Review of Economic Studies (Rev Econ Stud )

Publisher: Economic Study Society; Society for Economic Analysis Ltd, Blackwell Publishing


A Leader in its Field Founded in 1933 by a group of young British and American economists The Review of Economic Studies aims to encourage research in theoretical and applied economics especially by young economists. Today it is one of the core economics journals ranking consistently among the top half dozen titles. The Review of Economic Studies is essential reading. It includes articles from well-established specialists and young research scholars as well as having a reputation for publishing path-breaking papers in theoretical and applied economics. Click here for more information on The Review of Economic Studies Back issues are available electronically from JSTOR.

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Publications in this journal

  • Review of Economic Studies 01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the dynamic implications of social networks for the labour market outcomes of refugees resettled in the U.S. A theoretical model of job information transmission shows that the relationship between social network size and labour market outcomes is heterogeneous and depends on the vintage of network members: an increase in network size can negatively impact some cohorts in a network while benefiting others. To test this prediction, I use new data on political refugees resettled in the U.S. and exploit the fact that these refugees are distributed across cities by a resettlement agency, precluding individuals from sorting. The results indicate that an increase in the number of social network members resettled in the same year or one year prior to a new arrival leads to a deterioration of outcomes, while a greater number of tenured network members improves the probability of employment and raises the hourly wage. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2012; 79(1):128-161.
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    ABSTRACT: We explore how allowing votes to be traded separately of shares may affect the efficiency of corporate control contests. Our basic set-up and the nature of the questions continue the work of Grossman and Hart (1980),Harris and Raviv (1988), and Blair, Golbe and Gerard (1989). We consider three cases with respect to the allowable price offers (for shares and for votes when they can be traded separately): unrestricted price offers, quantity-restricted price offers, and price offers contingent on winning. Our main results are characterizations of the equilibria and of the circumstances under which vote buying is harmful. We show that allowing votes to be traded separately of shares results in inefficiencies in all the cases we study. Similarly allowing quantity-restricted offers is also harmful, but allowing conditional offers is not in itself detrimental to efficiency. The paper also makes a methodological contribution to the analysis of takeover games with atomless shareholders. It provides a way of dealing with asymmetric equilibria that must be dealt with for a complete analysis and it proves existence of an equilibrium. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2012; 79(1):196-226.
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    ABSTRACT: Drawing on uncommonly rich and representative data from the Colombian manufacturing census, this paper documents new empirical relationships between input prices, output prices, and plant size and proposes a model of endogenous input and output quality choices by heterogeneous firms to explain the observed patterns. The key empirical facts are that, on average within narrowly defined sectors, (1) larger plants charge more for their outputs and (2) larger plants pay more for their material inputs. The latter fact generalizes the well-known positive correlation between plant size and wages. Similar correlations hold between prices and export status. We show that the empirical patterns are consistent with a parsimonious extension of the Melitz (2003 , "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, 71, 1695--1725) framework to include endogenous choice of input and output quality. Using a measure of the scope for quality differentiation from Sutton (1998 , Technology and Market Structure: Theory and History. Cambridge: MIT Press), we show that differences across sectors in the relationships between prices and plant size are consistent with our model. Available evidence suggests that differences in observable measures of market power do not provide a complete explanation for the empirical patterns. We interpret the results as supportive of the hypothesis that quality differences of both inputs and outputs play an important role in generating the price--plant size correlations. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2012; 79(1):307-339.
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the empirical content of the Nash solution to two-player bargaining games. The bargaining environment is described by a set of variables that may affect agents' preferences over the agreement sharing, the status quo outcome, or both. The outcomes (i.e. whether an agreement is reached, and if so the individual shares) and the environment (including the size of the pie) are known, but neither are the agents' utilities nor their threat points. We consider both a deterministic version of the model in which the econometrician observes the shares as deterministic functions of the variables under consideration and a stochastic one in which because of latent disturbances only the joint distribution of incomes and outcomes is recorded. We show that in the most general framework any outcome can be rationalized as a Nash solution. However, even mild exclusion restrictions generate strong implications that can be used to test the Nash bargaining assumption. Stronger conditions further allow to recover the underlying structure of the bargaining, and in particular, the cardinal representation of individual preferences in the absence of uncertainty. An implication of this finding is that empirical works entailing Nash bargaining could (and should) use much more general and robust versions than they usually do. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2012; 79(1):162-195.
