Economics Research International The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Do Scarce Precious Metals Equate to Safe Harbor Investments? The Case of Platinum and Palladium Sun, 10 Jan 2016 11:07:05 +0000 This research establishes the predictability and safe harbor properties of two scarce precious metals, namely, platinum and palladium. Utilizing their spot prices, the study concludes intermediate memory in the return structures of both precious metals, which implies the instability of platinum and palladium returns’ persistency in the long run. However, both the ARFIMA-FIGARCH and the ARFIMA-FIAPARCH models confirm long-memory properties in the volatility of the two spot prices. The leverage effects phenomenon is not also present based on the ARFIMA-APARCH and ARFIMA-FIAPARCH models, which may possibly conclude the resilience of both precious metals against increased volatility. However, further tests proved that only platinum has a symmetric volatility response to shocks with the presence of negative gamma parameter, which proves that only platinum can be considered a safe harbor investment, because negative and positive shocks have equal effects on their returns and volatilities. Comparing the four models utilized in this study, the combined ARFIMA-FIAPARCH models are the best fitting model to characterize both precious metals’ spot prices. John Francis T. Diaz Copyright © 2016 John Francis T. Diaz. All rights reserved. Assessing Swaziland’s Fiscal Sustainability and Policy Options Tue, 17 Nov 2015 10:49:54 +0000 In 2011, Swaziland’s fiscal policy was extensively scrutinized following its worst fiscal crisis in decades. The impacts of fiscal adjustment on Swaziland’s growth, inflation, and sectoral allocations of resources were some of the issues analyzed. The fall in the Southern African Customs Union revenue receipts to levels below the trend line, for two consecutive years, and the fiscal challenges that followed were the main motivation behind this interest. This paper attempts to establish whether fiscal sustainability was threatened, and if so what were the policy options? Based on the results from econometric estimations, using a sample for the 1986 to 2012 period, I show that the country’s fiscal sustainability was not threatened. However, calculations of the tax gap and the primary gap covering the period 2000 to 2016 reveal that fiscal sustainability was threatened. Subject to the major drivers of government expenditure and revenue handles, it is concluded that, in the short run, the two needed to be realigned while also allocating more resources to support growth. Albert Mafusire Copyright © 2015 Albert Mafusire. All rights reserved. Partial Cross-Ownership, Cost Asymmetries, and Welfare Tue, 10 Nov 2015 09:01:33 +0000 The present study analyses the effects on social welfare of the existence of cross-participation at ownership level in a Cournot duopoly. We show that cross-participation, although it lowers the degree of competition by reducing total output and consumer surplus, may increase social welfare, provided that (i) the firm owned by a single shareholder is less efficient than the other (cross-participated) firm and (ii) the size of the market is not too large. Therefore, the policy implication is that larger cross-participations at ownership level should be favoured, despite their anticompetitive nature, when the cross-participated firm is relatively more efficient and the extent of the market is not too large. Luciano Fanti Copyright © 2015 Luciano Fanti. All rights reserved. On the Strategic Choice of Union-Oligopoly Bargaining Agenda: Further Results Tue, 29 Sep 2015 09:55:46 +0000 This paper revisits the strategic selection of the bargaining agenda in a unionized industry with potential entry and decentralized negotiations for different competition modes. The incumbent chooses Right-to-Manage (RTM) or Efficient Bargaining (EB) considering two scenarios: (1) the agenda is imposed to the (potential) entrant (committed bargaining) and (2) the entrant can flexibly choose the agenda (flexible bargaining). In the mixed duopoly, the timing of the game is as follows: at stage 1, the EB firm bargains over wage and employment with its union, while the RTM firm bargains over the wage; at stage 2, the RTM firm chooses employment. This paper shows that the strategic selection of the agenda strongly depends on the interaction between the degree of market competition, the union’s power, and the convergence or divergence between parties on the agenda’s choice. This complex interaction leads to a very rich set of equilibrium outcomes, including multiple and even (as regards the union’s preferences on the agenda) asymmetric equilibria. Compared with alternative timings in the literature, this specification leads to substantial differences with flexible bargaining: EB emerges as equilibrium in Nash strategies for a noticeably increased set of cases. Domenico Buccella and Luciano Fanti Copyright © 2015 