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Publications

Journal of Development Economics
Abstract

We provide evidence of the role of community networks in emergence of Indian entrepreneurship in early stages of cotton and jute textile industries in the late 19th and early 20th century respectively, overcoming lack of market institutions and government support. From business registers, we construct a yearly panel dataset of entrepreneurs in these two industries. We find no evidence that entry was related to prior upstream trading experience or price shocks. Firm directors exhibited a high degree of clustering of entrepreneurs by community. Consistent with a model of network-based dynamics, the stock of incumbent entrepreneurs of different communities diverged non-linearly, controlling for year and community fixed effects.

American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics
Abstract

We model the world economy as one system of endogenous input-output relationships subject to frictions and study how the world's input-output structure and world's GDP change due to changes in frictions. We derive a sufficient statistic to identify frictions from the observed world input-output matrix, which we fully match for the year 2011. We show how changes in internal frictions impact the whole structure of the world's economy and that they have a much larger effect on world's GDP than external frictions. We also use our approach to study the role of internal frictions during the Great Recession of 2007–2009.

Journal of Economic Theory
Abstract

We examine the evolutionary selection of attitudes toward aggregate risk in an age structured population. Aggregate shocks perturb the population's consumption possibilities. Consumption is converted to fertility via a technology that exhibits first increasing and then decreasing returns to scale, captured in the simplest case by a fertility threshold. We show that evolution will select preferences that exhibit arbitrarily high aversion to aggregate risks with even very small probabilities of sufficiently low outcomes. These findings complement the familiar result that evolution will select for greater aversion to aggregate than idiosyncratic risks by identifying circumstances under which the difference can be extreme.

Discussion Paper
Abstract

This paper studies a linear panel data model with interactive fixed effects wherein regressors, factors and idiosyncratic error terms are all stationary but with potential long memory. The setup involves a new factor model formulation for which weakly dependent regressors, factors and innovations are embedded as a special case. Standard methods based on principal component decomposition and least squares estimation, as in Bai (2009), are found to suffer bias correction failure because the order of magnitude of the bias is determined in a complex manner by the memory parameters. To cope with this failure and to provide a simple implementable estimation procedure, frequency domain least squares estimation is proposed. The limit distribution of this frequency domain approach is established and a hybrid selection method is developed to determine the number of factors. Simulations show that the frequency domain estimator is robust to short memory and outperforms the time domain estimator when long range dependence is present. An empirical illustration of the approach is provided, examining the long-run relationship between stock return and realized volatility.

Discussion Paper
Abstract

This paper studies the response of agricultural production to rural labor loss during the process of urbanization. Using household microdata from India and exogenous variation in migration induced by urban income shocks interacted with distance to cities, we document sharp declines in crop production among migrant-sending households residing near cities. Households with migration opportunities do not substitute agricultural labour with capital, nor do they adopt new agricultural machinery. Instead, they divest from agriculture altogether and cultivate less land. We use a two-sector general equilibrium model with crop and land markets to trace the ensuing spatial reorganization of agriculture. Other non-migrant village residents expand farming (land market channel) and farmers in more remote villages with fewer migration opportunities adopt yield-enhancing technologies and produce more crops (crop market channel). Counterfactual simulations show that over half of the aggregate food production losses driven by urbanization is mitigated by these spillovers. This leads to a spatial reorganization in which food production moves away from urban areas and towards remote areas with low emigration.

Review of Economic Studies
Abstract

We study auction design for bidders equipped with non-expected utility preferences that exhibit constant risk aversion (CRA). The CRA class is large and includes loss-averse, disappointment-averse, mean-dispersion, and Yaari's dual preferences as well as coherent and convex risk measures. Any preference in this class displays first-order risk aversion, contrasting the standard expected utility case which displays second-order risk aversion. The optimal mechanism offers “ full-insurance” in the sense that each agent’s utility is independent of other agents’ reports. The seller excludes less types than under risk neutrality and awards the object randomly to intermediate types. Subjecting intermediate types to a risky allocation while compensating them when losing allows the seller to collect larger payments from higher types. Relatively high types are willing to pay more, and their allocation is efficient.

Discussion Paper
Abstract

A heteroskedasticity-autocorrelation robust (HAR) test statistic is proposed to test for the presence of explosive roots in financial or real asset prices when the equation errors are strongly dependent. Limit theory for the test statistic is developed and extended to heteroskedastic models. The new test has stable size properties unlike conventional test statistics that typically lead to size distortion and inconsistency in the presence of strongly dependent equation errors. The new procedure can be used to consistently time-stamp the origination and termination of an explosive episode under similar conditions of long memory errors. Simulations are conducted to assess the finite sample performance of the proposed test and estimators. An empirical application to the S&P 500 index highlights the usefulness of the proposed procedures in practical work.

American Economic Review
Abstract

We characterize the revenue-maximizing information structure in the second-price auction. The seller faces a trade-off: more information improves the efficiency of the allocation but creates higher information rents for bidders. The information disclosure policy that maximizes the revenue of the seller is to fully reveal low values (where competition is high) but to pool high values (where competition is low). The size of the pool is determined by a critical quantile that is independent of the distribution of values and only dependent on the number of bidders. We discuss how this policy provides a rationale for conflation in digital advertising.

Econometrica
Abstract

Virtually all theories of economic growth predict a positive relationship between population size and productivity. In this paper, I study a particular historical episode to provide direct evidence for the empirical relevance of such scale effects. In the af- termath of the Second World War, 8 million ethnic Germans were expelled from their domiciles in Eastern Europe and transferred to West Germany. This inflow increased the German population by almost 20%. Using variation across counties, I show that the settlement of refugees had large and persistent effects on the size of the local popula- tion, manufacturing employment, and income per capita. These findings are quantita- tively consistent with an idea-based model of spatial growth if population mobility is subject to frictions and productivity spillovers occur locally. The estimated model im- plies that the refugee settlement increased aggregate income per capita by about 12% after 25 years and triggered a process of industrialization in rural areas.

Discussion Paper
Abstract

We study order statistics (OS) from independent non identically distributed (INID) samples for two large classes of statistical distributions: Exponentiated Distributions (ED) and Proportional Hazard Rate Models (PHRM). We show that for the analytical solution for the CDF (PDF) of OSs in ED and PHRM: i) each OS's CDF (PDF) depends on all shape parameters; ii) the CDF (PDF) of each OS is a weighted average of CDF (PDF) within the same family and with shape parameters equal to a partial sum of the original shape parameters; and iii) the weights are integers and sum up to 1. These properties allows for a clear analytical solution and allows a simple parameter estimation in these classes of distributions.