasters round their probability forecasts of the event that real output will decline in the future. We make various assumptions about how forecasters round their forecasts, including that individuals have constant patterns of responses across forecasts. Our primary interests are the impact of rounding on assessments of the internal consistency of the probability forecasts of a decline in real output and the histograms for annual real output growth, and on the relationship between the probability forecasts and the point forecasts of quarterly output growth.

Date
Sunday, 10 May 2015
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868 - Herding and Contrarianism in a Financial Trading Experiment with Endogenous Timing

Andreas Park and Daniel Sgroi

We undertook the first market trading experiments that allowed heterogeneously informed subjects to trade in endogenous time, collecting over 2000 observed trades. Subjects’ decisions were generally in line with the predictions of exogenous-time financial herding theory when that theory is adjusted to allow rational informational herding and contrarianism. While herding and contrarianism did not arise as frequently as predicted by theory, such behavior occurs in a significantly more pronounced manner than in comparable studies with exogenous timing. Types with extreme information traded earliest. Of those with more moderate information, those with signals conducive to contrarianism traded earlier than those with information conducive to herding.

Date
Saturday, 09 May 2015
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867 - The Celtic Tiger In Historical And International Perspective

Nicholas Crafts

When Economic Development was published in 1958, Ireland was a growth failure but thirty years later it became the Celtic Tiger. This paper places this remarkable development in the context of long-run economic growth in Western Europe and establishes the distinctive features of Irish experience and policy. This enables an assessment of the diagnosis and policy proposals that Whitaker provided fifty years ago. The central roles in the Celtic Tiger of foreign direct investment, ICT production, and an elastic labour supply are highlighted while the importance of globalization and the abandonment of misguided autarchic policies is made clear.

Date
Friday, 08 May 2015
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866 - Noncooperative Oligopoly in Markets with a Continuum of Traders

Francesca Busetto, Giulio Codognato and Sayantan Ghosal

In this paper, we study three prototypical models of noncooperative oligopoly in markets with a continuum of traders: the model of Cournot-Walras equilibrium of Codognato and Gabszewicz (1991), the model of Cournot-Nash equilibrium of Lloyd S. Shapley, and the model of Cournot-Walras equilibrium of Busetto et al. (2008). We argue that these models are all distinct and only the Shapley's model with a continuum of traders and atoms gives an endogenous explanation of the perfectly and imperfectly competitive behavior of agents in a one-stage setting. For this model, we prove a theorem of existence of a Cournot-Nash equilibrium.

Date
Thursday, 07 May 2015
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865 - Testing for seasonal unit roots in heterogeneous panels using monthly data in the presence of cross sectional dependence

Jesús Otero, Jeremy Smith and Monica Giulietti

This paper generalises the monthly seasonal unit root tests of Franses (1991) for a heterogeneous panel following the work of fiIm, Pesaran, and Shin (2003), which we refer to as the F-IPS tests. The paper presents the mean and variance necessary to yield a standard normal distribution for the tests, for different number of time observations, T, and lag lengths. However, these tests are only applicable in the absence of cross-sectional dependence. Two alternative methods for modifying these F-IPS tests in the presence of cross-sectional dependency are presented: the first is the cross-sectionally augmented test, denoted CF-IPS, following Pesaran (2007), the other is a bootstap method, denoted BF-IPS. In general, the BF-IPS tests have greater power than the CF-IPS tests, although for large T and high degree of cross-sectional dependency the CF-IPS test dominates the BF-IPS test.

Date
Wednesday, 06 May 2015
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864 - Sequential Innovations and Intellectual Property Rights

Frederic Payot and Dezsö Szalay

We analyze a two-stage patent race. In the first phase firms seek to develop a research tool, an innovation that has no commercial value but is necessary to enter the second phase of the race. The firm that completes the second phase of the race first obtains a patent on the final innnovation and enjoys its profits. We ask whether patent protection for the innovator of the research tool is beneficial from the ex ante point of view. We show that there is a range of values of the final innovation such that firms prefer to have no Intellectual Property Rights for research tools.

