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Unraveling in a Repeated Moral Hazard Model With Multiple Agents

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This paper studies an infinite-horizon repeated moral hazard problem where a single principal employs several agents. We assume that the principal cannot observe the agents' effort choices; however, agents can observe each other and can be contractually required to make

This paper studies an infinite-horizon repeated moral hazard problem where a single principal employs several agents. We assume that the principal cannot observe the agents' effort choices; however, agents can observe each other and can be contractually required to make observation reports to the principal. Observation reports, if truthful, can serve as a monitoring instrument to discipline the agents. However, reports are cheap talk so that it is also possible for agents to collude, i.e., where they shirk, earn rents, and report otherwise to the principal. The main result of the paper constructs a class of collusion-proof contracts with two properties. First, equilibrium payoffs to both the principal and the agents approach their first-best benchmarks as the discount factor tends to unity. These payoff bounds apply to all subgame perfect equilibria in the game induced by the contract. Second, while equilibria themselves depend on the discount factor, the contract that induces these equilibria is independent of the discount factor.

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2015-01-01

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Knowledge and Passive Adaptation to Climate Change: An Example From Indian Farmers

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This study is an attempt to use group information collected on climate change from farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India to address a key question related to climate change policy: How to encourage farmers to adapt to climate change? First,

This study is an attempt to use group information collected on climate change from farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India to address a key question related to climate change policy: How to encourage farmers to adapt to climate change? First, we investigate farmers’ perception of and adaptation to climate change using content analysis and group information. The findings are then compared with climatic and agriculture information collected through secondary sources. Results suggest that though farmers are aware of long-term changes in climatic factors (temperature and rainfall, for example), they are unable to identify these changes as climate change. Farmers are also aware of risks generated by climate variability and extreme climatic events. However, farmers are not taking concrete steps in dealing with perceived climatic changes, although we find out that farmers are changing their agricultural and farming practices. These included changing sowing and harvesting timing, cultivation of crops of short duration varieties, inter-cropping, changing cropping pattern, investment in irrigation, and agroforestry. Note that these changes may be considered as passive response or adaptation strategies to climate change. Perhaps farmers are implicitly taking initiatives to adapt climate change. Finally, the paper suggests some policy interventions to scale up adaptation to climate change in Indian agriculture.

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2016-11-24

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Contextualizing Dirty Work: The Neglected Role of Cultural, Historical, and Demographic Context

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Although perceptions of physically, socially, and morally stigmatized occupations – ‘dirty work’ – are socially constructed, very little attention has been paid to how the context shapes those constructions. We explore the impact of historical trends (when), macro and micro

Although perceptions of physically, socially, and morally stigmatized occupations – ‘dirty work’ – are socially constructed, very little attention has been paid to how the context shapes those constructions. We explore the impact of historical trends (when), macro and micro cultures (where), and demographic characteristics (who) on the social construction of dirty work. Historically, the rise of hygiene, along with economic and technological development, resulted in greater societal distancing from dirty work, while the rise of liberalism has resulted in greater social acceptance of some morally stigmatized occupations. Culturally, masculinity tends to be preferred over femininity as an ideological discourse for dirty work, unless the occupation is female-dominated; members of collectivist cultures are generally better able than members of individualist cultures to combat the collective-level threat that stigma inherently represents; and members of high power-distance cultures tend to view dirty work more negatively than members of low power-distance cultures. Demographically, marginalized work tends to devolve to marginalized socioeconomic, gender, and racioethnic categories, creating a pernicious and entrapping recursive loop between ‘dirty work’ and being labeled as ‘dirty people.’

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2014-07-01

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Short Selling Pressure, Stock Price Behavior, and Management Forecast Precision: Evidence From a Natural Experiment

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Using a natural experiment (Regulation SHO), we show that short selling pressure and consequent stock price behavior have a causal effect on managers’ voluntary disclosure choices. Specifically, we find that managers respond to a positive exogenous shock to short selling

Using a natural experiment (Regulation SHO), we show that short selling pressure and consequent stock price behavior have a causal effect on managers’ voluntary disclosure choices. Specifically, we find that managers respond to a positive exogenous shock to short selling pressure and price sensitivity to bad news by reducing the precision of bad news forecasts. This finding on management forecasts appears to be generalizable to other corporate disclosures. In particular, we find that, in response to increased short selling pressure, managers also reduce the readability (or increase the fuzziness) of bad news annual reports. Overall, our results suggest that maintaining the current level of stock prices is an important consideration in managers’ strategic disclosure decisions.

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2015-03-01

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How Do Case Law and Statute Differ? Lessons From the Evolution of Mortgage Law

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This paper traces the history of mortgage law in the United States. I explore the history of foreclosure procedures, redemption periods, restrictions on deficiency judgments, and foreclosure moratoria. The historical record shows that the most enduring aspects of mortgage law

This paper traces the history of mortgage law in the United States. I explore the history of foreclosure procedures, redemption periods, restrictions on deficiency judgments, and foreclosure moratoria. The historical record shows that the most enduring aspects of mortgage law stem from case law rather than statute. In particular, the ability of creditors to foreclose nonjudicially is determined very early in states’ histories, usually before the Civil War, and usually in case law. In contrast, the aspects of mortgage law developed through statute change more frequently. This finding calls into question whether common law is inherently more flexible than the civil-law system used in some other countries. However, case law tends to be less responsive to populist pressures than statutes. My findings suggest that the reason common law favors financial development is unlikely to be its greater flexibility relative to law made by statute.

