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Economics and Finance

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This book offers a unified, comprehensive, and up-to-date treatment of analytical and numerical tools for solving dynamic economic problems. The focus is on introducing recursive methods—an important part of every economist’s set of tools—and readers will learn to apply recursive methods to a variety of dynamic economic problems. The book is notable for its combination of theoretical foundations and numerical methods. Each topic is first described in theoretical terms, with explicit definitions and rigorous proofs; numerical methods and computer codes to implement these methods follow. Drawing on the latest research, the book covers such cutting-edge topics as asset price bubbles, recursive utility, robust control, policy analysis in dynamic New Keynesian models with the zero lower bound on interest rates, and Bayesian estimation of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models.

The book first introduces the theory of dynamical systems and numerical methods for solving dynamical systems, and then discusses the theory and applications of dynamic optimization. The book goes on to treat equilibrium analysis, covering a variety of core macroeconomic models, and such additional topics as recursive utility (increasingly used in finance and macroeconomics), dynamic games, and recursive contracts. The book introduces Dynare, a widely used software platform for handling a range of economic models; readers will learn to use Dynare for numerically solving DSGE models and performing Bayesian estimation of DSGE models. Mathematical appendixes present all the necessary mathematical concepts and results. Matlab codes used to solve examples are indexed and downloadable from the book’s website. A solutions manual for students is available for sale from the MIT Press; a downloadable instructor’s manual is available to qualified instructors.

This landmark graduate-level text combines depth and breadth of coverage with recent, cutting-edge work in all the major areas of modern labor economics. Its command of the literature and its coverage of the latest theoretical, methodological, and empirical developments make it also a valuable resource for practicing labor economists.

This second edition has been substantially updated and augmented. It incorporates examples drawn from many countries, and it presents empirical methods using contributions that have proved to be milestones in labor economics. The data and codes of these research publications, as well as numerous tables and figures describing the functioning of labor markets, are all available on a dedicated website (www.labor-economics.org), along with slides that can be used as course aids and a discussion forum.

This edition devotes more space to the analysis of public policy and the levers available to policy makers, with new chapters on such topics as discrimination, globalization, income redistribution, employment protection, and the minimum wage or labor market programs for the unemployed. Theories are explained on the basis of the simplest possible models, which are in turn related to empirical results. Mathematical appendixes provide a toolkit for understanding the models.

Financial Modeling is now the standard text for explaining the implementation of financial models in Excel. This long-awaited fourth edition maintains the “cookbook” features and Excel dependence that have made the previous editions so popular. As in previous editions, basic and advanced models in the areas of corporate finance, portfolio management, options, and bonds are explained with detailed Excel spreadsheets. Sections on technical aspects of Excel and on the use of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) round out the book to make Financial Modeling a complete guide for the financial modeler.

The new edition of Financial Modeling includes a number of innovations. A new section explains the principles of Monte Carlo methods and their application to portfolio management and exotic option valuation. A new chapter discusses term structure modeling, with special emphasis on the Nelson-Siegel model. The discussion of corporate valuation using pro forma models has been rounded out with the introduction of a new, simple model for corporate valuation based on accounting data and a minimal number of valuation parameters.

Praise for earlier editions
“Financial Modeling belongs on the desk of every finance professional. Its no-nonsense, hands-on approach makes it an indispensable tool.”
—Hal R. Varian, Dean, School of Information Management and Systems, University of California, Berkeley

Financial Modeling is highly recommended to readers who are interested in an introduction to basic, traditional approaches to financial modeling and analysis, as well as to those who want to learn more about applying spreadsheet software to financial analysis."
—Edward Weiss, Journal of Computational Intelligence in Finance

“Benninga has a clear writing style and uses numerous illustrations, which make this book one of the best texts on using Excel for finance that I've seen.”
—Ed McCarthy, Ticker Magazine

This book provides an innovative, integrated, and methodical approach to understanding complex financial models, integrating topics usually presented separately into a comprehensive whole. The book brings together financial models and high-level mathematics, reviewing the mathematical background necessary for understanding these models organically and in context. It begins with underlying assumptions and progresses logically through increasingly complex models to operative conclusions. Readers who have mastered the material will gain the tools needed to put theory into practice and incorporate financial models into real-life investment, financial, and business scenarios.

Modern finance’s most bothersome shortcoming is that the two basic models for building an optimal investment portfolio, Markowitz’s mean-variance model and Sharpe and Treynor’s Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), fall short when we try to apply them using Excel Solver. This book explores these two models in detail, and for the first time in a textbook the Black-Litterman model for building an optimal portfolio constructed from a small number of assets (developed at Goldman Sachs) is thoroughly presented. The model’s integration of personal views and its application using Excel templates are demonstrated. The book also offers innovative presentations of the Modigliani–Miller model and the Consumption-Based Capital Asset Pricing Model (CCAPM). Problems at the end of each chapter invite the reader to put the models into immediate use. Fundamental Models in Financial Theory is suitable for classroom use or as a reference for finance practitioners.

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: solution manual

A Self-Contained Approach

This unique introduction to econometrics provides undergraduate students with a command of regression analysis in one semester, enabling them to grasp the empirical literature and undertake serious quantitative projects of their own. It does not assume any previous exposure to probability and statistics but does discuss the concepts in these areas that are essential for econometrics. The bulk of the textbook is devoted to regression analysis, from simple to advanced topics. Students will gain an intuitive understanding of the mathematical concepts; Java applet simulations on the book’s website demonstrate how the algebraic equations are derived in the text and are designed to reinforce the important concepts.

