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Wolfers, Justin

Overview
Works: 91 works in 630 publications in 2 languages and 5,793 library holdings
Genres: Longitudinal studies  Periodicals  Conference papers and proceedings  Vital statistics 
Roles: Author, Editor
Classifications: HB1, 330.072
Publication Timeline
Key
Publications about Justin Wolfers
Publications by Justin Wolfers
Most widely held works by Justin Wolfers
Prediction markets by Justin Wolfers( Book )
30 editions published between 2004 and 2006 in English and held by 78 libraries worldwide
We analyze the extent to which simple markets can be used to aggregate disperse information into efficient forecasts of uncertain future events. Drawing together data from a range of prediction contexts, we show that market-generated forecasts are typically fairly accurate, and that they outperform most moderately sophisticated benchmarks. Carefully designed contracts can yield insight into the market's expectations about probabilities, means and medians, and also uncertainty about these parameters. Moreover, conditional markets can effectively reveal the market's beliefs about regression coefficients, although we still have the usual problem of disentangling correlation from causation. We discuss a number of market design issues and highlight domains in which prediction markets are most likely to be useful
The role of shocks and institutions in the rise of European unemployment : the aggregate evidence by Olivier Blanchard( Book )
11 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and held by 54 libraries worldwide
Two key facts about European unemployment must be explained: the rise in unemployment since the 1960s, and the heterogeneity of individual country experiences. While adverse shocks can potentially explain much of the rise in unemployment, there is insufficient heterogeneity in these shocks to explain cross-country differences. Alternatively, while explanations focusing on labor market institutions explain cross-country differences explain current heterogeneity well, many of these institutions pre-date the rise in unemployment. Based on a panel of institutions and shocks for 20 OECD nations since 1960, we find that the interaction between shocks and institutions is crucial to explaining both stylized facts. We test two specifications, and each offers significant support for our interactions hypothesis. The first speculation assumes that there are common but unobservable shocks across countries, and that these shocks have a larger and more persistent effect in countries with poor labor market institutions. The second constructs series for the macro shocks, and again finds evidence that the same size shock has differential effects on unemployment when labor market institutions differ. We interpret this as suggesting that institutions determine the relevance of the unemployed to wage-setting, thereby determining the evolution of equilibrium unemployment rates following a shock
What do financial markets think of war in Iraq by Andrew Leigh( Book )
13 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 52 libraries worldwide
We analyze financial market data in order to produce an ex-ante assessment of the economic consequences of war with Iraq. The novel feature of our analysis derives from the existence of a market for Saddam Securities, ' a new future traded on an online betting exchange that pays only if Saddam Hussein is ousted. A variety of tests suggest that this future's price provides a plausible estimate of the probability of war. The spot oil price has moved closely with the Saddam Security, suggesting that war raises oil prices by around $10 per barrel. Futures prices imply that markets expect these large immediate disruptions to dissipate quickly, with prices returning to pre-war levels within about a year and a half. Evidence on the long-run effects is fragile, and while prices are probably expected to fall a little as a result of war, any oil dividend' will be minimal. We find large effects in equity markets: and war lowers the value of U.S. equities by around 15 percent. This effect is concentrated in the consumer discretionary sector, airlines and IT; the prospect of war bolsters the gold and energy sectors. Analyzing option prices, we find that the large estimated average effects of war reflect the market pricing in a range of different scenarios - a 70 percent probability that it will lead to market declines of 0 to 15 percent, a 20 percent chance of 15 to 30 percent declines, and a 10 percent risk of a fall in excess of 30 percent. Across countries, the most extreme effects are on the stock markets of Turkey, Israel, and several European nations. Countries that are highly enmeshed in the world economy, or net oil importers, are most likely to experience adverse effects from war
Marriage and divorce : changes and their driving forces by Betsey Stevenson( Book )
18 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 50 libraries worldwide
We document key facts about marriage and divorce, comparing trends through the past 150 years and outcomes across demographic groups and countries. While divorce rates have risen over the past 150 years, they have been falling for the past quarter century. Marriage rates have also been falling, but more strikingly, the importance of marriage at different points in the life cycle has changed, reflecting rising age at first marriage, rising divorce followed by high remarriage rates, and a combination of increased longevity with a declining age gap between husbands and wives. Cohabitation has also become increasingly important, emerging as a widely used step on the path to marriage. Out-of-wedlock fertility has also risen, consistent with declining "shotgun marriages". Compared with other countries, marriage maintains a central role in American life. We present evidence on some of the driving forces causing these changes in the marriage market: the rise of the birth control pill and women's control over their own fertility; sharp changes in wage structure, including a rise in inequality and partial closing of the gender wage gap; dramatic changes in home production technologies; and the emergence of the internet as a new matching technology. We note that recent changes in family forms demand a reassessment of theories of the family and argue that consumption complementarities may be an increasingly important component of marriage. Finally, we discuss the welfare implications of these changes
