Economics - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

Receive updates for this collection

Imports and retailers in Canada: does size matter?

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This project investigates empirically whether retailer size influences their direct importing activities.Twenty three Canadian retail sectors are analyzed,classified by types of commodities for the year 2002. Two aspects of retailer size are considered, average size and size dispersion of retail establishments in a retail sector. Other explanatory factors include: the share of purchases of imports by wholesalers selling the same product category of each retailer type; Canadian production of the commodities sold in each retail sector, as a fraction of total Canadian production of the year; and three importing sources (the US and Mexico, EU and Japan and Low Cost Asian countries). Only non-highly correlated independent variables are included in each estimation. The best estimation suggests that there is significant negative correlation between average size of retail establishments and their direct import activities; and there is negative link between size dispersion of retail establishments and their direct import activities.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
N
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Three essays in international economics

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The first paper presents an inter-temporal job search model and argues that both emigration and return of Chinese may be strategically planned as an optimal life-cycle residential location sequence. Particularly, it offers an explanation for two interesting phenomena in the context of Chinese immigration: (1) a substantial increase in both emigrants and returnees; (2) Returnees exhibit varying levels of educational degrees. The model attributes these phenomena to three facts: (1) China has a “dual” labor market with a higher paying modern sector; (2) the benefits of globalization accrue mainly to modern sector workers and; (3) the “information revolution” in US attracts China’s most productive intellectuals. The second and the third papers study the impact of trade variety on regional productivity for China and Canada respectively. The second paper studies the effects of Chinese provincial export variety growth on its technological improvement by applying a monopolistic competition model with endogenous technology. The panel data covers all 31 executive districts of mainland China from 1998 to 2005. The results show that export variety significantly affect productivity growth: it accounts for 44.1% of cross-province TFP differences and 36.6% of within-province TFP growth; a 10% increase in the export variety of all exporting industries leads to a 1.4% productivity increase in China (as a weighted province average). By adding import variety in the empirical model used in the second paper, the third paper consolidates the effects of both import and export variety growth on Canadian productivity. Using balanced provincial data from 1988 to 2006, I find that export variety and import variety respectively account for 10.41% and 1.57% of the variation in Canadian provincial productivity differences, and the net trade variety related effects account for 7.06%. Furthermore, the export and import variety respectively account for 9.92% and 6.95% of within-province productivity growth, and their total effects can account for 17.31%. Evaluated at the sample mean, a 10% increase in all trade varieties leads to a 0.90% increase in Canadian productivity, in which the export variety's contribution is 0.57% and the import variety's is 0.33%.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
R
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

How much should immigrants speak English in Canada? Earnings of immigrants depending on English proficiency

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This paper investigates immigrant assimilation in Canada; specifically the impact English language proficiency has on wage differentials between adult male immigrants and native workers. Using 1991, 1996 and 2001 Canada Census reports, the analysis employs separate cross-sectional regression, as well as quasi-panel regression. Findings are consistent with the hypothesis that greater English proficiency enhances earnings in the Canadian labour market. It further supports that immigrants at different English skill levels experience varied economic assimilation into the labour market. Most immigrants face wage disparities due to limited access to jobs. Such limited access to Canadian employment can be attributed to primarily poor English skills, as well as immigration status. Finally, English language proficiency and return to post-migration experience, or education appear to be substitutes, that is, those with greater proficiency in English have a smaller effect of time spent in Canada on earnings, but not for those without any English knowledge.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
K
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Dynasty discount: inter-team differentials in NHL player compensation

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

In the past few years, a lot of work has been done to study the effect of firms in wage determination. In fact, firms have been found to contribute a great deal to intra-industry wage differentials. This paper converts this firm effect into a team effect using NHL player and team data and tries to find inter-team differences in NHL player compensation. Using information from various sources, an analysis of player salaries for the period 1998-2004 is done using a standard wage regression with fixed player and team effects. What we find is that in the NHL industry, we observe team effects to be an insignificant component of player compensation. More so, the teams with statistically significant team effects exhibit characteristics often associated with dynasties.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
S
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

The economic impact of short-sea shipping: using the Fraser River as a commercial highway

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Truck traffic is expected to increase by 50% between now and 2021 generated primarily by container trades. Road congestion currently costs the Lower Mainland economy up to $1.5 billion a year. The BC government has carried out the Gateway project aiming to decrease road congestion and air pollution from idling automobiles. However, building roads and bridges cannot be a long term solution. An alternative to road transport if possible must be found. This paper revisits the feasibility of Short Sea Shipping using the Fraser River. It carries out an economic impact study of the benefits and costs, including environmental costs; and it includes a comparative study when SSS becomes feasible compared to trucking as truck idling time on roads and at the deep-sea terminals increases. Not only is SSS more environmental friendly, but also price competitive when congestion is taken into account.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
D
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