After presenting the essentials of probability and statistics, the book covers simple regression analysis, multiple regression analysis, and advanced topics including heteroskedasticity, autocorrelation, large sample properties, instrumental variables, measurement error, omitted variables, panel data, simultaneous equations, and binary/truncated dependent variables. Two optional chapters treat additional probability and statistics topics. Each chapter offers examples, prep problems (bringing students “up to speed” at the beginning of a chapter), review questions, and exercises. An accompanying website offers students easy access to Java simulations and data sets (available in EViews, Stata, and Excel files). After a single semester spent mastering the material presented in this book, students will be prepared to take any of the many elective courses that use econometric techniques.

• Requires no background in probability and statistics
• Regression analysis focus
• “Econometrics lab” with Java applet simulations on accompanying Website

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: solution manual, slides, and handouts

This rigorous and comprehensive textbook develops a basic small open economy model and shows how it can be extended to answer many important macroeconomic questions that arise in emerging markets and developing economies, particularly those regarding monetary, fiscal, and exchange rate issues. Eschewing the complex calibrated models on which the field of international finance increasingly relies, the book teaches the reader how to think in terms of simple models and grasp the fundamentals of open economy macroeconomics.

After analyzing the standard intertemporal small open economy model, the book introduces frictions such as imperfect capital markets, intertemporal distortions, and nontradable goods, into the basic model in order to shed light on the economy’s response to different shocks. The book then introduces money into the model to analyze the real effects of monetary and exchange rate policy. It then applies these theoretical tools to a variety of important macroeconomic issues relevant to developing countries (and, in a world of continuing financial crisis, to industrial countries as well), including the use of a nominal interest rate as a main policy instrument, the relative merits of flexible and predetermined exchange rate regimes, and the targeting of “real anchors.” Finally, the book analyzes in detail specific topics such as inflation stabilization, “dollarization,” balance of payments crises, and, inspired by recent events, financial crises. Each chapter includes boxes with relevant empirical evidence and ends with exercises. The book is suitable for use in graduate courses in development economics, international finance, and macroeconomics.

The Townsend Thai Project

Running since 1997 and continuing today, the Townsend Thai Project has tracked millions of observations about the economic activities of households and institutions in rural and urban Thailand. The project represents one of the most extensive datasets in the developing world. Chronicles from the Field offers an account of the design and implementation of this unique panel data survey. It tells the story not only of the origins and operations of the project but also of the challenges and rewards that come from a search to understand the process of a country’s economic development.

The book explains the technical details of data collection and survey instruments but emphasizes the human side of the project, describing the culture shock felt by city-dwelling survey enumerators in rural villages, the “surprising, eye-opening, and inspiring” responses to survey questions, and the never-ending resourcefulness of the survey team. The text is supplemented by an epilogue on research findings and policy recommendations and an appendix that contains a list and abstracts of published and working papers, organized by topic, using data from the project.

Social and economic policies are too often skewed by political considerations. The Townsend Thai Project offers another basis for policy: accurate measurement based on thoroughly collected data. From this, a clear template emerges for understanding poverty and alleviating it.

Public economics studies how government taxing and spending activities affect the economy—economic efficiency and the distribution of income and wealth. This comprehensive text on public economics covers the core topics of market failure and taxation as well as recent developments in both policy and the academic literature. It is unique not only in its broad scope but in its balance between public finance and public choice and its combination of theory and relevant empirical evidence.

The book covers the theory and methodology of public economics; presents a historical and theoretical overview of the public sector; and discusses such topics as departures from efficiency (including imperfect competition and asymmetric information), issues in political economy, equity, taxation, fiscal federalism, and tax competition among independent jurisdictions. Suggestions for further reading, from classic papers to recent research, appear in each chapter, as do exercises. The mathematics has been kept to a minimum without sacrificing intellectual rigor; the book remains analytical rather than discursive. This second edition has been thoroughly updated throughout. It offers new chapters on behavioral economics, limits to redistribution, international taxation, cost-benefit analysis, and the economics of climate policy. Additional exercises have been added and many sections revised in response to advice from readers of the first edition.

A solutions manual for all 582 exercises in the second edition of Intermediate Public Economics.

Business Performance Analysis Using Operations Measures and Tools

Investors and analysts often need to look into a firm’s operations more deeply than traditional financial statements and models allow. This book describes newly developed tools for using operations metrics to discern and influence the valuation of a firm. It is the first to present these techniques from a unified perspective: that of operations forensics, which looks at operations management not from the traditional point of view of a manager but from that of an investor or shareholder.

After a discussion of financial statements and the useful but incomplete insights they provide, the book covers the three components of operations forensics: operational indicators, operations details that can predict future performance; operational due diligence, methods for verifying companies’ claims about operational excellence and valuing their operational assets; and operational turnaround, an innovative approach to buyout and turnaround strategies. The text also offers brief reviews of operations management concepts, real-world examples of operations forensics, and a glossary. The mathematical material gradually increases in sophistication as the book progresses (but can be skipped without loss of continuity). Each chapter concludes with a “Takeaways and Toolkit” section, a brief summary of prior research, and suggestions for further reading.

Operations forensics offers powerful tools and frameworks for financial analysts, private equity firms, managers, and consultants. This book provides a valuable resource for MBA students and practitioners. Downloadable supplementary material for instructors incudes figures form the text and 42 slides that can be used for class presentations.

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