Date
Tuesday, 05 May 2015
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862 - Debt Bailouts and Constitutions

Emanuel Kohlscheen

A demand based theory of sub-national debt bailouts is presented. It is shown that revenue sharing (RS) arrangements alter the demand for bailouts among politicians with regional constituencies as a bailout usually implies a shift of taxation to the federal tier. Automatic RS may lead to the formation of pro-bailout coalitions formed by indebted states and states that are net recipients of the RS arrangement. Also, RS can act as a commitment device for compensating payments among state representatives, making a bailout politically rational. The model shows that the state debt bailouts approved by the Brazilian Senate prior to the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act were fully consistent with politicians that maximize the proceeds accruing to their constituencies.

Date
Sunday, 03 May 2015
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861 - Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs with Panel Data (updated 2011)

Dennis Novy

Barriers to international trade are known to be large but due to data limitations it is hard to measure them directly for a large number of countries over many years. To address this problem I derive a micro-founded measure of bilateral trade costs that indirectly infers trade frictions from observable trade data. I show that this trade cost measure is consistent with a broad range of leading trade theories including Ricardian and heterogeneous firms models. In an application I show that U.S. trade costs with major trading partners declined on average by about 40 percent between 1970 and 2000, with Mexico and Canada experiencing the biggest reductions.

Date
Saturday, 02 May 2015
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860 - The duration of economic expansions and recessions: More than duration dependence

Vítor Castro

One widespread idea in the business cycles literature is that the older is an expansion or contraction, the more likely it is to end. This paper tries to provide further empirical support for this idea of positive duration dependence and, at the same time, control for the effects of other factors like leading indicators, the duration of the previous phase, investment, price of oil and external influences on the duration of expansions and contractions. This study employs for the first time a discrete-time duration model to analyse the impact of those variables on the likelihood of an expansion and contraction ending for a group of industrial countries over the last fifty years. The evidence provided in this paper suggests that the duration of expansions and contractions is not only dependent on their actual age: the duration of expansions is also positively dependent on the behaviour of the variables in the OECD composite leading indicator and on private investment, and negatively affected by the price of oil and by the occurrence of a peak in the US business cycle; the duration of a contraction is negatively affected by its actual age and by the duration of the previous expansion.

Date
Friday, 01 May 2015
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859 - How Good was the Profitability of British Railways, 1870-1912? (revised August 2009)

Brian Mitchell, David Chambers and Nicholas Crafts

This paper provides new estimates of the return on capital employed (ROCE) for major British railway companies. It shows that ROCE was generally below the cost of capital after the mid-1870s and fell till the turn of the century. Addressing cost inefficiency issues could have restored ROCE to an adequate level in the late 1890s but not in 1910. Declines in ROCE hit share prices and investors made little or no money in real terms after 1897. Optimal portfolio analysis shows that, whilst railway securities were attractive to investors before this date, they would have been justified in rushing to the exits thereafter.

Date
Thursday, 30 April 2015
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858 - Regulating a Monopolist with unknown costs and unknown quality capacity

Charles Blackorby and Dezsö Szalay

We study the regulation of a firm with unknown demand and cost information. In contrast to previous studies, we assume demand is influenced by a quality choice, and the firm has private information about its quality capacity in addition to its cost. Under natural conditions, asymmetric information about the quality capacity is irrelevant. The optimal pricing is weakly above marginal costs for all types and no type is excluded.

Date
Wednesday, 29 April 2015
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857 - Aversion to Price Risk and the Afternoon Effect

Claudio Mezzetti

Many empirical studies of auctions show that prices of identical goods sold sequentially follow a declining path. Declining prices have been viewed as an anomaly, because the theoretical models of auctions predict that the price sequence should either be a martingale (with independent signals and no informational externalities), or a submartingale (with affiliated signals). This paper shows that declining prices, the afternoon effect, arise naturally when bidders are averse to price risk. A bidder is averse to price risk if he prefers to win an object at a certain price, rather than at a random price with the same expected value. When bidders have independent signals and there are no informational externalities, only the effect of aversion to price risk is present and the price sequence is a supermartingale. When there are informational externalities, even with independent signals, there is a countervailing, informational effect, which pushes prices to raise along the path of a sequential auction. This may help explaining the more complex price paths we observe in some auctions.

