Product differentiation, competitive toughness, and intertemporal substitution
Standard measures of competitive toughness fail to capture the fact that, as consumers optimize intertemporally, firms operating today compete with (yet non-existent) businesses which will be started tomorrow. We develop a two-tier CES model of dynamic monopolistic competition in which the impact of product differentiation on the market outcome depends crucially on the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS). The degree of product differentiation per se fails to serve as a meaningful indicator of competitive toughness: what matters is its cross-effect with EIS. We also extend the model to the case of non-CES preferences to capture variable markups.
We consider the dependence of the growth arte on the elasticity of substitution within the framework of a model with the agents' mutual dependence. This model is interpreted as a network structure. the development is explined as the agents' valus increase in a dynamic system described by functions which display constant elasticity of substitution (CES). We investigate the cases of high and low complementarity of activities. In particular, we receive conditions allowing to identify the cases when the elasticity of substitution has the positive (negative) effect on growth rate under high (low) complementarity of activities. Additionally we analyse the influence of the individual agent's productivities on the growth rate. Finally we give a potential generalisation of the model allowing for different growth rates of the agents.
Relation between curvature and the elasticity of substitution is the old question important for economic theory. Opinions of economists concerning presence or absence of a link between these two concepts radically diverge. Also now there is a steady trend of the use of the Arrow-Pratt coefficient of relative risk aversion and the coefficient of relative prudence as characteristics of utility functions and production functions even in non-stochastic models, and these two coefficients are also commonly interpreted as measures of curvature. The purpose of the paper is to contribute to clarification of the links between all these concepts. We suggest a simple unifying approach based on the notions of prototype functions and osculating curves. In framework of this approach we easily derive the classic geometric curvature and show the relations between the Arrow-Pratt coefficient, the prudence coefficient, the elasticity and the elasticity of substitution. As an example, demonstrating the role of such relations in economic models, we study a simple macroeconomic model with a non-homothetic production function.
We propose a general equilibrium model to study the spatial inequality of consumers and firms within a city. Our mechanics rely on Dixit and Stiglitz monopolistic competition framework. The firms and consumers are continuously distributed across a two-dimensional space, there are iceberg-type costs both for goods shipping and workers commuting (hence firms have variable marginal costs based on their location). Our main interest is in the equilibrium spatial distribution of wealth. We construct a model that is both tractable and general enough to stand the test of real city empirics. We provide some theoretical statements, but mostly the results of numerical simulations with the real Moscow data.
We propose a model of monopolistic competition with additive preferences and variable marginal costs. Using the concept of "relative love for variety," we provide a full characterization of the free-entry equilibrium. When the relative love for variety increases with individual consumption, the market generates pro-competitive effects. When it decreases, the market mimics anti-competitive behavior. The constant elasticity of substitution is the only case in which all competitive effects are washed out. We also show that our results hold true when the economy involves several sectors, firms are heterogeneous, and preferences are given by the quadratic utility and the translog.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.