Browsing by Author "Colonescu, Constantin"
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- ItemA quantitative evaluation of the 39th Canadian federal election(2009) Colonescu, ConstantinThis article analyzed the effect of campaign expenditure and demographic factors on election outcomes in the Canadian federal election of 2006, using OLS and instrumental variable regression models. The data is a cross-section of electoral districts in Canada. The study focuses on four parties that nominated candidates in most of the 308 electoral districts: Conservative, Liberal, Green, and NDP. It is found that campaign expenditure at district level is a significant determinant of a party’s share of the votes, but a candidate’s incumbency status and demographic factors are also important. The results show that low-income voters tend to favor the Liberals at the expense of the Conservatives. Expenditure by rival parties significantly reduces a party’s shares.
- ItemAntidumping, antitrust, and competition(1997) Colonescu, ConstantinThis work develops a two-country, two-firm model of imperfect competition to show that antitrust policy may be anticompetitive both at home and abroad. Antidumping has a procompetitive effect abroad. At home antidumping is anticompetitive in a static framework but procompetitive in a repeated game. The anticompetitive effect of antidumping is shown to be enhanced by the presence of a domestic antitrust policy. If trade and antitrust policies are co-ordinated, welfare is found to be more sensitive to antitrust than to antidumping. Hence, antidumping and antitrust are imperfect substitutes.
- ItemCompounded markups in complex market structures(2022) Colonescu, ConstantinUsing a publicly available input-output database that covers 44 countries and 56 industries, I show that most prices are, on average, two to three times higher than the natural costs of production, costs that include a normal rate of return to capital. The novelty in this research is the argument that the true markups are compounded—they incorporate the markups already existing in the intermediate goods and services (inputs) that a company purchases in a vertical chain of production. A complex market structure, one in which companies sell and purchase intermediate products from each other in both horizontal and vertical directions, is the perfect environment for inflating a price well above its natural level. This research may help understanding the true extent of market power. Market power has a substantial impact in such matters as income inequality, standard of living, and economic development.
- ItemCountry-level evaluation of the 2004 EU enlargement(2008) Colonescu, ConstantinThe object of this study is the 2004 wave of EU enlargement, which brought into the union a number of 10 new members. Of all historical enlargements of the EU, the 2004 one stands out by far as the largest number of states that joined the EU at a time. From this perspective, the 2004 enlargement represents a unique natural experiment, more apt for empirical investigation than any other accession episode in the history of the European Union.
- ItemData on retail price differential between organic and conventional foods(2019) Islam, Shahidul; Colonescu, ConstantinThe objective of this dataset is to find out retail price differences between organic and conventional food items. Organic foods are often considered healthier and better quality than conventional foods and are sold at premium prices. However, first-hand data on retail price levels to substantiate that argument is meager. With a view to filling up that gap, we collected retail prices for pairs of conventional and organic food items in three supermarket chains (Save On Foods, Superstore, and Sobeys) in Edmonton, Alberta, for seven consecutive weeks in spring 2011. We find that the average prices significantly vary among supermarkets and among different food groups. Organic food prices show a different pattern than conventional food prices.
- ItemDeterminants of support for European integration: the case of Bulgaria(2008) Colonescu, Constantin; Tanasoiu, CosminaThe electorate's ability to influence the European agenda through European elections and national referenda has led to a close inspection of public attitudes by both academics and politicians. Taking a micro-level approach, this article contributes to the larger literature on the formation of public attitudes and aims at identifying the factors that influence public attitudes towards European integration in Bulgaria, one of the new member states. We use a national survey and rely upon utilitarian, value-based and heuristic factors to test several hypotheses. Although our data confirm the argument that support is higher in countries with lower opportunity costs of transferring sovereignty to the European Union, we also find that EU membership is assessed by projecting potential benefits for future generations rather than self-centered expectations of immediate returns.
