07-01. Kaplan , D., E. Piedra., and E., Seira,"Are Burdensome Registration Procedures an Important Barrier on Firm Creation? Evidence from Mexico"
Abstract: There has been increasing concern that the difficulty of obtaining firm operation licences in developing countries may decrease firm creation and increase informality. We estimate the effect on new firm creation/registration of a program that speeds up firm registration procedures and makes them more transparent. The program was implemented in Mexico in different municipalities at different dates. Our preferred estimates suggest that new firm registration increased by around 4% in eligible industries. Most of the effect is temporary, being concentrated on the first 10 months after the program is implemented. This suggests that the program’s effect may operate through registering existing firms instead of spurring creation of new ones. We compare this magnitude to some benchmarks to assess its size.
07-02. Melissas, N., "The Trader, the Market Maker, his Guru and her Information"
Abstract: This paper argues that a guru possessing a multi-dimensional informational advantage may want to truthfully report her opinion to the media to learn more out of the actions of other, sometimes better-informed traders.
07-03. Melissas, N., "Gurus, Opinion Polls and Social Learning"
Abstract: This paper analyzes cheap talk in an investment model with information externalities. In contrast to Gossner and Melissas (2006), I allow for (i) competition effects, (ii) positive network externalities and (iii) more than one interviewed player. In the presence of competition effects, a player will never truthfully reveal her information about the realized state of the world. In the presence of positive network externalities, however, there exists a parameter range where, under mild additional conditions, the unique equilibrium is the separating one. Finally, using numerical computations, I show that for a sufficiently large number of interviewed players there exists a separating equilibrium in my entire parameter range.
07-04. Aguilar, G., and S. Rendón., "Employment and Deadweight Loss Effects of Observed Non-Wage Labor Costs"
Abstract: To assess the employment effects of labor costs it is crucial to have reliable estimates of the labor cost elasticity of labor demand. Using a matched firm-worker dataset, we estimate a long run unconditional labor demand function, exploiting information on workers to correct for endogeneity in the determination of wages. We evaluate the employment and deadweight loss effects of observed employers' contributions imposed by labor laws (health insurance, training, and taxes) as well as of observed workers' deductions (social security, and income tax). We find that non-wage labor costs reduce employment by 17% for white-collars and by 53% for blue-collars, with associated deadweight losses of 10% and 35% of total contributions, respectively. Since most firms undercomply with mandated employers' and workers contributions, we find that full compliance would imply employment losses of 4% for white-collars and 12% for blue-collars, with respective associated deadweight losses of 2% and 6%.
07-05. Domínguez, D., "Lower bounds and recursive methods for the problem of adjudicating conflicting claims"
Abstract: For the problem of adjudicating conflicting claims, we study lower bounds on the awards of each agent. We propose extending a lower bound by performing the following operation: (i) for each problem, assign the lower bound and revise the problem accordingly; (ii) assign the bound of the revised problem. The "recursive-extension" of a bound is the lower bound obtained by recursive application of this operation. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions on a lower bound for there to be a unique rule satisfying its recursive-extension. We show that, under these conditions, the rule satisfying the recursive-extension of a bound is the unique rule satisfying the following property: the awards assigned by a rule should be obtainable in two ways: (i) directly applying the rule to the problem or (ii) first assigning the bound and revising the problem accordingly, and then applying the rule to the revised problem. Then, we study whether this procedure leads to well-behaved lower bounds.
Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of a generous demogrant for the elderly that started in 2001 in Mexico City on the labor supply and time use of the elderly and of non-elderly family members who live with them. Using data for the period 2000-2004 and a triple differences approach, I find that prime-age women reduce both their housework and market work time significantly, but only if they live with an age-qualifying woman in a poor neighborhood after the program started. In contrast, the program seems to have no significant effect on the time use of prime-age men. My results suggest that some of the public resources devoted to the elderly could actually spill over to other age groups, especially in countries where extended families are common, and that the gender of the potential beneficiary matters for outcomes.
Abstract: This paper uses a recent demogrant for the elderly in Mexico City to estimate the effect of an exogenous increase in the income of older individuals on the amount of private transfers they receive. My results show that not controlling for the endogeneity of income replicates the positive or small negative effects of income on the amount of private transfers received obtained by previous work. In contrast, my instrumental variables strategy yields negative and significant income effects, not far from the minus one implied by altruistic models, suggesting that a change in the public resources for elderly could be neutralized by the response of private transfers.
07-08. Chatterji, S., and I. Lobato., "Transformations of the State Variable and Learning Dynamics"
Abstract: This article studies dynamics in a model where agents forecast a one dimensional state variable via ordinary least squares regressions on the lagged values of the state variable. We study the stability properties of alternative transformations of the state variable that the agent can endogenously set forth. We study the consequences on the economy's stability of the typical transformations that an econometrician would attempt, such as differencing, detrending, or taking instantaneous concave transformations, such as logarithms. Surprisingly, for the considered class of economies, we found that these transformations are destabilizing, whereas alternative transformations, which an econometrician would never consider, such as convex transformations, are stabilizing. Therefore, we ironically find that in our set-up, an active agent, who is concerned about learning the economy's dynamics and transforms the state variable, in an attempt to improve forecasting, is more likely to deviate from the steady state than a passive agent.
07-09. Rendón, S., and A. Cuecuecha., "International Job Search: Mexicans in and out of the U.S."
Abstract: It is argued that migration from Mexico to the US and return migration are determined by international wage differentials and preferences for origin. We use a model of job search, savings and migration to show that job turnover is a crucial determinant of the migration process. We estimate this model by Simulated Method of Moments (SMM) and find that migration practically disappears if Mexico has American arrival rates while employed. Doubling migration costs reduces migration rates in half, while subsidizing return migration in $300 reduces migration rates of older migrants but increases migration rates of younger migrants.