Department of Economics

Faculty Research


  • ARTICLE: Cardazzi, Alexander, and Zachary Rodriguez. "Demand for offense: designated hitters and MLB attendance." Applied Economics (2024): 1-14.

    Author: Cardazzi, Alexander, and Zachary Rodriguez. "Demand for offense: designated hitters and MLB attendance." Applied Economics (2024): 1-14.

    Abstract: In 2022, Major League Baseball changed its rules to include the designated hitter position in both the American and National Leagues. Up until that year, designated hitters were only used by American League teams. This rule change creates an environment where half of a major sports league is given a shock to offensive production. We analyse the demand for offence by investigating how the designated hitter affects attendance and offensive production for National League teams. Our results contribute to a rich literature that analyzes how offence affects fan participation, as we provide the first evidence using causal inference that offence increases fan attendance. Using a difference-in-differences framework, we show that the offence created by a designated hitter increases attendance by about 3.5–7.9% at National League home games as a result of the rule change. Given a point estimate increase in total offence of about 4.85%, we find evidence that attendance is elastic with respect to total offence.



  • ARTICLE: Ana Espinola-Arredondo, Felix Munoz-Garcia, & Dolores Garrido, “Measuring regulatory errors from environmental policy uncertainty”, Journal of Regulatory Economics, August 2023
    • Author: Ana Espinola-Arredondo, Felix Munoz-Garcia, & Dolores Garrido
    • Abstract: We examine an environmental policy which may be revisited by a new administration. We allow for pollution to be persistent over time and for uncertainty in next period's environmental policy. When pollution is non-persistent, we show that regulatory uncertainty is inconsequential for output, pollution, or emission fees. However, when pollution is persistent, we find that a more likely reelection of a stringent administration has the unintended (positive) consequence of reducing current pollution. We also measure the inefficiencies stemming from ignoring pollution persistence and from policy uncertainty, identifying in which contexts they are severe or negligible.
    • Article: "Measuring regulatory errors from environmental policy uncertainty"
  • ARTICLE: Prateek Arora, Nirvikar Singh & Abhijit Visaria, "Healthcare Costs, Choice of Providers and Patient Satisfaction: Survey Evidence from India", Journal of Quantitative Economics, June 2023
    • Author: Prateek Arora, Nirvikar Singh & Abhijit Visaria
    • Abstract: In this paper, we study the factors that influence the choice of healthcare providers in the rural areas of a highly developed Indian state, Punjab. In particular, we examine the choice between government and private providers, and between medical professionals and informal providers. We also examine the joint choice of provider type and distance travelled, and possible factors influencing reported satisfaction with the quality of care received. We use data from a household survey of 489 households from 10 villages around the town of Nabha. We construct a measure of anticipated treatment cost in order to account for the endogeneity of actual costs in healthcare choices. Our results indicate that respondents who identified costs as a primary factor in their choice of provider were more likely to choose a nearby government provider and less likely to choose a distant private provider. Additionally, higher anticipated treatment costs were associated with a greater likelihood of choosing a government provider compared to a private provider and choosing a professional versus non-professional provider. Overall, cost sensitivity was negatively associated with patient satisfaction. Our results have important implications for understanding household decisions in the choice of government and private healthcare providers.
    • Article: "Healthcare Costs, Choice of Providers and Patient Satisfaction: Survey Evidence from India"
  • ARTICLE: Alexander Cardazzi, Joshua C. Martin, & Zachary Rodriguez, "Information shocks and celebrity exposure: The effect of “Magic” Johnson on AIDS diagnoses and mortality in the US", Health Economics, May 2023
    • Author: Alexander Cardazzi, Joshua C. Martin, & Zachary Rodriguez
    • Abstract: We present evidence that Earvin “Magic” Johnson's announcement that he contracted HIV served as a public-health catalyst for rapidly correcting the public's understanding of who was at risk of infection. Using a novel identification strategy, we present evidence that there was a large but temporary increase in the number of AIDS diagnoses for heterosexual men following the announcement. This effect was concentrated in areas with greater prior exposure to Johnson. We show that these men were both more likely to have been diagnosed via a formal blood test and less likely to die within 1 decade of their initial diagnosis—suggesting that Johnson's announcement caused an intertemporal substitution in testing which prolonged patients' lifespans as a result of earlier access to medical care. We estimate that Johnson's announcement caused approximately 800 additional heterosexual males in the United States in metropolitan statistical areas with National Basketball Association franchises men to discover their underlying AIDS diagnosis and, of whom, were more likely to live at least 1 decade beyond their initial diagnosis date.
    • Article: "Information shocks and celebrity exposure: The effect of “Magic” Johnson on AIDS diagnoses and mortality in the U.S."
  • ARTICLE: Lewis Davis, Stephen J. Schmidt, & Sophia Zacher, "COVID on campus: An empirical analysis of COVID infection rates at U.S. colleges and universities", Southern Economic Journal, March 2023
    • Author: Lewis Davis, Stephen J. Schmidt, Sophia Zacher
    • Abstract: We provide an empirical analysis of the determinants of cumulative COVID infection rates at 1069 U.S. colleges and universities during the 2020–21 academic year. We propose that financially constrained educational institutions faced a trade-off between the reduction of COVID infection risks and an institution's educational, social, reputational, and financial goals. We find that cumulative infection rates are higher at wealthier institutions, measured by higher endowments per student or higher tuition rates. Institutions with lower enrollment yields in admissions also have higher COVID infection rates, perhaps reflecting the greater influence of student preferences on decision making at these institutions. Economies of scale in COVID mitigation emerge gradually over the course of the year. Finally, COVID infection rates do not differ significantly for otherwise similar public and private institutions in states with Democratic governors, but they are significantly higher for public institutions in states with Republican governors.
