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  • 1.
    Calmfors, Lars
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Forslund, Anders
    IFAU (The Swedish Office of Labour Market Policy Evaluation).
    Hemström, Maria
    IFAU.
    Does Active Labour Market Policy Work?: Lesson from the Swedish Experiences2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish experiences of the 1990s provide a unique example of how large-scale active labour market programmes (ALMP's) have been used as a means to fight high unemployment. This paper discussses the mechanisms through which ALMPs affect (un)employment and surveys the empirical studies of the effects of ALMPs in Sweden. The main conclusions are: (i) there is hardly any evidence for a positive effect on matching efficiency; (ii) there are some indications of positive effects on labour force participation; (iii) subsidised employment seems to cause displacement of regular employment, whereas this appears not to be the case for labout market training; (iv) it is unclear whether or not ALMPs raise aggregate wage pressure in the economy; (v) in the 1990s, training programmes seem not to have enhanced the employment probabilities off participants, whereas some forms of subsidised employment seem to have had such effects; and (vi) youth programmes seem to have caused substantial displacement effects a the same time as the gains for participants appear uncertain.

    On the whole, ALMP's have probably reduced open unemployment, but also reduced regular employment. The overall policy conclusion is that ALMPs of the scale used in Sweden in the 1990s are not an efficient means of employment policy. To be effective, ALMPs should be used on a smaller scale. There should be a greater emphasis on holding down long-term unemployment in general and a smaller emphasis on youth programmes. ALMPs should not be used as a means to renew unemployment benefit eligibility.

  • 2.
    Calmfors, Lars
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Johansson, Åsa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Nominal Wage Flexibility, Wage Indexation and Monetary Union2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Membership in a monetary union (EMU) is likely to imply stronger incentives for nominal wage flexibility in the form of wage indexation and shorter contract length than non-membership. For example, EMU entry may cause a move from non-indexation to an indexation equilibrium. But more wage flexibility is only an imperfect substitute for an own monetary policy. It is possible that an increase in wage flexibility is welfare-decreasing, because of the accompanying rise in price variability. If indexation occurs outside the EMU, wither multiple equilibria or full-indexation equilibria may occur.

  • 3.
    Groth, Charlotta
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Johansson, Åsa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Bargaining Structure and Nominal Wage Flexibility2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In a model with hetergenous agents, wage setting by monopoly unions and monetary policy conducted by a central bank, we show that the duration of nominal wage contracts is u-shaped in the degree of centralization, with intermediate bargaining systems yielding contracts of shorter duration and thus more flexible nominal wages than both decentralized and centralized systems. We also find the degree of heterogeneity in the economy. The theoretical predictions of the model are tested on OECD data. There is empirical support for the main results regarding contract length, while there is less support for the predictions regarding the level of centralization.

  • 4.
    Hassler, John
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Rodríguez Mora, José Vicente
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    Storesletten, Kjetil
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Zilibotti, Fabrizio
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    A Positive Theory of Geographic Mobility and Social Insurance2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    this paper presents a tractable dynamic general equilibrium model that can explain cross-country empirical regularities in geographical mobility, unemployment and labor market institutions. Rational agents vote over unemployment insurance (UI), taking the dynamic distortionary effects of insurance on the performance of the labor market into consideration. Agents with higher cost of moving, i.e., more attached to their current location, prefer more generous UI. The key assumption is that an agent's attachment to a location increases the longer she has resided there. UI reduces the incentive for labor mobility and increases, therefore, the fraction of attached agents and the political support for UI. The main result is that this self-reinforcing mechanism can give rise to multiple steady-states - one "European" steady-state featuring high unemployment, low geographical mobility and high unemployment insurance, and one "American" steady-state featuring low unemployment, high mobility and low unemployment insurance.

