Elie Appelbaum

Department of Economics

Professor

Office: Vari Hall, 1064
Phone: (416) 736-2100 Ext: 20582
Emailelie@yorku.ca
Primary websiteelie.info.yorku.ca/

Research areas: Microeconomics, Industrial Organization, International Trade, Political Economy, Finance Current Research Interest: the economics of uncertainty, strategic conflicts, the dynamics of hate and violence, mathematical models of love dynamics, trade agreements, free will and optimizing behavior, union-firm bargaining

More...

All Publications

Books

Social Regulation in Markets for Goods and Services, with D. Scheffman, University of Toronto Press, 1982.

Book Chapters

Transfer Seeking and Avoidance: On the Full Social Costs of Rent Seeking, with E. Katz. In Forty Years of Rent-Seeking Research. R. D. Congleton, A. L Hillman and K. Konrad, eds. Heidelberg: Springer, 2008.

Seeking Rents by Setting Rents: The Political Economy of Rent Seeking, with E. Katz. In Forty Years of Rent-Seeking Research. R. D. Congleton, A. L Hillman and K. Konrad, eds. Heidelberg: Springer, 2008.

Journal Articles

How Can Uncertainty Affect the Choice of Trade Agreements? with Mark Melatos, Economic Record, (2016).

Union-firm bargaining: Order of play and efficiency
Games and Economic Behavior , 2011, 71(2), pp.235-245
Abstract: This paper shows that a modified alternating offers Rubinstein model can provide a Pareto superior outcome in the context of the right-to-manage union-firm bargaining. Two examples of bargaining protocols that yield a superior outcome are provided. In the first example, the parties engage in a game in which the order of play is determined as part of the bargaining. We show that the game has a unique subgame perfect equilibrium in which the firm always moves first in the wage bargaining game. The equilibrium wage is, therefore, unique. In the second example, we examine a two-part-tariff alternating offers bargaining protocol, where the parties bargain over the wage and transfer payments. We show that this bargaining protocol has a Pareto efficient, unique subgame perfect equilibrium. Thus, although the parties do not bargain over the level of employment, the outcome under this protocol is, nevertheless, socially optimal.
[go to paper]

The Effects of Foreign Price Uncertainty on Australian Production and Trade, with Alan Woodland, Economic Record, 2010.

A New Methodology for Studying the Equity Premium, with P. Basu, Annals of Operations Research, 2010.

Extremism as a strategic tool in conflicts
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization , 2008, 68(2), 352-364
Abstract: This paper studies the strategic role of extremism within a two-country multi-stage game and shows that, in general, an equilibrium exists in which extremism is used by both rivals. We show that often changes in the environment affect the two countries differently. Specifically, as a country becomes wealthier, more powerful, or more democratic, its level of extremism decreases, but at the same time, its rival's level of extremism increases. Similarly, higher stakes in the conflict tend to increase the level of extremism in the relatively poorer, weaker, and less democratic country, but decrease the level of extremism in the other country. On the other hand, higher stakes in a conflict between similar countries and greater destructiveness vis- -vis the contested asset will increase the levels of extremism in both countries. Since changes in the environment may affect the levels of extremism in the two countries in opposite ways, we calculate the probability of an extremist destructive episode as a possible measure of the "aggregate" level of extremism in the conflict. We find that the aggregate level of extremism decreases with wealth, power, and degree of democracy, but increases with the stakes in the conflict and with better access to destructive technology. Finally, we use the model to examine levels of extremism within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
[go to paper]

Strategic Militancy and the Probability of Strikes in Union-Firm Bargaining, Labour Economics, 2008.

Political Extremism in the Presence of a Free Rider Problem, with E. Katz, Public Choice, 2007.

Measures of Risk Aversion and Comparative Statics of Industry Equilibrium
(with E. Katz)
American Economic Review , 9(1), 2006, pp.116-142
[go to paper]

A Framework for Empirical Applications of Production Theory without Expected Utility, Journal of Economics and Business, 2006.

Terms of Trade Uncertainty and the Distribution of Income, with U. Kohli, Review of International Economics, 1999.

