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Microeconomics

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Capital Theory and Investment Behavior


These studies of the cost of capital will inspire and guide policy-makers who share the goal of making the allocation of capital in a market economy more efficient.

Volume 1 presents pioneering studies of the cost of capital as a determinant of investment expenditures. The cost of capital summarizes the future consequences of investment essential for current decisions. This concept has become an indispensible tool for studying the dynamics of investment behavior. Both macroeconome tric models and intertemporal general equilibrium models have employed the cost of capital as a determinant of short- and long-term investment expenditures.

Tax Policy and the Cost of Capital


These studies of the cost of capital will inspire and guide policy-makers who share the goal of making the allocation of capital in a market economy more efficient.

Volume 2 is devoted to the cost of capital approach to tax policy. This approach has supplied an important intellectual impetus for reforms of capital income taxation in the United States and around the world. Widespread applications of the cost of capital and the closely related concept of the marginal effective tax rate are due to the fact that these concepts facilitate the representation of economically relevant features of complex tax statutes in a highly succinct form.


What are the real effects of inflation? These collected articles constitute what is perhaps the definitive study of pricing models under inflation, providing a solid basis for further research on this elusive question. Covering a broad range of theory and applications by well-known microeconomists, the eighteen contributions evaluate the effects of inflation on aggregate output and on welfare and reveal the scope of recent efforts to explicitly incorporate frictions in economic models.

A basic building block common to most of the essays in this volume is the observation that individual firms change nominal prices intermittently. The frequency and size of nominal price changes are influenced by the cost of price adjustment and changes in the economic environment, production costs, market demand, market structure, and most important, inflation. Thus the degree of nominal rigidity is influenced by the economic environment, and in a dynamic context.

Two introductory essays survey the empirical studies of pricing policies by individual firms and the theoretical efforts to integrate the nominal rigidities at the micro level into macro relationships. The essays that follow treat the general problem of optimal dynamic adjustment in the presence of convex costs of adjustment, include applications of the inventory models to the case of nominal price adjustment by an individual firm, address the question of aggregation, introduce active search by consumers, and provide empirical analysis of nominal price rigidities.

Essays in Honor of Frank Hahn

These original essays focus on a wide range of topics related to Frank Hahn's distinguished work in economics. Ranging from market analysis and game theory to the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics and from equilibrium and optimality with missing markets to economics and society, they reflect the diversity of modem research in economic theory. What distinguishes Hahn's work and many of the essays in this book is that the motivation often comes from practical concerns about unemployment, savings and investment, poverty, or the stability of markets.

The essays in Part I deal with the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics - a field in which Hahn has made important contributions, most notably in the theory of monetary economics. Topics include an evaluation of Hahn's contribution to the theory of distribution and such macroeconomic themes as coordination failure, multiple equilibria, and strategic issues.

Part II contains recent contributions to game theory reflecting Hahn's interest in the question of what is rational behavior. The essays in Part III concentrate on general-equilibrium theory with missing markets, a field in which Hahn has made major advances. Although the essays address a different set of issues , they share with Hahn's works such themes as market failure, indeterminacy of equilibrium, and the role of money.

Partha Dasgupta is Professor of Economics at Cambridge University. Douglas Gale is Professor of Economics at Boston University. Oliver Hart is Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Eric Maskin is Professor of Economics at Harvard University.

Imperfect Competition and Sticky Prices

These two volumes bring together a set of important essays that represent a "new Keynesian" perspective in economics today. This recent work shows how the Keynesian approach to economic fluctuations can be supported by rigorous microeconomic models of economic behavior. The essays are grouped in seven parts that cover costly price adjustment, staggering of wages and prices, imperfect competition, coordination failures, and the markets for labor, credit, and goods. An overall introduction, brief introductions to each of the parts, and a bibliography of additional papers in the field round out this valuable collection.

