Internal Lunch Seminars
Internal Lunch Seminar is an informal forum where local researchers present their work in progress and receive criticism and feedback from colleagues. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunch box or sandwich to the seminar. Please drop us an e-mail if you wish to present your work..
Previous seminars are archived.
Conventional vs. Digital Vigilante Practices in the Far Right and Anti-Far Right StrategiesLecturer: Radka Vicenová Affiliation: Comenius University, Bratislava ESF ACADEMIC CLUB (Floor -1) 2:00 PM • 11/24/2017
Abstract: The lecture will focus on the concept of vigilantism in the strategies of far right groups in Slovakia as well as in the context of the response from the civil society initiatives. While in the case of far right groups we can see various examples of conventional vigilante strategies used as a tool of political struggle, the civil society is adopting especially diverse digital vigilante practices in order to actively challenge the presence of far right agenda in the public discourse. In both cases, the interaction of online and offline world will be explored, with special attention to the role of the government and state authorities in the equation.
The effect of anchors on task duration estimatesLecturer: Matej Lorko Affiliation: Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Sydney ESF ACADEMIC CLUB (Floor -1) 12:00 PM • 11/24/2017
(Coffee and sandwiches will be available at the seminar)
Abstract: The ability to accurately estimate the duration of planned tasks is the cornerstone of successful time and project management. It is naturally appealing to expect that the accuracy of estimates increases with estimators' professional experience. However, contrary to the intuition, many companies keep estimating over-optimistically. Projects then run late and trigger budget extensions. We hypothesize that project time estimates can be influenced by anchors such as managerial suggestions or customer expectations. Suggestions driven by wishful thinking can cause the estimates to become too optimistic. Moreover, in the absence of estimation feedback, the effect of anchor can persist over time and influence subsequent estimates of the same or similar task. Even when there is no anchor before the first estimate available, the first estimate itself can serve as an anchor for future estimates and cause systematic bias. We experimentally test the influence of numerical anchors on duration estimates of a simple real effort task. In addition, we test the interplay between anchor and task experience by repeating the task estimation and performance process in multiple rounds. We find strong anchoring effects which persist over time. We also find an evidence of a self-anchoring effect.
Old sins cast long shadows: Long-term effects of social capital destruction on residential migrationLecturer: Martin Guzi Affiliation: Masaryk University ESF Room s307 12:50 PM • 11/20/2017
(Cake will be available from 12:40 with the seminar starting promptly at 12:50)
Abstract: The theoretical models suggest there is a negative relationship between social capital and migration (Glaeser et al 2002, David et al 2010, Bräuninger and Tolciu 2011). The simultaneity between investment in social capital and residential mobility decisions leads to an identification problem for empirical analysis. In this paper we exploit the post-war resettlement process in Czechoslovakia as a natural experiment to confirm the causal effect of social capital on residential mobility. After World War II over 3 million Germans (some 29% of the total population in Czech lands) were forcibly expelled leaving behind empty villages and their property. Abandoned lands were swiftly resettled with Czech inhabitants creating new communities in former German villages. Our identification strategy exploits the variation in migration behavior along the historical dividing line between formerly Czech (refereed to as old) and German (new) settlements. For the analysis we employ administrative data on changes of permanent residency in the Czech Republic during 1971–2015. Our results document the enduring effects of social capital destruction in the settlements influenced by the resettlement process. We show a consistently higher migration rates in the new communities vis-a-vis the old communities. A set of falsification tests validates the interpretation of the results.
Financial Decision-Making among Finance StudentsLecturer: Barbora Chmelíková Affiliation: Masaryk University Academic club 12:00 PM • 6/28/2017
Making sound financial decisions is an essential skill which can have an impact on life of each consumer of financial products. The aim of this paper is to examine decision-making concerning financial matters and personal finance. The selected target group was university students majoring in finance related fields.
Unveiling the factors of student mobility: The case study of ArmeniaLecturer: Hovhannes Harutyunyan Affiliation: EURASIA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY ESF Akademicky Klub 12:00 PM • 5/30/2017
This research will concentrate on studying the major pushing and pulling factors that underlie the decisions of Armenian students to pursue education abroad.
The Metropolisation Processes – A Case of Central Europe and the Czech RepublicLecturer: Vilém Pařil Affiliation: Masaryk University Academic club 12:00 PM • 5/18/2017
The contribution deals with the strategically important problems of metropolisation. In this context, it presents a theoretically based method of assessment of metropolises, the explanatory power of which was verified on the example of the Central Europe. This method is based on three components: population size (initial assumption), economic profile (ties to economic performance) and general attractiveness (the perception of development potential). The results of the evaluation of the 27 identified metropolises were generalized using a typology of their inclusion within the framework of the listed components: most metropolises were classified as type B – an established metropolis, followed by type C – an elementary metropolis, and type A – a dominant metropolis. A practically targeted conceptualization is then demonstrated on the example of the Czech Republic. The main attention was focused on the intensity of the economic links of Prague (and two further Czech centres) with other Central European metropolises. The corresponding complementary contribution is focused on verification of metropolisation axes on express/highspeed transportation modes.