    • Article: "COVID on campus: An empirical analysis of COVID infection rates at U.S. colleges and universities"
  • ARTICLE: Lewis Davis & Justin Esposito, "Social Disparities and Social Distancing During the Covid Pandemic", Eastern Economic Journal, March 2023
    • Author: Lewis Davis & Justin Esposito
    • Abstract: According to Putnam (2000) and Bourdieu (1986), social disparities may result in the formation of narrow social bonds that exacerbate existing social cleavages and impede collective action. Motivated by this insight, we examine the relationship between social disparities and social distancing during the pre-vaccine Covid pandemic in the US. Using a panel of weekly, county-level observations, we find that income, educational and racial disparities are associated with a statistically significant decrease in the social distancing. This result is robust to controls for a wide variety of socioeconomic variables, the Covid infection rate, and a measure of social capital.
    • Article: "Social Disparities and Social Distancing During the Covid Pandemic"
  • ARTICLE: Zachary Rodriguez, "Trading Futures: A Theological Critique of Finanicalized Capitalism", Journal of Economics, Management and Religion, Feb 2023
    • Author: Zachary Rodriguez
    • Abstract: Planning the goals you wish to achieve in your future can be overwhelming. You may have a general idea of what you want the future to look like regarding your career, family, and retirement, but you may be uncertain on how to save for this future. Visiting a financial planner at your local bank was what families used to do to when mapping out their future. Yet, as banks grew in size and as corruption within the banking industry has been made public for the past 40 years, households now question whether or not they can trust their local bankers. Do banks look out for their client's welfare or are they a self-interested firm? Can you trust bankers who likely gave up big profits at bigger institutions to work locally? Maybe bankers cannot control themselves regardless of location, and financial planners in small banks unconsciously enable the types of decisions that benefit their banks but put your wealth at risk? If you have these feelings of mistrust toward the banking system in the U.S., then Filipe Maia's Trading Futures: A Theological Critique of Financialized Capitalism is a useful reference for you, as Maia articulates the institutional ideology within the banking industry that affects our ability to conceptualize the future.
    • Article: "Trading Futures: A Theological Critique of Finanicalized Capitalism"
  • ARTICLE: Lewis Davis, Dolores Garrido, & Carolina Missura, "Inherited Patience and the Taste for Environmental Quality", Sustainability Journal, February 2023
    • Author: Lewis Davis, Dolores Garrido, Carolina Missura
    • Abstract: Environmental-quality and environmental-protection actions vary worldwide. Investing in environmental quality often involves intertemporal trade-offs, with present costs and future rewards. A growing body of literature finds that patience, a measure of time preference, is positively associated with pro-environmental policies, attitudes, and behaviors. However, much of this work relies on contemporaneous measures of patience that may be jointly determined with environmental attitudes, and thus may give rise to spurious correlations, calling the validity of these results into question. This paper contributes to the discussion on the determinants of environmental quality by addressing this methodological concern. We propose an individual measure of patience in the form of inherited cultural values, which is derived from information on the countries of origin of an individual’s parents. We argue that this inherited-patience measure is plausibly an exogenous event in an individual’s life. Using this measure, we find a strong, positive relationship between inherited patience and concern for the environment. Our results are robust to the inclusion of variables reflecting an individual’s demographic and socioeconomic status, religious identity, trust, political ideology, and location, as well as period and country fixed effects.
    • Article: "Inherited Patience and the Taste for Environmental Quality"
  • ARTICLE: Younghwan Song & Jia Gao, "Do fathers have son preference in the United States? Evidence from paternal subjective well-being", Review of Economics of the Household, January 2023
    • Author: Younghwan Song & Jia Gao
    • Abstract: Using data drawn from 2010, 2012, and 2013 American Time Use Survey Well-Being Modules, this paper examines the existence of son preference among fathers in the U.S. by estimating the effect of child gender on the fathers’ subjective well-being. A wide range of subjective well-being measures, including happiness, pain, sadness, stress, tiredness, and meaningfulness, is analyzed, and fixed-effects models are adopted to control for unobserved individual heterogeneity. The results from the full sample show that fathers feel less sad and tired when interacting with both sons and daughters versus with daughters only. In families with only one child, fathers report no difference in subjective well-being when spending time with a son versus with a daughter. By further stratifying this sample of fathers by child’s age of three, we continue to find no difference in paternal subjective well-being between being with a son and with a daughter when the child is younger than three. However, when the child is three or older, we find that fathers feel less stressed and more meaningful being with a son versus with a daughter. The results from Asian fathers in the U.S., in contrast, show a tremendous reduction in stress in activities with sons only than with daughters only. These results indicate no evidence of son preference in the general U.S. population. If there is any, it only exists among Asian fathers in the U.S.
    • Article: "Do fathers have son preference in the United States? Evidence from paternal subjective well-being"