Estimation Of Moments And Production Decisions Under Uncertainty
(with A. Ullah)
The Review of Economics and Statistics , 1997, 79(4), pp.631-637
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine production decisions under output price uncertainty. Using a nonparametric estimation technique to estimate the first four moments of the unknown price distribution and applying duality, we provide a simple empirical framework for the analysis of supply and demand decisions under price uncertainty. The model is used to examine the importance of higher moments in the firm's production decisions and to investigate underlying attitudes toward risk.
[go to paper]

Import Price Uncertainty And The Distribution Of Income
(with U. Kohli)
The Review of Economics and Statistics , 1997, 79(4), pp.620-630
Abstract: The effects of import-price uncertainty on factor income in Switzerland are estimated. The production-theory approach is used to derive the import demand function from an expected utility maximization problem, treating imports as an input to the technology. The model is also used to test for risk aversion and to assess the impact of uncertainty on the volume of imports and gross output. Evidence is found that, for most years. labor has been relatively more vulnerable to uncertainty than has capital.
[go to paper]

Corporate Taxation, Incumbency Advantage and Entry, with E. Katz, European Economic Review, 1996.

Equilibrium Entry Patterns under Uncertainty, with S. Weber, European Economic Review, 1994.

The Free Rider Problem in Oligopoly, with S. Weber, Economics Letters, 1993.

Government Policy and the Firm's Capital Structure, European Economic Review, 1993.

Bankruptcy, Warranties and the Firm's Capital Structure
International Economic Review , 1992, 33(2), pp.399-412.
Abstract: This paper examines the role of capital structure as an instrument for shifting risk between real and financial markets. The author considers a firm whose contractual agreements involve both consumers and debtholders and shows that if consumers are risk averse, whereas equity and debtholders are risk neutral, the firm uses its capital structure to shift risk away from consumers. The optimal allocation of risk across real and financial markets leads the firm to be fully equity financed.
[go to paper]

Demand conditions, regulation, and the measurement of productivity
(with J. Berechman)
Journal of Econometrics , 1991, 47(2-3), pp.379-400
Abstract: Most econometric studies of productivity use partial equilibrium analysis of cost models to estimate and measure productivity growth. In this paper we provide a market equilibrium model in which supply (cost), demand, and regulatory conditions are explicitly taken into account. The model is used to calculate the rate of growth in cost efficiency (productivity) in the Israeli bus transit sector and to explain this growth by the contributions of input prices, technical change, output scale, demand conditions, and government regulation.
[go to paper]

Uncertainty and the Measurement of Productivity, Journal of Productivity Analysis, 1991.

The Demand for Children in the Absence of Capital and Risk Markets: A Portfolio Approach, with E. Katz, Oxford Economic Papers, 1991.

Market Uncertainty and Competitive Equilibrium Entry", with C. Lim, European Economic Review, 1991.

Monopoly and Ex-post Contestable Markets”, with C. Lim, Australian Economic Papers, 128-140, 1990.

Portfolio Diversification and Taxation, with E. Katz, Economics Letters, 1988.

Seeking Rents by Setting Rents: The Political Economy of Rent Seeking
(with E. Katz)
Economic Journal , 1987, 97(387), pp.685-99
Abstract: In recent years, there has been a large number of papers on the subject of rent seeking. Most such works on rent seeking have taken the rent as exogenously determined by regulators. Regulators, howeve r, may also be expected (and indeed have been shown) to be rent seeke rs and hence the determination of the rent itself should be endogeniz ed to reflect the fact that the rent setters are, themselves, rent se ekers. In this paper, the authors do this by presenting an analysis o f the interaction of regulators, firms, and consumers within a rent-s eeking framework where all three groups are assumed to be self-motiva ted. The analysis is carried out under alternative assumptions regard ing the nature of the market and the reaction functions of the partic ipants. Policy implications are drawn where appropriate.
[go to paper]

Asymmetric Taxation and the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Uncertainty, with E. Katz, Canadian Journal of Economics, 1987.

Transfer Seeking and Avoidance: On the Full Social Costs of Rent Seeking, with E. Katz, Public Choice, 1986.

Rent Seeking and Entry, with E. Katz, Economics Letters, 1986.

Contestable Markets under Uncertainty
(with C. Lim)
Rand Journal of Economics , 1985, 16(1), pp.28-40
Abstract: In this article we present a model of a market which is ex post contestable. We show that in a market characterized by uncertainty a firm will face a tradeoff between efficiency and flexibility and generally will make some precommitments to take advantage of ex ante technologies. We show that in the face of potential entry the incumbent will increase his precommitments and in so doing will affect the probability of entry. The degree of market contestability is therefore endogenously determined by the choice of precommitments. The extent to which precommitments will be used to affect entry probabilities is shown to depend on the efficiency of ex ante production, adjustment costs, and the degree of uncertainty. In particular, we show that the market becomes "more contestable" as the relative efficiency of ex post production increases and as market conditions become more uncertain.
[go to paper]

The Effects of Precision of Sentencing Information on Crime Rates, with E. Erez, Journal of Criminal Justice, 1983.

