Location: Bowdoin / Economics / Events / Fall 2009


Fall 2009

Economics Department Seminar Series Fall 2009

Thursday, Sept. 24, 4:00 p.m.
Shannon Room, Hubbard Hall
Joon-Suk Lee (Bowdoin College)Joon-Suk Lee (Bowdoin College)

"Dynamic Auctions with Asymmetric Information and an Application to Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Auctions" (PDF) (co-authored with Yan Shi, Univ. of North Carolina, Pembroke)

The paper studies an asymmetric two-bidder two-period common-value auction where an informed bidder faces an uninformed one.

Assuming that the seller has access to part of the private information received by the informed bidder, we find that committing to disclose that information publicly makes the informed bidder more likely to bid in the first period than if the seller commits to keeping this information secret. The effect of information disclosure on first round bidding by the uninformed bidder is the exact opposite.

If the seller can set a constant reserve price for both periods, the optimal reserve price is low enough to not exclude any bidders.

If the seller can set different reserve prices for each period, intuition tells us that expected revenue should weakly improve. For uniformly distributed private signals, in fact, we find no improvement in expected revenue from allowing different reserve prices.

Thursday, Oct. 22, 4:00 p.m.
Shannon Room, Hubbard Hall
Robert Triest, Federal Reserve Bank of BostonRobert Triest, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

"Population Aging, Labor Demand, and the Structure of Wages” (co-authored with Margarita Sapozhnikov) (PDF)

One consequence of demographic change is substantial shifts in the age distribution of the working age population. As the baby boom generation ages, the usual historical pattern of there being a high ratio of younger workers relative to older workers is increasingly being replaced by a pattern of there being roughly equal percentages of workers of different ages. One might expect that the increasing relative supply of older workers would lower the wage premium paid for older, more experienced workers.

This paper provides strong empirical support for this hypothesis. Econometric estimates imply that the size of one's birth cohort affects wages throughout one's working life, with members of relatively large cohorts (at all stages of their careers) earning a significantly lower wage than members of smaller cohorts. The cohort size effect is of approximately the same magnitude for men and for women. Our results suggest that cohort size effects are quantitatively important and should be incorporated into public policy analyses.

Thursday, Nov. 5, 4:00 p.m.
Shannon Room, Hubbard Hall
Mariana Colacelli, Barnard CollegeMariana Colacelli, Barnard College

"Intensive and Extensive Margins of Exports and Real Exchange Rates" (PDF)

Current research in international trade literature proposes that the extensive margin of trade (i.e. number of exporters) is an important component of trade flows beyond the intensive margin of trade (i.e. volume exported by exporters). To quantify the relative importance of each margin I measure bilateral extensive and intensive margins of trade for 136 countries for the period 1981-1997. Preliminary results show that the extensive margin of trade dominates the export response to real exchange rate fluctuations for differentiated sectors among developing countries. This result suggests that developing countries have more "room to grow" in terms of varieties traded of differentiated goods among each other.

Thursday, Nov. 19, 4:00 p.m.
Shannon Room, Hubbard Hall
Nathan Tefft, Bates CollegeNathan Tefft, Bates College

“Combating Obesity with Soda Taxes: Good Policy or Just an Empty (Calorie) Solution?”

The idea of soft drink taxation as a mechanism for improving health (in addition to raising revenue) has recently gained ground at the federal and state levels. Most prominently, it has been featured as a possible way to fund national health care reform proposals. In this talk, I present empirical evidence on an important unanswered question: just how effective are soft drink taxes in reducing soda consumption and weight?