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Essays in applied microeconometrics

O'Connell, M; (2015) Essays in applied microeconometrics. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis contains four self-contained papers in applied microeconometrics. Each uses an empirically tractable model of the behavior of economic agents, along with data on decisions taken by a sample of these agents, to learn about the determinants of choice and how they interact with the market environment. The first chapter provides an introduction. Chapters 2 and 3 present models of consumer demand and firm competition in markets characterized by differentiated product oligopoly. In Chapter 2 we focus on junk food markets and study the effects on market equilibrium and welfare of banning junk food advertising. We model the impact of advertising on consumer demand in a flexible but empirically tractable way, we allow for the pricing response of firms in the market, and we carefully consider the impact of the ban on welfare. Much of the literature using discrete choice models of consumer demand make strong assumptions about the nature of income effects. In Chapter 3 we discuss restrictions that these assumptions place on the shape of demand and on welfare effects, and we explore the empirical consequences of relaxing them in an application in which we simulate the introduction of an excise tax. In Chapter 4 we consider how corporate income taxes affect where firms choose to legally own intellectual property. We estimate a discrete choice model of firm location choice and use the estimates to simulate the effects of the recent introduction of preferential tax treatment for income arising from patents. The question we address in Chapter 5 is how well are consumers able to adjust their choice behavior to deteriorating economic conditions. We model consumers' grocery shopping behavior over the Great Recession and show that, despite big falls in expenditure, consumers succeeded in smoothing both their total calories and the nutritional quality of those calories.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Essays in applied microeconometrics
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470022
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