Research Seminars are hosted by visiting economists who present their work and lead discussions. The seminar series is sponsored by the Faculty of Economics and Administration (Masaryk University). Please join us spontaneously seminars are open to all.
Local organizers: Martin Guzi, Štěpán Mikula and Tommaso Reggiani
Previous seminars are archived.
Research findings from the global WageIndicator web survey on work and wagesLecturer: Kea Tijdens Affiliation: AIAS and University of Amsterdam ESF MU, Room S309 1:00 PM
On its websites WageIndicator invites web visitors to complete a survey on work and wages. This multi-country, multilingual survey is posted continuously in all 92 countries with a national WageIndicator website. These websites are frequently visited by people looking for information about wages, labour law, collective agreements, and alike (almost 40 million visitors in 2017). The data of the web survey has been used to analyse a range of topics. A study of health workers showed that the main migration pattern is to countries where the same language is spoken, followed by migration to neighbouring and former colonizing countries. Out-migrated health workers earn more and work fewer hours than comparable workers in source countries. Another study showed that wage dispersion among observationally similar workers is due to the intensity of tasks within occupations, though workers in high-wage occupations are less defined around a typical worker than those in other occupations. Other findings relate to variation in collective bargaining coverage, the gender pay gap, the structure of minimum wages around the world, self-identification of occupation in web surveys, and an informality-index for Sub-Saharan countries.
Bio: Prof. Kea Tijdens is a research coordinator at the University of Amsterdam/Amsterdam Institute for Labour Studies, and a scientific coordinator of WageIndicator Foundation.
The Human Capital Cost of Radiation: Long-run Evidence from Exposure outside the WombLecturer: Benjamin Elsner Affiliation: University College Dublin and IZA ESF MU, Room S308 2:30 PM
This paper studies the long-term effect of radiation on cognitive skills. We use regional variation in nuclear fallout caused by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, which led to a permanent increase in radiation levels in most of Europe. To identify a causal effect, we exploit the fact that the degree of soil contamination depended on rainfall within a critical ten-day window after the disaster. Based on unique geo-coded survey data from Germany, we show that people who lived in highly-contaminated areas in 1986 perform significantly worse in standardized cognitive tests 25 years later. This effect is driven by the older cohorts in our sample (born before 1976), whereas we find no effect for people who were first exposed during early childhood. These results are consistent with radiation accelerating cognitive decline during older ages. Moreover, they suggest that radiation has negative effects even when people are first exposed as adults, and point to significant external costs of man-made sources of radiation.
TBALecturer: Axel Sonntag Affiliation: University of Vienna, Institute for Advanced Studies ESF MU, Room S309 1:00 PM
Stigma and prisonersLecturer: Václav Korbel Affiliation: Charles University in Prague ESF MU, Room S309 1:00 PM • 4/12/2018
Prisoners are often stigmatized after their release which contributes to recidivism. However, little is known if and how much their beliefs are affected already before release: if a feeling of stigma arises during incarceration. In a lab-in-the-field experiment, we study if inmates expect to be stigmatized by people outside of prison in a standard trust game (and triple dictator game) and if it is reflected in their trustworthiness. Next, we test if a light-touch psychological intervention — self-affirmation — can mitigate the assumed impact of stigma, looking at the role of risk preferences and competitive confidence. In both games, senders are non-prisoners and receivers are 297 inmates from fifteen medium to high-security Czech prisons. We manipulate if the prison identity is revealed to senders or not, and inmates interact with both types in a within-subject design. Contrary to our expectations, inmates do not feel stigmatized as they expect to receive a higher transfer in the trust game when their prison identity is revealed. It can be fully explained by higher expected altruism in the dictator game. Inmates, however, do not send back more when their identity is revealed. Looking at the heterogeneity across types of prisoners, inmates not participating in any long-term prison-provided treatment drive the differences in beliefs. Unsurprisingly, self-affirmation does not affect trustworthiness nor beliefs when stigma is absent. Our results point to a more nuanced view on the stigmatization of prisoners: even though prisoners may expect statistical discrimination, they do not expect taste-based discrimination.
Criminals on the Field: A Study of College FootballLecturer: Radek Janhuba Affiliation: CERGE-EI ESF MU, Room S309 1:00 PM • 3/22/2018
Economists have found mixed evidence on what happens when the number of police increases. On the one hand, more law enforcers means a higher probability of detecting a crime, which is known as the monitoring effect. On the other hand, criminals incorporate the increase into their decision-making process and thus may commit fewer crimes, constituting the deterrence effect. This study analyzes the effects of an increase in the number of on-field college football officials, taking players as potential criminals and officials as law enforcers. Analyzing a novel play by play dataset from two seasons of college football, we report evidence of a monitoring effect being present in the overall dataset. This effect is mainly driven by offensive penalties which are called in the area of jurisdiction of the added official. Decomposition of the effect provides evidence of the presence of the deterrence effect in cases of penalties with severe punishment or those committed by teams with moderate to high ability, suggesting that teams are able to strategically adapt their behavior following the addition of an official.
