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NBER Working Paper Series

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Addicted to Dollars [статья]
Опубликовано на портале: 10-12-2003
Kenneth S. Rogoff, Carmen M. Reinhart, Miguel A. Savastano NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  W10015 .
Dollarization, in a broad sense, is increasingly a defining characteristic of many emerging market economies. How important is this trend quantitatively and how important is it for the conduct of monetary policy and the choice of exchange rate regimes? Though these questions have become a hot topic in both the theory and policy literature, most efforts are remarkably uninformed by evidence, in no small part because meaningful data has been lacking, except for a very narrow range of assets. This paper attempts to move the discussion forward and shed light on the critical questions by proposing a measure of dollarization that is broad both conceptually and in terms of country coverage. We use this measure to identify trends in the evolution of dollarization in the developing world in the last two decades, and to ascertain the consequences that dollarization has had on the effectiveness of monetary and exchange rate policy. We find that, contrary to the general presumption in the literature, a high degree of dollarization does not seem to be an obstacle to monetary control or to disinflation. A level of dollarization does, however, appear to increase exchange rate pass-through, reinforcing the claim that 'fear of floating' is a greater problem for highly dollarized economies. We also review the developing countries' record in combating their addiction to dollars. Concretely, we try to explain why some countries have been able to avoid certain forms of the addiction, and examine the evidence on successful de-dollarization.
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Debt Intolerance [статья]
Опубликовано на портале: 10-12-2003
Kenneth S. Rogoff, Miguel A. Savastano, Carmen M. Reinhart NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  W9908 .
This paper introduces the concept of 'debt intolerance,' which manifests itself in the extreme duress many emerging markets experience at debt levels that would seem manageable by advanced country standards. We argue that 'safe' external debt-to-GNP thresholds for debt intolerant countries are low, perhaps as low as 15 percent in some cases. These thresholds depend on a country's default and inflation history. Debt intolerance is linked to the phenomenon of serial default that has plagued many countries over the past two centuries. Understanding and measuring debt intolerance is fundamental to assess the problems of debt sustainability, debt restructuring, capital market integration, and the scope for international lending to ameliorate crises. Our goal is to make a first pass at quantifying debt intolerance, including delineating debtors' clubs and regions of vulnerability, on the basis on a history of credit events going back to the 1820s for over 100 countries.
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Опубликовано на портале: 06-10-2003
Steven Shavell NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  No. 9483.
Данная статья является частью будущей книги автора по экономическому анализу права и включает в себя первые шесть ее глав. Работа посвящена анализу права, регулирующего несчастные случаи. Сначала рассматривается влияние правил на стимулы снижения риска несчастного случая, затем на компенсацию жертве ущерба и распределение риска, а в финале рассматриваются административные издержки правовой системы.
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Опубликовано на портале: 22-12-2003
Karolina Ekholm, Rikard Forslid, James R. Markusen NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9517.
Export-platform foreign direct investment in which the affiliate's output is (largely) sold in third markets rather than in the parent or host markets has received empirical attention recently, but little theoretical analysis. This paper is an attempt to make some sense of this phenomenon. Autors use a three-region model in which there are two identical, large, high-cost economies and a small low-cost economy. Pure export-platform production arises in a symmetric case, when a firm in each of the high-cost economies has a plant at home, and a plant in the low-cost country (the South) to serve the other high-cost country. This occurs when trade costs for intermediates (components) and plant-fixed costs are moderate and the South has a moderate cost advantage in assembly. Another interesting and empirically important case arises when there is trade liberalization between one of the high-cost countries and the small, low-cost country. The outside high-cost country may wish to build a branch plant inside the free trade area due to market size, but chooses the low-cost country on the basis of cost. Or a firm headquartered in the large country inside the free-trade area might build a single plant in its low-wage partner in order to serve their joint free-trade area and to export to the outside high-cost country.
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Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2003
Pol Antras NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9740.
