nep-mic New Economics Papers
on Microeconomics
Issue of 2010‒08‒21
fifteen papers chosen by
Vaishnavi Srivathsan
Indian Institute of Technology

  1. Market Imperfections and Firm-Sponsored Training By Picchio, M.; Ours, J.C. van
  2. Distance Selling, Internet and Price Dynamics. By Askenazy, P.; Celerier, C.; Irac, D.
  3. The Economics of Human Cloning By Gilles Saint Paul
  4. Who Starts with Open Source? Institutional Choice of Start-Ups in the German ICT Sector By Michael Fritsch; Sebastian von Engelhardt
  5. Sibuya copulas By Marius Hofert; Frederic Vrins
  6. Wages, BMI, and Age By Gregory, Christian
  7. Financing Harmful Bubbles By Hitoshi Matsushima
  8. Predictive Regressions: A Present-value Approach By Jules H. van Binsbergen; Ralph S.J. Koijen
  9. Climate Policy without Commitment By Golombek, Rolf; Greaker, Mads; Hoel, Michael
  10. The Inclusiveness of Exclusion By Barelli, Paulo; Basov, Suren; Bugarin, Mauricio & King, Ian King
  11. Toward the anthropometric history of Native Americans c. 1820-1890 By John Komlos; Leonard Carlson
  12. Does Intermarriage Pay off?: A Panel Data Analysis By Olga Nottmeyer
  13. Teams Make You Smarter: Learning and Knowledge Transfer in Auctions and Markets by Teams and Individuals By Maciejovsky, Boris; Sutter, Matthias; Budescu, David V.; Bernau, Patrick
  14. Should Auctions be Transparent? By Dirk Bergemann; Johannes Horner
  15. The Pricing of Academic Journals: A Two-Sided Market Perspective. By Jeon, Doh-Shin; Rochet, Jean-Charles

  1. By: Picchio, M.; Ours, J.C. van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Recent human capital theories predict that labor market frictions and product market competition influence firm-sponsored training. Using matched worker-firm data from Dutch manufacturing, our paper empirically assesses the validity of these predictions. We find that a decrease in labor market frictions significantly reduces firms’ training expenditures. Instead, product market competition does not have an effect on firm-sponsored training. We conclude that increasing competition through international integration and globalization does not pose a threat to investments in on-the-job training. An increase in labor market flexibility may reduce incentives of firms to invest in training, but the magnitude of this effect is small.
    Keywords: firm-sponsored training;labor market frictions;product market competition;matched worker-firm data.
    JEL: D43 J24 J42 L22 M53
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Askenazy, P.; Celerier, C.; Irac, D.
    Abstract: The share of retail sales made via distance selling has increased steadily, driven by Internet sales. Meanwhile, a large body of research has been devoted to measuring the impact of online shopping on consumer prices. These studies are based primarily on microeconomic data and they reveal contrasting effects due to diverging microeconomic behaviours. This paper aims to use a macro-sector estimation to show how the price-decreasing effects of Internet shopping outweigh the price-increasing effects. In that purpose, we use French price index series and distance selling sales covering about 30 sectors, from 1990 to 2007. We find that downward effects dominate: the recent development of distance selling, due to the development of online selling, results in lower prices.
    Keywords: E-Commerce, Price, Competition.
    JEL: D12 E31 L8
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Gilles Saint Paul
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the extent to which market forces create an incentive for cloning human beings. We show that a market for cloning arises if a large enough fraction of the clone’s income can be appropriated by its model. Only people with the highest ability are cloned, while people at the bottom of the distribution of income specialize in surrogacy. In the short run, cloning reduces inequality. In the long run, it creates a perfectly egalitarian society where all workers have a top ability if fertility is uncorrelated with ability and if the distribution of ability among sexually produced children is the same as among their parents. In such a society, cloning has disappeared. If the distribution of genes, rather than abilities, is preserved by sexual reproduction, then cloning eliminates ability-reducing genes but does not necessarily eliminate inequality; nor does it disappear in the long run. Finally, if fertility is negatively correlated with ability, in the long run a reproductive caste of bottom ability people coexist with a cloned, worker caste of top ability agents, while intermediate ability types have disappeared. [IZA Discussion Paper No. 231]
    Keywords: Human capital, income distribution, human cloning, overlapping generations, intergenerational mobility
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Michael Fritsch (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena); Sebastian von Engelhardt (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)
    Abstract: We analyze the characteristics of new businesses in the German ICT industry, distinguishing them based on their choice between two IPR regimes: open source software (OSS) or closed source software (CSS). The share of new firms with an OSS-based business model has increased considerably over the last several years. OSS-based firms tend to be smaller (in terms of staff and capital) and experience less shortages of capital. Only older cohorts of OSS-intensive start-ups had more difficulty than their CSS counterparts in convincing potential financiers of their viability, indicating that OSS business models are now well established. We find no evidence that the lower entry barriers for OSS firms are particularly attractive to start-ups with low human capital endowment or to necessity-motivated entrepreneurs.