Date
Tuesday, 28 April 2015
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856 - Financial Systems, Micro-Systemic Risks and Central Bank Policy : An Analytical Taxonomy of the Literature

Ashwin Moheeput

This paper reviews and categorises the literature on micro-systemic risks and on optimal policies designed to mitigate these risks. Micro-systemic risks are risks to the financial system that occur when the interaction of a bank with other banks or with financial markets, can propagate an initially localised shock to the whole financial system and can prevent the latter from fulfilling its intermediation and distributional roles. The severe episodes of financial crises that have plagued economies - developed and emerging markets alike - have made more compelling, the need for policymakers such as central banks, to develop prudential tools as part of crisis prevention and crisis management policies. We review the success of these policies under different theoretical paradigms. The paper ends with a brief synopsis of financial accelerator models which stress on how imperfections in financial markets may magnify the swings and intensity of business cycles and have a more entrenched impact on the macroeconomy.

Date
Monday, 27 April 2015
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855 - Issues on the choice of Exchange Rate Regimes and Currency Boards –An Analytical Survey

Ashwin Moheeput

Currency boards have often been at the heart of monetary reforms proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF): they have been instrumental either as a short term crisis management strategy that successfully restores financial order for many countries seeking stabilization in the aftermath of prolonged economic crisis or as a way of importing monetary credibility as part of a medium / long term strategy for conducting monetary policy. As backbone of a credible exchange-rate based stabilisation programme, they have also been the linchpin of several heterodox or orthodox programmes aimed at mitigating hyperinflation. This paper attempts to synthetize our thinking about currency boards by reviewing their strengths and weaknesses and endeavours to seek real world examples to rationalise their applicability as opposed to alternative exchange rate regimes. Architects of international financial stability at the IMF or at central banks often ponder about the prerequisites for such programme to work well. These are also reviewed using
appropriate economic theory where necessary. Finally, this paper sheds light on the best exchange rate regime that may be adopted in the intermediate term by those countries wishing to adopt a currency board, not as a quick fix solution to end an economic chaos but rather, as integral part of a long term monetary strategy.

Date
Sunday, 26 April 2015
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854 - When Herding and Contrarianism Foster Market Efficiency: A Financial Trading Experiment

Andreas Park and Daniel Sgroi

While herding has long been suspected to play a role in financial market booms and busts, theoretical analyses have struggled to identify conclusive causes for the effect. Recent theoretical work shows that informational herding is possible in a market with efficient asset prices if information is bi-polar, and contrarianism is possible with single-polar information. We present an experimental test for the validity of this theory, contrasting with all existing experiments where rational herding was theoretically impossible and subsequently not observed. Overall we observe that subjects generally behave according to theoretical predictions, yet the fit is lower for types who have the theoretical potential to herd. While herding is often not observed when predicted by theory, herding (sometimes irrational) does occur. Irrational contrarianism in particular leads observed prices to substantially differ from the efficient benchmark. Alternative models of behavior, such as risk aversion, loss aversion or error correction, either perform quite poorly or add little to our understanding.

Date
Saturday, 25 April 2015
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853 - Financial Fragility, Systemic Risks and Informational Spillovers: Modelling Banking Contagion as State-Contingent Change in Cross-Bank Correlation

Ashwin Moheeput

We consider banking panic transmission in a two-bank setting, in which the main propagator of a shock across banks is the informational spillover channel. Banks are perceived to be positively connected to some unobserved acroeconomic fundamental. Depositors in each bank are assumed to noisily observe their bank’s idiosyncratic fundamental. The game takes a dynamic bayesian setting with depositors of one bank, making their decision to withdraw after observing the event in the other bank. We show that, if this public event is used for bayesian inference about the state of the common macroeconomic fundamental, then, in the equilibrium profile of the game, contagion and correlation both occur with positive probability, with contagion modeled as a state-contingent change in the cross-bank correlation. Such endogenous characterisation of probabilistic assessments of contagion and correlation, has the appealing feature that it enables us to distill between these two concepts as equilibrium phenomena and to assess their relative importance in a given banking panic transmission setting. We show that contagion is characterised by public informational dominance in depositors’decision set.

