Economics - Research Publications

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    Gambling with Stimulus Payments: Feeding Gaming Machines with Federal Dollars
    Hirschberg, JG ; Lye, JN (Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 2013)
    In late 2008 and early 2009 the Australian Federal Government introduced a series of economic stimulus packages designed to maintain consumer spending in the early days of the Great Recession. When these packages were initiated the media suggested that the wide-spread availability of electronic gaming machines (EGMs, eg. slot machines, poker machines, video lottery terminals) in Australia would result in stimulating the EGMs. Using state level monthly data we estimate the degree to which the stimulus payments influenced EGM expenditure and the implications for state and territory gaming tax revenues.
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    Secondary School Fee Inflation: An Analysis of Private High Schools in Victoria, Australia
    Hirschberg, J ; Lye, J (Carfax Publishing Ltd., 2017)
    The recent growth in privately administered secondary education in many developed countries has been a widely observed phenomenon. The Australian private secondary school sector has grown faster than those in any other OECD nation, even though the average tuition fees charged by these schools have increased at double the nation’s overall rate of inflation. In this paper, we employ a panel data set to estimate a set of hedonic price indices for private secondary schools that cater to different segments of the population in order to determine if and how changes in their characteristics influence the changes in fees.
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    Inverse test confidence intervals for turning-points: A demonstration with higher order polynomials
    Lye, JN ; Hirschberg, JG ; Terrell, D ; Millimet, D (Emerald Publishing, 2012)
    In this chapter we demonstrate the construction of inverse test confidence intervals for the turning points in estimated nonlinear relationships by the use of the marginal or first derivative function. First, we outline the inverse test confidence interval approach. Then we examine the relationship between the traditional confidence intervals based on the Wald test for the turning-points for a cubic, a quartic and fractional polynomials estimated via regression analysis and the inverse test intervals. We show that the confidence interval plots of the marginal function can be used to estimate confidence intervals for the turning points that are equivalent to the inverse test. We also provide a method for the interpretation of the confidence intervals for the second derivative function to draw inferences for the characteristics of the turning-point. This method is applied to the examination of the turning points found when estimating a quartic and a fractional polynomial from data used for the estimation of an Environmental Kuznets Curve. The Stata do files used to generate these examples are listed in the appendix along with the data.
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    The influence of student experiences on post-graduation surveys
    Hirschberg, J ; Lye, J (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2016-02-17)
    This study attempts to establish the extent to which in-class teaching quality instruments can be used to predict post-graduation survey results. It examines the responses for the Good Teaching Scale of the Course Experience Questionnaire administered to 10,433 students who completed their studies at a major Australian tertiary institution from 2003 to 2005 using a unique data-set that matched student records and measures of class characteristics to the individual survey responses. The findings indicate that the overall degree experiences of particular students can be predicted by measures of class differences as measured by teaching quality instruments and the grade distributions of the classes they completed. These factors are in addition to the effects of students’ own performance as measured by their grades, their field of study and their post-graduation experience. It was found that in-class administered teaching quality instruments have an asymmetric influence on post-graduation survey results. Higher than expected scores appear to have little impact, and lower than expected results were found to have a significant negative impact on post-graduation recollections. The grade distribution in classes taken was also found to be an important factor in explaining variation in degree satisfaction.
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    Inverting the indirect-The ellipse and the boomerang: Visualizing the confidence intervals of the structural coefficient from two-stage least squares
    Hirschberg, J ; Lye, J (ELSEVIER SCIENCE SA, 2017-08-01)
    In the just-identified model,the exact distribution of the two-stage least squares (2SLS) estimator of the coefficient of the endogenous regressor is a ratio of two normally distributed random variables. used Fieller's 1932 result to derive the density function of the estimator. In this paper, we present a novel graphical exposition of Fieller's 1954 technique to approximate the confidence interval for the 2SLS estimator. We use this approach to examine how the degree of endogeneity and instrument relevance influences the correspondence between the Fieller and traditional asymptotic confidence intervals for the estimator.
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    Confidence Intervals for Ratios: Econometric Examples with Stata
    Lye, JN ; Hirschberg, JG ( 2018)
    Ratios of parameter estimates are often used in econometric applications. However, the test of these ratios when estimated can cause difficulties since the ratio of asymptotically normally distributed random variables have a Cauchy distribution for which there are no finite moments. This paper presents a method for the estimation of confidence intervals based on the Fieller approach that has been shown to be preferable to the usual Delta method. Using example applications in both Stata and R, we demonstrate that a few extra steps in the examination of the estimate of the ratio may provide a confidence interval with superior coverage.
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    Grading Journals in Economics: The ABCs of the ABDC
    Hirschberg, JG ; Lye, JN ( 2018-01-01)
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    Ratios of Parameters: Some Econometric Examples
    Lye, J ; Hirschberg, J (WILEY, 2018-12-01)
    Ratios of parameter estimates are often used in econometric applications. However, constructing confidence intervals (CIs) for these ratios can cause difficulties since the ratio of asymptotically normally distributed random variables are Cauchy distributed and thus have no finite moments. This article presents a method for the estimation of CIs based on the Fieller approach that has been shown to be preferable to the usual Delta method. Using example applications in Stata and R, we demonstrate that a few extra steps in the examination of the estimate of the ratio can provide a CI with superior coverage.
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    Gambling with Stimulus Payments: Feeding Gaming Machines with Federal Dollars
    Lye, J ; Hirschberg, J (SPRINGER, 2014-09-01)
    In late 2008 and early 2009 the Australian Federal Government introduced a series of economic stimulus packages designed to maintain consumer spending in the early days of the Great Recession. When these packages were initiated the media suggested that the wide-spread availability of electronic gaming machines (EGMs, e.g. slot machines, poker machines, video lottery terminals) in Australia would result in stimulating the EGMs. Using state level monthly data we estimate that the stimulus packages led to an increase of 26 % in EGM revenues. This also resulted in over $60 million in additional tax revenue for State Governments. We also estimate a short-run aggregate income demand elasticity for EGMs to be approximately 2.
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