Domenico Buccella and Luciano Fanti. All rights reserved. Econometric Modelling of the Variations of Norway’s Export Trade across Continents and over Time: The Two-Stage Non-Full Rank Hierarchical Linear Econometric Model Approach Tue, 01 Sep 2015 06:52:44 +0000 This paper applies the two-stage hierarchical non-full rank linear econometric model to make a deep analysis based on revenue generated from key Norwegian export items over the world’s continents. The model’s ability to analyse the variation of Norway’s export trade gives us the following interesting details: (1) for each continent intra- and intervariation of export items, (2) access to deep knowledge about the characteristics of the Norway’s export items revenue, (3) quantifying the economic importance and sustainability of export items within continents; and finally (4) comparing a given export item economic importance across continents. The results suggest the following important policy implications for Norway. First, Europe is the most important trade partner for Norway. In fact, 81.5% of Norwegian export items are transported to Europe. Second, there is a structural shift in Norwegian exports from North and Central America to Asia and Oceania. Third, the new importance of Asia and Oceania is also emphasized by the 85% increase in export revenues over the period 1988–2012. The trade pattern has changed and trade policy must change accordingly. The analysis has shown that in 2012 there are two important export continents for Norway: Europe and Asia and Oceania. Yohannes Yebabe Tesfay and Per Bjarte Solibakke Copyright © 2015 Yohannes Yebabe Tesfay and Per Bjarte Solibakke. All rights reserved. An Extension of the Hawkins and Simon Condition Characterizing Viable Techniques Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:40:48 +0000 This paper discusses an extended version of the Hawkins and Simon condition which constitutes a synthetic formulation of the mathematical properties that viable economies must satisfy in single production models. The new version is implicit in the economic interpretations offered by them of the Hawkins and Simon condition, once a correction is introduced in one of those interpretations. Moreover, the paper details the meaning of the extended version following the interpretation of the original version proposed by Dorfman, Samuelson, and Solow. It also introduces a characteristic property of indecomposable matrices that has not previously been published. Alberto Benítez Sánchez Copyright © 2015 Alberto Benítez Sánchez. All rights reserved. Nonexistence of Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect with Endogenous Time Preference in an Imperfect Capital Market Wed, 15 Jul 2015 06:56:32 +0000 This paper investigates the spending and current-account effects of a permanent terms-of-trade change in a dynamic small open economy facing an imperfect world capital market, where the households’ subjective discount rate is a function of savings. Under the assumption that the bond holdings are measured in terms of home goods, it is shown that when the discount rate is a decreasing function of savings, there does not necessarily exist a stable state; however, when the discount rate is an increasing function of savings, a saddle-path stable steady state comes into existence and the Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect does not exist unambiguously; that is, an unanticipated permanent terms-of-trade deterioration leads to a cut in aggregate expenditure and a current-account surplus. The short-run effects obtained by the technique by Judd (1985, 1987) and Zou (1997) are consistent with the results from the long-run analysis and diagrammatic analysis. Deng-Shan Wang and Miao Jin Copyright © 2015 Deng-Shan Wang and Miao Jin. All rights reserved. Monopoly Profit Maximization: Success and Economic Principles Sun, 19 Apr 2015 09:57:02 +0000 This paper presents a classroom experiment on pricing strategies available to monopolists. Each student makes production decisions as a monopolist during the experiment, learning from his/her own experiences what it means to be a price searcher. Full information is provided on cost conditions, while the demand function remains unknown to the participants. Given a sufficient number of periods, students will in principle be able to maximise their profits by applying a simple trial and error strategy. However, one of the objectives of the experiment is to demonstrate to students that search strategies based on economic principles are more efficient. Korbinian von Blanckenburg and Milena Neubert Copyright © 2015 Korbinian von Blanckenburg and Milena Neubert. All rights reserved. The Effect of Quality Tracing System on Safety of Agricultural Product Mon, 16 Feb 2015 13:49:41 +0000 Frequent occurrence of food safety incidents in recent years has made analyzing safety of agricultural product in view of contract theory become academic research focus. Based on incentive theory, in this paper