Essays on Production Efficiency, Tariffs and Trade, and Oil Price and US Macroeconomic
Type of Degreedissertation
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The dissertation explores three different subjects. The first chapter investigates the source and trend of agricultural productivity growth in African countries with a translog production function. The second chapter examines whether the anti-dumping policy implemented by the United States and China have the expected impacts on the auto parts, poultry, and tires industries in the US and Alabama. The third chapter examines the impact of oil prices on the US economy in a model of the product market, money market, and trade balance. The first topic examines technical efficiency, technical change, and total factor productivity for the agricultural sector of 23 African countries with a stochastic production frontier function. Data are from Food and Agriculture Organization and World Bank, 1971-2006. Results show a low level of efficiency (13 %). Technical efficiency varies from 1% to 94%. Irrigation increases productivity growth while the amount of rain has a negative effect. The results show an efficiency regression with slow technical progress over the sample period. These opposing effects lead to 1.4% annual productivity growth which is marginal for ensuring food security in Africa. The second chapter examines whether the anti-dumping policy implemented by the United States and China have the expected impacts on the auto parts, poultry, and tires industries in the US and Alabama. The estimation of the chicken parts, auto parts, and tires is carried out with a partial equilibrium model and two stage least square methods. The welfare impacts are calculated for the US and China. The results reveal that trade policy had adverse effects on consumers and producers. In the three products, China loses from trade retaliation more than US. The total cost of trade restriction for China and US economy is about $1.3 billion and $1 billion respectively. In poultry products, chicken feet and wings are significantly hurt from the tariff policy. Chinese consumers bore more tariff than US producers in legs, wings, and offal, while US producers endure almost two third of the chicken feet tariff. In auto parts, Chinese consumers experienced the highest welfare losses. Furthermore, the economic impact of trade retaliation was carried out in Alabama using market share. Alabama consumer loss was great due to Alabama’s largest market share in those industries. The third chapter examines the impact of oil price fluctuations on the US economy in a model of the product market, money market, and balance of trade with annual time series data from 1974 to 2012. The study includes GDP per capita, trade balance, the exchange rate, and consumer price index as endogenous variables, and the oil price, money supply, fiscal budget, and foreign income as exogenous. The analysis uses a vector error correction model regression. The results find an inverse relationship between crude oil prices and the trade balance but a positive relationship with inflation. However, the magnitude of the effect on trade balance was greater than on inflation.