  • ARTICLE: Kaywana Raeburn, Sonia Laszlo & Jim Warnick, "Resolving ambiguity as a public good: experimental evidence from Guyana", Theory and Decision, October 2022
    • Authors: Kaywana Raeburn, Sonia Laszlo & Jim Warnick
    • Abstract: Incomplete information is a commonly cited barrier to the adoption of new innovations. We present a decision-making experiment, conducted with farmers in the field, that explores the extent to which information which reduces ambiguity may be provided as a public good. In the experiment, participants make a series of decisions between a risky gamble and an ambiguous gamble. An initial private decision is followed by second choice in which participants know that their chosen gambles and outcomes will be publicly but anonymously revealed. Selection of the ambiguous option in this decision thus provide public good information which can be used to update beliefs about the ambiguous gamble. After the public revelation, participants make one final choice between the two options which we use to assess learning. We also test communication as a mechanism to increase provision of the public good. We find evidence that people with preference to avoid ambiguity contribute to public good information while risk averse people free ride. Communication does not affect the overall public good provision, either in a positive or negative direction. Finally, we find that people draw appropriate inference from the information that the public good provides. We relate our findings to the issue of new technology adoption in agriculture which is of particular importance for our participants.
    • Article: "Resolving ambiguity as a public good: experimental evidence from Guyana"
  • ARTICLE: Younghwan Song, and others, "Cost-utility and cost-benefit analysis of TAVR availability in the US severe symptomatic aortic stenosis patient population", Journal of Medical Economics, August 2022
    • Authors: Younghwan Song, J. P. Sevilla, Jessica M. Klusty, Mark J. Russo, Christin A. Thompson, Xiayu Jiao, Seth J. Clancy, and David E. Bloom
    • Abstract: We evaluated the availability of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to determine its value across all severe symptomatic aortic stenosis (SSAS) patients, especially those untreated because of concerns regarding invasive surgical AVR (SAVR) and its impact on active aging. We performed payer perspective cost-utility analysis (CUA) and societal perspective cost-benefit analysis (CBA). The CBA’s benefit measure is active time: salaried labor, unpaid work, and active leisure. The study population is a cohort of US elderly SSAS patients. We compared a “TAVR available” scenario in which SSAS patients distribute themselves across TAVR, SAVR, and medical management (MM); and a “TAVR not available” scenario with only SAVR and MM. We structured each scenario with a decision-tree model of SSAS patient treatment allocation. We measured the association between health and active time in the US Health and Retirement Study and used this association to impute active time to SSAS patients given their health. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) and rate of return (RoR) of TAVR availability were $8,533 and 395%, respectively. CUA net monetary benefits (NMB) were $212,199 per patient and $43.4 billion population-wide. CBA NMB were $50,530 per patient and $10.3 billion population-wide. Among study limitations were scarcity of evidence regarding key parameters and the lack of long-term survival, health utility, and treatment cost data. Our analysis did not account for TAVR durability, retreatments, and valve-in-valve treatments. Across risk-, age-, and treatment-eligibility groups, TAVR is the economically optimal treatment choice. It represents strong value-for-money per patient and population-wide. The vast majority of TAVR value involves raising treatment uptake among the untreated.
    • Article: "Cost-utility and cost-benefit analysis of TAVR availability in the US severe symptomatic aortic stenosis patient population"
  • ARTICLE: Alicia Dang and Robert Samaniego, "R&D, Industrial Policy and Growth", Journal of Risk and Financial Management, August 2022
    • Authors: Alicia Dang and Robert Samaniego
    • Abstract: An issue with estimating the impact of industrial support is that the firms that receive support may be politically connected, introducing omitted variable bias. Applying fixed-effects regressions on Vietnamese panel data containing several proxies for political connectedness to correct this bias, we find that firms that receive industrial support in the form of tax holidays experience more rapid productivity growth, particularly in R&D-intensive industries, and less so among politically connected firms. These findings do not appear to be due to the presence of financing constraints. We then develop a second-generation Schumpeterian growth model with many industries, and show that tax holidays disproportionately raise productivity growth in R&D-intensive industries. These results are significant and important for governments, especially those in transition and developing countries, in better targeting their industrial policy to facilitate higher productivity growth.
    • Article: "R&D, Industrial Policy and Growth"
  • ARTICLE: Zachary Rodriguez, Alexander Cardazzi, Bryan C McCannon, and Brad R Humphreys, "Emotional Cues and Violent Behavior: Unexpected Basketball Losses Increase Incidents of Family Violence", The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, July 2022
    • Authors: Zachary Rodriguez, Alexander Cardazzi, Bryan C McCannon, and Brad R Humphreys
    • Abstract: Domestic violence generates long-term effects on offenders, victims, and other household members. While coercive behavior explains some family violence, aggression can also be reactive, triggered by emotional stimulus. Insight into triggers of family violence can inform policy and mitigate abusive behavior. Card, D. and G. B. Dahl. (2011). “Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior,” 126 The Quarterly Journal of Economics 103–43 undertook a novel analysis of family violence triggers using unexpected losses by American professional football teams. We extend research on this trigger using data from National Basketball Association (NBA) games. Our results show that unexpected NBA losses lead to increased in-home violence. Heterogeneity analyses show that these effects are larger for weekend games, when referees are fatigued, and closer to the playoff season. (JEL J44, K42, Z22).
    • Article: "Emotional Cues and Violent Behavior: Unexpected Basketball Losses Increase Incidents of Family Violence"
  • ARTICLE: Lewis Davis and Claudia Williamson, "Individualism and women's economic rights" Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Volume 198, Pages 579-597 - June 2022
    • Authors: Lewis Davis and Claudia Williamson
    • Abstract: Individualism is associated with an emphasis on personal liberty and self-determination, values that reduce support for patriarchal norms and increase gender equality. Here, we investigate whether individualism affects women's economics rights, a key institutional determinant of the economic opportunities available to women. We provide evidence of an economically and statistically significant association between individualism and the de facto level of women's economic rights. This result is robust to a variety of controls, including per capita income, women's educational attainment, oil production, historical determinants of patriarchal culture, and the quality of legal and political institutions. In addition, we present evidence that this association is causal, drawing on instruments motivated by roles of climate and disease in cultural evolution. Finally, we show that individualism's influence on women's economic rights is magnified in democratic and common law countries, suggesting that democracies and common law systems channel cultural preferences into legal outcomes.
    • Article: "Individualism and women's economic rights"
  • ARTICLE: Mehmet Fuat Sener and Michael A. Klein, "Product innovation, diffusion and endogenous growth", Review of Economic Dynamics, May 2022
    • Authors: Mehmet Fuat Sener and Michael A. Klein
    • Abstract: We develop a model of Schumpeterian growth featuring a stochastic diffusion process where the rate of commercial success of product innovations is endogenously determined by advertising intensity. We consider both informative advertising, which young technological leaders use to increase the probability of diffusion, and defensive advertising, which incumbents use to prevent the diffusion of competing products. Economic growth depends positively on the arrival rate of product innovations and the diffusion rate of innovations into the mainstream market. We show that R&D subsidies shift relative investment incentives towards innovation and away from diffusion. This creates an inverted U-shaped relationship between R&D subsidies and both economic growth and welfare as innovations arrive more frequently, but fewer commercialize successfully. We find that advertising subsidies increase diffusion, growth, and welfare when advertising is purely informative. In the presence of defensive advertising, advertising subsidies lead to socially wasteful increases in resources devoted to advertising without large increases in diffusion, reducing growth and welfare.
    • Article: "Product innovation, diffusion and endogenous growth"
  • ARTICLE: Dolores Garrido and Rosa Karina Gallardo, "Are improvements in convenience good enough for consumers to prefer new food processing technologies?", Agribusiness: An International Journal, January 2022
    • Authors: Dolores Garrido and Rosa Karina Gallardo
    • Abstract: We use choice experiments to investigate heterogeneity in preferences for a refrigerated ready-to-heat meal with an extended shelf life and the processing technology (i.e., microwave-assisted pasteurization) that provides that longevity. On average, an extra day of shelf life decreases the utility associated with purchasing and eating the meal. A segmentation analysis reveals the presence of convenience consumers, who are willing to pay a premium for a more convenient meal (with an extended shelf life), but the interaction effect of shelf life with technology reverts their willingness to pay for an extra day of shelf life, suggesting a negative reaction to the new technology. (EconLit Citations: Q13, Q16, Q19).
    • Article: "Are improvements in convenience good enough for consumers to prefer new food processing technologies?"




