Internal Lunch Seminars (Archive)
Transformation of Labour Market in Europe and Voting for Far-Right and Far-Left PartiesLecturer: Jitka Doležalová, Hana Fitzová Affiliation: Masaryk University Faculty of Economics, Masaryk University, Academic club 12:00 PM • 10/10/2016
The literature suggests that there is a significant gender gap in the support of far right parties. Male voters exhibit a higher propensity to voting for them. The probability of voting for these political parties is even higher with young and pensioner males. Far right voters are overrepresented among manual workers, routine non-manual workers, the self-employed and the unemployed. The voters usually have lower level of education and are less skilled. All these findings are based on social-survey data. Are they consistent with hard economic data, however? In order to answer this question, we analyse the set of 28 EU member states from 2000 to 2014. We extend our research to voting results of far right, far left and populist parties in parliamentary elections. We focus on diverse specifications of employment rates which are offered by the Eurostat database (by gender, age, education attainment, occupation, working time, etc.). In our model, we also include other variables of the labour market, economic activity, and variables in demographics and politics. We estimate the Heckit model with the maximum likelihood estimator because of many left censored dependent observations. During the observed period, Europe was affected by three phenomena: structural changes in the labour market, the aging of population and an economic crisis. The number of economically active men between 15 and 39 years of age diminished, many of them lost their jobs during the economic crisis and they have a lower chance of going back to work in the future because of their lower skills. They may feel frustrated and therefore turn to extreme and populist parties.
Optimism bias: The evidence from betting marketLecturer: Rostislav Staněk Affiliation: Masaryk University Academic club, ESF MU 12:00 PM • 5/5/2016
People often exhibit so called optimism bias. When predicting what will happen in the future, they overestimate a likelihood of postitive events and underestimate a likelihood of negative events. This paper shows that there is an evidence of an optimism bias in the betting market. I model optimism bias as an elevation in the probability weighting function. Using data from Czech bettingmarket I estimate how the elevation di ers between league matches and matches of the Czech national team. The results show that Czech bettors are overly optimistic when predicting the outcome of Czech national team match.
Fiscal Multipliers and the Zero Lower BoundLecturer: Miroslav Hloušek Affiliation: ESF MU ESF MU, Academic club 12:00 PM • 4/28/2016
This paper studies implications of the zero lower bound (ZLB) on interest rates for the size of fiscal multipliers. The analysis is carried out in extended ECB’s New Area-Wide Model that contains various fiscal instruments. The results show that the most effective tool of fiscal policy at ZLB is government consumption. If the economy is expected to stay longer in liquidity trap, this multiplier is much higher and can exceed value of two. Behaviour of multiplier for government investment is rather tricky. Its value is amplified but only when the economy stays at ZLB for few years. Very significant amplification effect was found for consumption taxes multiplier, but its value stays below unity. Also government transfers multiplier increased a lot in relative terms, nevertheless its absolute value remains very small. Other fiscal instruments were influenced only negligibly.
Collateral constraint, asymmetries and zero lower boundLecturer: Miroslav Hloušek Affiliation: ESF MU ESF MU, Academic club 12:00 PM • 4/20/2016
This paper deals with asymmetry between house prices and consumption that is present in data of the Czech economy. We use small open economy model with housing sector and collateral constraint on loans. The model is estimated by Bayesian techniques on Czech data and then simulated with toolbox for occasionally binding constraint. The mechanism works as follows. When the price of houses decreases, the value of collateral drops down and households are forced to reduce their borrowing and consumption. When house prices increase, households’ constraint becomes slack and consumption increases only partly. The asymmetrical relationship between the house prices and the consumption obtained from simulations thus confirms the empirical findings. The contribution of the zero lower bound on interest rate was found insignificant as the fluctuations in house prices have negligible effect on behaviour of interest rate which equilibrium level was also quite high.
