Several empirical studies are concerned with measuring the effect of currency and current
account crises on economic growth. Using different empirical models this paper serves two
aspects. It provides an explicit assessment of country specific factors influencing the costs of
crises in terms of economic growth and controls via a treatment type model for possible sample
selection governing the occurrence of crises in order to estimate the impact on economic
growth correctly. The applied empirical models allow for rich intertemporal dependencies
via serially correlated errors and capture latent country specific heterogeneity via random
coefficients. For accurate estimation of the treatment type model a simulated maximum
likelihood approach employing efficient importance sampling is used. The results reveal significant
costs in terms of economic growth for both crises. Costs for reversals are linked
to country specific variables, while costs for currency crises are not. Furthermore, shocks
explaining current account reversals and growth show strong significant positive correlation.
The phenomena of manipulation of the economy by the incumbent for electoral
purpose are called Political Business Cycles (PBC), introduced by Nordhaus (1975). Using
policy control economic instruments, as fiscal and monetary instruments, government may
manipulate the economy to gain electoral advantage by producing growth and decreasing
unemployment before elections.
In addition to increased public expenditures, also the production/supply of certain
publicly provided goods may score improvements. In Albania, production and supply of
electricity (for the time span of our analyzes) was controlled by KESH (Korporata
Energjitike Shqiptare – Albanian Energy Corporation) which is a quasi- monopoly in the
supply of electricity in Albania, and it is publicly run. Throughout the transition, supply of
electricity, due to various technical and economic reasons, has not been stable, and
characterized by systematic interruption for households and businesses users, affecting
their well-being and performance (electricity is a main source of energy for households,
including heating and cooking). Therefore, it seems so that there is an incentive and
rationale for the incumbent to use also the provision of electricity to impress the voters
before elections, beside of the classical instruments of expenditures.
In this paper we analyze consumption, production and import of electricity in Albania.
Our hypothesis is that before elections, electricity consumption may increase above usual
levels, followed by a contraction after elections. In our analysis we use modern standard
econometric approach, used widely for research related to PBC. By ARMA modelling it is
possible to prove if elections can explain changes in electricity production, in addition to
the past history of the variable and the random error term.
This article explores the influence of competitive conditions on the
evolutionary fitness of different risk preferences. As a practical example, the
professional competition between fund managers is considered. To explore how
different settings of competition parameters, the exclusion rate and the exclusion
interval, affect individual investment behavior, an evolutionary model based on a
genetic algorithm is developed. The simulation experiments indicate that the
influence of competitve conditions on investment behavior and attitudes towards risk
is significant. What is alarming is that intense competitive pressure generates riskseeking
behavior and undermines the predominance of the most skilled.
A growing body of literature reports evidence of social interaction effects in survey expectations. In this note, we argue that evidence in favor of social interaction effects should be treated with caution, or could even be spurious. Utilizing a parsimonious stochastic model of expectation formation and dy- namics, we show that the existing sample sizes of survey expectations are about two orders of magnitude too small to reasonably distinguish between noise and interaction effects. Moreover, we argue that the problem is com- pounded by the fact that highly correlated responses among agents might not be caused by interaction effects at all, but instead by model-consistent beliefs. Ultimately, these results suggest that existing survey data cannot facilitate our understanding of the process of expectations formation.