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Economics

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Information Transmission and Aggregation

This award funds research that uses game theory to analyze situations where information has an important effect on how individual decisions lead to group outcomes.

Mandating Managed Care: The Case of Florida Medicare Reform

The Medicaid program is one of the largest social insurance programs in the United States, providing health insurance to approximately 67 million poor and disabled people. In order to reduce the program's costs, several states now mandate that most or all of their Medicaid beneficiaries enroll in comprehensive managed care plans. This is a proposal to evaluate Florida's experience with mandated managed care. In 2005, the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 838 to roll out a Medicaid reform pilot.

Information-Constrained Dynamic Models of Choice Behavior

This project will explore models of the cognitive processes underlying human choice behavior in economic contexts. The models to be explored allow for departures from fully-informed optimal choice. Rather than positing that behavior is simply "irrational," they will explain departures from optimal decision-making as resulting from the (generally pre-conscious) use of choice algorithms that are well-suited to mostly achieving decision makers' objectives. The choice algoritms also would not require greater information-processing capacity.

Prices in Space and Time

This proposal aims to use price data for the universe of goods that have barcodes or are available online to answer three main questions: How do goods prices and product variety vary across space? What are the problems with using online prices as a substitute for offline prices to measure inflation? How do prices and quantities respond to high frequency macroeconomic shocks? In order to answer these questions, this project seeks to measure exact price indexes for goods across cities.

Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: Individual, Family and Community Impacts of Criminal Sentencing

Over the past 30 years, the incarcerated population in the United States has grown by close to 300 percent. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 2009, 7.2 million adults in the United States, or 1 out of every 31 adults, were under "correctional supervision," a status that includes probation and parole in addition to incarceration. The wide reach of corrections activity translates into roughly $51.7 billion dollars or 7.4 percent of state budgets in fiscal year 2011.

Topics in Dynamic Panel Data Analysis, Time-Varying Individual Heterogeneities, and Cross-Sectional Dependence

This research deals with estimation and inference problems for dynamic panel-data models under time-varying individual heterogeneities and cross-sectional dependence (common shocks). An important aspect of these problems is that the individual heterogeneity and the common shocks are correlated with the explanatory variables. This correlation is fundamental for economic variables. Standard procedures such as within-group estimators will lead to inconsistent inferences. This research explores new estimation procedures and related inference problems.

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