» ESI Lecture Series, sponsored by IFREE
+ - 2016-2017 Lecture Guests
Abstract: The “Hahn Problem” is to demonstrate in a Walrasian general equilibrium model the positive value of fiat money. In a trading post model of N commodities there are ½N(N − 1) commodity-pairwise trading posts. Taxation — and fiat money’s guaranteed value in payment of taxes—explains the positive equilibrium value of fiat money. A bid/ask spread at each trading post reflects transaction costs incurred at the post. The large size of government purchases paid for in fiat money interacts with scale economies in transaction cost to make fiat money the low-transaction-cost commodity. Thus fiat money becomes the unique actively used medium of exchange in general equilibrium. Fiat money equilibrium is characterized by all transactions concentrated on the trading posts trading the N commodities for fiat money; the remaining barter trading posts are priced but inactive in equilibrium.
Bio: Ross Starr is professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego. His research specializes in general equilibrium theory, mathematical economics, and monetary theory. His teaching focuses on undergraduate mathematical economics, senior honors essay, and graduate microeconomic theory including price theory and welfare economics. He is the author of “General Equilibrium Theory: An Introduction, ” (Cambridge University Press, 1997 and 2011), “Why is there Money? Walrasian General Equilibrium Foundations of Monetary Theory” (Edward Elgar, 2012) and of research articles published in leading academic journals. Academic and professional appointments include RAND Corp. (consultant 1966, 1967), Graduate School of Business UCLA (research assistant 1967), Yale (assistant and associate professor, 1970 ‐ 1974), London School of Economics (visiting lecturer, 1973 – 74), UC Davis (associate professor, professor 1975 – 1980), UC Berkeley (Guggenheim Fellow, research visitor 1978 ‐79; visiting professor 1997), UC San Diego (professor 1980 –present), European University Institute Florence Italy (visiting professor 2007), Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (research visitor, summers 2008, 2009), Paris School of Economics (visitor 2012).
April 7, 2017, Andrew Smyth, Ph.D. - Contests under the shadow of the future
Abstract: We empirically examine infinitely repeated, winner-take-all (WTA) and proportional prize (PP) contests using laboratory experiments. Our experimental design simulates infinite repetition using a random continuation rule (indefinite repetition). We report evidence of greater cooperation in both WTA and PP contests when the experiment length is longer in expectation, i.e., when the "shadow of the future" is greater. However, we also find greater cooperation in both contest formats for longer finite session length. Moreover, we find no statistical difference in cooperation between indefinitely repeated and finitely repeated contests with the same expected length. Thus, we conclude that while contests are affected by the shadow of the future, this shadow need not be infinite.
Bio: Smyth is an assistant professor of economics at Marquette University. His research is in the field of industrial organization, particularly in the economics of innovation and technological change. Smyth received his PhD in economics from Florida State University. Prior to joining Marquette's faculty, he was a postdoc at the Economic Science Institute.
April 21, 2017, Charles Sprenger, Ph.D. - Procrastination in the Field: Evidence from Tax Filing
Abstract: This paper attempts to identify present-biased procrastination in tax filing behavior. Our exercise uses dynamic discrete choice techniques to develop a counterfactual benchmark for filing behavior under the assumption of exponential discounting. Deviations between this counterfactual benchmark and actual behavior provide potential `missing-mass' evidence of present bias. In a sample of around 22,000 low-income tax filers we demonstrate substantial deviations between exponentially-predicted and realized behavior, particularly as the tax deadline approaches. Present-biased preferences not only provide qualitatively better in-sample fit than exponential discounting, but also have improved out-of-sample predictive power for responsiveness of filing times to the 2008 Economic Stimulus Act recovery payments. Additional experimental data from around 1100 individuals demonstrates a link between experimentally measured present bias and deviations from exponential discounting in tax filing behavior.
Bio: Sprenger's interests focus on the fields of Behavioral Economics and Experimental Economics. His research includes local and global investigation into subjects such as intertemporal choice behavior, economic risk preferences and the relationship of time preferences to certain economic behaviors. Prior to coming to the Rady School of Management, Sprenger was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of California, San Diego, and his M.Sc. in Economics from University College London.