A commentary on assumptions of discounting parameters in the Stern Review on the economics of climate change

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The Stern Review concludes that human beings can avoid a loss of 20% of the present value of consumption due to climate change if nations immediately reduce GHG emissions with a loss of only 1% of consumption per year. Since this conclusion varies from earlier studies, many reviews of the Stern Review focus on criticizing this conclusion focusing on its extreme assumption of discounting rates. However, only a few have justified their arguments through empirical work. Thus, this paper aims to provide empirical evidence to support their theories. The Review's original IAM model and methodology are improved and its results are replicated. Its conclusions can barely survive with alternative conventional values such as higher discount rates. The paper conducts comparative tests demonstrating the effect these other parameter values can have on the loss of the consumption. These tests reveal large changes in the Review's estimate of a 20% loss.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
T
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

New evidence on aid effectiveness: assessing the links between economic growth, volatility and aid

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Using a panel dataset of more than 100 countries over the period 1960 to 2005 and using a two-equation system that analyzes jointly the determinants of both economic growth and volatility in growth, we find evidence that first, aid raises economic growth and lowers volatility in growth and second, that volatility in aid lowers economic growth and raises volatility in growth. Within a framework that conceives of economic development as the promotion of stable economic growth, this paper establishes a case for increasing stable aid flows to developing countries in order to promote economic development. The high volatile nature of aid disbursed that characterizes the current aid architecture is an issue that needs to be addressed by the international donor community in order to make aid more effective.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Essays in productivity and efficiency analysis in the presence of undesirable outputs

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

In the first essay we study commensurability property of the directional distance function (DDF). We find that a popular DDF with a fixed directional vector is neither absolute nor ranking commensurable. Nevertheless, this function can be commensurated if the directional vector is commensurated along with the data. We identify a necessary and sufficient condition for a vector that ensures commensurability of the DDF, which helps somewhat narrowing down the key issue for this function in practice—the choice of direction of measurement. In the second paper I test the performance of smooth homogeneous bootstrap bias-correction in multi-output frontier models using hyperbolic efficiency function. I propose an approxima¬tion procedure that substantially reduces the nonparametric estimation time while sacrificing little precision compared to the most precise nonparametric alternative. The performance of the uncorrected and bias-corrected estimates is tested in samples of different sizes via Monte Carlo simulation. All techniques perform well in large samples even without correction. Both parametric and nonparametric estimators benefit from the correction regardless of the sample size. Uncorrected nonparametric estimators perform well in large and require bias-correction in smaller samples. In the small samples bias correction shows marginally better results when applied to the parametric estimator. The final paper studies the effects of nontradeable emission quota and transferable emission quota systems on the accumulation of capital and output growth in small open economies. Both types of regulation impede the growth. The transferable emission quota system has different effects on the development of quota buyers and quota sellers. While quota buyers enjoy faster growth in the both capital stock and output as compared to the nontransferable quota system, quota sellers face slower capital accumulation and economic growth. The simulation using advances in frontier modelling confirms the theoretical findings and reveals that developmental consequences for quota sellers range from a slower capital accumulation to capital stock shrinkage. It also suggests that quota sellers substitute economic production for quota revenues and economic output falls over time.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
K
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Dissertation (Ph.D.)

Child labour in a transition economy: Evidence from Albania

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Previous research on child labour has found that poverty increases the incidence of child labour. In this paper, I build a model of child labour which argues that a missing component in the previous findings is the existence of labour market imperfections. Its findings predict an ambiguous affect of land on child labour, which depends on the degree of substitutability between land and labour. Empirically, this paper tests the degree to which child labour then depends on the levels of land that these communities receive. Allowing the effect of land on child labour to be nonlinear, it was found that there is a risk on an increase in the incidence of child labour as the land reform progresses and more land is allocated to farm families. The results of this paper suggest that labour market imperfections may be significant enough to offset the declining relationship between wealth and child labour.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
A
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

How many are too many? Optimal expansion of the professional sports league

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

How does a professional sports league decide on the number of teams to let compete? Even if allowing for each team to be a local monopoly, the increase in the number of teams in a league will reduce the profits of existing teams through reducing the playing talent per team. The league will choose to expand the number of teams if this talent pool increases (or if income increases or costs decrease). The last 50 years of expansion of the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL are inspected in light of these predictions. The findings are that the m odel is consistent with the pattern of expansion over the last 50 years for these leagues.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Dept. of Economics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)