Richard Merton Peck
2211 Campus Dr
Evanston, IL 60208
Institutional Affiliation: Northwestern University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2019||The Promise and Pitfalls of Conflict Prediction: Evidence from Colombia and Indonesia|
with Samuel Bazzi, Robert A. Blair, Christopher Blattman, Oeindrila Dube, Matthew Gudgeon: w25980
Policymakers can take actions to prevent local conflict before it begins, if such violence can be accurately predicted. We examine the two countries with the richest available sub-national data: Colombia and Indonesia. We assemble two decades of fine-grained violence data by type, alongside hundreds of annual risk factors. We predict violence one year ahead with a range of machine learning techniques. Models reliably identify persistent, high-violence hot spots. Violence is not simply autoregressive, as detailed histories of disaggregated violence perform best. Rich socio-economic data also substitute well for these histories. Even with such unusually rich data, however, the models poorly predict new outbreaks or escalations of violence. "Best case" scenarios with panel data fall short of ...
|August 2010||Cigarette Excise Taxation: The Impact of Tax Structure on Prices, Revenues, and Cigarette Smoking|
with Frank J. Chaloupka, IV, John A. Tauras, Xin Xu, Ayda Yurekli: w16287
The main purpose of this study is to provide empirical evidence on the effects of the cigarette excise tax structure on three outcomes: cigarette prices, government revenues, and cigarette consumption. We composed cross-sectional time-series data for 21 EU countries from year 1998 to 2007 from various data resources. We provide strong evidence that the price gap between premium and low-priced brands is larger in countries with a greater share of ad valorem tax. A 10-percent raise in the share of ad valorem tax in total excise tax leads to about a 4 to 5 percent increase in the price gap, with a smaller impact in more concentrated markets. Our estimates confirm that greater instability of government tax revenues from cigarette excise taxes can be attributed to greater reliance on the ad v...