nep-mic New Economics Papers
on Microeconomics
Issue of 2011‒01‒16
eighteen papers chosen by
Vaishnavi Srivathsan
Indian Institute of Technology

  1. Tax Competition and Migration: The Race-to-the-Bottom Hypothesis Revisited By Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
  2. Venture Capital and Other Private Equity: A Survey By Andrew Metrick; Ayako Yasuda
  3. Knowledge Communication in Product Development Projects By Lisbeth Brøde; Perttu Dietrich
  4. SIE-SECURITY By Mircea Iosif NEAMÞU; Iulian ALEXE
  6. Energy innovation in Latin America: R&D effort, deployment, and capability accumulation By Francisco Aguayo; Kelly Sims Gallagher; Kevin P. Gallagher
  7. Segregation by choice? The debate so far By Rich Harris
  8. The development of a one-pot 1,4-addition/nitro-Mannich reaction. By Mills, M.R.
  9. Do Firms Benefit from Being Present in Multiple Technology Clusters? An Assessment of the Technological Performance of Biopharmaceutical Firms By Catherine Lecocq; Bart Leten; Jeroen Kusters; Bart Van Looy
  10. Robustness, information-processing constraints, and the current account in small open economies By Yulei Luo; Jun Nie; Eric R. Young
  11. How large are housing and financial wealth effects? A new approach By Christopher D. Carroll; Misuzu Otsuka; Jiri Slacalek
  12. A Multi-Sector Version of the Post-Keynesian Growth Model By Ricardo Azevedo Araujo; Joanílio Rodolpho Teixeira
  14. Race and Home Ownership from the Civil War to the Present By William J. Collins; Robert A. Margo
  15. Transitory shocks and long-term human capital accumulation: the impact of conflict on physical health in Peru By Sanchez, Alan
  16. Investment and financing constraints in China: does working capital management make a difference? By Sai Ding; Alessandra Guariglia; John Knight
  17. Social connectedness and retirement By Sarah Smith
  18. Microstructure order flow: statistical and economic evaluation of nonlinear forecasts By Mario Cerrato; Hyunsok Kim; Ronald MacDonald

  1. By: Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
    Abstract: The literature on tax competition with free capital mobility cites several reasons for the race-to-the-bottom hypothesis in the sense that tax competition may yield significantly lower tax rates than tax coordination. With a fixed (exogenously given) population that can move from one fiscal jurisdiction to another, the Tiebout paradigm suggests that tax competition among these jurisdictions yields an efficient outcome, so that there are no gains from tax coordination. The Tiebout paradigm considers the allocation of a given population among competing localities. Our model of international tax-transfer and migration competition among host countries deviates from the Tiebout paradigm in that the total population in the host countries and its skill distribution are endogenously determined through migration of various skills. As a result, competition needs not be efficient. This paper suggests that when a group of host countries faces an upward supply of immigrants, tax competition does not indeed lead to a race to the bottom; competition may lead to higher taxes than coordination.
    JEL: F2 H2
    Date: 2011–01
  2. By: Andrew Metrick; Ayako Yasuda
    Abstract: We review the theory and evidence on venture capital (VC) and other private equity: why professional private equity exists, what private equity managers do with their portfolio companies, what returns they earn, who earns more and why, what determines the design of contracts signed between (i) private equity managers and their portfolio companies and (ii) private equity managers and their investors (limited partners), and how/whether these contractual designs affect outcomes. Findings highlight the importance of private ownership, and information asymmetry and illiquidity associated with it, as a key explanatory factor of what makes private equity different from other asset classes.
    JEL: G24
    Date: 2010–12
  3. By: Lisbeth Brøde; Perttu Dietrich (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: During the last decades, a number of studies have been concerned with com-munication related to new product development. These have looked at either intra-organizational communication between departments or communication between new product development teams and external stakeholders such as customers or suppliers. Only little research, however, has combined internal and external stakeholder communication and explored the role of technology uncertainty on communication. The purpose of this study is to examine how technology uncertainty affects project manager communication behavior during new product development. We carried out an embedded case study of a major NPD project in the automation industry. The findings indicate that technology uncertainty is positively related to communication frequency between project manager and project stakeholders during the early phase of NPD project. In addition we found a negative association between technology uncertainty and the breadth and depth of communication between project manager and stakeholders in early phase of the NPD project. These findings indicate that under high technology uncertainty, managers of NPD projects modify their communication behavior not only with respect to how frequently they communicate with stakeholders, but also to which stakeholders they communicate and how deeply they engage different stakeholders in different phases of the new product development project.