we establish a static game under the condition of asymmetric information and analyze how the “company + farmer” contract is influenced by a complete quality tracing system composed of ex-ante inspection and ex-post traceability. Meanwhile, we find out that a complete quality tracing system can increase the safety level of agricultural product and that ex-ante inspection and ex-post traceability can replace each other in the process. Finally, we put forward policy suggestion for the policy-maker to solve the problem of food safety. Jun Zhao and Bin Zhou Copyright © 2015 Jun Zhao and Bin Zhou. All rights reserved. In Search of Leading Indicator Property of Yield Spread for India: An Approach Based on Quantile and Wavelet Regression Tue, 06 Jan 2015 14:06:31 +0000 The leading indicator ability of yield spread for future output growth and inflation is tested for India. Using the yields on securities with maturities ten years and three months to construct yield spread, we study the predictive power of yield spread for output growth and inflation. Our results based on regression of future inflation and output on yield spreads indicate that there is no information in the yield spread about future economic activity and inflation in India. Further, the predictive power of yield spread is analyzed over different quantiles of inflation and output growth using quantile regression; we find that there is again no evidence of predictive information in the yield spreads. Using multiscale wavelet based regression, predictive power is however unveiled at higher time scales for output growth only. Arif Billah Dar and Firdous Ahmad Shah Copyright © 2015 Arif Billah Dar and Firdous Ahmad Shah. All rights reserved. Real National Income Average Growth Rate: A Novel Economic Growth and Social Fair Evaluation Index Thu, 01 Jan 2015 09:44:08 +0000 The purpose of this study is to propose a new economic index, namely, real national income average growth rate (RNIAGR), which measures the performance of economic growth with consideration for income distribution. This study also develops another new economic index, called five-scale real national income average growth rate (FSRNIAGR), which simplifies the calculation of RNIAGR. The merits of these new indexes are discussed to justify their efficacy. This paper also justifies the use of proposed index by showing that this index can actually measure the ordering of social welfare. To highlight the difference between this new index and the traditional ones, this paper compares the index with real economic growth rate using the data of Taiwan. In addition, this paper shows that when the real growth stagnates or even declines, this new index indicates that income distribution deteriorates. Chien Wei Wu and Wei Zhan Hung Copyright © 2015 Chien Wei Wu and Wei Zhan Hung. All rights reserved. Technical Efficiency and Technical Change in Canadian Manufacturing Industries Wed, 31 Dec 2014 10:45:43 +0000 This study applies the “true fixed effects” panel stochastic frontier methodology to the Canadian KLEMS data set to estimate technical change and technical efficiency in the Canadian manufacturing sector. To account for the endogeneity of capital inputs as well as the possible problems related to omitted variables, a two-stage residual inclusion method is pursued. The first stage is estimated using the dynamic panel GMM method. The results show that Canadian manufacturing industries experienced significant declines in technical efficiencies during the last ten years. This suggests that the observed slowdown in TFP growth during the recent past is partly due to declining technical efficiency. Samuel Gamtessa Copyright © 2014 Samuel Gamtessa. All rights reserved. The Effect of Monetary Policy on Commodity Prices: Disentangling the Evidence for Individual Prices Wed, 24 Dec 2014 09:44:58 +0000 We study the effect of monetary policy shocks on commodity prices. While most of the literature has found that expansionary shocks have a positive effect on aggregate price indices, we study the effect on individual prices of a sample of four commodities. This set of commodity prices is essential to understand the dynamics of the balance of payments in Colombia. The analysis is based on structural VAR models; we identify monetary policy shocks following Kim (1999, 2003) upon quarterly data for commodity prices and their fundamentals for the period from 1980q1 to 2010q3. Our results show that commodity prices overshoot their long run equilibrium in response to a contractionary shock in the US monetary policy and, in contrast with literature, the response of the individual prices considered is stronger than what has been found in aggregate indices. Additionally, it is found that the monetary policy explains a substantial share of the fluctuations in prices. Carolina Arteaga Cabrales, Joan Camilo Granados Castro, and Jair Ojeda Joya Copyright © 2014 Carolina Arteaga Cabrales et al. All rights reserved. A Complex Dynamical Analysis