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) and the Faculty of Business and Economics (Mendel University in Brno). All welcome.
Organizers: Martin Guzi, Štěpán Mikula and Petr Koráb.
Previous seminars are archived.
Learning, Hygiene, and Traditional MedicineLecturer: Syed Ali Asjad Naqvi Affiliation: Vienna University of Economics and Business, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis 1:00 PM
Information provision is only an effective behaviour-change strategy if the information is credible. A novel programme augments conventional hygiene instruction by showing participants everyday microbes under a microscope. Through a randomised evaluation in Pakistan, we show that this programme leads to meaningful hygiene and health improvements, while instruction alone does not. Traditional medicine, which offers an alternative disease model, may undermine learning by strengthening prior beliefs about hygiene. We show that believers in traditional medicine have smaller impacts, suggesting that traditional and modern medical beliefs are substitutes and that traditional medicine may exacerbate the infectious disease burden in this context.
Hierarchies and honestyLecturer: Rainer Michael Rilke Affiliation: WHU Business School S308, ESF MU 1:00 PM
Every organization rests on hierarchical structures. In organizations hierarchies are essential to structure and delegate which agent is responsible for which kind of task, but also which agent in the organization is required to report to other members of the organization. In the present study, we experimentally study reporting behavior in three-person coordination games. Subjects report the outcome of a private die-roll to their group. If all three reports are identical, payoffs are realized. We vary the reporting hierarchies, i.e., whether all subjects report simultaneously, as in flat hierarchies, or sequentially, as in steep hierarchies. We observe the highest levels of dishonest overreporting in flat reporting hierarchies. Our results show that honest leaders in steep hierarchies can induce honest follower behavior. In additional treatments, we investigate different motives for leaders to behave honest. Taken together, our results highlight the critical role of reporting hierarchies and leadership in shaping honesty in organizations
What’s in a Name in a WarLecturer: Štěpán Jurajda Affiliation: CERGE-EI Faculty of Economics, Masaryk University, room P101 1:30 PM • 6/2/2017
We propose a novel empirical strategy for identifying and studying nationalism using name choices. We first show that having been given a first name that is synonymous with the leader(s) of the fascist Croatian state during World War II predicts volunteering for army service in the 1991-1995 Croatian war of independence and dying during the conflict. Next, we use the universe of Croatian birth certificates and the information about nationalism conveyed by first names to contrast the evolution of nationalism and its intergenerational transmission across locations affected by extreme war-related experiences. Our evidence suggests that in ex-Yugoslav Croatia, nationalism was on a continuous rise starting in the 1970s, that its rise was curbed in areas where con- centration camps were located during WWII, and that nationalist fathers consider the nationalism-transmission trade-off between within-family and society-wide transmission channels suggested by Bisin and Verdier (2001).
Discrimination in the Workplace : Experimental EvidenceLecturer: David Masclet Affiliation: University of Rennes 1 Mendel Museum, Mendlovo nám. 1a 5:00 PM • 6/1/2017
We examine labor market favoritism in a unique laboratory experiment design. Group identities are created and both employment preference rankings and wage offers favor in-group members. Workers positively reciprocate towards in-group employers by choosing higher effort in a gift exchange game. Thus, favoritism can be privately rational for employers. However, unemployed subjects are allowed to burn resources (at a cost to themselves), and we document significantly increased resource destruction when unemployment is due to favoritism towards others. This highlights a significant spillover cost of favoritism that is often ignored, and it points to one possible micro-foundation of some anti-social behavior.
Suitability of Vertical Separation on RailwaysLecturer: Russell Pittman Affiliation: U.S. Dept. of Justice, New Economic School Faculty of Economics, Masaryk University, Room P201 4:00 PM • 5/15/2017
There was a time when vertical separation was a “default recommendation” for infrastructure formers around the world, but that time has passed. It is clear now that in the railways sector as in the electricity sector there are advantages and disadvantages to vertical separation as well as on-the-ground conditions where vertical separation is likely to be more and less appropriate. This lecture will discuss the world railways experience with vertical separation as well as its first cousin third party access, compare and contrast this with the railway experience in the Americas with horizontal separation, and consider the ongoing debates about which of these (or other) models to follow in railways restructuring in China, Russia, and Ukraine.
