Past

 

  • Culture & Market: A (Macroeconomic) Tale of Two Institutions.
    • Speaker: Mausumi Das, Delhi School of Economics.
    • Date: Friday, November 3, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      This paper explores the macroeconomic implications of cultural transmission of occupational traits. Certain occupations in the society are associated with strong collective spirit and are delivered best by agents who are motivated towards these. The degree of motivation of an agent in turn depends on intergenerational transmission of values and beliefs, working through a socialization process with the parental generation. Through socialization, a young agents picks up some traits which makes her predisposed towards a particular occupation. The acquired cultural trait interacts with the market wages to determine the actual occupational choice. The occupational choice of the parent in turn affects the cultural transmission process by limiting the time available for socialization with their children. We show that the two-way interaction between culture and market may generate complex dynamics resulting in endogenous fluctuations in output accompanied by oscillatory growth. 
  • IPR and Organization of Knowledge.
    • Speaker: Pavel Chakraborty, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    • Date: Friday, October 27, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract
       
  • Petty Services, Profit-Led Growth and Rural-Urban Migration in a Developing Economy.
    • Speaker: Gogol Mitra Thakur, Ambedkar University
    • Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017. 
    • Time: 03:30 PM to 05:00 PM
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      In this paper we develop a dual economy model consisting of a formal urban manufacturing sector and an informal urban service sector. Urban labour supply depends on rural- urban migration. The formal sector is a typical Kaleckian sector whereas the informal sector is a flex-price sector which residually employs urban labour force as self employed. Long-run dynamics results from wage determination and capital accumulation in the formal sector and growth of urban labour force due to rural-urban migration. We show that the economy can converge to a steady steady state where the two urban sectors grow at the same rate as an endogenously determined growth rate of urban labour force if growth regime in the formal sector is profit led. An implication of the model is that both deterioration of rural infrastructure and improvements in urban infrastructure, to the extent they can speed up rural-urban migration, can increase growth rate of the formal sector as well as share of the informal sector in urban employment.
  • Know When to Run: Making Recommendations in Crowdsourcing Contests.
    • Speaker: Sumit Sarkar, University of Texas at Dallas
    • Date: Friday, October 13, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 01:00 PM
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      Crowdsourcing contests have emerged as an innovative way for firms to solve business problems by acquiring ideas from participants external to the firm. As the number of participants on crowdsourcing contest platforms has increased, so has the number of tasks that are open at any time. This has made it difficult for solvers to identify good tasks to participate in. We present a framework to recommend tasks to solvers who wish to participate in crowdsourcing contests. The existence of competition among solvers is an important and unique aspect of this environment, and our framework explicitly considers the competition that a solver would face in each open task. We leverage existing theory to identify different solver, task, and platform characteristics that could impact a solver’s winning probability, and show how probability prediction models can be adapted to this context. Recommendations are made based on the probability or expected payoff of the solver winning an open task. We validate our approach using data available from a real crowdsourcing platform. The recommender system is shown to have the potential of improving the success rates of solvers across all abilities. We find that the relative rankings of tasks that are at similar stages of their timelines remain remarkably consistent when the tasks close. Further, we show that deploying such a system should benefit not only the solvers but also the seekers and the platform itself.
  • Coincident Indicators and Forecasting in Economics using EEDM Analysis: A Study of the IIP
    • Speaker: Manoj Pant, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    • Date: Friday, October 6, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 01:00 PM
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      Many phenomena in natural and social sciences requires analysis of time series data to draw inferences about their possible future behavior. In Economics, time series analysis is frequently applied in the context of expected future course of economic activity, for example, movements in GDP, predicting recessionary cycles and so on. Research organisations have built huge macro models which are very data intensive and involve a lot of assumptions on elasticities and aspects of the macro economy to forecast into the long run. However, for small business organisations what is more important is short run estimation and forecasting with limited data requirements. Currently, the latter task is performed using various statistical techniques which are largely linear in approach,are dependent on the choice of the start-end period and have low statistical reliability. This study uses the EEMD (Ensemble Empirical Mode De-composition)  approach which is not constrained by these defects. As an illustration, the Indian IIP series is used to develop a  coincident indicator of movements in IIP which is simple to use, uses real time data and gives accurate forecasts.Key words: Time Series, Leading Indicators, Forecasting ModelsJEL Listing: C22, E32, E37, C53
  • Urbanization, Structural Transformation and Rural-Urban Disparities in China and India.
    • Speaker: Amartya Lahiri, University of British Columbia & CAFRAL
    • Date: Friday, September 15, 2017. 
    • Time: 02:30 PM
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      Over the past three decades India and China have experienced rapid economic growth along with structural transformation. Underneath the overall similarity however was one significant difference: rural-urban wage gaps declined in India, but widened in China. In both countries, the majority of these wage dynamics are left unexplained by worker attributes. We formalize a two -sector-two-location model in which structural transformation and urbanization respond endogenously to productivity shocks. While the structural transformation effect widens the urban-rural wage gap, the urbanization effect reduces it, allowing the model to account for wage convergence in India and wage divergence in China. 
  • Mutual Fund Flows and Fund’s Strategic Behavior When Investors Are Inattentive.
    • Speaker: Apoorva Javadekar, CAFRAL. 
    • Date: Thursday, September 7, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      The paper builds on a simple yet novel idea that the way investors react to the recent mutual fund performance depends largely upon the long-term historical performance of that fund. In particular, I find that investors
      react more actively to the fund’s recent performance in case of the funds with good performance history. I show that these effects are strongest for funds which are likely to attract attentive investors such as funds having
      more visibility or funds with high entry loads. Next, I show that investors who are less responsive to the fund performance are also less responsive to the changes in fund fees which suggest that \textit{investor inattention}
      rather than any other rational decision-making process that explains the sluggish capital flows. I build a model which shows how the concentration of attentive investors within fund rise with the historical performance
      which feeds into more reactive capital flows. I provide evidence that mutual funds are aware of the varying degree of investor responsiveness and they adjust their pricing and portfolio risk to maximize the revenue.

       

  • Coalition Formation and History Dependence.
    • Speaker: Bhaskar Dutta, University of Warwick and Ashoka University. 
    • Date: Friday, September 01, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      Farsighted formulations of coalitional formation, for instance by Harsanyi (1974) and Ray and Vohra(2015), have typically been based on the von Neumann- Morgenstern (1944) stable set. These farsighted stable sets use a notion of indirect dominance in which an outcome can be dominated by a chain of coalitional ‘moves’ in which each coalition that is involved in the sequence eventually stands to gain. Dutta and Vohra(2016) point out that these solution concepts do not require coalitions to make optimal moves. Hence, these solution concepts can yield unreasonable predictions. Dutta and Vohra (2016) restricted coalitions to hold common, history independent expectations that incorporate optimality regarding the continuation path. This paper extends the Dutta-Vohra analysis by allowing for history dependent expectations. The paper provides characterization results for two solution concepts corresponding to two versions of optimality. It demonstrates the power of history dependence by establishing non emptyness results for all finite games as well as transferable utility partition function
      games. The paper also provides partial comparisons of the solution concepts to other solutions.

