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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Three empirical essays on investment in physical and human capital / 3 empirical essays on investment in physical and human capital

Bleakley, C. Hoyt (Crawford Hoyt), 1972- January 2002 (has links)
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 2002. / Includes bibliographical references. / This dissertation consists of three independent essays, all of which are empirical treatments of different types of investment. The first essay evaluates the economic consequences of the successful eradication of hookworm disease from the American South in the early twentieth century. I find that reducing hookworm infection in this region brought about large increases in human capital and earnings. I then place these results in the context of contemporaneous questions about the economic burden of tropical disease. The second essay (joint with Kevin Cowan) examines the role that partial dollarization of debt may have played in recent emerging-market financial crises. Much has been written recently about the problems that result from "mismatches" between foreign-currency denominated liabilities and assets (or income flows) denominated in local currency. Specifically, it is supposed that the expansion in the "peso" value of "dollar" liabilities resulting from a devaluation could, via a net-worth effect, offset the expansionary competitiveness effect. Our results suggest that, for this sample of firms in these episodes, this net-worth channel is likely small in comparison with the more traditional competitiveness effect. The final essay (joint with Aimee Chin) considers the role that English-language skill plays in the economic performance of immigrants to the United States. This study exploits the fact that younger children tend to learn languages more easily than adolescents or adults to construct an instrumental variable for English proficiency. We find that low English proficiency significantly lowers earnings and educational attainment. Indeed, much of the effect of language skills on wages in our sample appears to be mediated by years of schooling. / by Crawford Hoyt Bleakley, Junior. / Ph.D.

Essays on the current account, consumption smoothing, and the real exchange rate

Kent, Christopher J. (Christopher John) January 1997 (has links)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 1997. / Includes bibliographical references (leaves 123-127). / by Christopher J. Kent. / Ph.D.

Essays on financial liberalization, labor market pooling, and intermetropolitan wage differentials

Moore, Mark P. (Mark Patrick), 1963- January 1997 (has links)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 1997. / Includes bibliographical references (p. 159-162). / by Mark P. Moore. / Ph.D.

Vertical product differentiation and competition in the supermarket industry

Ellickson, Paul January 2000 (has links)
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 2000. / "February, 2000." / Includes bibliographical references (leaves 130-137). / This thesis examines the mechanisms by which retail markets converge to a concentrated structure where competition is dominated by only a few large firms. Using a model of competition based on the vertical product differentiation (VPD) enciogenous sunk cost framework proposed by Sutton (1991), several empirical implications are identified and evaluated using a detailed dataset of store level observations from the supermarket industry. Chapter 2 provides a formal test of the hypothesis that the high levels of concentration observed in the supermarket industry are the result of competitive investment in endogenous sunk costs. Using the bounds regression methodology developed in Sutton (1991), I document the existence of a large, positive lower bound to concentration that remains bounded above zero regardless of market size. This exercise is supplemented by a detailed case history of the industry that provides additional evidence that competition is focused on sunk outlays. In chapter 3, I expand the analysis by focusing on the local structure of competition. The principal contributions of the empirical work presented in this chapter involve identifying the high quality set of supermarket firms, demonstrating that they exist only in bounded numbers (do not increase proportionately with the size of the market), and identifying features of the observed market structure which are inconsistent with alternative explanations, namely by highlighting the distinctive nature of strategic complementarity. As such, I demonstrate that the VPD framework accords well with the combination of features observed in the supermarket industry, providing an accurate representation of the mechanisms sustaining its concentrated structure, which appear to be both competitive and stable. Three formal models of retail competition are presented in chapter 4, along with testable implications regarding the strategic interactions of rival firms. / by Paul Bryan Ellickson. / Ph.D.

