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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues



When policymakers implement a disinflation program directed at high inflation, the real dollar value of their country’s stock market index experiences a cumulative abnormal 12-month return of 48 percent in anticipation of the event. In contrast, the average cumulative abnormal 12-month return associated with disinflations directed at moderate inflation is negative 18 percent. The 66-percentage point difference between cumulative abnormal returns, along with descriptive evidence and case studies, suggests that unlike the swift eradication of past high inflations documented by Sargent (1982), the US will not experience a quick, low-cost transition from moderate inflation to the Fed’s two-percent target.

Despite encouraging signs, India’s retail market remains largely off-limits to large international retailers like Wal-Mart and Carrefour. Opposition to liberalizing FDI in this sector raises concerns about employment losses, unfair competition resulting in the large-scale exit of incumbent domestic retailers, and infant industry arguments to protect the organized domestic retail sector that is at a nascent stage. Based on international evidence, we suggest that allowing entry by large international retailers into the Indian market may help tackle inflation, especially in food prices.

Factor analysis is a widely used tool to summarize high dimensional panel data via a small dimensional set of latent factors. Applications, particularly in finance, are often focused on observable factors with an economic interpretation. The objective of this paper is to provide a formal test for the question whether the factor spaces of latent and observable (economic) factors are equal.

In this paper, we develop new methods for analyzing high-dimensional tensor datasets. A tensor factor model describes a high-dimensional dataset as a sum of a low-rank component and an idiosyncratic noise, generalizing traditional factor models for panel data. We propose an estimation algorithm, called tensor principal component analysis (PCA), which generalizes the traditional PCA applicable to panel data.

Dr. Gerald Cohen brings nearly 30 years of high-profile private and public sector experience to the institute, where he is taking a leading role in forwarding Kenan Institute’s mission and translational research efforts.

We model the joint dynamics of intraday liquidity, volume, and volatility in the U.S. Treasury market, especially through the 2007--09 financial crisis and around important economic announcements. Using various specifications based on Bauwens & Giot (2000)'s Log-ACD(1,1) model, we find that liquidity, volume and volatility are highly persistent, with volatility having a lower short-term persistence than the other two. Market liquidity and volume are important to explaining volatility dynamics but not vice versa. In addition, market dynamics change during the financial crisis, with all variables exhibiting increased responsiveness to their most recent realizations.

What is the impact of higher technological volatility on asset prices and macroeconomic aggregates? I find the answer hinges on its sectoral origin. Volatility that originates from the consumption (investment) sector drops (raises) macroeconomic growth rates and stock prices.

We study multi-period sales-force incentive contracting where salespeople can engage in effort gaming, a phenomenon that has extensive empirical support. Focusing on a repeated moral hazard scenario with two independent periods and a risk-neutral agent with limited liability, we conduct a theoretical investigation to understand which effort profiles the firm can expect under the optimal contract. We show that various effort profiles that may give the appearance of being sub-optimal, such as postponing effort exertion (“hockey stick”) and not exerting effort after a bad or a good initial demand outcome (“giving up” and “resting on laurels,” respectively) may indeed be induced optimally by the firm.

Networks of serial entrepreneurs, investors, and their affiliated companies play a critical role in driving entrepreneurial behavior, investor focus, and innovation hot spots within specific industry sectors and are critical for shaping the character of robust regional economies.

A core idea in competitive strategy is that a firm’s ability to capture value depends on the creation of value: maximizing the gap between willingness to pay and cost. This value can depend on or be enhanced through complementarity, where the willingness to pay for an offering is increased in the presence of another offering. Substitutability is assumed to have the opposite effect.

When financially distressed firms have overwhelming debts, a prominent option for survival is to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. We empirically study the effect of Chrysler’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on the quantity sold by its competitors in the U.S. auto industry.

We examine whether the contribution of firm-level accounting earnings to the informativeness of the aggregate is tilted towards earnings with specific financial reporting characteristics. Specifically, we investigate whether considering the smoothness of firm-level earnings increases the informativeness of aggregate earnings for future real GDP, and if so, whether macroeconomic forecasters use this information efficiently. Using recently-developed mixed data sampling methods, we find that the aggregate is tilted towards firms with smoother earnings and that this composition of aggregate earnings outperforms traditional weighting schemes.