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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.
31

The effect of seasonal hedging on energy futures spreads: A test of market efficiency.

Emerson, Michael Charles. January 1990 (has links)
This dissertation tests the efficiency of selected NYMEX petroleum futures spreads. It is argued that seasonal changes in hedging activity cause seasonal biases in futures price spreads. A multimarket equilibrium model is presented which illustrates the effect of seasonal hedging behavior on spreads. In addition, the potential of nonseasonal hedging and speculator interest to diminish or eliminate seasonal biases is discussed. Two hypotheses are tested. The primary hypothesis is: NYMEX futures markets for No. 2 heating oil, unleaded gasoline, and crude oil are not semi-strong efficient. If futures markets are not semi-strong efficient then all publicly available information is not reflected in contract prices. The secondary hypothesis is: by anticipating seasonal changes in hedger interest in NYMEX No. 2 heating oil, unleaded gasoline, and crude oil futures markets, a speculator can profit from changing NYMEX futures spreads. Nine speculative trading rules are presented to test the two hypotheses. They specify the contracts to spread so the speculator can profit from theorized biases in selected NYMEX futures spreads. The number of contracts to spread and the period the spreads are held is clearly specified. The trading rules are tested over five trading years. An econometric model then analyzes the profitability of the spreads over time to determine if trends exist which would indicate spread biases. The empirical results support the primary and secondary hypotheses of this dissertation. Several of the trading rules profited over the five-year test period, and when losing years occurred, losses were small relative to profitable years. Nonseasonal hedging and speculator interest are argued to cause losses occasionally. Nevertheless, the results suggest that a speculator can profit in the long run by trading selected NYMEX spreads. The long run is defined in this context as five years or more. The profitability of some of the rules over time exhibited non-random behavior. These results suggest that spread biases caused profits to steadily increase during several spread periods. This evidence supports the hypothesis that NYMEX futures markets are not semi-strong efficient; it suggests that biases do exist.
32

The Indian Premier League: What are the factors that determine player value?

Marwaha, Damini Y 01 January 2013 (has links)
This paper examines and tries to estimate the importance of various characteristics that go into attributing specific dollar values to cricketers. The auction process employed in the Indian Premier League enables one to associate players with specific monetary values and this paper uses various performance criteria to assess what the key variables are towards creating a highly valued cricket player. This paper finds that various batting statistics are of significance in addition to the age and nationality of players.
33

REFORESTATION IN THE BRAZILIAN AMAZON: POLICY IMPLICATIONS FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE REFORESTATION

Bradley, Christopher Bryant 20 June 2014 (has links)
Given the increasing concern regarding global carbon dioxide emissions, effective strategies for carbon sequestration have gained newfound relevance. Reforestation efforts have received particular attention because of the large potential for carbon storage in heavily deforested regions. This study uses a household utility model to analyze land use decisions in the presence of two intervening policies to encourage reforestation; environmental fines and credit restrictions. Empirical models of the extent of primary and secondary forest cover reveal that the risk of environmental fines can be associated with increased forest cover; however, the achieved reforestation is small. Through the use of a probability model it is found that the use of environmental fines and credit restrictions on households significantly increases the probability that a household commits to reforest in the future. These findings suggest that while reforestation gains have not yet been observed there is potential for both environmental fines and credit restrictions to contribute to significant reforestation in the future.
34

The impact of foreign aid on the economic development in less developed countries a case study of Taiwan and Costa Rica

Pasha, Ibrahim Yehia 01 July 1983 (has links)
No description available.
35

A Study of How Economic Attitudes Are Shaped by Environmental Shocks and Life Experiences

