WorldCat Identities

Townsend, Robert M. 1948-

Works: 76 works in 254 publications in 1 language and 3,668 library holdings
Genres: History 
Roles: Author, Editor
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Robert M Townsend
The medieval village economy : a study of the Pareto mapping in general equilibrium models by Robert M Townsend( Book )

9 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 344 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Households as corporate firms : an analysis of household finance using integrated household surveys and corporate financial accounting by Krislert Samphantharak( Book )

11 editions published between 2009 and 2010 in English and held by 241 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This investigation proposes a conceptual framework for measurement necessary for an analysis of household finance and economic development. The authors build on and, where appropriate, modify corporate financial accounts to create balance sheets, income statements, and statements of cash flows for households in developing countries, using an integrated household survey. The authors also illustrate how to apply the accounts to an analysis of household finance that includes productivity of household enterprises, capital structure, liquidity, financing, and portfolio management. The conceptualization of this analysis has important implications for measurement, questionnaire design, the modeling of household decisions, and the analysis of panel data"--Provided by publisher
Financial systems in developing economies : growth, inequality, and policy evaluation in Thailand by Robert M Townsend( Book )

17 editions published between 2010 and 2011 in English and held by 198 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Ique in its approach and in the variety of methods and data employed, this book is the first of its kind to provide an in-depth evaluation of the financial system of Thailand, a proto-typical Asian developing economy. Using a wealth of primary source qualitative and quantitative data, including survey data collected by the author, it evaluates the impact of specific financial institutions, markets for credit and insurance, and government policies on growth, inequality, and poverty at the macro, regional, and village level in Thailand. Useful not only as a guide to the Thai economy but more importantly as a means of assessing the impact that financial institutions and policy variation can have at the macro- and micro-level, including the distribution of gains and losses, this book will be invaluable to academics and policymakers with an interest in development finance
Chronicles from the field : the Townsend Thai project by Robert M Townsend( Book )

10 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 161 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This fascinating and accessible text describes Townsend's field research efforts in Thailand that span over 15 years, making it perhaps the longest running, high-frequency panel data set in a developing country. The survey has provided detailed and accurate information about household financial activities and behavior, allowing a better understanding of how household decisions have an impact on the regional and national economy. One can see from the Townsend Thai Data what is actually happening at a household level, via annual panel data for 985 households in over 50 villages and separately, 150 months of in-depth monthly data for 680 households. The book is also uniquely about the human side of the story of the Townsend Thai project, and should appeal to a broader audience of practicing social scientists and their students who need to gather data and run surveys to do evaluations. The book is unique: it grows out of Townsend's deep and extended experiences working as a development economist in Thailand and attempting to relate rigorous academic research with policy via one of the longest-running surveys of its kind. The book is told as a compelling story, and is in part a window into Thai culture. The reader learns what it is really like working with survey staff and households on the ground in a developing country. The book carefully relates the problems encountered and how they were resolved in collecting the data. It also provides important technical details to clarify the sampling procedures, the survey instruments, the response rates, data quality checks, and attrition"--Provided by publisher
Testing the induced innovation hypothesis in South African agriculture an error correction approach by Colin G Thirtle( Book )

4 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 66 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

November 1995 Apparently factor prices do matter in agricultural production and in the selection of production technology. And in South Africa, more attention should be focused on the technological needs of small-scale farmers. Current policies sustain the bias toward labor-saving technical change, hardly appropriate for a labor-surplus economy in which small farmers in the former homelands face a chronic scarcity of land. Thirtle, Townsend, and van Zyl investigate whether factor prices matter in agricultural production and in the selection of production technology. Each stage of the analysis corroborates the inducement hypothesis, which implies that factor prices do matter in agricultural production and in the selection of production technology. The empirical results also suggest that observed rates and biases of technological change are influenced by average farm size, by spending on research and extension, and by favorable tax and interest-rate policies. In South Africa, the authors contend, more attention should be focused on the technological needs of small-scale farmers. The lobbying power of the large commercial farmers, combined with policies followed under apartheid, must have influenced the allocation of research and development funds between labor- and land-saving technical change. This will have distorted the technological bias toward labor-saving technical change, which is hardly appropriate for a labor-surplus economy in which small farmers in the former homelands face a chronic scarcity of land. These results show that factor prices do matter in agricultural production and the selection of production technology. And there seems to be merit to the World Bank's usual policy prescription -- structural adjustment and market liberalization -- for economies in which prices are controlled and distorted. They investigate the role of factor prices by applying cointegration techniques to a model of induced innovation based on the two-stage constant elasticity of substitution production function. This approach results in direct tests of the inducement hypothesis, which are applied to data for South African agriculture for the period 1947-92. They check the time series properties of the variables, establish cointegration, and construct an error correction model (ECM) that allows factor substitution to be separated from technological change. Finally, they subject the ECM formulation to tests of causality, which show that the factor price ratios induce the factor-saving biases of technological change. This paper --a product of the Office of the Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources Department -- is part of a larger effort in the department to design appropriate agricultural policies
Patterns of rainfall insurance participation in rural India by Xavier Gine( )

