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.
Commitment to Pay Taxes: A Field Experiment on the Importance of PromiseLecturer: Ann-Kathrin Koessler Affiliation: University of Osnabrück, Germany ESF MU room P103 1:00 PM
The ability of a tax authority to successfully collect taxes depends critically on both its relationship with the taxpayers and how strongly these taxpayers are committed to contributing to the common good. We present evidence on a new non-intrusive approach aimed at fostering the commitment to pay taxes. Using a between-subject design in a unique field setting, we experimentally test whether tax compliance can be increased by linking a voluntary promise of timely payment to a reward. We measure the change induced by an additional compliance promise through identifying the pure reward effect. We find that although previously compliant taxpayers are more likely to make a promise, the commitment to do so can improve payment behaviour. This effect, however, is strongly dependent on the type of reward to which the promise is linked. Compliance only increases when the reward is non-financial. No compliance effect is observed if cash is offered in return for promise fulfillment.
Link to paper: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2887289
The Winding Roads of Union Revitalization: the Old and New Challenges to Trade Unionism in PolandLecturer: Adam Mrozowicki Affiliation: University of Wrocław ESF AKADEMIC CLUB (FLOOR -1) 2:00 PM • 11/16/2017
(Coffee and cake will be available from 13:45 with the seminar starting promptly at 14:00)
Abstract: In the context of ongoing discussion on the changing nature of union power resources, this presentation will discuss selected trade union strategies adopted in Poland in the last decade with an aim of increasing their associational and (to the extent it was possible) structural power resources and, by these means, to reinforce their positions as the actors of industrial relations. The reference point for the lecture will be selected observations derived from the EC project PRECARIR and NCN-DFG project PREWORK both tackling the issue of the growth of precarious work in Poland from the perspective of workers and unionists themselves. The lecture will start from an overview of trade union situation in Poland in the context of: (a) the political-economic regime and its evolution after 1989 and, in particular, in the last decade, against the comparative background of selected other Central and Eastern European countries; (b) the labour market changes, in particular the spectacular rise of temporary Labour Code and non-Labour Code contracts; (c) the changes of workers’ attitudes towards trade unions as documented by existing surveys and authors’ own research. In the main part of the lecture, I will discuss selected innovative union practices in Poland, including trade union organizing of precarious employees, mass media campaigns, street protest (worker-citizens) actions and making use of political instruments to better regulate employment conditions of precarious workers. Again, selected examples from other CEE countries will be given as the context for the discussion of the Polish case. In concluding discussion, I will attempt to assess intended and unintended outcomes of union practices with regards to the collective situation of workers, the position of trade unions and the political impact of union strategies in the country.
Extractive Institutions: A Little Goes a Long Way. The Soviet Occupation of Germany versus AustriaLecturer: Martin Halla Affiliation: Johannes Kepler University Linz Room S308, ESF MU 1:00 PM • 11/13/2017
(Coffee and cake will be available from 12:45 with the seminar starting promptly at 13:00)
Abstract: As a consequence of World War II, Austria was divided into four different occupation zones for 10 years. Before tight travel restrictions came into place, about 11 percent of the population residing in the Soviet zone moved across the demarcation line. We exploit this large internal migration shock to further our understanding of why economic activity is distributed unevenly across space. Our analysis shows that the distorted population distribution across locations has fully persisted until today (60 years after the demarcation line become obsolete). An analysis of more direct measures of economic activity shows an even higher concentration in the former non-Soviet zone. This gap in economic activity is growing over time, mainly due to commuting streams out of the former Soviet zone. This shows that a transitory shock is capable of shifting an economy to a new spatial equilibrium, which provides strong evidence for the importance of increasing returns to scale in explaining the spatial distribution of economic activity.
Link to paper: https://econpapers.repec.org/paper/innwpaper/2016-23.htm
Spreading the word or reducing the term spread? Assessing spill-overs from euro area monetary policyLecturer: Martin Feldkircher Affiliation: Austrian National Bank Mendel Univ., Zemědělská 1, Brno, Room Q44 5:00 PM • 10/31/2017
Abstract: As a consequence of asset purchases by the European Central Bank (ECB), longer-term yields in the euro area decline, and spreads between euro area long-term yields narrow. To assess spillovers of these recent financial developments, we use a Bayesian variant of the global vector autoregressive (BGVAR) model with stochastic volatility and propose a novel mixture of zero impact and sign restrictions that we impose on the cross-section of the data. Both shocks generate positive and significant spillovers to industrial production in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) and other non-euro area EU member states. These effects are transmitted via the financial channel (mainly through interest rates and equity prices) and outweigh costs of appreciation pressure on local currencies vis-á-vis the euro (trade channel). While these results represent general trends, we also find evidence for both cross-country heterogeneity of effects within the euro area and region-specific spillovers thereof.
Link to paper http://epub.wu.ac.at/5554
Hierarchies and honestyLecturer: Rainer Michael Rilke Affiliation: WHU Business School S308, ESF MU 11:00 AM • 10/24/2017
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.
The intentional family of health and retirement studies: introduction and highlights of recent findingsLecturer: Drystan Phillips Affiliation: University of Southern California, USA Mendel Univ., Zemědělská 1, Brno, Room 4.74 (zasedací místnost ústavu financí) 11:00 AM • 10/17/2017
I will present a brief introduction to the health and retirement studies and the Gateway to Global to Aging Data and then highlight some of our cross-national findings from these data which would include a discussion of the methodological aspects.
Learning, Hygiene, and Traditional MedicineLecturer: Syed Ali Asjad Naqvi Affiliation: Vienna University of Economics and Business, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Room S314, ESF MU 1:00 PM • 10/6/2017
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.
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.