nep-cmp New Economics Papers
on Computational Economics
Issue of 2014‒02‒02
eighteen papers chosen by
Stan Miles
Thompson Rivers University

  1. Kalman Filtering and Online Learning Algorithms for Portfolio Selection By Raphael Nkomo and Alain Kabundi
  2. Clean-development investments: an incentive-compatible CGE modeling framework By Springmann, Marco; Böhringer, Christoph; Rutherford, Thomas F.
  3. DART-BIO: Modelling the interplay of food, feed and fuels in a global CGE model By Alvaro Calzadilla; Ruth Delzeit; Gernot Klepper
  4. Impact of increased public education spending on growth and poverty in Uganda. An integrated micro-macro approach By Véronique Robichaud; Luca Tiberti; Hélène Maisonnave
  5. Optimally Differentiated Carbon Prices for Unilateral Climate Policy By Boeters, Stefan
  6. Effects of international climate policy for India: Evidence from a national and global CGE model By Weitzel, Matthias; Ghosh, Joydeep; Peterson, Sonja; Pradhan, Basanta
  7. The impact of information risk and market stress on institutional trading: New evidence through the lens of a simulated herd model By Boortz, Christopher K.; Jurkatis, Simon; Kremer, Stephanie; Nautz, Dieter
  8. Prospects for a Philippines-European Union Free Trade Agreement: Implications for Agriculture By Briones, Roehlano M.; Galang, Ivory Myka R.
  9. Measuring the Impact of Marginal Tax Rate Reform on the Revenue Base of South Africa Using a Microsimulation Tax Model By Yolandé van Heerden and N.J. Schoeman
  10. Supplement To "Weak Identification in Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Designs" By Feir, Donna; Lemieux, Thomas; Marmer, Vadim
  11. Green Growth and Sustainability: Analysing Trade-offs in Climate Change Policy Options. By Alessandro Palma
  12. Analysis of Cigarette Tax Structure as a Requirement for an Effective Tax Policy: Evaluation and Simulation for Argentina By Frank Chaloupka; Martin Gonzalez-Rozada; German Rodriguez Iglesias; Veronica Schoj
  13. Assessing the economic and budgetary impact of linking retirement ages and pension benefits to increases in longevity By Alexander Schwan; Etienne Sail
  14. The Effect of On-net/Off-net Differentiation and Heterogeneous Consumers on Network Size in Mobile Telecommunications An Agent-based Approach By Muck, Johannes
  15. Distributional effects of a minimum wage in a welfare state: The case of Germany By Müller, Kai-Uwe; Steiner, Viktor
  16. Release of the Kraken: A Novel Money Multiplier Equation's Debut in 21st Century Banking By Brian P. Hanley
  17. Ambiguous Survival Beliefs and Hyperbolic Discounting in a Life-Cycle Model By Groneck, Max; Ludwig, Alexander; Zimper, Alexander
  18. Intelligente (Software-)Agenten: Eine neue Herausforderung für die Gesellschaft und unser Rechtssystem? By Kirn, Stefan; Müller-Hengstenberg, Claus D.

  1. By: Raphael Nkomo and Alain Kabundi
    Abstract: This paper proposes a new online learning algorithms for portfolio selection based on alternative measure of price relative called the Cyclically Adjusted Price Relative (CAPR). The CAPR is derived from a simple state-space model of stock prices and we prove that the CAPR, unlike the standard raw price relative widely used in the machine literature, has well deÂ…ned and desirable statistical properties that makes it better suited for nonparametric mean reversion strategies. We find that the statistical evidence of out-of-sample predictability of stock returns is stronger once stock price trends are adjusted for high persistence. To demonstrate the robustness of our approach we perform extensive historical simulations using previously untested real market datasets. On all datasets considered, our proposed algorithms significantly outperform their comparative benchmark allocation techniques without any additional computational demand or modeling complexity.
    Keywords: Online Learning, Portfolio Selection, Kalman Filter, Price Relative
    JEL: C3 E32
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Springmann, Marco; Böhringer, Christoph; Rutherford, Thomas F.
