Archives 2015-2016

Vendredi 18 septembre 2015

EYLAND, Terry - Bishop's University

Climate Coalitions and Border Tax Adjustments


Even though most world leaders are aware of climate change, little has been accomplished in terms of widespread participation in an international environmental agreements. The purpose of this paper is to create a link between studies on the use of border tax adjustments and coalition formation. The main contribution is that the punishment will be based on relative emissions between signatories and defectors. It is a structure that is more likely be accepted by the World Trade Organization since it may be seen as fair due to the fact that if signatories and defectors emit the same amount of pollution then there will be no punishment. The main results indicate that this form of punishment may lead to small, partial, or full cooperation, depending on the parameter values. Additionally, at any equilibrium level, the signatories have a punishment structure that induces defectors to reduce their emissions by the same amount. In the end, this punishment may be seen as a credible threat because at equilibrium no punishment is imposed, yet if we remove the possibility of punishment it breaks down to a situation wherein no large coalitions are feasible. 

Vendredi 23 octobre 2015

MAJID, Muhammad Farhan - McGill University

War and the Stock of Human Capital


Previous studies have shown that wars restrict the acquisition of human capital. We expand this literature by exploring how the stock of human capital is affected by wars. Applying a “missing people” approach to the 1994 Rwanda genocide we find that the size of the educated cohort --those with completed primary school or more-- shrunk by 39 percent relative to their less educated counterparts and compared to its size in 1991. This excess missing rate for the educated is not due to outmigration and contrasts with the patterns observed in other countries of the region and also with the pre-genocide trends in Rwanda. When the spatial variation in the intensity of the genocide is exploited there is no evidence of statistically significant differences, suggesting an aggregate effect from the genocide. We discuss how this reduction affects labor markets post-conflict and the returns to education.

Vendredi 6 novembre 2015

À déterminer

Vendredi 27 novembre 2015

BROCHU, Pierre - Université d'Ottawa

GUNN, Christopher - Carleton University

Monetary News Shocks


We pursue a novel empirical strategy to identify monetary news shocks and determine their effects on the US economy during the Greenspan-Bernanke era of Federal Reserve Chairmanship. We first construct a monetary policy residual as the gap between the observed federal funds rate and a policy rule. Using the maximum-forecast error variance approach, we identify a monetary news shock as the linear combination of reduced form innovations orthogonal to current policy residual that maximizes the sum of contributions to policy residual's forecast error variance over a finite horizon. Real GDP declines in a hump-shaped manner after a positive monetary news shock. This contraction in economic activity is accompanied by a fall in in inflation, a rapid increase in the nominal interest rate, which is consistent with conventional views. But we also find an accompanying sharp increase in excess bond premium, suggesting that financial market imperfections play an important role in the transmission of monetary news shocks.

Vendredi 1 avril 2016

CAMIRAND, Félix  - Université de Sherbrooke

Mesures de causalité


Pour étudier la dépendance entre $(Y_t,Z_t)_{t \in \mathbb{Z}}$, on s’intéresse souvent à la causalité au sens de Granger. Ce concept se définie en terme de prédictibilité de $Y$ à partir du passé de $Z$ et du passé de $Y$. Dans le cas de processus Markoviens, la notion de causalité se base sur la distribution jointe de $(Y_t,Z_{t-1})$ sachant $Y_{t-1}$. À ce jours, les mesures existantes de la causalité au sens de Granger sont globales, en ce sens où si la relation de dépendance entre $Y_t$ et $Z_{t-1}$ change en fonction des valeurs prises par $Y_{t-1}$, alors ces changements ne pourront être détectés. Durant cette présentation,  nous verrons comment il est possible d’utiliser les copules, et plus particulièrement les copules conditionnelles, pour contourner ce problème. Nous ferons d’abord une brève introduction aux copules, puis nous verrons comment caractériser la causalité à l’aide de la copule conditionnelle. Une façon d’estimer la copule conditionnelle nous permettra d’obtenir des mesures de la causalité qui détectent les changements dans la dépendance entre $Y_t$ et $Z_{t-1}$.  Enfin, l’utilité de ces mesures sera illustrée dans l’étude de la relation entre le prix et le volume du S\& P 500.

Vendredi 8 avril 2016

WEI, Chu - Renmin University

Does Information Feedback Help Reduce Residential Electricity Consumption? Evidence from a Chinese Household Survey


This paper investigates the impact of information feedback on residential electricity conservation, based on a household survey dataset collected in 2012 that covered 26 provinces in China. The results of the basic regression reveal a negative price elasticity but a positive income elasticity. Urban households consume more electricity than do rural households. The electricity consumption is positively associated with family size, dwelling area, householder's years of schooling, and duration of appliance operation. Further tests show that information feedback does have effects on residential electricity consumption. There is reduced electricty consumption when households obtain electricity consumption information through interaction with meter readers, receive ex ante feedback (for households that use a prepaid metering system), and receive explicit feedback by directly paying meter readers. However, the energy conservation effects of increased frequency of information feedback and installation of smart meters are not significant. The sensitivity analysis of quantile regressions confirms the robustness of the results.