of the Indian Stock Market Sun, 14 Dec 2014 12:04:48 +0000 This paper seeks to analyze the dynamical structure of the Indian stock market by considering two major Indian stock market indices, namely, BSE Sensex and CNX Nifty. The recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) is applied on the daily closing data of the two series during the period from January 2, 2002, to October 10, 2013. A Rolling Window of 100 and step size 21 are applied in order to see how both the series behave over time. The analysis based on three RQA measures, namely, % determinism (DET), laminarity (LAM), and trapping time (TT), provides conclusive evidence that the Indian equity market is chaotic in nature. Evidences for phase transition in the Indian equity market around the time of financial crisis are also found. Anoop Sasikumar and Bandi Kamaiah Copyright © 2014 Anoop Sasikumar and Bandi Kamaiah. All rights reserved. An Empirical Analysis of Unpaid Leave in Taiwan Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 This paper investigates the factors influencing unpaid leave or furlough in Taiwan. The data used is from the First Social Image Survey in 2009, which focused on work situation, cross-strait relations, interpersonal trust, institutional trust, and other related issues. The sample ages are from 19 to 89. The method used is probit modelling for examining the influences on unpaid leave. The main empirical results find that older workers, people with highest educational attainment, widows and widowers, middle class workers, and workers living in eastern areas are less likely to take unpaid leave from the labour market. In particular, male Mainlander workers are more likely to take unpaid leave. Moreover, female workers with highest educational attainment, widowed, and of middle class are less likely to take unpaid leave. Finally, workers with high earnings are less likely to take unpaid leave, but female workers with high family income and female workers who are divorced or separated have a higher probability of unpaid leave. Shu-Hsi Ho and Wen-Shai Hung Copyright © 2014 Shu-Hsi Ho and Wen-Shai Hung. All rights reserved. Investigating the Existence of Chaos in Inflation Data in relation to Chaotic Foreign Exchange Rate Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:48:01 +0000 Foreign exchange (ForEx) rates are amongst the most important economic indices in the international monetary markets. ForEx rate represents the value of one currency in another and it fluctuates over time. It is related to indicators like inflation, interest rate, gross domestic product, and so forth. In a series of works, we investigated and confirmed the chaotic property of ForEx rates by finding positive largest Lyapunov exponent (LLE). As inflation influences ForEx, in this work we would like to address the specific question, Is inflation data also chaotic? We collected data for time period of 2000 to 2013 and tested for nonlinearity in data by surrogate method. Calculating LLE, we find existence of chaos in inflation data for some countries. Pritha Das and Atin Das Copyright © 2014 Pritha Das and Atin Das. All rights reserved. Analysis of Economic Efficiency and Farm Size: A Case Study of Wheat Farmers in Nakuru District, Kenya Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:36:15 +0000 The primary objective of this study is to examine the effect of farm size on economic efficiency among wheat producers and to suggest ways to improve wheat production in the country. Specifically, the study attempts to estimate the levels of technical, allocative, and economic efficiencies among the sampled 130 large and small scale wheat producers in Nakuru District. The social-economic factors that influence economic efficiency in wheat production have also been determined. Results indicate that the mean technical, allocative, and economic efficiency indices of small scale wheat farmers are 85%, 96%, and 84%, respectively. The corresponding figures for the large scale farmers are 91%, 94%, and 88%, respectively. The number of years of school a farmer has had in formal education, distance to extension advice, and the size of the farm have strong influence on the efficiency levels. The relatively high levels of technical efficiency among the small scale farmers defy the notion that wheat can only be efficiently produced by the large scale farmers. Samuel Mburu, Chris Ackello-Ogutu, and Richard Mulwa Copyright © 2014 Samuel Mburu et al. All rights reserved. Working the Night Shift: The Impact of Compensating Wages and Local Economic Conditions on Shift Choice Thu, 09 Oct 2014 10:22:05 +0000 The theory of compensating differentials asserts that night shift workers should receive compensating wage differentials due to undesirable work conditions. In weak local economies, workers may have difficulty finding jobs; thus, these workers might be more likely to accept night shift work and be less concerned with the size of the compensating differential for