  • ARTICLE: Dong Cheng, Yong Tan & Jian Yu, "Credit Rationing and Firm Exports: Microeconomic Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in China." The World Economy - December 2019
    • Authors: Dong Cheng, Yong Tan, Jian Yu
    • Abstract: This paper examines the effect of credit rationing on export performance by small and medium‐sized firms in China. We use a detailed firm‐level data provided by the Small and Medium‐sized Enterprises Dynamic Survey (SMEDS) during 2015–16 to conduct this analysis. The SMEDS provides firm‐specific measures of credit rationing based directly on firm‐level responses to the survey rather than indirect ones, based on firm‐level financial statements. We find that, at the extensive margin, weak and strong credit rationing reduces export probability of small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) by 15.1% and 39.6%, respectively. At the intensive margin, they decrease SMEs' export values by more than 20.0% and over 28.8%, respectively. Different than existing literature, we construct valid firm‐level instruments, firm‐level housing stock, for credit rationing rather than using province‐level instruments. We also employ county‐industry‐level instruments and obtain consistent estimates. In addition, credit rationing exhibits heterogeneous impacts on firms with different liquidity ratios, product portfolios, external collateral and capital utilization rates.
    • Article: "Credit Rationing and Firm Exports: Microeconomic Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in China"
  • ARTICLE: Lewis Davis & K.R. White, "Is Justice Blind? Evidence From Federal Corruption Convictions." Public Choice - November 2019