Essays in bargaining and auction theory

Tsoy, Anton January 2015 (has links)
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Economics, 2015. / Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. / Includes bibliographical references. / This dissertation consists of three chapters. Chapter 1 studies an infinite-horizon bilateral bargaining model with alternating offers and private correlated values. I characterize frequent-offer limits of common screening equilibria in which both parties make offers to screen the opponent's type, and all types of either party follow the same path of offers. Even in the limit when the correlation of values is nearly perfect, common screening equilibria exhibit two-sided screening dynamics and involve inefficient delay in contrast to the unique equilibrium outcome of the complete-information bargaining game. Segmentation equilibria, in which types partially separate themselves into segments by the initial offer, are also constructed. Most of the types in the segments trade in the first rounds, while types near the boundaries of the segments delay trade to convince the opponent that they belong to a segment with more favorable terms of trade. Segmentation equilibria are efficient in the limit as the correlation of values becomes nearly perfect, and establish the connection between the limit outcome of nearly perfect correlation and the complete information outcome. The model sheds light on the relative importance of various sources of inefficiency for different levels of correlation, the role of public and private information in bargaining, and the robustness of the complete information bargaining model to higher-order uncertainty about values. In Chapter 2, I analyze two frictions that are central to determine prices, liquidity, and efficiency in over-the-counter markets: the search friction reflected in how long it takes to find a trading opportunity and the bargaining friction reflected in how promptly gains from trade are realized once the opportunity is identified. Chapter 2 captures both frictions by introducing an asset-specific trade delay into a standard search-and-bargaining model. For both exogenous and endogenous specifications of delay, the set of traded assets and the dependence of asset prices and spreads on default risk, liquidity, and market conditions are determined in equilibrium. The proposed model with endogenous delay has several implications. First, it offers a novel testable prediction: for assets within the same credit rating class, the liquidity is U-shaped in quality. Assets closer to the extremes of the quality range are more liquid, while assets in the middle of the quality range may be not traded at all. This is in contrast with a monotone relation in models with asymmetric information. Second, this model shows that the reduction in search and bargaining frictions may have opposite effects on market liquidity which is reflected in the range of traded assets. Finally, it establishes a connection between market uncertainty about the asset payoff and market liquidity. This link sheds light on the role of transparency in over-the-counter markets and explains the occurrence of dried-up liquidity and flights-to-quality during periods of increased market uncertainty. Chapter 3 studies efficient and optimal auction design where bidders do not know their values and solicit advice from informed but biased advisors via a cheap-talk game. When advisors are biased toward overbidding, we characterize efficient equilibria of static auctions and equilibria of the English auction under the NITS condition (Chen, Kartik and Sobel (2008)). In static auctions, advisors transmit a coarsening of their information and a version of the revenue equivalence holds. In contrast, in the English auction, information is transmitted perfectly from types in the bottom of the distribution, and pooling happens only at the top. Under NITS, any equilibrium of the English auction dominates any efficient equilibrium of any static auction in terms of both efficiency and the seller's revenue. The distinguishing feature of the English auction is that information can be transmitted over time and bidders cannot submit bids below the current price of the auction. This results in a higher efficiency due to better information transmission and allows the seller to extract additional profits from the overbidding bias of advisors. When advisors are biased toward underbdding; there is an equilibrium of Dutch auction that is more efficient than any efficient equilibrium of any static auction, however, it can bring lower expected revenue. / by Anton Tsoy. / Ph. D.

Essays on matching, marriage and human capital accumulation

Lafortune, Jeanne January 2008 (has links)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 2008. / Includes bibliographical references. / This thesis explores the link between human capital accumulation and the functioning of marriage markets. The first chapter studies the effect of marriage market conditions on pre-marital investment. After showing how a change in the sex ratio can alter incentives for investments, I test this prediction using exogenous variation in the marriage market sex ratio, brought about by immigration, exploiting the preference of second generation Americans for endogamous matches. I find that a worsening of marriage market conditions spurs higher pre-marital investments, measured by years of education, literacy and occupational choice. Overall, the results suggest that there are substantial returns to education in the marriage market, and that both men and women take these returns into account when making education decisions. The second chapter studies the role played by caste and other attributes in arranged marriages among middle class Indians. Using interview data from a sample of parents who placed matrimonial ads in a popular Bengali newspaper, we estimate preferences for each attribute. We then compute a set of stable matches and find it quite similar to the actual matches observed in the data, suggesting a relatively frictionless marriage market. There is a very strong preference for in-caste marriage but, because this preference is horizontal rather than vertical and because the groups are fairly balanced, in equilibrium, the cost of insisting on marrying within one's caste is small which allows castes to remain a persistent feature of this marriage market. Finally, the third chapter estimates the effect of marriage delay on fertility by exploiting state laws that restricted age of marriage in the first half of the 20th century. / (cont.) These state laws strongly predict the age at first marriage for both males and females. Moreover, they also influence the age of one's spouse. Using these laws to instrument the age at first marriage for both spouses, I find that delaying marriage of a female by one year reduces fertility by 0.35. The effect of male's timing on fertility outcomes is smaller. Ignoring the effect that these laws have on one spouse's age would lead to an overestimate of the effect. / by Jeanne Lafortune. / Ph.D.

Nonparametric functional estimation with applications to financial models

Aït-Sahalia, Yacine January 1993 (has links)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 1993. / Includes bibliographical references (leaves 155-161). / by Yacine Aït-Sahalia. / Ph.D.