    Date: 2010–12
  4. By: Mircea Iosif NEAMÞU (‘Lucian Blaga’ University, Scientific faculty, Sibiu); Iulian ALEXE (‘Lucian Blaga’ University, Scientific faculty, Sibiu)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present the application named SIE-Security providing web programmers with a tool that searches vulnerable links within their web site (i.e. a product page), attempting to perform an SQL Injection and finally, trying to find the admin login page and crack the MD5 hashed password (inappropriately called “crack” because we are actually using Rainbow tables). The application is structured on three tabs, each corresponding to the actions performed by the application and, if you take into consideration that this is a project in development, it could be considered an All-In-One database security testing utility.
    Keywords: commerce, application, vulnerable, attack, decryption, security, testing
    JEL: F52
    Date: 2010–08
  5. By: Valentin LARION (Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest)
    Abstract: An important number of factors are creating different types of barriers among the members of a virtual enterprise affecting the collaboration between them. In our attempt to study the evolution of importance of these factors we have chose a set of three studies published in the last decade and a half, which we consider as relevant. This study aims to identify new research directions for mitigating the effects of collaboration barriers by highlighting the most important factors and how they affect the effectiveness or efficiency of collaboration.
    Keywords: virtual enterprise, collaboration, effectiveness, efficiency.
    JEL: P42
    Date: 2010–08
  6. By: Francisco Aguayo (El Colegio de México); Kelly Sims Gallagher (Harvard University); Kevin P. Gallagher (Boston University)
    Abstract: Ibero-America, just as the rest of the world, faces an increasing urgency to transform existing energy systems. In the past, incentives to develop energy systems were induced mainly by changes in demand (derived from industrialization and urbanization) and by price shocks in fuels. Diversification of energy sources followed a growing need of use of particular energy forms. For developing countries, innovating in energy systems meant fundamentally gaining control over natural resources and moving away from primary, export-oriented enclaves into industrial integration, as well as improving energy security. Today, however, environmental constraints and the pressing need to reduce energy poverty forge additional challenges and set new directions to change the ways in which we use and produce energy. Improving current technologies along the same trajectory is simply not enough. Fundamental changes must take place in our economic systems in order to combine energy efficiency with low-carbon, sustainable energy sources, for which new abilities and solutions need to be targeted.
    Keywords: energy innovation; Latin America
    JEL: Q53 Q42 Q56 N76
    Date: 2010–12
  7. By: Rich Harris
    Abstract: This paper offers an extensive review and bibliography of the literature on school choice, and its effects on social and ethnic segregation between English schools. It finds that the evidence concerning whether “school choice” legislation has acted to increase or decrease the socio-ethnic mix within schools is open to multiple interpretations, affected by how segregation is conceptualised and measured. Difficulties in reaching definite conclusions are compounded by the changing economic and demographic landscapes that confound attempts to show whether policies of school choice cause or reduce segregation. By the author’s judgement the policies have reinforced geographies of social segregation and of ethnic polarization in some places. However, this is not a failure of the principle of choice necessarily. Rather, it is a function of the constraints placed on that choice and an implicit if less spoken recognition of the value of local schooling.
    Keywords: Schools, choice, social segregation, ethnic segregation, segregation indices, education policy
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2010–11
  8. By: Mills, M.R.
    Abstract: The introduction of this thesis reviews the three areas of importance to the research carried out. These are the nitro-Mannich reaction, the conjugate addition of nucleophiles to nitro-alkenes and the diastereoselectivity of electrophilic additions to substrates bearing an α-stereocentre. The Results and Discussion details the research carried out into the development of a one-pot 1,4-addition/nitro-Mannich reaction. Initially the research focused on triggering the reaction using a cyanide nucleophile. Three cyanide sources were investigated, trimethylsilylcyanide, potassium ferrous cyanide and acetone cyanohydrin. Although the desired one-pot reaction was not achieved using any of these reagents, a new method for the addition of cyanide to nitro-alkenes was successfully developed, and the use of these unusual but highly versatile synthetic building blocks was briefly demonstrated. More success was achieved with alkyl nucleophiles from dialkylzinc reagents. A one-pot 1,4-addition/nitro-Mannich sequence was discovered and optimised using diethylzinc. During the optimisation it was realised that the diastereoselectivity of the reaction was tuneable by the choice of solvent, using THF as the solvent provides the syn/anti-diastereoisomer as the major product, whist reactions in Et2O provide the syn/syn-diastereoisomer as the major product. The reaction scope was explored, and the reaction was rendered asymmetric via the employment of chiral additives. The reaction scope was determined to be very general, providing high levels of relative and absolute control across three contiguous stereocentres for a wide range of nitro alkenes and imines, and was also applicable to dimethylzinc and diphenylzinc. Finally a model was proposed for the resulting, solvent dependent stereochemistry. Conclusions regarding the research carried out are presented, along with suggested future studies to be undertaken. These include reactions to further probe the mechanism and stereochemical model, as well as to increase the utility of the reaction further. The experimental section provides procedures and data for all novel compounds, X-ray crystallographic data and a comprehensive list of references.