       

  • Evaluating Strategic Forecasters.
    • Speaker: Rahul Deb, University of Toronto. 
    • Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2017. 
    • Time: 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      Motivated by the question of how one should evaluate professional election
      forecasters, we study a novel dynamic mechanism design problem without transfers. A
      principal who wishes to hire only high quality forecasters is faced with an agent of unknown
      quality. The agent privately observes signals about a publicly observable future
      event, and may strategically misrepresent information to inflate the principal’s perception
      of his quality. We show that the optimal deterministic mechanism is simple and easy to
      implement in practice: it evaluates a single, optimally timed prediction. We study the generality
      of this result and its robustness to randomization and noncommitment.

      KEYWORDS: dynamic mechanism design, mechanism design without transfers, forecasting,
      learning, election predictions.

      JEL CLASSIFICATION: D82, D83, D86.
       

  • Jati inequality in rural India.
    • Speaker: Nishtha Kochhar, Georgetown University. 
    • Date: Friday, August 18, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      Caste is a persistent driver of inequality in India. Identification of vulnerable groups within the caste system however, is challenging. Policy-makers and large surveys typically use broad groupings that aggregate the most disadvantaged groups. In everyday life however, caste is lived and experienced as jati, which is a local system of stratification. Little is known about economic inequality at the jati-level. We use a rich source data from poor districts in three states of India to explore inequality at the level of broad caste groups as well as jatis. Though there are considerable regional variations, we find that total inequality in all three states is largely driven by inequality within, rather than between, groups. Moreover, overall inequality is driven by differences within jatis, rather than differences between jatis. This has implications for the implementation of large-scale poverty alleviation programs: we see that the benefits of programs that are targeted to the lowest castes are actually concentrated among specific jatis.

       

  • Cognitive, Socioemotional, and Behavioral Returns to College Quality.
    • Speaker: Subha Mani, Fordham University. 
    • Date: Friday, August 04, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      We exploit the variation in the admissions cutoffs across colleges of a leading Indian university in a regression discontinuity framework to estimate the causal effects of enrolling in a selective college on: cognitive attainment, behavioral preferences, and Big Five personality. We find that enrolling in a selective college improves only females’ exam scores. Further, marginally admitted females in selective colleges become less overconfident and less risk averse while males in selective colleges experience a decline in extraversion and conscientiousness. Higher attendance rates among females explain the gender differences in returns to better college and peer environment.

       

  • Poverty and Migration in the Digital Age: Experimental Evidence on Mobile Banking in Bangladesh.
    • Speaker: Jonathan Morduch, NYU 
    • Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Unusal Day)
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      We experimentally estimate the impacts of mobile banking in a sample of rural households in northern Bangladesh paired to family members working in Dhaka. The treatment substantially increased the adoption and use of mobile banking accounts, which were used actively to send and receive remittances. Rural households reduced borrowing levels, increased savings on the extensive margin, and experienced significant and substantial positive impacts on health, education and agricultural productivity. Treatment households that were hit by negative agricultural productivity shocks were better insured than those in the control group, and we find a similar result for health shocks when the migrant worker is not simultaneously hit by a negative health shock. Positive agricultural productivity shocks are also exploited more in treatment households. Taken together, the results suggest that mobile money facilitates insurance. For migrant workers, we find increases in formal employment, particularly in garment work, and decreases in self-reported health status which may reflect longer work hours in the garments sector. Savings on the extensive margin also increase among migrant workers while poverty decreases. Overall, the results suggest that mobile banking adoption increases the welfare of rural households but has mixed effects on the welfare of migrant workers.

       

  • On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: New Evidence on Abortion, Fertility, and Parental Investments.
    • Speaker: S Anukriti, Boston College  
    • Date: Friday, July 21, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      The introduction of prenatal sex-detection technologies in India has led to a phenomenal increase in abortion of female fetuses. We investigate their impact on son-biased fertility stopping behavior, parental investments in girls relative to boys, and the relative chances of girls surviving after birth. We find a moderation of son-biased fertility, erosion of gender gaps in breastfeeding and immunization, and complete convergence in the under-5 mortality rates of boys and girls. For every three aborted girls, we estimate that roughly one additional girl survives to age five. Our findings have implications not only for counts of missing girls but also for the later life outcomes of girls, conditioned by greater early life investments in them.

       

  • Surprise in Elections.
    • Speaker: Swaprava Nath, Carnegie Mellon University 
    • Date: Friday, July 7, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      In real elections, we often encounter scenarios where a sizable part
      of the voting population is surprised after the results are disclosed.
      Reasons that are usually held responsible are media biases and voters’
      personal observations — which collectively lead to a voter’s
      perception of a winner. When there is a difference between this
      perception and the true collective opinion, surprises happen. In this
      ongoing work, we develop a model of the voter’s generation and social
      connection model and show that if a voter’s estimate of the connection
      probability crosses a certain threshold, she is surprised with high
      probability and that surprise is a phenomenon of a closely contested
      election. Using this model, we can also compare the performance of the
      standard voting rules in terms of the probability of surprise.
      Finally, we run experiments with the UK EU referendum (Brexit) dataset
      with realistic voter perception models to illustrate our conclusions.

       

  • Does Regulation distort Costs? Reassessing evidence from the US Electricity Industry.
    • Speaker: Kanishka Kacker , World Bank.  
    • Date: Monday, May 29, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      Over the past two decades, the US electricity sector has seen a vast amount of regulatory change, from narrow incentive based regulation to full scale deregulation, in an effort to improve efficiency. Such regulations are typically downstream. Using contract level data on a set of power plant-coal mine transactions, I find such regulatory interventions, including deregulation, by themselves play a minor role in determining upstream behavior. Instead, private contractual arrangements between plants and mines are decisive. Although influenced by regulatory regimes, these arrangements also protect specific investments, reflect relational adaptation and safeguard against transaction complexity. Regulatory distortion, in terms of coal procurement, appears quite limited.

       

  • Insurance contracts with competitive pooling.
    • Speaker: Pradeep Dubey , Stony Brook University.  
    • Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (Unusal Day)
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

       

  • ​Has Money Lost Its Relevance? Resolving the Exchange Rate Disconnect Puzzle in the Small, Open Economies.
    • Speaker: Soumya Suvra Bhadury , National Council of Applied Economics Research.  
    • Date: Friday, May 19, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      The objective of this study is to identify the monetary policy shock causing exchange rate fluctuations in the economies of India, Poland and the UK. For this purpose, an open-economy structural vector autoregression model is utilised, while resorting to data covering the period 2000-2015. The model used in the paper is appropriate for the small, open economies being analysed here as it facilitates estimation of theoretically correct and significant responses in terms of the price, output, and exchange rate to monetary policy tightening. The importance of monetary policy shock is established by examining the variance decomposition of forecast error, impulse response function, and out-of-sample forecast. The model also allows for the precise measurement of money through the adoption of a new monetary measure, namely, aggregation–theoretic Divisia monetary aggregate, which is superior to other comparable models such as ‘no-money’, simple-sum monetary aggregates. The empirical results lead to three critical findings. Firstly, it is imperative to consider the estimated responses of output, prices, money and exchange rate to monetary policy shocks in models using monetary aggregates. Secondly, the incorporation of Divisia money in monetary policy helps in explaining fluctuations in the exchange rate. Thirdly, the inclusion of Divisia money also promotes better out-of-sample forecasting of the exchange rate.