The estimation of the degree of oligopoly power
Journal of Econometrics , 1982, 19(2-3), pp.287-299.
Abstract: This paper extends the use of econometric production theory techniques to ageneral class of oligopolistic markets. We provide a framework which enables us to estimate the conjectural variation and test various hypotheses about non-competitive behavior. Furthermore, we provide a measure of the degree of oligopolistic power of a firm and a degree of oligopoly index for the whole industry that can be used to test for the underlying structure of the industry.
[go to paper]

Long Run Industry Equilibrium with Uncertainty, with C. Lim, Economics Letters, 1982.

Monopoly vs. Competition under Uncertainty, with C. Lim, Canadian Journal of Economics, 1982.

Market Constraints as a Rationale for the Friedman-Savage Utility Function
(with E. Katz)
Journal of Political Economy , 1981, 89(4), pp.819-25
[go to paper]

On the Choice of Functional Forms
International Economic Review , 1979, 20(2), pp.449-58.
[go to paper]

Testing price taking behavior
Journal of Econometrics , 1979, 9(3), pp.283-294.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present an empirically implementable technique for the analysis of non-competitive behavior in production. We provide a statistical test for the price taking behavior hypothesis which can be used to distinguish among different market structures. We apply this approach to the U.S. crude petroleum and natural gas industry and find that the price taking behavior hypothesis is not appropriate for this industry.
[go to paper]

Canada U.S. Trade: Tests for the Small Open Economy Hypothesis, Canadian Journal of Economics, with U. Kohli, 1979.

Optimal Capital Policy with Bounded Investment Plans
(with R. Harris)
International Economic Review , 1978, 19(1), pp.103-14
[go to paper]

Imperfect Capital Markets and Life Cycle Saving, with R. Harris, Canadian Journal of Economics, 1978.

Testing Neoclassical Production Theory, Journal of Econometrics, 1978.

Estimating Technology in an Intertemporal Framework: A Neo Austrian Approach, with R. Harris, Review of Economics and Statistics, 1977.

Duality in Optimal Growth, International Economic Review, 1975.

Current Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Summer 2017 AP/ECON4010 3.0  Advanced Microeconomic Theory LECT  


Research areas: Microeconomics, Industrial Organization, International Trade, Political Economy, Finance Current Research Interest: the economics of uncertainty, strategic conflicts, the dynamics of hate and violence, mathematical models of love dynamics, trade agreements, free will and optimizing behavior, union-firm bargaining

All Publications

Books

Social Regulation in Markets for Goods and Services, with D. Scheffman, University of Toronto Press, 1982.

Book Chapters

Transfer Seeking and Avoidance: On the Full Social Costs of Rent Seeking, with E. Katz. In Forty Years of Rent-Seeking Research. R. D. Congleton, A. L Hillman and K. Konrad, eds. Heidelberg: Springer, 2008.

Seeking Rents by Setting Rents: The Political Economy of Rent Seeking, with E. Katz. In Forty Years of Rent-Seeking Research. R. D. Congleton, A. L Hillman and K. Konrad, eds. Heidelberg: Springer, 2008.

Journal Articles

How Can Uncertainty Affect the Choice of Trade Agreements? with Mark Melatos, Economic Record, (2016).

Union-firm bargaining: Order of play and efficiency
Games and Economic Behavior , 2011, 71(2), pp.235-245
Abstract: This paper shows that a modified alternating offers Rubinstein model can provide a Pareto superior outcome in the context of the right-to-manage union-firm bargaining. Two examples of bargaining protocols that yield a superior outcome are provided. In the first example, the parties engage in a game in which the order of play is determined as part of the bargaining. We show that the game has a unique subgame perfect equilibrium in which the firm always moves first in the wage bargaining game. The equilibrium wage is, therefore, unique. In the second example, we examine a two-part-tariff alternating offers bargaining protocol, where the parties bargain over the wage and transfer payments. We show that this bargaining protocol has a Pareto efficient, unique subgame perfect equilibrium. Thus, although the parties do not bargain over the level of employment, the outcome under this protocol is, nevertheless, socially optimal.
[go to paper]

The Effects of Foreign Price Uncertainty on Australian Production and Trade, with Alan Woodland, Economic Record, 2010.

A New Methodology for Studying the Equity Premium, with P. Basu, Annals of Operations Research, 2010.