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2014-11-01

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Determinants of Mobile Apps' Success: Evidence From the App Store Market

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Mobile applications markets with app stores have introduced a new approach to define and sell software applications with access to a large body of heterogeneous consumer population. This research examines key seller- and app-level characteristics that impact success in an

Mobile applications markets with app stores have introduced a new approach to define and sell software applications with access to a large body of heterogeneous consumer population. This research examines key seller- and app-level characteristics that impact success in an app store market. We tracked individual apps and their presence in the top-grossing 300 chart in Apple's App Store and examined how factors at different levels affect the apps' survival in the top 300 chart. We used a generalized hierarchical modeling approach to measure sales performance, and confirmed the results with the use of a hazard model and a count regression model. We find that broadening app offerings across multiple categories is a key determinant that contributes to a higher probability of survival in the top charts. App-level attributes such as free app offers, high initial ranks, investment in less-popular (less-competitive) categories, continuous quality updates, and high-volume and high-user review scores have positive effects on apps' sustainability. In general, each diversification decision across a category results in an approximately 15 percent increase in the presence of an app in the top charts. Survival rates for free apps are up to two times more than that for paid apps. Quality (feature) updates to apps can contribute up to a threefold improvement in survival rate as well. A key implication of the results of this study is that sellers must utilize the natural segmentation in consumer tastes offered by the different categories to improve sales performance.

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Date Created
2013-11-30

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Price Inferences for Sacred VS. Secular Goods: Changing the Price of Medicine Influences Health Risk

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The current research examines how the price of a medication influences consumers’ beliefs about their own disease risk—a critical question with new laws mandating greater price transparency for health care goods and services. Four studies reveal that consumers believe that

The current research examines how the price of a medication influences consumers’ beliefs about their own disease risk—a critical question with new laws mandating greater price transparency for health care goods and services. Four studies reveal that consumers believe that lifesaving health goods are priced according to perceived need (i.e., communal-sharing principles) and that price consequently influences risk perceptions and intentions to consume care. Specifically, consumers believe that lower medication prices signal greater accessibility to anyone in need, and such accessibility thus makes them feel that their own self-risk is elevated, increasing consumption. The reverse is true for higher prices. Importantly, these effects are limited to self-relevant health threats and reveal that consumers make inconsistent assumptions about risk, prevalence, and need with price exposure. These findings suggest that while greater price transparency may indeed reduce consumption of higher-priced goods, it may do so for both necessary and unnecessary care.

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Date Created
2012-11-14

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Doing It the Hard Way: How Low Control Drives Preferences for High-Effort Products and Services

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Consumers often face situations in which their feelings of personal control are threatened. In such contexts, what role should products play in helping consumers pursue their goals (e.g., losing weight, maintaining a clean home)? Across five studies, we challenge the

Consumers often face situations in which their feelings of personal control are threatened. In such contexts, what role should products play in helping consumers pursue their goals (e.g., losing weight, maintaining a clean home)? Across five studies, we challenge the traditional view that low control is detrimental to effort and demonstrate that consumers prefer products that require them to engage in hard work when feelings of control are low. Such high-effort products reassure individuals that desired outcomes are possible while also enabling them to feel as if they have driven their own outcomes. We also identify important boundary conditions, finding that both the nature of individuals' thoughts about control and their perceived rate of progress toward goals are important factors in the desire to exert increased effort.

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Date Created
2014-10-01

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The Impacts of Information Technology on Total Factor Productivity: A Look at Externalities and Innovations

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The impacts of information technology (IT) on total factor productivity (TFP) are assessed through an integrative framework of IT-induced externalities and IT-leveraged innovations. Based on network externalities and endogenous growth theory, our study aims to reconcile the seeming discrepancy between

The impacts of information technology (IT) on total factor productivity (TFP) are assessed through an integrative framework of IT-induced externalities and IT-leveraged innovations. Based on network externalities and endogenous growth theory, our study aims to reconcile the seeming discrepancy between the recent observed evidence and the prediction by neoclassical growth theory. We argue that computerization has reshaped the competitive landscape into a network economy with IT-induced externalities that benefit not only IT purchasers but also other stakeholders. Moreover, IT is a platform technology that can leverage innovations to enhance the technological level of production process. Consequently, these two factors of IT-induced externalities and IT-leveraged innovations exert positive impacts on TFP, suggesting IT plays a more pivotal role than input consumption and accumulation that neoclassical growth theory assumes for IT. We use panel data from 30 Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries over the period of 2000–2009 to empirically test hypotheses on this IT-TFP link. Implications are drawn from our findings for future research to measure IT׳s contributions at the macro level more accurately, and policymakers are urged to cultivate IT׳s positive impacts on TFP to help sustain long-term economic growth.

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Date Created
2014-12-01

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Revisiting the Debate on the Relationship Between Display Rules and Performance: Considering the Explicitness of Display Rules

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We argue that the strength with which the organization communicates expectations regarding the appropriate emotional expression toward customers (i.e., explicitness of display rules) has an inverted U-shaped relationship with service delivery behaviors, customer satisfaction, and sales performance. Further, we argue

We argue that the strength with which the organization communicates expectations regarding the appropriate emotional expression toward customers (i.e., explicitness of display rules) has an inverted U-shaped relationship with service delivery behaviors, customer satisfaction, and sales performance. Further, we argue that service organizations need a particular blend of explicitness of display rules and role discretion for the purpose of optimizing sales performance. As hypothesized, findings from 2 samples of salespeople suggest that either high or low explicitness of display rules impedes service delivery behaviors and sales performance, which peaks at moderate explicitness of display rules and high role discretion. The findings also suggest that the explicitness of display rules has a positive relationship with customer satisfaction.

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Date Created
2015-01-01