NBER Working Paper Series
Altruism in Law and Economics [статья]
Опубликовано на портале: 01-09-2003William N. Landes, Richard A. Posner NBER Working Paper Series. 1997. No. 217.
A classic example of external benefits is the rescue of the person or property of strangers in high transaction cost settings. To illustrate, A sees a flowerpot about to fall on B's (a stranger's) head; if he shouts, B will be saved. A thus has in his power to confer a considerable benefit on B. The standard economic reaction to a situation in which there are substantial potential external benefits and high transaction costs is to propose legal intervention. In the example given, this would mean either giving A a right to a reward or punishing A if he fails to save B. Either method is costly and may result in misallocative effects. These objections to using the law to internalize the external benefits of rescue would be much less imposing were it not for altruism, a factor ignored in most discussion of externalities. Altruism may be an inexpensive substitute for costly legal methods of internalizing external benefits, though this depends on the degree of altruism, the costs of rescue, and the benefits to the rescue. Although the general legal rule is not to reward the rescuer (nor to impose liability), the law recognizes the fragility of altruism and entitles the rescuer to a reward in certain instances. These include rewards to professional rescuers on land (normally a physician) and to rescuers at sea. In both instances the costs of rescue are likely to be sufficiently high to discourage rescue unless the rescuer anticipates compensation.
Опубликовано на портале: 11-10-2004Alessandro Missale, Francesco Giavazzi, Pierpaolo Benigno NBER Working Paper Series. 1997. No. 6311.
This paper provides evidence on the behavior of public debt managers during fiscal" stabilizations in OECD countries over the last two decades. We find that debt maturity tends to" lengthen the more credible the program, the lower the long-term interest rate and the higher the" volatility of short-term interest rates. We show that this debt issuing strategy is consistent with" optimal debt management if information between the government and private investors is" asymmetric, as is usually the case at the outset of a stabilization attempt when private investors" may lack full confidence in the announced budget cuts.
Опубликовано на портале: 16-12-2003Henrik Horn, James A. Levinsohn NBER Working Paper Series. 1997. No. 6077.
This paper is about the interactions between what is traditionally considered trade policy and a narrow but important aspect of competition policy, namely merger policy. We focus on links between merger policies and trade liberalization. We put special emphasis on the topical issue of the role that international agreements such as the GATT play when merger policies are nationally chosen. Of particular concern is the possibility that liberalization of international trade will induce countries to increasingly use competition policies to promote national interests at the expense of others. We examine the incentives for a welfare maximizing government to make such a substitution. Interpreting merger policy as a choice of degree of industrial concentration, we investigate how the merger policy that is optimal from the point of view of an individual country is affected by restrictions on the use of tariffs and export subsidies.
Опубликовано на портале: 11-08-2004Ofair Razin, Susan M. Collins NBER Working Paper Series. 1997. No. 6174.
Сегодня концепция отклонения реального курса от своего равновесного уровня (real exchange rate misalignment) является стандартной в международной макроэкономической теории и политике. Однако до сих пор нет единого мнения по поводу того, что считать показателем отклонения и как его строить. В данной статье показатель отклонения строится на основе расширенной модели IS-LM и оценивается с помощью широкого массива данных по развитым и развивающимся странам. Затем эта оценка используется в качестве одной из объясняющих переменных в регрессии для темпа экономического роста. В статье получен интересный результат - связь между отклонением реального курса и темпом роста имеет явно нелинейный характер. Только значительное завышение курса по сравнению с равновесием замедляет рост, в то время как ускорение роста наблюдается при относительно небольшом, но не чрезмерном, занижении курса.
The Impact of Market Rules and Market Structure on the Price Determination Process in the England and Wales Electricity Market [статья]
Опубликовано на портале: 28-04-2005Frank A. Wolak, Robert H. Patrick NBER Working Paper Series. 1997. No. 8248.
This paper argues that the market rules governing the operation of the England and Wales electricity market in combination with the structure of this market presents the two major generators—National Power and PowerGen—with opportunities to earn revenues substantially in excess of their costs of production for short periods of time. Generators competing to serve this market have two strategic weapons at their disposal: (1) the price bid for each generation set and (2) the capacity of each generation set made available to supply the market each half-hour period during the day. We argue that because of the rules governing the price determination process in this market, by the strategic use of capacity availability declarations, when conditions exogenous to the behavior of the two major generators favor it, these two generators are able to obtain prices for their output substantially in excess of their marginal costs of generation. The paper establishes these points in the following manner. First, we provide a description of the market structure and rules governing the operation of the England and Wales electricity market, emphasizing those aspects that are important to the success of the strategy we believe the two generators use to exercise market power. We then summarize the time series properties of the price of electricity emerging from this market structure and price-setting process. By analyzing four fiscal years of actual market prices, quantities and generator bids into the market, we provide various pieces of evidence in favor of the strategic use of the market rules by the two major participants. The paper closes with a discussion of the lessons that the England and Wales experience can provide for the design of competitive power markets in the US, particularly California, and other countries.
Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2003Anne O. Krueger NBER Working Paper Series. 1997. w5896.
Ideas with regard to trade policy and economic development have changed radically since the 1950s. Then and now, it was recognized that trade policy was central to the overall design of policies for economic development. But in the early days, there was a broad consensus that trade policy for development should be based on `import-substitution.' By this was meant that domestic production of import-competing goods should be started and increased to satisfy the domestic market under incentives provided through whatever level of protection against imports, or even import prohibitions, was necessary to achieve it. It was thought that import substitution in manufactures would be synonymous with industrialization, which in turn was seen as the key to development. The contrast with views today is striking. It is now widely accepted that growth prospects for developing countries are greatly enhanced through an outer-oriented trade regime and fairly uniform incentives (primarily through the exchange rate) for production across exporting and import competing goods. This paper addresses the changes in thought and policy. What was the contribution of economic research to the sea change in thinking, policy prescriptions, and politicians' acceptance of the need for reform? What sorts of economic research best informed the policy process? In a nutshell, how did we learn? In this paper, I first sketch the initial approach to trade policy in early development research and thought. Next, consideration is given to the evolution of thought, research, and experience with respect to trade and development over the next several decades, and to the `conventional wisdom' of the 1990s. Finally, the role of research and the sorts of research that proved most fruitful in guiding policy and changing the consensus is considered.