Research Seminars Series
MUES Research Seminar Series is a perfect opportunity to connect our Faculty with international scholars. Influential scholars from the world`s top universities are invited to present their latest research and to discuss the current trends and developments in all major areas of economics. In addition to the networking possibilities, this Research Seminar Series helps the Faculty and PhD students to receive early feedback on their own research.
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 google calendar.
Coordinators: Martin Guzi, Štěpán Mikula and Tommaso Reggiani
List of all seminars organized since 2013 is here.
Learning principles of individual and collective behavior from dataLecturer: Katarína Boďová Affiliation: Comenius University S305 10:30 AM • 11/29/2019
Have you ever wondered how are colonies of ants able to efficiently search for food, birds or fish collectively defend themselves against predators by forming flocks or schools, and why crowds of people behave like a fluid? Recent advances in automated tracking technology resulted in high-resolution recordings of individual trajectories and behavior of groups, often complemented by identification of stereotypical behaviors. But the main hurdle still remains to be data analysis and inference of informative models. I will talk about a class of probabilistic models, which is general enough to apply to a broad range of systems, incorporating individual and collective behavior, spatial and temporal dependence, discrete and continuous variables, deterministic and stochastic components and internal cognitive or behavioral state dependence. Our approach has two desirable features: (1) the maximum likelihood inference is tractably solvable by gradient descent, (2) model selection can be used to adjust model complexity to data. Multiple toy/real examples will be shown during the talk.
Gulags, Crime, and Violence: Origins and Consequences of the Russian MafiaLecturer: Jakub Lonsky Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh ESF MU Room S305 10:00 AM • 11/22/2019
This paper studies the origins and consequences of the Russian Mafia (vory-v-zakone). Using a web scraping method, I obtained a unique dataset that contains detailed biographies of more than 5,000 mafia leaders operating in 15 countries of the (former) Soviet Union at some point between 1916 and 2018. Using this data, I first show that Russian Mafia originated in the Gulag - Soviet system of forced labor camps which housed around 18 million prisoners between 1920s-1950s. Second, I document that the distance to the nearest camp is a strong negative predictor of mafia presence in Russia's communities in the mid-1990s. Finally, using an instrumental variable approach which exploits the spatial distribution of the gulags, I examine the effects of mafia presence in mid-1990s on local crime and violence. In particular, I show that the communities with mafia presence experienced a dramatic rise in crime driven by turf wars which erupted among rival clans around 1993 and lingered on until the late 1990s. This is suggested by a sharp increase in attacks against members of Russia's economic elite in places under mafia control. Further heterogeneity analysis reveals that mafia presence led to a spike in violence against businessmen, fellow criminals, as well as law enforcement officers and judges, while the attacks against politicians remained unaffected.
Rank incentives and social learning: evidence from a randomized controlled trialLecturer: Marco Faravelli Affiliation: University of Queensland Academic club 11:00 AM • 10/31/2019
In a 1-year randomized controlled trial involving thousands of university stu- dents, we provide real-time private feedback on relative performance in a semester-long on- line assignment. Within this setup, our experimental design cleanly identifies the behavioral response to rank incentives (i.e., the incentives stemming from an inherent preference for high rank). We find that rank incentives not only boost performance in the related assignment, but also increase the average grade across all course exams taken over the semester by 0.21 standard deviations. These beneficial effects remain sizeable across all quantiles and extend beyond the time of the intervention. The mechanism behind these findings involves social learning: rank incentives make students engage more in peer interactions, which lead them to perform significantly better across the board. Finally, we explore the virtues of real-time feedback by analyzing a number of alternative variations in the way it is provided.
Delegation Based on Cheap TalkLecturer: Ralph Bayer Affiliation: The University of Adelaide S305 10:00 AM • 10/25/2019
We study a real effort environment, where a delegator has to decide if and to whom to delegate a task. Delegating to a person who is better at the task increases welfare. Potential delegatees send cheap-talk messages about their past performance before the delegator decides. We experimentally test the theoretical prediction that information transmission cannot occur. In our experiment, we vary the message space available to the delegatees and compare the information transmitted and the level of efficiency. Depending on the treatment, the sender can either submit a number indicating how many tasks she solved previously, an interval in which the number of tasks falls, or a free text message. We observe that messages contain information in all treatments. Interestingly, information transmission occurs only in the treatments where messages are intervals or free text but not if messages are exact. The highest efficiency is obtained in the free-text treatment, as delegators are able to extract information contained in the different styles of messages sent by subjects with different abilities.
