Working Papers

The entire working paper series is on RePEc. Faculty members and graduate students who want to add their working papers can contact Mike Perry, Coordinator, Reserach Grants and Projects.

Kinship, Fractionalization and Corruption

Mahsa Akbari, Duman Bahrami-Rad, & Erik O. Kimbrough

Jul 2017


By shaping patterns of relatedness and interaction, marriage practices influence the relative returns to norms of nepotism/favoritism versus norms of impartial cooperation. In-marriage (e.g. consanguineous marriage) yields a relatively closed society of related individuals and thereby encourages favoritism and corruption. Out-marriage creates a relatively open society with increased interaction between non-relatives and strangers, thereby encouraging impartiality. We report a robust association between in-marriage practices and corruption across countries and across Italian provinces. A stylized corruption experiment comparing subjects from two countries with divergent marriage patterns provides complementary evidence that the degree of impartiality varies with marriage patterns.

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The Liquidity-Augmented Model of Macroeconomic Aggregates

Athanasios Geromichalos & Lucas Herrenbrueck

Oct 2017


We propose a new model of liquidity in the macroeconomy. It is simple and tractable, yet takes the foundations of liquidity seriously, and can thus be precise about the implementation, effects, and optimality of monetary policy. The model shines light on some open issues in macroeconomics: the effect of asset purchases, the tension between two channels through which the price of liquidity affects the economy (Friedman’s real balance effect vs Mundell’s and Tobin’s asset substitution effect), the liquidity trap, and the importance of using the right interest rate for empirical analysis.

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Property rights on First Nations’ reserve land

Fernando M. Aragon & Anke Kessler

Aug 2017


This paper examines the economic effects of existing private property rights on First Nations’ reserves. We focus on three forms of land tenure regimes: lawful possession, designated land, and permits. These land regimes have been used to create individual land holdings, and grant, secure and transferable, rights of use of reserve land to band and non-band members. Using confidential Census micro-data and rich administrative data, we find evidence of improvements in home ownership and housing conditions, as well as increments in band’s public spending. However, we do not find significant effects on household income nor employment outcomes. Instead, we document a sizeable increase in non-Aboriginal population. Our findings suggest that some caution is warranted when discussing the potential economic benefits of property rights reforms for First Nations’ communities.

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