Department of Economics
Office number: 3225
Economics 335 (Political Economics) Syllabus
Economics 415 (Dynamic Methods for Economics) Syllabus
Economics 414 (Frontiers of Applied Theory) Syllabus upon request.
· This paper proposes a model of societal learning, in which information may be scarce and discoverable by individuals with a special expertise or access to the fact to be learned.
· When these individuals are devoid of intrinsic motive to learn about the truth, the feasibility of societal learning depends on statistical conditions pertaining to the supply of evidence about the fact.
· Applications to institution enforcement, social cohesion, scientific progress, and historical revisionism are discussed.
with Harry Pei
· We consider robust implementation for a concept of robustness that builds on Kajii and Morris (1997) when agents must incur a cost to learn the state.
· Agents’ preferences are uncertain, as are their beliefs and higher-order beliefs about one another’s preferences.
· We propose a mechanism that implements any desired social choice function when perturbations concerning agents' payoffs have small ex ante probability.
· We also show that full implementation is impossible unless agents directly care about the state of the world and how it relates to the social choice function.
with Alex Bloedel and Vijay Krishna, R&R in Econometrica
· We revisit Williams’ (Econometrica, 2011) principal-agent model of insurance with persistent private information and continuous time.
· The contract characterized as optimal in that paper belongs to a class of contracts that can be implemented by self-insurance contracts and is generically suboptimal within this class.
· The claim that immiserisation disappears with persistent private information and the effects attributed to persistent private information and to continuous time by that paper are not supported by our analysis. We elucidate some sources of these discrepancies.
with Ron Siegel, Forthcoming, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics
· When the suspect of a crime is arrested, he enters a judicial process, or “mechanism,” whose outcomes include evidence against him and a sentence
· We study the optimal design of judicial mechanisms for several notions of welfare distinguished by their treatment of deterrence
· The optimal mechanism presents several features reminiscent of the US criminal justice system, such as plea bargaining, a trial with a binary verdict corresponding to acquittal and conviction, and a conviction threshold based on the likelihood of guilt of the defendant
· The commitment assumption needed to perform mechanism design analysis finds an incarnation in several features of the U.S. criminal justice system.
American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, May 2021
with Harry Pei
· When a defendant is accused of multiple crimes, one may consider punishing him if the overall probability that he has committed crime is high.
· We show that this aggregation rule can reduce the informativeness of witness’s reports and increase the proportion of offenders, but can also reduce the number of crimes conditional on crime being committed.
· When punishment in case of conviction is large relative to the benefit to commit crime, the optimal mechanism—according to a notion that takes into account fairness and deterrence—can be implemented without commitment by one of two adjudication rules: the rule previously described and the rule that is used in most criminal justice systems.
· This paper defines a concept of renegotiation-proof contracts for dynamic contracts in which the state is either (i) publicly observed or (ii) driven by a diffusion process.
· The concept uses the algebraic notion of left-action group to compare contracts across distinct states. It subsumes the notion of internal consistency used in repeated games.
· The concept is applied to a principal-agent insurance model in which the agent has persistent private endowment shocks. Renegotiation-proof contracts have a closed-form and are characterized by a single number, the contract sensitivity to the agent’s reports.
with Arjada Bardhi and Yingni Guo
· How does early-career discrimination affect workers’ long-term prospects? Does discrimination get amplified or does it subside over time?
· We show that the answer critically depends on how workers’ ability is revealed over time: when failures are more revealing of workers’ ability, even a small amount of early discrimination can have a large impact on long-term prospects, while the opposite is true for jobs in which skills are revealed through breakthroughs
· We stablish this result in a toy model as well as in large labor market model with flexible wages, the modeling of which is another contribution of the paper.
with Ron Siegel
· Criminal trials do not formally allow sentences to reflect the strength of evidence.
· A growing number of legal scholars have criticized this restriction.
· This paper proposes an economic model that formalizes and unifies the arguments put forward in the law literature and addresses three of the remaining objections to the use of evidence-based sentencing: i) political legitimacy (the impact on the coercive power of the state), ii) robustness to details of the environment, and iii) incentives to acquire evidence.
with Mikhail Safronov
· To be sustainable without external enforcement, social norms, contracts, and other agreements must include provisions not only to deter violations but also to address challenges to move to other norms, contracts, or agreements.
· We introduce contestable norms, which achieve both objectives, analyze their conceptual foundation, efficiency, stability, design, and evolution, and characterize their payoffs.
· Contestable norms may be inefficient, no matter how frequent agents’ interactions and proposals, to an extent determined by the amount of conflict inherent in agents’ strategic environment.
· The analysis sheds new light on the efficient institution hypothesis and the renegotiation paradox.
RESEARCH (BY TOPIC)
Beyond Correlation: Measuring Interdependence through Complementarities with Margaret Meyer
Discounting, Values, and Decisions with John Quah, Journal of Political Economy, October 2013
Aggregating the Single Crossing Property with John Quah, Econometrica, September 2012.
Increasing Interdependence of Multivariate Distributions with Meg Meyer, Journal of Economic Theory, Symposium on Inequality and Risk, July 2012.
Generalized Monotonicity Analysis with Thomas Weber, Economic Theory, June 2010
Comparative Statics, Informativeness, and the Interval Dominance Order with John Quah, Econometrica, November 2009.
with Simone Galperti, Econometrica, July 2017
On the Smoothness of Value Functions and the Existence of Optimal Strategies in Diffusion Models with Martin Szydlowski, Journal of Economic Theory, Symposium on Dynamic Contracts and Mechanism Design, September 2015
Capital Mobility and Asset Pricing with Darrell Duffie, Econometrica, November 2012.
Supplement to "Capital Mobility and Asset Pricing"
Performance Sensitive Debt with Gustavo Manso and Alexei Tchistyi, Review of Financial Studies (winner of the Society for Financial Studies’ Young Researcher Award, 2009), May 2010.
LAW AND ECONOMICS
with Ron Siegel, forthcoming, AEJ Micro
Crime Aggregation, Deterrence, and Witness Credibility with Harry Pei (new version)
with Ron Siegel (new)
with Christian Roessler and Sandro Shelegia, Journal of Political Economy, February 2018
with Carlo Prato, Journal of Theoretical Politics, July 2017
Learning While Voting: Determinants of Collective Experimentation Econometrica, May 2010.
Working paper version (Oxford, 2007): Voting and Experimentation
This version includes the “Singaporean Restaurant” example
RENEGOTIATION AND BARGAINING
with Mikhail Safronov (new version)
, Econometrica, March 2017
January 2017 (Updated),
For the 2011 version with moral hazard, click here.
SOCIAL LEARNING AND EXPERIMENTATION
(cross-listed with Political Economy)
with Umberto Garfagnini, Review of Economic Studies, October 2016
Learning While Voting:
Determinants of Collective Experimentation Econometrica,
AUCTIONS AND CONSUMER THEORY
Substitute Goods, Auctions, and Equilibrium with Paul Milgrom, Journal of Economic Theory, January 2009.
PUBLICATIONS IN OPERATIONS RESEARCH
Additive Envelopes of Continuous Functions with Thomas Weber, Operations Research Letters, May 2010.
Monotone Comparative Statics: A Geometric Approach with Thomas Weber, Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, June 2008.
© 2011 - Last Updated: 02/10/2016 - Disclaimer