Volume 1 focuses on how friction in price setting at the microeconomic level leads to nominal rigidity at the macroeconomic level, and on the macroeconomic consequences of imperfect competition, including aggregate demand externalities and multipliers. Volume 2 addresses recent research on non-Walrasian features of the labor, credit, and goods markets.

Contributors: George A Akerlof. Costas Azariadis. Laurence Ball. Ben S. Bernanke. Mark Bits. Olivier J. Blanchard. Alan S. Blinder. John Bryant. Andrew S. Caplin. Dennis W. Carlton. Stephen G. Cecchetti. Russell Cooper. Peter A. Diamond. Gary Fethke. Stanley Fischer. Robert E. Hall. Oliver Hart. Andrew John. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki. Alan B. Krueger. David M. Lilien. Ian M. McDonald. N. David Mankiw. Arthur M. Okun. Andres Policano. David Romer. Julio J. Rotemberg. Garth Saloner. Carl Shapiro. Andrei Shleifer. Robert M. Solow. Daniel F. Spulber. Joseph E. Stiglitz. Lawrence H. Summers. John Taylor. Andrew Weiss. Michael Woodford. Janet L. Yellen.

Coordination Failures and Real Rigidities

These two volumes bring together a set of important essays that represent a "new Keynesian" perspective in economics today. This recent work shows how the Keynesian approach to economic fluctuations can be supported by rigorous microeconomic models of economic behavior. The essays are grouped in seven parts that cover costly price adjustment, staggering of wages and prices, imperfect competition, coordination failures, and the markets for labor, credit, and goods. An overall introduction, brief introductions to each of the parts, and a bibliography of additional papers in the field round out this valuable collection.Volume 1 focuses on how friction in price setting at the microeconomic level leads to nominal rigidity at the macroeconomic level, and on the macroeconomic consequences of imperfect competition, including aggregate demand externalities and multipliers. Volume 2 addresses recent research on non-Walrasian features of the labor, credit, and goods markets.N. Gregory Mankiw is Professor of Economics at Harvard University. David Romer is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley.Contributors: George A Akerlof. Costas Azariadis. Laurence Ball. Ben S. Bernanke. Mark Bits. Olivier J. Blanchard. Alan S. Blinder. John Bryant. Andrew S. Caplin. Dennis W. Carlton. Stephen G. Cecchetti. Russell Cooper. Peter A. Diamond. Gary Fethke. Stanley Fischer. Robert E. Hall. Oliver Hart. Andrew John. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki. Alan B. Krueger. David M. Lilien. Ian M. McDonald. N. David Mankiw. Arthur M. Okun. Andres Policano. David Romer. Julio J. Rotemberg. Garth Saloner. Carl Shapiro. Andrei Shleifer. Robert M. Solow. Daniel F. Spulber. Joseph E. Stiglitz. Lawrence H. Summers. John Taylor. Andrew Weiss. Michael Woodford. Janet L. Yellen.

Toward a Formal Science of Economics provides a unifying way to look at the concept of economic science. It lays a foundation for the axiomatic method, focusing on applications in economics and econometrics, and including discussions in logic, epistemology, and probability theory. Each chapter deals with a topic of fundamental importance to a rigorous science of economics while illustrating an aspect of the axiomatic method.

Stigum describes an introductory course in mathematical logic, developing a symbolic language for mathematics and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the axiomatic method. He presents the standard theory of consumer choice, illustrating different aspects of the use of the axiomatic method and evaluating economic theories of individual behavior. He takes up problems in the foundations of econometrics and choice under uncertainty and offers an introduction to nonstandard analysis that leads to discussion of exchange and probability in hyperspace. A section on epistemology completes Stigum's construction of a formal unitary methodological basis for theoretical and empirical science.

The last three parts of the book apply these methodological tools to various topics in economics and econometrics including empirical analyses of the permanent income hypothesis and consumer choice among risky and nonrisky assets; discussion of determinism, uncertainty, and the utility hypothesis; and study of topics of importance to the analysis of economic time series.