Pitching Research to an academic expert: a difficult task made easierLecturer: Robert Faff Affiliation: University of Queensland, Australia Mendel University, Room Q03 9:00 AM • 4/11/2017
In this paper I build on Faff’s (2015) pitching template framework that provides a succinct and methodical approach to pitching a new research proposal to an academic expert. Notably, I argue that the pitching tool can be used as (a) a research planning tool (e.g. Chang and Wee, 2016; Menzies, Dixon and Rimmer, 2016); (b) a research skills development tool (Faff, 2016b); (c) a research learning tool (Faff, Ali, et al., 2016; Faff, Wallin, et al., 2016 and Ratiu, 2016); (d) a research agenda setting tool (Maxwell, 2017; Nguyen, 2017); (e) a research mentoring tool (Faff, Godfrey and Teng, 2016; Ratiu, Faff and Ratiu, 2016); (f) a research collaboration tool (Wallin and Spry, 2016); (g) research engagement & impact tool (Faff & Kastelle, 2016); and (h) research led teaching tool (Faff, Li, Nguyen & Ye, 2016). Moreover, the current paper provides an update on an extensive array of supplementary online resources. Most notably, to demonstrate that the pitch template is readily adaptable to many fields, a library of completed examples currently spans ONE HUNDRED and FIFTY alternative research areas. Other online materials and support include: web portal (PitchMyResearch.com); YouTube videos; themed pitch days; pitching competitions. The current paper is also a companion to: Faff (2016a) “a year in review” of pitching; Faff (2016c); Faff, Lay and Smith (2017) and Faff, Carrick et al. (2017). Also, this project has been identified as one of 30 Innovations that Inspire across the AACSB network worldwide Business Schools.
Contract enforcement and trustworthiness across ethnic groups: Experimental evidence from Northern AfghanistanLecturer: Vojtěch Bartoš Affiliation: University of Munich ESF MU, Room S314 12:00 PM • 4/7/2017
We study how the availability and use of an institution a financial sanction affects trust, trustworthiness, and moral intentions towards co-ethnics and non-co-ethnics using an economic experiment run with 420 adult males from peri-urban areas in Afghanistan. In contrast to previous studies on the behavioral effects of financial incentives, our subjects have little experience with formal institutions. We use a trust game with a requested back-transfer in which the investor can choose to impose a financial sanction for non-compliance. The sanction is costly to the trustee but cost-less to the investor. While sanctioning increases back-transfers in cross-ethnic pairs, it does not in co-ethnic pairs. Our results suggest that financial sanctions may crowd out moral incentives more strongly among one's own group, but have a much smaller behavioral effect when applied to individuals from a different ethnic group. The results have important implications for understanding how formal institutions affect cooperation in ethnically heterogeneous settings.
Intersectionality and Qualitative Research in OrganizationsLecturer: Ramaswami Mahalingam Affiliation: University of Michigan, USA Mendel University, Room Q45 1:00 PM • 3/31/2017
Intersectionality has gained more scholarly attention in organizational research. In my research I use intersectionality in three different ways: (a) embodied intersecting identities; (b) intersecting cultural and ecological factors; (c) intersectionality as an awareness. Using my qualitative research on dignity in workplace in a comparative study of janitors in three countries (US, South Korea and India), my presentation will focus on the usefulness of intersectionality in qualitative research in organizations.
Dispute resolution or escalation? The strategic gaming of feedback withdrawal options in online marketsLecturer: Ben Greiner Affiliation: WU Vienna Faculty of Economics, Masaryk University, Room S310 1:00 PM • 3/24/2017
Many online markets encourage traders to make good after an unsatisfactory transaction by offering the opportunity to withdraw negative reputational feedback in a dispute resolution phase. Motivated by field evidence and guided by theoretical considerations, we use laboratory markets with two-sided moral hazard to show that this option, contrary to the intended purpose, produces an escalation of dispute. The mutual feedback withdrawal option creates an incentive to leave negative feedback, independent of the opponent’s behavior, to improve one’s bargaining position in the dispute resolution phase. This leads to distorted reputation information and less trust and trustworthiness in the trading phase. Buyers who refuse to give feedback strategically, even when it comes at a personal cost, mitigate the detrimental impact. It is also mitigated in markets with one-sided moral hazard and a unilateral feedback withdrawal option.
Causal Mechanisms in the Intergenerational Transmission of Income in ChinaLecturer: Jack Hou Affiliation: California State University, USA Mendel University, Room Q45 1:00 PM • 3/3/2017
Intergenerational income elasticity (IIE) is often used to measure intergenerational income mobility, but it tell us little regarding the determinants behind the intergenerational income correlation. Accurate understanding of the intergenerational transmission of income is important for policies aimed at improving social equality. In this paper, we use current income data from the 2010 China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), studying the causal effect of father’s income and human capital on the intergenerational transmission of income between fathers and sons. We find that the majority of the intergenerational income elasticity can be attributed to the causal effect of father’s financial resources. Moreover, we provide a lower bound of the elasticity, which is 0.339, with the true value is estimated to be closer to 0.6. The result suggests that public policies aim at narrowing current income gap will have a long lasting effect as it is conducive to increasing intergenerational income mobility in China.