    Abstract: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) established under the Kyoto Protocol allows industrialized Annex I countries to offset part of their domestic emissions by investing in emissions-reduction projects in developing non-Annex I countries. We present a novel CDM modeling framework which can be used in computable-general-equilibrium (CGE) models to quantify the sector-specific and macroeconomic impacts of CDM investments. Compared to conventional approaches that mimic CDM as sectoral emission trading, our framework adopts a micro consistent representation of the CDM incentive structure and its investment characteristics. In our empirical application based on GTAP data we show that incentive compatibility implies that CDM-implementing sectors do not suffer and overall welfare gains tend to be lower than suggested by conventional modeling approaches. --
    JEL: C68 D58 Q56
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Alvaro Calzadilla; Ruth Delzeit; Gernot Klepper
    Abstract: Land use and land use change are determined as much by economic and institutional drivers as they depend on bio-physical conditions. Future pathways of socio-economic and environmental systems can only be assessed with scenarios which describe possible future paths of development. For this numeric models are one important tool. To capture the complex interactions between the development of regionally differentiated economic drivers, computable general equilibrium (CGE) models can be used. We discuss in a transparent way the inclusion of land and the representation of the complex agricultural production activities into DART-BIO, a CGE model. Implementing a scenario of changes in the preferences for meat and dairy products which is currently taking place in Asia, we find that these preference changes have only minor impacts on global agricultural prices while affecting regional production and trade. Results strongly depend on key parameter settings and highlight the importance of interlinkages between biofuel and livestock production
    Keywords: CGE Model, land use, biofuels, simulation model
    JEL: C61 Q16 Q42
    Date: 2014–01
  4. By: Véronique Robichaud; Luca Tiberti; Hélène Maisonnave
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to assess the impact of increased public expenditures in education on school participation, skill level of the workforce, occupational choices between self‐employed and wage earners, economic performance, poverty reduction and income distribution. These additional expenditures in education are financed either through increased indirect taxes, or using the funds to be generated by the exploitation of oil resources. The best suited tool to evaluate the impact of such policies and financing mechanisms on the economy is a computable general equilibrium model (CGE) as this type of tool takes into account the interactions between all of the actors of an economy in a consistent framework. Impacts on prices, volumes and school performance will affect differently the households and thus, in order to compute how these results will affect the income distribution and poverty, a micro model is needed as well. Standard CGE models do not explicitly set out the relationship between education spending, school performance, skill level of workers and their choices on the labor market. Hence, we suggest using an integrated dynamic macro‐micro approach that models those important linkages, where a detailed schooling module is developed at both the macro and micro level to track the transition of students into the skilled and unskilled labor markets.
    Keywords: Child Poverty; Education; Dynamic General Equilibrium; Micro-Simulation; Uganda
    JEL: I32 D58 C50 O55
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Boeters, Stefan
    Abstract: Economic thought on climate policy as an instance of environmental regulation is strongly influenced by the principle of a uniform carbon price. Economists acknowledge that this principle breaks down in a second-best world with other distortions, such as taxes and market power in domestic and international markets. However, systematic analysis of this point in the economic climate policy literature is scarce. In the present paper, a computable general equilibrium (CGE) set-up is chosen in order to examine what pattern of differentiated carbon prices emerges as optimal in a second-best world. The CGE model WorldScan, which is considered to be representative of the class of models routinely used for numerical climate policy analysis, produces three main results: First, the optimal pattern of carbon prices is highly differentiated, ranging from almost prohibitive taxes to high subsidies (with a range of more than 1700 euros per ton of CO2). Second, the welfare gain from switching from a uniform price to optimally differentiated prices is enormous, equivalent to a 27% emission reduction for free. Third, the most important drivers of carbon price differentiation are market power in export markets as well as taxes on consumption, intermediate inputs and domestic output. This shows that carbon price differentiation cannot be dismissed as a policy option lightly. However, before translating these findings into concrete policy advice, the relevant features of modelling pre-existing distortions in CGE models need close revision. --