April 28, 2017, Thor Koeppl, Ph.D. -The Economics of Cryptocurrency- Bitcoin and Beyond
Abstract: This paper formalizes the critical elements of a cryptocurrency within a monetary model of decentralized exchange: a blockchain to keep a history of transactions, the distributed updating of information and consensus through competitive mining. The key economic nature of these features is that mining is a public good, while double spending to defraud the cryptocurrency depends on individual incentives to reverse a particular transactions. We show that a cryptocurrency works best when the volume of transactions is large relative to the individual transaction size. The optimal design of a cryptocurrency faces a trade-off between optimizing the allocation of goods and minimizing mining costs subject to the constraint that no double spending occurs. This tradeoff is influenced by money growth, transaction fees and block size/frequency. Finally, we discuss alternative consensus protocols and show how different users prefer different designs depending on their transactions needs.
Bio: Professor Koeppl is Associate Professor and RBC Fellow in the Department of Economics at Queen’s University and Scholar in Financial Services and Monetary Policy at the CD Howe Institute. He has degrees in management and in economics from the Universities of Eichstaett/Ingolstadt and Basel, and received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota. He has served as an advisor to several policy institutions in matters of financial market organization, regulation and intervention. His main research interests fall also in the areas of macroeconomics, monetary economics as well as risk management.
+ - Past Speakers
Mar. 10, 2017, Rod Garratt, Ph.D. - Let Me, or Let George? Motives of Competing Altruists
Mar. 03, 2017, John Patton, Ph.D. - Culture Does Not Account for Variation in Ultimatum Game Behavior in the Conambo River Valley
Feb. 10, 2017, Charles Calomiris, Ph.D. - How News and Its Context Drive Risk and Returns Around the World
Nov. 4, 2016, Hong Qu, Ph.D. - How Do Public Forecasts Affect Price Efficiency and Welfare Allocations? The Role of Exogenous Disclosure and Endogenous Prices in Empowering Uniformed Traders - Watch lecture
May 6, 2016 - Luis Carlos Corchon, Ph.D. - Relinquishing Power, Exploitation and Political Unemployment in Democratic Organizations - Watch lecture
Apr. 22, 2016, Alistair Wilson, Ph.D. - Information Transmission and the Shadow of the Future: An Experiment on Reputation, Rents and Deception - Watch lecture
Mar. 18, 2016, Matt McCarter, Ph.D. - It’s a Trap! Theory Triangulation of Self-Restraint and Population Growth in the 18th Century Swedish Commons
Feb. 26, 2016, Katya Sherstyuk, Ph.D. - Bidding with money or action plans? Asset allocation under strategic uncertainty
Feb. 19, 2016, Peter Kuhn, Ph.D. - When and How are People ‘Behavioral’? Evidence from Intertemporal Choices
Sept. 25, 2015, Adam Sanjurjo, Ph.D. - Surprised by the Gambler´s and Hot Hand Fallacies? A Truth in the Law of Small Numbers - Watch lecture
Mar. 20, 2015, John Horton, Ph.D. - Price Floors and Employer Preferences: Evidence from a Minimum Wage Experiment
May 12, 2014, Don Ross, Ph.D - Psychological versus economic models of bounded rationality - Watch lecture
Feb. 21, 2014, David Leinweber, Ph.D. - Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines, & Wired Markets - Watch lecture
Dec. 06, 2013, Jack Stecher, Ph.D. -Description and Experience Based Decision Making: An Experimental and Structural Estimation Approach to the Decision-Experience Gap
Feb. 22, 2013 Jordi Brandts Bernad, Ph.D. - Let’s talk: How communication affects contract design.
