Rasmusen's Unpublished Papers (January 12, 2015)

To see other abstracts, go to Abstracts of my published articles. To return to my homepage, go to http://www.rasmusen.org/.

1. Working Papers
2. Forthcoming
3. Useful Notes, Not for Publication
4. Topics I Am Working On Without Circulating Papers
I have a separate page for papers that I don't think I will ever publish.

1. Working Papers

  1. The Economics of Regulation. I am writing an undergraduate textbook on regulation. I start with 4 chapters of theory (supply-and-demand, market failure, government failure, discounting and life valuation) and have just 2 chapters of antitrust, with 6 more chapters on other topics. My aim is to write a relatively short book (350 pages) with lots of photos and stories, skipping many topics and being interesting enough for someone to read for recreation.I also want to charge a low price, and I might well self-publish. http://www.rasmusen.org/g406/chapters/

  2. ``How Immigration Can Hurt a Country. '' Can immigration (or capital inflow) hurt the welfare of a country? Yes, if there are decreasing returns to the factor, as this little paper will explain. The idea is important, and probably is new--- at least, I couldn't find it by a google search--- but an economics journal would say it is obvious, I think, so I probably will not try to publish it in a journal. I will post it on the web instead. I do hope it gets into the academic literature and the policy debates. If it is received favorably, I will tidy it up and put it into journal style, adding cites and superfluous generality, and checking my arithmetic. http://www.rasmusen.org/papers/immigration-rasmusen.pdf.

  3. ``Coarse Grades,'' with Rick Harbaugh. Certifiers of quality often report only coarse grades to the public despite having measured quality more finely, e.g., "A" instead of "98". Why? We show that using coarse grades can actually result in more information reaching the public, because it encourages low-quality individuals or firms to become certified. In our model the certifier aims to minimize public uncertainty over quality subject to the feasibility constraint of voluntary certification at a fixed cost. Moving from the best exact grading scheme to the best coarse one (a) induces more participation and (b) reduces public uncertainty. http://www.rasmusen.org/papers/coarse-harbaugh-rasmusen.pdf or in http://www.rasmusen.org/papers/coarse-harbaugh-rasmusen.tex.

  4. ``Concavifying the Quasi-Concave,'' with Christopher Connell. We show that if and only if a real valued function f is strictly quasi-concave except possibly for a flat interval at its maximum and belongs to a precise regularity class, there exists a strictly monotonically increasing function g such that g of f is concave. We prove this sharp sharp characterization of quasi-concavity for any Euclidean space or even any arbitrary geodesic metric space. We also establish a simpler sufficient condition suitable for most applications for concavifiability on Euclidean spaces or any other Riemannian manifolds. http://rasmusen.org/papers/quasi-connell-rasmusen.pdf or in http://rasmusen.org/papers/quasi-connell-rasmusen.tex.

  5. ``Isoperfect Price Discrimination: Bargaining and Market Power,'' with David Myatt. Standard discussions of perfect price discrimination rest on a hidden assumption: that the monopolist can make take-it-or-leave-it offers. If a monopoly charges different prices to each of a large number of buyers, the correct paradigm is not the ultimatum game, but bilateral monopoly. The monopolist's profit will not be the entire surplus, but something less. Under ``balanced isoperfect price discrimination''-- a constant .5 split of the bargaining surplus with each buyer--- and constant marginal cost, the monopolist has the same profit as monopoly pricing if the demand curve is linear, less if demand is concave, and more if demand is convex. Increasing marginal cost tends to make the monopolist prefer price discrimination. Isoperfect price discrimination is complemented by an idiosyncratic product design and informative advertising, whereas simple monopoly pricing is facilitated by plain-vanilla designs promoted via pure hype. Competition pushes suppliers away from isoperfect price discrimination and towards simple posted pricing. http://www.rasmusen.org/papers/pdisc-myatt-rasmusen.pdf.

  6. ``The Concealment Argument: Why No Conclusive Evidence or Proof for God's Existence Will Be Found.'' Logic and Biblical evidence suggest that God wishes that some but not all humans become convinced of His existence and desires. If so, this suggests that attempts to either prove or disprove such things as God's existence, past miracles, or present supernatural intervention are doomed to failure, because God could and would take care to evade any such efforts. In tex and pdf. (http://rasmusen.org/papers/conceal-rasmusen.pdf).

  7. "Fine Tuning, Hume’s Miracle Test, and Intelligent Design" with Eric Hedin. “Fine tuning” refers to the well-known puzzle that the values of certain physical parameters need to take certain precise values for life to exist, values tuned to within 1 in 1050. Some therefore suggest that an intelligent designer must have created the universe. A “miracle” is an event highly improbable according to our prior beliefs. Hume’s miracle test says that if someone tells us a miracle has occurred, we should balance the probability it truly did occur against the probability he is lying. Fine-tuning is conceptually the same as a miracle. Physicists propose a theory consistent with the data, but it is consistent only if one or more parameters takes an extremely low-probability value. Hume’s miracle test tells us we must compare this with the probability the scientists are lying or deceived. That is highly improbable, but as improbable as the “miracle”? If not, our choice is not between intelligent design and random coincidence, but between intelligent design and current scientific theory. Without the feature of a designer, the supposed fit to data of several standard scientific theories is less probable than that the leaders in those subfields are lying or deceived. Intelligent design makes a falsifiable prediction: that current physics theory will continue to make correct predictions of reality, of which fine-tuning will be a part. The alternative, scientist fraud or error, implies that in time current scientific theory will prove to be false and the coincidences will disappear. Thus, intelligent design is the savior of physics, not its rival. http://rasmusen.org/papers/hume-rasmusen-hedin.pdf.