    Authors: Lewis Davis, K.R. White

    Abstract: Are federal prosecutors influenced by partisan political concerns? We examine that question by analyzing 40 years of federal corruption convictions at the state and federal district levels. Our key finding is that state-level federal corruption convictions fall by roughly 9% in years when a state’s governor belongs to the same party as the president who appointed local US Attorneys, a measure of state-federal political alignment. The result is robust to controls for the state political environment, election cycles, party tenure in the executive branch, public sector employment, federal aid to states, a state’s electoral importance, and the changes in Honest Services law, the statutory basis for many federal corruption cases. Our results are consistent with a significant level of partisan prosecutorial bias on the part of US Attorneys. In a placebo test, we find no evidence that state-federal political alignment affects the total number of federal criminal convictions. That finding provides support for the mechanism that we propose, namely the partisan exercise of prosecutorial discretion, rather than the partisan allocation of prosecutorial resources across federal districts.

    Article: "Is Justice Blind? Evidence From Federal Corruption Convictions."

  • ARTICLE: Lewis Davis, Claudia Williamson, "Does Individualism Promote Gender Equality?" World Development - November 2019
    • Authors: Lewis Davis, Claudia Williamson
    • Abstract: We argue that individualism promotes gender equality. Individualist values of autonomy and self-determination transcend gender identities and serve to legitimize women’s goals and choices. In contrast, collectivist values may subordinate women’s personal goals to their social obligations, generating greater acceptance of gender inequality. Using individual level data from World Values Surveys, we find that individualism is significantly associated with support for gender equal attitudes regarding employment, income, education, and political leadership. Individualism is also associated with greater levels of female employment and educational attainment, and lower levels of fertility. These results are robust to controlling for income, education, religion, historical plough use, gendered language, and country-time fixed effects. Our within country analysis allows us to isolate the impact of individualism from other confounding effects. Using historical rainfall variation as an instrument for individualism, we find that the exogenous portion of individualism reduces support for patriarchal attitudes and fertility, and it increases female employment and educational attainment. These effects are economically large. We address concerns over instrumental validity by controlling for a variety of factors, including historical plough use, religious affiliation, religiosity, social trust, average rainfall levels, distance from the equator, cool-water conditions, agricultural suitability, historical political and economic development, and the presence of large animals. This paper contributes to a mounting body of evidence suggesting a key role for highly persistent cultural norms and values in determining gender inequality, the gender division of labor, and economic and social outcomes for women.
    • Article: "Does Individualism Promote Gender Equality?"
  • ARTICLE: Dong Cheng, Xuepeng Shi, Jian Yu & Dayong Zhang, "How Does the Chinese Economy React to Uncertainty in International Crude Oil Prices?" International Review of Economics & Finance - November 2019
    • Authors: Dong Cheng, Xuepeng Shi, Jian Yu, Dayong Zhang
    • Abstract: This paper investigates the dynamic impacts of uncertainty in international crude oil prices on the Chinese economy. We use two measures, sample standard deviation and conditional standard deviation estimated from a GARCH (1,1) model, to calculate uncertainty in oil prices. We find that an increase in volatility in oil prices tends to reduce the real gross domestic product (GDP) and investment, which in turn encourages the Chinese government to stabilize the economy through expansionary fiscal and monetary policy. Furthermore, when we differentiate the impacts of increases and decreases in oil price uncertainty, we obtain a symmetric result. An increase in oil price uncertainty reduces real GDP and investment, while a decrease boosts the macroeconomy. We attribute the effect of decreasing uncertainty to the combined factor of falling uncertainty and an expansionary monetary and fiscal policy. A cross-sectional check related to economic geography indicates that uncertainty shocks to oil prices has a significantly greater negative impact on real GDP and investment in eastern China, where the economy is more industrialized and depends more heavily on oil than other regions.
    • Article: "How Does the Chinese Economy React to Uncertainty in International Crude Oil Prices?"
  • ARTICLE: Dong Cheng, Mario Crucini, Hyunseung Oh & Hakan Yilmazkuday, "Early 20th Century American Exceptionalism: Production, Trade and Diffusion of the Automobile." National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series - November 2019
    • Authors: Dong Cheng, Mario Crucini, Hyunseung Oh, Hakan Yilmazkuday
    • Abstract: The beginning of the twentieth century provides a unique opportunity to explore the interaction of rapid technological progress and trade barriers in shaping the worldwide diffusion of a new, highly traded good: the automobile. We scrape historical data on the quantity and value of passenger vehicles exported from the United States to other destination countries, annually from 1913 to 1940. We model the rise of US automobile from global obscurity toward a level dependent upon the extent of long-run pass-through of US prices into destination markets and destination GDP per capita. The results based on a diffusion model with CES preferences and non-unitary income elasticity shows that 62% of the gap in diffusion levels between the U.S. and the rest of the world is due to price frictions such as markups, tariffs, and trade costs, while the remaining 38% is due to income effects.