Dec. 7, 2012 Quazi Shahriar, Ph.D. - When Does Cheap-Talk (Fail to) Increase Efficient Coordination? - Watch lecture
Nov. 9, 2012 Uri Gneezy, Ph.D. - Incentives and Behavior Change
Sept. 28, 2012 Charles Thomas, Ph.D. - An Alternating-Offers Model of Multilateral Negotiations - Watch lecture
Aug. 31, 2012 Yan Chen, Ph.D. - Crowdsourcing with All-pay Auctions: a Field Experiment on Taskcn - Watch lecture
Apr. 20, 2012 Shawn Kantor, Ph.D. - Do Research Universities Generate Local Economic Growth? - Watch lecture
Mar. 23, 2012 Max Krasnow, Ph.D. - Evolution of direct reciprocity under uncertainty can explain human generosity in one-shot encounters. Watch lecture
Feb. 24, 2012 John Tooby, Ph.D. - The Welfare Tradeoff Architecture, Cooperation, and Social Emotions - For further reading please see: Formidability and the logic of human anger and The architecture of human kin detection. - Watch lecture
Feb. 3, 2012 Alexandra Rosati - Evolutionary economics: Mapping decision-making traits in chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans - Watch Lecture
Nov. 11, 2011 Mark M. Bykowsky, Ph.D. - A Market-based Approach to Establishing Licensing Rules: Licensed Versus Unlicensed Use of Spectrum Federal Communications Commission - please watch this video before lecture - Watch lecture
Oct. 21, 2011 Parker Ballinger, Ph.D. - Individual versus Social Learning: The Importance of Demonstrability - Watch lecture
Apr. 8, 2011 Kevin McCabe, Ph.D. – Experiments on the role of third parties on redistribution decisions. For further reading please see: Shared Experience and Third-Party Decisions: A Laboratory Result, Legitimacy in the lab – The separate and joint effects of earned roles and earned endowments in third-party redistribution, Whose money is it anyway? Ingroups and distributive behavior. - Watch lecture
Apr. 1, 2011 Michael Gurven, Ph.D. - Experimental investigation of fairness and altruism norms in small-scale societies - Further reading: Culture sometimes matters: Intra-cultural variation in pro-social behavior among Tsimane Amerindians and Collective Action in Action: Prosocial Behavior in and out of the Laboratory - Watch lecture
Feb. 18, 2011 Catherine Eckel, Ph.D. - Giving to Government: Voluntary Taxation in the Lab - Watch lecture
Feb. 11, 2011 Jim Engle-Warnick, Ph.D. - Social Learning and Risk and Ambiguity Preferences - Watch lecture
Feb. 4, 2011 Peter Boettke, Ph.D. - Polycentrism and Gargantua: Which Model Best Provides Public Education? - Watch lecture
Oct. 5, 2010 Andreas Wilke, Ph.D. - Past and Present Environments: The Evolution of Decision Making
May 7, 2010 Jim Gentle, Ph.D. - The Contribution of Jumps to the Volatility of Asset Prices - Watch lecture
Apr. 9, 2010 Gregory Waymire, Ph.D. - Can Trust Be Sustained in an Uncertain World When Individuals Have Machiavellian Intelligence? - Watch lecture
Feb. 5, 2010 Kevin McCabe, Ph.D. - Watch lecture
Dec. 2, 2009 Jeffrey Tollaksen, Ph.D. - New Ideas About the Nature of Time - Watch lecture
Nov. 13, 2009 Sarah F. Brosnan, Ph.D. - An Evolutionary Perspective on the Perception and Utilization of Property . Watch lecture
Oct. 9, 2009 Monica Smith, Ph.D. - A cognitive History of Material Objects: The Archaeology of Possession, Inheritance, and Value . Watch lecture
Sept. 18, 2009 Thomas W. Hazlett, Ph.D. – Tragedy TV: Rights Fragmentation and the Junk Band Problem . Watch lecture
May 20, 2009 Gerd Gigerenzer Ph.D. - Homo Heuristicus: Why Biased Minds Make Better Inferences. Watch lecture
Mar. 20, 2009 John Ledyard Ph.D. – Individual Evolutionary Learning, Other-regarding Preferences, and the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism. Watch lecture
Nov. 7, 2008 Larry Iannaccone Ph.D. - Looking Backward: A Cross-National Study of Religious Trends. Watch lecture
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