8 editions published between 2007 and 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 41 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper describes the contract design and institutional features of an innovative rainfall insurance policy offered to smallholder farmers in rural India, and presents preliminary evidence on the determinants of insurance participation. Insurance takeup is found to be decreasing in basis risk between insurance payouts and income fluctuations, increasing in household wealth and decreasing in the extent to which credit constraints bind. These results match with predictions of a simple neoclassical model appended with borrowing constraints. Other patterns are less consistent with the "benchmark" model; namely, participation in village networks and measures of familiarity with the insurance vendor are strongly correlated with insurance takeup decisions, and risk-averse households are found to be less, not more, likely to purchase insurance. We suggest that these results reflect household uncertainty about the product itself, given their limited experience with it
Statistical analysis of rainfall insurance payouts in Southern India by Xavier Gine( )

6 editions published between 2007 and 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 39 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Using 40 years of historical rainfall data, this paper estimates a distribution for payouts on rainfall insurance policies offered to farmers in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India, in 2006. The authors find that the contracts primarily protect households against extreme tail events; half the expected value of indemnities paid by the insurance are generated by only 2 percent of rainfall realizations. Contract payouts are significantly correlated cross-sectionally, and also inversely associated with real GDP growth. The paper discusses the implications of these findings for the potential benefits of insurance to households, the risks facing a financial institution underwriting rainfall insurance contracts, and pricing
Financial structure and economic organization : key elements and patterns in theory and history by Robert Townsend( Book )

10 editions published in 1990 in English and held by 34 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Evaluation of financial liberalization : a general equilibrium model with constrained occupation choice by Xavier Gine( Book )

9 editions published in 2003 in English and Undetermined and held by 25 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The objective of this paper is to assess both the aggregate growth effects and the distributional consequences of financial liberalization as observed in Thailand from 1976 to 1996. A general equilibrium occupational choice model with two sectors, one without intermediation, and the other with borrowing and lending, is taken to Thai data. Key parameters of the production technology and the distribution of entrepreneurial talent are estimated by maximizing the likelihood of transition into business given initial wealth as observed in two distinct datasets. Other parameters of the model are calibrated to try to match the two decades of growth as well as observed changes in inequality, labor share, savings, and the number of entrepreneurs. Without an expansion in the size of the intermediated sector, Thailand would have evolved very differently, namely, with a drastically lower growth rate, high residual subsistence sector, non-increasing wages, but lower inequality. The financial liberalization brings welfare gains and losses to different subsets of the population. Primary winners are talented would-be entrepreneurs who lack credit and cannot otherwise go into business (or invest little capital). Mean gains for these winners range from 17 to 34 percent of observed overall average household income. But liberalization also induces greater demand by entrepreneurs for workers resulting in increases in the wage and lower profits of relatively rich entrepreneurs of the same order of magnitude as the observed overall average income of firm owners. Foreign capital has no significant impact on growth or the distribution of observed income. This paper--a product of Finance, Development Research Group--is part of a larger effort in the group to understand financial liberalization and its impact on growth
Financial deepening, inequality, and growth : a model-based quantitative evaluation by Robert M Townsend( Book )

9 editions published in 2003 in English and Undetermined and held by 23 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We propose a coherent unified approach to the study of the linkages among economic growth, financial structure, and inequality, bringing together disparate theoretical and empirical literature. That is, we show how to conduct model-based quantitative research on transitional paths. With analytical and numerical methods, we calibrate and make tractable a prototype canonical model and take it to an application, namely, Thailand 1976-1996, an emerging economy in a phase of economic expansion with uneven financial deepening and increasing inequality. We broadly replicate the actual data, test the model formally, and identify anomalies
Transitional growth with increasing inequality and financial deepening by Robert M Townsend( Book )