Date
Friday, 24 April 2015
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852 - Commercialisation, Factor Prices and Technological Progress in the Transition to Modern Economic Growth

Stephen Broadberry, Sayantan Ghosal and Eugenio Proto

We provide a model of the links between commercialisation and technological progress, which is consistent with the historical evidence and places market relations at the heart of the industrial revolution. First, commercialisation
raised wages as a growing reliance on impersonal labour market transactions in place of customary relations with a high degree of monitoring led to the adoption of efficiency wages. Second, commercialisation lowered interest rates as a growing reliance on impersonal capital market transactions in place of active investor involvement in investment projects led investors to allow borrowers to keep a larger share of the profits. Third, the resulting rise in the wage/cost of capital ratio led to the adoption of a more capital-intensive technology. Fourth, this led to a faster rate of technological progress through greater learning by doing on the capital intensive production technology. Fifth, the rate of technological progress was raised further by the patent system, which allowed the commercialisation of property rights in innovations embodied in machinery.

Date
Thursday, 23 April 2015
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851 - Fertility Response to Financial Incentives - Evidence from the Working Families Tax Credit in the UK

Asako Ohinata

The introduction of the 1999 Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) in the UK encouraged low income families with children to enter the labor market. The tax credit, however, may have had the unintended side effect of increasing the childbearing of these households. While many studies have looked at the importance of WFTC on the female labor supply, only few have estimated the impact it had on fertility decisions of British families. This paper employs the 1995 to 2003 British Household Panel Survey and identifies the policy impact of WFTC by observing the change in the
probability of birth as well as the timing of birth using the difference in differences estimator. The main findings of this paper suggest that single women responded to the policy introduction by reducing the probability of birth and prolonging the birth intervals across all birth parity. For women with partners, on the other hand, the estimates indicate that financial incentives did not encourage them to enter motherhood but it rather induced women to have their second birth quicker

Date
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
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850 - The Debt-Adjusted Exchange Rate for China

Jan Frait and Luboš Komárek

The paper aims to enrich the debate on the overvaluation/undervaluation of China yuan Renminbi (CNY) against USD and JPY by applying the concept of the Debt-Adjusted Real Exchange Rate (DARER). This approach is offering to monetary policy makers another indicator for more responsive management of this important economic variable.
The general motivation for constructing DARER is the fact that long-term current account surplus (deficits) is linked with capital outflows (inflows), which often leads to real undervaluation (overvaluation) of domestic currency. DARER can signal to the authorities that the real exchange rate is becoming unsustainable in the medium term. Based on the DARER approach we also introduce three indicators of exchange rate misalignment

Date
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
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849 - Financial Integration of Stock Markets among New EU Member States and the Euro Area

Jan Babecký, Luboš Komárek and Zlatuše Komárková

The paper considers the empirical dimension of financial integration among stock markets in four new European Union member states (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) in comparison with the euro area. The main objective is to test for the existence and determine the degree of the four states’ financial integration relative to the euro currency union. The analysis is performed at the country level (using national stock exchange indices) and at the sectoral level (considering banking, chemical, electricity and telecommunication indices). Our empirical evaluation consists of (1) an analysis of alignment (by means of standard and rolling correlation analysis) to outline the overall pattern of integration; (2) the application of the concept of beta convergence (through the use of time series, panel and state-space techniques) to identify the speed of integration; and (3) the application of so-called sigma convergence to measure the degree of integration. We find evidence of stock market integration on both the national and sectoral levels between the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and the euro area.

Date
Monday, 20 April 2015
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847 - Did the Single Market Cause Competition in Excise Taxes? Evidence from EU Countries

Ben Lockwood and Giuseppe Migali

The introduction of the Single Market resulted in a switch from destination to origin-based taxation of cross-border transactions by individuals. The theory of commodity tax competition predicts that this change should give rise to
excise tax competition and thus intensify strategic interaction in the setting of excise taxes. In this paper, we provide an empirical test of this prediction using a panel data set of 12 EU countries over the period 1987-2004. We find that for all excise duties that we consider (still and sparkling wine, beer, ethyl alcohol, and cigarettes), strategic interaction between countries significantly increased after 1993, consistently with the theoretical prediction. Indeed, for all these products except for cigarettes, there is no evidence of strategic interaction prior to 1993, so our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the single market caused tax competition. For beer and ethyl alcohol, there is evidence that the minimum taxes, also introduced in 1993, have intensified strategic interaction.