The role of diagnostic ability in markets for expert servicesLecturer: Marco Schwarz Affiliation: University of Innsbruck ESF MU Room S305 10:00 AM • 10/18/2019
In credence goods markets, experts have better information about the appropriate quality of treatment than their customers. Experts may exploit their informational advantage by defrauding customers. Market institutions have been shown theoretically to be effective in mitigating fraudulent expert behavior. We analyze whether this positive result carries over when experts are heterogeneous in their diagnostic abilities. We find that efficient market outcomes are always possible. However, inefficient equilibria can also exist. When such inefficient equilibria are played, a larger share of high-ability experts may lead to more inefficiencies relative to the efficient equilibria.
Setbacks and learnings from doing experimental research: different contexts, multiple results?Lecturer: Luisa H. Pinto Affiliation: School of Economics, University of Porto ESF MU Academic club (ground floor) 1:00 PM • 10/17/2019
Over the last years, the use of experimental research has received an increasing attention from Management academics and journal editors. While experimental research is popular among social psychologists (actually my background) it is still rare in the field of International Human Resource Management. The objective of this seminar is not to explain how to design an experimental research, but instead, present my own experience of using experimental designs to answer a few common questions in the management and business fields, such as: (1) Does the academic performance (GPA) and the participation in extracurricular activities (ECAs) affect the perceived employability of business graduates? (2) Does the effect of GPA and ECAs vary with the characteristics of the respondents and the cultural context? (3) Does a facultative internship affect the perceived employability of marketing graduates? What about the effect of an international versus a domestic facultative internship? (4) Does the use of a facial piercing influence the perceptions of interpersonal attraction, confidence and job suitability of hospitality receptionists? Starting from my first published paper (Pinto & Ramalheira, 2017) employing an experimental design, I then illustrate how this method was applied more broadly to examine the perceived employability of business graduates in other cultural contexts (e.g. China, Brazil, Italy) and to advance research in other fields, such as hospitality management, higher education and leadership. The seminar ends with a discussion of the challenges and learnings from employing (quasi) experimental designs.
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 ESF MU Room P201 1:00 PM • 10/11/2019
Reporting a peer’s wrongdoing to an authority is a morally controversial decision: re-porting will likely result in a punishment for the peer (and harming others is unethical), but the punitive action might prevent further harm to the victims of the misconduct (which justifies reporting on a moral ground). A policymaker might want to encourage the solution of this moral dilemma in the direction of reporting, through financial incentives. Yet, material incentives sometimes backfire, especially in domains involving moral concerns. Using a field experiment with employees of the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan who are asked to confidentially report their colleagues’ absence, I show that reporting is lower among participants who are offered a monetary reward for their reports. This is the case, however, only for participants who expect their reports to be consequential (making their choice morally-charged). Among employees who are told instead that their reports are inconsequential and won't result in any penalty for their peers (making the choice more morally-neutral), incentives do not backfire.
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.
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.
Child Development and Parental Labor Market OutcomesLecturer: Bernhard J. Schmidpeter Affiliation: University of Essex ESF MU ROOM P102 10:00 AM • 11/2/2018
In this project, we investigate the effect of children’s development on parental labor market outcomes. Using an instrumental variable approach and accounting for sample selection, we find that mothers of boys with development difficulties (but not fathers) significantly reduce weekly working hours during the first three years of school. In contrast, mothers of girls with development problems reduce working hours only during the first year of school but increase their hours later on. We find that the reduction in working hours is associated with a fall in weekly earnings, although our estimates lack precision. Investigating potential channels, we find evidence that mothers increase the general time spend with their children as a response to reduced working hours. We do not find evidence, however, that the extra time is of higher quality.