Montalva, Veronica January 2016 (has links)
<p>Social attitudes, attitudes toward financial risk and attitudes toward deferred gratification are thought to influence many important economic decisions over the life-course. In economic theory, these attitudes are key components in diverse models of behavior, including collective action, saving and investment decisions and occupational choice. The relevance of these attitudes have been confirmed empirically. Yet, the factors that influence them are not well understood. This research evaluates how these attitudes are affected by large disruptive events, namely, a natural disaster and a civil conflict, and also by an individual-specific life event, namely, having children. </p><p>By implementing rigorous empirical strategies drawing on rich longitudinal datasets, this research project advances our understanding of how life experiences shape these attitudes. Moreover, compelling evidence is provided that the observed changes in attitudes are likely to reflect changes in preferences given that they are not driven just by changes in financial circumstances. Therefore the findings of this research project also contribute to the discussion of whether preferences are really fixed, a usual assumption in economics. </p><p>In the first chapter, I study how altruistic and trusting attitudes are affected by exposure to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as long as ten years after the disaster occurred. Establishing a causal relationship between natural disasters and attitudes presents several challenges as endogenous exposure and sample selection can confound the analysis. I take on these challenges by exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in exposure to the tsunami and by relying on a longitudinal dataset representative of the pre-tsunami population in two districts of Aceh, Indonesia. The sample is drawn from the Study of the Tsunami Aftermath and Recovery (STAR), a survey with data collected both before and after the disaster and especially designed to identify the impact of the tsunami. The altruistic and trusting attitudes of the respondents are measured by their behavior in the dictator and trust games. I find that witnessing closely the damage caused by the tsunami but without suffering severe economic damage oneself increases altruistic and trusting behavior, particularly towards individuals from tsunami affected communities. Having suffered severe economic damage has no impact on altruistic behavior but may have increased trusting behavior. These effects do not seem to be caused by the consequences of the tsunami on people’s financial situation. Instead they are consistent with how experiences of loss and solidarity may have shaped social attitudes by affecting empathy and perceptions of who is deserving of aid and trust.</p><p>In the second chapter, co-authored with Ryan Brown, Duncan Thomas and Andrea Velasquez, we investigate how attitudes toward financial risk are affected by elevated levels of insecurity and uncertainty brought on by the Mexican Drug War. To conduct our analysis, we pair the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS), a rich longitudinal dataset ideally suited for our purposes, with a dataset on homicide rates at the month and municipality-level. The homicide rates capture well the overall crime environment created by the drug war. The MxFLS elicits risk attitudes by asking respondents to choose between hypothetical gambles with different payoffs. Our strategy to identify a causal effect has two key components. First, we implement an individual fixed effects strategy which allows us to control for all time-invariant heterogeneity. The remaining time variant heterogeneity is unlikely to be correlated with changes in the local crime environment given the well-documented political origins of the Mexican Drug War. We also show supporting evidence in this regard. The second component of our identification strategy is to use an intent-to-treat approach to shield our estimates from endogenous migration. Our findings indicate that exposure to greater local-area violent crime results in increased risk aversion. This effect is not driven by changes in financial circumstances, but may be explained instead by heightened fear of victimization. Nonetheless, we find that having greater economic resources mitigate the impact. This may be due to individuals with greater economic resources being able to avoid crime by affording better transportation or security at work.</p><p>The third chapter, co-authored with Duncan Thomas, evaluates whether attitudes toward deferred gratification change after having children. For this study we also exploit the MxFLS, which elicits attitudes toward deferred gratification (commonly known as time discounting) by asking individuals to choose between hypothetical payments at different points in time. We implement a difference-in-difference estimator to control for all time-invariant heterogeneity and show that our results are robust to the inclusion of time varying characteristics likely correlated with child birth. We find that becoming a mother increases time discounting especially in the first two years after childbirth and in particular for those women without a spouse at home. Having additional children does not have an effect and the effect for men seems to go in the opposite direction. These heterogeneous effects suggest that child rearing may affect time discounting due to generated stress or not fully anticipated spending needs.</p> / Dissertation
36

Essays in Macroeconomics

Yu, Yang January 2016 (has links)
<p>My dissertation consists of three self-contained essays on macroeconomics. Chapter 2 "Churning, firm inter-connectivity, and labor market fluctuations'' studies the implications of firm inter-connectivity and irreversibility of inter-firm cooperation relationships on the business cycle. Chapter 3 "Inter-sector matching efficiency and sectoral comovement'' examines the comovement of sectoral labor markets when there is search friction in the inter-firm matching market. Chapter 4 "Lumpy investment and endogenous investment price'' (Joint work with Linxi Chen) studies the endogenous fluctuation of investment price induced by search friction in the investment goods market and partial irreversibility of capital adjustment. Each of the essays investigates the implication of market frictions, such as search friction and partial irreversibility, to the business cycle from a different perspective.</p> / Dissertation
37

Institutional Persistence in Eastern Europe: Economic and Political Legacies of Empires and Communism