Extremism as a strategic tool in conflicts
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization , 2008, 68(2), 352-364
Abstract: This paper studies the strategic role of extremism within a two-country multi-stage game and shows that, in general, an equilibrium exists in which extremism is used by both rivals. We show that often changes in the environment affect the two countries differently. Specifically, as a country becomes wealthier, more powerful, or more democratic, its level of extremism decreases, but at the same time, its rival's level of extremism increases. Similarly, higher stakes in the conflict tend to increase the level of extremism in the relatively poorer, weaker, and less democratic country, but decrease the level of extremism in the other country. On the other hand, higher stakes in a conflict between similar countries and greater destructiveness vis- -vis the contested asset will increase the levels of extremism in both countries. Since changes in the environment may affect the levels of extremism in the two countries in opposite ways, we calculate the probability of an extremist destructive episode as a possible measure of the "aggregate" level of extremism in the conflict. We find that the aggregate level of extremism decreases with wealth, power, and degree of democracy, but increases with the stakes in the conflict and with better access to destructive technology. Finally, we use the model to examine levels of extremism within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
[go to paper]

Strategic Militancy and the Probability of Strikes in Union-Firm Bargaining, Labour Economics, 2008.

Political Extremism in the Presence of a Free Rider Problem, with E. Katz, Public Choice, 2007.

Measures of Risk Aversion and Comparative Statics of Industry Equilibrium
(with E. Katz)
American Economic Review , 9(1), 2006, pp.116-142
[go to paper]

A Framework for Empirical Applications of Production Theory without Expected Utility, Journal of Economics and Business, 2006.

Terms of Trade Uncertainty and the Distribution of Income, with U. Kohli, Review of International Economics, 1999.

Estimation Of Moments And Production Decisions Under Uncertainty
(with A. Ullah)
The Review of Economics and Statistics , 1997, 79(4), pp.631-637
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine production decisions under output price uncertainty. Using a nonparametric estimation technique to estimate the first four moments of the unknown price distribution and applying duality, we provide a simple empirical framework for the analysis of supply and demand decisions under price uncertainty. The model is used to examine the importance of higher moments in the firm's production decisions and to investigate underlying attitudes toward risk.
[go to paper]

Import Price Uncertainty And The Distribution Of Income
(with U. Kohli)
The Review of Economics and Statistics , 1997, 79(4), pp.620-630
Abstract: The effects of import-price uncertainty on factor income in Switzerland are estimated. The production-theory approach is used to derive the import demand function from an expected utility maximization problem, treating imports as an input to the technology. The model is also used to test for risk aversion and to assess the impact of uncertainty on the volume of imports and gross output. Evidence is found that, for most years. labor has been relatively more vulnerable to uncertainty than has capital.
[go to paper]

Corporate Taxation, Incumbency Advantage and Entry, with E. Katz, European Economic Review, 1996.

Equilibrium Entry Patterns under Uncertainty, with S. Weber, European Economic Review, 1994.

The Free Rider Problem in Oligopoly, with S. Weber, Economics Letters, 1993.

Government Policy and the Firm's Capital Structure, European Economic Review, 1993.

Bankruptcy, Warranties and the Firm's Capital Structure
International Economic Review , 1992, 33(2), pp.399-412.
Abstract: This paper examines the role of capital structure as an instrument for shifting risk between real and financial markets. The author considers a firm whose contractual agreements involve both consumers and debtholders and shows that if consumers are risk averse, whereas equity and debtholders are risk neutral, the firm uses its capital structure to shift risk away from consumers. The optimal allocation of risk across real and financial markets leads the firm to be fully equity financed.
[go to paper]

Demand conditions, regulation, and the measurement of productivity
(with J. Berechman)
Journal of Econometrics , 1991, 47(2-3), pp.379-400
Abstract: Most econometric studies of productivity use partial equilibrium analysis of cost models to estimate and measure productivity growth. In this paper we provide a market equilibrium model in which supply (cost), demand, and regulatory conditions are explicitly taken into account. The model is used to calculate the rate of growth in cost efficiency (productivity) in the Israeli bus transit sector and to explain this growth by the contributions of input prices, technical change, output scale, demand conditions, and government regulation.
[go to paper]

Uncertainty and the Measurement of Productivity, Journal of Productivity Analysis, 1991.

The Demand for Children in the Absence of Capital and Risk Markets: A Portfolio Approach, with E. Katz, Oxford Economic Papers, 1991.

Market Uncertainty and Competitive Equilibrium Entry", with C. Lim, European Economic Review, 1991.

