Econometrica September 2017 is now online

TABLE OF CONTENTS Volume 85, Issue 5, September 2017

Full Issue

Articles

Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission
Matthias Doepke, Fabrizio Zilibotti

We develop a theory of parent‐child relations that rationalizes the choice between alternative parenting styles (as set out in Baumrind, 1967). Parents maximize an objective function that combines Beckerian altruism and paternalism towards children. They can affect their children's choices via two channels: either by influencing children's preferences or by imposing direct restrictions on their choice sets. Different parenting styles (authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive) emerge as equilibrium outcomes and are affected both by parental preferences and by the socioeconomic environment. Parenting style, in turn, feeds back into the children's welfare and economic success. The theory is consistent with the decline of authoritarian parenting observed in industrialized countries and with the greater prevalence of more permissive parenting in countries characterized by low inequality.
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Research Design Meets Market Design: Using Centralized Assignment for Impact Evaluation
Atila Abdulkadiroğlu, Joshua D. Angrist, Yusuke Narita, Parag A. Pathak

A growing number of school districts use centralized assignment mechanisms to allocate school seats in a manner that reflects student preferences and school priorities. Many of these assignment schemes use lotteries to ration seats when schools are oversubscribed. The resulting random assignment opens the door to credible quasi‐experimental research designs for the evaluation of school effectiveness. Yet the question of how best to separate the lottery‐generated randomization integral to such designs from non‐random preferences and priorities remains open. This paper develops easily‐implemented empirical strategies that fully exploit the random assignment embedded in a wide class of mechanisms, while also revealing why seats are randomized at one school but not another. We use these methods to evaluate charter schools in Denver, one of a growing number of districts that combine charter and traditional public schools in a unified assignment system. The resulting estimates show large achievement gains from charter school attendance. Our approach generates efficiency gains over ad hoc methods, such as those that focus on schools ranked first, while also identifying a more representative average causal effect. We also show how to use centralized assignment mechanisms to identify causal effects in models with multiple school sectors.
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On Monotone Recursive Preferences
Antoine Bommier, Asen Kochov, François Le Grand

We explore the set of preferences defined over temporal lotteries in an infinite horizon setting. We provide utility representations for all preferences that are both recursive and monotone. Our results indicate that the class of monotone recursive preferences includes Uzawa–Epstein preferences and risk‐sensitive preferences, but leaves aside several of the recursive models suggested by Epstein and Zin (1989) and Weil (1990). Our representation result is derived in great generality using Lundberg's (1982, 1985) work on functional equations.
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Recursive equilibria in dynamic economies with stochastic production
Johannes Brumm, Dominika Kryczka, Felix Kubler

In this paper, we prove the existence of recursive equilibria in a dynamic stochastic model with infinitely lived heterogeneous agents, several commodities, and general inter‐ and intratemporal production. We illustrate the usefulness of our result by providing sufficient conditions for the existence of recursive equilibria in heterogeneous agent versions of both the Lucas asset pricing model and the neoclassical stochastic growth model.
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Nonparametric Stochastic Discount Factor Decomposition
Timothy M. Christensen

Stochastic discount factor (SDF) processes in dynamic economies admit a permanent‐transitory decomposition in which the permanent component characterizes pricing over long investment horizons. This paper introduces an empirical framework to analyze the permanent‐transitory decomposition of SDF processes. Specifically, we show how to estimate nonparametrically the solution to the Perron–Frobenius eigenfunction problem of Hansen and Scheinkman, 2009. Our empirical framework allows researchers to (i) construct time series of the estimated permanent and transitory components and (ii) estimate the yield and the change of measure which characterize pricing over long investment horizons. We also introduce nonparametric estimators of the continuation value function in a class of models with recursive preferences by reinterpreting the value function recursion as a nonlinear Perron–Frobenius problem. We establish consistency and convergence rates of the eigenfunction estimators and asymptotic normality of the eigenvalue estimator and estimators of related functionals. As an application, we study an economy where the representative agent is endowed with recursive preferences, allowing for general (nonlinear) consumption and earnings growth dynamics.
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Money as a Unit of Account
Matthias Doepke, Martin Schneider