    Keywords: New business formation, institutions, open source, intellectual property rights, software industry
    JEL: D02 L17 L26 L86
    Date: 2010–08–04
  5. By: Marius Hofert; Frederic Vrins
    Abstract: The standard intensity-based approach for modeling defaults is generalized by making the deterministic term structure of the survival probability stochastic via a common jump process. The survival copula of the vector of default times is derived and it is shown to be explicit and of the functional form as dealt with in the work of Sibuya. Besides the parameters of the jump process, the marginal survival functions of the default times appear in the copula. Sibuya copulas therefore allow for functional parameters and asymmetries. Due to the jump process in the construction, they allow for a singular component. Depending on the parameters, they may also be extreme-value copulas or Levy-frailty copulas. Further, Sibuya copulas are easy to sample in any dimension. Properties of Sibuya copulas including positive lower orthant dependence, tail dependence, and extremal dependence are investigated. An application to pricing first-to-default contracts is outlined and further generalizations of this copula class are addressed.
    Date: 2010–08
  6. By: Gregory, Christian (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Previous research generally finds that obesity negatively affects wages for women and does not affect wages for men. But this literature has for the most part focused on young workers and has not examined whether the effect of obesity might change as people age. In this essay, I examine the effect of obesity -- and body mass more generally -- on wages across the age distribution, using conventional parametric and flexible semiparametric fixed effect models. The model results suggest two contributions to previous literature. First, the parametric results indicate that, in failing to stratify by age, the literature may overstate the effect of BMI and obesity on wages for women and almost certainly understates any negative association for men. Secondly, the semiparametric models indicate that the wage function isn't really changing as either men or women age: the differences that we observe in the linear specifications are almost all due to the change in the distribution of BMI, rather than a change in the effect of BMI itself on wages.
    Keywords: Wages; BMI; Semiparametric; Appearance
    JEL: C14 I00 J30
    Date: 2010–08–10
  7. By: Hitoshi Matsushima (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: We model the stock market as a timing game, in which arbitrageurs who are not expected to be certainly rational compete over profit by bursting the bubble caused by investors’ euphoria. The manager raises money by issuing shares and the arbitrageurs use leverage. If leverage is weakly regulated, it is the unique Nash equilibrium that the bubble persists for a long time. This holds even if the euphoria is negligible and all arbitrageurs are expected to be almost certainly rational. This bubble causes serious harm to the society, because the manager uses the money raised for his personal benefit.
    Keywords: Euphoria, Leverage, Rational and Behavioral Arbitrageurs, Harmful Bubble, Unique Nash Equilibrium
    JEL: C72 C73 D82 G14
    Date: 2010–08
  8. By: Jules H. van Binsbergen; Ralph S.J. Koijen
    Abstract: We propose a latent variables approach within a present-value model to estimate the expected returns and expected dividend growth rates of the aggregate stock market. This approach aggregates information contained in the history of price-dividend ratios and dividend growth rates to predict future returns and dividend growth rates. We find that returns and dividend growth rates are predictable with R-squared values ranging from 8.2% to 8.9% for returns and 13.9% to 31.6% for dividend growth rates. Both expected returns and expected dividend growth rates have a persistent component, but expected returns are more persistent than expected dividend growth rates.