Levkin, Roman January 2016 (has links)
<p>This dissertation seeks to advance our understanding of the roles that institutions play in economic development. How do institutions evolve? What mechanisms are responsible for their persistence? What effects do they have on economic development? </p><p>I address these questions using historical and contemporary data from Eastern Europe and Russia. This area is relatively understudied by development economists. It also has a very interesting history. For one thing, for several centuries it was divided between different empires. For another, it experienced wars and socialism in the 20th century. I use some of these exogenous shocks as quasi-natural social experiments to study the institutional transformations and its effects on economic development both in the short and long run.</p><p>This first chapter explores whether economic, social, and political institutions vary in their resistance to policies designed to remove them. The empirical context for the analysis is Romania from 1690 to the 2000s. Romania represents an excellent laboratory for studying the persistence of different types of historical institutional legacies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Romania was split between the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, where political and economic institutions differed. The Habsburgs imposed less extractive institutions relative to the Ottomans: stronger rule of law, a more stable and predictable state, a more developed civil society, and less corruption. In the 20th century, the Romanian Communist regime tried deliberately to homogenize the country along all relevant dimensions. It was only partially successful. Using a regression discontinuity design, I document the persistence of economic outcomes, social capital, and political attitudes. First, I document remarkable convergence in urbanization, education, unemployment, and income between the two former empires. Second, regarding social capital, no significant differences in organizational membership, trust in bureaucracy, and corruption persist today. Finally, even though the Communists tried to change all political attitudes, significant discontinuities exist in current voting behavior at the former Habsburg-Ottoman border. Using data from the parliamentary elections of 1996-2008, I find that former Habsburg rule decreases by around 6 percentage points the vote share of the major post-Communist left party and increases by around 2 and 5 percentage points the vote shares of the main anti-Communist and liberal parties, respectively. </p><p>The second chapter investigates the effects of Stalin’s mass deportations on distrust in central authority. Four deported ethnic groups were not rehabilitated after Stalin’s death; they remained in permanent exile until the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This allows one to distinguish between the effects of the groups that returned to their homelands and those of the groups that were not allowed to return. Using regional data from the 1991 referendum on the future of the Soviet Union, I find that deportations have a negative interim effect on trust in central authority in both the regions of destination and those of origin. The effect is stronger for ethnic groups that remained in permanent exile in the destination regions. Using data from the Life in Transition Survey, the chapter also documents a long-term effect of deportations in the destination regions. </p><p>The third chapter studies the short-term effect of Russian colonization of Central Asia on economic development. I use data on the regions of origin of Russian settlers and push factors to construct an instrument for Russian migration to Central Asia. This instrument allows me to interpret the outcomes causally. The main finding is that the massive influx of Russians into the region during the 1897-1926 period had a significant positive effect on indigenous literacy. The effect is stronger for men and in rural areas. Evidently, interactions between natives and Russians through the paid labor market was an important mechanism of human capital transmission in the context of colonization.</p><p>The findings of these chapters provide additional evidence that history and institutions do matter for economic development. Moreover, the dissertation also illuminates the relative persistence of institutions. In particular, political and social capital legacies of institutions might outlast economic legacies. I find that most economic differences between the former empires in Romania have disappeared. By the same token, there are significant discontinuities in political outcomes. People in former Habsburg Romania provide greater support for liberalization, privatization, and market economy, whereas voters in Ottoman Romania vote more for redistribution and government control over the economy. </p><p>In the former Soviet Union, Stalin’s deportations during World War II have a long-term negative effect on social capital. Today’s residents of the destination regions of deportations show significantly lower levels of trust in central authority. This is despite the fact that the Communist regime tried to eliminate any source of opposition and used propaganda to homogenize people’s political and social attitudes towards the authorities. In Central Asia, the influx of Russian settlers had a positive short-term effect on human capital of indigenous population by the 1920s, which also might have persisted over time.</p><p>From a development perspective, these findings stress the importance of institutions for future paths of development. Even if past institutional differences are not apparent for a certain period of time, as was the case with the former Communist countries, they can polarize society later on, hampering economic development in the long run. Different institutions in the past, which do not exist anymore, can thus contribute to current political instability and animosity.</p> / Dissertation
38

