Fall Semester 2023-2024

  • Date:
    26/01/2024 - 13:00 - 15:00

    POSTPONED

    Title: "What is productive investment? Insights from firm-level data for the United Kingdom"

    Speaker: Dr. Philip Schnattinger, Bank of England

    HostAssistant Professor Alexopoulos Angelos, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 13.00 -15.00

    Room: A36

    Attachments: PDF icon PDF of Relevant Paper

    Abstact: This paper studies the effects of different types of investment and levels of debt on productivity in the UK. We examine the issue empirically using data on listed firms in the UK. Our main finding is that intangible investments are a good proxy for productivity-enhancing investment, as they have a positive effect on Total Factor Productivity (TFP). On the other hand, we find no consistent evidence of positive TFP effects for tangible investment. In those firms that have high debt and high levels of intangibles, the positive TFP effects are even more pronounced. Hence, debt can be "good" if it is associated with productivity-enhancing investments. We then set out a stylised model of a dynamic firm profit maximisation problem, and augment this model with an external financing option in a novel way. Uniquely, we use neural network methods to solve the value function of the model and propose a moments-matching approach that allows us to estimate some of the parameters of the model. We use the model to illustrate how productivity enhancing investment differs from other investments in its effects on TFP, and how these positive effects can be stronger for firms that have higher indebtedness. Applying our model to aggregate TFP dynamics in the UK suggests that around 0.07 pp, or a fifth of the TFP slowdown in the UK since the Global Financial Crisis can be attributed to weaker intangibles investments in large UK firms.

  • Date:
    20/12/2023 - 15:30 - 17:00

    Wednesday, December 20, 2023

    Title: "Self-Enforcing Climate Coalitions for Farsighted Countries: Integrated Analysis of  Heterogeneous Countries"

    Speaker: Assistant Professor Maria Arvaniti, University of Bologna

    HostAssistant Professor Efthymios Athanasiou, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 15.30 -17.00

    Room: A36

    Attachments: PDF icon PDF of Relevant Paper

    Abstact: We study formation of international climate coalitions. Countries are farsighted and rationally predict the consequences of their membership decisions in climate negotiations. Within the context of an integrated assessment model of the economy and the climate, we characterise the equilibrium number of coalitions and their number of signatories independent of certain types of heterogeneity, and show that the resulting treaties are robust to renegotiation. With a richer structure of energies we investigate possible coalition outcomes for a calibrated model. We confirm our heterogeneity results and in contrast to earlier approaches based on internal and external stability, much larger coalitions can be sustained in equilibrium.

  • Date:
    14/12/2023 - 15:30 - 17:00

     

    Thursday, December 14, 2023

    Title: "TBA"

    Speaker: Dr. Alkis Georgiadis-Harris, University of Warwick

    HostAssistant Professor Efthymios Athanasiou, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 15.30 -17.00

    Room: A36

  • Date:
    07/12/2023 - 15:30 - 17:00

    Thursday, December 07, 2023

    Title:  "Competition & Pass-through: Lessons from the Greek Islands"

    Speaker: Professor Christos Genakos, University of Cambridge

    HostAssistant Professor Efthymios Athanasiou, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 15.30 -17.00

    Room: A36

    Abstract: A fundamental issue in economics is how firms pass cost shocks (taxes, exchange rates, input prices) through to prices. Theoretical analysis shows that competition is a key determinant of pass-through. However, in existing empirical studies competition is generally measured by the number of competitors located within a given geographical area around each firm. This arbitrary geographical market definition ignores the market structure endogeneity. We measure how pass-through varies with competition in isolated oligopolistic markets with captive consumers. Using daily pricing data from gas stations on small Greek islands, we study how unanticipated and exogenous changes (increases and decreases) in excise duties and VAT rates are passed through to consumers in markets with different numbers of retailers.

  • Date:
    30/11/2023 - 15:30 - 17:00

    Thursday, November 30, 2023

    Title: "Equality of Opportunity, the Great Gatsby Curve, and Polarization"

    Speaker: Professor Andros Kourtellos, University of Cyprus

    HostAssistant Professor Alexopoulos Angelos, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 15.30 -17.00

    Room: A36

    Abstact: We formally relate a central ideal of distributive justice, equality of opportunity (EOp), to inequality, economic mobility, and political polarization. We extend a standard family investment model with a public good (schooling) and majority voting over the provision of the public good to provide structural justifications for (i) the canonical EOp regression that underlies popular ex-ante approaches to the measurement of EOp, (ii) a link between EOp measures with measures of economic mobility derived from the canonical Solon IGE regression and income inequality (i.e., the "Great Gatsby Curve"), and, (iii) the impact of EOp on the redistribution preferences of the median voter. We investigate the implications of the model using data from European countries. We argue that substantive normative disagreement in the literature regarding which factors constitute circumstances implies substantial model uncertainty in empirical specifications and address this using model averaging methods. We find that reductions in EOp are associated with higher inequality, lower economic mobility, lower public expenditures on education (as a percentage of GDP), reduced confidence in public institutions, and lower social cohesion.

