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Estimating the Probability of Acting as a Trustee (with D.Stadelmann)

We introduce a binomial mixture model for estimating the probability of a political representative acting as a delegate or a trustee. The model also returns the probability of congruence of politicians with the will of the national median voter. The estimated probability of congruence strongly correlates with the observed frequency of congruence, which was obtained by matching parliamentary roll-call votes with the will of the median voter revealed in Swiss national referendums on identical legislative proposals. Our method uses the roll-call vote record of political representatives as sole input. Thus, it can be used to infer congruence levels of politicians even if the will of the median voter is unknown.

Exploring the Dynamics of Business Survey Data Using Markov Models (with W.Hölzl and Y.Kaniovski)

Business tendency surveys are widely used for monitoring economic activity. They provide timely feedback on the current business conditions and outlook. We identify the unobserved macroeconomic factors behind the distribution of quarterly responses by Austrian firms on the questions concerning the current business climate and production. The aggregate models use a regime-switching matrix to identify two macroeconomic regimes: upturn and downturn. The micro-founded models envision dependent responses by the firms, so that a favorable or an adverse unobserved common macroeconomic factor increases the frequency of optimistic or pessimistic responses, with the corresponding conditional transition probabilities defined using a coupling scheme. Extensions address the sector dimension and introduce dynamic common tendencies modeled with a hidden Markov chain.

The Optimal Use of Exhaustible Resources under Nonconstant Returns to Scale (with S.Aseev and K.Besov)

The paper offers a complete analysis of the welfare-maximizing capital investment and resource depletion policies in the Dasgupta--Heal--Solow--Stiglitz (DHSS) model with capital depreciation and any returns to scale. We establish a general existence result and show that an optimal admissible policy may not exist if the output elasticity of the resource equals one. We characterize the optimal policies by applying an appropriate version of the Pontryagin maximum principle for infinite-horizon optimal control problems. We finish the paper with an economic interpretation and a discussion of the welfare-maximizing policies.

SLIDES: Theorems for Exchangeable Binary Random Variables with Applications to Voting Theory

The slides summarize the main results of my research in collaboration with others on the Condorcet Jury Theorem and Voting Power for correlated votes

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Serguei Kaniovski

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)

Arsenal, Objekt 20

1030 Vienna



Phone: +431 / 798 26 01 - 231

Fax: +431 / 798 93 86

Email: serguei.kaniovski@wifo.ac.at