Working Papers

The entire working paper series is on RePEc. Faculty members and graduate students who want to add their working papers can contact Rebecca Ho, Communciations Officer.

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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Tax Competition with Heterogeneous Capital Mobility

Steeve Mongrain & John D. Wilson

June 2017

Abstract: An ongoing debate in the tax competition literature is whether a system of countries or regions should restrict the preferential tax treatment of different types of firms or capital. We further investigate this issue by departing from the bulk of the literature in three ways: (1) rather than maximize only tax revenue, governments also put positive weight on the income generated by resident-owned firms; (2) under preferential taxation, firms are distinguished by their country of origin; and (3) the competing regions are allowed to differ in size. Under the assumption of uniformly-distributed moving costs, identical regions always prefer the non-preferential regime. But when a small and large region compete, the small region prefers the preferential regime in some cases. We also identify non-uniform distributions of moving costs where the preferential regime is preferred by identical competing regions. This finding is related to differences in tax-base elasticities.

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David J. Freeman & Erik O. Kimbrough & Garrett M. Petersen & Hanh T. Tong

July 2017

Abstract:  A meta-analysis of instruction delivery and reinforcement methods in recent laboratory experiments reveals a wide and inconsistently-reported variety of practices and limited research evaluating their effectiveness. Thus we experimentally compare how methods of delivering and reinforcing experiment instructions impact subjects’ understanding. We report a one-shot individual decision task in which misunderstanding can be unambiguously identified in behavior and find that misunderstanding is prevalent in our control treatment which uses relatively standard experimental instructions. We find combinations of reinforcement methods that can eliminate half of subjects’ misunderstanding. Providing paper instructions is among the most effective of such methods.

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