NBER Working Papers by Prachi Mishra

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Working Papers

December 2016Understanding Inflation in India
with Laurence Ball, Anusha Chari: w22948
This paper examines the behavior of quarterly inflation in India since 1994, both headline inflation and core inflation as measured by the weighted median of price changes across industries. We explain core inflation with a Phillips curve in which the inflation rate depends on a slow-moving average of past inflation and on the deviation of output from trend. Headline inflation is more volatile than core: it fluctuates due to large changes in the relative prices of certain industries, which are largely but not exclusively industries that produce food and energy. There is some evidence that changes in headline inflation feed into expected inflation and future core inflation. Several aspects of India’s inflation process are similar to inflation in advanced economies in the 1970s and 80s.
June 2012Democracy and Reforms: Evidence from a New Dataset
with Paola Giuliano, Antonio Spilimbergo: w18117
Empirical evidence on the relationship between democracy and economic reforms is limited to few reforms, countries, and periods. This paper studies the effect of democracy on the adoption of economic reforms using a new dataset on reforms in the financial, capital and banking sectors, product markets, agriculture, and trade for 150 countries over the period 1960-2004. Democracy has a positive and significant impact on the adoption of economic reforms but there is scarce evidence that economic reforms foster democracy. Our results are robust to the inclusion of a large variety of controls and estimation strategies.

Published: Paola Giuliano & Prachi Mishra & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2013. "Democracy and Reforms: Evidence from a New Dataset," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 179-204, October. citation courtesy of

November 2011The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying
with William R. Kerr, William F. Lincoln: w17577
We study the determinants of the dynamics of firm lobbying behavior using a panel data set covering 1998-2006. Our data exhibit three striking facts: (i) few firms lobby, (ii) lobbying status is strongly associated with firm size, and (iii) lobbying status is highly persistent over time. Estimating a model of a firm's decision to engage in lobbying, we find significant evidence that up-front costs associated with entering the political process help explain all three facts. We then exploit a natural experiment in the expiration in legislation surrounding the H-1B visa cap for high-skilled immigrant workers to study how these costs affect firms' responses to policy changes. We find that companies primarily adjusted on the intensive margin: the firms that began to lobby for immigration were t...

Kerr, William R., William F. Lincoln, and Prachi Mishra. "The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (forthcoming). citation courtesy of

May 2011A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis
with Deniz Igan, Thierry Tressel: w17076
Has lobbying by financial institutions contributed to the financial crisis? This paper uses detailed information on financial institutions' lobbying and mortgage lending activities to answer this question. We find that lobbying was associated with more risk-taking during 2000-07 and with worse outcomes in 2008. In particular, lenders lobbying more intensively on issues related to mortgage lending and securitization (i) originated mortgages with higher loan-to-income ratios, (ii) securitized a faster growing proportion of their loans, and (iii) had faster growing originations of mortgages. Moreover, delinquency rates in 2008 were higher in areas where lobbying lenders' mortgage lending grew faster. These lenders also experienced negative abnormal stock returns during the rescue of Bear...


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