      Keywords: Monetary policy, Monetary aggregates, Divisia, Structural VAR, Exchange rate overshooting, Liquidity puzzle, Price puzzle, Exchange rate disconnect puzzle, Forward discount bias puzzle

      JEL classification: C32, E41, E51, E52, F31, F41, F47

       

  • The Business of Religion and Caste in India.
    • Speaker: Manaswini Bhalla, IIM Bangalore 
    • Date: Friday, May 5, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Class Room No. 14
    • Abstract

      We show that boards of directors of large Indian firms are characterized by high
      levels of cultural proximity, with members on a board belonging overwhelmingly
      to the same religion or caste. Using a unique database of self-reported religions
      and caste from matrimonial websites, we develop a novel methodology to proba-
      bilistically map individuals’ last names to religions and castes. We also develop a
      new homophily index to measure cultural proximity of board members. Results
      show few signs of increase in cultural diversity on boards during 1999-2012. Modest
      heterogeneity exists across firms, sectors, and states, however. Better performing
      firms have more diverse boards. Board diversity also increased in sectors and states
      that witnessed the largest increases in output. Rigorous instrument variable analysis demonstrates that
      lack of diversity on boards is causally associated with lower firm performance.

       

  • Effects of information on energy related choices: Experimental evidence from rural Uttar Pradesh and Kerala.
    • Speaker: P.P. Krishnapriya, Delhi School of Economics 
    • Date: Thursday, May 4, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Class Room 14
    • Abstract

      This paper studies the effects of information on households’ choices of fuels and appliances using data collected from a field experiment conducted in rural Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. The experiment consists of a set of interventions in the form of information campaigns which provides households with information regarding benefits and costs of using various cooking and lighting fuels, and energy related appliances. Furthermore, the information given to households differed in the mode of dissemination and recipient of information. I use propensity score matching with difference-in-differences to estimate the impact of information on choice of fuels and appliances used by households. Results suggest that households are more responsive to information about lighting alternatives than cooking alternatives. Increase in adoption of pressure cooker and improved stoves are witnessed only for households in Kerala where females were given information.

       

  • Corruption in the Supreme Court of India.
    • Speaker: Madhav S Aney , Singapore Management University  
    • Date: Friday, April 28, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      We investigate whether judicial decisions are affected by career concerns of judges by analysing two questions: Do judges respond to pandering incentives by ruling in favour of the government in the hope of receiving jobs after retiring from the Court? Does the government actually reward judges who ruled in its favour with prestigious jobs? To answer these questions we construct a dataset of all Supreme Court of India cases involving the government from 1999 till 2014, with an indicator for whether the decision was in its favour or not. We find that pandering incentives have a causal effect on judicial decision-making. The exposure of a judge to pandering incentives in a case is jointly determined by 1) whether the case is salient (exogenously determined by a system of random allocation of cases) and 2) whether the judge retires with enough time left in a government’s term to be rewarded with a prestigious job (date of retirement is exogenously determined by law to be their 65th birthday). We find that pandering occurs through through the more active channel of writing favourable judgements rather than passively being on a bench that decides a case in favour of the government. Furthermore, we find that deciding in favour of the government is positively associated with both the likelihood and the speed with which judges are appointed to prestigious post-Supreme Court jobs. These findings suggest the presence of corruption in the form government influence over judicial decision-making that seriously undermines judicial independence.

       

  • Distribution Costs, Product Quality, and Cross-Country Income Differences.
    • Speaker: Kunal Dasgupta, University of Toronto  
    • Date: Friday, April 21, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      We document that the efficiency of trade distribution systems have an important export country specific component: all else equal, wealthier countries have smaller but more frequent export shipments. A model of distribution and trade reveals that (i) this outcome is consistent with wealthier countries having lower per-shipment export costs and (ii) these lower costs give wealthier countries a comparative advantage in high quality products. Using the model’s structure, we estimate export per-shipment costs for a sample of 74 countries. We find that these costs vary widely across countries, with the 90th percentile value of per-shipment costs being almost three times larger than the 10th percentile value. A calibrated version of the model that incorporates these cost estimates reveals that cross-country differences in the efficiency of export distribution systems explain almost forty percent of the observed cross country differences in income, and almost one quarter of the elasticity of export prices with respect to countries’ per capita income. It also shows that policies that reduce export shipment costs lead to significant welfare gains, mainly due to induced quality upgrading.
       
  • Dynamic Tax Competition, Home Bias and the gain from Non-preferential Taxation Regimes: A case for unilateral commitment.
    • Speaker: Kaushal Kishore, University of Pretoria  
    • Date: Friday, April 7, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      In a dynamic two-period model of tax competition, where an investor has home bias for the country where he/she invests in the initial period, we show that a country has an incentive to unilaterally commit to a nonpreferential taxation strategy even when the competitor follows a preferential taxation strategy. The result is novel as it is considered that when two countries compete to attract foreign capital, both countries have incentives to adopt a preferential taxation strategy and competing countries can only do better if they jointly commit to a non-preferential taxation regime.

      JEL classiÖcation: F21; H21; H25; H87
      Keywords: Dynamic Tax Competition; Non-preferential regime; Preferential regime; Home Bias.

       

  • The Role of Political Activists in Clientelistic Settings: Evidence from an Indian Public Works Program.
    • Speaker: Vidhya Soundararajan, IIM Bangalore.  
    • Date: Friday, 31 March, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 PM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      In a setting of clientelistic politics where ruling politicians make preferential transfers to bolster political support, our model introduces a new voter identity: political activists who are influential and potentially change the political allegiance of other voters. Do politicians now offer transfers only to target swing voters who choose political affiliation when presented with transfers, or also to “convert” activists and indirectly influence others? Using novel household data, we provide first empirical evidence on this from the implementation of a decentralized workfare program, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in India. Exploiting the timing of our survey which uniquely captures household political affiliation before they received work under the program, our results show that while political leaders target rival-party affiliates and unaffiliated electors as expected, leaders also preferentially target activists, particularly in areas where citizen involvement in politics is less common. Our results are robust to addressing potential sample-selection issues, as well the various definitions of “activism” itself.

       

  • Earning Risks, Parental Schooling Investment, And Old-Age Income Support From Children.
    • Speaker: Alok Kumar, University of Victoria, Canada  
    • Date: Friday, 24 March, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 PM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      Old-age income support is an important motive for parents to invest in the schooling of their children in developing countries. At the time parents choose schooling (human capital) investment for their children, both the parental future income and the return from schooling are uncertain. This paper analyzes the effects of parental income risk and human capital investment risk on the parental choice of schooling investment. It finds that effects of these risks on schooling investment depends on whether the old-age income support is state-contingent (i.e. depends on the realizations of incomes of parents and children). When the income support is state-contingent, increasing parental income risk (human capital investment risk) has a positive (negative) effect on schooling investment. However, when the income support is not state-contingent, effects of these two types of risks may get reversed. Income assistance to parents can increase schooling investment.