  • 5.
    Hassler, John
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Rodríguez Mora, José Vicente
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    Storesletten, Kjetil
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Zilibotti, Fabrizio
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    The Survival of the Welfare State2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides an analytical chracterization of Markov perfect equilibria in a politico-economic model with repeated voting, where agents vote over distortionary incom redistribution. The key feature of the theory is that the future constituency of redistributive policies depends positively on the current level of redistribution, since this affects both private investments and the future distribution of voters. Agents vote rationally and fully anticipate the effects of their political choice on both private incentives and future voting outcomes. The model features multiple equilibria. In "pro-welfare" equilibria, both welfare state policies and their effects on distribution persist forever. In "anti-welfare equilibria", eben a majority of beneficiaries of redistributive policies vote strategically so as to induce formation of a future majority that will vote for zero redistribution.

  • 6.
    Johansson, Åsa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    The Interaction Between Labor Market Policy and Monetary Policy: An Analysis of Time Inconsistency Problems2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper studies the interaction between time inconsistency problems in labor market policy and monetary policy. When both policies are discretionary, there is a positive inflation bias, whereas the bias market programs may be either positive or negative. A commitment of labor market programs to zero increases inflation, as compared to the case when both labor market policy and monetary policy are discretionary. Delegation of labor market policy to a liberal labor market board may improve the discretionary outcome, even if labor market programs crowd out regular employment. A conservative central bank always reduces the social loss, even when monetary policy interacts with labor market policy.

  • 7.
    Lindbeck, Assar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    The European Social Model: Lessons for Developing Countries2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Developing countries, in particular the least developed ones, probably have more to learn from special policies in Europe during the early 20th century than from the elaborate welfare-state arrangements after World War II. In addition to macroeconomic growth and stability, the main ambitions must be to fight human deprivation, including illiteracy, malnutrition, poor access to water and sanitation – and, in some cases, also weak, incompetent and/or corrupt governments. It is also important that informal systems in the fields of transfers and social services are not destroyed when developing countries embark on more formal systems in these fields in the future. The European experience also warns against the creation of social systems that are so generous that disincentives, moral hazard and receding social norms seriously distort the national economy, including the labor market.

  • 8.
    Lindbeck, Assar
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Persson, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    The Gains from Pension Reform2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    We classify social security pension systems in three dimensions: actuarial versus non-actuarial, funded versus unfunded, and defined-benefit versus defined contribution systems. Recent pension reforms are discussed in terms of these dimensions. Shifting to a more actuarial system reduces labor-market distortions, although limiting the scope for redistribution. Shifting to a funded system may increase saving, redistribute income to future generations and distort contermporary labor supply. A partial shift to a funded system helps individuals diversify their pension assets. A shift from a defined-benefit to a defined-contribution system means that income risk will be shifted from workers to pensioners.

  • 9.
    Niepelt, Dirk
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Tax Smoothing versus Tax Shifting2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Household-specific growth rates of the tax base imply that the timing of tax collections determines the distribution of tax burdens and wealth across households. Changes in financial policy do not only shift taxes across generations, but also within cohorts. Insitutional deficit constraints settle tax shifting conflicts in favor of individuals with high income growth. With distortionary taxes, policy makers trade off the wealth effects of financial policy and the efficiency cost of household-specific deadweight burdens. I apply the incidence analysis of financial policy to two examples: The financing of the German unifications, and the timing of tax collections over the U.S. business cycle.

  • 10.
    Niepelt, Dirk
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    The Fiscal Myth of the Price Level2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    I examine the "fiscal theory of the price level" according to which "non-Ricardian" policy and predetermined nominal government debt fiscally determine prices. I argue that the non-Ricardian policy assumption and, by implication, fiscal price level determination are inconsistent with a rational expectations equilibrium where all asset holdings reflect optimal household choices. In such a rational expectations equilibrium, policy must be Ricardian even if, in some states of nature, the government defaults or runs an exogenous real primary surplus sequence.

    I propose an alternative to the fiscal theory of the price level, based on nominal flows instead of nominal stocks. While this alternative framework establishes a consistent link between fiscal policy and the price level, it does not introduce inflationary fiscal effects beyond those suggested by Sargent and Wallace.

