Internal Lunch Seminars (Archive)
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.
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.
Local perceptions of climate change impacts and migration patterns in MaledivesLecturer: Robert Stojanov Affiliation: Charles University in Prague Academic club (ESF MU) 12:30 PM • 11/24/2015
This study covers outcomes from our field research in Maldives in 2013. We investigated what are the most acute environmental and especially climate challenges generally and how they are perceived and evaluated by local inhabitants. We focused on how livelihood activities are affected by climate change, mainly due to sea-level rise and seasonal monsoons shifts. We also researched if migration from the country could be perceived as being a coping or adaptation strategy (or a combination) and the role of migration governance. That includes investigating whether local people are willing to move outside Maldives to neighbouring countries (such as Sri Lanka and India).
We applied quantitative questionnaires conducted mostly with ordinary people (N=347), living in the capital Malé and nearby islands. Our results suggest that among other environmental challenges, sea-level rise is perceived by both groups as being one of the key factors affecting Maldivian society and livelihoods in the future. More then 50% of respondents perceive future sea-level rise to be serious and migration from islands to other countries is a definite potential option for dealing with those changes in future. But Many other reasons play important roles (such as culture, religion, economics, and social aspects) in decision-making about migrating or not.
The marginal cost of justice: A theory of optimal use of alternative criminal proceduresLecturer: Josef Montag Affiliation: Univesity of Economics, Prague Academic Club (ESF MU) 12:00 PM • 11/3/2015
Abstract: Criminal cases can be adjudicated via court trials or alternative criminal procedures, such as penal order and plea bargaining. We develop a model of optimal allocation of cases across these alternatives. The model predicts that the evidence standards—and thus the number of wrongful convictions and wrongful acquittals—fundamentally depend upon the cost structure of the criminal process as well as on the budget resources allocated to the criminal justice system. We call this phenomenon the marginal cost of justice. Our model offers explanations why the scope of plea bargaining in the United States has been traditionally broader than the scope of alternative procedures in Europe and why their use in Europe has recently expanded.