nep-cmp New Economics Papers
on Computational Economics
Issue of 2008‒02‒16
eight papers chosen by
Stan Miles
Thompson Rivers University

  1. Are Genetic Algorithms a good basis for economic learning models? By Sylvie Geisendorf
  2. Reti Neurali Artificiali: Teoria ed Applicazioni Finanziarie By Crescenzio Gallo
  3. Impact of a Lower Oil Subsidy on Indonesian Macroeconomic Performance, Agricultural Sector and Poverty Incidences: a Recursive Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Analysis By Rina Oktaviani; Dedi Budiman Hakim; Hermanto Siregar; Sahara Sahara
  4. Dynamic Gains and Market Access Insurance: Another look at the AUSFTA By Richard G. Harris; Peter E. Robertson
  5. The Dynamic Effects of Skilled Labour Targeting in Immigration Programs By Richard G. Harris; Peter E. Robertson
  6. Analyzing Economy Wide Effects of Trade Liberalisation on Vietnam using a Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Model By Richard G. Harris; Peter E. Robertson; Melissa Wong
  7. Tax Loss Offset Restrictions - Last Resort for the Treasury? : An Empirical Evaluation of Tax Loss Offset Restrictions Based on Micro Data By Nadja Dwenger
  8. An Analysis of Effective Marginal Tax Rates in Quebec By Jean-Yves Duclos; Bernard Fortin; Andrée-Anne Fournier

