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Economics and Finance

Economics and Finance

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Over the last fifty years, environmentalism has emerged as a clear counterforce to the environmental destruction caused by industrialization, colonialism, and globalization. Activists and policymakers have fought hard to make the earth a better place to live. But has the environmental movement actually brought about meaningful progress toward global sustainability? Signs of global “unsustainability” are everywhere, from decreasing biodiversity to scarcity of fresh water to steadily rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The New American Innovation Policies

The United States lost almost one-third of its manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2010. As higher-paying manufacturing jobs are replaced by lower-paying service jobs, income inequality has been approaching third world levels. In particular, between 1990 and 2013, the median income of men without high school diplomas fell by an astonishing 20% between 1990 and 2013, and that of men with high school diplomas or some college fell by a painful 13%. Innovation has been left largely to software and IT startups, and increasingly U.S.

The Basis for Long-Run Economic Growth

According to Philip Parker, the relationship between physics-based physiology and macroeconomics may come to dominate explanations of economic growth. His argument focuses on the so-called equatorial paradox--the phenomenon that a country's latitude explains up to 70 percent of cross-country variances in per capita income. After introducing concepts from physics and physiology as the building blocks of homeostatic utility, he explains the role of homeostatic utility in economic growth.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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