Essays on the Economics of Higher Education

Thomas, James January 2016 (has links)
<p>At least since the seminal works of Jacob Mincer, labor economists have sought to understand how students make higher education investment decisions. Mincer’s original work seeks to understand how students decide how much education to accrue; subsequent work by various authors seeks to understand how students choose where to attend college, what field to major in, and whether to drop out of college.</p><p>Broadly speaking, this rich sub-field of literature contributes to society in two ways: First, it provides a better understanding of important social behaviors. Second, it helps policymakers anticipate the responses of students when evaluating various policy reforms.</p><p>While research on the higher education investment decisions of students has had an enormous impact on our understanding of society and has shaped countless education policies, students are only one interested party in the higher education landscape. In the jargon of economists, students represent only the `demand side’ of higher education---customers who are choosing options from a set of available alternatives. Opposite students are instructors and administrators who represent the `supply side’ of higher education---those who decide which options are available to students.</p><p>For similar reasons, it is also important to understand how individuals on the supply side of education make decisions: First, this provides a deeper understanding of the behaviors of important social institutions. Second, it helps policymakers anticipate the responses of instructors and administrators when evaluating various reforms. However, while there is substantial literature understanding decisions made on the demand side of education, there is far less attention paid to decisions on the supply side of education. </p><p>This dissertation uses empirical evidence to better understand how instructors and administrators make decisions and the implications of these decisions for students. </p><p>In the first chapter, I use data from Duke University and a Bayesian model of correlated learning to measure the signal quality of grades across academic fields. The correlated feature of the model allows grades in one academic field to signal ability in all other fields allowing me to measure both ‘own category' signal quality and ‘spillover' signal quality. Estimates reveal a clear division between information rich Science, Engineering, and Economics grades and less informative Humanities and Social Science grades. In many specifications, information spillovers are so powerful that precise Science, Engineering, and Economics grades are more informative about Humanities and Social Science abilities than Humanities and Social Science grades. This suggests students who take engineering courses during their Freshman year make more informed specialization decisions later in college.</p><p>In the second chapter, I use data from the University of Central Arkansas to understand how universities decide which courses to offer and how much to spend on instructors for these courses. Course offerings and instructor characteristics directly affect the courses students choose and the value they receive from these choices. This chapter reveals the university preferences over these student outcomes which best explain observed course offerings and instructors. This allows me to assess whether university incentives are aligned with students, to determine what alternative university choices would be preferred by students, and to illustrate how a revenue neutral tax/subsidy policy can induce a university to make these student-best decisions.</p><p>In the third chapter, co-authored with Thomas Ahn, Peter Arcidiacono, and Amy Hopson, we use data from the University of Kentucky to understand how instructors choose grading policies. In this chapter, we estimate an equilibrium model in which instructors choose grading policies and students choose courses and study effort given grading policies. In this model, instructors set both a grading intercept and a return on ability and effort. This builds a rich link between the grading policy decisions of instructors and the course choices of students. We use estimates of this model to infer what preference parameters best explain why instructors chose estimated grading policies. To illustrate the importance of these supply side decisions, we show changing grading policies can substantially reduce the gender gap in STEM enrollment.</p> / Dissertation
39

