The research seminars are hosted by visiting economists who present their work and lead discussions. The seminars are held in English. The length of the presentation should be 50 minutes followed by 15 minutes of discussion. The seminars are public, please join us spontaneously. If you wish to receive information about seminars subscribe to MUES newsletter or to our calendar.
Coordinators: Martin Guzi, Štěpán Mikula and Tommaso Reggiani
List of all seminars organized since 2013 is here.
On war and political behaviorLecturer: Stephanos Vlachos Affiliation: University of Vienna ESF MU Room MT205 (second floor) 2:00 PM
This paper illustrates how a historical shock to political preferences can translate into observable electoral support as the political landscape evolves. During World War II, the Third Reich annexed the French eastern borderlands and their inhabitants were forcibly conscripted into the Wehrmacht.
In the first stage, survey data evidence is used to show how this forced conscription reduced political trust, affecting policy preferences. The data is then used to estimate the impact of conscription on municipality-level support for radical candidates and on abstention in elections during the 1965-2017 period. Identification exploits the fact that different birth cohorts were affected in each annexed region by using eligible births as an instrument for conscription. In earlier elections in which platforms were more similar, both radical and moderate candidates were penalized in municipalities where more men were conscripted, resulting in higher abstention. In more recent elections which were more polarized, conscription increased support for radical candidates.
Anti-social Behavior in GroupsLecturer: Julie Chytilova Affiliation: Charles University ESF MU Room 309 12:30 PM
This paper provides strong evidence supporting the long-standing speculation that decision-making in groups has a dark side, by magnifying the prevalence of anti-social behavior towards outsiders. A large-scale experiment implemented in Slovakia and Uganda (N=2,309) reveals that deciding in a group with randomly assigned peers increases the prevalence of anti-social behavior that reduces everyone’s but which improves the relative position of own group. The effects are driven by the influence of a group context on individual behavior, rather than by group deliberation. The observed patterns are strikingly similar on both continents.
Free Mobility of Labor - How are neighboring labor markets affected by the EU Eastern enlargement?Lecturer: Andrea Weber Affiliation: Central European University ESF MU Room 201 1:00 PM
In recent years, there has been growing opposition against the principle of free movement of labor within the EU. Criticism is often based on the belief that immigrants hurt residents' employment opportunities. Despite these discussions, there is little ex-post research on the impact of the increased immigration after the EU enlargement on old Member States' labor markets. In our paper, we first provide a descriptive analysis of employment from the new EU Member States in the Austrian labor market with a focus on the period around EU entry and free labor market access. Second, we exploit the observed patterns in immigration from the EU8 countries to identify the causal effect on workers and firms in the Austrian border region. More precisely, we use variation in the EU8 worker density across communities over time and over the distance to the closest EU8 border. We find that the share of EU8 employees among all employees in Austria increased by a factor of four from 1997 to 2015. With free access, we see a shift in the composition of migrants toward lower-qualified and younger groups. We can further show that the largest inflow of EU8 employment occurred in communities closer to the border.
Migration, Health, and Well-BeingLecturer: Catia Nicodemo Affiliation: University of Oxford ESF MU ROOM P106 1:00 PM
Foreign-born individuals come with different health needs and different level of vulnerability. In the public debate today, immigration is often viewed as a threat to the access and the quality of health care services. The health needs of immigrants and refugees pose new challenges to health care systems. We discuss the main findings of the effects of immigration on demand and supply of health care in host countries. Moreover, immigrant inflows could have large effects on labour markets which can in turn affect natives’ health and their demand for health care. Understanding the health trajectories of immigrants are paramount to provide a correct assessment of the costs and benefits of migration.
Trouble Underground: Demand Shocks and the Labor Supply Behavior of New York City Taxi DriversLecturer: Alessandro Saia Affiliation: University of Lausanne ESF MU Room MT205 (second floor) 2:00 PM • 3/11/2019
We investigate how New York City taxi drivers respond to positive changes in labor demand. Exploiting high-frequency variations in taxi demand due to subway service disruptions, we show that drivers work more when earnings opportunities are greater. We also explore whether income-targeting affects drivers’ behavior. Results show that drivers’ response to demand shocks is 40% smaller once they have reached their daily income target. Overall, while drivers’ behavior seems largely consistent with the standard model of labor supply, the large difference between below-target and above-target responses suggests that targeting behavior does nevertheless play an important role in determining drivers’ decisions.
Distributive preferences and Effort Provision: What Determines What?Lecturer: Jaromír Kovařík Affiliation: University of the Basque Country P201 1:00 PM • 12/17/2018
This paper analyzes the link between effort and distributive preferences in an environment, in which effort does not affect the amount to be distributed. We propose a model that suggests that such a link is bidirectional. People adapt their distributional choices to their performance in a self-serving way, but they also exert effort in line with their distributive preferences. The literature has documented a link running from effort to distributive preferences. We provide evidence of the reverse relationship: individuals who make egalitarian choices later make less effort than people who behave selfishly. Our results thus provide one explanation for self-serving assessments of fairness documented in the literature and place distributive preferences among the determinants of effort and productivity.
