Title

Essays on international macroeconomics and conflict analysis

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Economics

First Advisor's Name

Cem Karayalcin

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Hassan Zahedi

Third Advisor's Name

Prasad Bidarkota

Fourth Advisor's Name

Constantinos Syropoulos

Date of Defense

2-11-2005

Abstract

This dissertation addressed two broad problems in international macroeconomics and conflict analysis. The first problem in the first chapter looked at the behavior of exchange rate and its interaction with industry-level tradable goods prices for three countries, USA, UK and Japan. This question has important monetary policy implications. Here, I computed to what extent changes in exchange rate affected prices of consumer, producer, and export goods. I also studied the timing of these changes in these prices. My results, based on thirty-four industrial prices for USA, UK and Japan, supported the view that changes in exchange rates significantly affect prices of industrial and consumer goods. It also provided an insight to the underlying economic process that led to changes in relative prices.

In the second chapter, I explored the predictability of future inflation by incorporating shocks to exchange rates and clearly specified the transmission mechanisms that link exchange rates to industry-level consumer and producer prices. Employing a variety of linear and state-of-the-art nonlinear models, I also predicted growth rates of future prices. Comparing levels of inflation obtained from the above approaches showed superiority of the structural model incorporating the exchange rate pass-through effect.

The second broad issue addressed in the third chapter of the dissertation investigated the economic motives for conflict, manifested by rebellion and civil war for seventeen Latin American countries. Based on the analytical framework of Garfinkel, Skaperdas and Syropoulos (2004), I employed ordinal regressions and Markov switching for a panel of seventeen countries to identify trade and openness factors responsible for conflict occurrence and intensity. The results suggested that increased trade openness reduced high intensity domestic conflicts but overdependence on agricultural exports, along with a lack of income earning opportunities lead to more conflicts. Thereafter, using the Cox Proportional Hazard model I studied "conflict duration" and found that over-reliance on agricultural exports explained a major part of the length of conflicts in addition to various socio-political factors.

Identifier

FI14051146

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