Vendredi 15 avril 2016

JACOBSON, Sarah - Williams College

(Im)patience by Proxy: Making Intertemporal Decisions for Others


Many policy contexts involve decision-making with consequences that play out over time, and frequently the agent making these decisions is distinct from those who bear the consequences. We examine differences in how individuals make tradeoffs over time for themselves as compared to for others using a laboratory experiment. We further examine the impact of psychological distance and information about preferences on the choices individuals make for others. Subjects make a series of decisions to allocate time working at a tedious task between minutes worked now and minutes worked in six weeks, where each decision uses a different “minute rate” (the rate at which minutes now can be traded off against future minutes). Decisions generally follow reasonable patterns. For example, people work more minutes now the more favorable is the rate is to working in the present. Also, while some choices are polar (all or nothing) choices, these follow sensible patterns. A non-negligible portion of the sample treats time worked today and in the future as perfect substitutes, minimizing the total worked. However, the majority of subjects appear to either have some kind of discounting or effort cost convexity. Contrary to prior studies, we find that individuals who receive no information about their recipient’s preferences choose more patiently—that is, moving the disutility cost into the present (more minutes to work now)—for themselves than for either friends or strangers, and that by some measures they choose more patiently for friends than for strangers. Survey evidence suggests that individuals believe that they are more patient than the other subjects are, thus they make more impatient decisions for others out of benevolence. This explanation is further supported because when the decision-maker is treated with information about how patient the recipient perceives him- or herself to be, this bias of excessive proxy impatience is reduced or eliminated, particularly for friends. Taken together, our results imply that given limited information, policymakers and others who act as proxy decision-makers may choose more impatiently than agents would prefer, but that information may mitigate this error.

Vendredi 6 mai 2016


Class Size: When the Tail Matters


We estimate the impact of class size on student achievement in the Canadian context by exploiting regulations that prevent schools from having more than 20 students per class in kindergarten. Using student-level information on more than 80 percent of students in kindergarten in the province of Québec in 2012, this study provides clear evidence of the non-linearity of class size effects. It also provides evidence on non- cognitive measures and shows that generally class size reduction does not improve emotional maturity, communication skills or social ability, even in very small classes.

Mercredi 18 mai 2016

CRAIG, Benjamin M. - University of South Florida

Diminishing Marginal Returns of Quality-Adjusted Lifespan


Economics is the science of choice and cancer is a disease that involves many perplexing choices. Dr. Craig Lab is one of the few devoted to cancer economics. Specifically, his team study patients' preferences so that they can improve patient care. Craig Lab achieves this goal by conducting health preference surveys, economic evaluations, and secondary data analyses on a wide range of cancer-related topics. During his presentation, Dr Craig will talk about QALY. A quality-adjusted life year (QALY) is common unit of analysis in cost-effectiveness study and is required by most health technology assessment agency authorized to evaluate new technologies. This pragmatic numéraire expresses value in terms of years of life with no health problems.  During this presentation, I will briefly review its empirical basis, disprove off-the-shelf approaches (e.g., EQ-5D-5L), and address the primary weakness of QALY (the constant proportionality assumption) using recent discrete choice data from the United States. Although the motivation underlying a societal (vs. patient) value set is worthy of debate, this presentation will focus on the preferences between quality and quantity of life from the perspective of adults in the general population and the innovations in experimental methods.  We will conclude with a discussion on future work, including the upcoming econometric modeling competition hosted by the International Academy of Health Preference Research (IAHPR).

Vendredi 27 mai 2016

Tabri, Rami - The University of Sydney

An Improved Bootstrap Test for Restricted Stochastic Dominance


This paper proposes a method of testing for restricted stochastic dominance between two income distributions based on the bootstrap test of Linton et al. (2010) (LSW). The proposed testing procedure reformulates the LSW bootstrap test statistics using an estimator of the contact set based on the method of constrained empirical likelihood that imposes the restrictions of the null hypothesis. The testing procedure of this paper is uniformly asymptotically valid, and less conservative than the one LSW propose. Furthermore, it is consistent and has the same asymptotic local power properties as the LSW test. We report simulation results that show the proposed test is noticeably less conservative than the test of LSW and improves its power against non-dominance directions in the alternative hypothesis.

Lundi 6 juin 2016

Mukherjee, Anirban - University of Calcutta

Formal Contract Enforcement and Entrepreneurial Success of the Marginalized


In this paper we use a novel data set collected from administrative sources in India to construct a panel of court quality index at the district court level and look at the effect of improvement in court quality on the business prospect of different disadvantaged social groups such as women and scheduled castes/tribes (SC/ST). Besides presenting the pattern of court quality over time and across districts, we merge this unique dataset with enterprise data that comes from the Ministry of Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSME) in India to study the impact of court quality on entrepreneurship. First, we examine whether good courts facilitate the process of formalization for business. We argue that formalization, which involves sunk costs, pays off only if formal contract enforcement is effective. Hence, we expect that in districts with better courts, entrepreneurs are more likely to register their businesses. Our empirical results lend support to this theoretical proposition. Secondly, we estimate the differential impact of court quality on entrepreneurs coming from different social groups. We argue that entrepreneurs hailing from disadvantaged sections of the society do not get help from traditional business networks (which also belong to the upper echelon of the society) in enforcing contracts. Hence, we expect that improving formal institutions help businesses owned by women and scheduled castes/scheduled tribes more than their general caste counterpart. We find that in districts with better courts, women and SC/STs are more likely to own business than in districts where courts are weaker.

Mardi 7 juin 2016

Chakraborty, Tanika  - IIT Kanpur

School Feeding and Cognitive Skills: Evidence from India’s Midday Meal Program


We study the effect of the world’s largest school feeding program on children’s learning outcomes. Staggered implementation across different states of a 2001 Indian Supreme Court Directive ordering the introduction of free school lunches in primary schools generates plausibly exogenous variation in program exposure across different birth cohorts. We exploit this to estimate the effect of program exposure on math and reading test scores of primary school-aged children. We find that midday meals have a dramatic positive effect on cognitive achievement: children exposed to the program throughout primary school experience an improvement in their reading scores by 0.20 standard deviations and in math scores by 0.15 standard deviations. We provide suggestive evidence on the extent to which this improvement is driven by a nutrition-learning vis-à-vis enrollment channel.