The Good Outcomes of Bad News. A Randomized Field Experiment on Formatting Breast Cancer Screening InvitationsLecturer: Luca Corazzini Affiliation: University of Venice ESF MU ROOM P102 11:00 AM • 10/26/2018
We ran a population-level randomized field experiment to ascertain whether a costless manipulation of the informational content (restricted or enhanced information) and the framing (gain or loss framing) of the invitation letter to the national breast cancer screening program affects the take-up rate. Our experiment involved more than 6,000 women aged 50- 69 targeted by the screening program of the Province of Messina in Sicily, randomly assigned to receive different invitation letter formats. Using administrative data from the Local Health Authority archives, we show that giving enhanced loss-framed information about the risks of not having a mammography increases take-up rate by about 25 percent with respect to all other treatments (no information; restricted gain-framed information; restricted loss-framed information; enhanced gain-framed information). Results are stronger for subjects living farther away from the screening site. For them, the manipulation may indicate higher perceived risks of negative outcomes that makes it worthwhile to participate in the screening program, in spite of longer travel time.
Financial Speculations, Stress, and Gender: A Laboratory ExperimentLecturer: Lubomír Cingl Affiliation: University of Economics in Prague ESF MU ROOM P102 11:00 AM • 10/19/2018
In this paper we study the effects of acute stress on individual financial speculative behavior using a controlled laboratory experiment with 208 men and women. We employ a recently introduced measure that captures individual speculative behavior, the Speculation Elicitation Task, and an efficient stress-inducing procedure, the Trier Social Stress Test for Groups, and we pay special attention to the gender-specific effects. Our design allows for a separation of the main channels behind the treatment effects. We observe strong gender differences: The treatment – stress-inducing – procedure increases men's willingness to speculate compared to control men, but it decreases it for women by about the same amount. As we do not observe any change in the task-specific risk-preferences, concentration, and only a little change in the strategic expectations of shift in others' behavior and in beliefs, we conclude that the behavioral change is driven by the change in preferences, although in the opposite directions for both genders. The analysis of salivary cortisol and subjective mood shows that the subjects were under a considerable level of stress.
40 years of Tax Evasion Games: a Meta-AnalysisLecturer: Antoine Malézieux Affiliation: University of Exeter ESF MU ROOM P201 12:00 PM • 10/12/2018
Year 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of the first ever Tax Evasion Game published in the Journal of Public Economics by Friedland, Maital, and Rutenberg. This game has since been the subject of many other publications (more than 140 articles). In the present study, we collect more than 60 datasets recreating a Tax Evasion Game and run a meta-analysis on more than 220,000 observations and 15,000 subjects. The aim here is to set the impact of three types of variables (public policy, experimental context and sociodemographic of participants) on lab tax compliance.
The public policy variables are: tax rate, tax regime (progressive or proportional taxes); type of audit (endogenous or random audit); audit probability; fine size, and amnesty. The experimental variables are: framing of the experiment (loaded or not); way to ask for compliance in the instructions (relaxed or not); origin of income (earned or windfall); nature of income (self-employed or salaried job); redistribution to participants, public good fund, and pool of subjects (students or taxpayers). The sociodemographic variables are: age; gender; income; and studies.
Daughters and DivorceLecturer: Jan Kabátek Affiliation: University of Melbourne ESF MU ROOM MT205 1:30 PM • 6/21/2018
What makes couples with daughters more likely to divorce than couples with sons? Using Dutch registry and U.S. survey data, we show that daughters are associated with higher divorce risks, but only when they are 13-18 years old. These age-specific results rule out explanations involving overarching son preferences and selection. Our findings are consistent with causal mechanisms involving relationship dynamics in families with teenage children. Survey evidence buttresses this interpretation. Subsample analyses show that the magnitude of the effect is linked to parental gender norms and that the effect is absent for fathers who grew up with sisters.
Migration Policy Effects and EffectivenessLecturer: Mathias Czaika Affiliation: Danube University Krems ESF MU Room P106 1:15 PM • 5/29/2018
Mathias Czaika is a Professor in Migration and Globalisation at Danube University Krems in Austria. Mathias was formerly Director of International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford in the UK.
