nep-cmp New Economics Papers
on Computational Economics
Issue of 2015‒12‒28
eight papers chosen by
Stan Miles
Thompson Rivers University

  1. Expanding the household coverage of global simulation models: an application to Ghana By Lindsay Shutes; Marijke Kuiper
  2. A lean optimization algorithm for water distribution network design optimization By DE CORTE, Annelies; SÖRENSEN, Kenneth
  3. Collateral Damage? Micro-simulation of transaction cost shocks on the value of central bank collateral. By Rudolf Alvise Lennkh; Florian Walch
  4. Complementary Alliances with Endogenous Fleets and Load Factors By Achim I. Czerny; Vincent A.C. van den Berg; Erik T. Verhoef
  5. Assessing EU trade preferences for developing countries' development and food security By Parisa Aghajanzadeh-Darzi; Cecilia Bellora; Jean-Christophe Bureau; Anaïs Goburdhun
  6. Air transport and high-speed rail competition: environmental implications and mitigation strategies By Tiziana D'Alfonso; Changmin Jiang; Valentina Bracaglia
  7. A Simulation Model of the Effect of Fertility Reduction on Economic Growth in Africa By Mahesh Karra; David Canning; Joshua Wilde
  8. Shocking Language: Understanding the macroeconomic effects of central bank communication By Stephen Hansen; Michael McMahon