       

  • Wheels of power: Long-term effects of a one time targeted program.
    • Speaker: Shabana Mitra, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore  
    • Date: Friday, 17 March, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 PM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      Expansion of opportunities for the female child may impact her aspirations given the prevailing social norms. Furthermore, the new social equilibrium arising from this expansion feeds back into the social norms. We develop a theory that embeds these features to motivate our empirical analysis. We study the long-term rather than the immediate effect of a one-time targeted transfer to school going girls: the cycle program in the Indian state of Bihar that began in 2006. We use novel survey data for 10,000 girls and boys in three states- Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Using a triple-differences framework we find a girl with a cycle is more likely to complete school (22.9%) or college (5%) compared to a girl who did not get the cycle. We also found that girls with cycle are 4.1% less likely to be working in agriculture. Girls with cycles are more likely to report not getting permission to work outside and not finding suitable work as the main reason for not working. a and more likely to report not having permission to work and not finding suitable work as reason for not working. These findings together suggest a change in their aspirations but also highlight the need for follow-through policies to remove the additional bottlenecks.
       
  • Frequency Based Analysis of Voting Rules..
    • Speaker: Swarnendu Chatterjee., Maastricht university  
    • Date: Wednesday, 15 March, 2017. 
    • Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 1
    • Abstract

      The issue here is on anonymous collective decision making in large electorates, where voters’ preferences over the candidates may be quite diverse, along with having some coherence. We study consequences of this coherence by modelling voters’ preference combinations, by frequency distributions. In particular we consider unimodal distributions, where coherence is concentrated around one mode. We show that at unimodal distributions considered here, many well-known collective decision rules choose the mode as outcome. Further, we discuss a set of sufficient conditions for a rule to assign the mode at a unimodal distribution. We check sensitivity of the property of choosing the mode for decision rules –Condorcet-consistent, Borda and plurality, when allowed for small perturbations in the tail of the distribution. This paper includes analysis on multimodal distributions resulting from superposing multiple unimodal distributions.

       

  • Strategy-proof location of public bads in a two-country model.
    • Speaker: Abhinaba Lahiri, Maastricht University  
    • Date: Friday, 10 March, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 1
    • Abstract

      We consider the joint decision of placing public bads in each of two neighbouring countries, modelled by two adjacent line segments. Residents of the two countries have single-dipped preferences, determined by the distance of their dips to the nearer public bad (myopic preferences) or, lexicographically, by the distance to the nearer and the other public bad (lexmin preferences). A (social choice) rule takes a profile of reported preferences as input and assigns the location of the public bad in each country. For the case of myopic preferences, all rules satisfying strategy-proofness, country-wise Pareto optimality, non-corruptibility, and the far away condition are characterised. These rules pick only border locations. The same holds for lexmin preferences under strategy-proofness and country-wise Pareto optimality alone.

       

  • Estimating Transfer Multiplier using Spending on Rural Development Programs in India.
    • Speaker: Girish Bahal, National Council of Applied Economic Research  
    • Date: Wednesday, 8 March, 2017. 
    • Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM.
    • Venue: Auditorium Hall
    • Abstract

      Rural development programs in India are implemented for a variety of reasons. A key question is whether such transfer spending by the government is consequential for the local economic activity. This paper estimates the multiplicative effects of rural transfer spending on state agricultural output using a novel dataset of state-wise expenditure on all major rural development programs that were operational between 1980-2010. Using government reports as narrative evidence we show that the principal motivation to introduce a new scheme is either (i) to replace old inefficient programs or (ii) to address a deep-rooted social or economic issue that has not been addressed by any existing program. Importantly, the introduction of a new scheme is largely independent of the current or prospective output fluctuations. Using this narrative evidence we isolate the “introductory variation” that occurs every time a new program is introduced as a measure of change in transfer spending that is exogenous to local output fluctuations. The results suggest that local variations in rural transfer spending can be quite consequential for the local economic activity in rural areas.

       

  • Financing Micro and Small firms during the Great Recession.
    • Speaker: Megha Patnaik , Stanford University  
    • Date: Tuesday, 7 March, 2017. 
    • Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      I examine the role of bank lending frictions and the housing-collateral lending channel for small business credit in the US during the Great Recession. I use a new dataset from a leading online accounting software with millions of financial transactions, links to banks, and owner and firm addresses for small businesses. Using the failure of banks and movements in house prices in the business owner’s home ZIP code during this period as shocks to credit supply, I find that bank failures are associated with declines in credit for small firms (small businesses with 10 to 250 employees) but not micro firms (those with 2 to 10 employees). In contrast, movements in house prices at the owner’s location are positively associated with credit for micro firms but not small firms. The results suggest differences within small businesses in the channels used to overcome asymmetric information. Micro firms may depend more on personal housing collateral and small firms on lending relationships, consistent with the associated costs to lenders.

       

  • The causal impact of algorithmic trading on market quality
    • Speaker: Nidhi Aggarwal, IGIDR 
    • Date: Monday, 6 March, 2017. 
    • Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      The causal impact of algorithmic trading on market quality has been difficult to establish due to endogeneity bias. We address this problem by using the introduction of co-location, an exogenous event after which algorithmic trading is known to increase. Matching procedures are used to identify a matched set of firms and set of dates that are used in a difference-in-difference regression to estimate causal impact. We find that securities with higher algorithmic trading have lower liquidity costs, order imbalance, and order volatility. There is new evidence that higher algorithmic trading leads to lower intraday liquidity risk and a lower incidence of extreme intraday price movements.

       

  • Do Public Works Programs Increase Women’s Economic Empowerment?.
    • Speaker: Sonalde Desai, University of Maryland  
    • Date: Friday, 3 March, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 PM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract
      Although it is often argued that labor market discrimination, resulting in blocked employment opportunities and wage discrimination, reduces women’s economic empowerment, it has been difficult to examine this constraint rigorously. The enactment of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) of 2005 offers us a unique opportunity to examine the role of expanding opportunities on women’s economic empowerment. Using survey data collected before and after the enactment of this program, we examine changes in women’s participation in paid work and total earnings by using a difference-in-difference approach. The results suggest that women living in villages with a higher availability of MGNREGA work are more likely to participate in wage labor and have higher total wage incomes. These effects are absent for men, possibly because they have greater alternative opportunities.

       

  • Rationalizable implementation of correspondences.
    • Speaker: Takashi Kunimoto, Singapore Management University  
    • Date: Thursday, 23 February, 2017. 
    • Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract

      A new condition, which we call uniform monotonicity, is shown to be necessary and almost sufficient for rationalizable implementation of correspondences. Uniform monotonicity is much weaker than Maskin monotonicity and reduces to it in the case of functions. Maskin monotonicity, the key condition for Nash implementation, had also been shown to be necessary for rationalizable implementation of social choice functions. Our conclusion is that the conditions for rationalizable implementation are not only starkly different from, but also much weaker than those for Nash implementation, when we consider social choice correspondences. Thus, dropping rational expectations significantly expands the class of rules that can be decentralized by communication-based economic institutions.

      JEL Classification: C72, D78, D82.

      Keywords: Complete information, implementation, Maskin monotonicity,

      rationalizability, uniform monotonicity, social choice correspondence.