How to fix the existing copyright enforcementLecturer: Lenka Fiala Affiliation: Tilburg University S308 1:00 PM • 5/22/2018
Whether it is copyright infringement, hate speech or terrorist content, Internet intermediaries like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube are expected to essentially do the government's job -- enforcing the law. The legal scheme under which a lot of such delegated enforcement takes place is often referred to as notice \& takedown. According to empirical evidence, it leads to over-notification, over-compliance by providers and under-assertion of rights by affected content creators. We re-create these existing problems in a laboratory and then test a mechanism to address two of them: the overcompliance by providers, and the lack of complaints by creators. Through experiment, we show that our proposed solution gives more power to the users, who realize higher profits due to an improved accuracy of providers' assessment of content and leads to a significant reduction in over-compliance by providers.
Coordination and focal points under time pressure: Experimental evidenceLecturer: Axel Sonntag Affiliation: University of Vienna, Institute for Advanced Studies ESF MU, Room S309 1:00 PM • 5/16/2018
We experimentally examine the effects of varying time pressure on the likelihood that two players coordinate on a label salient focal point in a coordination game. We consider both payoff-symmetric and payoff-asymmetric coordination games. In symmetric games there are no effects of time pressure on overall earnings and efficiency, since almost everyone coordinates on the focal point, regardless of how much time they have to decide. In asymmetric games we observe that higher time pressure only weakly significantly increases overall coordination, but it becomes significantly more likely that any coordination is on the focal outcome, so changes in time pressure also affect the distribution of the surplus.
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 • 5/15/2018
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.
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 • 5/3/2018
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.
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.
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.
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 • 12/8/2017
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
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.
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.
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.
Road congestion and public transitLecturer: Martin Adler Affiliation: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Faculty of Economics, Masaryk University, Room S314 1:00 PM • 12/16/2016
Road congestion and travel delays are a major obstacle to efficient transportation. We estimate the marginal external time cost of motor vehicle travel as well as the public-transit induced reduction in motor vehicle congestion for the city of Rome. We estimate the marginal external cost of car flow introducing an approach which allows for endogeneity and other statistical issues caused by reverse causality –.i.e. a situation where an increase in travel time results in a decrease in transport flow, a phenomenon sometimes labelled as hypercongestion, We make use of a quasi-experimental approach employing public transit strikes to account for endogeneity issues. The motor vehicle’s marginal external time cost is 4.1 minutes per kilometer during peak hours, which is substantial as it is about four times its marginal private time cost. By supplying public transit, motor vehicles’ travel time is reduced by 0.14 minutes per kilometer during peak hours. The external benefits of public transit justify current subsidy levels to public transit and suggest that even larger subsidies would be welfare improving. Large welfare gains could be achieved by bus-lanes and road pricing that would decrease congestion and increase public transit use.
Stock Market Contagion in Central and Eastern Europe: Unexpected Volatility and Extreme Co-exceedanceLecturer: Štefan Lyócsa Affiliation: University of Economics in Bratislava Faculty of Economics, Masaryk University, Room S314 2:00 PM • 11/18/2016
The presentation shows recent evidence about the existence and size of contagion from the U.S. stock market to six Central and Eastern European stock markets. A novel approach to the measurement of contagion is presented, that examines how volatility shocks in the U.S. stock market impact emerging stock markets in Europe. We will discuss whether stock markets in Europe are sensitive to the occurrence of un-expected negative events in the U.S., i.e. whether events in the U.S. are contagious. Finally, some implications are discussed, particularly to portfolio diversification opportunities.
Empirical approaches to the modelling of stock market networksLecturer: Tomáš Výrost Affiliation: University of Economics in Bratislava Faculty of Economics, Masaryk University, Room S314 1:00 PM • 11/18/2016
The talk focuses on the results of modeling stock market networks. In the first part of the talk, general principles of network construction are introduced and several common widely used graph-theoretic algorithms for suitable subgraph selection, such as minimum spanning trees and planar maximally filtered graphs are confronted with their economic rationale. Next, several econometric approaches to the construction of correlation based networks are presented, including DCC-MVGARCH and Granger causality. Finally, in its empirical part, the talk presents selected results on various approaches to the modelling of specific stock market networks.
Linguistic distance, networks and the regional location decisions of migrants to the EULecturer: Klaus Nowotny Affiliation: University of Salzburg Faculty of Economics, Masaryk University, Room S314 1:00 PM • 10/7/2016
This paper analyzes the interaction between migrant networks and linguistic distance in the location decisions of migrants to the European Union at the regional level. We find that networks have a positive effect on location decisions while the effect of linguistic distance is, as expected, negative. We also find a positive interaction effect between the two variables: networks are thus more important the larger the linguistic distance between the home and host countries, and the negative effect of linguistic distance is smaller the larger the network size.
