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L - Industrial Organization

Industrial Organization

JEL Code: 

Social Networks, Reputation and Commitment: Evidence from a Savings Monitors Experiment

We study whether individuals save more when information about their savings is shared with another village member (a “monitor”). We focus on whether the monitor’s effectiveness depends on her network position. Central monitors may be better able to disseminate information, and more proximate monitors may pass information to individuals who interact with the saver frequently. In 30 villages, we randomly assign monitors. Average monitors increase savings by 35 percent.

The Joy of Flying: Efficient Airport PPP Contracts

We examine the optimal concession contract for an infrastructure that generates both user fee revenue and ancillary commercial revenue. For example, airports charge user fees to passengers and airlines (aviation revenue) and collect revenue from shops, restaurants, parking lots and hotels (non-aviation revenue). While passenger flow and the demand for the infrastructure are exogenous, the demand for ancillary services depends both on exogenous passenger flow and on the concessionaire’s effort and diligence.

Network Centrality and Informal Institutions: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field

While social closeness mitigates contractual incompleteness, we examine how communities can enlist third parties to improve cooperation between socially distant pairs. Network-central members may be particularly effective at this role through two channels: information and enforcement. We conduct modified trust games (with and without third parties) in 40 Indian villages to measure the effectiveness of central third parties. Assigning a punisher at the 75th percentile of the centrality distribution (versus the 25th) increases efficiency by 21%.

Foreign Direct Investment and Product Quality in Host Economies

This paper examines, both theoretically and empirically, how the presence of foreign-invested firms (i.e., foreign direct investment, FDI) affects the product quality of domestic firms. In a monopolistically competitive market with Melitz (2003) style heterogeneous firms, we show that, if consumers derive higher utility from consuming higher quality products, then despite the fact that product quality is not directly observable, one can identify the impact of FDI on product quality from its impact on firm revenue and cut-off capability.

Entrepreneurship, Small Businesses, and Economic Growth in Cities: An Empirical Analysis

Does entrepreneurship cause urban economic growth and if so how large is the impact? Empirical analysis of such question is hampered by endogeneity. This paper uses two different sets of variables – the homestead exemption levels in state bankruptcy laws from 1975 and the share of MSA overlaying aquifers - to instrument for entrepreneurship and examine urban growth between 1993 and 2002. Despite using different sets of instrumental variables, the ranges of 2SLS estimates are similar, further supporting the significant impact of entrepreneurship on urban growth.

Do Government Guaranteed Small Business Loans Promote Economic Growth and Entrepreneurship?

This paper examines the impact of government guaranteed small business loans on urban economic growth, and compares the growth impacts of government versus market financed entrepreneurship. OLS estimates indicate a significant and positive relation between the Small Business Administration’s guaranteed loans and metropolitan growth between 1993 and 2002. However, first-difference and instrumental variable regressions show no growth impact from government guaranteed loans. In contrast, market entrepreneurship significantly and positively contributes to local economic growth.

Do Patent Pools Encourage Innovation? Evidence from 20 U.S. Industries Under the New Deal

Patent pools, which allow competing firms to combine their patents, have emerged as a prominent mechanism to resolve litigation when multiple firms own patents for the same technology. This paper takes advantage of a window of regulatory tolerance under the New Deal to investigate the effects of pools on innovation within 20 industries. Difference-in-differences regressions imply a 16 percent decline in patenting in response to the creation of a pool.

Gossip: Identifying Central Individuals in a Social Network

Is it possible, simply by asking a few members of a community, to identify individuals who are best placed to diffuse information? A model of diffusion shows how members of a community can, just by tracking gossip about others, identify those who are most central in a network according to “diffusion centrality” – a network centrality measure that predicts the diffusion of a piece of information seeded with a network member.

The Institutional Environment for U.S. Economic Innovation

The institutional environment allows innovators and entrepreneurs to take calculated economic risks. In the U.S, innovation originates from education and research, while competition is made possible by a cluster of laws and financial regulatory institutions. Creative education, innovative research, legal institutions and financial regulations function together to enable a highly dynamic and innovative economy. We first give a brief introduction of the relationship between innovation, entrepreneurship and institutions.


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