    JEL: C22 G11 G12
    Date: 2010–08
  9. By: Golombek, Rolf (The Frisch Center for Economic Research); Greaker, Mads (Statistics Norway); Hoel, Michael (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Climate mitigation policy should be imposed over a long period, and spur development of new technologies in order to make stabilization of green house gas concentrations economically feasible. The government may announce current and future policy packages that stimulate current R&D in climate-friendly technologies. However, once climate-friendly technologies have been developed, the government may have no incentive to implement the pre-announced future policies, that is, there may be a time inconsistency problem. We show that if the government can optimally subsidize R&D today, there is no time inconsistency problem. Thus, lack of commitment is not an argument for higher current R&D subsidies. If the o¤ered R&D subsidy is lower than the optimal subsidy, the current (sub-game perfect) climate tax should exceed the …rst-best climate tax.
    Keywords: Time consistency; carbon tax; climate policy; R&D; endogenous technological change
    JEL: H21 O30 Q28 Q42
    Date: 2010–08–11
  10. By: Barelli, Paulo; Basov, Suren; Bugarin, Mauricio & King, Ian King
    Date: 2010–10
  11. By: John Komlos; Leonard Carlson
    Abstract: We analyze the height of Indian scouts hired by the US army after the Civil War. Their average height of 170 cm (67 in.) confirms that American natives were very tall compared to Europeans but were among the shortest segments of the rural populations in the New World. Their height was closer to that of the urban populations who experienced a much heavier disease load than rural populations living in a low population density environment. The trend in their height describes an inverted and elongated “U” shape with some increase in the late antebellum period and a subsequent decline after the Civil War. This implies that in spite of their considerable tribulations the Native American population was able to maintain and to some extent even improve their nutritional status through the Civil War, though harder times followed for those born thereafter.
    Date: 2010–08
  12. By: Olga Nottmeyer
    Abstract: Taking advantage of the panel structure of the data, the impact of intermarriage on labor market productivity as measured by earnings is examined. Contrarily to previous studies which rely on instrumental variable techniques, selection issues are addressed within a fixed effects framework. The model accounts for short and long term effects as well as general differences between those who intermarry and those who do not. Once unobserved heterogeneity is incorporated, advantageous effects from intermarriage vanish and do not differ from premiums from marriage between immigrants. However, immigrants who eventually intermarry receive greater returns to experience indicating better labor market integration.
    Keywords: intermarriage, integration, labor market, migration
    JEL: J1 J12
    Date: 2010
  13. By: Maciejovsky, Boris (Imperial College London); Sutter, Matthias (University of Innsbruck); Budescu, David V. (Fordham University); Bernau, Patrick (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: We study the impact of team decision making on market behavior and its consequences for subsequent individual performance in the Wason selection task, the single-most studied reasoning task. We reformulated the task in terms of "assets" in a market context. Teams of traders learn the task’s solution faster than individuals and achieve this with weaker, less specific, performance feedback. Some teams even perform better than the best individuals. The experience of team decision-making in the market also creates positive knowledge spillovers for post-market individual performance in solving new Wason tasks, implying that team experiences enhance individual problem-solving skills.
    Keywords: team decisions, markets, auctions, Wason selection task, rationality
    JEL: C91 C92
    Date: 2010–08
  14. By: Dirk Bergemann (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Johannes Horner (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of market transparency in repeated first-price auctions. We consider a setting with private and independent values across bidders. The values are assumed to be perfectly persistent over time. We analyze the first-price auction under three distinct disclosure regimes regarding the bid and award history. Of particular interest is the minimal disclosure regime, in which each bidder only learns privately whether he won or lost the auction at the end of each round. In equilibrium, the winner of the initial auction lowers his bids over time, while losers keep their bids constant, in anticipation of the winner’s lower future bids. This equilibrium is efficient, and all information is eventually revealed. Importantly, this disclosure regime does not give rise to pooling equilibria. We contrast the minimal disclosure setting with the case in which all bids are public, and the case in which only the winner’s bids are public. In these settings, an inefficient pooling equilibrium with low revenues always exists with a sufficiently large number of bidders.
    Keywords: First price auction, Repeated auction, Private bids, Information revelation
    JEL: D44 D82 D83
    Date: 2010–08
  15. By: Jeon, Doh-Shin; Rochet, Jean-Charles
    JEL: D42 L42 L82
    Date: 2010–05

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