  • 11.
    Persson, Mats
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Sandmo, Agnar
    Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration.
    Taxation and Tournaments2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper analyzes the effects of progressive taxes on labour supply and income distribution in the context of the rank-order tournament model originally developed by Lazear and Rosen (1981). We show conditions under which a more progressive tax schedule will cause so large general equilibrium effects that the inequality in disposable income will actually increase. We also show that a non-zero redistributive tax is always optimal if society’s welfare function displays inequality aversion; this result always holds, regardless of behavioral responses and general equilibrium effects.

  • 12.
    Storesletten, Kjetil
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Fiscal Implications of Immigration: A Net Present Value Calculation2002Report (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Storesletten, Kjetil
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Telmer, Chris I.
    Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University.
    Yaron, Amir
    Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
    Asset Pricing with Idiosyncratic Risk and Overlapping Generations2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Constantinides and Duffie (1996) show that for idiosyncratic risk to matter for asset pricing the shocks must (i) be highly persistent and (ii) become more volatile during economic contractions. We show that data from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID) are consistent with these requirements. Our results are based on econometric methods which incorporate macroeconomic information going beyond the time horizon of the PSID, dating back to 1910. We go on to argue that life-cycle effects are fundamental for how idiosyncratic risk affects asset pricing. We use a stationary overlapping-generations model to show that life-cycle effects can either mitigate or accentuate the equity premium, the critical ingredient being whether agents accumulate or deccumulate riskt assets as they age. Our model predicts the latter and is able to account for both the average equity premium and the Sharpe ratio observed on the U.S. stock market.

  • 14.
    Storesletten, Kjetil
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Telmer, Chris I.
    Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University.
    Yaron, Amir
    Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
    Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A striking feature of U.S. data on income and consumption is that inequality increses with age. Using both panel data and an equilibrium life cycle model, we argue that this is informative for understanding the importance and the characteristics of idiosyncratic labor market risk. We find that uncertainty distributed throughout the working years accounts for 40 percent of lifetime uncertainty, with the remainder being realized prior to entering the labor market. We estimate that the shocks received over the life cycle contain a highly persistent component, with an autocorrelation coefficient between 0,98 and unity. The joint behavior of earnings and consumption inequality, interpreted using our model, adds to the body of evidence suggesting that labor market risks are imperfectly pooled and that a precautionary motive is an important aspect of U.S. savings behavior. The restrictions imposed by general equilibrium theory play an important role in arriving at each of these conclusions.

  • 15.
    Strömberg, David
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Optimal Campaigning in Presidential Elections: The Probability of Being Florida2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper delivers a precise recommendation for how presidential candidates should allocate their resources to maximize the probability of gaining a majority in the Electoral College. A two-candidate, probabilistic-voting model reveals that more resources should be devoted to states which are likely to be decisive in the electoral college and , at the same time, have very close state elections. The optimal strategies are empirically estimated using state-level opinion-polls available in September of the election year. The model's recommended campaign strategies closely resemble those used in actual campaigns. The paper also analyses how the allocation of resources would change under the alternative electoral rule of a direct national vote for president.

  • 16.
    Svedberg, Peter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Hunger in India - Facts and Challenges2002Report (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Svensson, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much?: Evidence from a Cross-Section of Firms2002Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper uses a unique data set on corruption containing quantitative information on bribe payments of Ugandan firms. The data has two striking features: not all firms report that they need to pay bribes and there is considerable variation in reported graft across firms facing similar institutions/policies. To explain these patterns we develop a simple bargaining model. Consistent with the model, we find that the incidence of corruption can be explained by the variation in policies/regulations across industries. How much must bribe-paying firms pay? Combining the quantitative data on corruption with detailed financial information from the surveyed firms, we show that firms' "ability to pay" and firms' "refusal power" can explain a large part of the variation in bribes across graft-reporting firms. These results suggest that public officials act as price (bribe) discriminators, and that prices of public services are partly determined in order to extract bribes.

1 - 17 of 17
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