The Effect of R&D Subsidies RevisitedLecturer: Oleg Sidorkin Affiliation: IOS Regensburg ESF MU Room S308 11:00 AM • 12/10/2018
Abstract: The effects of research and development (R&D) subsidies on patenting are heterogeneous in nature. Moreover, endogeneity caused by a multi-step selection of grant applicants makes empirical evaluation difficult. We use a unique dataset on the evaluation of grant applications and a novel instrumental variable identification strategy, which originates from the grant evaluation process. WE estimate the causal effects of R&D subsidies in the Czech Republic over 2011-2014 on patenting in the next three years. We exploit the random assignment of experts, who evaluate grant applications, and their leniency to give higher scores as an instrumental variable. As a result, we show that R&D subsidies have a strong positive mid-term effect on the propensity to apply for patents and the number of patent applications. R&D subsidies lead to the patent applications of higher quality, i.e. firms are more likely to apply for patents of invention than utility models. The main findings are driven to a large extent by firms with higher prior research intensity.
Work Motivation and TeamsLecturer: Rupert Sausgruber Affiliation: WU in Vienna ESF MU ROOM P201 11:00 AM • 12/7/2018
We provide a new measure of work motivation and show that motivation shapes the effects of team incentives and observation by peers on performance. In particular, we measure motivation to work hard as the deviation from the money-maximizing benchmark in a real-effort experiment. While we find that average output increases in response to team incentives and observation, we find that highly motivated workers do not respond. The reason is that highly motivated workers already work hard and increasing effort even further is very costly to them.
Misfortunes Never Come Singly: Consecutive Weather Shocks and Mortality in RussiaLecturer: Vladimir Otrachshenko Affiliation: Nova School of Business and Economics, Lisbon ESF MU Room P201 11:00 AM • 11/23/2018
This paper examines the impacts of extremely hot and cold days on mortality in Russia, using a 25-year regional panel data. Unlike other studies, the sequence of those extreme days is also taken into account, that is, the impacts of both single and consecutive (i.e. heat waves and cold spells) extreme days are estimated simultaneously. We demonstrate the importance of accounting for the sequence of extreme days. We also disentangle the impacts of those extremes by age and gender. The findings suggest that single hot days increase mortality, while single cold days do not affect mortality. On the other hand, both consecutive hot and consecutive cold days increase mortality in females and males for all age groups, although males are affected more severely. Overall, consecutive days with extreme temperatures impose considerable costs to society in terms of years of life lost. Thus, ignoring the sequences of extreme days that are likely to increase in the future because of climate change may have critical implications for mitigation policies.
Self-regulation and meta-regulation – regulating the members or the SRO? A theoretical and experimental studyLecturer: Silvester van Koten Affiliation: University of Economics and CERGE-EI ESF MU ROOM S307 10:00 AM • 11/16/2018
Abstract: Regulatory investigations by Self-Regulatory organizations (SROs) have been recognized to usually be cheaper than investigations by the government. However, in practice, oversight by an SRO is mostly still supplied with forms of governmental oversight. The government may exert oversight over the SRO itself, a construction referred to as “meta-regulation" or "co-regulation", or over the members of the SRO. Indeed, the overall performance of SROs has been mixed and theoretical models show that SROs have incentives to set lax standards or cover up detected violations. However, some research indicate that meta-regulation, oversight of the SRO itself, may nonetheless not be necessary in some settings. Using a costly-state-verification model, DeMarzo et al. (2001; 2005) show that when the government implicitly threatens to perform additional investigations of the SROs members, a relatively "good" outcome can be established as an equilibrium. In this "good" outcome, the SRO chooses to follow high performance standards in order to pre-empt any of the (relatively costly) governmental investigations. As a result, no costly governmental investigations of the SRO's members take place, and no meta-regulation of the SRO is necessary.
I extend this model to include plausible settings where the actual rigor of oversight by the SRO can be verified only ex-post. I show that in such settings, the SRO may have incentives to announce stricter regimes than it effectively implements and that, as a result, a "bad", Pareto-inefficient outcome is established as an equilibrium. In the "bad" outcome, the SRO relinquishes all oversight to the government. The predictions of this model are supported by experimental tests. The "good" equilibrium can be re-established as an equilibrium with sufficient meta-regulation of the SRO. The results thus indicate a continuing need for meta-regulation in these settings. This form of meta-regulation may be of a relatively light-handed nature, limited to verifying and sanctifying that the SRO implements its announced policies.