Date
Saturday, 18 April 2015
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846 - The Effect of the Exchange Rates on Investment in Mexican Manufacturing Industry

Mustafa Caglayan and Rebeca Muñoz Torres

This paper, considering revenue and cost exposure channels, investigates the effects of exchange rate behaviour on fixed capital investment in Mexican manufacturing sector over 1994-2002. We find that i) currency depreciation has a positive (negative) effect on fixed investment through the export (import) channel; ii) exchange rate volatility impacts mostly export oriented sectors; iii) the sensitivity of investment to exchange rate movements is stronger in non-durable goods sectors and industries with low mark-up ratios.

Date
Friday, 17 April 2015
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845 - Auctions in which Losers Set the Price

Claudio Mezzetti and Ilia Tsetlin

We study auctions of a single asset among symmetric bidders with affiliated values. We show that the second-price auction minimizes revenue among all efficient auction mechanisms in which only the winner pays, and the price only depends on the losers’bids. In particular, we show that the k-th price auction generates higher revenue than the second-price auction, for all k > 2. If rationing is allowed, with shares of the asset rationed among the t highest bidders, then the (t + 1)-st price auction yields the lowest revenue among all auctions with rationing in which only the winners pay and the unit price only depends on the losers’ bids. Finally, we compute bidding functions and revenue of the k-th price auction, with and without rationing, for an illustrative example much used in the experimental literature to study …first-price, second-price and English auctions.

Date
Thursday, 16 April 2015
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844 - Democracy, Collective Action and Intra-elite Conflict

Sayantan Ghosal and Eugenio Proto

This paper studies the conditions under which intra-elite conflict leads to a democracy. There are two risk averse elites competing for the appropriation of a unit of social surplus, with an ex-ante uncertainty about their future relative bargaining power, and a large non-elite class unable to act collectively. We characterize a democracy as consistng of both franchise extension to, and lowering the cost of collective political activity for, individuals in the non-elite. In the absence of democracy, the stronger elite is always able to appropriate the entire surplus. We show that in a democracy, the newly enfranchised non-elite organize and always prefer to form a coalition with weaker elite against the stronger resulting in a more balanced surplus allocation between the two elites. Accordingly, the elites choose to democratize if they are sufficiently risk averse. Our formal analysis can account for stylized facts that emerge from a comparative analysis of Indian and Western European democracies.

Date
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
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843 - The Impact of (In)Equality of Opportunities on Wealth Distribution: Evidence from Ultimatum Games

Gianluca Grimalda, Anirban Kar and Eugenio Proto

We study the impact on payo¤ distribution of varying the probability (opportunity) that a player has of becoming the proposer in an ultimatum game (UG). Subjects’assignment to roles within the UG was randomised before the interactions. Subjects played 20 rounds anonymously and with random re-matching at each round. We compare the outcomes of four di¤erent settings that di¤ered according to the distribution of opportunities between the pair of players in each round, and across the whole 20 rounds. The results clearly point to the existence of a discontinuity in the origin of the opportunity spectrum. Allowing a player a 1% probability of becoming the proposer brings about signicantly lower o¤ers and higher acceptance rates with respect to the benchmark case where a player has no such a chance. As such probability is raised to 20% and 50%, this same trend continues, but the effects are generally no longer signicant with respect to the 1% setting. In one case the monotonic pattern is violated. We conclude that subjects in our experiment appear to be motivated mostly by the purely symbolic aspect of opportunity rather than by the actual fairness in the allocation of opportunities.

Date
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
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842 - Isolation, Assurance and Rules: Can Rational Folly Supplant Foolish Rationality? (updated)

Peter J. Hammond

Consider an \isolation paradox" game with many identical players. By definition, conforming to a rule which maximizes average utility is individually a strictly dominated strategy. Suppose, however, that some players think \quasi-magically" in accordance with evidential (but not causal) decision theory. That is, they act as if others' disposition to conform, or not, is aeffected by their own behavior, even though they do not actually believe there is a causal link. Standard game theory excludes this. Yet such \rational folly" can sustain \rule utilitarian" cooperative behavior. Comparisons are made with Newcomb's problem, and with related attempts to resolve prisoner's dilemma.

