Seminars

Lunch Seminar: Hernan Seoane - Universidad Carlos II de Madrid

March 16, 2018
1:00 pmto2:00 pm
1:00 pmto2:00 pm

TBA

Lunch Seminar: Fabiano Schivardi - LUISS Guido Carli & EIEF

December 12, 2017
1:00 pmto2:00 pm

The IT Revolution and Italy’s Two Lost Decades (with Tom Schmitz)

Abstract:
Since the middle of the 1990s, real GDP per worker has been growing much more slowly in Italy than in other developed countries. In this paper, we analyze how much the IT Revolution has contributed to this divergence. Firm-level evidence shows low adoption and unproductive use of IT in Italy, and suggests that this is due to inefficient management practices. To analyze the quantitative importance of these phenomena, we build a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous firms and workers, migration, management and IT adoption choices. We use this model to compare two countries, Italy and Germany, which we assume differ only in their level of management efficiency. Our calibrated model, disciplined by the firm-level evidence, suggests that the growth triggered by the IT Revolution in Italy represents only around XX% of the corresponding figure for Germany. Therefore (depending on the assumptions regarding the aggregate impact of IT in Germany), the IT Revolution is responsible for between XX% and XX% of the divergence in Italy’s and Germany’s GDP per worker between 1995 and 2015. In Italy, lower management efficiency has limited the productivity gains from IT and become a more salient problem as IT increased the aggregate importance of managers. It has also limited the wage increases of high-skilled workers, and therefore pushed more of them to emigrate.

David Argente - University of Chicago

November 20, 2017
5:00 pmto6:30 pm

Product Life Cycle, Learning, and Nominal Shocks

Joseph Doyle - MIT-Sloan

May 3, 2018
4:45 pmto6:00 pm

TBA

Lunch Seminar: Chiara Lacava - Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”

November 10, 2017
1:00 pmto2:00 pm

Why Are Some Regions So Much More Productive than Others?

Abstract:
Differentials in aggregate labor productivity across regions could be due to differences (1) in workers’ skills (2) in firms’ technologies (3) in how efficiently skills and technologies are matched and (4) in institutional factors specific to each region. I introduce a framework to separately identify each determinant using matched employer-employee data. I estimate skills by comparing the wages of each worker with co-workers in the same firm and in the same region; technologies by comparing the productivity of firms with same workforce’s skills and in the same region. I estimate positive complementarities between skill and technology by measuring how workers and firms jointly contribute to productivity in the same region through a model of the aggregate production function. Finally, I disentangle region-specific factors from technologies since some firms have plants in more than one region. In an application to the Italian regions, I find that differences in firms’ technologies and in region-specific factors account respectively for 60% and 35% of the large productivity differentials. In contrast, no contribution is due to differences in the distribution of skills, since they are close to zero and do not change with the migration of workers. Also, under optimal assignment of workers productivity differences do not increase, but productivity level rises by around 20%.

Frédéric Malherbe - London Business School

November 3, 2017
5:00 pmto6:30 pm

A Positive Analysis of Bank Behaviour under Capital Requirements

Burhanettin Kuruscu - University of Toronto

November 13, 2017
5:00 pmto6:30 pm

Use It or Lose It: Efficiency Gains from Wealth Taxation (with Fatih Guvenen, Gueorgui Kambourov, Sergio Ocampo-Diaz and Daphne Chenk)

Abstract:
This paper studies the quantitative implications of wealth taxation (tax on the stock of wealth) as opposed to capital income taxation (tax on the income flow from capital) in an overlapping-generations incomplete-markets model with rate of return heterogeneity across individuals. With such heterogeneity, capital income and wealth taxes have opposite implications for efficiency and some key distributional outcomes. Under capital income taxation, entrepreneurs who are more productive, and therefore generate more income, pay higher taxes. Under wealth taxation, on the other hand, entrepreneurs who have similar wealth levels pay similar taxes regardless of their productivity, which expands the base and shifts the tax burden toward unproductive entrepreneurs. This reallocation increases aggregate productivity and output. In the simulated model calibrated to the US data, a revenue-neutral tax reform that replaces capital income tax with a wealth tax raises welfare by about 8% in consumption-equivalent terms. Moving on to optimal taxation, the optimal wealth tax is positive, yields even larger welfare gains than the tax reform, and is preferable to optimal capital income taxes. Interestingly, optimal wealth taxes result in more even consumption and leisure distributions (despite the wealth distribution becoming more dispersed), which is the opposite of what optimal capital income taxes imply. Consequently, wealth taxes can yield both efficiency and distributional gains.

Lunch Seminar: Sergei Severinov - University of British Columbia

November 8, 2017
1:00 pmto2:00 pm

Bilateral Communication and Partnership Formation

Abstract:
We consider match formation between two parties, such as marriage, merger or partnership formation. Each party has private information about the value of the match, which creates friction in the matching process. We focus on the role of bilateral communication in this setting and investigate how such communication should be organized in order to improve the matching process. Different communication protocols are considered, and their outcomes are characterized. Our main results indicate that a simple communication protocol which involves one round of communication is sufficient, in the sense that the matching outcome is invariant to length and order of communication. Our analysis also provides a perspective on the role of a neutral mechanism designer or a mediator in this process.

Lunch Seminar: Darryl Biggar - Australian Competition & Consumer Commission

November 17, 2017
1:00 pmto2:00 pm

Efficient Distribution Network Pricing in the Context of the Electricity Industry Transformation in Australia

Abstract:
The electricity industry is in the midst of its most important transformation since the early twentieth century. This transformation is leading to substantial investment in distributed energy resources – controllable devices for producing, storing and consuming electric power which are connected to the distribution grid (e.g., solar PV, domestic storage, electric vehicles and smart appliances). The electricity transformation is placing historic distribution pricing arrangements under significant pressure. If we are to achieve efficient use of and investment in distributed energy resources, and if networks are to receive sufficient revenue to cover their costs, network pricing arrangements will have to change. But what does efficient distribution network pricing look like? How can efficient prices be computed? What institutional arrangements do we need to implement efficient distribution network pricing? This presentation will discuss the theory of efficient distribution network pricing and the policy issues associated with implementing efficient pricing arrangements in Australia.

Eric J. Bartelsman - Tinbergen Institute, VU Amsterdam

November 16, 2017
5:00 pmto6:30 pm

Measuring Productivity Dispersion