    • Article: "Early 20th Century American Exceptionalism: Production, Trade and Diffusion of the Automobile"
  • ARTICLE: Tomas Dvorak, Simon Halliday, Michael O'Hara & Aaron Swoboda, "Efficient Empiricism: Streamlining Teaching, Research, and Learning in Empirical Courses." Journal of Economic Education - June 2019
    • Authors: Tomas Dvorak, Simon Halliday, Michael O'Hara, Aaron Swoboda
    • Abstract: The increasing importance of empirical analysis in economics highlights the need for efficient ways to bring these skills to the classroom. R Markdown is a new technology that provides a solution by integrating writing, statistical work and computation into a single document. R Markdown benefits students and instructors by streamlining teaching, research, and collaboration. The authors report on their use of R Markdown in undergraduate teaching, including core courses, electives, and senior theses. They discuss the costs and benefits of adoption, and explain the advantages of R Markdown in teaching reproducibility of empirical work, avoiding time-consuming and error-prone “cut and paste,” and facilitating a one-stop solution for importing, cleaning, manipulating, visualizing, and communicating with data.
    • "Efficient Empiricism: Streamlining Teaching, Research, and Learning in Empirical Courses"
  • ARTICLE: Zachary Rodriguez, Bryan C McCannon, "Microfinance and Prosocial Behaviors: Experimental Evidence of Public-Good Contributions in Uganda." Journal of Theoretical and Institutional Economics - June 2019
    • Authors: Zachary Rodriguez, Bryan C McCannon
    • Abstract: Microfinance is an important component of the fight against poverty. We ask whether access to microfinance loans by the poor relates to their prosocial behaviors. A lab-in-the-field study in southern, rural Uganda is done. A public-good game is used to measure subjects' willingness to free-ride. We document higher levels of contributions by those who have previously received a microloan. We explore potential explanations such as differing social-norm assessments, measurable income effects, or sample selection bias. Receiving a microloan continues to have an independent effect on prosociality. The results suggest that exposure to microfinance correlates with social preferences.
    • "Microfinance and Prosocial Behaviors: Experimental Evidence of Public-Good Contributions in Uganda"
  • ARTICLE: Stephen Schmidt, "Resources and the Acceptability of the Repugnant Conclusion." Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science - April 2019
    • Author: Stephen Schmidt
    • Abstract: Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion argues, against intuition, that for any world A, another world Z with higher population and minimal well-being is better. That intuition is incorrect because the argument has not considered resources that support well-being. Z must have many more resources supporting well-being than A does. Z is repugnant because it spreads those resources among too many people; another world with Z's resources and fewer people, if available, would be far superior. But Z is still better than A; it is worth accepting its very large population to get the resources needed to support their well-being.
    • Article: "Resources and the Acceptability of the Repugnant Conclusion"
  • ARTICLE: Lewis Davis, "Growth, Inequality and Tunnel Effects: A Formal Mode." Journal of Happiness Studies - April 2019
    • Author: Lewis Davis
    • Abstract: Hirschman and Rothschild’s (Q J Econ 87(4):544–566, 1973) tunnel effect refers to the propensity for individuals to be pleased by the success of others if they believe this signals an improvement in their own prospects. According to the current literature, tunnel effects may offset the utility losses from increases in peer income levels and income inequality. I develop a simple model of tunnel effects to evaluate these two channels of influence. The analysis confirms that tunnel effects create a positive link between happiness and economic growth. In contrast, rising income inequality generates a tunnel effect that increases the happiness of the rich but decreases happiness among the poor. The analysis confirms Hirschman and Rothschild’s informal analysis indicating that tunnel effects may increase the happiness of the poor in the case of uneven development that involves both growth and rising income inequality. The model also highlights the differential impact of tunnel effects across age and income groups within the population. I close by discussing the model’s implications for empirical investigations of tunnel effects.
    • Article: "Growth, Inequality and Tunnel Effects: A Formal Mode"
  • ARTICLE: Zachary Rodriguez and Bryan C. McCannon, "Orphans and Pro-social Behaviour: Evidence from Uganda", Wiley Online Library - April 2019
    • Author: Zachary Rodriguez and Bryan C. McCannon
    • Abstract: Disease and violence escalates the prevalence of orphanhood. We investigate whether individuals who were orphaned as a child suffer long-term consequences on their pro-sociality. We conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment in rural Uganda where, among other contributing factors, the HIV/AIDS pandemic hit hardest. Subjects made decisions to contribute to a public good. Results indicate that adults who were orphaned as a child contribute less. We provide evidence that an important channel through which the mechanism operates is through social norms. Subjects orphaned tend to have lower expectations regarding typical behaviour of others. A strong interaction effect is identified where those with the lowest expectations who were also orphaned contribute the least to the public good. Thus, we document orphanhood's long-term consequences to a community.
    • Article: "Orphans and Pro-social Behaviour: Evidence from Uganda"