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    ABSTRACT: We propose a computationally feasible way of deriving the identified features of models with multiple equilibria in pure or mixed strategies. It is shown that in the case of Shapley regular normal form games, the identified set is characterized by the inclusion of the true data distribution within the core of a Choquet capacity, which is interpreted as the generalized likelihood of the model. In turn, this inclusion is characterized by a finite set of inequalities and efficient and easily implementable combinatorial methods are described to check them. In all normal form games, the identified set is characterized in terms of the value of a submodular or convex optimization program. Efficient algorithms are then given and compared to check inclusion of a parameter in this identified set. The latter are illustrated with family bargaining games and oligopoly entry games. Copyright , Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 02/2011; 78(4):1264-1298.
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    ABSTRACT: The consumption literature uses adult equivalence scales to measure individual-level inequality. This practice imposes the assumption that there is no within-household inequality. In this paper, we show that ignoring consumption inequality within households produces misleading estimates of inequality along two dimensions. To illustrate this point, we use a collective model of household behaviour to estimate consumption inequality in the U.K. from 1968 to 2001. First, the use of adult equivalence scales underestimates the initial level of cross-sectional consumption inequality by 50%, as large differences in the earnings of husbands and wives translate into large differences in consumption allocations within households. Second, we estimate the rise in between-household inequality has been accompanied by an offsetting reduction in within-household inequality. Our findings also indicate that increases in marital sorting on wages and hours worked can simultaneously explain two-thirds of the decline in within household inequality and between a quarter and one-half of the rise in between-household inequality for one and two adult households.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78:328–355.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the comparative statics of "more ambiguity aversion" as defined by Klibanoff, Marinacci and Mukerji (2005 , "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity", Econometrica, 73 (6), 1849--1892). The analysis uses the static two-asset portfolio problem with one safe asset and one uncertain one. While it is intuitive that more ambiguity aversion would reduce demand for the uncertain asset, this is not necessarily the case. We derive sufficient conditions for a reduction in the demand for the uncertain asset and for an increase in the equity premium. An example that meets the sufficient conditions is when the set of plausible distributions for returns on the uncertain asset can be ranked according to their monotone likelihood ratio. It is also shown how ambiguity aversion distorts the price kernel in the alternative portfolio problem with complete markets for contingent claims. Copyright , Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(4):1329-1344.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper demonstrates the existence and robustness of partially revealing rational expectations equilibria in general exchange economies when some traders have non-smooth ambiguity-averse preferences. This finding illustrates that models with non-smooth ambiguity aversion provide a relatively tractable framework through which partial information revelation may be studied in a general equilibrium setting without relying on particular distributional or von Neumann--Morgenstern utility assumptions or the presence of "noise." Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(3):821-845.
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    ABSTRACT: The "new classical" theory states that families in low-skill occupations with low levels of human capital can stay poor from one generation to the next, while families in high-skill occupations with correspondingly high levels of human capital stay wealthy, despite being endowed with the same level of ability on average. This paper proposes an informal institutional mechanism--the community-based network--through which families belonging to the same neighbourhood or kinship group can bootstrap their way out of such low-skill occupational traps. The insight from the dynamic model that is developed is that once they form, new networks providing mutual support to their members and substituting for inherited parental human capital and wealth will strengthen most rapidly in historically disadvantaged communities, generating a correspondingly high level of intergenerational mobility. These predictions are successfully tested using unique data from India. The analysis in this paper, coupled with an emerging empirical literature on networks and migration, provides a new perspective on mobility in developing countries, with restrictive traditional networks decaying even as new networks supporting collective mobility form and strengthen over time. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(3):1069-1101.
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    ABSTRACT: To analyse the role that the World Trade Organization (WTO) plays in enforcing international trade agreements, this paper first explores what countries can achieve alone by characterizing optimal private trigger strategies (PTS) under which each country triggers a punishment phase by imposing an explicit tariff based on privately observed imperfect signals of the other country's concealed trade barriers. It identifies the condition under which countries can restrain the use of concealed barriers based on PTS and establishes that countries will not reduce the cooperative protection level to its minimum attainable level under the optimal PTS. This paper then considers third-party trigger strategies (TTS) under which the WTO allows each country to initiate a punishment phase based on the WTO's judgement about potential violations. By comparing the optimal PTS and optimal TTS, it demonstrates that the WTO facilitates a better cooperative equilibrium by changing the nature of punishment-triggering signals from private to public, which in turn enables countries to use a more efficient punishment, such as an asymmetric and a minimum punishment. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(3):1102-1134.