       

  • The impact of a macroeconomic crisis on child schooling outcomes in Indonesia.
    • Speaker: Anisha Sharma , Ashoka University.  
    • Date: Friday, 10 February, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 PM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract
      In this paper, I examine the impact of the 1998 East Asian recession on child schooling outcomes in Indonesia. While the adverse effects of idiosyncratic negative household income shocks on schooling outcomes is well-documented, there is less clarity on the effect of an aggregate economic shock on both short-term and long-term human capital formation in developing countries. Recessions are characterised by a large fall in real wages, as a result of which households face both a drop in their real incomes, as well as lower wages in available jobs. The income effect of the recession reduces school enrolment but the price effect of the recession reduces the opportunity cost of schooling, leaving the net impact on school enrolment and labour market participation of children theoretically ambiguous. Using data on 7-15 year-olds from the Indonesian Family Life Survey, I exploit the heterogeneous impact of the economic recession across urban communities as measured by the variation in rice price increases, under the assumption that communities where rice prices increased the most were those where real wages declined the most. I find that higher rice price increases are associated with small declines in school enrolment and hours per week spent in school, and large declines in labour market participation. For the youngest children (aged 7-12 years) there is a larger negative impact of higher rice prices on school attendance and no effect on labour market participation. For older children (aged 13-15 years), schooling enrolment does not respond to rice prices but labour market participation declines sharply in the worst-hit communities. Using data from a follow-up survey in 2007, I find the crisis does not have adverse long-term consequences on human capital formation.
       
  • Multi-object auction design without quasilinearity: revenue maximization with no wastage.
    • Speaker: Shigehiro Serizawa , Osaka University.  
    • Date: Monday, 6 February, 2017. 
    • Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract
      A seller is selling multiple objects to a set of agents. Each agent can buy at most one object (unit demand) and can have utility over transfers that need not be quasilinear. The seller considers the following desiderata for her mechanism, which she terms desirable: (a) dominant strategy incentive compatibility, (b) ex-post individual rationality, (c) equal treatment of equals, (d) no wastage (every object is allocated to some agent). The minimum Walrasian equilibrium price (MWEP) mechanism is desirable. We show that the MWEP mechanism generates more revenue for the seller than any other desirable mechanism satisfying no subsidy at every prole of preferences, i.e., irrespective of the prior of the seller, the MWEP mechanism is revenue-optimal. Our result works for quasilinear type space and a large class of non-quasilinear type spaces which incorporates positive income effect of agents. We can relax no subsidy in our result for certain type spaces with positive income effect.
       
  • Who does affirmative action better? China or India?
    • Speaker: Abhinav Anand.  
    • Date: Friday, 27 January, 2017. 
    • Time: 11:30 PM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract
      We analyze the affirmative action policy implemented in India, the Quota Policy, in which preference is given to the disadvantaged section of the populace by reserving a certain fraction of positions for them. We compare it to a hypothetical policy called the “Handicap Policy” in which the performance index of the disadvantaged is given an artificial boost instead, by means of an additive handicap.

      We conclude that if the degree of asymmetry between the disadvantaged and the rest is not too high, on many important metrics of performance of affirmative action policies, Quotas and Handicaps can be shown to be equivalent to each other.

       

  • Dynamic oligopoly with sticky prices.
    • Speaker: Agnieszka Wiszniewska-Matyszkiel , Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics, University of Warsaw  
    • Date: Tuesday, 17 January, 2017.  (Unusual Day)
    • Time: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM. (Unusual Time)
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
      In this paper we present an extensive analysis of a dynamic model of oligopoly with sticky prices, both with open loop (strategies dependent on time) and feedback information structure (strategies dependent on price).
      We calculate both symmetric feedback Nash equilibria and all symmetric open loop Nash equilibria and compare resulting trajectories of price and production. Although our paper appears in a sequence of papers by various authors on a model of oligopoly with sticky prices (among others Fersthmann and Kamien, Cellini and Lambertini), it appears to be the first paper in which the open loop Nash equilibrium was calculated for initial value of price which is not the steady state.

      Therefore, unlike in previous literature, our analysis allows us to study and compare closed loop and open loop Nash equilibria which are not constant over time. We also revise commonly believed results about stability.
      We prove that feedback equilibrium production is always greater or equal to the open loop equilibrium production, and strictly greater from some time instant on, with reverse inequality for prices.

      Those equilibria are only piecewise differentiable.

      We also analyse behaviour of equilibrium price, production and aggregate production as functions of parameters of the model and we obtain, among others, monotone convergence of steady states of open loop Nash equilibrium price and production to analogous levels of the static Cournot-Nash equilibrium as the speed of adjustment tends to infniity, while for feedback convergence is to some nontrivial convex combination of the static Cournot-Nash equilibrium and the competitive equilibrium.

       

  • Compromise is Key to Repeated Bargaining.
    • Speaker: Prajit K. Dutta , Columbia University, New York  
    • Date: Monday, 16 January, 2017.  (Unusual Day)
    • Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM. (Unusual Time)
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
      This paper considers alternating move two player repeated bargaining. In Rubinstein (1982), and the vast literature that followed, once an agreement is reached the game ends. However, in many applications, the same two parties engage in multiple sequential negotiations, i.e., many bargains are about sharing a áow rather than a stock. Such an environment of Repeated Bargains is the central focus of this paper. It is shown that the Rubinstein solution is robust; in both Önite and inÖnite horizon, there is a unique equilibrium which on path mirrors the Rubinstein solution (and in the limit converges to the Nash Solution). The novel feature in repeated bargaining though is the search for a “compromise”; not only do players reject agreements that give them too little, as they do in single bargaining, they also turn down agreements that give them “too much”.
       
  • Asset Prices and Optimal Monetary Policy.
    • Speaker: Venoo Kakar , San Francisco State University  
    • Date: Wednesday, 11 January, 2017. Unusual Day
    • Time: 03:00 PM – 4:00 PM.Unusual Time
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2
    • Abstract
      We construct a New Keynesian DSGE model that features financial frictions, investment frictions, long-run productivity risk and Epstein-Zin preferences. The model successfully reproduces key features of both asset prices and macroeconomic quantities such as consumption, investment, and output. Under this set up, we examine the implications of different monetary policy rules where the central bank responds to inflation, output and asset prices in the presence of productivity shocks, monetary policy shocks and financial shocks. This paper contributes to the current debate on how central bankers ought to respond to asset price volatility, in the context of an overall strategy for monetary policy.
       
  • Credit Cycles and Business Cycles.
    • Speaker: Costas Azariadis , Washington University 
    • Date: Friday, 16 December, 2016 .
    • Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
    • Venue: Auditorium Hall.
    • Abstract
       We study the connections between credit shocks and economic activity in the US economy since 1980. Our main finding is that more than 80% of cyclical changes in GDP come from financial shocks, especially from changes in the anticipated supply of credit.
  • Revisiting Decoupling and Recoupling of BRIC Stock Markets with U.S. and Eurozone.
    • Speaker: Divya Tuteja , Delhi School of Economics 
    • Date: Tuesday, 13 December, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
       It has been well-documented in the literature that recent crises have led to large fluctuations in financial markets around the world. In this background, the objective of this paper is to assess decoupling vs recoupling of BRIC stock markets with the U.S. and Eurozone stock markets in the post 2000 period. We first, estimate the time-varying conditional correlation of the BRIC stock markets with the U.S. and Eurozone stock markets using a DCC-GARCH model. Thereafter, we identify regimes in the correlations using the Bai and Perron (2003) algorithm for endogenous selection of break dates. We study the behaviour of the conditional correlations during various identified phases with emphasis on the recent crises in the West. Finally, we test for a change in causal links among the markets across the regimes.

      Keywords: U.S. Financial Crisis; Eurozone Crisis; BRIC; Decoupling Hypothesis; Stock Markets; Transmission of Crisis

      JEL Classification: C32; F3; F36; G01; G15.

