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Second-Year Student Forum

Academic Year 2019-2020 - Timetable in PDF

Thursday 28 May

TimePresenter and Title

GC - MB - Marta Lopes

Anatole Cheysson
Cross-market mergers in the Big Data era

GC - TC - Junze Sun

Anna Abate Bessomo
Intangible Capital and the Boundaries of Firms: Knowledge and Communication in International Production
The theory on the boundary of the firm has historically considered the consequences of integration for investments into human or physical capital, or the information ow from an upstream supplier to its downstream buyer. Yet, information (or knowledge) may also be a production input that needs to be communicated from the downstream firm to its upstream supplier. In this paper, I develop a model inspired by the classical property-rights approach to study the effects of knowledge capital on the make-or-buy decision. In this setting, knowledge is a non-standard input since it demands an absorption cost to be understood and is, once shared, non-excludable. Knowledge and its embodiment in the form of a message serve two different purposes: as a production input and as an incentive instruments, respectively. In line with prior research, I show that the independent supplier faces stronger incentives than his integrated counterpart. The firm's incentives to transmit information depend on the interaction between the need to optimise production and to incentivise the supplier. The optimal organisational form will depend on the relative strength of these effects. Empirically, I apply the model to the international sourcing decisions of U.S. firms. On the industry level, I document a robust correlation between knowledge capital and the share of imports coming from a related party. I will use a measure of the average relationship-specificity to test the implications of the model more directly.


Coffee Break

SA - TC - Alessandro Tondini

Karina Paola Colombo
Exposure to Screens and Early Childhood Development 
ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes the effects of exposure to screens in early childhood fostered by the recent expansion in internet connectivity. The increased exposure to devices connected to high-speed internet could have an effect on the achievement of children's developmental milestones through different mechanisms: a direct effect due to the increase in screen time across different platforms; an indirect effect produced by a reduction in time spent in other activities more effective for child development; and an indirect effect related to a reduction in the quantity and quality of adult-child interactions. To analyze this question, we exploit the recent introduction of fiber optic in a developing country, Uruguay, to analyze the effects of internet in the developmental outcomes of children between 0 and 5 years of age. Combining administrative data on the geographical differences in timing of fiber-optic penetration with survey data on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes for two cohorts of children, we estimate the intention-to-treat effects of fiber optic on several psychometric tests. In addition, we explore the direct and indirect mechanisms behind these potential effects. This study contributes to the literature by providing evidence on high-quality outcomes at the population level for a crucial period of life in a developing country.

TC - JB - Francisco Vitorino Queiros

Hugo Bourousse

Non-Separable Preferences, Euler Equations and Money Market Interest Rates: a GMM Approach

13.00 - 14.00

Lunch Break

TC - AA - Nils Grevenbrock

Leonardo Indraccolo
Entrepreneurship over the life-cycle: The role of entrepreneurial (human) capital accumulation
ABSTRACT In this paper we use a novel dataset on Danish entrepreneurs to provide new facts on the  characteristics of business owners and the taxonomy of entrepreneurship over the life-cycle. We document that entrepreneurs are on average in their forties when opening a firm and that entrepreneurial (human) capital accumulation is an important driver of the life-cycle patterns of entry into entrepreneurship. Motivated by these empirical facts we develop a general equilibrium occupational choice model in which agents can accumulate entrepreneurial (human) capital before becoming entrepreneurs. We calibrate the model to match our new micro-level evidence and use it to quantify the role of financial versus human capital accumulation for business creation over an individual's life-cycle. In the final section we use this framework to study how a wealth tax affects occupational choices over the life-cycle, human and physical capital accumulation and welfare. We quantify the importance of accounting for an endogenous human capital accumulation channel for evaluating the efficiency and welfare effects of wealth taxation

