NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by David Levine

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Working Papers and Chapters

July 2014The Impact of Rainfall on Rice Output in Indonesia
with Dean Yang: w20302
We estimate the impact of weather variation on agricultural output in Indonesia by examining the impact of local rainfall shocks on rice output at the district level. Our analysis makes use of local meteorological data on rainfall in combination with government administrative data on district-level rice output in the 1990s. We find that deviations from mean local rainfall are positively associated with district-level rice output. 10% higher rainfall leads metric tons of rice output to be 0.4% higher on average. The impact of rainfall on rice output occurs contemporaneously (in the same calendar year), rather than with a lag. These results suggest that researchers should be justified in interpreting higher rainfall as a positive contemporaneous shock to local economic conditions in Indonesi...
January 2002Information Aggregation, Security Design and Currency Swaps
with Bhagwan Chowdhry, Mark Grinblatt: w8746
A model of security design based on the principle of information aggregation and alignment is used to show that (i) firms needing to finance their operations should issue different securities to different groups of investors in order to aggregate their disparate information and (ii) each security should be highly correlated (closely aligned) with the private information signal of the investor to whom it is marketed. This alignment reduces the adverse selection penalty paid by a firm with superior information. Adverse selection costs are often contingent on ex post publicly observable and contractible state variables such as exchange rates. In such cases, debt contracts are dominated by currency swaps. Moreover, optimal securities are derivative contracts that are contingent on state variab...
June 2000Changes in Managerial Pay Structures 1986-1992 and Rising Returns to Skill
with K.C. O'Shaughnessy, Peter Cappelli: w7730
We examine the relationship between wages and skill requirements in a sample of over 50,000 managers in 39 companies between 1986 and 1992. The data include an unusually good measure of job requirements and skills that can proxy for human capital. We find that wage inequality increased both within and between firms from 1986 and 1992. Higher returns to our measure of skill accounts for most of the increasing inequality within firms. At the same time, our measure of skill does not explain much of the cross-sectional variance in average wages between employers, and changes in returns to skill do not explain any of the time series increase in between-firm variance over time. Finally, we find only weak evidence of any declines in the rigidity of internal wage structures of large employers.

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