Do the politicians work for us or someone else?Lecturer: Miloš Fišar Affiliation: Masaryk University Academic Club 12:45 PM • 4/26/2017
“Should I tell you / or should I not?” The (neutral) effect of Transparency on Information Disclosure NudgeLecturer: Tommaso Reggiani Affiliation: LUMSA University & IZA-Bonn Academic Club, ESF MU 1:00 PM • 3/22/2017
With the increasing popularity and application of the nudging concept, several ethical objections against it have also emerged. In order to contribute to the debate whether nudging is objectionable or not, this paper examines nudging in the light of transparency.
A transparent nudge is when the citizen being nudged knows the intention behind it and the means adopted to pursue the nudging object. A non-transparent nudge works in a way that the citizen cannot reconstruct the object of the intervention and the means by which the behavioral change is pursued.
Wide - philosophical - consent claims how nudging can only be regarded as ethically appropriate when the nudge is transparent (Fischer & Lotz 2014; Sunstein 2015). Hausman & Welch (2010) demand for nudging transparency, even if it potentially undercuts the effectiveness of the nudge. However, empirical research on nudging often shies away from incorporating explicit transparency.
We design a survey-experiment to examine whether transparency has negative impacts on nudging effectiveness in its configuration of information disclosure nudging (Loewenstein et al. 2014b; Altmann & Traxler 2014; Wisdom et al. 2010). In partnership with the German Federal Centre for Health (BZgA), we address the very salient and relevant case of the voluntary participation into the German organ donation initiative. We do not find evidence that transparency inhibits the effectiveness of information disclosure nudges. Our finding supports the policy-relevant claim that information disclosure nudges can be transparent and yet very effective, reconciling at the same time philosophical problems. This result is in line with recent findings by Bruns et al. (2016): In a lab experiment, focusing on default nudge applied to contributions to carbon emission reduction, they do not find evidence that transparency inhibits the effectiveness of a default nudging strategy. Similarly, Loewenstein et al (2014a) testing the interaction between transparency and defaults, get to similar conclusions according the analysis of an online-study focused on health-care related choices.
Price Transmission and Market Power in a Vertically Integrated Industry: Evidence from the Hungarian Gasoline MarketLecturer: Richárd Farkas and Biliana Yontcheva Affiliation: University of Pécs, Vienna University of Economics and Business Academic club 12:00 PM • 3/13/2017
The pricing behavior of vertically-integrated firms is a heavily investiga- ted topic in economic literature. While most research in this context focuses on network industries, the present paper investigates a similar set-up on the retail gasoline market. We provide the first examination of asymmetric cost- pass through on a gasoline market with a dominant upstream firm which is also active as a retailer. Furthermore, we differentiate explicitly between local markets on which the firm is present exclusively as a wholesale seller and those on which it participates at both market levels.
While upstream competition is common place on the US market, in Europe gasoline wholesale tends to be dominated by recently privatized large pro- ducers, which are also active in the retail market. The optimal behavior of such upstream monopolists facing competition downstream has been subject of rigorous academic debate. On the one hand, such a firm has an incentive to exercise its power by passing on cost changes asymmetrically and sustai- ning high prices in order to raise its competitors’ costs (Salop and Scheffman, 1983). Such firms are likely to combine this wholesale strategy with aggres- sive pricing at the retail level in order to push competitors out of the market. Conversely, the firm may choose to set low prices and transmit cost changes quickly if it seeks to foster demand downstream, even if this increase in de- mand for the product is detrimental to its own downstream business. Sibley and Weisman (1998) argue that such a firm will be willing to forfeit per-unit profitability in order to increase overall sales volume, hence resulting in in- significant anti-competitive behavior.
We investigate this process empirically using weekly data for over 900 stati- ons for two years from the Hungarian gasoline market. An error correction model is estimated to measure the speed and asymmetry of cost pass-through at the wholesale and retail level. We find that a firm with a dominant up- stream position is likely to charge high prices on the wholesale market and act competitively at the retail level. This applies both to mark-up levels and to the level of asymmetry in cost pass-through.
While upstream decisions affect all firms equally, the influence of retail pri- cing behavior is likely to wane with distance. In order to determine how the aggressive retail pricing scheme of the firm will affect its rivals, we analyze a) the local market characteristics in areas where a retail outlet of the upstream monopolist is present and b) the pricing behavior of competing stations in those markets. This allows us to determine what type of market is most likely to be affected by the presence of the vertically integrated seller, as well as what the precise effect on pricing is likely to be. The analysis of the results allows us to determine to what extent the disciplining retail effect of the monopolists’ competitive pricing offsets the negative effect of his wholesale mark-up.
Killing two birds with one stone: Reducing fiscal and welfare loss of tax evasionLecturer: Ondřej Krčál, Rostislav Staněk Affiliation: Masaryk University Academic club, ESF MU 12:00 PM • 2/8/2017
Tax evasion constitutes a fiscal loss to the tax authority and a welfare loss for the society because it induces socially wasteful activities during which taxpayers spend real resources in order to hide their undisclosed income. We develop a theoretical model that explores the effect of audit selection rules on the losses from tax evasion. In the proposed experimental design, we test the main prediction of the model, that the competitive audit selection mechanism reduces both the fiscal and welfare loss of tax evasion. Furthermore, our model shows that a higher basic audit probability motivates taxpayers to increase their socially wasteful activities. Our experimental results confirm the predictions of the model. Our paper shows not only that the competitive audit selection mechanism provides an additional benefit if socially wasteful activities are possible, but also its relative advantage compared to an increase in the audit probability.