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Economics and Finance

Economics and Finance

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The global financial crisis has prompted economists to rethink fundamental questions on how governments should intervene in the financial sector. Many countries have already begun to reform the taxation and regulation of the financial sector—in the United States, for example, the Dodd–Frank Act became law in 2010; in Europe, different countries have introduced additional taxes on the sector and made substantial progress toward a banking union for the eurozone. Only recently, however, has a new field in economics emerged to study the interplay between public finance and banking. This book offers the latest thinking on the topic by American and European economists.

The contributors first explore new conceptual ground, offering rigorous theoretical analyses that help us better understand how tax policy and regulation can contribute to avoiding another crisis or reducing its impact. Contributors then investigate the behavior of financial institutions in response to various forms of taxation and regulation, offering empirical evidence that is vital for policy design.

Contributors
Thiess Buettner, Jin Cao, Giuseppina Cannas, Gunther Capelle-Blancard, Jessica Cariboni, Brian Coulter, Ernesto Crivelli, Ruud de Mooij, Michael P. Devereux, Katharina Erbe, Ricardo Fenochietto, Marco Petracco Giudici, Timothy J. Goodspeed, Reint Gropp, Olena Havyrlchyk, Michael Keen, Lawrence L. Kreicher, Julia Lendvai, Ben Lockwood, Massimo Marchesi, Donato Masciandaro, Colin Mayer, Robert N. McCauley, Patrick McGuire, Gaëtan Nicodème, Masanori Orihara, Francesco Passarelli, Carola Pessino, Rafal Raciborski, John Vickers, Lukas Vogel, Stefano Zedda

Twenty-Three Nobel Economists

Lives of the Laureates offers readers an informal history of modern economic thought as told through autobiographical essays by twenty-three Nobel Prize laureates in Economics. The essays not only provide unique insights into major economic ideas of our time but also shed light on the processes of intellectual discovery and creativity. The accounts are accessible and engaging, achieving clarity without sacrificing inherently difficult content.

This sixth edition adds four recent Nobelists to its pages: Eric Maskin, who illustrates his explanation of mechanism design with an example involving a mother, a cake, and two children; Joseph Stiglitz, who recounts his field’s ideological wars linked to policy disputes; Paul Krugman, who describes the insights he gained from studying the model of the Capitol Hill Babysitting Coop (and the recession it suffered when more people wanted to accumulate babysitting coupons than redeem them); and Peter Diamond, who maps his development from student to teacher to policy analyst.

Lives of the Laureates grows out of a continuing lecture series at Trinity University in San Antonio, which invites Nobelists from American universities to describe their evolution as economists in personal as well as technical terms. These lectures demonstrate the richness and diversity of contemporary economic thought. The reader will find that paths cross in unexpected ways--that disparate thinkers were often influenced by the same teachers—and that luck as well as hard work plays a role in the process of scientific discovery.

The Laureates
Lawrence R. Klein • Kenneth J. Arrow • Paul A. Samuelson • Milton Friedman • George J. Stigler • James Tobin • Franco Modigliani • James M. Buchanan • Robert M. Solow • William F. Sharpe • Douglass C. North • Myron S. Scholes • Gary S. Becker • Robert E. Lucas, Jr. • James J. Heckman • Vernon L. Smith • Edward C. Prescott • Thomas C. Schelling • Edmund S. Phelps • Eric S. Maskin • Joseph E. Stiglitz • Paul Krugman • Peter A. Diamond

Marriage in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900

Since Malthus, an East–West dichotomy has been used to characterize marriage behavior in Asia and Europe. Marriages in Asia were said to be early and universal, in Europe late and non-universal. In Europe, marriages were supposed to be the result of individual choices but, in Asia, decided by families and communities. This book challenges this binary taxonomy of marriage patterns and family systems. Drawing on richer and more nuanced data, the authors compare the interpretations based on aggregate demographic patterns with studies of individual actions in local populations. Doing so, they are able to analyze simultaneously the influence on marriage decisions of individual demographic features, socioeconomic status and composition of the household, and local conditions, and the interactions of these variables. They find differences between East and West but also variation within regions and commonality across regions.

The book studies local populations in Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Japan, and China. Rather than a simple comparison of aggregate marriage patterns, it examines marriage outcomes and determinants of local populations in different countries using similar data and methods. The authors first present the results of comparative analyses of first marriage and remarriage and then offer chapters each of which is devoted to the results from a specific country. Similarity in Difference is the third in a prizewinning series on the demographic history of Eurasia, following Life under Pressure (2004) and Prudence and Pressure (2009), both published by the MIT Press.

Implications for Education Financing and Economic Policy

The mobility of students in developed countries has dramatically increased over the last fifty years. Students do not necessarily remain in their countries of origin for higher education and work; they might be born in one country, attend university in a second, and find employment in a third. In this book, contributors from Europe, North America, and Australia examine the interrelated mobility of university students and the highly skilled, and its consequences—in the country of origin, in the host country during studies, and in the work destination country—for fiscal policies, the financing of higher education, and economic growth.

Taking a variety of approaches, including formal modeling and econometric analysis, the contributors first examine evidence of the interrelationship between the mobility of students and graduates, especially researchers; investigate free-riding problems associated with mobility, including the provision and funding of public higher education; and address the effects of education policy on human capital accumulation and economic development, offering recommendations for well-designed policies in the presence of migration of talents.