night shifts. Using CPS data from 2001, this paper employs maximum likelihood estimation of an endogenous switching regression model to analyze wages of day and night shift workers and shift choice. The findings indicate the presence of selection bias, thus emphasizing the importance of correcting for self-selection into night shifts. The average of the estimated wage differentials for night shift work is negative for the overall sample, with differentials varying by worker characteristics. The shift differential is found to be a statistically significant predictor of shift choice, indicating that shift premiums play an important role in motivating individuals to select night shift work. Using two measures of local economic conditions and a new method of analyzing interaction effects in the context of an endogenous switching regression model, this paper finds limited evidence that weak local economic conditions lessen the impact of compensating differentials on shift choice. Colene Trent and Walter J. Mayer Copyright © 2014 Colene Trent and Walter J. Mayer. All rights reserved. Effect of Physician Gender on Demand for Pap Tests Thu, 18 Sep 2014 07:09:57 +0000 People’s demand for preventive medical care is one type of investment in health. The aim of this paper is to examine women’s demand for secondary prevention in Taiwan, focusing on the role a physician’s gender plays in women’s inclination to undergo Pap tests. Our estimation results show that regional ratio of female doctors has a positive and significant effect on utilization of Pap tests for the full sample and for women aged below 30. In addition, doctor’s gender matters only in utilization of Pap tests not in other types of preventive healthcare services in Taiwan. We suggest that the government may consider liberalizing medical laws to make it legal for trained female nurses or nurse practitioners to perform Pap tests in order to encourage the utilization of Pap tests, especially in rural and mountain areas. The government may also consider subsidizing the use of cervical cancer vaccines to help females prevent cervical cancer. Tsui-Fang Lin and Jennjou Chen Copyright © 2014 Tsui-Fang Lin and Jennjou Chen. All rights reserved. Public Investments, Human Capital, and Political Stability: The Triptych of Economic Success Tue, 09 Sep 2014 08:39:56 +0000 This study assesses the effects of fiscal policy on economic growth in a sample of 96 countries from 1990 to 2010. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Extreme Bound Analysis are mainly estimated in order to investigate whether public investments, human capital, and political stability affect growth controlling for initial output and human capital levels. Furthermore, in this empirical research four subsets of independent variables were used: (a) demographic factors, (b) political determinants, (c) region variables, and (d) variables regarding macroeconomic policy. Empirical results suggest that there is an important difference in the impact of public and private sector investments on the growth of per capita income. Moreover, political indicators such as corruption control, rule of law, and government effectiveness have a high impact on economic growth. Demographic factors, including fertility rate and mortality growth, as well as several macroeconomic variables, like inflation rate index and government consumption, were estimated to be statistically significant factors of economic performance. Fiscal volatility may also be a new possible channel of macroeconomic instability that leads to lower growth. Policy implications of the findings are discussed in detail. Ioannis Kostakis Copyright © 2014 Ioannis Kostakis. All rights reserved. Exchange Rates and Monetary Fundamentals: What Do We Learn from Linear and Nonlinear Regressions? Tue, 09 Sep 2014 05:14:30 +0000 This paper revisits the association between exchange rates and monetary fundamentals with the focus on both linear and nonlinear approaches. With the monthly data of Euro/US dollar and Japanese yen/US dollar, our linear analysis demonstrates the monetary model is a long-run description of exchange rate movements, and our nonlinear modelling suggests the error correction model describes the short-run adjustment of deviations of exchange rates, and monetary fundamentals are capable of explaining exchange rate dynamics under an unrestricted framework. Guangfeng Zhang Copyright © 2014 Guangfeng Zhang. All rights reserved. Phillips and Wage Curves: Empirical Evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina Sun, 31 Aug 2014 10:42:58 +0000 This study is an empirical examination of the existence and characteristics of the Phillips curve and the wage curve in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The findings indicate that there is no evidence of the existence of the short-term Phillips curve. Instead, the data suggests that in the short-term an increase in inflation leads to an increase in unemployment. The estimated wage curves