Rail passenger market opening: The British experienceLecturer: Andrew Smith Affiliation: Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds Faculty of Economics, Masaryk University, Room P106 4:20 PM • 10/6/2016
European policy has focused in recent decades on liberalising Europe’s railway systems with a view to promoting competition and enhancing the performance of railways. Whilst legislation on passenger competition has moved more slowly than in freight, the 4th Railway package envisages competition becoming much more extensive in the passenger sector in the coming years; covering both commercial services and public service contracts. In this presentation we ask what lessons can be learnt from Britain which has implemented the most ambitious reforms of the passenger rail sector, with all services (commercial and public service) being subject to competitive tendering – supplemented to a small degree (currently) by open access competition on long distance routes. Britain has taken a different approach to those countries within Europe that have opened their passenger markets to competition - most notably Sweden and Germany. These differences are important because they enable us to study the impact of competitive tendering and open access under a different set of circumstances to the wider European experience; and thus to draw a richer set of lessons about what works and in what circumstances. Britain also has a twenty year period over which the evidence can be documented and assessed, during which time the model has been reviewed and changed several times. Even the current position does not seem to be the final equilibrium, and the paper therefore also asks what directions future policy should take in Britain and what the lessons may be for other countries.
Bus and Rail Privatisation - British experienceLecturer: Chris Nash Affiliation: Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds ESF MU, Room P106 4:20 PM • 4/27/2016
Britain largely privatised its bus network following the Transport Act of 1986 and its rail network over the period 1994-7, but in very different ways. Whilst the bus network was completely deregulated, leaving commercial operators free to compete on the road and to choose their own routes, timetables and fares, rail passenger services were largely franchised, with controls on fares, frequences and the degree of on track competition. The experience of these two alternative approaches to privatisation will be reviewed and conclusions drawn on their effectiveness.
Cities and Economic Growth: Lessons from U.S. Industrialization, 1880-1930Lecturer: Alex Klein Affiliation: University of Kent ESF MU, Room 311 2:00 PM • 4/13/2016
Abstract: We investigate the role of industrial structure in labor productivity growth in U.S. cities between 1880 and 1930. We find that increases in specialization were associated with faster productivity growth but that diversity only had positive effects on productivity performance in large cities. We interpret our results as demonstrating the importance of Marshallian externalities. Industrial specialization increased considerably in U.S. cities at this time, partly as a result of improved transportation, and we estimate that this brought significant gains in labor productivity. The American experience suggests that wider economic benefits of transport infrastructure investment in developing countries could be important.
Psychological Costs of Currency Transition: Evidence from Euro AdoptionLecturer: Olga Popova Affiliation: IOS Regensburg ESF MU, Room P403 1:00 PM • 4/1/2016
Abstract: We analyze individual levels of life satisfaction in Slovakia, after that country adopted the Euro, following a spirited debate. We gauge the psychological cost of transition to the new currency by comparing individual life satisfaction, not only before and after Euro introduction, but by comparison with individuals with similar characteristics in the neighboring Czech Republic, which did not adopt the Euro. Both countries were economically and politically integrated for decades, and share similar macroeconomic indicators just before the currency change in Slovakia. We find evidence of substantial psychological costs of currency transition, which are especially important for the old, the unemployed, those with low education and in households with children. We believe these results suggest the importance of information and enlightened debate before a sweeping change in economic context such as the adoption of a new currency.
The deforestation Kuznets curve: Evidence from satellite dataLecturer: Jesus C. Cuaresma Affiliation: University of Vienna ESF MU, Room P403 1:00 PM • 3/4/2016
We use satellite data on forest cover along national borders in order to study the determinants of deforestation differences across countries. We combine the forest cover information with data on homogeneous response units, which allow us to control for cross-country geoclimatic differences when assessing the drivers of deforestation. Income per capita appears to be the most robust determinant of differences in cross-border forest cover and our results present evidence of the existence of decreasing effects of income on forest cover as economic development progresses.
