Creator: Hopenhayn, Hugo Andres and Vereshchagina, Galina. Series: Advances in dynamic economics Abstract:
Entrepreneurs bear substantial risk, but empirical evidence shows no sign of a positive premium. This paper develops a theory of endogenous entrepreneurial risk taking that explains why self-financed entrepreneurs may find it optimal to invest into risky projects offering no risk premium. The model has also a number of implications for firm dynamics supported by empirical evidence, such as a positive correlation between survival, size, and firm age.
Keyword: Intertemporal firm choice, Investment, Borrowing constraints, Financing, Risk taking, Occupational choice, and Firm dynamics Subject (JEL): G32 - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill, L25 - Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, and L26 - Entrepreneurship
Creator: Prescott, Edward C. and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor Series: Advances in dynamic economics Abstract:
A necessary feature for equilibrium is that beliefs about the behavior of other agents are rational. We argue that in stationary OLG environments this implies that any future generation in the same situation as the initial generation must do as well as the initial generation did in that situation. We conclude that the existing equilibrium concepts in the literature do not satisfy this condition. We then propose an alternative equilibrium concept, organizational equilibrium, that satisfies this condition. We show that equilibrium exists, it is unique, and it improves over autarky without achieving optimality. Moreover, the equilibrium can be readily found by solving a maximization program.
Keyword: Rational behavior, Equilibrium, and Overlapping generations Subject (JEL): D51 - Exchange and Production Economies and E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical
Creator: Perri, Fabrizio and Quadrini, Vincenzo Series: Great depressions of the twentieth century Abstract:
We analyze the Italian economy in the interwar years. In Italy, as in many other countries, the years immmediately after 1929 were characterized by a major slowdown in economic activity as non farm output declined almost 12. We argue that the slowdown cannot be explained solely by productivity shocks and that other factors must have contributed to the depth and duration of the the 1929 crisis. We present a model in which trade restrictions together with wage rigidities produce a slowdown in economic activity that is consistent with the one observed in the data. The model is also consistent with evidence from sectorial disaggregated data. Our model predicts that trade restrictions can account for about 3/4 of the observed slowdown while wage rigidity (monetary shocks) can account for the remaining fourth.
Keyword: Wage rigidity, Italy, Depressions, and Trade restrictions Subject (JEL): N14 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: Europe: 1913- and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Fernandez, Raquel, 1959- and Rogerson, Richard Donald Series: Law and economics of federalism Abstract:
This paper examines the effect of different education financing systems on the level and distribution of resources devoted to public education. We focus on California, which in the 1970's was transformed from a system of mixed local and state financing to one of effectively pure state finance and subsequently saw its funding of public education fall between ten and fifteen percent relative to the rest of the US. We show that a simple political economy model of public finance can account for the bulk of this drop. We find that while the distribution of spending became more equal, this was mainly at the cost of a large reduction in spending in the wealthier communities with little increase for the poorer districts. Our model implies that there is no simple trade-off between equity and resources; we show that if California had moved to the opposite extreme and abolished state aid altogether, funding for public education would also have dropped by almost ten percent.
Keyword: Education finance reform, Public finance, California, State government policy, and Human capital Subject (JEL): I22 - Educational Finance; Financial Aid, H42 - Publicly Provided Private Goods, and I28 - Education: Government Policy
Creator: Aiyagari, S. Rao, Wallace, Neil, and Wright, Randall Series: Lucas expectations anniversary conference Abstract:
A pairwise random meeting model with money is used to study the nominal yield on pure-discount, default-free securities that are issued by the government. There is one steady state with matured securities at par and, for some parameters, another with them at a discount. In the former, exogenous rejection of unmatured securities by the government is necessary and sufficient for such a steady state to display a positive nominal yield on unmatured securities. In the latter, the post-maturity discount on securities induces a deeper pre-maturity discount even if there is no exogenous rejection of unmatured securities.
