This paper identifies a set of possible regulations that could be used both to make the search market more competitive and simultaneously ameliorate the harms flowing from Google’s current monopoly position. The purpose of this paper is to identify conceptual problems and solutions based on sound economic principles and to begin a discussion from which robust and specific policy recommendations can be drafted.
This paper studies the optimal determination of deposit insurance when bank runs are possible. We show that the welfare impact of changes in the level of deposit insurance coverage can be generally expressed in terms of a small number of sufficient statistics, which include the level of losses in specific scenarios and the probability of bank failure. We characterize the wedges that determine the optimal ex ante regulation, which map to asset- and liability-side regulation. We demonstrate how to employ our framework in an application to the most recent change in coverage in the United States, which took place in 2008.
We present a new class of methods for identification and inference in dynamic models with serially correlated unobservables, which typically imply that state variables are econometrically endogenous. In the context of Industrial Organization, these state variables often reflect econometrically endogenous market structure. We propose the use of Generalized Instrument Variables methods to identify those dynamic policy functions that are consistent with instrumental variable (IV) restrictions. Extending popular “two-step” methods, these policy functions then identify a set of structural parameters that are consistent with the dynamic model, the IV restrictions and the data. We provide computed illustrations to both single-agent and oligopoly examples. We also present a simple empirical analysis that, among other things, supports the counterfactual study of an environmental policy entailing an increase in sunk costs.
This article studies the optimal design of corporate taxes when firms have private information about future investment opportunities and face financial constraints. A government whose goal is to efficiently raise a given amount of revenue from its corporate sector should attempt to tax unconstrained firms, which value resources inside the firm less than financially constrained firms. We show that a corporate payout tax (a tax on dividends and share repurchases) can both separate constrained and unconstrained firms and raise revenue and is therefore optimal. Our quantitative analysis implies that a revenue-neutral switch from profit taxation to payout taxation would increase the overall value of existing firms and new entrants by 7%. This switch could be implemented in the current US tax system by making retained earnings fully deductible.
Structural transformation in most currently developing countries takes the form of a rapid rise in services but limited industrialization. In this paper, we propose a new methodology to structurally estimate productivity growth in service industries that circumvents the notorious difficulties in measuring quality improvements. In our theory, the expansion of the service sector is both a consequence—due to income effects—and a cause—due to productivity growth—of the development process. We estimate the model using Indian household data. We find that productivity growth in nontradable consumer services such as retail, restaurants, or residential real estate was an important driver of structural transformation and rising living standards between 1987 and 2011. However, the welfare gains were heavily skewed toward high-income urban dwellers.
This paper studies control function (CF) approaches in endogenous threshold regression where the threshold variable is allowed to be endogenous. We first use a simple example to show that the structural threshold regression (STR) estimator of the threshold point in Kourtellos, Stengos and Tan (2016, Econometric Theory 32, 827–860) is inconsistent unless the endogeneity level of the threshold variable is low compared to the threshold effect. We correct the CF in the STR estimator to generate our first CF estimator using a method that extends the two-stage least squares procedure in Caner and Hansen (2004, Econometric Theory 20, 813–843). We develop our second CF estimator which can be treated as an extension of the classical CF approach in endogenous linear regression. Both these approaches embody threshold effect information in the conditional variance beyond that in the conditional mean. Given the threshold point estimates, we propose new estimates for the slope parameters. The first is a by-product of the CF approach, and the second type employs generalized method of moment (GMM) procedures based on two new sets of moment conditions. Simulation studies, in conjunction with the limit theory, show that our second CF estimator and confidence interval for the threshold point together with the associated second GMM estimator and confidence interval for the slope parameter dominate the other methods. We further apply the new estimation methodology to an empirical application from international trade to illustrate its usefulness in practice.