Econometrica, Volume 87, Issue 5 (September 2019) is now online

Journal of the Econometric Society

Volume 87, Issue 5 (September 2019) has just been published.  The full content of the journal is accessible at



Frontmatter of Econometrica Vol. 87 Iss. 5

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The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth
Chang‐Tai Hsieh, Erik Hurst, Charles I. Jones, Peter J. Klenow

In 1960, 94 percent of doctors and lawyers were white men. By 2010, the fraction was just 62 percent. Similar changes in other highly‐skilled occupations have occurred throughout the U.S. economy during the last 50 years. Given that the innate talent for these professions is unlikely to have changed differently across groups, the change in the occupational distribution since 1960 suggests that a substantial pool of innately talented women and black men in 1960 were not pursuing their comparative advantage. We examine the effect on aggregate productivity of the convergence in the occupational distribution between 1960 and 2010 through the prism of a Roy model. Across our various specifications, between 20% and 40% of growth in aggregate market output per person can be explained by the improved allocation of talent.
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Nonparametric Inference on State Dependence in Unemployment
Alexander Torgovitsky

This paper is about measuring state dependence in dynamic discrete outcomes. I develop a nonparametric dynamic potential outcomes (DPO) model and propose an array of parameters and identifying assumptions that can be considered in this model. I show how to construct sharp identified sets under combinations of identifying assumptions by using a flexible linear programming procedure. I apply the analysis to study state dependence in unemployment for working age high school educated men using an extract from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Using only nonparametric assumptions, I estimate that state dependence accounts for at least 30–40% of the four‐month persistence in unemployment among high school educated men.
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How Destructive is Innovation?
Daniel Garcia‐Macia, Chang‐Tai Hsieh, Peter J. Klenow

Entrants and incumbents can create new products and displace the products of competitors. Incumbents can also improve their existing products. How much of aggregate productivity growth occurs through each of these channels? Using data from the U.S. Longitudinal Business Database on all nonfarm private businesses from 1983 to 2013, we arrive at three main conclusions: First, most growth appears to come from incumbents. We infer this from the modest employment share of entering firms (defined as those less than 5 years old). Second, most growth seems to occur through improvements of existing varieties rather than creation of brand new varieties. Third, own‐product improvements by incumbents appear to be more important than creative destruction. We infer this because the distribution of job creation and destruction has thinner tails than implied by a model with a dominant role for creative destruction.
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Fixed-Effect Regressions on Network Data
Koen Jochmans, Martin Weidner

This paper considers inference on fixed effects in a linear regression model estimated from network data. An important special case of our setup is the two‐way regression model. This is a workhorse technique in the analysis of matched data sets, such as employer–employee or student–teacher panel data. We formalize how the structure of the network affects the accuracy with which the fixed effects can be estimated. This allows us to derive sufficient conditions on the network for consistent estimation and asymptotically valid inference to be possible. Estimation of moments is also considered. We allow for general networks and our setup covers both the dense and the sparse case. We provide numerical results for the estimation of teacher value‐added models and regressions with occupational dummies.
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Valuing Peace: The Effects of Financial Market Exposure on Votes and Political Attitudes
Saumitra Jha, Moses Shayo

Can participation in financial markets lead individuals to reevaluate the costs of conflict, change their political attitudes, and even their votes? Prior to the 2015 Israeli elections, we randomly assigned Palestinian and Israeli financial assets to likely voters and incentivized them to actively trade for up to 7 weeks. No political messages or nonfinancial information were included. The treatment systematically shifted vote choices toward parties more supportive of the peace process. This effect is not due to a direct material incentive to vote a particular way. Rather, the treatment reduces opposition to concessions for peace and changes awareness of the broader economic risks of conflict. While participants who were assigned Palestinian assets are more likely to associate their assets' performance with peace, they are less engaged in the experiment. Combined with the superior performance of Israeli stocks during the study period, the ultimate effects of Israeli and Palestinian assets are similar.
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Recursive Contracts
Albert Marcet, Ramon Marimon

We obtain a recursive formulation for a general class of optimization problems with forward‐looking constraints which often arise in economic dynamic models, for example, in contracting problems with incentive constraints or in models of optimal policy. In this case, the solution does not satisfy the Bellman equation. Our approach consists of studying a recursive Lagrangian. Under standard general conditions, there is a recursive saddle‐point functional equation (analogous to a Bellman equation) that characterizes a recursive solution to the planner's problem. The recursive formulation is obtained after adding a co‐state variable μt summarizing previous commitments reflected in past Lagrange multipliers. The continuation problem is obtained with μt playing the role of weights in the objective function. Our approach is applicable to characterizing and computing solutions to a large class of dynamic contracting problems.
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Trading Networks with Frictions
Tamás Fleiner, Ravi Jagadeesan, Zsuzsanna Jankó, Alexander Teytelboym

We show how frictions and continuous transfers jointly affect equilibria in a model of matching in trading networks. Our model incorporates distortionary frictions such as transaction taxes and commissions. When contracts are fully substitutable for firms, competitive equilibria exist and coincide with outcomes that satisfy a cooperative solution concept called trail stability. However, competitive equilibria are generally neither stable nor Pareto‐efficient.
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Endowments, Exclusion, and Exchange
Ivan Balbuzanov, Maciej H. Kotowski

We propose a new solution for discrete exchange economies and resource‐allocation problems, the exclusion core. The exclusion core rests upon a foundational idea in the legal understanding of property, the right to exclude others. By reinterpreting endowments as a distribution of exclusion rights, rather than as bundles of goods, our analysis extends to economies with qualified property rights, joint ownership, and social hierarchies. The exclusion core is characterized by a generalized top trading cycle algorithm in a large class of economies, including those featuring private, public, and mixed ownership. It is neither weaker nor stronger than the strong core.
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Market Selection with Differential Financial Constraints
Ani Guerdjikova, John Quiggin

We analyze financial markets in which agents face differential constraints on the set of assets in which they can trade. In particular, the assets available to each agent span a partition of the state space that can be strictly coarser than the partition spanned by the assets available in the market. We first show that the existence of differential constraints has an impact on prices and allocations as compared to a complete financial market with unconstrained agents.
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Maximality in the Farsighted Stable Set
Debraj Ray, Rajiv Vohra

Harsanyi (1974) and Ray and Vohra (2015) extended the stable set of von Neumann and Morgenstern to impose farsighted credibility on coalitional deviations. But the resulting farsighted stable set suffers from a conceptual drawback: while coalitional moves improve on existing outcomes, coalitions might do even better by moving elsewhere. Or other coalitions might intervene to impose their favored moves. We show that every farsighted stable set satisfying some reasonable and easily verifiable properties is unaffected by the imposition of these stringent maximality constraints. The properties we describe are satisfied by many, but not all, farsighted stable sets.
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Exclusion Restrictions in Dynamic Binary Choice Panel Data Models: Comment on “Semiparametric Binary Choice Panel Data Models Without Strictly Exogenous Regressors”
Songnian Chen, Shakeeb Khan, Xun Tang

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Forthcoming Papers

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Backmatter of Econometrica Vol. 87 Iss. 5

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Publication Date: 
Friday, September 20, 2019