Keyword: Maturity, Government securities, and Interest rates Subject (JEL): E02 - Institutions and the Macroeconomy and E43 - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
Creator: Krusell, Per, Quadrini, Vincenzo, and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor Series: Lucas expectations anniversary conference Abstract:
We use political-equilibrium theory and the neoclassical growth model to compare the quantitative properties of different tax systems. We first explore whether societies which can only use consumption taxes fare better than societies which can only use income taxes. We find that if government outlays are used mainly for redistribution through transfers, then the answer is no, contradicting conventional wisdom in public finance. The reason for this is that when taxes are endogenous, and voted on by a selfish constituency, the distortionary effects of taxation are taken into account in choosing the level of taxation. Hence, political equilibria have the property that taxes which are relatively distortionary will be relatively low. These results are overturned if the government outlays are used only for the providing of public goods, implying that less distortionary taxes give better outcomes. We also investigate the properties of a tax systems in which both consumption and income taxes are used and voted on simultaneously. Since the ability to use more tax instruments allows redistribution with less distortions, the total amount of transfers tends to be higher here than in one-tax systems. Typically, tax systems tend to be self-perpetuating in the sense that changes of the tax system result in a reduction in the welfare of the median voter.
Keyword: Tax system, Tax, Consumption tax, Taxes, and Income tax Subject (JEL): E62 - Fiscal Policy, H24 - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; includes inheritance and gift taxes, and H25 - Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT)
Creator: Azariadis, Costas. and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Finance, fluctuations, and development Abstract:
We study a variant of the one-sector neoclassical growth model of Diamond in which capital investment must be credit financed, and an adverse selection problem appears in loan markets. The result is that the unfettered operation of credit markets leads to a one-dimensional indeterminacy of equilibrium. Many equilibria display economic fluctuations which do not vanish asymptotically; such equilibria are characterized by transitions between a Walrasian regime in which the adverse selection problem does not matter, and a regime of credit rationing in which it does. Moreover, for some configurations of parameters, all equilibria display such transitions for two reasons. One, the banking system imposes ceilings on credit when the economy expands and floors when it contracts because the quality of public information about the applicant pool of potential borrowers is negatively correlated with the demand for credit. Two, depositors believe that returns on bank deposits will be low (or high): these beliefs lead them to transfer savings out of (into) the banking system and into less (more) productive uses. The associated disintermediation (or its opposite) causes banks to contract (expand) credit. The result is a set of equilibrium interest rates on loans that validate depositors' original beliefs. We investigate the existence of perfect foresight equilibria displaying periodic (possibly asymmetric) cycles that consist of m periods of expansion followed by n periods of contraction, and propose an algorithm that detects all such cycles.
Keyword: Interest rates, Equilibrium, Credit markets, and Business cycles Subject (JEL): E51 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Money supply ; Credit ; Money multipliers, E44 - Money and interest rates - Financial markets and the macroeconomy, O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, and E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles
Creator: Krusell, Per and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
Some economic policies and regulations seem to have only one purpose: to prevent technological development and economic growth from occurring. In this paper, we attempt to rationalize such policies as outcomes of voting equilibria. In our environment, some agents will be worse off if the economy grows, since their skills are complementary to resources that can be allocated to growth-stimulating activities. In the absence of arrangements where votes are traded, we show that for some initial skill distributions, the economy may stagnate due to growth-preventing policies. Different initial skill distributions, however, lead to voting outcomes and policies in support of technological development, and to persistent economic growth. In making our argument formally, we use a dynamic model with induced heterogeneity in agents' skills. In their voting decisions, agents compare how they will be affected under each policy alternative, and then vote for the policy that maximizes their welfare.
Subject (JEL): O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models and O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
Creator: Backus, David and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
We document properties of business cycles in ten countries over the last hundred years, contrasting the behavior of real quantities with that of the price level and the stock of money. Although the magnitude of output fluctuations has varied across countries and periods, relations among variables have been remarkably uniform. Consumption has generally been about as variable as output, and investment substantially more variable, and both have been strongly procydical. The trade balance has generally been countercyclical. The exception to this regularity is government purchases, which exhibit no systematic cyclical tendency. With respect to the size of output fluctuations, standard deviations are largest between the two world wars. In some countries (notably Australia and Canada) they are substantially larger prior to World War I than after World War II, but in others (notably Japan and the United Kingdom) there is little difference between these periods. Properties of price levels, in contrast, exhibit striking differences between periods. Inflation rates are more persistent after World War II than before, and price level fluctuations are typically procyclical before World War II, countercyclical afterward. We find no general tendency toward increased persistence in money growth rates, but find that fluctuations in money are less highly correlated with output in the postwar period.
Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953-, Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, and Wright, Randall D. Series: Monetary theory and financial intermediation Abstract:
We extend the analysis of Kiyotaki and Wright, who study an economy in which the different commodities that serve as media of exchange are determined endogenously. Kiyotaki and Wright consider only symmetric, steady-state, pure-strategy equilibria, and find that for some parameter values no such equilibria exist. We consider mixed-strategy equilibria and dynamic equilibria. We prove that a steady-state equilibrium exists for all parameter values and that the number of steady-state equilibria is generically finite. We also show, however, that there may be a continuum of dynamic equilibria. Further, some dynamic equilibria display cycles.
Subject (JEL): D51 - Exchange and Production Economies and E40 - Money and Interest Rates: General
Creator: Backus, David, Kehoe, Patrick J., and Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- Series: Modeling North American economic integration Abstract:
We look for the scale effects on growth predicted by some theories of trade and growth based on dynamic returns to scale at the national or industry level. The increasing returns can arise from learning by doing, investment in human capital, research and development, or development of new products. We find some evidence of a relation between growth rates and the measures of scale implied by the learning by doing theory, especially total manufacturing. With respect to human capital, there is some evidence of a relation between growth rates and per capita measures of inputs into the human capital accumulation process, but little evidence of a relation with the scale of inputs. There is also little evidence that growth rates are related to measures of inputs into R&D. We find, however, that growth rates are related to measures of intra-industry trade, particularly when we control for scale of industry.
Keyword: External effects, Intra-industry trade, Specialization indexes, Increasing returns to scale, Learning by doing, Research and development, Human capital, and International trade Subject (JEL): F43 - Economic Growth of Open Economies and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Gertler, Mark and Rogoff, Kenneth S. Series: International perspectives on debt, growth, and business cycles Abstract:
Across developing countries, capital market inefficiencies tend to decrease and external borrowing tends to sharply increase as national wealth rises. We construct a simple model of intertemporal trade under asymmetric information which provides a coherent explanation of both these phenomenon, without appealing to imperfect capital mobility. The model can be applied to a number of policy issues in LDC lending, including the debt overhang problem, and the impact of government guarantees of private debt to foreign creditors. In the two-country general equilibrium version of the model, an increase in wealth in the rich country can induce a decline in investment in the poor country via a "siphoning effect". Finally, we present some new empirical evidence regarding the link between LDC borrowing and per capita income.
Subject (JEL): F43 - Economic Growth of Open Economies and O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Creator: Roberds, William Series: Business analysis committee meeting Abstract:
One of the more significant developments in econometric modeling over the past decade has been the invention of the forecasting technique known as Bayesian vector autoregression (BVAR). This paper provides a detailed description of the process of specifying a BVAR model of quarterly time series on the U.S. macroeconomy. The postsample forecasting performance of the model is evaluated at an informal level by comparing the model's performance to certain naive forecasting methods, and is evaluated at a formal level by means of efficiency tests. Although the null hypothesis of efficiency is rejected for the model's forecasts, the accuracy of the model exceeds that of naive forecasting methods, and seems comparable to that of commercial forecasting firms for early quarter forecasts.
Keyword: BVAR, Vector autoregression, and Bayesian analysis Subject (JEL): C11 - Bayesian Analysis: General and C53 - Forecasting Models; Simulation Methods
Creator: Chari, V. V. and Hopenhayn, Hugo Andres Series: Models of economic growth and development Abstract:
We present a model of vintage human capital. The economy exhibits exogenous deterministic technological change. Technology requires skills that are specific to the vintage. A stationary competitive equilibrium is defined and shown to exist and be unique, as well as Pareto optimal. The stationary equilibrium is characterized by an endogenous distribution of skilled workers across vintages. The distribution is shown to be single peaked, and under general conditions there is a lag between the time when a technology appears and the peak of its usage, what is known as diffusion. An increase in the rate of exogenous technological charge shirts the distribution of human capital to more recent vintages and increases the relative wage of the unskilled workers in each vintage.
Subject (JEL): O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, and O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives