International Economic Review

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1468-2354
Print ISSN: 0020-6598
Publications
Financial liberalization has been a controversial issue, as empirical evidence for growth enhancing effects is mixed. Here, we find sizable welfare gains from liberalization (cost to repression), though the gain in economic growth is ambiguous. We take the view that financial liberalization is a government policy that alters the path of financial deepening, while financial deepening is endogenously chosen by agents given a policy and occurs in transition towards a distant steady state. This history-dependent view necessitates the use of simulation analysis based on a growth model. Our application is a specific episode: Thailand from 1976 to 1996.
 
Long-run restrictions can be imposed on a vector autoregressive model to identify structural macroeconomic shocks, as first proposed by Olivier Blanchard and Danny Quah (1989). Here, the author uses restrictions motivated by Milton Friedman's remark that 'Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon'to identify low-frequency movements in inflation with changes in the central bank's desired inflation rate. The author can then determine the portion of U.S. business-cycle fluctuations that results from changes in the inflation target. As well, he extends the Blanchard-Quah technique to overidentified models using an asymptotically efficient minimum-distance approach. Copyright 1993 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
This article illustrates how the joint elicitation of subjective probabilities and preferences may help us understand behavior in games. We conduct an experiment to test whether biased probabilistic beliefs may explain overbidding in first-price auctions. The experimental outcomes indicate that subjects underestimate their probability of winning the auction, and indeed overbid. When provided with feedback on the precision of their predictions, subjects learn to make better predictions, and to curb significantly overbidding. The structural estimation of different behavioral models suggests that biased probabilistic beliefs are a driving force behind overbidding, and that risk aversion plays a lesser role than previously believed. Copyright © (2009) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
This article is an attempt to formalize Chapter 17 of Keynes's General Theory using a continuous dynamic optimization model with perfect foresight. I present two subjective interest rates: the time preference rate and the liquidity premium that, respectively, govern the consumption-saving and portfolio decisions. Under optimal household behavior, they are equalized to the market rate of interest. In the monetary economy described by Keynes, however, the equality can be inconsistent with the condition of market equilibrium, in which case persistent stagnation occurs. A new analytic method based on dynamic optimization is proposed as an alternative to IS-LM analysis. Copyright 2001 by American Economic Association.
 
This paper constructs a model of class struggle, using cooperative game theory. Class struggle takes place on two levels: control of the one legal political party, and control of the distribution of taxes. Formally, level one is a simple game; level two, a variable threat game. The player set is the unit interval, with an atom at 0. The major mathematical result is to characterize the unique Shapley values of the games played at each level. Existence has already been shown by A. Neyman [in: Game theory and related topics; Proc. Semin., Bonn/Hagen 1978, 71–81 (1979; Zbl 0437.90109)]. The asymptotic value solution is illustrated with data from the Soviet Union, 1925–29.
 
Many stock market analysts think that in 1929, at the time of the crash, stocks were overvalued. Irving Fisher argued just before the crash that fundamentals were strong and the stock market was undervalued. In this article, we use growth theory to estimate the fundamental value of corporate equity and compare it to actual stock valuations. Our estimate is based on values of productive corporate capital, both tangible and intangible, and tax rates on corporate income and distributions. The evidence strongly suggests that Fisher was right. Even at the 1929 peak, stocks were undervalued relative to the prediction of theory. Copyright 2004 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
 
We document and analyze the high level and the substantial increase in worker mobility in the United States over the 1968-97 period at various levels of occupational and industry aggregation. This is important in light of the recent findings that human capital of workers is largely occupation- or industry-specific. To control for measurement error in occupation and industry coding, we develop a method that utilizes the PSID Retrospective Occupation-Industry Supplemental Data Files. We emphasize the importance of our findings for understanding a number of issues such as the changes in wage inequality, aggregate productivity, job stability, and life-cycle earnings profiles. Copyright 2008 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
 
We analyze the dynamics of worker mobility in the United States over the 1968-1993 period at various levels of occupational and industry aggregation. We find a substantial overall increase in occupational and industry mobility over the period and document the levels and time trends in mobility for various age-education subgroups of the population. To control for measurement error in occupation and industry coding, we develop a method that utilizes the newly released, by the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Retrospective Occupation-Industry Supplemental Data Files. We emphasize the importance of the findings for understanding a number of issues in macro and labor economics, including changes in wage inequality, productivity, life-cycle earnings profiles, job stability and job security.
 