Roughly one-third of world trade is intrafirm trade. This paper starts by unveiling two systematic patterns in the volume of intrafirm trade. In a panel of industries, the share of intrafirm imports in total U.S. imports is significantly higher, the higher the capital intensity of the exporting industry. In a cross-section of countries U.S. imports is significantly higher, the higher the capital-labor ratio of the exporting country. I then show that these patterns can be rationalized in a theoretical framework that combines a Grossman-Hart-Moore view of the firm with a Helpman-Krugman view of international trade. In particular an incomplete-contracting, property-rights model of the boundaries of the firm, which I then incorporate into a standard trade model with imperfect competition and product differentiation. The model pins down the boundaries of multinational firms as well as the international location of production, and it is shown to predict the patterns of intrafirm trade identified above. Econometric evidence reveals that the model is consistent with other qualitative and quantitative features of the data.
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Опубликовано на портале: 24-12-2003
Sebastian Edwards, Eduardo Levy-Yeyati NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  W9867 .
In this paper we analyze empirically the effect of terms of trade shocks on economic performance under alternative exchange rate regimes. We are particularly interested in investigating whether terms of trade disturbances have a smaller effect on growth in countries with a flexible exchange rate regime, than in countries with a more rigid exchange rate arrangement. We also analyze whether negative and positive terms of trade shocks have asymmetric effects on growth, and whether the magnitude of these asymmetries depends on the exchange rate regime. We find evidence suggesting that terms of trade shocks get amplified in countries that have more rigid exchange rate regimes. We also find evidence of an asymmetric response to terms of trade shocks: the output response is larger for negative than for positive shocks. Finally, we find evidence supporting the view that, after controlling for other factors, countries with more flexible exchange rate regimes grow faster than countries with fixed exchange rates.
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Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2003
Kevin O'Rourke NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9872.
The aim of the paper is to see whether individuals' attitudes towards globalization are consistent with the predictions of Heckscher-Ohlin theory. The theory predicts that the impact of being skilled or unskilled on attitudes towards trade and immigration should depend on a country's skill endowments, with the skilled being less anti-trade and anti-immigration in more skill-abundant countries (here taken to be richer countries) than in more unskilled-labour-abundant countries (here taken to be poorer countries). These predictions are confirmed, using survey data for 24 countries. Being high-skilled is associated with more pro-globalization attitudes in rich countries; while in some of the very poorest countries in the sample being high-skilled has a negative (if statistically insignificant) impact on pro-globalization sentiment. More generally, an interaction term between skills and GDP per capita has a negative impact in regressions explaining anti-globalization sentiment. Furthermore, individuals view protectionism and anti-immigrant policies as complements rather than as substitutes, which is what simple Heckscher-Ohlin theory predicts.
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Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2003
Tibor Besedes, Thomas J. Prusa NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9936.
This paper employs survival analysis to study the duration of US imports. Authors find that the median duration of exporting a product to the US is very short, on the order to two to four years. Author's results also indicate that there is negative duration dependence meaning that if a country is able to survive in the exporting market for the first few years it will face a very small probability of failure and will export the product for a long period of time. This result holds across countries and industries. Authors find that our results are not only robust to aggregation but are strengthened by aggregation. That is, as authors aggregate from product level trade data to SITC industry level trade data the estimated survival increases. They rank countries by their survival experience and show that our rankings are strongly correlated with the rankings in Feenstra and Rose (2002), implying that product cycle followers also experience particularly short duration.
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Опубликовано на портале: 22-12-2003
Robert E. Baldwin NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9578.
There is still disagreement among economists concerning how a country's international economic policies and its rate of economic growth interact, despite a number of multi-country case studies utilizing comparable analytical frameworks, numerous econometric studies using large cross-country data sets, and important theoretical advances in growth theory. This paper briefly surveys this literature and points out the main reasons for the disagreements. Particular attention is given to an important study by Francisco Rodriguez and Dani Rodrik (2001) criticizing the conclusion of a number of recent multi-country statistical studies that openness is associated with higher growth rates. Rodriguez and Rodrik show that openness simply in the sense of liberal trade policies seems to be no guarantee of faster growth. However, the conclusion of most researchers involved in either country studies or multi-country statistical tests that lower trade barriers in combination with a stable and non-discriminatory exchange-rate system, prudent monetary and fiscal policies and corruption-free administration of economic policies promote economic growth still seems to remain valid.