    JEL: Q54 H21 D58
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Weitzel, Matthias; Ghosh, Joydeep; Peterson, Sonja; Pradhan, Basanta
    Abstract: In order to reach the two degree target it is necessary to control CO2 emissions also in fast growing emerging economies such as India. The question is how the Indian economy would be affected by e.g. including the country into an international climate regime. Existing analyses with either a global model or a single country computable general equilibrium model miss important aspects such as distributional issues or international repercussions. By soft-linking models of these two classes, we provide a more detailed view on these issues. In particular, we analyze different options of transferring revenues from domestic carbon taxes and international transfers to different household types and how different assumptions on exchange rates affect transfer payments. We also show effects stemming from international price repercussions. Our analysis focusses on how these transmission channels affect welfare of nine different household types. --
    JEL: C68 Q54 Q56
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Boortz, Christopher K.; Jurkatis, Simon; Kremer, Stephanie; Nautz, Dieter
    Abstract: This paper sheds new light on the impact of information risk and market stress on herding of institutional traders from both, a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Using numerical simulations of a herd model, we show that buy and sell herding intensity should increase with information risk. Market stress should affect herding asymmetrically: while there is more sell herding when the market becomes more pessimistic and more uncertain, buy herding intensity should decrease. We test these predictions using intra-day herding measures based on high-frequent, investor-specific trading data of all institutional investors in the German stock market. The evidence provides strong support for an increasing effect of information risk on herding intensity on an intra-day basis. However, in contrast to the simulation results empirical herding measures indicate that buy herding has even slightly increased, not decreased, during the recent crisis period. --
    JEL: G11 G24 C23
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Briones, Roehlano M.; Galang, Ivory Myka R.
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of a potential Philippines-European Union (EU) free trade agreement (FTA) on the agricultural sector. Static analysis indicates that potential gains to the agricultural sector of the Philippines are limited, primarily owing to the low size of initial agricultural trade with EU (compared to other trading partners), as well as moderate to low tariff and other trade barriers to EU products entering the country. CGE analysis confirms that the overall impact of bilateral tariff elimination leads to an overall increase in agricultural output, accompanied by a decline in price; hence, there is an increase in consumption of agricultural products. Impact on poverty is likewise positive, with improvements biased to the poorer households. By subsector, the largest output gains are projected for seaweeds and sugarcane, with 0.80 percent and 0.50 percent, respectively; increased access on EU markets are favorable for Filipino exporters of seaweeds, other fiber crops, tobacco leaf, forestry, ornamental plants, raw coffee, abaca, and cocoa. Meanwhile, the subsectors that are on the losing side (as shown by declining output) are cattle, raw rubber, chicken, and hogs. Fears about the negative repercussions of a Philippines-EU FTA on the poor turn out to be unfounded. Poverty incidence declines, and more so in rural than in urban areas. The greater decrease in poverty gap and squared poverty gap, compared with poverty incidence, implies that those who belong to households below the poverty threshold get the most benefits. It would seem that expectations of large benefits from a Philippines-EU FTA will not be found in agriculture, but elsewhere. Conversely, the agricultural sector does not face significant harm from a Philippines-EU FTA, even one involving sensitive products. Relaxation of trade barriers to EU even for sensitive products is warranted; not only would consumers gain (though minimally), but such a negotiation stance may serve as a powerful bargaining chip for gaining concessions on other areas.