indicate that only increases in real payment increase employment. The conclusion of this study is that increases in inflation might have a negative short-term impact on the level of employment in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Edo Omerčević and Elif Nuroğlu Copyright © 2014 Edo Omerčević and Elif Nuroğlu. All rights reserved. Rural Credit and Farms Efficiency: Modelling Farmers Credit Allocation Decisions, Evidences from Benin Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:43:11 +0000 This paper analyses farmers’ credit allocation behaviors and their effects on technical efficiency. Data were collected from 476 farmers using the multistage sampling procedure. The stochastic frontier truncated-normal with conditional mean model is used to assess allocation schemes effects on technical efficiency. Tobit model reveals the impact of farmers’ sociodemographic characteristics on efficiency scores. Results reveal that farm revenue (about 2,262,566 Fcfa on average) is positively correlated with land acreage, quantity of labour, and costs of fertilizers and insecticides. Farmers’ behaviors respond to six schemes which are categorized in two allocations contexts: out-farm and in-farm allocations. The model shows that only scheme (e) positively impacts technical efficiency. This scheme refers to the decision to invest credit to purchase better quality of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and so forth. The positive effect of the scheme (c) may be significant under conditions of farmers’ education level improvement. Then, scheme (e) is a better investment for all farmers, but effect of credit allocation to buy agricultural materials is positive only for educated farmers. Efficiency scores are reduced by household size and gender of the household head. Therefore a household with more than 10 members and a woman as head is likely to not be technically efficient. Comlan Hervé Sossou, Freddy Noma, and Jacob A. Yabi Copyright © 2014 Comlan Hervé Sossou et al. All rights reserved. Are Eurozone Fixed Income Markets Integrated? An Analysis Based on Wavelet Multiple Correlation and Cross Correlation Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 This paper investigates the synchronization of fixed income markets within Eurozone countries using the new wavelet based methodology. Conventional wavelet methods that use multivariate set of variables to calculate pairwise correlation and cross correlation lead to spurious correlation due to possible relationships with other variables, amplification of type-1 errors, and results, in the form of large set of erroneous graphs. Given these disadvantages of conventional wavelet based pairwise correlation and cross-correlation method, we avoid these limitations by using wavelet multiple correlation and multiple cross correlations to analyze the relationships in Eurozone fixed income markets. Our results based on this methodology indicate that Eurozone fixed income markets are highly integrated and this integration grows with timescales, and hence there is almost no scope for independent monetary policy and bond diversification in these countries. Arif Billah Dar and Firdous Ahmad Shah Copyright © 2014 Arif Billah Dar and Firdous Ahmad Shah. All rights reserved. The Effect of Exchange Rate Movements on Trade Balance: A Chronological Theoretical Review Sun, 24 Aug 2014 09:45:18 +0000 This paper evaluates the current state of the literature concerning the effects of exchange rate movements on trade balance. Thus, this paper is a review article and provides a survey of the alternative theories that focus on the effect of exchange rate changes on the trade balance. It systemizes the literature into four distinct reviews and approaches following the chronological order. The paper presents the (a) Standard Theory of International Trade, (b) Elasticity Approach, (c) Keynesian Absorption Approach, and (d) Monetary Approach. The study shows that higher attention should be given for the most plausible dynamic theory in this field, known as the J-Curve. Dhakir Abbas Ali, Fuadah Johari, and Mohammad Haji Alias Copyright © 2014 Dhakir Abbas Ali et al. All rights reserved. The Effectiveness and Sustainability of the Sterilization Policy in China Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:15:13 +0000 The aim of this paper is to examine the sterilization policy in China. First, several indices are used to measure the status of China’s markets and to determine effectiveness and sustainability of the sterilization policy and the possible impacts it may have induced. Second, within a microeconomic framework, we incorporate the housing price variable into the target loss function of the monetary authority to explore its financial capabilities and evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of China’s sterilization policy. The empirical results show that Chinese monetary authorities sterilize almost all of the effects of international capital inflows and