Google searches and stock returnsLecturer: Peter Molnár Affiliation: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim ESF MU, S314 2:00 PM • 12/17/2015
We investigate whether Google searches can be used to forecast stock returns. We find that short-term (daily and weekly) increase in search activity leads to negative excess stock returns with subsequent reversal, whereas long-term (quarterly) increase in search activity leads to long-lasting positive returns. The connection between searches and subsequent returns is much stronger for smaller companies. Finally, we examine a trading strategy based on our findings and notice that our strategy outperforms a passive strategy even after taking transaction costs into account.
Explaining the labor market gaps between immigrants and natives in the OECDLecturer: Andreas Bergh Affiliation: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Stockholm ESF MU, Room S314 1:00 PM • 12/4/2015
Andreas Bergh at IDEAS
In most OECD-countries, immigrants have lower employment and higher unemployment than natives. On average, the gap in labor market outcomes is larger in countries with more immigrant friendly attitudes. To explain this pattern, this paper developes a theory based on labor market institutions and welfare state institutions. In countries where labor market institutions give native workers more influence, and where the social safety net is more generous, native workers face less direct wage competition from immigration. As a result, the general population is more immigrant friendly and income inequality is dampened, but empoyment among immigrants suffer thwarting the potential economic benefits from immigration (and in some cases immigration becomes a financial burden for the public sector). The theory is confirmed using data for 21–28 OECD countries using OLS-regressions and Bayesian model averaging over all 512 theoretically possible model specifications to cope with the model selection problem which is particularly severe in small samples where the number of suggested explanations is high. The unemployment gap is bigger in countries where collective bargaining agreements cover a larger share of the labor market, and the employment gap is bigger in countries with more generous social safety nets. The education of immigrants and migrant integration policies have no explanatory value. Finally, the prediction that countries with smaller labor market gaps have higher income inequality is also supported by the data.
Indeterminacy, Misspecification and Forecastability: Good Luck in Bad Policy?Lecturer: Marco Maria Sorge Affiliation: University of Göttingen; Center for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF) ESF MU, Room P106 1:00 PM • 12/3/2015
Marco Maria Sorge at IDEAS
Abstract: A recent debate in the forecasting literature revolves around the inability of macroeconometric models to improve on simple univariate predictors, since the onset of the so called Great Moderation. This paper explores the consequences of equilibrium indeterminacy for quantitative forecasting through standard reduced form forecast models. Exploiting U.S. data on both the Great Moderation and the preceding era, we first present evidence that (i) higher (absolute) forecastability obtains in the former rather than the latter period for all models considered, and that (ii) the decline in volatility and persistence captured by a finite-order VAR system across the two samples need not be associated with inferior (absolute or relative) predictive accuracy. Then, using a small-scale New Keynesian monetary DSGE model as laboratory, we generate artificial datasets under either equilibrium regime and investigate numerically whether (relative) forecastability is improved in the presence of indeterminacy. It is argued that forecasting under indeterminacy with e.g. unrestricted VAR models entails misspecification issues that are generally more severe than those one typically faces under determinacy. Irrespective of the occurrence of non-fundamental (sunspot) noise, for certain values of the arbitrary parameters governing solution multiplicity, the pseudo out-of-sample VAR-based forecasts of inflation and output growth can outperform simple univariate predictors. For other values of these parameters, by contrast, the opposite occurs. In general, it is not possible to establish a one-to-one relationship between indeterminacy and superior forecastability, even when sunspot shocks play no role in generating the data. Overall, our analysis points towards a 'good luck in bad policy' explanation of the (relative) higher forecastability of macroeconometric models prior to the Great Moderation period.
Housing regimes in post socialist countriesLecturer: József Hegedüs Affiliation: Metropolitan Research Institute, Budapest Masaryk University, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Room S314 1:00 PM • 11/13/2015
József Hegedüs at ResearchGate
Abstract: Presentation adds to the research on the role of the housing sector in transition countries. The East European Housing Model (Hegedüs and Tosics, 1996) summarizes the main characteristics and elements of the housing system in the centrally planned economy, which was a social-economic system with high job security, low – highly subsidized – housing costs, and small income differences. The crucial question is how East European Housing Model has changed after the transition. Is it possible to define a post-socialist housing model or is the emerging new housing model similar to one of existing housing models in the developed world?