    Keywords: computable general equilibrium (CGE), Philippines, agriculture, free trade area, impact assessment
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Yolandé van Heerden and N.J. Schoeman
    Abstract: This paper is primarily concerned with the revenue and tax efficiency effects of adjustments to marginal tax rates on individual income as an instrument of possible tax reform. The hypothesis is that changes to marginal rates affect not only the revenue base but also tax efficiency and the optimum level of taxes that supports economic growth. Using an optimal revenue maximising rate (based on Laffer analysis) the elasticity of taxable income is derived with respect to marginal tax rates for each taxable income category. These elasticities are then used to quantify the impact of changes in marginal rates on the revenue base and tax efficiency using a microsimulation (MS) tax model. In this first paper on the research results much attention is paid to the structure of the model and the way in which the data base has been compiled. The model allows for the dissemination of individual taxpayers by income groups, gender, educational level, age group, etc. Simulations include a scenario with higher marginal rates which is also more progressive (as in the 1998/1999 fiscal year) in which case tax revenue increases but the increase is overshadowed by a more than proportional decrease in tax efficiency as measured by its deadweight loss. On the other hand, a lowering of marginal rates (to bring South Africa’s marginal rates more in line with those of its peers) improves tax efficiency but also results in a substantial revenue loss. The estimated optimal individual tax to GDP ratio to maximise economic growth (6.7 per cent) shows a strong response to changes in marginal rates and the results from this research indicate that a lowering of marginal rates would also move the actual ratio closer to its optimum level. Thus, the trade-off between revenue collected and tax efficiency should be carefully monitored when personal income tax reform is being considered.
    Keywords: microsimulation, tax efficiency, optimal tax, tax reform, personal income tax
    JEL: H21 H24 H31
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Feir, Donna; Lemieux, Thomas; Marmer, Vadim
    Abstract: Abstract This paper reports the results of a Monte Carlo simulation study, which accompanies Marmer, Feir, and Lemieux, "Weak Identification in Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Designs".
    Keywords: Nonparametric inference; treatment effect; size distortions; Anderson-Rubin test; robust confidence set; Monte Carlo simulations
    Date: 2014–01–23
  11. By: Alessandro Palma (Department of Economics, Roma Tre University)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the trade-offs between growth and low carbon targets for both developing and developed countries for the period to 2035. The issues examined include two policy options for being on track to meet the 450 ppm target: (a) national/regional targets without international trade in carbon permits and (b) a global market in permits. Policy options are evaluated with an original dynamic CGE model which relies on the static GTAP-E structure. The model focuses on bilateral trade flows and links between economies and sectors that capture the realistic economy-wide nature of a globalized world. The results show higher costs of meeting the target than the average of previous models, although there are some previous studies that have costs in the same range. We then go on to investigate options for reducing these costs that are broadly consistent with a green growth strategy of supporting low carbon development. A green carbon fund financed through a levy on carbon taxation can benefit all parties. Potential larger benefits are associated with the investment of the green fund to foster energy efficiency.
    Keywords: Dynamic CGE Model, Climate Change Policies, Green Carbon Fund, Energy Efficiency
    JEL: C68 H23 O44 Q54
    Date: 2013–12
  12. By: Frank Chaloupka; Martin Gonzalez-Rozada; German Rodriguez Iglesias; Veronica Schoj
    Abstract: This study describes the cigarette demand and the tobacco tax structure in Argentina in order to identify which type of consumption tax can be increased by the government to reduce tobacco use in the short run. Based on the elasticity estimates and the cigarette tax structure, we analyze the possibility of implementing a tax increase government policy to reduce cigarette consumption. An analysis of each tobacco consumption tax is provided, with the twofold purpose of describe the variety of taxes affecting the consumption of cigarettes and to determine the impact of tobacco tax hikes. The cigarette tax structure in Argentina is very complex. Three excise duties plus VAT levied cigarettes consumption. Tobacco taxes have a dissimilar, vague origin, their bases differ significantly and are not applied similarly for cigarette and the other tobacco products. Additional Emergency Tax (a permanent emergency tax) and Special Tobacco Fund (that works as a subsidy to the tobacco production) are applied only to cigarettes; meanwhile internal tax rate is 60% for cigarettes but 16% or 20% to other tobacco products. Ad valorem taxes account for most of the tobacco tax structure in Argentina. The exception is a little component of the FET tax, which is a specific tax. The long-run cigarette consumption elasticity with respect to retail prices is -0.299, while the long-run income elasticity is 0.411. With these figures, a 10% increase in real prices will reduce long-run total cigarette consumption by 2.99%, and a 10% increase in real income will raise long-run consumption by 4.11%. Simulation exercises shows that increasing the price of cigarettes will increase government revenues, as well as a large decrease in cigarette consumption.
