What’s really going on in housing markets?
Most of the public concern about housing markets is based on claims that house prices have increased at historically anomalous rates and that house prices have outpaced incomes. The first claim is based on inaccurate historical data. The second is linked to relaxed credit constraints. House prices are likely to fall further, but not for the reasons usually proposed.
Home production meets time-to-build
An innovation in this paper is to introduce a time-to-build technology for the production of market capital into a model with home production. The paper?s main finding is that the two anomalies that have plagued all household production models?the positive correlation between business and household investment, and household investment leading business investment over the business cycle?are resolved when time-to-build is added.
Growth and the internet: surfing to prosperity?
Do countries that inhibit the quick integration of new technologies pay a price in slower economic growth? This commentary suggests they do. Focusing on the level of Internet use to indicate the absorption rate of emerging computer technologies, the authors argue that faster technology absorption leads to increased economic growth.
On the political economy of income redistribution and crime
We study a one-sector growth model which is standard except for the presence of an externality in the production function. The set of competitive equilibria is large. It includes constant equilibria, sunspot equilibria, cyclical and chaotic equilibria, and equilibria with deterministic or stochastic regime switching. The efficient allocation is characterized by constant employment and a constant growth rate. We identify an income tax-subsidy schedule that supports the efficient allocation as the unique equilibrium outcome. That schedule has two properties: (i) it specifies the tax rate to be ...
Infrastructure and the wealth of nations
Economies can?t grow without a sufficiently developed infrastructure, but how deep does the infrastructure have to be to make a difference? The authors take a look at some research from the Fraser Institute that examines the relationship between economic growth and economic infrastructure across 123 countries. They find that infrastructure is a bit of an all-or-nothing proposition.
A beautiful theory
It wasn?t A Beautiful Mind?the book or the movie?that made John Forbes Nash, Jr., famous. It was his work in game theory, a theory that models strategic interactions between people as games. Before Nash, the only games theorists could get a handle on were artificial ones with no real-world applications. Nash?s insights enabled economists to expand the use of game theory to interesting practical problems.
Crime and the labor market: a search model with optimal contracts
This paper extends the Pissarides (2000) model of the labor market to include crime and punishment `a la Becker (1968). All workers, irrespective of their labor force status can commit crimes and the employment contract is determined optimally. The model is used to study, analytically and quantitatively, the effects of various labor market and crime policies. For instance, a more generous unemployment insurance system reduces the crime rate of the unemployed but its effect on the crime rate of the employed depends on job duration and jail sentences. When the model is calibrated to U.S. data, ...
General equilibrium with nonconvexities, sunspots, and money
We study general equilibrium with nonconvexities. In these economies there exist sunspot equilibria without the usual assumptions needed in convex economies, and they have good welfare properties. Moreover, in these equilibria, agents act as if they have quasi-linear utility. Hence wealth effects vanish. We use this to construct a new model of monetary exchange. As in Lagos-Wright, trade occurs in both centralized and decentralized markets, but while that model requires quasilinearity, we have general preferences. Given our specification looks much like the textbook Arrow-Debreu model, we ...
Understanding the determinants of crime
In this paper, we use an overlapping generations model where individuals are allowed to engage in both legitimate market activities and criminal behavior in order to assess the role of certain factors on the property crime rate. In particular, we investigate if any of the following could be capable of generating the large differences in crime rates that are observed across countries: differences in the unemployment rate, the fraction of low-human-capital individuals in an economy, the probability of apprehension, the duration of jail sentences, and income inequality. We find that small ...
Accounting for capital consumption and technological progress
Methods currently used to calculate capital consumption, the stock of capital, and the sources of economic growth do not adequately measure the underlying growth in inputs due to technological advance. This lack affects tax policy as well as the design of programs targeting potential areas of economic growth. The authors present a model designed to surmount the problems affecting current methods of calculation.