Aggregate shocks or aggregate information? : costly information and business cycle comovement by Laura Veldkamp( Book )
18 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 49 libraries worldwide
When similar patterns of expansion and contraction are observed across sectors, we call this a business cycle. Yet explaining the similarity and synchronization of these cycles across industries remains a puzzle. Whereas output growth across industries is highly correlated, identifiable shocks, like shocks to productivity, are far less correlated. While previous work has examined complementarities in production, we propose that sectors make similar input decisions because of complementarities in information acquisition. Because information about driving forces has a high fixed cost of production and a low marginal cost of replication, it can be more efficient for firms to share the cost of discovering common shocks than to invest in uncovering detailed sectoral information. Firms basing their decisions on this common information make highly correlated production choices. This mechanism amplifies the effects of common shocks, relative to sectoral shocks
Trust in Public Institutions over the Business Cycle by Betsey Stevenson( Book )
24 editions published between 2010 and 2011 in 3 languages and held by 48 libraries worldwide
We document that trust in public institutions--and particularly trust in banks, business and government--has declined over recent years. U.S. time series evidence suggests that this partly reflects the pro-cyclical nature of trust in institutions. Cross-country comparisons reveal a clear legacy of the Great Recession, and those countries whose unemployment grew the most suffered the biggest loss in confidence in institutions, particularly in trust in government and the financial sector. Finally, analysis of several repeated cross-sections of confidence within U.S. states yields similar qualitative patterns, but much smaller magnitudes in response to state-specific shocks
Explaining the favorite-longshot bias: is it risk-love or misperceptions? by Erik Snowberg( Computer File )
21 editions published in 2010 in English and German and held by 47 libraries worldwide
The favorite-longshot bias describes the longstanding empirical regularity that betting odds provide biased estimates of the probability of a horse winning longshots are overbet, while favorites are underbet. Neoclassical explanations of this phenomenon focus on rational gamblers who overbet longshots due to risk-love. The competing behavioral explanations emphasize the role of misperceptions of probabilities. We provide novel empirical tests that can discriminate between these competing theories by assessing whether the models that explain gamblers' choices in one part of their choice set (betting to win) can also rationalize decisions over a wider choice set, including compound bets in the exacta, quinella or trifecta pools. Using a new, large-scale dataset ideally suited to implement these tests we find evidence in favour of the view that misperceptions of probability drive the favorite-longshot bias, as suggested by Prospect Theory
Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth by Daniel W Sacks( Computer File )
22 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 47 libraries worldwide
We explore the relationships between subjective well-being and income, as seen across individuals within a given country, between countries in a given year, and as a country grows through time. We show that richer individuals in a given country are more satisfied with their lives than are poorer individuals, and establish that this relationship is similar in most countries around the world. Turning to the relationship between countries, we show that average life satisfaction is higher in countries with greater GDP per capita. The magnitude of the satisfaction-income gradient is roughly the same whether we compare individuals or countries, suggesting that absolute income plays an important role in influencing well- being. Finally, studying changes in satisfaction over time, we find that as countries experience economic growth, their citizens' life satisfaction typically grows, and that those countries experiencing more rapid economic growth also tend to experience more rapid growth in life satisfaction. These results together suggest that measured subjective well-being grows hand in hand with material living standards
Racial discrimination among NBA referees by Joseph Price( Book )
17 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 47 libraries worldwide
The NBA provides an intriguing place to test for taste-based discrimination: referees and players are involved in repeated interactions in a high-pressure setting with referees making the type of split-second decisions that might allow implicit racial biases to manifest themselves. Moreover, the referees receive constant monitoring and feedback on their performance. (Commissioner Stern has claimed that NBA referees "are the most ranked, rated, reviewed, statistically analyzed and mentored group of employees of any company in any place in the world.") The essentially arbitrary assignment of refereeing crews to basketball games, and the number of repeated interactions allow us to convincingly test for own-race preferences. We find -- even conditioning on player and referee fixed effects (and specific game fixed effects) -- that more personal fouls are called against players when they are officiated by an opposite-race refereeing crew than when officiated by an own-race crew. These biases are sufficiently large that we find appreciable differences in whether predominantly black teams are more likely to win or lose, based on the racial composition of the refereeing crew
Disagreement about inflation expectations by N. Gregory Mankiw( Book )
15 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 46 libraries worldwide
