Recent Publications - Economics and Econometrics

Ranasinghe, A. (2017). Property rights, extortion and the misallocation of talent. European Economic Review, 98, 86-110.


Extortion is a severe obstacle to doing business in many countries, varying both in its frequency and magnitude across establishments. This paper presents a model of extortion to account for these features and assess its quantitative effects. In the model, entrepreneur capital is subject to extortion which affects the extensive and intensive margins of entrepreneurship. Extortion rates are endogenous and hump-shaped across entrepreneurs despite common property rights. The quantitative analysis is guided by micro-level evidence related to extortion in Poland and yields a number of implications broadly consistent with establishment-level facts in developing economies. For measures of property rights within a plausible range, output losses can be upwards of 10 percent.

Yépez, C. (2017). Financial conditions and labor productivity over the business cycle. Economics Letters, 150(1), 34-38. ISSN 0165-1765.


The cyclical behavior of productivity has noticeably changed since the mid-80s. We provide VAR evidence that financial shocks have an important effect on productivity. We offer a novel explanation based on the effect of binding collateral constraints on labor demand.

Yépez, C. (2017). Financial intermediation, consumption dynamics, and business cycles. Economic Modelling, 60, 231-243.


The recent financial crisis highlighted the need to deepen our understanding of the impact of the financial intermediation sector on the real economy. We examine the quantitative implications of financial intermediation and firm's financing frictions in explaining the observed cyclical properties of both real and financial variables. We find that a modified version of the financial intermediation framework of Gertler and Karadi (2011) augmented with financing frictions in production does a good job in matching the unconditional moments of financial fluctuations without compromising key real co-movements. Our results are relevant for macro-prudential policy analysis as they underscore the importance of carefully identifying the sources of aggregate fluctuations in models in which financial intermediaries and financial frictions play a non-trivial role.


Masaki A., Manaswini B., and Gunay, H. (2016). Social learning and delay in a dynamic model of price competition. Journal of Economic Theory, 165, 565-600.


This paper studies dynamic price competition between two firms selling differentiated durable goods to two buyers whose valuations of the two goods depend on their own private type as well as that of the other buyer. We derive a key intertemporal property of the equilibrium prices and construct an equilibrium based on this property. We show that social learning reduces the equilibrium prices in the sense that when the buyers are more interdependent and hence have a stronger incentive to wait and see, the firms respond by lowering their period 1 prices. Interestingly, we find that this response by the firms along with the intertemporal property of the equilibrium prices implies that buyers delay their decisions less often when they become more interdependent.