Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Economics

First Advisor's Name

Cem Karayalcin

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mihaela Pintea

Third Advisor's Name

Maria Willumsen

Fourth Advisor's Name

Hassan Zahedi

Keywords

International financial institutions, Conditional assistance programs, Lobbies, Endogenous lobby formation, Welfare effects of taxes, Small open economy, Productivity shock, International transmission of shocks, Stock markets, Computational economics

Date of Defense

3-25-2010

Abstract

The first chapter analizes conditional assistance programs. They generate conflicting relationships between international financial institutions (IFIs) and member countries. The experience of IFIs with conditionality in the 1990s led them to allow countries more latitude in the design of their reform programs. A reformist government does not need conditionality and it is useless if it does not want to reform. A government that faces opposition may use conditionality and the help of pro-reform lobbies as a lever to counteract anti-reform groups and succeed in implementing reforms.

The second chapter analizes economies saddled with taxes and regulations. I consider an economy in which many taxes, subsidies, and other distortionary restrictions are in place simultaneously. If I start from an inefficient laissez-faire equilibrium because of some domestic distortion, a small trade tax or subsidy can yield a first-order welfare improvement, even if the instrument itself creates distortions of its own. This may result in "welfare paradoxes". The purpose of the chapter is to quantify the welfare effects of changes in tax rates in a small open economy. I conduct the simulation in the context of an intertemporal utility maximization framework. I apply numerical methods to the model developed by Karayalcin. I introduce changes in the tax rates and quantify both the impact on welfare, consumption and foreign assets, and the path to the new steady-state values.

The third chapter studies the role of stock markets and adjustment costs in the international transmission of supply shocks. The analysis of the transmission of a positive supply shock that originates in one of the countries shows that on impact the shock leads to an inmediate stock market boom enjoying the technological advance, while the other country suffers from depress stock market prices as demand for its equity declines. A period of adjustment begins culminating in a steady state capital and output level that is identical to the one before the shock. The the capital stock of one country undergoes a non-monotonic adjustment. The model is tested with plausible values of the variables and the numeric results confirm the predictions of the theory.

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