Analyzing 50 years of inflation expectations data from several sources, we document substantial disagreement among both consumers and professional economists about expected future inflation. Moreover, this disagreement shows substantial variation through time, moving with inflation, the absolute value of the change in inflation, and relative price variability. We argue that a satisfactory model of economic dynamics must speak to these important business cycle moments. Noting that most macroeconomic models do not endogenously generate disagreement, we show that a simple sticky-information' model broadly matches many of these facts. Moreover, the sticky-information model is consistent with other observed departures of inflation expectations from full rationality, including autocorrelated forecast errors and insufficient sensitivity to recent macroeconomic news
How Prediction Markets Can Save Event Studies by Erik Snowberg( file )
22 editions published between 2010 and 2011 in 3 languages and held by 45 libraries worldwide
This review paper articulates the relationship between prediction market data and event studies, with a special focus on applications in political economy. Event studies have been used to address a variety of political economy questions - from the economic effects of party control of government to the importance of complex rules in congressional committees. However, the results of event studies are notoriously sensitive to both choices made by researchers and external events. Specifically, event studies will generally produce different results depending on three interrelated things: which event window is chosen, the prior probability assigned to an event at the beginning of the event window, and the presence or absence of other events during the event window. In this paper we show how each of these may bias the results of event studies, and how prediction markets can mitigate these biases. -- prediction markets ; event studies ; political economy
Economic growth and subjective well being: reassessing the easterlin paradox by Betsey Stevenson( Book )
18 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 44 libraries worldwide
The "Easterlin paradox" suggests that there is no link between a society's economic development and its average level of happiness. We re-assess this paradox analyzing multiple rich datasets spanning many decades. Using recent data on a broader array of countries, we establish a clear positive link between average levels of subjective well-being and GDP per capita across countries, and find no evidence of a satiation point beyond which wealthier countries have no further increases in subjective well-being. We show that the estimated relationship is consistent across many datasets and is similar to the relationship between subject well-being and income observed within countries. Finally, examining the relationship between changes in subjective well-being and income over time within countries we find economic growth associated with rising happiness. Together these findings indicate a clear role for absolute income and a more limited role for relative income comparisons in determining happiness
Diagnosing discrimination : stock returns and CEO gender by Justin Wolfers( Book )
20 editions published between 2005 and 2006 in English and held by 43 libraries worldwide
A vast labor literature has found evidence of a "glass ceiling", whereby women are under-represented among senior management. A key question remains the extent to which this reflects unobserved differences in productivity, preferences, prejudice, or systematically biased beliefs about the ability of female managers. Disentangling these theories would require data on productivity, on the preferences of those who interact with managers, and on perceptions of productivity. Financial markets provide continuous measures of the market's perception of the value of firms, taking account of the beliefs of market participants about the ability of men and women in senior management. As such, financial data hold the promise of potentially providing insight into the presence of mistake-based discrimination. Specifically if female-headed firms were systematically under-estimated, this would suggest that female-headed firms would outperform expectations, yielding excess returns. Examining data on S&P 1500 firms over the period 1992-2004 I find no systematic differences in returns to holding stock in female-headed firms, although this result reflects the weak statistical power of our test, rather than a strong inference that financial markets either do or do not under-estimate female CEOs
Bargaining in the shadow of the law : divorce laws and family distress by Betsey Stevenson( Book )
12 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 42 libraries worldwide
Over the past thirty years changes in divorce law have significantly increased access to divorce. The different timing of divorce law reform across states provides a useful quasi-experiment with which to examine the effects of this change. We analyze state panel data to estimate changes in suicide, domestic violence, and spousal murder rates arising from the change in divorce law. Suicide rates are used as a quantifiable measure of wellbeing, albeit one that focuses on the extreme lower tail of the distribution. We find a large, statistically significant, and econometrically robust decline in the number of women committing suicide following the introduction of unilateral divorce. No significant effect is found for men. Domestic violence is analyzed using data on both family conflict resolution and intimate homicide rates. The results indicate a large decline in domestic violence for both men and women in states that adopted unilateral divorce. We find suggestive evidence that unilateral divorce led to a decline in females murdered by their partners, while the data revealed no discernible effects for men murdered. In sum, we find strong evidence that legal institutions have profound real effects on outcomes within families
Uses and abuses of empirical evidence in the death penalty debate by John J Donohue( Book )
18 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 38 libraries worldwide