increase foreign exchange reserves on the monetary base. That is, increased capital mobility does not sabotage the independence of the Chinese monetary policy. Nevertheless, analyses of the sustainability of sterilization policy indicate that the sustainability of the monetary sterilization policy has been seriously challenged since March 2008, which suggests that Chinese monetary authority has endured tremendous pressure for unsustainable sterilization. Chien-Ping Chung, Jen-Te Hwang, and Chieh-Hsuan Wang Copyright © 2014 Chien-Ping Chung et al. All rights reserved. Econometric Analysis of Landscape Preferences in Canterbury, New Zealand Sun, 17 Aug 2014 06:24:23 +0000 The landscape of rural Canterbury, New Zealand, has evolved from tussock grasslands to one of the most productive dairying areas in the world. While these changes represent a boon for Canterbury’s economy, the visual impact of land-use change has been dramatic. In this paper, we evaluate which changes to the Canterbury landscape have been most pronounced, how people react to those changes, which aspects of the rural landscape are of greatest importance to both urban and rural residents of Canterbury, and whether cost-effective means of mitigating visual changes to the landscape exist. We find that the majority of Cantabrians hold unfavourable views of recent changes to the landscape—particularly with regard to dairying—a finding that is consistent across both urban and rural survey respondents. Using a visual assessment study with cross-classified random effect, we find that dairy cows, irrigators, and silage bales significantly reduce viewers’ subjective evaluations of landscapes while shelterbelts dramatically increase their subjective evaluations. Moreover, native New Zealand shelterbelts are preferred to exotic shelterbelts, but both are preferred to having no shelterbelts, suggesting that the negative visual impacts of dairy farming may be ameliorated by intensified tree planting. P. Brown and C. Mortimer Copyright © 2014 P. Brown and C. Mortimer. All rights reserved. Theocharis Problem Reconsidered in Differentiated Oligopoly Sun, 17 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Oligopolies with product differentiation are examined with both quantity-adjusting and price-adjusting firms. Conditions are given for the positivity of the equilibrium outputs as well as for that of the equilibrium prices. The stability of the positive equilibria is then investigated; the positivity and stability conditions are also compared. The dependence of these conditions on the number of firms, their qualifications and the degree of relation between the goods is discussed. The analysis is given by assuming both discrete- and continuous-time scales. Akio Matsumoto and Ferenc Szidarovszky Copyright © 2014 Akio Matsumoto and Ferenc Szidarovszky. All rights reserved. The Long-Term Impact of Human Capital Investment on GDP: A Panel Cointegrated Regression Analysis Tue, 05 Aug 2014 08:11:19 +0000 This study aims to determine the long-run impact of physical and human capital on GDP by using the panel data set of 13 developed and 11 developing countries over the period 1970–2010. Gross fixed capital formation is used as physical capital indicator while education expenditures and life expectancy at birth are used as human capital indicators. Panel DOLS and FMOLS panel cointegrated regression models are exploited to detect the magnitude and sign of the cointegration relationship and compare the effect of these physical and human capital variables according to these two different country groups. As a consequence of panels DOLS and FMOLS models, the impact of physical capital and education expenditures on GDP in the developed countries is determined as higher than the impact in the developing countries. On the other hand, the impact of life expectancy at birth on GDP is determined as higher in the developing countries. Ahmet Gökçe Akpolat Copyright © 2014 Ahmet Gökçe Akpolat. All rights reserved. The Collaboration of SMEs through Clusters as Defense against Economic Crisis Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The aim of this paper is to present the realistic solution to the survival problem that SMEs have during the economic crisis. The role of SMEs is very important in the development of the regional and national economy of each country, particularly for small countries like Greece. On the other hand, universities also play a significant role in the national economy, since they provide Know-How and important research in the SMEs. Nevertheless, due to their small size and financial weakness, especially on the grounds of economic crisis, SMEs would not be able to cover on their own the cost of purchase of university research. The author of this working paper suggests the collaboration of SMEs in the form of clusters so as to be able to self-fund and absorb university Know-How at the same time. Ioannis Makedos Copyright © 2014 Ioannis Makedos. All rights reserved.