    Keywords: tobacco control policies, cigarette demand, tobacco tax structure, public health policies
    JEL: H2 I1 I18
    Date: 2014–01
  13. By: Alexander Schwan; Etienne Sail
    Abstract: This paper focuses on potential public pension expenditure, pension adequacy and fiscal sustainability effects when linking retirement ages and pension benefits with future increases in longevity. Simulation results show that the expected increases in public pension expenditures as a share of GDP could almost be halved, when fully linking retirement ages to life expectancy gains in the future. The expected decrease in the benefit ratio due to recent pension reforms could be diminished. Even higher reductions in future pension spending would materialize with a rule that links pension benefits to longevity gains without adapting statutory retirement ages. However, if people do not extend their working lives in order to maintain the level of pension benefits, serious adequacy problems may arise. To fully stabilize public pension expenditures, further reform measures on top of a retirement age or pension benefit link to gains in life expectancy need to be considered in most Member States.
    JEL: H55 J14 J26
    Date: 2013–12
  14. By: Muck, Johannes
    Abstract: I explore the effects of on-net / off-net differentiation on network sizes in mobile telecommunications when both rational and non-rational consumers coexist in the market. In particular, three different types of consumers are modeled: (1) fully informed rational (FIR) consumers who are perfectly informed about the true market shares of all networks and choose the network with the lowest expected cost of a call; (2) partly informed rational (PIR) consumers who only observe market shares within a circular sensing field and choose the network with the lowest expected cost of a call based on these observed market shares; and (3) non-rational (NR) consumers who choose the network with the highest market share among their immediate neighbors. Using an agent-based simulation approach and by systematical variation of four key parameters of the model, three key results emerge. First, if the share of FIR consumers is too high, all consumers will eventually join the initially larger network A. Second, if their share in the population is sufficiently large, NR consumers can prevent the growth of clusters of consumers subscribed to network B. Third, if the share of PIR consumers is high, clusters of consumers subscribed to network B can grow, thereby increasing network B s market share, provided that the radius of their circular sensing field is small enough for the cluster size. --
    JEL: C63 K23 L96
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Müller, Kai-Uwe; Steiner, Viktor
    Abstract: A popular argument for a federal minimum wage is that it will prevent in-work poverty and reduce income inequality. We examine this assertion for Germany, a welfare state with a relative generous means-tested social minimum and high marginal tax rates. Our analysis is based on a microsimulation model that accounts for the interactions between wages, the tax-benefit system and net incomes at the household level as well as employment and price effects on the distribution of incomes induced by the introduction of a minimum wage. We show that the impact of even a relatively high federal minimum wage on disposable incomes is small because low wage earners are scattered over the whole income distribution and wage increases would to a large extent be offset by reductions in means-tested welfare transfers and high marginal tax rates. Taking into account negative employment effects and increases in consumer prices induced by the minimum wage would wipe out any positive direct effects on net incomes of households affected by the minimum wage. --
    Keywords: minimum wage,employment effects,income distribution,inequality,microsimulation
    JEL: I32 H31 J31
    Date: 2013
  16. By: Brian P. Hanley
    Abstract: Historically, the banking multiplier has been in a range of 4 to 100, with 25% to 1% reserve ratios at most layers of the banking system encompassing the majority of its range in recent centuries. Here it is shown that multipliers over 1 000 can occur from a new mechanism in banking. This new multiplier uses a default insurance note to insure an outstanding loan in order to return the value of the insured amount into capital. The economic impact of this invention is calculably greater than the original invention of reserve banking. The consequence of this lending invention is to render the existing money multiplier equations of reserve banking obsolete where it occurs. The equations describing this new multiplier do not converge. Each set of parameters for reserve percentage, nesting depth, etc. creates a unique logarithmic curve rather than approaching a limit. Thus it is necessary to show the behavior of this new equation by numerical methods. Understanding this new multiplier and associated issues is necessary for economic analyses of the Global Financial Crisis.
