Events Calendar

October 2015

Thursday, 01 Oct 2015

  • Thu, Oct 1, 2015 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
    368A Heady

    Carl Pray (Rutgers University)
    The Economics and Politics of GM Food Crop Production in China.

    Carl Pray, Jikun Huang, Jun Yang, Ruifa Hu and Haiyan Deng
    Abstract: The major objectives of this paper are to understand why genetically engineered (GM) food crops have not been commercialized in China and to explore whether GM food crops are likely to be commercialized in the near future. Our basic model of government decisions about commercializing GM crops is that consumers are concerned about the safety of consuming new foods particularly controversial ones like genetically engineered foods. To approve GM food crop production and overcome these concerns the government has to assure consumers that these foods are safe and it has to educate the public about the technologies and the safeguards. We propose a political economy model that the government develops their policies in response to pressure from economic groups that gain profits or other benefits from the new technology.
    To test this model we simulate the impact of adoption of Bt maize and Bt rice on the maize and rice supply chains in China and the Chinese economy using a modified GTAP model. In addition we surveyed consumers, scientists and agribusiness firms to assess whether they thought they would benefit or lose from GM maize and rice. Finally, we assessed the political influence of these different groups. We find that most economic interest groups who would gain from GM rice or maize except the Chinese biotech industry either have very limited knowledge of the gains or little political power in the Chinese political system.
    A better model for Chinese GM behavior is a model of Government led biotechnology development. GM policy is driven by the strategic goal self-sufficiency in key grain crops, the development goal of biotech firms that can compete globally and the political goal preserving social stability. These goals in combination the recent development of GM traits by Chinese organizations, major imports of corn but not rice and negative attitudes of urban consumers toward GM foods can explain past policies and recent changes. These forces suggest that China will approve GM maize but not GM rice in the near future.

Monday, 05 Oct 2015

  • Mon, Oct 5, 2015 8:00 pm
    Great Hall, Memorial Union

    Heidi Shierholz (US Department of Labor)
    Wage Inequality: Why It Matters and What to Do About It

    Heidi Shierholz is the Chief Economist at the US Department of Labor. She was previously with the Economic Policy Institute, where she coauthored two editions of  The State of Working America.  She has researched and spoken widely on the economy and economic policy as it affects middle- and low-income families, especially with regard to unemployment, labor force participation, compensation, income and wealth inequality, young workers, and the minimum wage, and she has repeatedly been called to testify in Congress. Shierholz is a frequent contributor to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and NPR; and is regularly quoted in print and online media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Huffington Post.   She received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in Statistics from Iowa State University, and a B.A. in Mathematics from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

Thursday, 08 Oct 2015

  • Thu, Oct 8, 2015 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
    360 Heady

    T.J. Rakitan (ISU)
    What Good are Skills, Anyway? Estimating Returns to Specific Skills in a College Major
    Abstract: How does the labor market reward the specific skills learned by college students? We use a novel data set that combines earnings, demographic and college transcript data for over 5,000 graduates of a large university to investigate how their skill development has been compensated during their experience in the labor market. Using student academic records to generate measures of skills acquisition in the areas of mathematics and communication, among others, we estimate the contribution of our skills acquisition measures to graduates’ later incomes. We find that, consistent with established literature, the significance of even broad categories of skills diminishes as controls are added, although female graduates experience significant returns to quantitative coursework.

Friday, 09 Oct 2015

  • Fri, Oct 9, 2015 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
    368A Heady

    Steven Wu (Purdue University) 

    "Foundations of Relational Contracting: Experimental Evidence"
    Revised Abstract

Wednesday, 14 Oct 2015

  • Wed, Oct 14, 2015 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
    368A Heady Hall

    Dr. Ivan Rudik (ISU)
    "Negative Emissions Leakage: Welfare Impacts on Energy Policy Spillovers"

    Can local environmental policies lead to emissions reductions outside of the regulated area? We demonstrate that this occurs under state-level renewable portfolio standards (RPSs). Out-of-state emissions reductions occur because states allow for inter-state trade of credits used for RPS compliance. When one state passes an RPS, it increases demand for credits faced by firms in outside states, which reduce fossil fuels to supply the credits. We find that an increase in the stringency of one state's RPS decreases coal generation and increases wind generation in outside states. This annually results in billions of dollars of welfare gains from avoided pollution.

Friday, 16 Oct 2015

  • Fri, Oct 16, 2015 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
    368A Heady Hall

    Daeyong Lee (Peking University)
    Dividend Taxation and Household Dividend Portfolio Decisions: Evidence from the 2003 Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act

Wednesday, 21 Oct 2015

  • Wed, Oct 21, 2015 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
    368A Heady

    Jeffrey Dorfman (University of Georgia) 
    "A Robust Bayesian Unit Root Test: Theory and Application to Testing for Efficient Asset Markets"

    Abstract: Unit root testing is an important procedure for economists, both for direct hypothesis testing (such as tests of market efficiency) and for model specification purposes (should series be differenced before modeling). Thus, it is frequently crucial to accurately test the stationarity of time series data. A drawback of existing and popular unit root tests is that the asymptotic theory underlying them and potentially the empirical results obtained from them are dependent on distributional assumptions concerning the time series in question. Classical unit root tests generally rely on assumptions of normality, homoscedasticity, and on ancillary model specification features such as the number of lags needed to model the series and the presence or absence of trends or drift. Assuming the wrong specification can change the test results obtained. This paper proposes a Bayesian unit root testing procedure with model averaging to produce test results that are robust to different possible specifications of features including lags, trends, and whether the series should be modeled in the levels or in logs. Monte Carlo simulations provide evidence that our procedure is superior to augmented Dickey-Fuller tests and the Phillips-Peron test in many cases. We then apply our new test to five commodity futures prices (corn, soybean, cotton, live cattle, and lean hog) at three different sample frequencies (daily, weekly, and monthly) to investigate the role of sampling frequency on asset market efficiency findings. Using Bayesian model averaging to account for different possible mean and error variance specifications, we show that sample frequency does affect the unit root test results: the higher the frequency, the higher the support for stationarity. We further show that not accounting for model specification uncertainty can produce unit root test results that are not robust.

Thursday, 22 Oct 2015

Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015

  • Tue, Oct 27, 2015 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
    368A Heady

    Robert de Jong (Ohio State)

Thursday, 29 Oct 2015

  • Thu, Oct 29, 2015 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
    360 Heady

    Jonathan McFadden (ERS)
    U.S. Consumers' Willingness-to-Pay for Genetically Engineered Low-Acrylamide Potao Products:  A New Dimension of Food Safety

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