  • Integration Among US Banks: Trends and Determinants.
    • Speaker: Abhinav Anand , University College Dublin
    • Date: Friday, 9 December, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
      We study integration among a large sample of 1109 US banks over
      a quarter-century: 1990–2014. We define a bank’s level of integration
      (measured in percentages) as the degree of dependence of its stock returns
      on common national banking factors. We show that the median
      US bank’s integration has risen from 4.4% in 1990 to 10.1% in 2014.
      Integration across banks is highly unevenly distributed, obeys a power
      law and for the median “systemically important” bank, corresponding
      integration levels are 6–10 times higher. The US banking sector
      is segmented into a small group of “core” banks, strongly integrated
      with each other; and a large group of weakly integrated banks in the
      “periphery”. Determinants of US banks’ integration include bank size,
      its market beta and its idiosyncratic risk, which have a significantly
      positive marginal impact; while increased reliance on deposit financing
      and short term financing have a significantly negative marginal impact
      on integration.
  • Combatting Corruption: Role of monetary and non-monetary interventions .
    • Speaker: Ritwik Banerjee, IIM, Bangalore
    • Date: Friday, 25th November, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
      The paper studies the relative effectiveness of monetary disincentive and intrinsic non-monetary disincentive to corruption. In doing so, we also test Beckarian prediction that higher penalty and lower probability of detection is a stronger deterrent than lower penalty and higher probability of detection, keeping the expected payoff the same. In Experiment 1, three treatments are designed to study the effect of cheap talk, low probability of detection and high penalty and high probability of detection and low penalty, on bribe taking behaviour in a harassment bribery game. In Experiment 2, subjects take part in the same baseline harassment bribery game but after having gone through a four week ethics education program. Results show that a) cheap talk successfully reduces the bribe amount demanded but has no effect on the likelihood of bribe demand b) low probability of detection and high penalty reduces both the amount and the likelihood of bribe demand c) high probability of audit and low penalty has no effect on bribe demand behaviour, thus confirming Becker’s prediction d) normative appeals of ethics education has a small effect on the likelihood but has no effect on the amount of bribe demand, when measured immediately afterward e) longitudinal measurement suggests that the effect of ethics education vanishes when measured after four weeks f) extrinsic monetary interventions, which raise the extrinsic cost, is more effective than normative appeal driven non-monetary interventions that aim to increase intrinsic moral cost g) we identify belief about others’ behaviour as an important mechanism which governs bribe demand and acceptance of bribe demand behaviour.

      JEL codes: C91 C92 D03 K42
      Keywords: harassment bribes, penalty, probability of audit, cheap talk, ethics education
       

  • Health externalities of India’s expansion of coal plants: Evidence from a national panel of 40,000 households.
    • Speaker: Dean Spears, RICE
    • Date: Friday, 18th November, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
      Coal power generation is expanding rapidly in India and other developing countries. In addition to consequences for climate change, present-day health externalities may also substantially increase the social cost of coal. Health consequences of air pollution have proven important in studies of developed countries, but, despite clear importance, similarly well-identified estimates are less available for developing countries, and no estimates exist for the important case of coal in India. We exploit panel data on Indian households, matched to local changes in exposure to coal plants. Increased exposure to coal plants is associated with worse respiratory health. Consistent with a causal mechanism, the effect is specific: no effect is seen on diarrhea or fever, and no effect on respiratory health is seen of new non-coal plants. Our result is not due to endogenous avoidance behavior, or to differential trends in determinants of respiratory health, either before the period studied or simultaneously.
  • The Political Economy of Land Reform Enactment and Implementation: New Cross-National Evidence (1900-2010).
    • Speaker: Prasad Bhattacharya , Deakin University
    • Date: Friday, 11 November, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
      Constructing a unique, extensive dataset that codifies the enactment and implementation of 301 major land reforms around the world (155 countries) during the period 1900-2010, this paper investigates the main political-economy determinants of land reform initiatives and their implementations. We find that both transitions into and out of democracy are associated positively with land reform enactments and their implementation, with some evidence that these effects take place with a time lag. However, the evidence in favor of the positive effects of transition into a democratic form of government is particularly strong and robust. Also, the number of reforms already enacted and implemented has a negative impact on the likelihood of further reforms and their implementation. These results qualitatively go through even when we restrict the focus on just the pro-poor land reforms or other specific categories of land reforms. Reform and implementation probabilities are also positively associated with initial land inequality, with a positive interaction with transition to a more autocratic regime. Finally, we find that a one-step leftward movement in the political ideology of the nation’s chief executive (from right to center or center to left) is associated with a greater likelihood of land reforms and their subsequent implementations.  
  • Optimal Signaling in Bayesian Games.
    • Speaker: Umang Bhaskar, TIFR
    • Date: Friday, 28th October, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
      In a Bayesian game, the payoffs and hence strategies of the players depend on the state of nature, which may be hidden. Instead, players receive a signal regarding the state of nature, which they use to form beliefs on the state of nature and choose their strategies. While classical work has focused on analysing the effect of information on equilibria, the computational problem of designing an optimal signaling scheme, to optimize a given objective, has recently received much attention in algorithmic game theory.

      In this talk, I will present some recent work on the hardness of designing and approximating optimal signaling schemes in two-player zero-sum games, where the signaling objective is to maximize the expected utility of the row player at the Bayesian equilibrium. 

  • Culture and Communication.
    • Speaker: Rajiv Sethi , Columbia University
    • Date: Friday, 21 October, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
      A defining feature of culture is similarity in the manner in which information about the world is interpreted. This makes it easier to extract information from the beliefs of those within one’s own group. But this information itself may be of low quality if better informed sources lie elsewhere. Furthermore, observing individuals outside one’s culture deepens our understanding not only of those individuals, but also of their group. We model this process, using unobservable, heterogeneous priors to represent fundamental belief differences across individuals; these priors are correlated within but not across groups. Within this framework, we obtain the following results. First, groups that are smaller and have higher levels of correlation in perspectives will be more likely to exhibit homophily to begin with. If the correlation in perspectives is sufficiently high, then this homophily persists over time, resulting in homogeneity and insularity in observational patterns. If not, then persistent behavioral heterogenity can arise both within and across groups, even if individuals in the same group are identical at the outset. Patterns of observation exhibit considerable structure. Under certain conditions–which depend on the variability across individuals in the quality of information, initial uncertainty about the perspectives through which this information is filtered, and the degree to which these perspectives are correlated—individuals in each group can be partitioned into two categories. One of these exhibits considerable homophily, rarely if ever stepping outside group boundaries, while the other is unbiased and seeks information wherever it is most precise.
  • No time for Crime? The Effect of Compulsory Engagement on Youth Crime.
    • Speaker: Nikhil Jha, University of Melbourne
    • Date: Friday, 14th October, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      This paper examines the potential incapacitation effect on various categories of crime committed by youth. I exploit the increase in compulsory education or work participation age from 15 to 17 in Australia’s largest state. The policy increased school participation substantially via higher enrollments in school-based vocational education programs. By using incidents of crime, I incorporate incapacitation effects on crimes that do not lead to arrests. Crimes against property, which are often diverted from criminal justice system, show the largest decline.