Do Gender Quotas Damage Hierarchical Relationships? Evidence from Labor Market ExperimentsLecturer: Joseph Vecci Affiliation: University of Gothenburg ESF MU room MT205 11:00 AM • 3/16/2018
Abstract: Although little is known about the support for gender quotas in hierarchical relationships, they are implemented in many organizations. We conduct a representative survey and a novel set of laboratory experiments to study opinions on gender quotas for managers and how they influence wage setting and worker effort. Our findings reveal that opinions and workplace reactions depend on the environment in which gender quotas are introduced. In our survey, we observe that the approval rating of gender quotas is low if there is no disadvantage against women in the manager selection process, even if they address gender differences in performance. Complementing this evidence, in our experiments we observe that quotas in such environments lead to lower wage and effort levels. However, in an environment where women are disadvantaged because of a biased selection process, we observe a high approval rating for quotas and that they increase wage and effort levels. Our results suggest that it is important to evaluate the existence and nature of disadvantage in the specific labor market before implementing gender quotas.
Lying about Luck versus Lying about PerformanceLecturer: Agne Kajackaite Affiliation: WZB Berlin ESF MU Room S310 10:00 AM • 2/23/2018
Abstract: I compare lying behavior in a real-effort task in which participants have control over outcomes and a task in which outcomes are determined by pure luck. Participants lie significantly more in the random-draw task than in the real-effort task, leading to the conclusion lying about luck is intrinsically less costly than lying about performance.
Courts' Decisions, Cooperative Investments, and Incomplete ContractsLecturer: Alessandro De Chiara Affiliation: Central European University (CEU) ESF MU room S309 1:00 PM • 2/22/2018
Abstract: Buyers are often concerned about the adequateness of the design of the goods they procure. To reduce the probability of a design failure, buyers may try to motivate the sellers to make relationship-specific investments. In this paper I study how courts’ decisions affect sellers’ cooperative investment and buyers’ specification of the good. In assigning liability for a defective design, in some countries courts examine how much real authority the seller had in performing the work, instead of considering how formal authority was contractually allocated between the parties. I show that this approach induces the sellers to invest, albeit suboptimally, but leads the buyers to inefficiently under-specify the design of the good. I find that this approach can also make it harder to sustain optimal relational contracting, leading to the conclusion that it cannot be justified on efficiency grounds.
Paying for what kind of performance? Incentive pay and multitasking in mission-oriented jobsLecturer: Mirco Tonin Affiliation: University of Bozen-Bolzano MU Center at Šlapanice (near Brno) 9:00 AM • 1/19/2018
Authors: Daniel Jones (University of South Carolina), Michael Vlassopoulos (University of Southampton), Mirco Tonin (University of Bozen-Bolzano)
Abstract: How does performance pay (P4P) impact productivity on incentivized and unincentivized dimensions when workers may be intrinsically motivated by their job (e.g., public sector, nonprofit sector)? How does P4P impact the composition of workers in such jobs? We conduct a real-effort laboratory experiment, manipulating compensation and motivation, to answer these questions. We find that P4P has positive effects on productivity on the incentivized dimension (quantity) and negative effects on the unincentivized dimension (quality) for non-motivated workers. For motivated workers, P4P does not lead to a statistically significant change in either dimension. Finally, when workers can choose to remain in the experimentally-assigned payment scheme or opt for an outside option with a flat payment, but also no opportunity to be intrinsically motivated, we find that non-motivated workers sort on ability (higher ability workers opting into the P4P scheme) while motivated workers do not.
Revenues and expenditures of autonomous-connected-electric and shared vehiclesLecturer: Stefanie Peer Affiliation: WU Vienna ESF MU room S308 12:00 PM • 1/17/2018
Authors: Martin Adler (VU Amsterdam), Stefanie Peer (WU Vienna), Tanja Sinozic (ITA, Vienna)
Abstract: This paper aims at providing an overview of the public finance implications of autonomous-connected-electric and shared vehicles (ACES). Fuel and vehicle taxation currently generate 5-10% of federal and up to 30% of local tax revenue in OECD countries. The pending introduction of ACES is expected to have significant impacts on (among others) fuel consumption, travel demand, and car ownership structures, infrastructure requirements, and as a consequence also on fiscal revenues and expenditures. We argue that the increased demand for mobility due to the availability of affordable ACES will render the introduction of targeted taxes in line with ‘user pays’ and ‘polluter pays’ principles necessary, and also feasible, through the digitalization of mobility systems and other innovations such as ubiquitous GPS tracking of vehicles. Moreover, we emphasize the (changing) relevance of different governance layers: with targeted taxation schemes and declining federal tax revenues from fuel, registration and circulation taxes, local governance entities are expected to increase in relevance.