  • ARTICLE: Younghwan Song, "Rotation Group Bias in Current Smoking Prevalence Estimates Using TUS-CPS." Journal of the European Survey Research Association - December 2017
    • Author: Younghwan Song
    • Abstract: This paper examined whether the sample rotation scheme of the Current Population Survey (CPS) results in an underestimation of current smoking prevalence in the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS). The TUS-CPS has been administered as part of the CPS, which has eight rotation groups of households in each month that are repeatedly interviewed based on a sample rotation scheme. Previous research has found that even though all eight rotation groups in the CPS are independent random samples of the population, some estimates, such as unemployment rates, tend to be significantly higher in the first rotation group than among other rotation groups. The probit regression results of this paper showed that although current smokers are more likely to attrite than nonsmokers in all years of the TUS-CPS, for the six waves of TUS-CPS before 2003 there is no evidence that current smoking prevalence estimates were significantly affected by the rotation scheme of the CPS. For the three waves of TUS-CPS since 2003, however, the results showed that current smoking prevalence has been underestimated likely due to panel attrition. It appears that rotation group bias in these waves was caused by the substantially increased number of additional questions smokers had to answer.
    • Article: "Rotation Group Bias in Current Smoking Prevalence Estimates Using TUS-CPS"
  • ARTICLE: Mehmet Sener & Wolf-Heimo Grieben, "Wage Bargaining, Trade and Growth." Research in Economics - September 2017
    • Authors: Mehmet Sener, Wolf-Heimo Grieben
    • Abstract: We construct a North-South product-cycle model of trade with fully-endogenous growth and union wage bargaining. Economic growth is driven by Northern entrepreneurs who conduct R&D to innovate higher quality products. Northern production technologies can leak to the South upon successful imitation. The North has two sectors: a tradable industrial goods sector (manufacturing) where wages are determined via a bargaining process and a non-tradable sector (services) where wages are flexible. The South has only a tradable industrial goods sector where wages are flexible. We find that unilateral Northern trade liberalization, in the form of lower Northern tariffs on industrial goods, increases the rate of innovation but decreases both the bargained wage in the industrial sector and the flexible wage in the service sector. The wage effects are relative to the Southern wage rate. We also consider a variant of the model with Northern unemployment, driven by a binding minimum wage in the non-tradable service sector. In this case, Northern tariff cuts decrease the innovation rate and the bargained wage rate. In addition, the Northern unemployment rate increases. The model thus highlights the role of labor market institutions in determining the growth and labor market effects of tariff reductions. We also study the effects of unilateral Southern trade liberalization.
    • Article: "Wage Bargaining, Trade and Growth"
  • ARTICLE: Younghwan Song, "A Cross-State Comparison of Measures of Selective Wellbeing." International Journal of Wellbeing - June 2017
    • Author: Younghwan Song
    • Abstract: Using data drawn from the 2010 American Time Use Survey Well-Being Module, this study examines the relationship between three measures of subjective wellbeing based on time-use data and an objective measure of wellbeing. Whereas the measures of affect—net affect and the U-index—are uncorrelated with the objective quality-of-life ranking of the 50 states in the United States, the measure of meaningfulness shows a significant correlation with objective ranking. The reason for the significant correlation between the measure of meaningfulness and the objective measure of wellbeing is because, when engaged in similar activities, people living in states with better quality of life felt, after controlling for their individual characteristics, their lives to be more meaningful than those living in states with poor amenities, not because time use varies substantially by state.
    • Article: "A Cross-State Comparison of Measures of Selective Wellbeing"