Career Breaks after Childbirth and the Role of Parental Leave PoliciesLecturer: Klára Kalíšková Affiliation: CERGE-EI, Prague ESF, Lipova 41a, Brno, Room S314 1:00 PM • 10/9/2015
Abstract: The Czech Republic is a country with a strong attachment of women to the labor market but one of the longest paid parental leave durations. Using a difference-in-differences methodology, we study the effect of two reforms of duration of parental allowance on the labor market status of mothers 2-7 years after childbirth. While the 1995 reform prolonged parental allowance from 3 to 4 years and the 2008 reform introduced a flexible schedule that allowed shortening of leave from 4 to 2 or 3 years, both reforms kept the job protection period at 3 years, allowing us to study the impact of monetary incentives setting aside changes in job security. We find that the 1995 reform prolonged the parental leave of at least one third of mothers and shifted the post-leave unemployment spell to the time when a child turns 4, while the 2008 reform achieved a reversal of the impact of the 1995 reform, but only to a lesser extent.
The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward ItLecturer: Niclas Berggren Affiliation: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Stockholm ESF, Lipová 41a, Brno, Room P403 1:00 PM • 5/15/2015
Abstract: Previous research has established that good-looking political candidates win more votes. We extend this line of research by examining differences between parties on the left and on the right of the political spectrum. Our study combines data on personal votes in real elections with a web survey in which 2,513 non-Finnish respondents evaluated the facial appearance of 1,357 Finnish political candidates. We find that political candidates on the right are better looking in both municipal and parliamentary elections and that they have a larger beauty premium in municipal, but not in parliamentary, elections. As municipal candidates are relatively unknown, the beauty-premium gap indicates that voters - especially those to the right - use beauty as a cue for candidate ideology or quality in the municipal elections.
Information and Price Dispersion: Evidence from Retail GasolineLecturer: Dieter Pennerstorfer Affiliation: WIFO, Vienna ESF, Lipová 41a, Brno, Room P403 2:30 PM • 4/3/2015
Abstract: We examine the relationship between information and price dispersion in the retail gasoline market. We first show that the clearinghouse models in the spirit of Stahl (1989) generate an inverted-U relationship between information and price dispersion. Past empirical studies of this relationship have relied on (intertemporal) variation in internet usage and adoption to measure the number of consumers that have access to the clearinghouse. We construct a new measure of information based commuter data from Austria. Regular commuters can freely sample gasoline prices on their commuting route, giving us spatial variation in the share of informed consumers. We use detailed information on gas station level price to construct various measures of price dispersion. Our empirical estimates of the relationship are in line with the theoretical predictions.
Does the Czech tax and benefit system contribute to one of the Europe's lowest levels of relative poverty and inequality?Lecturer: Petr Jánský Affiliation: Charles University ESF, Lipová 41a, Brno, Room P403 1:00 PM • 2/27/2015
Abstract: The Czech population is one of the most equal societies in terms of households' disposable incomes and has the lowest level of relative poverty in Europe. We ask if the Czech tax and benefit system helps to achieve this low inequality and poverty. We test this hypothesis with the best available data on households from the Czech Statistical Office - the Survey of Income and Living Conditions (SILC) for direct taxes and social benefits combined with the Household Budget Survey (HBS) for indirect taxes. We thus combine detailed data on household's income and expenditure for the first time. We show that market income, especially due to the inclusion of pensions, is quite egalitarian. We find that the narrowly defined tax-benefit system (direct taxes and social benefits) actually does not change the poverty rate, while the indirect taxes increase it. The Czech tax and benefit system thus does not seem to contribute to the one of the world's lowest levels of relative poverty and inequality. We further provide the first estimates of the redistributive effectiveness of a number of social and tax policies. Among other findings, we show that aid in material need benefits are the most effective in decreasing poverty gap and income inequality, while the child allowance is the largest benefit in terms of coverage of poor individuals.
The Price of LuckLecturer: Pablo Guillen Affiliation: University of Sydney ESF, Lipová 41a, Brno, Room P103 1:00 PM • 1/16/2015
Abstract: We report the results of a simple statistical choice task based on independent and identically distributed (iid) variables. In our experiment subjects were asked to bet on the future performance of players in a coin toss task. Subjects exhibit a strong, irrational bias towards placing their bets on players with a good guessing history in the coin toss task. We also show that the result cannot be attributed to confusion induced by the BDM mechanism. Subjects' elicited preferences are compatible with prescriptive luck beliefs. That is, the idea that luck is a somehow deterministic and personal attribute.