This paper generalizes a globally concave and flexible cost function to accommodate allocative distortions. These distortions are introduced through shadow prices and are specified as functions of regressors that make distortion factors firm, input, and time specific. The estimated model, based on a panel of nineteen U.S. airlines observed during 1970-84, rejects the hypothesis of no allocative distortions. Increase in costs due to allocative distortions are calculated for each airline over the entire period. The rate of technical progress and economies of scale are also estimated based on models with and without allocative distortions. Copyright 1992 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
During the period following October 1979 through 1982, the U.S. Federal Reserve allowed interest rates to fluctuate widely, in contrast to its previous policy of targeting these rates in the 1970s. The policy was abandoned in 1982 in favor of an operating procedure that reduced the variation in interest rates. This paper implements an estimation method to identify, from the term structure of Eurodollar returns, the market's beliefs that the Federal Reserve may revert to interest rate targeting. The model is not rejected and gives plausible estimates of the probability of a switch in monetary regimes. Copyright 1991 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
A time series fertility equation considering the economic aspects of fertility supports a cyclical model of fertility relating fertility to standard of living: as standard of living increases relative to desired standard of living fertility increases. The influences of demand factors are explored using standard utility theory with the household as a utility function defined over goods (those of adults G and those of children GN) leisure (TL) and children (N). When the utility function is maximized Y = w(T-TL) = pG nPGGN with Y equalling income w equalling wage rate and p equalling the price of goods consumed by adults ptg or by children pN. The demand for children (Dt) is f(pN p wT X). Population density is substituted as an indirect proxy measure of the relative price of children and Dt = f(URBAN wT X) with X as a taste factor the influence of societal norms. wT (full income) corrected for unemployment equals Ew where E = 1-U where U equals unemployment rate. Ew With child mortality low the influence of supply factors is defined as the demand tdt minus unplanned children. Fertility is therefore Ft = Dt aSt - Dt)Pt where Ft is fertility at time t Dt is demand at time t St is supply or fecundity at time t and Pt is the failure rate of birth control. The equation was tested by substituting actual values for variables using fertility rate data from the period 1926-1975. Results support the cycl ical element of fertility and the hypothesis that an increase in the current standard of living relative to the desired standard of living increases fertility. The implication of these results is that an upswing in the rate of growth of real wages could cause a new baby-boom in as relative wages increase and offset the drag on fertility of the increasing costs of children.
 
This paper documents and discusses a dramatic change in the cyclical behavior of aggregate hours worked by individuals with a college degree (skilled workers) since the mid-1980’s. Using the CPS outgoing rotation data set for the period 1979:1-2003:4, we find that the volatility of aggregate skilled hours relative to the volatility of GDP has nearly tripled since 1984. In contrast, the cyclical properties of unskilled hours have remained essentially unchanged. We evaluate the extent to which a simple supply/demand model for skilled and unskilled labor with capital-skill complementarity in production can help explain this stylized fact. Within this framework, we identify three effects which would lead to an increase in the relative volatility of skilled hours: (i) a reduction in the degree of capital-skill complementarity, (ii) a reduction in the absolute volatility of GDP (and unskilled hours), and (iii) an increase in the level of capital equipment relative to skilled labor. We provide empirical evidence in support of each of these effects. Our conclusion is that these three mechanisms can jointly explain about sixty percent of the observed increase in the relative volatility of skilled labor. The reduction in the degree of capital-skill complementarity contributes the most to this result.
 
Recent years have witnessed increased interest in issues of inequality and mobility in the labor market. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the German Socio-Economic Panel, we compare the labor earnings mobility of prime age men and women in the United States and Germany during the growth-years. Despite major differences in labor market institutions we find very similar patterns in the two countries. Our formal models of labor earnings dynamics suggest a great deal of persistence in both countries. In the United States this may derive from permanent individual specific differences among men, while in Germany random shocks are found to persist longer for men. Women in Germany and the United States have similar earnings dynamics. Copyright 1997 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
A recursive test procedure is suggested that provides a mechanism for testing explosive behavior, date-stamping the origination and collapse of economic exuberance, and providing valid confidence intervals for explosive growth rates. The method involves the recursive implementation of a right-side unit root test and a sup test, both of which are easy to use in practical applications, and some new limit theory for mildly explosive processes. The test procedure is shown to have discriminatory power in detecting periodically collapsing bubbles, thereby overcoming a weakness in earlier applications of unit root tests for economic bubbles. Some asymptotic properties of the Evans (1991) model of periodically collapsing bubbles are analyzed and the paper develops a new model in which bubble duration depends on the strength of the cognitive bias underlying herd behavior in the market. The paper also explores alternative propagating mechanisms for explosive behavior based on economic fundamentals under time varying discount rates. An empirical application to the Nasdaq stock price index in the 1990s provides confirmation of explosiveness and date-stamps the origination of financial exuberance to June 1995, prior to the famous remark in December 1996 by Alan Greenspan about irrational exuberance in financial markets, thereby giving the remark empirical content.
 
