756 research outputs found

    Investment spikes and uncertainty in the petroleum refining industry

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    This paper investigates the effect of uncertainty on the investment decisions of petroleum refineries in the US. We construct uncertainty measures from commodity futures market and use data on actual capacity changes to measure investment episodes. Capacity changes in US refineries occur infrequently and a small number of investment spikes account for a large fraction of the change in industry capacity. Given the lumpy nature of investment adjustment in this industry, we empirically model the investment process using hazard models. An increase in uncertainty decreases the probability a refinery adjusts its capacity. The results are robust to various investment thresholds. Our findings lend support to theories that emphasize the role of irreversibility in investment decisions.Investments ; Uncertainty ; Petroleum industry and trade

    A Comparison of Job Creation and Job Destruction in Canada and the United States

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    In recent years a growing number of countries have constructed data series on job creation and job destruction using establishment- level data sets. This paper provides a description and detailed comparison of these new data series for the United States and Canada. First, the Canadian and United States industry-level job creation and destruction rates are remarkably similar. Industries with high (low) job creation in the U.S. exhibit high (low) job creation in Canada. The same is true for job destruction. In addition, the overall magnitude of gross job flows in the two countries is comparable. Second, the time-series patterns of creation and destruction are qualitatively similar but do differ in a number of important respects. In both countries, job destruction is much more cyclically volatile than job creation. This cyclical asymmetry is, however, more pronounced in the United States. The paper finishes with a characterization of the job flow patterns using a modified Blanchard and Diamond (1992) model.

    The growing difference in college attainment between women and men

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    Workers with more education typically earn more than those with less education, and the difference has been growing in recent decades. Not surprisingly, the percentage of the population going after and getting a college degree has been rising as well. Since the late 1970s, though, the increase in college attainment has stalled for men and gathered steam for women. Among college-age individuals, more women now graduate than men. Changes in labor market incentives appear to explain the increased investment in education made by women. But men’s investments in education have been much less responsive to the same incentivesEducation ; Women - Education

    Workshop on entrepreneurial finance: a summary

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    This Policy Discussion Paper summarizes papers that were presented at the Workshop on Entrepreneurial Finance, which was held March 12?13, 2009, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Researchers presented new empirical research that exploits data sets on entrepreneurial activity that are based on broad and representative data samples. Papers in the workshop focused primarily on analyses of the sources and structure of start-up finance, including the importance of bank lending, venture capital, angel investors, and owner equity.Small business - Finance

    Entrant Experience and Plant Exit

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    Producers entering a market can differ widely in their prior production experience, ranging from none to extensive experience in related geographic or product markets. In this paper, we quantify the nature of prior plant and firm experience for entrants into a market and measure its effect on the plant's decision to exit the market. Using plant-level data for seven regional manufacturing industries in the U.S., we find that a producer's experience at the time it enters a market plays an important role in the subsequent exit decision, affecting both the overall probability of exit and the method of exit. After controlling for observable plant and market profit determinants, there remain systematic differences in failure patterns across three groups of plants distinguished by their prior experience: de novo entrants, experienced plants that enter by diversifying their product mix, and new plants owned by experienced firms. The results indicate that the exit decision cannot be treated as determined solely by current and future plant, firm, and market conditions, but that the plant's history plays an important independent role in conditioning the likelihood of survival.

    The Impact of Public Information on Bidding in Highway Procurement Auctions

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    A number of papers in the theoretical auction literature show that the release of information regarding the seller’s valuation of an item can cause bidders to bid more aggressively. This widely accepted result in auction theory remains largely untested in the empirical literature. Recent theoretical work has also shown that this effect can be more pronounced in auctions with larger common cost uncertainty. We examine the impact of a policy change by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation that led to the release of the state’s internal estimate of the costs to complete highway construction projects. We perform a differences-in-differences analysis comparing bidding in Texas, a state that had a uniform policy of revealing the same information all throughout the period of analysis, to bidding in Oklahoma. Our results show that, in comparison to Texas auctions, the average bid in Oklahoma fell after the change in engineers’ cost estimate (ECE) policy. This decline in bids was even larger for projects where the common uncertainty in costs is greater. Moreover, the within-auction standard deviation of bids fell after the change in ECE policy with the most significant decline observed again in projects with greater common cost uncertainty.Information Release, Procurement Auctions

    The dynamics of market structure and market size in two health services industries

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    The relationship between the size of a market and the competitiveness of the market has been of long-standing interest to IO economists. Empirical studies have used the relationship between the size of the geographic market and both the number of firms in the market and the average sales of the firms to draw inferences about the degree of competition in the market. This paper extends this framework to incorporate the analysis of entry and exit flows. A key implication of recent entry and exit models is that current market structure will likely depend upon the history of past participation. The paper explores these issues empirically by examining producer dynamics for two health service industries, dentistry and chiropractic services.Markets ; Industrial organization ; Service industries
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