GC - AM - Junze Sun

Marcin Pawel Roter  
Internet of things and product differentiation
ABSTRACTIn 2018 there were 22 billion devices connected to the internet (Strategy Analytics). The trend of these smart products and their capabilities are quickly increasing also following  the advances in supporting technologies like 5G. Products designed in this Internet of Thing (IoT) paradigm have already found use in some industry sectors, like logistics, and consumer products, like smart homes. However, there is very limited economic research, discussing the implications of the IoT. In this paper I discuss the effects of the IoT on product differentiation and competition. I exploit one of the distinguishing feature of IoT products, that is their ability to constantly adapt to consumer preferences. To model this property, I provide an imperfect information spatial model, where  companies can offer products covering a strictly positive measure of the product space, i.e. IoT products that the firm can ex-post adapt (contrary to standard fixed product). I show, under which conditions monopolists would have incentives to offer non-zero measure product and their effect on consumers’ surplus. I will then study the  incentives to use IoT products and their consequences with competition.

15.30 - 15.45

Coffee Break

AM - AI - Alessandro Spiganti

Damiano Argan 
Does higher education signals ability? Evidence from France
ABSTRACT:  It would be reasonable to expect higher education institutions to convey precise information regarding the ability of the graduates especially given that students are repeatedly tested. However, by exploiting French data I uncover evidences on how the French University has become unable to reveal to the labor market the differences in ability of its graduates. Given the availability of several cohorts, I observe how the capability of revealing graduates' ability was inherent to the French system in the past. I connect this phenomenon to the stark increase in graduates experienced during the period under study and to the non-selective nature of the French higher education. 

Friday 29 May 

AI - SA - Giulia Tura
Alice Dominici 
Family systems, gender norms and economic outcomes. A lesson from Italian history 
ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the causal effect of family systems and associated gender norms on household economic outcomes.  I construct a household-level dataset on the Pontine Marshes’ colonization (1933-1943),  during  which  agrarian  families from Northern Italy with two different family systems moved to an uninhabited area under strict control of the fascist regime, and were subject to different shocks following WWII males’ conscription. I exploit the variation in households’ heads’ presence during the war to measure how culture affected women’s ability to lead production and secure messuage ownership. Preliminary analyses on partial data indicate significant differences and motivate further data collection.
RM - JB - Alessandro Spiganti
Adrien Wicht
Making Sovereign Debt Safe with a Financial Stability Fund (joint with Ramon Marimon and Yan Liu) 
This paper further advances the design of an optimal Financial Stability Fund (Fund) of Abrahám, Carceles-Poveda, Liu and Marimon (2019) by not having the Fund absorbing all the sovereign debt of a country. The Fund's long-term contracts are subject to two-sided limited enforcement constraints: at any point in time the borrowing country may breach the contract and exit, while the Fund cannot have expected losses. The country's constraint therefore represents a sovereignty constraint, whereas the lenders' constraint can be interpreted as a debt sustainability analysis. The country can borrow one-period defaultable bonds on the private international market, while having a state-contingent contract with the Fund, which provides insurance and, possibly, credit. The Fund contract has no seniority with respect to the privately held sovereign debt and, therefore, takes this external debt into account. In equilibrium, the Fund contract prevents the country from defaulting on its entire debt position. As a result, the debt in the private international market becomes risk-free, although it is narrowed when the Fund's limited enforcement constraint binds. The share of debt held by the Fund might be indeterminate; nevertheless, there is one contract that minimizes the debt absorbed by the Fund. Our model therefore provides an appealing theoretical and quantitative framework to address sovereign debt-overhang problems and, in doing so, increasing the supply of “safe assets”, in the Euro Area and elsewhere.



Coffee Break 

RM - RC - Francisco Vitorino Queiros

Chloe Larkou 
The macroeconomic impact of trade policy - A new identification approach (joint work with Alica Bonk)
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we estimate the short- and medium-term effects of trade policy shocks on the U.S. economy. Using a novel data set of daily official trade policy statements by the U.S. and its partners since 2007, we propose a new identification strategy that exploits the differential stock price reaction of trade exposed and non-trade exposed firms to these statements. Thus, we can quantify the unanticipated component of policy changes.

