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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Studies in applied microeconomics
by Dewey, James F., Ph.D., University of Florida, 1998, 121; 9926004
Abstract (Summary)

My dissertation applies microeconomics in the areas of regulation and education. Chapter 2 examines a theoretical model of competition between heterogeneous interest groups in a regulatory environment. The following are three of my results. First, a change that enhances gross surplus may reduce expected net welfare. Second, the group that finds it more costly to lobby for a favorable decision benefits more from an increase in its opponent's marginal cost of exerting pressure than from an equal reduction in its own marginal cost of lobbying. Third, requiring a regulated firm to share some of its profits with consumers reduces lobbying expenditures, improves consumer welfare, and may even increase the firm's welfare.

Chapter 3 uses a simple theory of the political economy of regulation to explain why states choose different types of regimes to regulate intrastate telecommunications. States in which the gains to enhanced efficiency are larger or uncertainty is lower are more likely to adopt alternative regulatory forms designed to enhance efficiency. States where lobbying or negotiation costs are higher are more likely to employ some form of earnings sharing, in accord with the theoretical result that profit sharing reduces lobbying costs. I also find that the relative political strengths of consumers and the firm have significant impacts on regime adoption.

A large number of academic studies have found that school inputs, such as teacher education, class size, or simply expenditures per pupil, are not systematically related to improved academic performance. Chapter 4 examines the possibility that two common forms of model misspecification drive these findings. I review existing studies and classify them as “misspecified” if they exhibit one of these two potential flaws. Using meta analysis I find that studies that are not “misspecified” show strongly significant positive relationships between school inputs and achievement. Further, the “misspecified” studies are significantly less likely to find that school inputs matter. Direct comparisons achieved by analyzing the same data set using both the erroneous methodology and the suggested methodology add support for my claims.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kenny, Lawrence W., Sappington, David E. M.
School: University of Florida
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 60/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economic theory, Economics, School finance
Keywords: Education spending, Microeconomics, Public utility, Regulation
Publication Number: 9926004
ISBN: 978-0-599-25843-3
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