       
  • Incentives And Justice For Sequencing Problems.
    • Speaker: Parikshit De , ISI, KOlkata
    • Date: Friday, 7 October, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      We address the mechanism design issue for the sequencing problem. We identify the just sequencing rule that serves the agents in the non-increasing order of their waiting costs and prove that it is a Rawlsian rule and that it weakly lexi-max cost dominates the outcome efficient sequencing rule. We identify all ICJ mechanisms that implement the just sequencing rule. The other properties of the just sequencing rule that we identify are the following. It can be implemented with budget balanced ICJ mechanisms. When waiting cost and processing time are private information, we identify all generalized ICJ mechanisms that expost implement the just sequencing rule. Finally, we identify all budget balanced generalized ICJ mechanisms.
  • Financial Education vs. Financial Access: Field Experimental Evidence from Transnational  Households in the Philippines.
    • Speaker: Rashmi Barua , JNU
    • Date: Friday, 30 September, 2016 .
    • Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract
      We implemented a randomized controlled trial among transnational households in the Philippines estimating impacts on financial behaviors of a financial education treatment, a financial access treatment, and the combination of the two. We test whether there are complementarities between financial education and financial access interventions, and also provide insight into the nature of constraints operating in financial services markets. We find no evidence of complementarities between the financial education and financial access treatments. In addition, while we find no evidence of constraints in access to formal credit and savings products, our results do suggest that access constraints exist in the formal  insurance market. Impacts on other financial behaviors are suggestive of the importance of information constraints in financial decision-making. These results provide guidance to designers of financial interventions in similar populations.
    • School Feeding and Cognitive Skills: Evidence from India’s Midday Meal Program.
      • Speaker: Tanika Chakraborty, IIT Kanpur
      • Date: Friday, 16 September, 2016 .
      • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
      • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
      • Abstract

        We study the effect of the world’s largest school feeding program on children’s learning outcomes. Staggered implementation across different states of a 2001 Indian Supreme Court Directive ordering the introduction of free school lunches in primary schools generates plausibly exogenous variation in program exposure across different birth cohorts. We exploit this to estimate the effect of program exposure on math and reading test scores of primary school-aged children. We find that midday meals have a dramatic positive effect on cognitive achievement: children exposed to the program throughout primary school experience an improvement in their reading scores by 0.20 standard deviations and in math scores by 0.15 standard deviations. We provide suggestive evidence on the extent to which this improvement is driven by a nutrition-learning vis-à-vis enrollment channel.
    • CANCELLED.
      • Speaker: Hari Nagarajan , IRMA
      • Date: Friday, 9 September, 2016 .
      • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
      • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
      • Abstract

  • A Model of Optimal Labor Market Friction.
    • Speaker: Debojyoti Mazumder, ISI, Kolkata
    • Date: Friday, 2 September, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      Walrasian economics, with flexible prices and wages, fails to explain the problem of unemployment which has been one of the most enduring predicaments of almost all economies. A crucial discipline in macroeconomics, namely, the theory of unemployment, has been developed to find suitable theoretical answers to that and identify the non-Walrasian features of the labor market. One particular strand of literature, developed by Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A. Pissarides, explains unemployment through search-and matching-induced labor market imperfections. Search and Matching
      framework has provided a strong micro foundation to many major fields (for example, labor economics, growth theory, international trade etc) of economics which incorporates labor market friction within their analysis. The model, under discussion, develops a general equilibrium model with a search frictional labor market where endogenous technological progress is the only source of growth. A single good is produced with one factor input, labor. Unmatched workers, as the optimal choice, take education and are absorbed into the state sponsored RD sector to improve the future technology of the economy. The model shows that optimal friction is positive and this optimal can be achieved even without changing the economy’s time independent growth rate. The results are robust with tax-financing government expenditure and under random fluctuations in the productivity level.
  • Fiscal Financing Components in a Simple Model of Policy Interaction.
    • Speaker: Piyali Das , Indiana University, Bloomington
    • Date: Friday, 19 August, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many advanced nations have experienced unprecedented rise in the debt to GDP ratio. In that context, it becomes necessary to analyze how the financing components-nominal interest rate, inflation, growth rate and primary deceit stand to affect the debt-GDP ratio. Data for the United States between 1942-2014 reveals that different financing components have affected the debt to GDP ratio at various time periods. This study focusses on the analysis of the financing components in a simple model of policy interaction by calibrating the model’s non-policy parameters to four time periods: 1945-1953, 1961-1969, 1981-1989, 2009-2014 for the US. I undertake the analyses under two regimes-active fiscal and passive monetary policy or “F” regime and the active monetary and passive fiscal policy or “M” regime and find the contribution of each component in affecting the debt-GDP ratio and the corresponding policy parameters in each regime for each of the four periods. I find that during the periods 1945-1953 and 2009-2014, inflation and primary deficit play important roles, respectively, as in the data, with regime F being the one supported by data. For the period 1961-1969 there is only mild support from data that the regime in place may have been F with growth rate playing the most important role as in the data and for 1981-1989, nothing substantial can be said about the regime in place. The corresponding fiscal and monetary policy parameter values for most subperiods corroborates with the data.

  • Socially Justify Then Choose: A Theory of Social Influence in Individual Choice.
    • Speaker: Abhinash Borah , Ashoka University
    • Date: Friday, 12 August, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      We introduce a theory of individual choice in which the decision maker (DM) seeks a social justification for her choices. Our specification of the cognitive process underlying the DM’s perception about whether a choice can be deemed socially justifiable or not draws on self-categorization theory in social psychology. We provide a testable condition on behavior that allows any outside observer to determine whether the DM’s choices are constrained by such a cognitive process involving social justifications. This condition also allows us to fully characterize, in any choice problem, the set of choices that the DM may consider as socially justifiable. We then propose and behaviorally characterize a choice procedure called socially justify then choose that addresses the question of what is it that a DM, who constraints herself by the need for such social justifications, actually chooses from the set of socially justifiable choices. We relate our theory to the well-known Asch conformity experiments on social influence. We also highlight the type of non-standard choices that our model can capture.

  • Sectoral Productivity Gaps and Aggregate Productivity.
    • Speaker: Rishabh Sinha ,World Bank
    • Date: Friday, 5 August, 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      This paper examines the role of changes in sectoral productivity gaps over time in accounting for growth realized by countries over the past few decades. To quantify the productivity impact of the sectoral gaps, a simple model of resource allocation is developed in which the gaps arise due to distortions in the form of asymmetrical taxes across sectors. The paper finds a limited role of changes in distortions over time in accounting for actual growth. Implied growth from changes in distortions accounts for less than 2.5 percent of actual growth for the median country. To check if the lower contribution of changes in distortions is because of unrealized gains suggested by high levels of present distortions, productivity gains are estimated when distortions across countries are reduced to the US levels. Barring a couple of cases, the gains in aggregate productivity are modest across the sample of countries.
  • The Role of Historical Resource Scarcity in Modern Gender Inequality.
    • Speaker: Chandan Kumar Jha ,Le Moyne College
    • Date: Wednesday, 27 July 2016 (UNUSUAL DAY AND TIME).
    • Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      This study detects a curious correlation between historical resource scarcity and
      modern gender inequality: current economic circumstances held constant, there tends
      to be more gender inequality in regions less endowed with agro-ecological resources,
      considered historical given the stability of geographical conditions. The proportion of
      national land area that is potentially arable, and the proportion of national ancestral
      land suited to agriculture, are each negatively related to the UNDP’s Gender Inequality
      Index, and positively related to both the UNDP’s Gender Development Index and
      females’ less males’ life expectancy at birth. Such a connection holds at the subnational
      level as well. Indian districts better endowed with rainfall and cultivable land
      have, on average, proportionately fewer ‘missing women’, that is, higher population
      sex-ratios. Further, respondents of the World Values Survey residing in sub-national
      regions with ancestral lands better suited to agriculture are less likely to hold the
      opinions that men ought to have more right to scarce jobs and that men make better
      political leaders than women. We consider these findings consistent with historical
      resource scarcity having played a role in the evolution of gender norms biased against
      women that prevail to this day.