  8. Book Publishing Ideas: I've put these on a separate page, at http://www.rasmusen.org/abros.htm.

2. Forthcoming

  1. ``Leveraging of Reputation through Umbrella Branding: The Implications for Market Structure.'' Forthcoming, Journal Economics and Management Strategy. A firm with a reputation for high quality in one product may usefully extend that reputation to other products. We look at how that works in a moral hazard model of product quality. http://www.rasmusen.org/published/umbrella.pdf.

  2. "Exclusive Dealing: Before, Bork, and Beyond," with J. Mark Ramseyer. Forthcoming, Journal of Law and Economics. Antitrust scholars have come to accept the basic ideas about exclusive dealing that Bork articulated in The Antitrust Paradox. Indeed, they have even extended his list of reasons why exclusive dealing can promote economic efficiency. Yet they have also taken up his challenge to explain how exclusive dealing could possibly cause harm, and have modelled a variety of special cases where it does. Some (albeit not all) of these are sufficiently plausible to be useful to prosecutors and judges. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2308218.

  3. "Lowering the Bar to Raise Up the Bar: Licensing Difficulty and Attorney Quality in Japan," with J. Mark Ramseyer. Forthcoming, Journal of Japanese Studies. Under certain circumstance, a relaxation in occupational licensing standards can increase the quality of those who enter the industry. The effect turns on the opportunity costs of preparing for the licensing examination: making the test easier can increase the quality of those passing if it lowers the opportunity costs enough to increase the number of those willing to go to the trouble of taking the test. We explore the theoretical circumstances under which this can occur and the actual effect of the relaxation of the difficulty of the bar exam in Japan from 1992 to 2011. http://rasmusen.org/papers/barpass-ram-ras.pdf.

3. Useful Notes, Not for Publication

  1. "Principles of Graphs and Tables." Tips for undergraduate writing ( http://www.rasmusen.org/g492/14_graphs.htm).

4. Miscellaneous, without Circulating Papers,

  1. Project: "Uncertainty as an Efficiency Reason for Exclusive Dealing"

  2. Project: "Technological Inefficiency of Monopolies: Hayekian and Organizational Approaches"

  3. Project: "Agape, the Golden Rule, the Rule of Law, and Wealth Maximization: All the Same Idea?" Agape is better translated as "esteem" than "love". Applied to public policy, it implies equality under the law, not pity or social justice. Mercy is a Christian private virtue, but not a public one.

  4. Project: "What Does It Mean To Be a Liberal? An Objective Approach.'' How does one define what it means to be a liberal or a conservative? People disagree. I suggest that it is useful to find an objective measure of liberalism based on what the average person in the population thinks it means to be liberal. I do this by regressing a person's self-reported degree of conservatism on his personal characteristics and his answers to specific political questions. using data from the General Social Survey. This method also allows one to test whether people think of liberalism as a characteristic of social identity (e.g., ``I'm an unmarried black female, so I must be liberal'') or of political belief (e.g., ``I'm pro-abortion, so I must be a liberal''). I argue that the best way to do these regressions is by openly mining the data in a way as transparent as possible, ignoring the concept of statistical significance.

  5. "Belief in God: A Game Theory Approach. "

  6. Notes on ``Biased Experts in a Sender-Receiver Model.'' http://www.rasmusen.org/papers/bias-rasmusen.tex.

  7. ``Odd, Enter; Even, Out: A Peculiarity of Buyout, Blackmail, Extortion, and Nuisance Suit Games.''

  8. "Three Years or Six to Audit? The Ill-Considered Intermountain Decision," The IRS wishes to interpret “omits from gross income” to mean “reports but understates gross income” to extend the period for audit from three years to six. It took that position without notice-and-comment, in the context of the hot pursuit of a particular tax shelter, and after losing in court, with all 13 Tax Court judges concurring, it made the motions of going through notice-and-comment so as to get Chevron deference on appeal. This paper discusses what should be considered in choosing a statute of limitations and points out how these considerations were completely ignored in IRS decisionmaking. This provides a good example for showing how the various theories of Chevron deference work.

  9. "Hold-Up as a Social Cost of Monopoly with Perfectly Competitive Retailers or with Consumers."

  10. ``What Asset Sale Price Is Fair? – The Chrysler Bankruptcy Section 363 Sale'' (with J. Mark Ramseyer).

  11. "A Simple Model of Keynesian Fiscal Policy." A one-input, one-period, two-good, extremely simple structural model with rigid prices and labor markets can generate Keynesian effects.

URL: http://www.rasmusen.org/unpabs.htm. Indiana University, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, in the Kelley School of Business, BU 456, 1309 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1701, (812)855-9219. Comments: Erasmuse@Indiana.edu.

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