Úvod do teorie zajištění a ocenění derivátů, aneb co nám Blackův-Scholesův model napovídá o zajišťovacím riziku způsobeném cenovými skokyLecturer: Aleš Černý Affiliation: CBS University, London Masaryk university, Brno 1:00 PM • 4/9/2014
Abstract: The talk will explore quadratic hedging of derivatives in a complete and incomplete financial market. Starting with a discrete-time setting we will provide several numerical illustrations one of which leads to the famous Black-Scholes formula in the continuous-time limit . The talk is based on joint work with Jan Kallsen and Stephan Denkl of CAU Kiel.
Transaction Costs and Inertia in Charitable GivingLecturer: Maroš Servátka Affiliation: University of Canterbury, New Zealand Masaryk university, Brno 1:00 PM • 1/21/2014
Abstract: This paper uses a laboratory experiment to analyse the effect that transactions costs and inertia have on charitable giving. We conjecture that transaction costs are likely to have a greater effect on donations if the solicitations are received when potential donors are busy (when the opportunity cost of time is high) as opposed to when they have time on their hands to donate (when the opportunity cost of time is low). If donations do not have to be made immediately, inertia could also become a factor as people might intend to give, but then postpone making the payment until they have more time, and having postponed making the donation once, keep doing so until the opportunity to donate has passed. We find that introducing a transaction cost to a standard Dictator Game with charity as a recipient, and manipulating whether the donation can be made when we know subjects have time on their hands, reduces donations providing evidence of a transaction cost effect. Some weak evidence is found that giving people more time to donate reduces donations, which is consistent with an inertia effect.
Does Financing of Public Goods by Lotteries Crowd Out Pro-Social Incentives?Lecturer: Peter Katuščák Affiliation: CERGE-EI Masaryk university, Brno 1:00 PM • 12/12/2013
Abstract: We investigate the extent to which lottery financing of public goods crowds out voluntary contributions driven by social preferences. On average, we find presence of such crowding out effect. We then classify subjects by the strength of their conditional cooperation and find that the extent of crowding out is increasing with the the level of conditional cooperation, especially under a higher lottery prize. We interpret this finding as crowding-out of voluntary contributions driven by reciprocity.
Train Commuters' Scheduling Preferences: Evidence From a Large-Scale Reward ExperimentLecturer: Stefanie Peer Affiliation: Vienna University of Economics and Business ESF, Lipová 41a, Brno, Room S309 1:00 PM • 10/31/2013
Abstract: We investigate the trip scheduling behavior of Dutch train commuters, using data collected during a large-scale reward experiment with more than 1000 participants. Railway subscription owners were invited to join an experiment where they could earn (distance-based) monetary rewards if they traveled outside the (morning and evening) peak hours. A dedicated smartphone app was used to observe the trip timing and routing behavior of the participants. Compared to the pre-measurement, the share of peak trips decreased by ca. 20% during the reward period, and by 9% during the post-measurement. We estimate departure time choice models, drawing from multiple data sources to compute the attribute values for all choice alternatives. We are able to derive plausible revealed preference (RP) values for the participants' willingness-to-pay for reducing travel time, schedule delays, the number of transfers and crowdedness, and for increasing reliability.
Corruption and Manipulation of Public Procurement: Evidence from the Introduction of Discretionary ThresholdsLecturer: Filip Pertold Affiliation: CERGE-EI ESF, Lipová 41a, Brno, Room S309 1:00 PM • 10/3/2013
Abstract: We present a methodology for detecting manipulation of public procurement and evidence showing how policies that create discontinuous incentives to avoid transparent competition lead to manipulation and active waste by procurement officials. Our methodology exploits a natural experiment in which new discretionary thresholds in the anticipated value of procurements were established. Manipulations reveal through bunching of procurements below the new thresholds and affect 11% of relevant contracts. Manipulations lead to increases in the chance of allocating contracts to anonymously owned firms often related to corrupt behavior, increases in the final prices of procurements and preferential prices for anonymous contractors.