Does the death penalty save lives? A surge of recent interest in this question has yielded a series of papers purporting to show robust and precise estimates of a substantial deterrent effect of capital punishment. We assess the various approaches that have been used in this literature, testing the robustness of these inferences. Specifically, we start by assessing the time series evidence, comparing the history of executions and homicides in the United States and Canada, and within the United States, between executing and non-executing states. We analyze the effects of the judicial experiments provided by the Furman and Gregg decisions and assess the relationship between execution and homicide rates in state panel data since 1934. We then revisit the existing instrumental variables approaches and assess two recent state-specific execution morartoria. In each case we find that previous inferences of large deterrent effects based upon specific examples, functional forms, control variables, comparison groups, or IV strategies are extremely fragile and even small changes in the specifications yield dramatically different results. The fundamental difficulty is that the death penalty -- at least as it has been implemented in the United States -- is applied so rarely that the number of homicides that it can plausibly have caused or deterred cannot be reliably disentangled from the large year-to-year changes in the homicide rate caused by other factors. As such, short samples and particular specifications may yield large but spurious correlations. We conclude that existing estimates appear to reflect a small and unrepresentative sample of the estimates that arise from alternative approaches. Sampling from the broader universe of plausible approaches suggests not just "reasonable doubt" about whether there is any deterrent effect of the death penalty, but profound uncertainty -- even about its sign
Macroeconomic derivatives : an initial analysis of market-based macro forecasts, uncertainty, and risk by Refet S Gurkaynak( Book )
16 editions published between 2005 and 2006 in English and held by 38 libraries worldwide
In September 2002, a new market in "Economic Derivatives" was launched allowing traders to take positions on future values of several macroeconomic data releases. We provide an initial analysis of the prices of these options. We find that market-based measures of expectations are similar to survey-based forecasts although the market-based measures somewhat more accurately predict financial market responses to surprises in data. These markets also provide implied probabilities of the full range of specific outcomes, allowing us to measure uncertainty, assess its driving forces, and compare this measure of uncertainty with the dispersion of point-estimates among individual forecasters (a measure of disagreement). We also assess the accuracy of market-generated probability density forecasts. A consistent theme is that few of the behavioral anomalies present in surveys of professional forecasts survive in equilibrium, and that these markets are remarkably well calibrated. Finally we assess the role of risk, finding little evidence that risk-aversion drives a wedge between market prices and probabilities in this market
The paradox of declining female happiness by Betsey Stevenson( file )
15 editions published between 2007 and 2009 in English and held by 36 libraries worldwide
By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women's happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women's declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging-one with higher subjective well-being for men
Brookings papers on economic activity : Spring 2009 by Justin Wolfers( Book )
9 editions published between 2009 and 2010 in English and Undetermined and held by 10 libraries worldwide
Tentative contents include The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life Cycle and Implications for Regulation Sumit Agarwal (Federal Reserve Bank Of Chicago), Xavier Gabaix (New York University), and David Laibson (Harvard University) Heeding Daedalus: Optimal Inflation and the Zero Lower Bound John C. Williams (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco) By How Much Does GDP Rise If the Government Buys More Output? Robert E. Hall (Stanford University) Interpreting the Unconventional U.S. Monetary Policy of 2007-09 Ricardo Reis (Columbia University) When the North Heads South: The World in Crisis Carmen M. Reinhart (University of Maryland), and Vincent Reinhart (American Enterprise Institute)
Brookings papers on economic activity : fall 2010 by David Romer( Book )
10 editions published between 2009 and 2011 in English and Undetermined and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Annotation Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA) provides academic and business economists, government officials, and members of the financial and business communities with timely research on current economic issues. Contents:Editors' SummaryThe Labor Market in the Great RecessionBy Michael W.L. Elsby (University of Michigan), Bart Hobijn (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco), and Aysegül Sahin (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)The Income- and Expenditure- Side Estimates of U.S. Output GrowthBy Jeremy J. Nalewaik (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)The Rug Rat RaceBy Garey Ramey and Valerie A. Ramey (University of California, San Diego)The CrisisBy Alan Greenspan (Greenspan Associates LLC)The Initial Impact of the Crisis on Emerging Market CountriesBy Olivier J. Blanchard (International Monetary Fund and MIT), Mitali Das (International Monetary Fund), and Hamid Faruqee (International Monetary Fund)Geographic Variation in Health Care: The Role of Private MarketsBy Tomas J. Philipson (University of Chicago), Seth A. Seabury (RAND Corporation), Lee M. Lockwood (University of Chicago), Dana P. Goldman (University of Southern California), and Darius Lakdawalla (Univeresity of Southern California)
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity Spring 2011 by David Romer( file )
7 editions published between 2010 and 2011 in English and held by 0 libraries worldwide
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Alternative Names
Justin Wolfers Amerikaans econoom
Justin Wolfers amerikanisch-australischer Ökonom
Justin Wolfers JUSTIN WALFERS Y LA BUSQUEDA DE LA FELICIDAD
Wolfers, J.
Wolfers, Justin James Michael
Languages
English (329)
German (3)
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