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Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2003
Drusilla K. Brown, Alan V. Deardorff, Robert M. Stern NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9669.
This paper assesses the evidence regarding the effects of multinational production on wages and working conditions in developing countries. It is motivated by recent controversies concerning whether multinational firms in developing countries exploit workers by paying low wages and subjecting them to substandard conditions. Authors first address efforts of activist groups, universities, and colleges in the Anti-Sweatshop' Campaign in the United States, the social accountability of multinational firms, and the role of such international institutions as the International Labor Organization and World Trade Organization in dealing with labor standards and trade. Authors then consider conceptually how foreign direct investment might affect host-country wages. Available theories yield ambiguous predictions, leaving the effects to be examined empirically. Authors therefore, finally, review empirical evidence on multinational firm wages in developing countries, and the relationship between foreign direct investment and labor rights. This evidence indicates that multinational firms routinely provide higher wages and better working conditions than their local counterparts, and they are typically not attracted preferentially to countries with weak labor standards.
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Опубликовано на портале: 06-10-2003
Raghuram G. Rajan, Luigi Zingales NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  No. 9478.
Объясняя межстрановые различия в обеспечении прав собственности, авторы исследуют фактор их распределения. Показывается, что защита прав собственности существенно облегчается в случае, когда собственность находится непосредственно в руках производителей, в противоположность случаю, когда собственностью владеют третьи лица (получатели ренты).
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Опубликовано на портале: 22-12-2003
Barry Eichengreen, Alan M. Taylor NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9666.
How will free trade affect monetary policy and exchange rate regime choices in the Americas? While the European Union illustrates how the creation of an integrated market in goods and services can enhance monetary cooperation and integration, it is not clear that Europe's experience translates to Latin America, where the political circumstances are different. Autors try to understand whether the monetary consequences of existing regional trade agreements, including but not limited to the European Union, mainly reflect spillovers from trade integration, or whether observed outcomes have been mainly about politics. Our results incline us toward the latter interpretation, leaving us pessimistic about the basis for deeper monetary cooperation. If exchange rate volatility is to be tamed, then the more widespread adoption of inflation targeting, which we find to be associated with a significant reduction in bilateral exchange rate volatility, may be the most promising path.
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Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2003
Christopher Blattman, Jason Hwang, Jeffrey G. Williamson NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9940.
The contending fundamental determinants of growth - institutions, geography and culture - exhibit far more persistence than do the growth rates they are supposed to explain. So, what exogenous shocks might account for the variance around those persistent fundamentals? The terms of trade seems to be one good place to look. Using a panel data base for 35 countries, this paper estimates the impact of terms of trade volatility and secular change between 1870 and 1938. Authors find that volatility was much more important than secular change. Additionally, both effects were asymmetric between core and periphery, findings that speak directly to the terms of trade debates that have raged since Prebisch and Singer wrote more than 50 years ago.
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Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2003
Brian R. Copeland, M. Scott Taylor NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9823.
For the last ten years environmentalists and the trade policy community have engaged in a heated debate over the environmental consequences of liberalized trade. The debate was originally fueled by negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Uruguay round of GATT negotiations, both of which occurred at a time when concerns over global warming, species extinction and industrial pollution were rising. Recently it has been intensified by the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and proposals for future rounds of trade negotiations. The debate has often been unproductive. It has been hampered by the lack of a common language and also suffered from little recourse to economic theory and empirical evidence. The purpose of this essay is set out what we currently know about the environmental consequences of economic growth and international trade. We critically review both theory and empirical work to answer three basic questions. What do we know about the relationship between international trade, economic growth and the environment? How can this evidence help us evaluate ongoing policy debates? Where do we go from here?
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Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2003
Erkan Erdem, James R. Tybout NBER Working Paper Series. 2003.  w9947.
Firm- and plant-level empirical studies typically find that trade liberalization squeezes price-cost margins among import-competing firms, that this heightened competitive pressure induces productivity gains among these same firms, and that further efficiency gains come from market share reallocations. Using a computable industrial evolution model to simulate the dynamic effects of import competition, we demonstrate what types of managerial behavior, long-term transition paths and welfare effects are consistent with this set of stylized facts.
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