Abstract: We investigate the welfare effect of union activity in a relatively new oligopoly model, the Cournot-Bertrand model, where one firm competes in output (a la Cournot) and the other firm competes in price (a la Bertrand). The Nash equilibrium prices, outputs, and profits are quite diverse in this model, with the competitive advantage going to the Cournot-type competitor. A comparison of the results from the Cournot-Bertrand model with those found in the traditional Cournot and Bertrand models reveals that firms and the union have a different preference ordering over labor market bargaining. These differences help explain why the empirical evidence does not support any one model of union bargaining. We also examine the welfare and policy implications of union activity in a Cournot-Bertrand setting.
Abstract: The effects of Internet education on economic growth are examined using a cross-section of 36 high-income countries. Internet usage rates are employed as a proxy for Internet education across countries. Regression results show that the frequent usage of the Internet has a positive and significant effect on economic growth. The estimated growth effect of Internet skills is also found to be greater than the growth effect of math and science skills. The results are, in general, robust across model specifications.
Abstract: Classical power index analysis considers the individual’s ability to influence the aggregated group decision by changing its own vote, where all decisions and votes are assumed to be binary. In many practical applications we have more options than either “yes” or “no”. Here we generalize three important power indices to continuous convex policy spaces. This allows the analysis of a collection of economic problems like, e.g., tax rates or spending that otherwise would not be covered in binary models.
Abstract: This study surveys and evaluates previous attempts to use game theory to explain the strategic dynamic of the Cuban missile crisis, including, but not limited to, explanations developed in the style of Thomas Schelling, Nigel Howard and Steven Brams. All of the explanations were judged to be either incomplete or deficient in some way. Schelling’s explanation is both empirically and theoretically inconsistent with the consensus interpretation of the crisis; Howard’s with the contemporary understanding of rational strategic behavior; and Brams’ with the full sweep of the events that define the crisis. The broad outlines of a more general explanation that addresses all of the foundational questions associated with the crisis within the confines of a single, integrated, game-theoretic model with incomplete information are laid out.
Abstract: A baseline integration of commercial banks into the disequilibrium framework with behavioral traders of Charpe et al. (2011, 2012) is presented. At the core of the analysis is the impact the banking sector exerts on the interaction of real and financial markets. Potentially destabilizing feedback channels in the presence of imperfect macroeconomic portfolio adjustment and heterogeneous expectations are investigated. Given the possible financial market instability, various policy instruments have to be applied in order to guarantee viable dynamics in the highly interconnected macroeconomy. Among those are open market operations reacting to the state-of-confidence in the economy and Tobin-type capital gain taxes. The need for policy intervention is even more striking, as the banking sector is modeled in a rather stability enhancing way, fulfilling its fundamental tasks of term transformation of savings and credit granting without engaging in investment activities itself.
Abstract: In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, many countries are hoping that massive increases in their money supplies will revive their economies. Evaluating the effectiveness of this strategy using traditional statistical methods would require the construction of an extremely complex economic model of the world that showed how each country’s situation affected all other countries. No matter how complex that model was, it would always be subject to the criticism that it had omitted important variables. Omitting important variables from traditional statistical methods ruins all estimates and statistics. This paper uses a relatively new statistical method that solves the omitted variables problem. This technique produces a separate slope estimate for each observation which makes it possible to see how the estimated relationship has changed over time due to omitted variables. I find that the effectiveness of monetary policy has fallen between the first quarter of 2003 and the fourth quarter of 2012 by 14%, 36%, 38%, 32%, 29% and 69% for Japan, the UK, the USA, the Euro area, Brazil, and the Russian Federation respectively. I hypothesize that monetary policy is suffering from diminishing returns because it cannot address the fundamental problem with the world’s economy today; that problem is a global glut of savings that is either sitting idle or funding speculative bubbles.