Automation with Heterogeneous Agents: The Effect on Consumption Inequality
IWH Discussion Papers,
In this paper, I study technological change as a candidate for the observed increase in consumption inequality in the United States. I build an incomplete market model with educational choice combined with a task-based model on the production side. I consider two channels through which technology affects inequality: the skill that an agent can supply in the labor market and the level of capital she owns. In a quantitative analysis, I show that (i) the model replicates the increase in consumption inequality between 1981 and 2008 in the US (ii) educational choice and the return to wealth are quantitatively important in explaining the increase in consumption inequality.
Four Research Clusters ...
The Diablo 3 Economy: An Agent Based Approach
Designers of MMOs such as Diablo 3 face economic problems much like policy makers in the real world, e.g. inflation and distributional issues. Solving economic problems through regular updates (patches) became as important to those games as traditional gameplay issues. In this paper we provide an agent framework inspired by the economic features of Diablo 3 and analyze the effect of monetary policy in the game. Our model reproduces a number of features known from the Diablo 3 economy such as a heterogeneous price development, driven almost exclusively by goods of high quality, a highly unequal wealth distribution and strongly decreasing economic mobility. The basic framework presented in this paper is meant as a stepping stone to further research, where our evidence is used to deepen our understanding of the real-world counterparts of such problems. The advantage of our model is that it combines simplicity that is inherent to model economies with a similarly simple observable counterpart (namely the game environment where real agents interact). By matching the dynamics of the game economy we can thus easily verify that our behavioral assumptions are good approximations to reality.
On the Rationale of Leniency Programs: a Game-Theoretical Analysis
European Journal of Law and Economics,
In order to enhance the enforcement of Antitrust Law, leniency policies were introduced in nearly all industrialized countries. These programs aim at deterring and eliminating cartels. In this paper we analyze the rationale of the current European and German leniency regulation. We challenge the contemporary view that the standard leniency privilege is incentive-compatible with respect to its aim to enhance competition. Instead, we argue for it to be used as a preemptive strike against competitors under circumstances where cartels become unstable. This implies a tightening of markets in subsequent periods and, thus, a potential reduction in competition intensity. Given strategic reasoning by agents, the principal witness may assure an economically privileged position in the future. This consequence might not be intended by the bonus regulations. Nevertheless if the leniency policies lead to more competition in the market the results should be welcomed by the national cartel offices. We give anecdotal evidence of the German cement case and base our arguments on a game-theoretical model.
Monetary Policy and Bank Lending in Japan: An Agency-based Approach
Incentives and Economic Behaviour,
This paper studies the incentive effects on Japanese banks of a low interest rate policy by the Bank of Japan. It utilizes a simplified version of an overlapping principal-agent-style model of corporate finance originally developed in Dietrich (2003). This model is dedicated to study the monetary policy transmission mechanism by combining arguments of the broad credit channel and the bank lending channel taking into account that banks need to be provided with incentives to monitor entrepreneurs. We argue that stipulating banks to possess some amount of own capital generate these incentives. We denote this capital requirement to be market based and show that this requirement depends crucially on interest rates. After revealing some shortcomings of the credit crunch hypothesis, we apply this approach to the Japanese economy. As a result, a policy of very low interest rates may not only be inefficient but counterproductive to reactivate a stumbled economy via the usual credit channel.
Verschlechterung der Beschäftigungschancen durch Teilnahme an Arbeitsbeschaffungs- und Strukturanpassungsmaßnahmen - Oder gibt es Ausnahmen?
Statistik in Sachsen,
In diesem Beitrag wird eine differenzierte Analyse der Maßnahmeeffekte bei Teilnahme an einer Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahme (ABM) oder einer Strukturanpassungsmaßnahme (SAM) auf die Arbeitslosigkeitsdauer der Teilnehmer vorgestellt. Die Effekte werden für die gesamte Teilnehmergruppe und Untergruppen, die anhand ausgewählter persönlicher Merkmale gebildet worden sind, untersucht. Wenngleich für die einzelnen Gruppen graduell unterschiedliche Ergebnisse festzustellen sind, kann für keine ein positiver Maßnahmeneffekt ermittelt werden.
Employment chances deteriorate upon participation in job creating and structural adjustment schemes - Or are there exceptions?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
In this paper we present the evaluation of the participation effect of Job Creation Schemes (ABM) and Structural Adjustment Schemes(SAM) on unemployment probability. The focus is on special groups which differ in individual characteristics. We found a strong negative treatment effect with gradual differences between separate groups.
Evaluation von Maßnahmen der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik mit Hilfe eines iterativen Matching-Algorithmus - Eine Fallstudie über langzeitarbeitslose Maßnahmeteilnehmer in Sachsen
IWH Discussion Papers,
The paper evaluates the effects of two labor market programs in Germany, namely the Job Creation- /Structural Adjustment Scheme and Vocational Training, on the unemployment duration of long term unemployed persons. The study uses data from the Mikrozensus Sachsen. A two step Nearest-Neighbor-Matching is employed to solve the sample selection problem. The first step is the estimation of the participation tendency to obtain potential pairs and to compute their Mahalanobis distances. For the assignment of pairs in the second step two different procedures are used: a standard technique and a new one - the iterative improvement of an initial assignment. This process is superior to the standard matching algorithms in the sense that it allows for a closer match between participants and non-participants. Including additional information about a person’s employment history enables us to eliminate the bias due to unobservables. The impact of participation in a labor market program is evaluated by comparing the unemployment duration between both groups using the Cox Proportional Hazard Model. Overall we find empirical evidence that both participation in Job Creation- /Structural Adjustment Scheme and Vocational Training result in even longer unemployment.
Fiscal costs of employment creating schemes - a case study
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The evaluation on job creation programs shows a longer unemployment duration of treatment than the non-treatment. In a case study we calculate the additional public cost of the treatment and the subsequent demand of treatment compared with the outcome in a non-treated situation. Additionally we are looking on the break even.
Municipal labor market policy - Marshalling yard or escape from public assistance dependency?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Due to an increasing fiscal burden by welfare payments, municipalities tend
more and more to initiate employment and training programs under their own
responsibility besides the Federal Labor Agency. However, critics object
that this might predominantly be viewed as an attempt to shift fiscal
burdens to the Federal Labor Agency rather than a policy option towards
labor market integration of low-wage workers. In order to investigate this
issue, the IWH carried out a country-wide survey within twelve
municipalities and rural districts. The sample comprises 200 employable
welfare recipients, among them participants of labor market programs as well
as a reference group of non-participants. The results of the IWH welfare
survey are at best suggesting a moderate success of program participation
with regard to labor market integration. Nevertheless, the programs appear
to be profitable for municipalities, since they succeed in bringing
participants out of welfare dependency. In many cases, however, welfare is
replaced by unemployment support, which means that only the fiscal
responsibility changes. A shortcoming of the results has to be seen in the
fact that municipalities tend to assign especially those people for program
participation, who are already better fitting into requirements of the labor
market. This seriously impairs the comparability of participants and
non-participants. In view of the remarkable amount of expenditures it seems
therefore advisable to put more attention on the effectiveness of the
programs than has been done in the past. This could be achieved by a
stronger orientation towards an experimental design of assignment for