Seminars at the Department of Economics

Last changed: 25 May 2021
March 23 13:00-14:00  Zoom


Shon Ferguson (SLU)

“Import Demand Elasticities Based on Quantity Data: Theory and Evidence” (with Aaron Smith)



Correct estimates of import demand elasticities are essential for measuring the gains from trade and predicting the impact of trade policies. We show that estimates of import demand elasticities hinge critically on whether they are derived using trade quantities or trade values, and this difference is due to properties of the esti­mators. Using partial identification methods, we show theoretical­ly that the upper bound on the set of plausible estimates is lower when using traded quantities, compared to the standard approach using trade values. Our theoretical predictions are confirmed us­ing detailed product-level data on U.S. imports for the years 1993-2006. Our proposed method using traded quantities leads to smaller point estimates of the import demand elasticities for many goods and imply larger gains from trade compared to estimates based on trade values.

April 7 13:00-14:00  Zoom


Marie Lassalas (Agrocampus Ouest) 

"Environmental certification, yield and product quality: an application to French wheat production"

Environmental certification can be viewed as a complementary instru-ment to traditional agri-environmental policies to reduce environmental impacts of farming systems. However, these changes in agricultural prac-tices that are required when adopting an environmental certification might lead to an increase in financial risks and a decrease in perfor-mance. These perceived risks can thus prevent producers to adopt envi-ronmentally friendly practices. It is therefore crucial to quantify the level of performance change upon adoption of environmental certification. This article contributes to this issue, and aims at estimating the effects of environmental certification adoption on yield and product quality, two criteria that have an impact on farm revenue, through an empirical appli-cation on wheat production in France. The environmental certification considered here is defined at the plot level, and implies binding require-ments on pesticides use and the plot distance to main roads. We use an endogenous switching regression by full information maximum likeli-hood to control for potential endogeneity of the adoption of the environ-mental certification. The results show that there exists a significant selec-tion bias on the adoption of the environmental certification on plots when the outcome considered is wheat quality, but not when it is yield. In addi-tion, we find that the adoption of the environmental certification has a positive effect on both wheat yield and quality.
(with Sabine Duvaleix and Laure Latruffe)


April 14 16:00-17:00  Zoom


Stephie Fried (Arizona State University) 

“Understanding Climate Damages: Consumption versus Investment ” (with Gregory Casey and Matthew Gibson )


We study the impact of climate change on the US economy, focus­ing on the relative productivity of the investment and consump­tion sectors. A long macroeconomic literature demonstrates that improvements in investment-specific productivity are a major driver of economic growth in the US and other developed econo­mies. The investment sector is also highly vulnerable to climate change, in part due to the construction sub-sector. We develop a multi-sector model of structural change to study the effects of cli­mate change on investment-productivity and the associated wel­fare implications. We find that accounting for investment-specific climate damages substantially increases the welfare cost of climate change.



May 19 13:00-14:00  

Efi Kyriakopoulou (SLU) 

“Working from home and urban structure”

How would the structure of cities change if working from home (WFH) persisted in the post-pandemic era? This paper investigates the impact of WFH in the demand for office and housing space in monocentric cities. We find that residential land rents fall close to the business center but may increase in the suburbs. The impact on average wage is ambiguous. WFH is shown to benefit workers-residents only in large enough cities. The paper also studies the optimal fraction of WFH from a residents and welfare point of view. Our results suggest that workers-residents have incentives to adopt an inefficiently high WFH scheme.



May 26 13:00-14:00  

Roweno J.R.K. Heijmans (Tilburg University)

“The Global Climate Game”

I study emissions abatement in a global game of technological in­vestments. Players invest in competing technologies. One technol­ogy is cheap and dirty, the other expensive but clean, and invest­ments exhibit technological spillovers. The paper makes two main contributions. My first contribution is to resolve complications due to equilibrium multiplicity in games of technological invest­ment by addressing equilibrium selection through the use of global games. In well identified cases the unique equilibrium is ineffi­cient, motivating policy intervention. This leads to my second con­tribution, the introduction of network subsidies. A network subsi­dy allows the policymaker to correct for the entire externality de­riving from technological spillovers (and for all externalities if in­vesting in the clean technology is also an equilibrium) but does not, in equilibrium, cost anything. Albeit derived in the context of climate change, the concept of a network subsidy is general and contributes to public economics more broadly.



June 2 13:00-14:00  

Heidi Leonhardt (BOKU, Vienna)

“(Im)partible farms, (un)fragmented farms? Investigating the effect of agricultural inheritance traditions on land use and land ownership fragmentation”.

Historically, two different traditions of succession of agricultural holdings exist: impartible inheritance, where all land of a farm is transferred to a single
successor, and partible inheritance, where (the land belonging to) a holding is
split among several successors. Many authors believe (although rarely test empirically) that partible inheritance fosters land use fragmentation, as land parcels are split between several heirs. However, land can be split without splitting
parcels, family and marriage traditions may counteract fragmentation, and land
consolidation via consolidation projects, land markets, or informal land exchanges decreases fragmentation. In the presented work I test the empirical
relationship between inheritance traditions and land fragmentation as well as
land ownership fragmentation for crop farms in North-Eastern Austria, where
both traditions used to exist. I gathered data from an Austria-wide folk atlas
from the 1960s on the traditional geographical distribution of inheritance traditions, combined it with land use data from the EU’s Integrated Administration
and Control System (IACS) to construct indicators on land use fragmentation
and land ownership, and will add further data on land owners from the Austrian cadastre. I analyse the relationships using simple multivariate regressions,
controlling for biophysical characteristics of land and farm characteristics. Results suggest that indicators of plot dispersion appear to be unrelated to inheritance traditions, and the same is true for measures of plot size dispersion and
farm size. The number of plots and their average size, however, appear to be
higher and lower respectively in areas with partible inheritance, and the share
of owned land is lower, contrary to the share of land informally exchanged between farmers. Therefore, partible inheritance appears to have existing, but
limited effects on land use fragmentation and land ownership.

June 9 13:00-14:00  



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