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Economics and Finance

Economics and Finance

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The Macroeconomics of Search and Unemployment

This book offers an integrated framework to study the theoretical and quantitative properties of economies with frictions in multiple markets. Building on analyses of markets with frictions by 2010 Nobel laureates Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen, and Christopher A. Pissarides, which provided a new theoretical approach to search markets, the book applies this new paradigm to labor, finance, and goods markets. It shows, in particular, how frictions in different markets interact with each other.

Classical and Gibbs-Sampling Approaches with Applications

Both state-space models and Markov switching models have been highly productive paths for empirical research in macroeconomics and finance. This book presents recent advances in econometric methods that make feasible the estimation of models that have both features. One approach, in the classical framework, approximates the likelihood function; the other, in the Bayesian framework, uses Gibbs-sampling to simulate posterior distributions from data.

Collusion occurs when firms in a market coordinate their behavior for the purpose of producing a supracompetitive outcome. The literature on the theory of collusion is deep and broad but most of that work does not take account of the possible illegality of collusion. Recently, there has been a growing body of research that explicitly focuses on collusion that runs afoul of competition law and thereby makes firms potentially liable for penalties.

This introduction to natural resource economics treats resources as a type of capital; their management is an investment problem requiring forward-looking behavior within a dynamic setting. Market failures are widespread, often associated with incomplete or nonexistent property rights, complicated by policy failures. The book covers standard resource economics topics, including both the Hotelling model for nonrenewable resources and models for renewable resources.

The Transition from Plan to Market

As China has transformed itself from a centrally planned economy to a market economy, economists have tried to understand and interpret the success of Chinese reform. As the Chinese economist Yingyi Qian explains, there are two schools of thought on Chinese reform: the “School of Universal Principles,” which ascribes China’s successful reform to the workings of the free market, and the “School of Chinese Characteristics,” which holds that China’s reform is successful precisely because it did not follow the economics of the market but instead relied on the government.

This book introduces the economic applications of the theory of continuous-time finance, with the goal of enabling the construction of realistic models, particularly those involving incomplete markets. Indeed, most recent applications of continuous-time finance aim to capture the imperfections and dysfunctions of financial markets—characteristics that became especially apparent during the market turmoil that started in 2008.

Over the last two hundred years, mortality and fertility levels in the Western world have dropped to unprecedented levels. This demographic transition was accompanied by an economic transition that led to widespread education and economic growth after centuries of near-stagnation. At the same time, other changes have occurred in family structures, culture, and the organization of society. Economists have only recently begun to take into account the demographic transition from high mortality and high fertility when modeling and researching economic development.

Reform Priorities
Edited by Ian Parry

The European Union (EU) faces critical challenges in energy policy making, the most pressing of which are how to achieve the deep greenhouse gas reductions promised at the December 2015 UN Conference of the Parties in Paris, and how this effort can be coordinated with already existing policies. Energy policy is primarily a member state responsibility, and policy makers need an overarching view of the main issues in energy policy and their interaction with environmental policies.

In Giving Kids a Fair Chance, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman argues that the accident of birth is the greatest source of inequality in America today. Children born into disadvantage are, by the time they start kindergarten, already at risk of dropping out of school, teen pregnancy, crime, and a lifetime of low-wage work. This is bad for all those born into disadvantage and bad for American society.

Design and Analysis

In the twenty-first-century digital world, virtual goods are sold for real money. Digital game players happily pay for avatars, power-ups, and other game items. But behind every virtual sale, there is a virtual economy, simple or complex. In this book, Vili Lehdonvirta and Edward Castronova introduce the basic concepts of economics into the game developer’s and game designer’s toolkits. Lehdonvirta and Castronova explain how the fundamentals of economics—markets, institutions, and money—can be used to create or analyze economies based on artificially scarce virtual goods.

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