      JEL classification codes: D03, J16, N30

      Keywords: gender inequality, historical factors, resource scarcity

  • On Construction of Social Welfare Orders satisfying Hammond Equity and Weak Pareto Axiom.
    • Speaker: Ram Sewak Dubey ,Montclair State University
    • Date: Friday, 22 July 2016 .
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      This paper examines the constructive nature of social welfare order that respects the Hammond equity and Weak Pareto Axioms.
      It describes the domains (of the one period utilities) on which an explicit construction is possible.
      A social welfare order satisfying the Hammond equity and Weak Pareto Axioms admits an explicit construction on precisely those domains which are well-ordered sets in which the elements of the set are ordered according to the decreasing magnitude of the numbers belonging to the set.

      Keywords: Hammond equity, Non-Ramsey set, Order Types, Social Welfare Orders, Weak Pareto, Well-ordered set.

  • Optimal labor market regulations in the context of structural transformation.
    • Speaker: Priya Ranjan, UC Irvine
    • Date: Thursday, 21 July 2016 (Unusal Day and Time).
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      This paper constructs a theoretical model to study labor market regulations in developing countries with a particular focus on structural transformation. When workers are risk averse and the market for insurance against labor income risk are missing, regulations that provide insurance to workers are efficiency enhancing and promote structural transformation. However, regulations that simply create barriers to the firing of workers not only impede structural transformation but end up reducing the welfare of workers as well. The implications of some other issues like general regulatory burden, weak state capacity, and minimum wage regulations are analyzed as well.

  • Analysing Inflation Dynamics in India using Time Varying SVAR Model.
    • Speaker: Chaithanya Jayakumar, University of Siena
    • Date: Tuesday, 1 June 2016 (Unusal Day and Time).
    • Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 1.
    • Abstract

      In this paper a Time Varying parameter Structural Vector Auto regression (TV-SVAR) model has been employed to understand the impact of crude oil price shock on macro variables and to check how it produces dynamic effects in inflation on the Indian economy. Using a TV-SVAR Impulse Response Function (IRF) we check whether oil price shock (c) has brought about changes in the inflation (p), output growth (x) and interest rate (i) of Indian economy. It is based on the procedure followed by Cogley and Sargent (2002), Cogley and Sargent (2005) and Primiceri (2005).The results indicate that unexpected oil price shock is followed by an increase in inflation. This is later accompanied by a decline in output growth, to which Reserve Bank of India (RBI) responds by raising the interest rate, thereby making the inflation move towards stability i.e. (5-5.5%).Economic Keywords: Structural Vector Auto regression, Inflation, Impulse Response Function, Time- varying parameter

      JEL Classification: C32, E31, E52 .

  • Nonparametric specification testing via the trinity of tests.
    • Speaker: Gupta Abhimanyu, University of Essex
    • Date: Friday,29 April 2016.
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      Tests are developed for inference on a parameter vector whose dimension grows
      slowly with sample size. The statistics are based on the Lagrange Multiplier, Wald
      and (pseudo) Likelihood Ratio principles, admit standard normal asymptotic distributions
      under the null and are straightforward to compute. They are shown to be
      consistent and possessing non-trivial power against local alternatives. The settings
      considered include multiple linear regression, panel data models with fixed effects
      and spatial autoregressions. When a nonparametric regression function is estimated
      by series, we use our statistics to propose specification tests, and in semiparametric
      adaptive estimation we provide a test for correct error distribution specification.
      These tests are nonparametric but handled in practice with parametric techniques.
      A Monte Carlo study suggests that our tests perform well in finite samples. Two
      empirical examples use them to test for correct shape of an electricity distribution
      cost function and linearity and equality of Engel curves.
  • Misled and mis-sold: financial misbehaviour in retail banks.
    • Speaker: Renuka Sane, ISI, Delhi
    • Date: Friday, April 22 2016.
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      Do retail banks make appropriate disclosures and provide unbiased
      financial advice to their customers? We use an audit methodology
      where trained auditors ask for advice on tax saving instruments from
      banks in Delhi, India. Auditors are either informed and ask for a
      specific product, or uninformed and do not have a product
      preference. In both cases they document the disclosures made on
      product features. We find that when sales incentives are high banks
      recommend the most remunerative products. They rarely make voluntary
      disclosures on product features such as costs, and lock-in. When
      specifically requested, information provided is largely
      inaccurate. Our results suggest that banks mislead customers on
      product features, and mis-sell financial products. Merely mandating
      disclosures has limited impact in an environment typical of large
      emerging economies such as India, where buyers have little
      understanding of the relevance of product characteristics, and
      regulatory enforcement on manager actions appears weak.
  • Distance to Frontier, Human Capital and Economic Growth: A Theoretical and Cross-Country Empirical Analysis.
    • Speaker: Sujata Basu, JNU
    • Date: Thursday, April 7 2016.
    • Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      An endogenous skilled biased growth model in imperfect capital market has been considered to show that along the growth path wage gap widen and both upward and downward mobility fall. This implies that education becomes more correlated with initial conditions and less related with the cognitive ability as the relative gap of an economy’s technology level from the world technology frontier decreases. Growth occurs through the twin channels of technology – imitating from the world technology frontier and innovating on its own technology level – innovation being more skilled intensive than imitation. These assumptions have also been validated through a cross-country empirical study for 75 countries for the period 1970-2010. Using stochastic frontier analysis and system generalized method of moments (GMM), it is shown that skilled human capital is important for technical efficiency gain (that is, imitation) for high income countries whereas middle and low income countries rely on semi-skilled human capital for technical efficiency gain. Moreover, in the theoretical analysis, it is shown that skilled human capital is growth enhancing in the innovation-only (that is, high income countries) and imitation-innovation (that is, middle income countries) regimes as well as semi-skilled human capital is growth enhancing in the imitation-only regime (low income countries) which is also supported by the empirical findings (by using fixed effect panel regression and data envelopment analysis and system GMM for both the aggregate and multi outputs scenario).
  • Growth, Urbanization and Poverty Reduction in India.
    • Speaker: Gaurav Datt , Monash University
    • Date: Friday, April 1 2016.
    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
    • Venue: Seminar Room No. 2.
    • Abstract

      Longstanding development issues are revisited in the light of our newly-constructed dataset of poverty measures for India spanning 60 years, including 20 years since reforms began in earnest in 1991. We find a downward trend in poverty measures since 1970, with an acceleration post-1991, despite rising inequality. Faster poverty decline came with both higher growth and a more pro-poor pattern of growth. Post-1991 data suggest stronger inter-sectoral linkages: urban consumption growth brought gains to the rural as well as the urban poor and the primary-secondary-tertiary composition of growth has ceased to matter as all three sectors contributed to poverty reduction.