  • ARTICLE: Stephen Schmidt, "Examining Theories of Distributive Justice with an Asymmetric Public Goods Game." The Journal of Economic Education - June 2015
    • Author: Stephen Schmidt
    • Abstract: In this article, the author presents an asymmetric version of the familiar public goods classroom experiment, in which some players are given more tokens to invest than others, and players collectively decide whether to divide the return to the group investment asymmetrically as well. The asymmetry between players raises normative issues about fairness, rights, and equality that are not present in the symmetric game, where efficiency is the major relevant normative concept. Playing the game in class requires students to confront the distributional question and shows how issues of efficiency can become entangled with other moral issues when solving economic policy problems. The game allows instructors to incorporate theories of distributive justice into economic reasoning in the classroom, as has been widely suggested recently.
    • Article: "Examining Theories of Distributive Justice with an Asymmetric Public Goods Game"
  • ARTICLE: Tomas Dvorak, "Do 401k Plan Advisors Take Their Own Advice?" Journal of Pension Economics and Finance - 2015
    • Author: Tomas Dvorak
    • Abstract: Sponsors of defined contribution plans often hire financial advisors to help them design and monitor their plans. I find that advisors have a significant impact on the menu of investment options of their clients’ plans. Clients of the same advisor tend to hold the same funds and fund families. They also tend to delete and add the same funds. Advisors’ plans are similar to their clients’ plans in that they tend to hold identical funds, use the same fund families, and fund categories. Thus, to a large extent, advisors take their own advice. However, funds that are in clients’ plans but not in their advisors’ plans have higher expense ratios than the funds held by advisors. Since advisors’ compensation is often tied to the expense ratio of their clients’ funds, this pattern is consistent with misaligned incentives on the part of advisors and their clients.
    • Article: "Do 401k Plan Advisors Take Their Own Advice?"



  • ARTICLE: Younghwan Song & Sabrina Pabilonia, "Single Mothers' Time Preference, Smoking, and Enriching Childcare: Evidence from Time Diaries." Eastern Economic Journal - April 2013
    • Authors: Younghwan Song, Sabrina Pabilonia
    • Abstract: Previous research has shown that time preference affects individuals’ market time allocation and own human capital investments. This paper uses data from the CPS Tobacco Use Supplements, the American Time Use Survey, and the PSID-Child Development Supplement to examine how time preference, as measured by smoking behavior, affects mothers’ time investments in their children under age 13 and children’s future test scores. Results indicate that single mothers who smoke spend significantly less time with their children in educational activities, such as reading and homework, and sharing meals with their children than non-smokers. Their children also have lower reading test scores.
    • Article: "Single Mothers' Time Preference, Smoking, and Enriching Childcare: Evidence from Time Diaries"
  • ARTICLE: Lewis Davis & Matthew Knauss, "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation." The Journal of Socio-Economics - February 2013
    • Authors: Lewis Davis, Matthew Knauss
    • Abstract: In The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, Benjamin Friedman argues that growth reduces the strength of interpersonal income comparisons, and thereby tends to increases the desire for pro-social legislation, a position he supports by drawing on the historical records of the US and several Western European countries. We test this hypothesis using a variable from the World Values Survey that measures an individual's taste for government responsibility, which we interpret as a measure of the demand for egalitarian social policy. Our results provide support for a modified version of Friedman's hypothesis. In particular, we find that the taste for government responsibility is positively related to the recent change in the growth rate and negatively related to the change in income inequality. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for attempts to further the egalitarian social goals.
    • Article: "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation"
  • ARTICLE: Tomas Dvorak & Jigme Norbu, "Do Mutual Fund Companies Eat Their Own Cooking?" Journal of Retirement - 2013
    • Authors: Tomas Dvorak, Jigme Norbu
    • Abstract: The authors find that mutual fund companies offer mostly their own mutual funds in the 401(k) plans for their own employees. However, there are systematic differences between companies that rely on their own funds and companies that include outside funds. The companies that include outside funds tend to operate funds with high expense ratios. Outside funds in the 401(k) plans of mutual fund companies have significantly lower expense ratios and better governance scores than company’s own funds. This evidence supports the claim that the interests of mutual fund companies are not perfectly aligned with the interests of their funds’ shareholders. The authors also find that among the company’s own funds, the funds selected for the company’s 401(k) plan are almost indistinguishable from the rest of the funds offered by the mutual fund companies. Thus, it is not the case that, within their own funds, mutual fund companies favor their inexpensive funds. In fact, within the companies’ own funds, participants (mutual fund company employees) gravitate towards higher-cost and more actively managed funds. Thus, in one context (choosing to use outside funds) mutual fund companies favor cheap and better governed funds, in another context (choosing among its own funds) mutual fund companies favor actively managed, expensive funds.
    • Article: "Do Mutual Fund Companies Eat Their Own Cooking?"
  • ARTICLE: Tomas Dvorak & Shayna Toubman, "Are Women More Generous than Men? Evidence from Alumni Donations." Eastern Economic Journal - 2013
    • Authors: Tomas Dvorak, Shayna Toubman
    • Abstract: The explicit hierarchy of recognition in alumni giving offers a useful context in which to examine the nature of gender differences regarding charitable giving. Using 31 years of alumni-giving records at a small liberal arts college, we find that women are more likely to be donors. Among donors, women tend to give more frequently but generally make smaller donations than men. These results hold even after controlling for age, income, and participation in Greek organizations. The results are consistent with the hypotheses that the drive for recognition of charitable giving is stronger in men than women, and that women are more reciprocal than men.
    • Article: "Are Women More Generous than Men? Evidence from Alumni Donations"



2005 - 2010

2000 - 2005