Monopoly and Ex-post Contestable Markets”, with C. Lim, Australian Economic Papers, 128-140, 1990.

Portfolio Diversification and Taxation, with E. Katz, Economics Letters, 1988.

Seeking Rents by Setting Rents: The Political Economy of Rent Seeking
(with E. Katz)
Economic Journal , 1987, 97(387), pp.685-99
Abstract: In recent years, there has been a large number of papers on the subject of rent seeking. Most such works on rent seeking have taken the rent as exogenously determined by regulators. Regulators, howeve r, may also be expected (and indeed have been shown) to be rent seeke rs and hence the determination of the rent itself should be endogeniz ed to reflect the fact that the rent setters are, themselves, rent se ekers. In this paper, the authors do this by presenting an analysis o f the interaction of regulators, firms, and consumers within a rent-s eeking framework where all three groups are assumed to be self-motiva ted. The analysis is carried out under alternative assumptions regard ing the nature of the market and the reaction functions of the partic ipants. Policy implications are drawn where appropriate.
[go to paper]

Asymmetric Taxation and the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Uncertainty, with E. Katz, Canadian Journal of Economics, 1987.

Transfer Seeking and Avoidance: On the Full Social Costs of Rent Seeking, with E. Katz, Public Choice, 1986.

Rent Seeking and Entry, with E. Katz, Economics Letters, 1986.

Contestable Markets under Uncertainty
(with C. Lim)
Rand Journal of Economics , 1985, 16(1), pp.28-40
Abstract: In this article we present a model of a market which is ex post contestable. We show that in a market characterized by uncertainty a firm will face a tradeoff between efficiency and flexibility and generally will make some precommitments to take advantage of ex ante technologies. We show that in the face of potential entry the incumbent will increase his precommitments and in so doing will affect the probability of entry. The degree of market contestability is therefore endogenously determined by the choice of precommitments. The extent to which precommitments will be used to affect entry probabilities is shown to depend on the efficiency of ex ante production, adjustment costs, and the degree of uncertainty. In particular, we show that the market becomes "more contestable" as the relative efficiency of ex post production increases and as market conditions become more uncertain.
[go to paper]

The Effects of Precision of Sentencing Information on Crime Rates, with E. Erez, Journal of Criminal Justice, 1983.

The estimation of the degree of oligopoly power
Journal of Econometrics , 1982, 19(2-3), pp.287-299.
Abstract: This paper extends the use of econometric production theory techniques to ageneral class of oligopolistic markets. We provide a framework which enables us to estimate the conjectural variation and test various hypotheses about non-competitive behavior. Furthermore, we provide a measure of the degree of oligopolistic power of a firm and a degree of oligopoly index for the whole industry that can be used to test for the underlying structure of the industry.
[go to paper]

Long Run Industry Equilibrium with Uncertainty, with C. Lim, Economics Letters, 1982.

Monopoly vs. Competition under Uncertainty, with C. Lim, Canadian Journal of Economics, 1982.

Market Constraints as a Rationale for the Friedman-Savage Utility Function
(with E. Katz)
Journal of Political Economy , 1981, 89(4), pp.819-25
[go to paper]

On the Choice of Functional Forms
International Economic Review , 1979, 20(2), pp.449-58.
[go to paper]

Testing price taking behavior
Journal of Econometrics , 1979, 9(3), pp.283-294.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present an empirically implementable technique for the analysis of non-competitive behavior in production. We provide a statistical test for the price taking behavior hypothesis which can be used to distinguish among different market structures. We apply this approach to the U.S. crude petroleum and natural gas industry and find that the price taking behavior hypothesis is not appropriate for this industry.
[go to paper]

Canada U.S. Trade: Tests for the Small Open Economy Hypothesis, Canadian Journal of Economics, with U. Kohli, 1979.

Optimal Capital Policy with Bounded Investment Plans
(with R. Harris)
International Economic Review , 1978, 19(1), pp.103-14
[go to paper]

Imperfect Capital Markets and Life Cycle Saving, with R. Harris, Canadian Journal of Economics, 1978.

Testing Neoclassical Production Theory, Journal of Econometrics, 1978.

Estimating Technology in an Intertemporal Framework: A Neo Austrian Approach, with R. Harris, Review of Economics and Statistics, 1977.

Duality in Optimal Growth, International Economic Review, 1975.


Teaching:

Current Courses

<
TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Summer 2017 AP/ECON4010 3.0  Advanced Microeconomic Theory LECT