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IN MANY COUNTRIES, food subsidies are the most politically and emotionally charged of all government expenditures. To some observers, the fundamental measure of a successful government is its commitment to, and effectiveness in, providing its population with adequate nutrition. To others, food subsidies are a token, temporary treatment masking serious structural illnesses, ranging from chronic unemployment due to the failure of economic policy to hopelessly skewed access to economic opportunity. Whatever the short-run economic, political, or moral justification for food subsidies, however, experience has shown that the long-run consequences are often different from the short-run objectives.

Jihad Dagher
This paper proposes a tractable Sudden Stop model to explain the main patterns in firm level data in a sample of Southeast Asian firms during the Asian crisis. The model, which features trend shocks and financial frictions, is able to generate the main patterns observed in the sample during and following the Asian crisis, including the ensuing credit-less recovery, which are also patterns broadly shared by most Sudden Stop episodes as documented in Calvo et al. (2006). The model also proposes a novel explanation as to why small firms experience steeper declines than their larger peers as documented in this paper. This size effect is generated under the assumption that small firms are growth firms, to which there is support in the data. Trend shocks when combined with financial frictions in this model also generate strong leverage effects in line with what is observed in the sample, and with other observations from the literature.
Ms. Yevgeniya Korniyenko, Magali Pinat, and Brian Dew
Anecdotal evidence suggests the existence of specific choke points in the global trade network revealed especially after natural disasters (e.g. hard drive components and Thailand flooding, Japanese auto components post-Fukushima, etc.). Using a highly disaggregated international trade database we assess the spillover effects of supply shocks from the import of specific goods. Our goal is to identify inherent vulnerabilities arising from the composition of a country’s import basket and to propose effective mitigation policies. First, using network analysis tools we develop a methodology for evaluating and ranking the supply fragility of individual traded goods. Next, we create a country-level measure to determine each country’s supply shock vulnerability based on the composition of their individual import baskets. This measure evaluates the potential negative supply shock spillovers from the import of each good.