Google queries as the indicator of mortgage demandLecturer: Jaroslav Bukovina Affiliation: Mendel University PEF MENDELU, Room Q4.74 1:00 PM • 3/23/2016
Czech District Heating Plants: Elasticities and Price-Cost MarginsLecturer: Vladimír Hajko, Václav Šebek Affiliation: Mendel University, Masaryk University ESF Masaryk University, Lipová 41a, Room: Academic club 12:00 PM • 3/18/2016
In 2015, Czech Republic witnessed harsh debate about the future of lignite open-cast mining. The need of the price stability in district heating (DH) lignite power plants has been one of underlying argument in favor of mining continuation. DH delivers heating energy to roughly one third of Czech households relatively cheaply (compared to other sources). Thus the arguments such as “economic stability” of DH systems and the availability of cheap heat have been used frequently in the debate. Surprisingly enough, the actual micro-economic analysis of DH sector in Czech Republic is considerably underdeveloped. This paper aims to fill this gap. We focus at the power plants (PP) with combined output of heat and electricity of at least 100 TJ per year, where the heat production is dominant. This group consists of 36 PPs of variable characteristics (such as production capacity, ownership, consumer portfolio etc.). 9 of them have full economic data available open source. Despite the fact we find large inconsistencies in the data, we aim to calculate price and income elasticities of the PP in question and estimate the price-cost margins. There are multiple ways of approaching the elasticity estimations, but the initial look at the data indicates the results are likely highly dependent on the plant. For instance pooled estimate of SR elasticity is about -0.58, but if we allow for the fixed panel effects, we find the SR price elasticity −0.212. In the dynamic panel model distinguishing between SR and LR elasticities, we estimate the SR elasticity to be -0.086 and LR elasticity approximately -0.16. Given the peculiarity of the data, we do not primarily seek to generalize, but rather pinpoint what needs to done in further research.
Justifying the unjustifiable: How the intangible benefits of information systems can be evaluatedLecturer: Michal Krčál Affiliation: ESF MU ESF AK 12:00 PM • 2/18/2016
Abstract: From the introduction of Brynjolfsson’s “Productivity Paradox” and Bannister’s and Remenyi’s “act of faith”, the scientists are tackling the challenge of evaluating intangible benefits of information systems. Not only companies are struggling with success of IT projects but they are usually unable to say, if the information system is proving to be beneficial. To this day, the solutions and suggestions are far from being useful or used, if the problem of evaluation of intangible benefits of information systems can be even solved. In order to try to organize the body of knowledge in this area, this talk will introduce and describe a preliminary taxonomy of information system evaluation methods and give some insights on current justification and evaluation practices that were gathered from interviews with practitioners during a case study.
Maximizing vs. Satisficing in decision makingLecturer: Michal Ďuriník Affiliation: ESF MU ESF S314 12:00 PM • 2/11/2016
Abstract: Some people, called Maximizers, do not settle for good enough choices – they want to make sure what they select is the best. To discover the best options possible, they can exert large amounts of time and effort, sometimes getting stuck in an obsessive search for more alternatives to compare. To Satisficers, good enough is simply good enough. In our experiment, subjects have the option to engage in an expansive search and just like in the real life, excessive searching in the experiment comes with opportunity costs. We look at how the Maximization Inventory score is related to the number of items uncovered and to the total payouts. Also we investigate the effectiveness of different approaches to help maximizers not to ruminate and over-think their decisions. As this is a work in progress, all comments and suggestions are warmly welcome!
Rocket and Feather Effect in Retail Gasoline Market : Evidence from the Czech RepublicLecturer: Jaroslav Bil Affiliation: Masaryk University, ÚOHS Academic Club (ESF MU) 11:30 AM • 12/11/2015
This study investigate price adjustement in retail gasoline market in Czech Republic. Using weekly aggregated panel data of 1285 gas stations over years 2008-2013 error-corection model is estimated to provide the evidence for asymmetric pricing responses on positive and negative shocks from commodity stock market. Even though gas station operators defer reduce the retail price when stock market prices are falling, ultimate adjustment is more pronounced after stock price decrese than increase. Thus the consequent final effect on welfare is sporadic. What are the rationale for that behaviour and why does pricing policy differ across operators? These and other questions are subject to further research.
Endogenous Economic Cycles: An Agent-based Model Of Consumers’ ConfidenceLecturer: Jana Závacká Affiliation: Faculty of Economics, VSB-Technical University of Ostrava Academic club (ESF MU) 12:00 PM • 12/10/2015
Abstract: The main goal of this paper is to present consumers’ confidence as an important source of cyclical economic activity. We use a simplified agent-based model with a single production sector and consumers (agents). The confidence (optimism/stableness/pessimism) spreads by interactions among consumers and according to the macro state of the economy on the lattice of consumers. The aggregate level of confidence in society reflects the consumers’ expectations about their future incomes together with their preferences between current and future consumption and determines aggregate demand for consumption spending. The aggregate supply is always formed with an attempt to satisfy aggregate demand, even at the price of growing amount of inventory goods. We found that the model is capable of generating persistent endogenous business cycles. Peaks of waves of optimism/pessimism in the society correspond to the peaks of growth rate rather than the level of economic activity. The variable marginal rate of sub- stitution between present and future consumption has a countercyclical and stabilizing influence on the growth rate of economic activity.
Keywords: ACE model; business cycle; consumer confidence.