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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19052

Title: Essays on Environmental Policy, Heterogeneous Firms, Employment Dynamics and Inflation
Authors: Li, Zhe
Advisor: Shi, Shouyong
Department: Economics
Keywords: Macroeconomics
Environmental Economics
Employment Dynamics
Issue Date: 18-Feb-2010
Abstract: This thesis covers three issues: the aggregate and welfare effects of environmental policies when plants are heterogeneous; what causes the different patterns of employment dynamics in small versus large firms over business cycles; and the welfare costs of expected and unexpected inflation. In the first chapter, we show that accounting for plant heterogeneity is important for the evaluation of environmental policies. We develop a general equilibrium model in which monopolistic competitive plants differ in productivity, produce differentiated goods and choose optimally a discrete emission-reduction technology. Emission-reduction policies affect both the fraction of plants adopting the advanced emission-reduction technology and the market shares of those with high levels of productivity. Calibrated to the Canadian data, the model shows that the aggregate costs of an emission tax to implement the Kyoto Protocol are 40 percent larger than the costs that would result with homogenous plants. In the second chapter, we incorporate labor search frictions into a model with lumpy investment to explain a set of firm-size-related facts about the United States labor market dynamics over business cycles. Contrary to the predictions of standard models, we observe that job destruction is procyclical in small firms but countercyclical in large ones. Calibrated to U.S. data, the model generates this asymmetric pattern of employment dynamics in small versus large firms. This is because a favorable aggregate productivity shock tightens the labor market. A tighter labor market hurts investing small firms. As a result, workers move from small to large firms during booms. In the third chapter, we analyze the welfare costs of inflation when money is essential to facilitate trades among anonymous agents and information about nominal shocks is incomplete as in Lucas (1972). In the model, the transactions in which money is essential coincide with those in which agents are affected by monetary shocks. Consequently, the average value of money and its variation in value in different markets affect agents simultaneously when the supply of money changes. Calibrated to U.S. data, we find that the welfare costs of expected inflation are almost three orders higher than the welfare costs of unexpected inflation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19052
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Economics - Doctoral theses

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