The main focus of this tutorial/review is on presenting Prospect Theory in the context of the still ongoing debate between the behavioral (mainly descriptive) and the classical (mainly normative) approach in decision theory under risk and uncertainty. The goal is to discuss Prospect Theory vs. Expected Utility in a comparative way. We discuss: a) which assumptions (implicit and explicit) of the classical theory are being questioned in Prospect Theory; b) how does the theory incorporate robust experimental evidence, striving, at the same time, to find the right balance between the basic rationality postulates of Expected Utility (e.g. monotonicity wrt. First-Order Stochastic Dominance), psychological plausibility and mathematical elegance; c) how are risk attitudes modeled in the theory. In particular we discuss prospect stochastic dominance and the three-pillar structure of modeling risk attitudes in Prospect Theory involving: the non-additive decision weights with lower and upper subadditivity and their relationship to the notions of pessimism and optimism, as well as preferences towards consequences separated into preferences within and across the domains of gains and losses (corresponding to basic utility and loss aversion), d) example applications of Prospect Theory.
We estimated a structural vector autoregressive (SVAR) model describing the links between a banking sector and a real economy. We proposed a new method to verify robustness of impulse-response functions to the ordering of variables in an SVAR model. This method applies permutations of orderings of variables and uses the Cholesky decomposition of the error covariance matrix to identify parameters. Impulse response functions are computed and combined for all permutations. We explored the method in practice by analyzing the macro-financial linkages in the Polish economy. Our results indicate that the combined impulse response functions are more uncertain than those from a single model specification with a given ordering of variables, but some findings remain robust. It is evident that macroeconomic aggregate shocks and interest rate shocks have a significant impact on banking variables.
In this paper we investigate the quantitative importance of efficiency wages of no-shirking type in explaining business cycle fluctuations in Bulgarian labor markets. This is done by augmenting a relatively standard real business cycle model with unobservable workers effort by employers and efficiency wage contracts, as well as through the inclusion of a detailed government sector. This imperfection in labor markets introduces a strong internal transmission mechanism that allows the model framework to capture the business cycles in Bulgarian data better than earlier models, and setups assuming perfectly-competitive labor markets in particular.
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