  1. By: Lindsay Shutes; Marijke Kuiper
    Abstract: Computable general equilibrium (CGE) models, with their depiction of the whole economy, are well placed to capture the impact of economic shocks and policies on household food and nutrition security. However, many of the global models available include only a single representative household which conceals the impact on the most vulnerable households. This paper presents an alternative method for creating the data for extending the coverage of global CGE models to include different household types, based on the theory and structure of the MyGTAP model (Walmsley & Minor, 2013). The method allows the user to make country-specific choices about the way that national household data are integrated with the existing GTAP database. We make use of the household data processing work already embedded in national Social Accounting Matrices to disaggregate the single household in the GTAP database commonly used in global CGE models. We believe this method is quicker than processing the household survey data from scratch and retains the household detail available in the national Social Accounting Matrices. We illustrate the method with an application for Ghana in which multiple household types are added to the MAGNET CGE model using a household module containing the MyGTAP model code. The addition of multiple household types adds a range of food and nutrition security indicators which can be used in combination with all other MAGNET modules including those covering biofuels and nutrition, to identify impacts vary
    JEL: C61 I32 Q18
    Date: 2015–01
  2. By: DE CORTE, Annelies; SÖRENSEN, Kenneth
    Abstract: Water distribution networks consist of different components, such as reservoirs and pipes, and exist to provide users with drinking water at adequate pressure and ow. Water distribution network design optimization aims to find optimal diameters for every pipe, chosen from a limited set of commercially available diameters. This combinatorial optimization problem has received a lot of attention over the past thirty years. In this paper, the well-studied single-period problem is extended to a multi-period setting in which dynamic demand patterns occur. Moreover, an additional constraint, which sets a maximum water velocity, is imposed. A metaheuristic technique, called iterated local search, is applied to tackle this challenging optimization problem. The iterated local search algorithm is developed in a lean way. Lean is a term originating from production management and implies reducing all forms of waste. Therefore, a lean algorithm is one that is reduced to its core and only includes those components that show a significant added value. This added value is demonstrated by means of a full-factorial experiment. The algorithm, in its optimal configuration, is tested on a broad range of 240 different (freely available) test networks.
    Keywords: Water distribution network design, Iterated local search, Metaheuristic, Mixed-integer non-linear programming, Pipe sizing
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Rudolf Alvise Lennkh (European Stability Mechanism); Florian Walch (European Central Bank)
    Abstract: Transaction cost shocks in financial markets are known to affect asset prices. This paper analyses how changes in transaction costs may affect the value of assets that banks use to collateralise borrowings in monetary policy operations. Based on a simple asset pricing model and employing a dataset of hypothetical Eurosystem collateral positions, we simulate and quantify the resulting change in collateral value pledged by counterparties to the Eurosystem, resulting from a transaction cost shock. A 10 basis point increase in transaction costs entails a direct -0.30% decrease of collateral value and a -0.07% decrease when adjusted for the expected reduction in the number of trades of each asset. We conclude that banks will on average suffer small collateral losses while selected institutions could face a considerably larger collateral decrease.
    Keywords: Transaction cost, collateral, central bank, monetary policy
    JEL: C15 E59 G12
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Achim I. Czerny (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China); Vincent A.C. van den Berg (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands); Erik T. Verhoef (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of carrier collaboration on fleet capacity, fleet structures in terms of the number and the size of vehicles, and load factors. The model features complementary networks, scheduling, price elastic demands, and demand uncertainty. For the case of a given number of vehicles, the analysis shows that carrier collaboration increases vehicle sizes (thus, fleet capacity) if marginal seat costs are low while fleet capacity remains unchanged if marginal seat costs are high. If both vehicle sizes and vehicle numbers can be varied, then collaboration will always increase vehicle numbers and fleet capacity, while the effects on vehicle sizes and, thus, also load factors, are ambiguous and therewith hard to predict. Numerical simulations indicate that collaboration increases expected load factors also when the number of vehicles is endogenous.
    Keywords: Alliances; fleet capacity; load factors; scheduling; uncertainty
    JEL: L40 L50 M21 R42 R49
    Date: 2015–12–18
  5. By: Parisa Aghajanzadeh-Darzi; Cecilia Bellora; Jean-Christophe Bureau; Anaïs Goburdhun
    Abstract: The EU has a long history of specific trade arrangements with developing countries. Under a variety of schemes, the EU allows developing countries to export goods to the Community market with reduced or zero duty. The stated objective is to encourage economic growth and to promote sustainable development in developing countries through their integration into the world trade system. Recently, these schemes have experienced significant reform. This applies particularly to the case of the Generalized System of Preferences and the arrangements affecting African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. In addition, preferential (reciprocal) trade agreements are replacing non-reciprocal tariff concessions. We describe the current status of EU trade policy with developing countries, focusing on those where food security is a major issue. We assess the impact of selected preferential schemes, using an applied general equilibrium model. Our counterfactual simulations show that removing EU preferences will impact negatively on some developing country economies; both exports and gross domestic product will go down (particularly in North and Sub-Saharan African regions). Overall, our simulations suggest that EU preferential agreements provide export opportunities and contribute to higher incomes, particularly the least developed countries. However, their contribution to food security is indirect. Because of the magnitude of the prices and income changes which we measure at the aggregate level, the impact on food and nutrition security indicators seems limited. To explore in more depth the impact of EU preferences on the food security of particularly vulnerable segments of the population would require our simulations to be combined with household data.
    JEL: F13 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Tiziana D'Alfonso (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Changmin Jiang (Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, 181 Freedman Crescent, Winnipeg, Canada); Valentina Bracaglia (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy)
    Abstract: We develop a duopoly model to analyse the environmental impact of high-speed rail (HSR) introduction in a market for travel served by air transport. We take into account simultaneously the effects on the environment of induced demand, schedule frequency and HSR speed and we show that competition between the two modes may be detrimental to the environment depending on the magnitude of the pollution level of HSR relative to air transport. We conduct a simulation study based on the LondonÐParis market and we find that the introduction of HSR increases local air pollution (LAP) but decreases greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. Moreover, we perform a sensitivity analysis of our results towards the level of HSR and air transport emissions. We find that modal competition is more likely to be detrimental to the environment when such ratio is relatively high. Furthermore, when mixed public/private-owned HSR takes into account the surplus of consumers and the surplus that the other (air) transport operator brings about, we find that modal competition is more likely to be detrimental to the environment than in the case of a fully private HSR. Finally, we provide an interpretive discussion of the results with respect to the different mitigation strategies available to the two transport modes and EU policy measures for the environment Ð which might jointly affect the ratio between HSR and air transport emissions.
    Keywords: High-speed rail ; Airlines ; Competition ; Environment ; Mitigation Policies ; London-Paris market
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Mahesh Karra (Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health); David Canning (Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health); Joshua Wilde (Department of Economics, University of South Florida)
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of a decline in fertility on economic growth and development outcomes using a macrosimulation model. We incorporate three fertility effects that have previously not been included in such models: the effect of fertility on child health and later worker productivity; the effect of fertility on savings; and a feedback mechanism from female education to fertility, in which changes in female education that are induced by declining fertility in turn alter subsequent fertility. We also improve the model of the economy by incorporating a more realistic three-sector framework and by allowing for labor market imperfections. Using data from Nigeria, we find that adding these channels roughly doubles the effect of an initial fertility decline on income per capita after 50 years when compared to previous simulation results.
    Keywords: Fertility, Family Planning, Economic Growth, Macrosimulation
    JEL: I15 I18 J11 J13 O11
    Date: 2015–12
  8. By: Stephen Hansen (Departament d'Economia i Empresa (Department of Economics and Business) Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Pompeu Fabra University) Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE)); Michael McMahon (Department of Economics University of Warwick; Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM))
    Abstract: We explore how the multi-dimensional aspects of information released by the FOMC has effects on both market and real economic variables. Using tools from computational linguistics, we measure the information released by the FOMC on the state of economic conditions, as well as the guidance the FOMC provides about future monetary policy decisions. Employing these measures within a FAVAR framework, we find that shocks to forward guidance are more important than the FOMC communication of current economic conditions in terms of their effects on market and real variables. Nonetheless, neither communication has particularly strong effects on real economic variables.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, communications, Vector Autoregression
    JEL: E53 E58
    Date: 2015–12

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