- ItemEconomics open house: an eye-opening introductory economics course(2012) Colonescu, ConstantinOn the 5th of September 2011 I launched a plan of teaching introductory economics in an innovative way. In a first-day-of-class questionnaire many students mentioned that they wanted to become lawyers, doctors, professional athletes, or to open their own businesses. Almost nobody wanted to become an economist. Most of them were taking my course not out of a keen interest in economics, but to fulfill some general education requirements. Although such a composition of first-year classes is not new and not exceptional, the traditional way of teaching economics remains unprepared for it. What is an appropriate way of teaching economics to non-economist students? At this time I can only report my two semester experience; I describe the concept and the unfolding of this new approach and I identify the lessons to be learned from the experience.
- ItemIntegrating themes in teaching an undergraduate course: the cases of intermediate microeconomics and principles of macroeconomics(2013) Colonescu, ConstantinBuilding a course around an important and intriguing question (an integrating theme) could increase students’ interest and become a useful tool for organizing the course material. The integrating theme, or overarching question should resonate with a particular audience. In the case of Intermediate Microeconomics, a question like “Do people pay too much for their purchases?” seems effective for the most diverse audiences. For another example, an Introductory Macroeconomic course could be designed around a comparison between two countries such as Canada and Cuba. Comparisons often capture people’s attention. The idea of a course design surrounding a central issue is distinct from other related paradigms, such as integrated curriculum or problem-based learning.
- ItemIntra-industry debt and tacit collusion(2014) Colonescu, ConstantinThis paper shows that a firm competes less vigorously when it holds debt issued by another, competing firm. Reciprocal holding of debt by two firms may signal a credible commitment to collusion between the firms. This result is robust to a dynamic game setting, where reciprocal holding of debt is shown to reduce the firms’ incentives to deviate from collusion. The message conveyed by these results is that intra-industry debt should raise concerns about tacit collusion. The results of this study are particularly relevant in the banking sector, where holding reciprocal debt is the norm, rather than the exception.
- ItemIs undergraduate economics curriculum relevant?(2011) Colonescu, ConstantinIntroductory economics textbook models and theories are simple, intuitive, and elegant. Another thing they have in common is they are not supported by the data. Textbook models such as exchange rate determination are reviewed and compared to empirical literature. It is argued that much of the material taught in intro courses is irrelevant for many students. Three major sources or irrelevance are identified. First, many of the theories have no external validation. Second, some are incomplete. Students need to take additional courses for understanding these incomplete theories. Last, textbooks do not describe nor discuss aspects of the economy that would be of great interest for any citizen. This work asks how the teaching of introductory economics can become more useful and attractive for the majority of students, especially those who do not seek a degree in economics.
- ItemMacroeconomic effects of the European Monetary Union: a counterfactual analysis(2017) Colonescu, ConstantinThis is an empirical study on the effects of adopting a common currency, the euro, on a country’s GDP, inflation rate, and public debt. It uses a synthetic counterfactual method, which predicts how the economy of a euro area member country would perform if, hypothetically, the country did not join the euro area. The results show that there is no generally positive or negative effect of using a common currency, but individual countries fare differently in different periods. A novelty in this paper is determining confidence intervals in the counterfactual method. Some examples concern Greece
- ItemMarket segmentation, market integration, and tacit collusion(2003) Colonescu, Constantin; Schmitt, NicolasMoving from market segmentation to market integration (firms cannot discriminate among markets) is shown to have often anticompetitive effects in an infinitely repeated Cournot game. In particular, market integration between two countries leads both of them to experience anticompetitive effects when product markets are similar. The same conclusion holds when trade liberalization is modeled as a decrease in bilateral trade barriers followed by moving from market segmentation to market integration. The analysis also predicts that a less efficient country (like a country in transition) enjoys pro–competitive effects from market integration.