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    ABSTRACT: Informational asymmetries between a firm and investors may lead to adverse selection in capital markets. This paper demonstrates that when the market obtains noisy information about a firm over time, this adverse selection problem can be costlessly solved by issuing callable convertible bonds with restrictive call provisions. Such securities can be designed to make the payoff to new claimholders independent of the private information of the manager. This eliminates the possibility of any dilution of equity or underinvestment and implements the symmetric information outcome in either a pooling or a separating equilibrium. The same first-best efficient outcome can also be implemented by issuing floating-price and mandatory convertibles. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(1):148-175.
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    ABSTRACT: The paper studies procurement contracts with pre-project investigations in the presence of adverse selection and moral hazard. To model the procurer's problem, we extend a standard sequential screening model to endogenous information acquisition with moral hazard. The optimal contract displays systematic distortions in information acquisition. Due to a rent effect, adverse selection induces too much information acquisition to prevent cost overruns and too little information acquisition to prevent false project cancellations. Moral hazard mitigates the distortions related to cost overruns yet exacerbates those related to false negatives. The optimal mechanism is a menu of option contracts that achieves the dual goal of providing incentives for information acquisition and truthful information revelation. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(3):1015-1041.
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    ABSTRACT: I present a sticky-wage model of exchange rate pass-through with heterogeneous producers and endogenous markups. The model shows that low levels of exchange rate pass-through to firm- and aggregate-level import prices coexist with large movements in trade flows. After an exchange rate shock, aggregate import prices are subject to a composition bias due to changes in the extensive margin of trade (the number of goods traded between countries). At the firm level, each producer adjusts its markups depending on its own productivity and the change in the competitive environment generated by the exchange rate movement. Firm-level price responses are asymmetric--different for appreciations and depreciations--and adjustments in the intensive margin of trade (firm-level exports) are substantial. In general equilibrium, the model shows that firm reallocations increase the persistence of exogenous shocks. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(3):1135-1177.
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    ABSTRACT: I examine a model of a uniform price auction of a perfectly divisible good with private information in which the bidders submit discrete bidpoints rather than continuous downward sloping demand functions. I characterize necessary conditions for equilibrium bidding. The characterization reveals a close relationship between bidding in multiunit auctions and oligopolistic behaviour. I demonstrate that a recently proposed indirect approach to the revenue comparisons of discriminatory and uniform price auctions is not valid if bid functions have steps. In particular, bidders may bid above their marginal valuation in a uniform price auction. In order to demonstrate that discrete bidding can have important consequences for empirical analysis I use my model to examine a data set consisting of individual bids in uniform price treasury auctions of the Czech government. I propose an alternative method for evaluating the performance of the employed mechanism. My results suggest that the uniform price auction performs well, both in terms of efficiency of the allocation and in terms of revenue maximization. I estimate that the employed mechanism failed to extract at most 3 basis points in terms of the annual yield of T-bills worth of expected surplus while implementing an allocation resulting in almost all the efficient surplus. Failing to account for discreteness of bids would in my application result in overestimating the unextracted revenue by more than 50%. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(3):974-1014.
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    ABSTRACT: In many procurement auctions, the bidders' unobserved costs depend both on a common shock and on idiosyncratic private information. Assuming a multiplicative structure, I derive sufficient conditions under which the model is identified and propose a non-parametric estimation procedure that results in uniformly consistent estimators of the cost components' distributions. The estimation procedure is applied to data from Michigan highway procurement auctions. Private information is estimated to account for 34% of the variation in bidders' costs. It is shown that accounting for unobserved auction heterogeneity has important implications for the evaluation of the distribution of rents, efficiency, and optimal auction design. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(1):293-327.
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    ABSTRACT: Using Norwegian register data, we estimate how children's school performance is affected by their parents' exposure to plant closure. Our estimates suggest that paternal job loss has a negative effect on children's school performance. In contrast, maternal job loss is associated with a non-significant increase in school performance. Importantly, the negative effect of paternal job loss appears largely unrelated to its effect on father's income, father's employment status, a shift in maternal time towards employment, marital dissolution, and residential relocation. A disparate effect of job loss across fathers and mothers is, however, consistent with recent empirical studies documenting that the mental distress experienced by displaced workers is generally more severe for men than women. Copyright , Oxford University Press.
    Review of Economic Studies 01/2011; 78(4):1462-1489.

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