Essays on Microeconometrics

Ura, Takuya January 2016 (has links)
<p>My dissertation has three chapters which develop and apply microeconometric tech- niques to empirically relevant problems. All the chapters examines the robustness issues (e.g., measurement error and model misspecification) in the econometric anal- ysis. The first chapter studies the identifying power of an instrumental variable in the nonparametric heterogeneous treatment effect framework when a binary treat- ment variable is mismeasured and endogenous. I characterize the sharp identified set for the local average treatment effect under the following two assumptions: (1) the exclusion restriction of an instrument and (2) deterministic monotonicity of the true treatment variable in the instrument. The identification strategy allows for general measurement error. Notably, (i) the measurement error is nonclassical, (ii) it can be endogenous, and (iii) no assumptions are imposed on the marginal distribution of the measurement error, so that I do not need to assume the accuracy of the measure- ment. Based on the partial identification result, I provide a consistent confidence interval for the local average treatment effect with uniformly valid size control. I also show that the identification strategy can incorporate repeated measurements to narrow the identified set, even if the repeated measurements themselves are endoge- nous. Using the the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972, I demonstrate that my new methodology can produce nontrivial bounds for the return to college attendance when attendance is mismeasured and endogenous.</p><p>The second chapter, which is a part of a coauthored project with Federico Bugni, considers the problem of inference in dynamic discrete choice problems when the structural model is locally misspecified. We consider two popular classes of estimators for dynamic discrete choice models: K-step maximum likelihood estimators (K-ML) and K-step minimum distance estimators (K-MD), where K denotes the number of policy iterations employed in the estimation problem. These estimator classes include popular estimators such as Rust (1987)’s nested fixed point estimator, Hotz and Miller (1993)’s conditional choice probability estimator, Aguirregabiria and Mira (2002)’s nested algorithm estimator, and Pesendorfer and Schmidt-Dengler (2008)’s least squares estimator. We derive and compare the asymptotic distributions of K- ML and K-MD estimators when the model is arbitrarily locally misspecified and we obtain three main results. In the absence of misspecification, Aguirregabiria and Mira (2002) show that all K-ML estimators are asymptotically equivalent regardless of the choice of K. Our first result shows that this finding extends to a locally misspecified model, regardless of the degree of local misspecification. As a second result, we show that an analogous result holds for all K-MD estimators, i.e., all K- MD estimator are asymptotically equivalent regardless of the choice of K. Our third and final result is to compare K-MD and K-ML estimators in terms of asymptotic mean squared error. Under local misspecification, the optimally weighted K-MD estimator depends on the unknown asymptotic bias and is no longer feasible. In turn, feasible K-MD estimators could have an asymptotic mean squared error that is higher or lower than that of the K-ML estimators. To demonstrate the relevance of our asymptotic analysis, we illustrate our findings using in a simulation exercise based on a misspecified version of Rust (1987) bus engine problem.</p><p>The last chapter investigates the causal effect of the Omnibus Budget Reconcil- iation Act of 1993, which caused the biggest change to the EITC in its history, on unemployment and labor force participation among single mothers. Unemployment and labor force participation are difficult to define for a few reasons, for example, be- cause of marginally attached workers. Instead of searching for the unique definition for each of these two concepts, this chapter bounds unemployment and labor force participation by observable variables and, as a result, considers various competing definitions of these two concepts simultaneously. This bounding strategy leads to partial identification of the treatment effect. The inference results depend on the construction of the bounds, but they imply positive effect on labor force participa- tion and negligible effect on unemployment. The results imply that the difference- in-difference result based on the BLS definition of unemployment can be misleading</p><p>due to misclassification of unemployment.</p> / Dissertation
40

Essays in Risk and Risk-Coping in Developing Settings

Li, Li Song January 2015 (has links)
<p>Economic risks of many sorts are prevalent in developing countries. In this dissertation I exploit rainfall variation, a particularly prominent form of risk, to study three related topics in development economics. Because many households in developing countries still depend in large part on agriculture for their livelihood, variation in rainfall provides a natural experiment to study topics related to local economic shocks.</p><p>In the first chapter, I provide evidence on how economic shocks that occur during school age can have long-term negative consequences on adult well-being. Using data from a large household survey in Indonesia, I link a sample of adults to rainfall that they experienced many years ago during school age. I find that both low and high levels of rainfall during school age lead to permanent decreases in completed schooling and adult earnings. I then provide evidence on the mechanisms behind these results, showing that the impact of low rainfall is driven by an income effect, whereas the impact of high rainfall is driven by a labor substitution effect.</p><p>In the second chapter, I use rainfall variation as an instrumental variable for school attainment in order to provide a new estimate for the returns to schooling in a developing setting. In chapter one I showed that both low and high rainfall during school age lead to permanently decreased schooling and earnings. In chapter two, I link these findings by estimating the implied returns to schooling. The instrumental variables estimation yields a 25 percent return per year of additional schooling. A serious concern, though, is that the exclusion restriction may not hold. In other words, rainfall may affect earnings through channels other than years of schooling. Thus, in this chapter I also employ a novel method to account for violation of the exclusion restriction, which leads to a substantially different estimate of the returns to schooling.</p><p>Finally, in the third chapter I study whether a large microfinance initiative in Thailand was able to help households cope with the effects of rainfall variation. Much of the previous microfinance literature has focused on its potential to aid household business entrepreneurship. Another potential benefit is that it could help households cope with economic shocks if they are able to borrow in response. Using household-level data from 7 rounds of a panel survey in rural Thailand, I find that consumption levels strongly decrease in response to low rainfall. However, at the average level of borrowing from the microfinance program, the negative impact on consumption is completely mitigated. Furthermore, I show these findings do not seem to be driven by changes in household composition, changes in prices of consumption goods, or household attrition from the survey.</p> / Dissertation

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