This article uses factor models to identify and estimate the "distributions" of counterfactuals. We extend "LISREL" frameworks to a dynamic treatment effect setting, extending matching to account for unobserved conditioning variables. Using these models, we can identify all pairwise and joint treatment effects. We apply these methods to a model of schooling and determine the intrinsic uncertainty facing agents at the time they make their decisions about enrollment in school. We go beyond the "Veil of Ignorance" in evaluating educational policies and determine who benefits and who loses from commonly proposed educational reforms. Copyright 2003 By The Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
 
We broadly define liquid assets, or monetary assets, as any asset that can be readily sold in the market and can be held by a number of people in succession before maturity. We ask in what environment is the circulation of liquid assets essential for the smooth running of the economy. By developing a canonical model of a monetary economy (i.e., where the circulation of liquid assets is essential), we are able to examine the interaction between liquidity, asset prices, and aggregate economic activity. Copyright 2005 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
 
In the modern theory of growth, monopoly plays a crucial role both as a cause and an effect of innovation. Innovative firms, it is argued, would have insufficient incentive to innovate should the prospect of monopoly power not be present. This theme of monopoly runs throughout the theory of growth, international trade, and industrial organization. We argue that monopoly is neither needed for, nor a necessary consequence of innovation. In particular, intellectual property is not necessary for, and may hurt more than help, innovation and growth. We argue that, as a practical matter, it is more likely to hurt. Copyright 2004 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
 
A model of fiat money is constructed in which spatial separation and the logistics of communication are made explicit as in search theory, but exchange is organized by profit-seeking business enterprises as in all market economies. Firms mitigate search costs by opening shops that are easily located. Equilibria may exist in which fiat money is used as a universal medium of exchange. When a monetary equilibrium exists, fiat money is essential. The model provides a foundation to cash-in-advance theory, without specifying in advance that one object will be used as the universal medium of exchange. Copyright 2005 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
 
This lecture, delivered at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, on August 3, 2005, is a part of my two ongoing research programs, symmetry-breaking and aggregate implications of credit market imperfections. It is based on my earlier works, particularly . These earlier works and the present lecture have benefited from the comments, discussions, and encouragement by many people, including. Altonji, A. Banerjee, G. Barlevy, E. Dekel, R. Föllmi, O. Galor, C. Horioka, N. Kiyotaki, R. Lucas, B. Meyer, D. Mortensen, A. Newman, D. Quah, D. Ray, G. Saints-Paul, J. Tirole, F. Zilibotti, and J. Zweimüller. Please address correspondence to: Kiminori Matsuyama, Department of Economics, Northwestern University, 2001 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208, USA. E-mail: k-matsuyama@northwestern.edu.
 
This article explores the implications of Unified Growth Theory for the origins of existing differences in income per capita across countries. The theory sheds light on three fundamental layers of comparative development. It identifies the factors that have governed the pace of the transition from stagnation to growth and have thus contributed to contemporary variation in economic development. It uncovers the forces that have sparked the emergence of multiple growth regimes and convergence clubs, and it underlines the persistent effects that variations in prehistorical biogeographical conditions have generated on the composition of human capital and economic development across the globe. Copyright (2010) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
This article develops a broad theme about treatment under ambiguity through study of a particular decision criterion. The broad theme is that a planner may want to cope with ambiguity by diversification, assigning observationally identical persons to different treatments. Study of the minimax-regret (MR) criterion substantiates the theme. The article significantly extends my earlier analysis of one-period planning with an individualistic treatment and a linear welfare function. I show that MR treatment allocations are fractional in a large class of planning problems with nonlinear welfare functions, interacting treatments, learning, and noncooperative aspects. Copyright © (2009) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
The skill premium fell substantially in the first part of the 20th century and then rose at the end of the century. I argue that these changes are connected to the organization of production. When production is organized into large plants, jobs become routinized, favoring less-skilled workers. A model is introduced that parameterizes capital's ability to do many tasks, that is, capital's flexibility. When calibrated to data on the distribution of plant sizes, the model can account for between half and two-thirds of the movement in the skill premium over the century. Copyright 2005 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
 
