Pieter Gautier, Arjen Siegmann, Aico van Vuuren, 27 February 2018

In 2005, flat-fee real estate brokers entered the Dutch housing market, charging a substantially lower up-front fee than the average traditional brokers’ fee based on sale price. This column uses house sale data to demonstrate that flat-fee agents sell properties faster, and at an average price that is 2.7% higher than traditional agents. This suggests that the profits of traditional brokers are at least partly driven by rents, rather than performance.

Randall Wright, Philipp Kircher, Benoit Julien, Veronica Guerrieri, 07 January 2018

Search models have vastly improved our understanding of important market events that are not explained by classical economic theory, but they tend to treat price formation as an afterthought. This column introduces a survey of the literature on ‘directed search’, which aims to keep the explanatory power of search models but allows for a meaningful role of prices in determining where people search for a trading partner.  

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Deadline for registration: 29 March 2017

This training course held by Steven Ongena (University of Zurich) will present the relevant research methodologies used in empirical banking, with a special emphasis on intertemporal (e.g., duration analysis and event study) and cross-sectional methods (e.g., matching).

The course will cover the following topics:
- Overview: Current empirical methods to evaluate regulatory policies
- Techniques: Heteroskedastic Modelling, Duration Analysis and Applications, Matching, Difference-in-Difference, Event Studies and Applications, Elements of an Identification Strategy.

The course is targeted, among others, at financial stability and research departments of Central Banks, Ph.D. students in Economics, Banking or Econometrics, and economists working in the private sector. An intermediate level in micro and macroeconomics, as well as in applied econometrics, is required to follow this course.

Alena Bičáková, Štěpán Jurajda, 26 July 2016

Positive assortative matching between college graduates has been well documented in marriage markets. Using European survey data, this column explores whether graduates form couples within their field of study. A third of married or cohabiting graduate couples both studied within the same field. These results are driven in part by assortative matching, and there are notable differences across fields of study as well as across countries.

Jan van Ours, Ali Palali, 16 October 2015

A major aim of cigarette taxes and tobacco control policies is to encourage smokers to quit. It is therefore important to understand the dynamics of quitting decisions in two-smoker couples. This column uses Dutch data to examine whether spousal peer effects exist for smoking cessation decisions. After controlling for the fact that couples are more likely to be similar to begin with, no evidence is found of one partner’s decision to quit affecting their spouse’s decision.

Liwa Rachel Ngai, Kevin Sheedy, 06 October 2015

The housing market is important for many developed economies, not least in the UK. This column presents new research in search and matching modelling suggesting that the quality of a house-buying match is important in understanding not only the time taken to sell a house, but also the length of time homeowners will live in the new house before their next move. The research should provide economists with new insights into housing market dynamics.

Ian Fillmore, 04 March 2015

Colleges in the US charge high sticker prices but routinely offer discounts to individual students. This column presents research showing that colleges use a student’s federal aid form to learn about willingness-to-pay and to engage in substantial price discrimination in a way that amounts to a tax on income, with the primary effect of increasing tuition revenues. Nevertheless, the price discrimination also results in some redistribution to low-income students as well as a modest increase in student–college match quality.

Andrea Ichino, Guido Schwerdt, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Josef Zweimüller, 08 October 2007

Lower fertility rates and longer life expectancy is leading to an older workforce in most industrialized countries. Worries about the implications for pension systems have led to reforms based on increasing the minimum retirement age, but how realistic is it to keep up the employment prospects of an ageing workforce?

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