Significantly rewritten and updated, this well known textbook covers the whole of monetary economics, from the role of money to international monetary relationships. It is unique in linking theoretical findings to policy issues and events, and extends conventional analyses of financial intermediation and monetary theory.

Money, Information, and Uncertainty bridges the gap between introductory textbooks and the latest journal articles, clarifying the macroeconomic significance of a series of innovative developments in the economics of information and the analysis of financial markets and institutions. Goodhart brings out the key implications of ideas such as information asymmetries and market-completion services for problems relating to money and banking, making it easier for banking specialists who don't follow the financial literature to understand where their field is moving.

The book's 18 chapters are organized around the theme that monetary phenomena can be properly understood only against a background of uncertainty and information costs, and around the premise that portfolio theory is the most appropriate analytical tool.

The first 9 chapters focus on microeconomic issues, such as the role of and the demand for money and the role and functions of banks and of the Central Bank. The final 9 chapters take up macroeconomic issues, such as the transmission mechanisms of monetary policy and international monetary problems. Chapters new to this edition cover the nature of markets, credit rationing, the functions of central banks, financial regulation the determination of interest rates, and floating exchange rates.

Regaining the Productive Edge

What went wrong and how can America become second to none in industrial productivity? This long awaited study by a team of top notch MIT scientists and economists - the MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity - takes a hard look at the recurring weaknesses of American industry that are threatening the country's standard of living and its position in the world economy. Made in America identifies what is best and worth replicating in American industrial practice and sets out five national priorities for regaining the productive edge.Unlike other studies that prescribe macroeconomic cures, Made in America focuses on the reorganization and effective integration of human resources and new technologies within the firm as a principal driving force for long term growth in productivity.Made in America examines the relationship between human resources and technological change in detail and singles out the most significant productivity weaknesses from the myriad causes that are typically cited. These include short­time horizons and a preoccupation with the bottom line, outdated strategies that focus excessively on the domestic market, lack of cooperation within and among U.S. firms, neglect of human resources, technological failures in translating discoveries to products, and a mismatch between governmental actions and the needs of industry.Looking ahead Made in America asserts that industrial performance would improve substantially simply by building on what is best in U.S. industry. It describes representative systems of production that can serve as models of best industrial practice for niche producers, price competitive specialized producers, and flexible mass producers.Among the goals singled out as national priorities are the creation of a new economic citizenship that involves well­educated workers as active partners in the reproduction process, a new strategic focus on production, finding a better balance between cooperation and individualism, learning to live in an increasingly international economy, and making proper provision for the future both in terms of capital and human resources.The findings and goals of Made in America are based on such measures of productivity performance as product quality, innovativeness, time to market, and service in eight manufacturing sectors - semiconductors, computers, and office equipment; automobiles; steel; consumer electronics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals; textiles; machine tools; and commercial aircraft. These measures revealed a large gap between the best and average U.S. practice.Michael L. Dertouzos. is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of MIT's Laboratory of Computer Science. Robert M. Solow is Institute Professor of Economics, and Richard K. Lester is Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering,

The Economics of Uncertainty and Information may be used in conjunction with Loffont's Fundamentals of Economics in an advanced course in microeconomics. Both texts provide a thorough account of modern thinking on the subject and a wealth of carefully chosen examples and problems.

The first four chapters of The Economics of Uncertainty and Information summarize the essential tools of the analysis of uncertainty and information: the theory of individual behavior under uncertainty, the measures of risk aversion and the measures of risk, and the notions of certainty equivalence and information structure. Subsequent chapters introduce the theory of contingent markets, model systems of incomplete markets and define the concept of a perfect foresight equilibrium, cover two fundamental institutions for sharing risk - the stock market and insurance, show how the transmission of information by prices renders information structures endogenous, and study personalized exchange with asymmetric information.

Each chapter concludes with a list of suggested readings and with auxiliary sections which go into more detail about certain aspects of the subject. The book concludes with review problems and exercises.

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