Abstract: The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, we attempt to find out whether Spanish households took part in a process of substituting loans for wages during the period before the beginning of the current economic crisis. On the other hand, we try to identify the consequences of such process in the evolution of income and consumption inequalities. The theoretical framework to deal with the above mentioned issues is provided by a review of the economic literature on the determinants of consumer behaviour, namely, on consumption, saving and debt. The empirical study consists of a descriptive analysis, which is focused on two fields. First, we analyze the evolution of consumer credit (both, in aggregate and by income groups) and the savings rates. Second, we compare the values and temporal evolution of income and consumption inequalities. The period under study ranges from 2000 to 2008. Our analysis provides some empirical evidence that supports the hypothesis that financial conditions led to significant effects on the distribution of consumption. This influence is especially significant in the case of consumption inequalities. These inequalities were lower than income inequalities and were kept “artificially” low and stable during the whole period.
Abstract: This paper aims to better understand the relationship between HIV knowledge and media exposure in India. We use a two-stage hurdle model to estimate the effect of media sources such as newspapers, radios and television on AIDS-related knowledge among Indian men and women using demographic health survey data. Overall, access to newspapers, radio, or television increases the likelihood of better HIV knowledge in both males and females by an order between 2% and 12%. These findings, albeit quantitatively small, suggest, even if indirectly, possible problems faced by AIDS campaigns and government programs in combating the HIV epidemic in India.
Abstract: The effect that the Great Recession had on monetary policies has led to the profound reorientation of central banks’ actions from 2007 to 2013. The purpose of this work is to analyze the monetary policies applied by the main central banks, mainly the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve System of USA and the Bank of Japan, in order to raise thoughts on the guidelines that central banks should follow in the future. In the first section the bases of monetary policy before the crisis are described; in the second we explain the change in the orientation of the role of central banks during the crisis; and finally, we synthesize the bases on which the economic debate is taking place on the orientation of future monetary policies. We conclude that, in so far as the inoperativeness of transmission mechanisms still persists, monetary policies will remain in a process of change.
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.