Economics - Research Publications

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    Non-linear associations between HPA axis activity during infancy and mental health difficulties during early childhood among children in rural Pakistan
    Frost, A ; Hagaman, A ; Baranov, V ; Chung, EO ; Bhalotra, S ; Sikander, S ; Maselko, J (CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS, 2023-10)
    Hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis activity may be a mechanism linking early adversity to child mental health difficulties. However, there is a dearth of longitudinal evidence for the association between HPA axis activity and mental health among children in low-resource contexts. The goal of this study is to examine linear and curvilinear associations between HPA axis activity during infancy and mental health difficulties in early childhood among children in rural Pakistan. Participants included 104 children (46% male) from the Bachpan study, a longitudinal cohort embedded within a maternal depression trial in Pakistan. We examined the associations between hair-derived cortisol and dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA) at 12 months old and mental health difficulties, measured with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), at 36 months old. There was a significant quadratic association between hair cortisol and SDQ scores, with results showing a U-shaped relationship (i.e., having relatively high or low cortisol predicted increased mental health difficulties). DHEA showed a quadratic association with SDQ scores with an inverted U-shaped relationship (i.e., high and low DHEA was associated with decreased mental health difficulties). Results provide evidence of longitudinal and curvilinear effects of cortisol and DHEA during infancy on mental health difficulties in early childhood.
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    Economic conditions and health: Local effects, national effect and local area heterogeneity
    Janke, K ; Lee, K ; Propper, C ; Shields, K ; Shields, MA (Elsevier BV, 2023-10-01)
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    Replication: Belief elicitation with quadratic and binarized scoring rules
    Erkal, N ; Gangadharan, L ; Koh, BH (Elsevier, 2020-12-01)
    Researchers increasingly elicit beliefs to understand the underlying motivations of decision makers. Two commonly used methods are the quadratic scoring rule (QSR) and the binarized scoring rule (BSR). Hossain and Okui (2013) use a within-subject design to evaluate the performance of these two methods in an environment where subjects report probabilistic beliefs over binary outcomes with objective probabilities. In a near replication of their study, we show that their results continue to hold with a between-subject design. This is an important validation of the BSR given that researchers typically implement only one method to elicit beliefs. In favor of the BSR, reported beliefs are less accurate under the QSR than the BSR. Consistent with theoretical predictions, risk-averse subjects distort their reported beliefs under the QSR.
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    Inward foreign investment screening targets China: interdisciplinary perspectives
    Mccalman, P ; Puzzello, L ; Voon, T ; Walter, A (EDWARD ELGAR PUBLISHING LTD, 2023-06)
    Screening of inward foreign investment in numerous countries worldwide has heightened in recent years for a range of reasons, one of which is the volume of Chinese outward investment. Moulding screening policies around concerns about Chinese investment has been a common pattern, particularly among developed countries and allies of the United States. The application of screening measures to Chinese investments in particular is also seen in recent practice in numerous countries. These developments create potential inconsistencies with international investment law, at least for those countries with an international investment agreement with China. The 2020 arbitral award in Global Telecom v Canada shows that even a provision that explicitly excludes investment screening decisions from a bilateral investment treaty may not apply to prevent all related investment treaty claims. The increased use of screening as a policy tool, with respect to China and otherwise, also raises questions about economic rationale and impact. Put simply, blocking a foreign investment proposal may have negative effects on shareholders, jobs and the economy itself, while even the existence of a restrictive screening regime and the threat of the imposition of conditions on a deal may dampen the appeal for foreign investors.
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    The dragon Down Under: the regional labour market impact of growth in Chinese imports to Australia
    Coelli, M ; Maccarrone, J ; Borland, J (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2023-11-02)
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    Pricing extreme mortality risk in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
    Li, H ; Liu, H ; Tang, Q ; Yuan, Z (ELSEVIER, 2023-01)
    In pricing extreme mortality risk, it is commonly assumed that interest rate and mortality rate are independent. However, the COVID-19 pandemic calls this assumption into question. In this paper, we employ a bivariate affine jump-diffusion model to describe the joint dynamics of interest rate and excess mortality, allowing for both correlated diffusions and joint jumps. Utilizing the latest U.S. mortality and interest rate data, we find a significant negative correlation between interest rate and excess mortality, and a much higher jump intensity when the pandemic experience is considered. Moreover, we construct a risk-neutral pricing measure that accounts for both diffusion and jump risk premia, and we solve for the market prices of risk based on mortality bond prices. Our results show that the pandemic experience can drastically change investors' perception of the mortality risk market in the post-pandemic era.
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    Are Employment Protection Laws for Persons with Disabilities Effective in a Developing Country?
    Williams, J ; Palmer, M (University of Chicago Press, 2023-04)
    This paper investigates the impact of a law protecting the employment rights of persons with disabilities in Cambodia. Similar to studies in high income countries, we find that Cambodia’s national disability law did not improve the employment situation of persons with disabilities, and may have worsened it, four years after implementation. The reduction in employment and hours worked of disabled persons following the law’s introduction is concentrated among employees, females, young persons, those with less than a primary school education, and in the industrial sector. We explore supply and demand side explanations for the disability law’s unintended effect. On balance, the most likely explanation for the reduced work activity of disabled workers is lower demand for their labor from employers facing workplace accommodation costs and in an environment where employment quotas for disabled workers appear to have been set at non-binding levels.
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    INVESTMENT HOUSING TAX CONCESSIONS AND WELFARE: A QUANTITATIVE STUDY FOR AUSTRALIA
    Cho, Y ; Li, SM ; Uren, L (WILEY, 2023-01-01)
    Abstract This article builds a general equilibrium overlapping generations (OLG) model with heterogeneous agents to study the welfare implications of investment housing tax concessions in Australia. Removing these concessions substantially reduces the landlord rate and the use of debt. There is a steady‐state welfare gain equivalent to a 0.13% increase in lifetime consumption if the additional tax revenue from removing the concessions is used to finance a lump‐sum transfer to all households. That welfare gain rises to 1.45% if the extra tax revenue is used to provide a transfer to the housing‐poor in the form of rental assistance. Over the transition, around 70% of existing households experience a welfare gain and there are important distributional effects in both cases.
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    The Human Cost of Collusion: Health Effects of a Mexican Insulin Cartel
    Barkley, A (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2023-10-10)
    Abstract Despite recent attention to the role of competition in determining health outcomes in developed nations, little is known about how market power impedes access to quality care in lower-income countries. This paper studies the effects of policy changes that stopped collusion among firms supplying insulin to one of Mexico’s largest health care providers. I document increased insulin utilization and decreased diabetes complications and mortality following the sudden drop in insulin prices caused by the cartel’s collapse. These adverse health outcomes expand the assessment of damages caused by the cartel. The findings highlight the importance of market design policies in health markets, particularly for low- and middle-income countries.
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    Recent developments of the autoregressive distributed lag modelling framework
    Cho, JS ; Greenwood-Nimmo, M ; Shin, Y (Wiley, 2023-02-01)
    We review the literature on the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model, from its origins in the analysis of autocorrelated trend stationary processes to its subsequent applications in the analysis of cointegrated non-stationary time series. We then survey several recent extensions of the ARDL model, including asymmetric and non-linear generalisations of the ARDL model, the quantile ARDL model, the pooled mean group dynamic panel data model and the spatio-temporal ARDL model.