08-01. Elbittar, A., and A. Gomberg., "A laboratory study of Demand Reduction and Collusion in Uniform- and Discriminatory-Price Auctions"  

Abstract: We report results of an experimental study of multi-object uniform and discriminatory-price auctions in an environment of publicly known common values, concentrating on an environment where theory predicts sharply different results of the two auction formats. We find that the bidding behavior in the uniform case exhibits two clear regularities: agents consistently play weakly dominated strategies by overbidding on the first unit and have moderate difficulty coordinating on the high payoff (low auction revenue) equilibrium predicted by theory. However, subjects with experience in the same environment are better at reducing demand to achieve higher payoff. Bidders in discriminatory auctions, as predicted, tend to submit bids close to value for all units and are not generally successful in attempts at collusion.

08-02. Duggan, J., and C., Martinelli.,"The Role of Media Slant in Elections and Economics" 

Abstract: We formalize the concept of media slant as a relative emphasis on different issues of political interest by the media, and we illustrate the effects of the media choice of slant on political outcomes and economic decisions in a rational expectations model. In a two-candidate election, if the media is biased in favor of the underdog, then it will put more emphasis on issues with a large electoral impact, hoping that the news will deliver an upset victory. Whether citizens are better off with media biased in favor of the underdog or the frontrunner depends on the importance of choosing the "right" candidate for citizens versus the impact of political news on the private economic decisions of voters. Balanced media, giving each issue equal coverage, may be worse for voters than partisan media.

08-03. Domínguez, D., and A. Nicolo., "Recursive no-envy " 

Abstract: In economics the main efficiency criterion is that of Pareto-optimality. For problems of distributing a social endowment a central notion of fairness is no-envy (each agent should receive a bundle at least as good, according to her own preferences, as any of the other agent's bundle). For most economies there are multiple allocations satisfying these two properties, which selects a single allocation which is Pareto-optimal and satisfies no-envy in two-agent exchange economies. There is no straightforward generalization of our procedure to more than two-agents.

08-04. Juárez, L., "Are Informal Workers Compensated for the Lack of Fringe Benefits? Free Health Care as an Instrument for Formality" 

Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of having a job covered by social security, on the wages of female salaried workers. I overcome the heterogeneity bias that typically contaminates estimates by using the exogenous availability of free health care and prescription drugs implemented in 2001 in the part of Mexico City that belongs to Distrito Federal (DF). This program provides valid instruments because health care is a substantial component of the benefits provided by social security, so the availability of alternative free health care should decrease the incentive to contribute to the system. In addition, eligibility for this program is not correlated with individual unobserved characteristics that affect either wages or the choice of sector. My results show that being a DF resident after free health care was implemented has a negative an significant effect on the probability that a female salaried worker has social security in her current job. Regarding wages, not controlling for the endogeneity of formality on the wage regression gives rise to a positive formal premium as in previous studies for both developed and developing countries. In contrast, my instrumental variables results show that female salaried workers in the formal sector earn between 16 to 23 percent less than female workers in informal jobs. These results show that workers who receive higher fringe benefits are paid a lower wage, shich supports the compensating differential theory. In the Mexican context, it would also suggest that informal salaried workers are not necessarily worse off than their counterparts in the formal sector.

08-05. Melissas, N., "Bidding and Drilling on Offshore Wildcat Tracts"

Abstract: I study a game in which firms first bid on wildcat tracts and then time their drilling decisions. In an equilibrium bids are used as a coordination device: if player i bid low while player -i bid high, player i waits while player -i drills. This equilibrium is consistent with the empirical findings of Hendricks and Porter (1996). Firms know that by bidding "low" they can be allocated the right to free-ride. This induces "optimistic" firms to submit "low" bids. Nonetheless, this equilibrium need not reduce expected revenues as compared to the benchmark case in which one abstracts from signalling issues.

08-06. Coady, D., Martinelli, C., and S. Parker., "Information and Participation in a Social Program" 

Abstract: Participation in a social program, like that in clubs and other social organizations, is the result of a process in which an agent first learns about the requirements, benefits, and the likelihood of acceptance, applies for membership, and finally is accepted or rejected. At each stage of the process, decisions made by the agent are responsive to expectations about the decisions and outcomes at the following stages. We propose a model of the participation process and estimate it using data from a social program in Mexico. We are able to distinguish empirically between information costs and other application costs, and show that self-selection due to information costs in fact contributes to targeting the program to the poorest families.

08-07. Meza, F., and C. Urrutia., "Great Appreciations: Accounting for the Real Exchange Rate in Mexico"

Abstract: Between 1988 and 2002, the real exchange rate in Mexico appreciated by 45%. We account for this movement in relative prices using a two sector, dynamic general equilibrium model of a small open economy with tradable an non-tradable goods. The model allows us to identify the effect of the differential in productivity growth across sectors (the Balassa-Samuelson effect) from other types of shocks affecting the allocation of resources (terms of trade, migration remittances and international reserves accumulation). We find that productivity growth in the tradable sector and a decline in the real interest rate faced by Mexico in the international markets account for 70% of the real exchange rate appreciation. Our model is also consistent with the reallocation of capital and labor from tradable to non-tradable sectors. None of our results support a significant role for terms of trade, migration remittances or international reserves accumulation.