Contributors
Nicholas Barr, Elena Del Rey, Susana Elena-Pérez, Gabriel J. Felbermayr, Ana Fernandez-Zubieta, Luisa Gagliardi, Marcel Gérard, Alexander Haupt, Tim Krieger, Thomas Lange, Elisabetta Marinelli, Richard Murphy, María Racionero, Isabella Reczkowski, Silke Uebelmesser, Linda van Bouwel, Reinhilde Veugelers, David E. Wildasin

A Behavioral Approach to Improving Skills and Investment Processes

Portfolio management is a tough business. Each day, managers face the challenges of an ever-changing and unforgiving market, where strategies and processes that worked yesterday may not work today, or tomorrow. The usual advice for improving portfolio performance—refining your strategy, staying within your style, doing better research, trading more efficiently—is important, but doesn’t seem to affect outcomes sufficiently. This book, by an experienced advisor to institutional money managers, goes beyond conventional thinking to offer a new analytic framework that enables investors to improve their performance confidently, deliberately, and simply, by applying the principles of behavioral finance.

W. Edwards Deming observed that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Active portfolio management lacks methods for measuring key inputs to management success like skills, process, and behavioral tendencies. Michael Ervolini offers a conceptually straightforward and well-tested framework that does just that, with evidence of how it helps managers enhance self-awareness and become better investors. In a series of short, accessible chapters, Ervolini investigates a range of topics from psychology and neuroscience, describing their relevance to the challenges of portfolio management. Finally, Ervolini offers seven ideas for improving. These range from maintaining an investment diary to performing rudimentary calculations that quantify basic skills; each idea, or “project,” helps managers gain a deeper understanding of their strengths and shortcomings and how to use this knowledge to improve investment performance.

SEVEN IDEAS FOR IMPROVING PERFORMANCE

  • -Embracing the Scientific Method
  • -Maintaining a Diary
  • -Accounting for Skill
  • -Learning about Buying Skill
  • -Measuring Your Sell Effectiveness
  • -Calibrating Sizing
  • -Using Checklists

Auctions are highly structured market transactions primarily used in thin markets (markets with few participants and infrequent transactions). In auctions, unlike most other markets, offers and counteroffers are typically made within a structure defined by a set of rigid and comprehensive rules. Because auctions are essentially complex negotiations that occur within a fully defined and rigid set of rules, they can be analyzed by game theoretic models more accurately and completely than can most other types of market transactions.

This book offers a guide for modeling, analyzing, and predicting the outcomes of auctions, focusing on the application of game theory and auction theory to real-world auction design and decision making. After a brief introduction to fundamental concepts from game theory, the book explains some of the more significant results from the auction theory literature, including the revenue (or payoff) equivalence theorem, the winner’s curse, and optimal auction design. Chapters on auction practice follow, addressing collusion, competition, information disclosure, and other basic principles of auction management, with some discussion of auction experiments and simulations. Finally, the book covers auction experience, with most of the discussion centered on energy and telecommunications auctions, which have become the proving ground for many new auction designs. A clear and concise introduction to auctions, auction design, and auction strategy, this Primer will be an essential resource for students, researchers, and practitioners.

Edited by Paul H. Schultz

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed by Congress in 2010 largely in response to the financial crisis, created the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; among other provisions, it limits proprietary trading by banks, changes the way swaps are traded, and curtails the use of credit ratings. The effects of Dodd–Frank remain a matter for speculation; more than half of the regulatory rulemaking called for in the bill has yet to be completed. In this book, experts on Dodd–Frank and financial regulation—academics, regulators, and practitioners—discuss the ways that the law is likely to succeed and the ways it is likely to come up short.

Placing their discussion in the broader context of regulatory issues, the contributors consider banking reform; the regulation of derivatives; the Volcker Rule, and whether or not banks should be forced to stop proprietary trading; the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and possible flaws in its conception; the law and “too-big-to-fail” institutions; mortgage reform, including qualification requirements and securitization; and new disclosure requirements regarding CEO compensation and conflict minerals.

Contributors
James R. Barth, Jeff Bloch, Mark A. Calabria, Charles W. Calomiris, Shane Corwin, Cem Demiroglu, John Dearie, Amy K. Edwards, Raymond P. H. Fishe, Priyank Gandhi, Thomas M. Hoenig, Christopher M. James, Anil K Kashyap, Robert McDonald, James Overdahl, Craig Pirrong, Matthew Richardson, Paul H. Schultz, David Skeel, Chester Spatt, Anjan Thakor, John Walsh, Lawrence J. White, Arthur Wilmarth, Todd J. Zywicki

This manual includes solutions to the odd-numbered exercises in Economic Dynamics in Discrete Time. Some exercises are purely analytical, while others require numerical methods. Computer codes are provided for most problems. Many exercises ask the reader to apply the methods learned in a chapter to solve related problems, but some exercises ask the reader to complete missing steps in the proof of a theorem or in the solution of an example in the book.

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.

Useful Economics for the World Economy

As the global economic crisis continues to cause damage, some policy makers have called for a more Keynesian approach to current economic problems. In this book, the economists Peter Temin and David Vines provide an accessible introduction to Keynesian ideas that connects Keynes’s insights to today’s global economy and offers readers a way to understand current policy debates.

John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) created the branch of economics now known as macroeconomics. He played a major role in the reconstruction of Europe and the world economy after the Second World War. Keynesian economics came to be identified with efforts to mitigate the Great Depression and with postwar economic policies that helped power a golden age of economic growth. Temin and Vines argue that Keynes also provided a way to understand the interactions among nations, and therein lies his relevance for today’s global crisis.

Temin and Vines survey economic thinking before Keynes and explain how difficult it was for Keynes to escape from conventional wisdom. They set out the Keynesian analysis of a closed economy and expand the analysis to the international economy, using a few simple graphs to present Keynes’s formal analyses in an accessible way. They discuss problems of today’s world economy, showcasing the usefulness of a simple Keynesian approach to current economic policy choices. Keynesian ideas, they argue, can lay the basis for a return to economic growth.

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