  1. By: Sylvie Geisendorf (Department of Economics, University of Kassel)
    Abstract: Genetic Algorithms (GA) have been used for some years now to depict learning in economic models. Some authors criticize their use on the basis that they are a biologically motivated procedure having nothing to do with human learning. One argument of this paper is that the criticism of GA is focused at the wrong point – and was probably incurred by the much too simple applications we have seen so far. It is not primarily the origin of a model we should be concerned of, but its general characteristics and the specification in its current use. After a brief introduction into the procedure the paper tries to show why GA offer some important features for the modelling of bounded rationality. Learning models based on them are among the few that create novelty and describe the mechanisms of selection, recombination and variation by which novelty is generated. The paper discusses the criticism of GA and argues that the biological origin of the model should not be a substantial problem. The biological features of the model are only a shell in which the general mechanisms of evolutionary processes are imbedded. An up to now underestimated problem however lies in the adequate specification of the fitness function of GA. Proponents as well as critics of GA seemed to have overlooked the necessary distinction between internal fitness criteria of the agents and external criteria of the economy. Both are relevant for economic selection processes and have their proper place in the model. If this is respected GA based learning models can be a useful tool to investigate economic evolution.
    Keywords: Evolutionary Economics, Genetic Algorithms, Learning, Bounded Rationality, Modelling, Methodological work
    Date: 2007–12
  2. By: Crescenzio Gallo
    Abstract: Le Reti Neurali Artificiali sono diventate uno strumento estremamente effcace nell'analisi di situazioni non ''predicibili'' analiticamente, e si prestano in maniera estremamente efficace alla modellizzazione di problemi di varia natura. In questo lavoro viene fatta una rassegna sulle origini e lo stato dell'arte delle Reti Neurali Artificiali, con una esposizione sintetica delle possibili applicazioni oggi piu' promettenti in ambito finanziario.
    Keywords: reti neurali artificiali; modellizzazione.
    JEL: C45
    Date: 2007–12
  3. By: Rina Oktaviani; Dedi Budiman Hakim; Hermanto Siregar; Sahara Sahara
    Abstract: Budget deficit, exchange rate fluctuation and high fuel world price provides a pressure on budget capacity to stimulate the Indonesian economy. The government has designed several fiscal policies, including reducing the fuel subsidy. The study objective is to analyse the impact of reducing fuel subsidy on macroeconomic variables, agricultural sector, and income distribution. The modification on the basic model, which is a recursive-dynamic CGE model, is made in this study. The data used in the model is of the Indonesian I-O Table 2000, The Indonesian Social Accounting Matrix 2000, National Household Survey data and parameter from some other sources. The results show that the reduction in fuel price subsidy tends to increase prices of industrial outputs that highly depend on fuel, such as transportation and fishery sectors. In contrast, the change in fuel price does not influence the price of paddy. Wage of skilled labor, land rent, and capital rent decline steadily in response to the change in fuel price. Households will lose their income following the reduction in fuel subsidy, which then decreases the welfare of households. Incomes are not evenly distributed within the society (household groups). An increased fuel price at consumer level declines the Indonesian real GDP. The government should give the compensation of reducing the fuel subsidy directly to the poor people. The compensation can also be given directly to the poor people through the development of infrastructure, which may solve some supply side bottlenecks in the economy.
    Keywords: Fuel subsidy, income distribution, recursive dynamic CGE
    JEL: C68 D63 I32 I38 O13
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Richard G. Harris (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University); Peter E. Robertson (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: We use a dynamic computable general equilibrium model to revisit the dynamic benefits of the Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement and, in particular, to evaluate the insurance value of this agreement in the face of regional and global trade wars. The insurance benefits are quantified by comparing the status quo against alternative scenarios where some or all regions raise tariffs by 10 percent, both permanently and temporarily. These insurance gains are found to be as much as four times larger than the traditional status quo efficiency gains.
    Keywords: Trade policy; Computable General Equilibrium; Human Capital; Dynamics
    JEL: F15
    Date: 2007–07
  5. By: Richard G. Harris (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University); Peter E. Robertson (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: We consider the impact of the recent trend in immigration policies towards selecting migrants on the basis of skills. The analysis uses an inter-temporal general equilibrium model with endogenous skill formation. The model is calibrated to a steady state benchmark that represents Australia in 2000-2001. We then consider the impact of the increase in skilled migrants of approximately 20 thousand per year, which corresponds to the increase in flows of migrant Professionals in Australia since 2000. We find that this generates substantial crowding out of the higher Education sector in Australia. Moreover we show that, when this shock is anticipated as a permanent policy change, there is very little net increase in the stock of skilled labour due to falling student enrollments of 12%. Paradoxically, in this case, the decline in students increases the number of unskilled workers in the economy such that the ratio skilled to unskilled workers in the economy actually falls and the skill premium increases.
    Keywords: Immigration; Human Capital; Computable General Equilibrium Models
    Date: 2007–07
  6. By: Richard G. Harris (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University); Peter E. Robertson (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales); Melissa Wong (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: Since its reform process in the late 1980s, Vietnam has emerged as a rapidly growing economy with growth rates surpassing its more developed ASEAN neighbours. This paper aims to consider the economy wide impacts of trade liberalisation on Vietnam. We approach this by way of multi-region, multi-good, dynamic growth computable general equilibrium (DCGE) model. We find that trade liberalisation has caused a large fall in wage inequality thus increasing the welfare of unskilled workers in Vietnam. There is also evidence of a shift away from agriculture towards low-tech and intermediate manufacturing sectors. Additionally, there are significant gains in terms of large physical and human capital accumulation.
    Date: 2007–08
  7. By: Nadja Dwenger
    Abstract: In Germany, the tax loss carry-forward of corporations significantly increased over the last decade. At the same time only a small percentage of losses have been effectively offset in the following periods. One potential reason for this puzzle is that stricter loss offset restrictions have been introduced in recent years. I use a newly developed micro simulation model for the corporate sector in Germany to evaluate the fiscal effects of these restrictions. Additionally, distributional breakdowns concerning the amounts of tax loss carry-forward and the effects of loss offset restrictions are provided. I find that the restrictions on the use of tax loss carryback are rather ineffective while the newly introduced minimum taxation considerably increases yearly tax revenue by 1.1 billion €.
    Keywords: Micro simulation, loss offset restrictions, corporate taxation, tax loss carryforward, tax loss carry-back, tax reform
    JEL: H25 C8
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Jean-Yves Duclos; Bernard Fortin; Andrée-Anne Fournier
    Abstract: This article draws up a portrait of effective marginal tax rates (EMTRs) on labour income in Quebec. It aims at allowing a better understanding of the impact of tax policy on the behavior of economic agents. Using an accounting microsimulation model that reproduces the system of taxes and transfers in 2002 Quebec, we measure the EMTRs that result from the interaction of the mechanisms of income taxation and redistribution. Moreover, we evaluate the distribution of EMTRs in the population. The analysis of EMTRs shows, inter alia, that family policy, whose assistance is targeted towards low-income families, generates high levels of EMTRs ascribable to the generally fast reduction of transfers as income increases. More than a quarter of heads of single-parent households face an EMTR which can reach, and even exceed, 80%. As for the two-parent families, they mostly face EMTRs of around 50%. We show the importance of accounting for EMTR heterogeneity, both with respect to types of families and levels of incomes, as well as evaluating the variability of EMTRs in the population.
    Keywords: Effective tax rates, taxation, microsimulation, family policy
    JEL: D31 D63 H21 H24 I38
    Date: 2007

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