    Date: 2014–01
  17. By: Groneck, Max; Ludwig, Alexander; Zimper, Alexander
    Abstract: On average, young people underestimate whereas old people overestimate their chances to survive into the future. We employ a subjective survival belief model proposed by Ludwig and Zimper (2013), which can replicate these patterns. The model is compared with hyperbolic discounting within a standard life-cycle setting of consumption and savings. We show theoretically that the first order conditions of our ambiguous survival belief model closely resemble the generalized Euler-equation from the hyperbolic discounting model with an additional adjustment factor. In the numerical section it is shown that the subjective survival belief model simultaneously leads to undersaving at younger ages and high asset holdings and little dissaving of the elderly. The model can thus replicate two important empirical facts of the life-cycle literature at once which is not possible with a hyperbolic discounting model. --
    JEL: D91 E21 D83
    Date: 2013
  18. By: Kirn, Stefan; Müller-Hengstenberg, Claus D.
    Abstract: Digitale Technologien nehmen dem Menschen zunehmend Arbeit ab und treffen heute schon in vielen Bereichen Entscheidungen ohne menschliche Mitwirkung. In den Medien wird über selbst handelnde Roboter und selbstfahrende Auto berichtet. Softwareagenten erarbeiten heute schon ohne menschliche Mitwirkung Marktanalysen, optimieren Portfolios von Handelswaren, Kreditrisiken, die günstigsten Transaktionen im Währungshandel usw. Bei diesen Systemen handelte es sich bisher um Softwaresysteme, die eindeutig definierte Verhaltenseigenschaften besitzen. In jüngerer Zeit entstehen jedoch immer häufiger Systeme, die ihre Funktionalität dynamisch, also erst durch Interaktion, bspw. im Internet, zwischen ihren Teilsystemen entfalten. Dabei steht aufgrund der generellen Offenheit des Internet im Allgemeinen nicht vorneherein fest, wann diese Interaktionen stattfinden, welche anderen Systeme die Interaktionspartner sind, und v.a., welche technischen Eigenschaften diese Systeme aufweisen, wer sie entwickelt hat, wem sie gehören und wer sie in den Verkehr gebracht hat. Bei Einsatz derartiger Systeme, der Informatikterminologie folgend im Weiteren als Softwareagenten (kurz: Agenten) bezeichnet, können Interaktionsketten entstehen, die sich dem Nutzer, aber auch dem Betroffenen, in ihrer Gesamtheit wie ein vollständiges Softwaresystem darstellen. Im Gegensatz zu konventioneller Software besitzen diese jedoch eine nicht eindeutig vorherzusehende Individualität in ihrer konkreten Zusammensetzung und ihrem Verhalten. Zusätzlich weisen sie eine grundsätzliche Instabilität in ihrer Zusammensetzung und damit in ihrer Funktionalität auf. So wird ihr Verhalten nur bedingt von den expliziten Entwurfsentscheidungen der Entwickler der einzelnen Agenten bestimmt: im Zusammenwirken mehrerer Agenten tritt das Phänomen der Emergenz hinzu. Tritt der Mensch damit zunehmend seine Verantwortung für notwendige Entscheidungen in seinem gesellschaftlichen Umfeld an Agenten ab? Ersetzt der Agent den Menschen in den gesellschaftlichen Entscheidungsprozessen? Welche Bedeutung hat der Mensch zukünftig in einer solchen digitalen Welt? Wer trägt das Risiko, wenn, wie am 6. Mai 2010, ein Flash-Crash ein gewaltiger Kursverlust des Dow Jones an der Börse an New York dadurch verursachte wurde, dass sich die Algorithmen der Wall Street, die die Händlersysteme beherrschen, sich für einige Zeit unkontrolliert und unverständlich verhielten und einen Milliardenverlust bewirkten? Stimmt die Behauptung des Autors Schirrmacher, dass heute niemand mehr beantworten kann, was die Algorithmen in den Finanzmärkten wirklich tun? Werden die Handlungen und Entscheidungen von Menschen zunehmend von dem 'Wissen' und Entscheidungen von IT-Systemen abhängig, oder gar durch diese ersetzt? Die technischen Hintergründe und rechtlichen Implikationen sollen in diesem Beitrag aufgezeigt werden. [...] --
    Date: 2014

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