5 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 23 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We study models that display growth with financial deepening in increasing inequality along the way to perpetual steady state growth. A benchmark model is essentially a complete markets model but with transaction costs of financial intermediation. New proofs are required and thus provided for stochastic dynamic programming for the case of unbounded return functions and perpetual growth with non-onvex transaction technology. We calibrate the model and report quantitative predictions for Thailand during 1976-96. We find a discrepancy between the model and the data, suspect barriers to financial deepening was a cause, and evaluate the associated welfare loss
Welfare gains from financial liberalization by Robert M Townsend( Book )

8 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 15 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Financial liberalization has been a controversial issue as there is little empirical evidence for its positive effects on economic growth. However, we find sizable welfare gains, 1 to 28 percent of permanent consumption though, consistent with the literature, the gain in the economic growth is ambiguous, -0.2 to 0.7 percent. We apply a canonical growth model with endogenous financial deepening to Thailand, 1976-96. As effective bank transaction costs decline, more people take advantage of financial services. We estimate the gains by comparing model simulations under the historical episode of financial liberalization to those under a hypothetical continuation of financial repression
Demand and reimbursement effects of healthcare reform : health care utilization and infant mortality in Thailand by Jonathan Gruber( Book )

6 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 13 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Thai 30 Baht program was one of the largest health system reforms ever undertaken by a low-middle income country. In addition to lowering the cost of care for the previously uninsured in public facilities, it also entailed a fourfold increase in funding provided to hospitals to care for the poorest 30% of the population (who were already publicly insured). For the previously uninsured, we find that the 30 Baht program led to increased health care utilization, as well as a shift from private to public sources of care. But, we find a larger increase for the poor who were previously publicly insured, especially amongst infants and women of childbearing age. Using vital statistics records, we find that the increased access to healthcare by the publicly insured poor led to a reduction in their infant mortality of at least 6.5 per 1,000 births. This suggests significant improvements in infant mortality rates can be achieved through increased access to healthcare services for the poor and marginalized groups
Barriers to household risk management: Evidence from India by Shawn Cole( Book )

14 editions published between 2009 and 2012 in English and held by 13 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Financial engineering offers the potential to significantly reduce consumption fluctuations faced by individuals, households, and firms. Yet much of this promise remains unrealized. In this paper, we study the adoption of an innovative rainfall insurance product designed to compensate low-income Indian farmers in case of deficient rainfall during the primary monsoon season. We first document relatively low levels of adoption of this new risk management technology: only 5-10% of households purchase insurance, even though rainfall variability is overwhelmingly cited by households as the most important risk they face. We then conduct a series of randomized field experiments to test theoretical predictions of why adoption may be low
Distinguishing constraints on financial inclusion and their impact on GDP and inequality by Era Dabla-Norris( Book )

8 editions published between 2014 and 2017 in English and held by 8 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Abstract: We develop a micro-founded general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents to identify pertinent constraints to financial inclusion. We evaluate quantitatively the policy impacts of relaxing each of these constraints separately, and in combination, on GDP and inequality. We focus on three dimensions of financial inclusion: access (determined by the size of participation costs), depth (determined by the size of collateral constraints resulting from limited commitment), and intermediation efficiency (determined by the size of interest rate spreads and default possibilities due to costly monitoring). We take the model to firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey and World Development Indicators for six countries at varying degrees of economic development - three low income countries (Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique), and three emerging market countries (Malaysia, the Philippines, and Egypt). The results suggest that alleviating different financial frictions have a differential impact across countries, with country-specific characteristics playing a central role in determining the linkages and trade-offs among inclusion, GDP, inequality, and the distribution of gains and losses
Dynamic Financial Constraints Distinguishing Mechanism Design from Exogenously Incomplete Regimes by Alexander Karaivanov( Book )

5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 8 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We formulate and solve a range of dynamic models of constrained credit/insurance that allow for moral hazard and limited commitment. We compare them to full insurance and exogenously incomplete financial regimes (autarky, saving only, borrowing and lending in a single asset). We develop computational methods based on mechanism design, linear programming, and maximum likelihood to estimate, compare, and statistically test these alternative dynamic models with financial/information constraints. Our methods can use both cross-sectional and panel data and allow for measurement error and unobserved heterogeneity. We estimate the models using data on Thai households running small businesses from two separate samples. We find that in the rural sample, the exogenously incomplete saving only and borrowing regimes provide the best fit using data on consumption, business assets, investment, and income. Family and other networks help consumption smoothing there, as in a moral hazard constrained regime. In contrast, in urban areas, we find mechanism design financial/information regimes that are decidedly less constrained, with the moral hazard model fitting best combined business and consumption data. We perform numerous robustness checks in both the Thai data and in Monte Carlo simulations and compare our maximum likelihood criterion with results from other metrics and data not used in the estimation. A prototypical counterfactual policy evaluation exercise using the estimation results is also featured
Segregated security exchanges with ex ante rights to trade : a market-based solution to collateral-constrained externalities by Robert M Townsend( Book )

