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.
Reporting Peer Misbehavior: Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Monetary Incentives on Morally Controversial BehaviorLecturer: Stefano Fiorin Affiliation: University of California San Diego - Rady School of Management TBA 1:00 PM
Where or Whom to Contract? An Empirical Study of Political Spillovers in Public ProcurementLecturer: João Cerejeira Affiliation: Universidade do Minho & CIPES ESF MU ROOM 302a 2:00 PM • 6/13/2019
Abstract: OECD and other international organizations have been very keen in recommending principles and institutional safeguards to curb corruption and to enhance transparency and integrity in public procurement. Despite the fact that Portugal is being considered a good example of e-procurement policies and practices among European countries, this is a very sensitive issue.
Based on the the literature that provides evidence of a politicized administration of public procure- ment contracts, but limited to a specific municipality, this paper extends the analysis of political effects to other municipalities. Specifically, it asks if there is a relation between the political parties in power in a given municipality and the frequency of contracts awarded to a given firm?
Our results show that for political reasons private firms are more likely to win a contract in a given municipality if they have already won contracts in other municipalities led by the same political party. We rely on a dataset (’base.gov’) with information on all bids by private firms and all contracts awarded by the 308 Portuguese municipalities in the period between 2008 and 2017. This includes three electoral cycles and more than 250,000. The empirical results - the political proximity - is robust to a number controls, including geographic proximity. This result has political and public governance implications.
Migration, Health, and Well-BeingLecturer: Catia Nicodemo Affiliation: University of Oxford ESF MU ROOM P403 1:15 PM • 6/11/2019
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.
Wishful thinking about mood effectLecturer: Margaret Samahita Affiliation: Lund University ESF MU ROOM P201 12:30 PM • 5/31/2019
There is increasing acceptance of the role played by mood in decision-making. However, the evidence of mood effect in the field, as proxied by external factors such as weather and weekday, is limited. Using two large datasets containing all car inspections in Sweden and England during 2016 and 2017, we study whether inspectors are more lenient on days when their mood is predicted to be good, and if car owners exploit this mood effect by submitting lower quality cars to be inspected on these days. Different sources of good mood are studied: Fridays, last working days before public holidays, paydays, sunny days, and days following major sports results, in a decreasing order of the car owner’s ability to plan for inspection, and hence the likelihood of selection bias. We find limited evidence to support the existence of mood effect in this domain, despite survey results showing belief to the contrary. In Sweden, failure rate is in fact higher on Fridays and last days before holidays, suggesting that the selection effect is stronger than any mood effect.
Gender, willingness to compete and career choices along the whole ability distribution and by experimental taskLecturer: Noemi Peter Affiliation: University of Groningen ESF MU Room P201 1:00 PM • 5/23/2019
This paper focuses on the relationship between experimentally measured willingness to compete and field data. Our sample consists of more than 1500 Swiss compulsory school students from the whole ability distribution. We elicit their willingness to compete in one of two tasks which differ in associated gender stereotypes. We relate our experimental measure to field data on ability and to students' choice of post-compulsory education. This enables us to make contributions in three directions. 1. We examine how willingness to compete varies with field-measured ability and whether this differs by gender. 2. We investigate the relationship between gender, willingness to compete and study choices along the whole ability distribution, in a comprehensive framework that includes specialization options both in the academic and the vocational track. 3. We examine whether the results depend on the task that is used to elicit willingness to compete. Our main findings are: 1. High-ability boys are more willing to compete than low-ability boys while the relationship between ability and willingness to compete is flat for girls. 2. Willingness to compete predicts choices both of academic specializations and of vocational careers. 3. The results are similar across our two experimental tasks.
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 • 5/6/2019
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.
Anti-social Behavior in GroupsLecturer: Julie Chytilova Affiliation: Charles University ESF MU Room 309 12:30 PM • 4/24/2019
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.
On war and political behaviorLecturer: Stephanos Vlachos Affiliation: University of Vienna ESF MU Room MT205 (second floor) 2:00 PM • 3/25/2019
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.
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.