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Author:Kaboski, Joseph P. 

Working Paper
Trade wedges, inventories, and international business cycles

The large, persistent fluctuations in international trade that cannot be explained in standard models by changes in expenditures and relative prices are often attributed to trade wedges. We show that these trade wedges can reflect the decisions of importers to change their inventory holdings. We find that a two-country model of international business cycles with an inventory management decision can generate trade flows and wedges consistent with the data. Moreover, matching trade flows alters the international transmission of business cycles. Specifically, real net exports become ...
Working Papers , Paper 12-16

Working Paper
Violating purchasing power parity.

This paper demonstrates that deviations from the law of one price are an important source of violations of absolute PPP across countries. Using highly disaggregated U.S. export data, we document evidence of systematic international price discrimination based on the local wage of consumers in the destination market. We show that most violations from absolute PPP can also be explained by international differences in wages. We find very little additional explanation is due to differences in income per capita. Developing and calibrating a model of pricing-to-market based on search frictions and ...
Working Papers , Paper 04-19

Working Paper
The Stable Transformation Path

Standard dynamic models of structural transformation, without knife-edge and counterfactual parameter values, preclude balanced growth path (BGP) analysis. This paper develops a dynamic equilibrium concept for a more general class of models | an alternative to a BGP, which we coin a Stable Transformation Path (STraP). The STraP characterizes the medium-term dynamics of the economy in a turnpike sense; it is the path toward which the economy (quickly) converges from an arbitrary initial capital stock. Calibrated simulations demonstrate that the relaxed parameter values that the STraP allows ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-23

Journal Article
Taking Stock of the Evidence on Microfinancial Interventions

We review the empirical evidence on microfinance and asset grants to the ultra poor or microentrepreneurs and use quantitative economic theory to account for this evidence. Properly executed, these interventions can help segments of the population increase their income and consumption, but neither literature gives much reason to believe that such interventions can lead to wide-scale, transformative impacts akin to escaping aggregate poverty traps.
Review , Volume 102 , Issue 2 , Pages 173-202

Working Paper
The great trade collapse of 2008-2009: an inventory adjustment?

This paper examines the role of inventories in the decline of production, trade, and expenditures in the US in the economic crisis of late 2008 and 2009. Empirically, the authors show that international trade declined more drastically than trade-weighted production or absorption and there was a sizeable inventory adjustment. This is most clearly evident for autos, the industry with the largest drop in trade. However, relative to the magnitude of the US downturn, these movements in trade are quite typical. The authors develop a two-country general equilibrium model with endogenous inventory ...
Working Papers , Paper 10-18

Working Paper
The macroeconomics of microfinance

We provide a quantitative evaluation of the aggregate and distributional impact of microfinance or credit programs targeted toward small businesses. We find that the redistributive impact of microfinance is stronger in general equilibrium than in partial equilibrium, but the impact on aggregate output and capital is smaller in general equilibrium. Aggregate total factor productivity (TFP) increases with microfinance in general equilibrium but decreases in partial equilibrium. When general equilibrium effects are accounted for, scaling up the microfinance program will have only a small impact ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-034

Working Paper
Can Self-Help Groups Really Be 'Self-Help'?

We provide an experimental and theoretical evaluation of a cost-reducing innovation in the delivery of "self-help group" microfinance services, in which privatized agents earn payments through membership fees for providing services. Under the status quo, agents are paid by an outside donor and offer members free services. In our multi-country randomized control trial we evaluate the change in this incentive scheme on agent behavior and performance, and on overall village-level outcomes. We find that privatized agents start groups, attract members, mobilize savings, and intermediate loans at ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1155

Working Paper
Can self-help groups really be self-help?

This paper examines a cost-reducing innovation to the delivery of "Self-Help Group" microfinance services. These groups typically rely on outside agents to found and administer the groups although funds are raised by the group members. The innovation is to have the agents earn their payment by charging membership fees rather than following the status quo in which the agents are paid by an outside organization and instead offer free services to clients. The theory we develop shows that such member- ship fees could actually improve performance without sacrificing membership, simply by ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-014

Working Paper
U.S. trade and inventory dynamics

The authors examine the source of the large fall and rebound in U.S. trade in the recent recession. While trade fell and rebounded more than expenditures or production of traded goods, they find that relative to the magnitude of the downturn, these trade fluctuations were in line with those in previous business cycle fluctuations. The authors argue that the high volatility of trade is attributed to more severe inventory management considerations of firms involved in international trade. They present empirical evidence for autos as well as at the aggregate level that the adjustment of ...
Working Papers , Paper 11-6

Working Paper
Inventories, lumpy trade, and large devaluations

Fixed transaction costs and delivery lags are important costs of international trade. These costs lead firms to import infrequently and hold substantially larger inventories of imported goods than domestic goods. Using multiple sources of data, the authors document these facts. They then show that a parsimoniously parameterized model economy with importers facing an (S, s)-type inventory management problem successfully accounts for these features of the data. Moreover, the model can account for import and import price dynamics in the aftermath of large devaluations. In particular, desired ...
Working Papers , Paper 08-3

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