Only 5.5% of black males married white females in 1990, and the family-income premium for intermarried black males was 7%. This article estimates the impact of the mating taboo, courting opportunities, and individual endowments on the black male marriage market. Results indicate that eliminating the mating taboo would raise the intermarriage rate from 5.5 to 64%, and do away with the intermarriage premium. Improving black males' endowments or allowing black males to meet white females as frequently as they do black females would not increase intermarriage. Copyright 2003 By The Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
 
This article presents an endogenous growth model in which credit markets affect time allocation of individuals with different educational abilities. Credit markets allow the more able to specialize in studying and the less able to specialize in working. This specialization can increase growth and welfare. This article also shows that in economies with high (low) levels of education abilities, the opening of credit markets induces a more disperse (equal) income distribution. The role of intergenerational transfers in overcoming the absence of credit markets is also discussed, as well as other forms of credit markets imperfections. Copyright 2000 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
As a consequence of the rapid growth of temporary agency employment in Germany, the debate on the remuneration of temporary agency workers has intensified recently. The study finds that the earnings gap of temporary help workers in Germany is indeed large and increased during the past decade. Decomposition reveals that the widening gap mainly is driven by changes in relative skill prices and less by differences in the workforce composition. Temps already have to accept a marked earnings decline before entering the temporary help sector. Nevertheless, after leaving the sector temporary help workers no longer have to accept a pay penalty. A recent reform set a high incentive for temporary help agencies to pay their workers according to a collective agreement. Surprisingly, the unionization of the sector could not bring thewidening earnings gap to a halt.
 
Arguments in favor of a strategic trade policy are based on the assumption that the government can credibly precommit to a policy that will not be altered, even if it is suboptimal ex post. This paper examines the implications of relaxing this assumption; to this end, a three-stage game is considered that accounts for the sunk costs associated with capacity installment. It is found that--contrary to common belief--the time-consistent optimal subsidy level is positive, though generally lower than the optimal level with precommitment. This somewhat counterintuitive result is driven by the commitment value of capacity. Copyright 1995 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
In this paper, the open-loop equilibrium is rehabilitated as a sensible concept for analyzing common property situations. In a model of natur al resource exploration in which the sole motivation to explore prior to extraction arises from a strategic incentive to preempt competito rs, a consistency rule to the exploration game is applied under which the commonality of reserves is preserved even if strategies are open -loop. Under this rule, the so often claimed efficiency of the common property open-loop equilibrium is lost. Copyright 1988 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
The authors investigate the effect of information on users' participation decisions at a free-access congestible facility that is subject to unpredictable fluctuations in capacity and demand. With demand isoelastic in user cost and user cost isoelastic in the ratio of demand to capacity, optimal design capacity is larger with mean-preserving spreads in capacity and demand if and only if demand elasticity is less than one. Expected welfare is greater with better information. Interestingly, with nonconstant elasticity demand and/or user costs, information can be welfare reducing. Copyright 1996 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
In this article, a market for access to trading partners arises through the operation of a competitive market in which consumers queue for goods at firms. Equilibrium occurs when firms and buyers face the same trade-off between price and wait time. The trade-off measures the cost to firms of more customers and the cost to customers of a shorter expected wait time. The queuing model is related to mechanisms that ration goods among potential buyers and to models in which the good is characterized by price and by a second variable reflecting likelihood of or delay in transaction. Copyright Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association
 
Using a standard complete specialization model of a small open economy within a rigorous intertemporal optimization framework with contract- based wage rigidity, we show that permanent tariffs may lead to a current account deterioration and a fall in employment, contradicting most of the literature of macro-economic effects of import tariffs. I show that this will always be the case if the economy is small enough. The crucial factor in this complete reversal of standard results is the impact of tariffs on domestic real product wages via wage indexation. Temporary tariffs will have less of a negative impact on the CA or potentially even a positive impact, because they increase the consumption rate of interest (the terms at which future consumption can be traded for current consumption) and so increase private savings. Extensions towards incorporating a more general production structure, investment and the use of tariff revenues to provide wage subsidies are presented.
 