Estimating local projections, we uncover interesting asymmetries and non-linearities depending on the sign and the size of identified trade policy shocks. We also find that firm investment, unemployment and consumption react more strongly to shocks caused by trade partners rather than to those initiated by the U.S. In addition, we show that implementations elicit a more significant response than announcements. Uncertainty about whether policymakers will follow through with planned policy changes prompts firms and households to adopt a "wait and see" approach. In an extension, we use President Trump’s tweets instead of official statements to investigate whether the source of trade policy news affects our results.

12.15 -13.00 
PK - DL - Nils Grevenbrock

Piotr Pieniazek 
Belle Époque British Wealth Distribution and Social Mobility: A Quantitative Approach
ABSTRACT: Late XIX and early XX century period in the United Kingdom is characterized by extremely high wealth inequality and low social mobility. To address these phenomena quantitatively, I focus on the role of three factors: skewed earnings, differential saving rates across wealth levels and stochastic idiosyncratic returns to wealth, by using a simple life-cycle model, following the theory of Benhabib, Bisin and Luo (2019). Using carefully gathered historical data, I try to calibrate the model in such a way that it reproduces British antebellum wealth shares and social mobility, thereby also putting the original theory into an external validity test. The model with parameters set in this way accounts poorly for both of the facts under investigation at the same time.

13.00 - 14.00

Lunch Break

RC - DL - Giulia Tura

Nihan Nur Arkhan 
R&D Spillovers from State-Owned Enterprises in China
ABSTRACT: In this study, I investigate the effects of R&D spillovers from state-owned enterprises in China on privately-owned enterprises' performance. R&D spillovers includes two main channels offsetting each other: knowledge spillovers and product market spillovers. While, knowledge spillovers may have a positive effect on the productivity, product market spillovers affect profits of the firm negatively through business stealing effects. With a simple model, I show that these two channels of R&D spillovers from state-owned enterprises act in opposite directions and lead to overall ambiguous effect on R&D decisions of privately owned enterprises. Using Chinese firm-level dataset between 2005 and 2007, I examine how state-owned enterprises' R&D activities affect privately owned enterprises' R&D decisions. Results shows that R&D expenditures of state-owned enterprises in the same industry-year group affect privately-owned enterprises' decision to undertake R&D positively. I also found that the effects of R&D expenditures of state-owned enterprises on privately owned enterprises' R&D expenditures suggesting positive but not robust effects. The initial analyses provide motivation for the further analysis using structural estimation that also includes the effects on privately-owned enterprises' productivity and output.

14.45 -15.30
RC - AA - Marta Lopes

Carla Varona Cervantes 
The Labor Market Implications of Education Mismatch
This project studies the impact of education mismatch on labor market outcomes. Building on Cooper and Liu (2019), there is evidence of under- and over-match both in education and the labor market among OECD countries. Our empirical analysis finds that education mismatch does indeed have labor market effects through wages, job assignment and training among those countries. Motivated by this, we plan to build on Cooper and Liu (2019) and study a model highlighting the interaction between education choice and labor market outcomes. As a first step, we conduct a series of estimation exercises that modify in a simple way the estimation of the model from Cooper and Liu (2019). We find that, when we add labor market outcomes to the set of moments, the parameters reported in Cooper and Liu (2019) continue to match well the moments related to education in our sample but they fail to match the other labor market moments and hence the fit of the model worsen. Moreover, when we modify the job assignment process to use transition probabilities taken from the data and re-estimate the  model including labor market moments, we find that measured education mismatch is driven by taste shocks rather than noise in the test jobs as in Cooper and Liu (2019). 

15.30 - 15.45

Coffee Break

15.45 - 16.30
RC - RM - Cristina Lafuente Martinez

Juan Castellanos Silvan 

Internal Migration & the Labor Market after the Housing Boom and Bust. A lifecycle perspective 
ABSTRACT: The regional differences in house prices have doubled during the last decade in Spain. In this paper, I study the relevance of internal migration as a potential mechanism that can explain such evolution of house prices. I suspect that the lack of employment opportunities for young workers paired with a substantial decrease in their home ownership rates, increased their mobility. As a result, they started to flow into bigger/more productive cities pushing house prices up in these locations. 




Page last updated on 27 May 2020