  • Date:
    23/11/2023 - 15:30 - 17:00


    Thursday, November 23, 2023

    Title: "Sparse spanning portfolios and under-diversification with second-order stochastic dominance"

    Speaker: Professor Stelios Arvanitis, Athens University of Economics and Business

    HostAssistant Professor Alexopoulos Angelos, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 15.30 -17.00

    Room: A36

    Attachments: PDF icon PDF of Relevant Paper

    Abstact: We develop and implement methods for determining whether relaxing sparsity constraints on portfolios improves the investment opportunity set for risk-averse investors. We formulate a new estimation procedure for sparse second-order stochastic spanning based on a greedy algorithm and Linear Programming. We show the optimal recovery of the sparse solution asymptotically whether spanning holds or not. From large equity datasets, we estimate the expected utility loss due to possible under-diversification, and find that there is no benefit from expanding a sparse opportunity set beyond 30 assets. The optimal sparse portfolio invests in 10 industry sectors with a larger weighting on small size, high book-to-market, and momentum stocks from the S&P 500 index and cuts tail risk when compared to a sparse mean-variance portfolio. On a rolling-window basis, the number of assets shrinks to 10 assets in crisis periods.

  • Date:
    09/11/2023 - 15:30 - 17:00

     

     

     

    Thursday, November 09, 2023

    Title: "State Dependent Fiscal Multipliers in A Small Open Economy"

    Speaker: Assistant Professor Jilei Huang, Shandong University

    HostAssistant Professor Kospentaris Ioannis, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 15.30 -17.00

    WEBINAR

  • Date:
    02/11/2023 - 15:30 - 17:00

    Thursday, November 02, 2023

    Title: "Staggered Contracts and Unemployment
    during Recessions"

    Speaker: Dr. Εffrosyni Adamopoulou, University of Mannheim

    HostAssistant Professor Kospentaris Ioannis, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 15.30 -17.00

    Room: A36

    Attachments: PDF icon PDF of Relevant Paper

    Abstact: This paper studies the impact of downward wage rigidity on wage dynamics and employment flows after the outbreak of major recessions over the last 30 years in Spain. Downward wage rigidity stems from collective agreements, which set province-industry-skill specific minimum wage floors for all workers. We show that agreements signed after the onset of the 1993 and 2009 recessions settled on average for a 1.0-1.5 pp lower nominal wage growth than the agreements signed before. By exploiting variation in the renewal of collective contracts and leveraging Social Security data and the distribution of the workerlevel bite of minimum wage floors, we find that in both recessions actual wage growth was indeed higher among workers covered by collective contracts signed during expansions and with wages close to the floors. However, employment responses vary across recessions. In the low-inflation recession of 2009, job losses are highly persistent and entirely driven by workers with pre-recession wages close to the minimum wage floors while in the high inflation recession of 1993, job losses were limited and short-lived. Using Labour Force Survey data in a similar setting we find that downward wage rigidity during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered adjustments at the intensive margin of labor (short time work). Our findings highlight the interplay between rigidity at different parts of the wage distribution, macroeconomic environment and labor market institutions and identify conditions under which collective contract staggering and the inability to renegotiate may amplify aggregate shocks.

  • Date:
    26/10/2023 - 15:30 - 17:00

    Thursday, October 26, 2023

    Title: "Campaign Finance Quotas and Descriptive Representation: Evidence from Brazil, 2002-2022"

    Speaker: Οlivia Tsoutsoplidi, PhD student, SciencesPo

    HostAssistant Professor Alexopoulos Angelos, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 15.30 -17.00

    Room: A36

    Abstact: Can campaign finance rules be used to increase descriptive representation in elected office? Despite the adoption of gender quotas across over 130 countries since 1995 aiming to raise the share of women in parliament to 30 percent, its global average remains at 26 percent. Beyond quotas, ear-marking public campaign funds for minority candidates is another policy tool that countries have experimented with to level the playing field in access to campaign resources, and remains understudied. We study the efficiency of a novel 2021 reform in Brazil that goes
    further than earmarking in tying the allocation of public funds to the performance of female and racial minority candidates. Using a triple-diff strategy and exploiting a unique feature in the institutional setting that induces financial incentives in federal but not in state legislative elections, we causally identify the impact of the reform on candidate performance in the 2022 general election. We find that the reform improved the performance of white women and black men but not that of black women, suggesting an intersectionality penalty. We conduct a voter survey experimental to discard demand-driven effects and qualitative interviews with party officials to explore different potential mechanisms driving the effect.

  • Date:
    19/10/2023 - 15:30 - 17:00

    Thursday, October 19, 2023

    Title: "Taxing Consumption in Unequal Economies"

    Speaker: Professor Raffaele Rossi, University of Birmingham

    HostAssistant Professor Kospentaris Ioannis, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Time: 15.30 -17.00

    WEBINAR

    Attachments: PDF icon PDF of Relevant Paper

    Abstact: This paper shows that linear consumption taxes are a powerful tool to implement efficient redistribution. We derive this result in a quantitative life-cycle economy that reproduces the distribution of income and wealth in the United States. Optimal policy calls for raising all fiscal revenues from consumption, and providing redistribution via a highly progressive wage tax schedule. Capital income and wealth should not be taxed. This policy reduces inequality and increases productivity, and brings large welfare gains relative to the status-quo. Around two-thirds of these gains are due to redistribution. Finally, our reform is also welfare improving in the short-run.

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