We develop a theory that rationalizes the use of a dominant unit of account in an economy. Agents enter into non‐contingent contracts with a variety of business partners. Trade unfolds sequentially in credit chains and is subject to random matching. By using a dominant unit of account, agents can lower their exposure to relative price risk, avoid costly default, and create more total surplus. We discuss conditions under which it is optimal to adopt circulating government paper as the dominant unit of account, and the optimal choice of “currency areas” when there is variation in the intensity of trade within and across regions.
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Using Adaptive Sparse Grids to Solve High-Dimensional Dynamic Models
Johannes Brumm, Simon Scheidegger

We present a flexible and scalable method for computing global solutions of high‐dimensional stochastic dynamic models. Within a time iteration or value function iteration setup, we interpolate functions using an adaptive sparse grid algorithm. With increasing dimensions, sparse grids grow much more slowly than standard tensor product grids. Moreover, adaptivity adds a second layer of sparsity, as grid points are added only where they are most needed, for instance, in regions with steep gradients or at nondifferentiabilities. To further speed up the solution process, our implementation is fully hybrid parallel, combining distributed and shared memory parallelization paradigms, and thus permits an efficient use of high‐performance computing architectures. To demonstrate the broad applicability of our method, we solve two very different types of dynamic models: first, high‐dimensional international real business cycle models with capital adjustment costs and irreversible investment; second, multiproduct menu‐cost models with temporary sales and economies of scope in price setting.
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Spurious Inference in Reduced-Rank Asset-Pricing Models
Nikolay Gospodinov, Raymond Kan, Cesare Robotti

This note studies some seemingly anomalous results that arise in possibly misspecified, reduced‐rank linear asset‐pricing models estimated by the continuously updated generalized method of moments. When a spurious factor (that is, a factor that is uncorrelated with the returns on the test assets) is present, the test for correct model specification has asymptotic power that is equal to the nominal size. In other words, applied researchers will erroneously conclude that the model is correctly specified even when the degree of misspecification is arbitrarily large. The rejection probability of the test for overidentifying restrictions typically decreases further in underidentified models where the dimension of the null space is larger than 1.
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On Completeness and Consistency in Nonparametric Instrumental Variable Models
Joachim Freyberger

This paper provides positive testability results for the identification condition in a nonparametric instrumental variable model, known as completeness, and it links the outcome of the test to properties of an estimator of the structural function. In particular, I show that the data can provide empirical evidence in favor of both an arbitrarily small identified set as well as an arbitrarily small asymptotic bias of the estimator. This is the case for a large class of complete distributions as well as certain incomplete distributions. As a byproduct, the results can be used to estimate an upper bound of the diameter of the identified set and to obtain an easy to report estimator of the identified set itself.
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Dual-Donor Organ Exchange
Haluk Ergin, Tayfun Sönmez, M. Utku Ünver

Owing to the worldwide shortage of deceased‐donor organs for transplantation, living donations have become a significant source of transplant organs. However, not all willing donors can donate to their intended recipients because of medical incompatibilities. These incompatibilities can be overcome by an exchange of donors between patients. For kidneys, such exchanges have become widespread in the last decade with the introduction of optimization and market design techniques to kidney exchange. A small but growing number of liver exchanges have also been conducted. Over the last two decades, a number of transplantation procedures emerged where organs from two living donors are transplanted to a single patient. Prominent examples include dual‐graft liver transplantation, lobar lung transplantation, and simultaneous liver‐kidney transplantation. Exchange, however, has been neither practiced nor introduced in this context. We introduce dual‐donor organ exchange as a novel transplantation modality, and through simulations show that living‐donor transplants can be significantly increased through such exchanges. We also provide a simple theoretical model for dual‐donor organ exchange and introduce optimal exchange mechanisms under various logistical constraints.
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Publication Date: 
Monday, October 2, 2017

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