Lasha Chochua

I am a PhD candidate


                   Bielefeld Graduate School of
                   Economics and Management
                   Bielefeld University
                   V8-110, Universitätsstr. 25, 33615 Bielefeld
                   phone: +49 521 106-6883
                   Email: lasha.chochua@uni-bielefeld.de


I am a PhD candidate in Economics at Bielefeld University.

My research focuses primarily on International Trade, Global Trade Agreements and International Trade Policy. I am interested in Decision Theory under Ambiguity as well.

I will be available at the ASSA meeting in Philadelphia in January 2018.

You can download my CV here.

Job Market Paper: "The Farsighted Stability of Global Trade Policy Arrangements" with Stefan Berens

Abstract: In this paper, we study and compare the stability of trade policy arrangements in two different regulatory scenarios, one with and one without Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs), i.e. current vs. modified WTO rules. Unlike the existing literature, our paper considers an extensive choice set of trade constellations, containing both available PTAs, Customs Unions (CUs) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), as well as Multilateral Trade Agreements (MTAs), while assuming unlimited farsightedness of the negotiating parties. With symmetric countries and under both the current and the modified WTO rules, the Global Free Trade (GFT) regime emerges as the unique stable outcome. In the case of asymmetry, the results are driven by the relative size of the countries. If the world is in the vicinity of symmetry and two out of three countries are close to identical while relatively smaller than the other one, the area where the GFT regime is stable increases when prohibiting PTAs. However, when two similar countries are relatively larger, the availability of PTAs is conducive to the stability of the GFT regime. Finally, if the world is further away from symmetry, full trade liberalization is not attainable at all and an area where the Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) regime is stable appears in the scenario without PTAs. Thus, the direction of the effect of PTAs on trade liberalization depends on the degree of asymmetry among countries.

Research Papers:

"The Impartial Observer under Uncertainty" with Stefan Berens, Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers. Vol. 576, 2017

Abstract: This paper extends Harsanyi’s Impartial Observer Theorem by introducing Knightian Uncertainty in the form of individual belief systems. It features an axiomatic framework of societal decision-making in the presence of individual uncertainty. The model allows the analysis of scenarios where individuals agree on the ranking but not on the likelihood of social outcomes. The preferences of the impartial observer are represented by a weighted sum of utilities - each representing individual preferences with different belief systems. In order to incorporate common criticism of the framework of Harsanyi (1953), our approach is based on the generalized version by Grant et al. (2010). The belief systems are introduced as second-order beliefs following Seo (2009).

"Endogenous Trade Policy in the Presence of Lobbying and Heterogeneously Ignorant Voters" with George Papava

Abstract: Based on the Protection for Sale approach of Grossman and Helpman (1994) we develop a theoretical model in which organized groups provide political contributions to influence trade policy. The incumbent government cares about contributions, yet at the same time takes into account the reactions of voters. We formally consider voting decisions of citizens, assuming they have heterogeneous ignorance thresholds, and explicitly derive the objective function of the policy maker. We find that the resulting equilibrium structure of protection differs from the standard case. Free trade obtains only if no group lobbies and ignorance levels are uniform. In general, higher ignorance levels lead to lower (if any) protection from the government and, in addition, in equilibrium groups represented by lobbies are not always supported by the incumbent government.

Work in Progress:

"Ignorance and Trade Policy: An Empirical Investigation" with George Papava
"Individual Apathy towards International Trade Policy"






Hale Utar’s recent work

titled “Workers beneath the Floodgates: Impact of Low-Wage Import Competition and Workers' Adjustment” has been accepted for publication at the Review of Economics and Statistics.”