Essays on the development of the American economy

Hornbeck, Richard January 2009 (has links)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 2009. / Includes bibliographical references. / The first essay analyzes the impact of the 1930's American Dust Bowl and investigates how much the short-term costs from erosion were mitigated by long-term adjustments. Exploiting new data collected to identify low, medium, and high erosion counties, estimates indicate that the Dust Bowl led to substantial immediate decreases in agricultural land values and revenues. Until at least the 1950's, however, there was limited reallocation of farmland away from activities that became relatively less productive due to erosion. Relative changes in agricultural land values and revenues indicate that the annualized long-term cost was 86% of the short-term cost to agriculture. Substantial out-migration reflects the large cost of the Dust Bowl, and was an important channel through which short-term costs were partly mitigated. The second essay examines the impact on agricultural development from the introduction of barbed wire fencing to the American Plains in the late 19th century. Farmers were required to construct fences to be entitled to compensation for damage by others' livestock. From 1880 to 1900, the introduction and universal adoption of barbed wire greatly reduced the cost of fences, relative to predominant wooden fences, most in counties with the least woodland. Over that period, counties with the least woodland experienced substantial relative increases in settlement, land improvement, land values, and the productivity and production share of crops most in need of protection. / (cont.) This increase in agricultural development appears partly to reflect farmers' increased ability to protect their land from encroachment. States' inability to protect this full bundle of property rights on the frontier, beyond providing formal land titles, might have otherwise restricted agricultural development. The third essay quantifies agglomeration spillovers by comparing the growth of total factor productivity (TFP) among incumbent plants in "winning" counties that attracted a large manufacturing plant to "losing" counties that were the plant's second choice. Five years after the opening, incumbent plants' TFP is 12% higher in winning counties. This effect is larger for plants with similar labor and technology pools as the new plant. We find evidence of increased wages in winning counties, indicating that profits increase by less than productivity. / by Richard A. Hornbeck. / Ph.D.

Three essays on the impacts of income taxes

Powell, David Matthew, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology January 2009 (has links)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 2009. / Includes bibliographical references. / This dissertation consists of three essays studying the impacts of income and wage taxes. Chapter One examines how income tax changes differentially affect the pre-tax wages of different industries based on the injury and fatality rates of those industries. This chapter recognizes that compensating differentials are a function of the income tax rate and uses this observation to introduce a new methodology for estimating compensating differentials with a specific application to the estimation of the Value of a Statistical Life (VSL) parameter. When taxes change, the pre-tax wages of risky jobs should shift relative to the pre-tax wages of safe jobs in a manner proportional to the VSL. This strategy yields VSL estimates between $50 million and $75 million, an order of magnitude higher than the previous literature. Chapter Two studies the link between taxes and occupational choices. Just as taxes distort the labor-leisure decision, they also distort the wage-amenity decision. Few papers have isolated this effect. This chapter introduces a two-step estimation strategy to isolate the elasticity of occupation choice with respect to tax rates, testing whether workers select higher (lower) wage jobs when tax rates decrease (increase). The final estimates find a statistically significant overall compensated elasticity of 0.05, implying that a 10% increase in the net-of-tax rate causes workers to change to a job with a 0.5% higher wage. Chapter Three focuses on the tax elasticity of labor income. / (cont.) Because governments can tax labor income separately from capital income, it is critical to isolate the tax elasticity of labor income. Furthermore, governments can use non-linear taxes so the mean elasticity :is not the relevant statistic. In this chapter, I introduce a new quantile estimator useful for panel data and applicable in an IV context. I find evidence of significant heterogeneity in the compensated elasticity. The importance of this heterogeneity is most evident for men as the elasticity is much larger at the top quantiles. The elasticity also appears to be larger at lower quantiles for both men and women. / by David Matthew Powell. / Ph.D.

Essays on political economy

Fergusson, Leopoldo January 2011 (has links)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 2011. / Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. / Includes bibliographical references (p. 177-187). / The chapters in this thesis tackle different questions, but share the attempt to open the "black box" of the relationship between institutions and economic outcomes. In the first chapter, I examine mass media's role in countering special interest group influence by studying county-level support for US Senate candidates from 1980 to 2002. I use the concentration of campaign contributions from Political Action Committees to proxy capture of politicians by special interests, and compare the reaction to increases in concentration by voters covered by two types of media markets - in-state and out-of-state media markets. Unlike in-state media markets, out-of-state markets focus on neighboring states' politics and elections. Consistent with the idea that citizens punish political capture exposed in the media, I find that an increase in concentration of special interest contributions reduces candidate's vote shares in in-state counties relative to the out-of-state counties, where the candidate receives less coverage. The second chapter (with Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson) examines the effect of population growth on violent conflict. Exploiting the international epidemiological transition starting in the 1940s, we construct an instrument for changes in population (Acemoglu and Johnson, 2007) and find that countries with higher (exogenous) increases in population experimented larger increases in social conflict. Using a simple theoretical framework, we interpret these findings as evidence that a larger population generates greater competition for resources and makes violence more likely if institutions cannot handle the higher level of disputes. The third dissertation chapter asks the following question: if property rights in land are so beneficial, why are they not adopted more widely? I propose a theory based on the idea that limited property rights over peasants' plots may be supported by elite landowners to achieve two goals. First, limited property rights reduce peasants' income from their own plots, generating a cheap labour force. Second, they force peasants to remain in the rural sector to protect their property, even if job opportunities appear in the urban sector. The theory identifies conditions under which weak property rights institutions emerge, and provides a specific mechanism for the endogenous persistence of inefficient rural institutions. / by Leopoldo Fergusson. / Ph.D.

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