Much debate surrounds the usefulness of the neoclassical growth model for assessing the macroeconomic impact of fiscal shocks. We test the theory using data from World War II, which is by far the largest fiscal shock in the history of the United States. We take observed changes in fiscal policy during the war as inputs into a parameterized, dynamic general equilibrium model and compare the values of all variables in the model to the actual values of these variables in the data. Our main finding is that the theory quantitatively accounts for macroeconomic activity during this big fiscal shock. Copyright (2010) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
This paper suggests that the recent intertemporal studies concerning the implications of terms-of-trade deterioration on the current account of a small open economy may suffer from significant methodological deficiencies. The study demonstrates that, while the assumption of a small open economy represents a legitimate modeling simplification, the analysis of the impact of perturbation of the terms of trade on the current account of this small open economy is methodologically erroneous. In particular, the paper demonstrates that a given pattern of terms-of-trade deterioration may be associated with opposing evolutionary patterns of the current account of this small economy. Copyright 1994 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
This paper analyzes the effects of tariffs in an intertemporal optimizing framework emphasizing the role of capital accumulation. Unanticipated permanent, anticipated temporary, and anticipated permanent increases in the tariff rate are considered. In all cases, the introduction of a tariff is contractionary both in the short run and in the long run. The declining capital stock is accompanied by a current account surplus. The response of savings is unclear. The model has the property that the steady state depends upon the initial stocks of assets. As a consequence of this, a temporary tariff has a permanent (contractionary) effect on the economy. Copyright 1989 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
A dynamic specific-factors model with adjustment costs of investment is used to study the impact of tariffs on the current account. A permanent increase in tariffs generates a current account deficit, as the import-competing sector spreads the increase of the capital stock over time. A temporary increase in tariffs has ambiguous effects. If the size and duration of the tariff are large enough, a strong response in investment could outweigh the increased savings and the current account deteriorates. For small and short-lived tariffs, the postponement of investment reinforces that of consumption, leading to a current account surplus. Copyright 1991 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
Extending the theory of generational accounts, the author shows that the conventional current account is not related to the real effects of a country's fiscal policy. For any international array of fiscal policies, a country can implement its own policy so that the conventional government and current account deficits are zero in every period. The author argues that economists should develop a new measure of the current account. This measure is forward looking and keeps track of expected transfers between countries. Copyright 1995 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
An econometric portfolio balance model of an open economy, incorporating exchange rate, price, and current account dynamics, is derived and estimated.The usual stability conditions do not guarantee a unique rational expectations solution, and several proposals for resolving this situation are considered. Using constrained maximum likelihood methods, the model is estimated for Japan.The estimation results indicate that the model is quite successful in explaining the patterns found in the data. The model is estimated using several methods of resolving the question of non-uniqueness, and the results are compared.
 
This paper examines the aggregate production function in an economy characterized by the creation of new, intermediate inputs. The authors show how growth can be decomposed into changes in higher quantities of existing inputs and a greater range of inputs. Indexes of total factor productivity would reflect the latter. The authors construct a dynamic monopolistic-competition model in which products are endogenously introduced and simulate that model to produce artificial data. When used in standard growth-accounting regressions, the data can appear to be generated by an economy with exogenous technical change and (approximately) constant returns to primary factors. Copyright 1994 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
This article contributes to the theory of social accounting. As such, it tries to extend earlier literature on the welfare equivalence of the comprehensive net national product in two main directions, both of which refer to the public sector. One is by considering welfare measurement problems associated with public good provision and redistributive policy, respectively, when the public revenues are raised by distortionary taxes. The other is by addressing the consequences of a "federation-like" decision structure, where independent tax and expenditure decisions are made both by the central government and by lower level governments. Copyright 2008 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
 
After years of being relatively constant, the homeownership rate -a target for housing policy- has increased since 1995. This paper attempts to understand why the homeownership rate has been increasing by constructing a quantitative model and then using this model to evaluate explanations that have been offered to account for this increase. We find that the increase in the homeownership can be explained by innovations in the mortgage market that allows households to take a positive housing investment position with a much smaller downpayment.
 
This article accounts for the boom in homeownership from 1994 to 2005 by examining the roles of demographic changes and mortgage innovations. To measure the impact of these factors, we construct a quantitative general equilibrium overlapping generation model with housing. In the long-run, mortgage innovation accounts for between 56 and 70% of the increase whereas demographics account for a much smaller portion. We test this result by considering changes in mortgages after 1940. We find that the introduction of the conventional fixed rate mortgage accounts for at least 50% of the observed increase in homeownership during that period. Copyright © (2009) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
 
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