    Date: 2010–09
  9. By: Catherine Lecocq; Bart Leten; Jeroen Kusters; Bart Van Looy
    Abstract: Firms active in knowledge-intensive fields are increasingly organizing their R&D activities on an international scale. This paper investigates whether firms active in biotechnology can improve their technological performance by developing R&D activities in multiple technology clusters. Regions in the US, Japan and Europe, that host a concentration of biotechnology activity are identified as clusters. Fixed-effect panel data analyses with 59 biopharmaceutical firms (period 1995-2002) provides evidence for a positive, albeit diminishing (inverted-U shape) relationship between the number of technology clusters in which a firm is present and its overall technological performance. This effect is distinct from a mere multi-location effect.
    Keywords: region, clusters, biotechnology, technology clusters
    JEL: O30 R12 R30
    Date: 2010–12
  10. By: Yulei Luo; Jun Nie; Eric R. Young
    Abstract: We examine the effects of two types of informational frictions, robustness (RB) and nite information-processing capacity (called rational inattention or RI) on the current account, in an otherwise standard intertemporal current account (ICA) model. We show that the interaction of RB and RI has the potential to improve the model’s predictions on the joint dynamics of the current account and income: (i) the contemporaneous correlation between the current account and income, (ii) the volatility and persistence of the current account in small open emerging and developed economies. In addition, we show that the two informational frictions could also better explain consumption dynamics in small open economies: the impulse responses of consumption to income shocks and the relative volatility of consumption growth to income growth. Calibrated versions using detection probabilities t the data better along these dimensions than the standard model does.
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Christopher D. Carroll (Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.); Misuzu Otsuka (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France.); Jiri Slacalek (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: This paper presents a simple new method for measuring `wealth effects' on aggregate consumption. The method exploits the stickiness of consumption growth (sometimes interpreted as reflecting consumption `habits') to distinguish between immediate and eventual wealth effects. In U.S. data, we estimate that the immediate (next-quarter) marginal propensity to consume from a $1 change in housing wealth is about 2 cents, with a final eventual effect around 9 cents, substantially larger than the effect of shocks to financial wealth. We argue that our method is preferable to cointegration-based approaches, because neither theory nor evidence supports faith in the existence of a stable cointegrating vector. JEL Classification: E21, E32, C22.
    Keywords: Housing Wealth, Wealth Eect, Consumption Dynamics, Asset Prices.
    Date: 2010–12
  12. By: Ricardo Azevedo Araujo (Departamento de Economia (Department of Economics) Faculdade de Economia, Administração, Contabilidade e Ciência da Informação e Documentação (FACE) (Faculty of Economics, Administration, Accounting and Information Science) Universidade de Brasília); Joanílio Rodolpho Teixeira (Departamento de Economia (Department of Economics) Faculdade de Economia, Administração, Contabilidade e Ciência da Informação e Documentação (FACE) (Faculty of Economics, Administration, Accounting and Information Science) Universidade de Brasília)
    Abstract: With this inquiry we seek to develop a disaggregated version of the post-Keynesian approach to economic growth, by showing that indeed it can be treated as a particular case of the Pasinettian model of structural change and economic expansion. By relying upon vertical integration becomes possible to carry out the analysis initiated by Kaldor (1956) and Robinson (1956, 1962), and followed by Dutt (1984), Rowthorn (1982) and later Bhaduri and Marglin (1990) in a multi-sectoral model in which demand and productivity increase at different rates in each sector. By adopting this approach it is possible to show that the structural economic dynamics is conditioned not only to patterns of evolution of demand and diffusion of technological progress but also to the distributive features of the economy that can give rise to different regimes of economic growth. Besides we find it possible to determine the natural rate of profit that makes the mark-up rate to be constant over time.