- ItemMeasures of populism in the CHES 2017 dataset(2022) Colonescu, ConstantinPopulism is a fuzzy concept in world politics; it can take many shapes and colors, thus evading rigorous definition. Using expert evaluations provided in Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES) 2017 data, we try to identify features that predict populism and to characterize various European parties on a populism scale. As a byproduct, we find that experts have often diverging opinions on a party’s stance on various issues.
- ItemPrice markups and upstreamness in world input-output data(2021) Colonescu, ConstantinThis research uses the publicly available World Input-Output Database (WIOD) to investigate the relationship between an industry’s markup and its upstreamness, the industry’s position in the vertical chain of production; the research also identifies common attributes among highmarkup industrial sectors: higher-markup industries display a higher level of capital compensation and a lower share of labour and other inputs in the value of output. Finally, it is found that upstream industries, those producing mostly raw materials and intermediate products enjoy higher market power than their downstream counterparts. This result could be among the first in the literature to find evidence of double marginalization at an industry level of aggregation. It also suggests that virtually all final product prices may incorporate substantial markups through their inputs.
- ItemPrinciples of econometrics with R(2016) Colonescu, ConstantinThis manual shows how to use R to perform econometric analysis. Although it is self-contained, it can be used as a supplementary resource for the 'Principles of Econometrics' textbook by Carter Hill, William Griffiths and Guay Lim, 4th edition, from which it reproduces most examples, chapter by chapter. Freely available in html and pdf formats at https://bookdown.org/ccolonescu/RPoE4/.
- ItemProductivity attributable to offshoring in selected countries(2019) Decuir-Herrera, D. Victoria; Colonescu, Constantin; Alam, RafatThe term offshoring refers to the process when firms decide to manufacture products abroad to reduce costs and to produce more efficiently. In the field of economics, offshoring is not a new topic, however, the rapid increase in offshoring induced by the incentive of creating a more efficient production, technological changes, and competition to reduce costs has been globally overlooked. Nonetheless, the rate of change in productivity is different among countries due to their uniqueness and resources, as well as between the different sectors of the economy. Although there are many published studies about inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), there are not many available studies that focus on the relationship between outward FDI and productivity, additionally, much less in sectors of the economy other than manufacturing and services. For this reason, in an effort to explain the phenomenon of the latter, a multiple linear regression was created to determine the outward FDI of the sectors of the economy that significantly influence productivity. To measure productivity attributable to offshoring, the model used data on outward FDI per sector of the economy and compared to each country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per hour worked. It was found that, in general, there is a distinctively higher productivity in the manufacturing and services sector than other sectors of the economy. This paper presents an alternative way to measure the productivity of offshoring.
- ItemThe effects of Donald Trump's tweets on US financial and foreign exchange markets(2018) Colonescu, ConstantinTwitter is the US president’s, Donald Trump, preferred media for communicating his thoughts to his followers. This project looks at the effect of the daily flow of Donald Trump’s tweets on the US financial and foreign exchange markets, represented by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) index and some exchange rates, over the period of Donald Trump’s ongoing presidency. Using text mining techniques, some correlation is found between various moving average window lengths of tweet content and the DJI index. Some short term and lasting effects are also detected on US-Canada and US composite exchange rates.
- ItemUsing statistical learning methods for impact evaluation: the effect of European Union membership on economic growth(2015) Colonescu, ConstantinStudies known as impact evaluation or treatment effect evaluation are traditionally based on regression models that include categorical covariates. Another method, known as "synthetic counterfactual analysis" tries to determine how some variables would have evolved in the absence of the event of interest. This paper proposes "statistical learning" as an alternative method of impact evaluation. Statistical learning fits an econometric model to a subset of the data (the training set) and tests its predictions on another subset of the data (the test set). The parameters of the econometric model are determined by evaluating the model’s performance in predicting the variable of interest in the test data subset. Using prediction methods in impact evaluation problems is a novelty. The method is exemplified on the effect of EU membership on a member country's GDP. The results, however, are not yet satisfactory, probably since the current statistical learning methods are not suitable for panel data.