5 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 7 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper studies a competitive general equilibrium model with default and endogenous collateralized contracts. The possibility of trade in spot markets creates externalities, as spot prices and the bindingness of collateral constraints interact. We propose a market based solution which overcomes the externalities problem and obviates the needs for any government policy intervention. If agents are allowed to contract ex ante on market fundamentals determining the state-contingent spot prices used to unwind collateral, over and above contracting on true underlying states of the world, then standard existence and welfare theorems apply, that is, competitive equilibria are equivalent with Pareto optima
Risk and return in village economies by Krislert Samphantharak( Book )

5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 7 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We present a framework for the study of risk and return of household enterprise in developing economies. We make predictions from two polar benchmarks: (1) an economy with Pareto optimal allocations under full risk sharing, and (2) an economy in which each autarky household absorbs risk in isolation. The full risk-sharing benchmark delivers the prediction that only aggregate covariate risk contributes to the risk premium of asset returns while idiosyncratic risk is fully diversified, consistent with analogous results derived from the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) in the finance literature. The economy with autarky households predicts that overall fluctuation at the household level is the only concern. Our framework allows us to empirically decompose the total risk in production technologies operated by households into aggregate and idiosyncratic components and provides us with a practical procedure to compute risk premium for each component separately. We apply the framework to monthly panel data from a household survey in rural Thailand where there are active risk-sharing and kinship networks. We find that there is nontrivial aggregate risk and there is a positive relationship between the expected returns on assets and the comovement of asset returns with the aggregate returns, as predicted by the full risk-sharing economy. There is residual idiosyncratic risk and it also contributes to the total risk premium, as predicted by the autarky benchmark. However, although idiosyncratic risk is the dominant factor in total risk, our study shows that it accounts for a much smaller share of total risk premium. Exposure to aggregate and idiosyncratic risk is heterogeneous across households as are the corresponding risk-adjusted returns, with important implications for vulnerability and productivity
A market based solution to price externalities : a generalized framework by Weerachart T Kilenthong( Book )

5 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 7 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Pecuniary externalities have regained the interest of researchers as they seek policy interventions and regulations to remedy externality-induced distortions, e.g., balance sheet effects, amplifiers and fire sales. In this paper we go back to first principles and show how to design financial contracts and markets in such a way that ex ante competition can achieve a constrained-efficient allocation. The key as in general equilibrium theory is to extend the commodity space in such a way that bundling, exclusivity and additional markets internalize these pecuniary externalities. We devise in this paper a general way of proceeding that covers as a general case the large variety of example-economies which differ from one another in the particular source of the constraint generating the externality. A key take away from our approach is that we do not need to identify and quantify some policy intervention. With the appropriate ex ante design we can let markets solve the problem
Financial obstacles and inter-regional flow of funds by Benjamin Moll( Book )

5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 5 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Motivated by evidence from the micro data that the type of financial frictions faced by individuals varies across regions within countries, we develop a general equilibrium framework that encompasses different micro financial underpinnings. We use it to compare the implications of two concrete frictions, limited commitment and moral hazard, and argue that these have potentially very different implications at both the macro and the micro level. Aggregate productivity is depressed in the two regimes but for completely different reasons: under limited commitment capital is misallocated across heterogeneous firms. In contrast, under moral hazard, productivity is endogenously lower at the firm level because entrepreneurs exert suboptimal effort. Occupational choice, productivity and firm size distribution, income and wealth inequality, and the speed of individual transitions also differ markedly. We also present an economy with different frictions in different regions. Such mixture regimes turn out to be different from simple convex combinations of the pure moral hazard and pure limited commitment regimes, and they produce interregional patterns of aggregate income, capital and labor flows and external finance that resemble rural-urban patterns observed in the data
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The medieval village economy : a study of the Pareto mapping in general equilibrium models
Alternative Names
Morris Townsend, Robert 1948-

Robert M. Townsend American economist

Robert M. Townsend economista estadounidense

Robert M. Townsend économiste américain

Townsend, Robert 1948-

Townsend, Robert Morris 1948-

رابرت تاونسند

English (155)

Households as corporate firms : an analysis of household finance using integrated household surveys and corporate financial accountingFinancial systems in developing economies : growth, inequality, and policy evaluation in ThailandFinancial structure and economic organization : key elements and patterns in theory and history