Date
Monday, 13 April 2015
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841 - Some Evidence on the Future of Economics

Andrew J Oswald and Hilda Ralsmark

This short paper collects and studies the CVs of 112 assistant professors in the top-ten American departments of economics. The paper treats these as a glimpse of the future. We find evidence of a strong brain drain. We find also a predominance of empirical work.

Date
Sunday, 12 April 2015
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840 - Chain-Store Competition: Customized vs. Uniform Pricing

Paul W. Dobson and Michael Waterson

Retail chains essentially practice one of two broad strategies in setting prices across their stores. The more straightforward is to set a chain- or country- wide price. Alternatively, managers of retail chains may customize prices to the store level according to local demand and competitive conditions. For example, a chain may price lower in a location with lower demand and/or more competition. However, despite having the ability to customize prices to local market conditions, some choose instead to commit to uniform pricing with a “one price policy” across their entire store network. As an illustration, we focus on UK supermarket chains. Is there an advantage to be gained from deliberately choosing not to price discriminate across locations? We show generally and illustrate through means of a specific model that there exists a strategic incentive to soften competition in competitive markets by committing not to customize prices at the store level and instead adopt uniform pricing across the store network, and to raise overall profits thereby. Furthermore, we characterize quite precisely the circumstances under which uniform pricing is, and is not, profitable and illustrate that under a range of circumstances uniform pricing may be the preferable strategy.

Date
Saturday, 11 April 2015
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838 - Are immigrants so stuck to the floor that the ceiling is irrelevant?

Priscillia Hunt

In this paper, the immigrant-native wage differential is explained through quantile regression estimations. Using repeated cross-sections of the British Labour Force Survey from 1993-2005, we analyse the returns to covariates across the conditional earnings distribution. We estimate a pooled model with an immigrant dummy and separate models for immigrants and natives of the UK. Our results show that the positive wage gap in favour of immigrants is attributed to those at higher quantiles. Returns to education and experience vary wider for natives than for immigrants. We decompose the wage gap in the Blinder-Oaxaca framework and apply quantile regression techniques to see if immigrants simply have more viable labour market characteristics than natives or if there is a preference for immigrant workers (reverse discrimination). Our findings suggest immigrants should actually be earning more and there is sufficient evidence of discrimination. This finding is, however, not symmetric across the conditional wage distribution and immigrants at the bottom face more discrimination than those at the top.

Date
Thursday, 09 April 2015
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837 - Cournot-Walras Equilibrium as a Subgame Perfect Equilibrium

Francesca Busetto, Giulio Codognato, and Sayantan Ghosal

In this paper, we investigate the problem of the strategic foundation of the Cournot-Walras equilibrium approach. To this end, we respecify µa la Cournot-Walras the mixed version of a model of simultaneous, noncooperative exchange, originally proposed by Lloyd S. Shapley. We show, through an example, that the set of the Cournot-Walras equilibrium allocations of this respecification does not coincide with the set of the Cournot-Nash equilibrium allocations of the mixed version of the original Shapley's model. As the nonequivalence, in a one-stage setting, can be explained by the intrinsic two-stage nature of the Cournot-Walras equilibrium concept, we are led to consider a further reformulation of the Shapley's model as a two-stage game, where the atoms move in the first stage and the atomless sector moves in the second stage. Our main result shows that the set of the Cournot-Walras equilibrium allocations coincides with a specific set of subgame perfect equilibrium allocations of this two-stage game, which we call the set of the Pseudo-Markov perfect equilibrium allocations.

Date
Wednesday, 08 April 2015
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836 - Moral hazard, bank runs and contagion

Shurojit Chatterji and Sayantan Ghosal

We study banking with ex ante moral hazard. Resolving the misalignment of the incentives between banks and depositors requires early liquidation with positive probability: efficient risk-sharing between depositors is no longer implementable. In a closed region with a single bank, we show that (i) with costless and perfect monitoring, contracts with bank runs off the equilibrium path of play improve on contracts with transfers, (ii) when the bank’s actions are non-contractible, equilibrium bank runs driven by incentives are linked to liquidity provision by banks. With multiple regions linked via an interbank market, with local moral hazard, we show that implementing second-best allocations requires both ex-ante trade in inter-bank markets and contagion after realization of liquidity shocks.

Date
Tuesday, 07 April 2015
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