    Keywords: Post-Keynesian growth model, structural change, multi-sector models
    JEL: E21 O11
    Date: 2010–11
  13. By: Claudia CRISTESCU (Ph.D., candidate, National Defence University, Bucharest, Romania; teaching assistant, Department of Political Science, West University of Timisoara")
    Abstract: As part of the wider doctoral research „Reforming the intelligence sector through academic education. Implications for the military higher education”, the paper focuses on the lack of intelligence education as a threat to the national security and also on the Intelligence – University nexus as a critical part of todays Knowledge Society and of the Bologna process to create the EHEA by making academic degree tandards&quality assurance standards compatible throughout Europe. Firstly, we will examine the Sherman Kent approach of the link between intelligence, knowledge and decision making. Then, we will argument the need for an academic outreach of intelligence based on the new context of the 21st century (the heightened role of intelligence in international affairs and in its influence upon political agenda setting, decision making and policy making; the preminence of intelligence and security issues in political discourse as well as at the level of public opinion) also pointing out the main approaches to academic outreach for intelligence. The paper also discussess the new intelligence paradigm -marked by the ""Clearances Matter Less Than Knowledge""- versus the open science dilemma. A key-issue of the paper is about the need for Intelligence Studies as a new field of intellectual inquiry, scholarly debate and as an academic study program within the social sciences field of study. "
    Keywords: Intelligence studies, Academic outreach, Research cluster, Knowledge, Open science dilemma
    JEL: H52
    Date: 2010–08
  14. By: William J. Collins; Robert A. Margo
    Abstract: We present estimates of home ownership for African-American and white households from 1870 to 2007. The estimates pertain to a sample of households headed by adult men participating in the labor force but the substantive findings are unchanged if the analysis is extended to all households. Over the entire period African-American households in the sample increased their home ownership rate by 46 percentage points, whereas the rate for white households increased by 20 percentage points. Thus, in the long run, the racial gap declined by 26 percentage points. Remarkably, 25 of the 26 point long-run narrowing occurred between 1870 and 1910. Since 1910, both white and black households have increased their rates of homeownership but the long-run growth in levels has been similar for both groups, and therefore the racial gap measured in percentage points was approximately constant over the past century.
    JEL: N11 N12 R21
    Date: 2011–01
  15. By: Sanchez, Alan (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú)
    Abstract: The recent literature on human capital highlights the importance of investments during the first few years after birth as a determinant of economic outcomes later in life, including labour productivity. This paper assesses the relationship between conflict exposure -a transitory, aggregate, shock- and early nutrition. The relationship between conflict exposure and human capital outcomes can be put into doubt due to the endogenous nature of conflict. In this paper I use a rich dataset that permits me to trace the intensity of a country-specific, large-scale, conflict across regions and over time at the monthly frequency over a 20-year period. I use this data to link conflict exposure prevalent around the time of birth to child-level outcomes of birth cohorts born over an analogous time period. The identification strategy exploits differences in the intensity of exposure between siblings in turn determined by year-month of birth. Results show that, on average, early exposure to conflict did not have an effect on infant mortality but had large negative effects on short-term nutritional outcomes, particularly for the poor. These results suggest that, unless compensatory investments were at place, the Peruvian conflict might have had long-term effects on human capital accumulation through a nutritional channel.
    Keywords: Health Production, Human Capital, Conflict, Children
    JEL: I12 J24 J13 O15
    Date: 2010–12
  16. By: Sai Ding; Alessandra Guariglia; John Knight
    Abstract: We use a panel of over 120,000 Chinese firms of different ownership types over the period 2000-2007 to analyze the linkages between investment in fixed and working capital and financing constraints. We find that those firms characterized by high working capital display high sensitivities of investment in working capital to cash flow (WKS) and low sensitivities of investment in fixed capital to cash flow (FKS). We then construct and analyze firm-level FKS and WKS measures and find that, despite severe external financing constraints, those firms with low FKS and high WKS exhibit the highest fixed investment rates. This suggests that good working capital management may help firms to alleviate the effects of financing constraints on fixed investment.
    Keywords: Investment; Cash flow; Financing constraints; Working capital
    JEL: D92 E22
    Date: 2010–12
  17. By: Sarah Smith
    Abstract: It has been suggested that social connectedness is potentially important for a healthy and happy retirement. This paper presents evidence that levels of social connectedness (defined as being active in social organisations) increase at retirement, by 25 per cent compared to pre-retirement levels. However, there is not a consistently strong and positive association between social connectedness and health and well-being in retirement for everyone. Rather, the evidence suggests that social connectedness may matter most in bad times.
    Keywords: Social capital, retirement, health and well-being
    JEL: I12 J14
    Date: 2010–12
  18. By: Mario Cerrato; Hyunsok Kim; Ronald MacDonald
    Abstract: In this paper we propose a novel empirical extension of the standard market microstructure order flow model. The main idea is that heterogeneity of beliefs in the foreign exchange market can cause model instability and such instability has not been fully accounted for in the existing empirical literature. We investigate this issue using two different data sets and focusing on out- of-sample forecasts. Forecasting power is measured using standard statistical tests and, additionally, using an alternative approach based on measuring the economic value of forecasts after building a portfolio of assets. We …nd there is a substantial economic value on conditioning on the proposed models.
    Keywords: microstructure, order flow, forecasting
    JEL: F31 F41 G10
    Date: 2010–12

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