Research Seminars

Forthcoming

Date/Time/LocationDivisionTitleSpeakerAbstract

Date: 4 December 2019

Time: 14:00 - 15:30

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre 0.42a/b

Economics Identification with Latent Choice Sets Dr Vishal Kamat, Toulouse School of Economics Abstract: In a common experimental format, individuals are randomly assigned to either a treatment group with access to a program or a control group without access. In such experiments, analyzing the average effects of the treatment of program access may be hindered by the problem that some control individuals do not comply with their assigned status and receive program access from outside the experiment. Available tools to account for such a problem typically require the researcher to observe the receipt of program access for every individual. However, in many experiments, this is not the case as data is not collected on where any individual received access. In this paper, I develop a framework to show how data on only each individual’s treatment assignment status, program participation decision and outcome can be exploited to learn about the average effects of program access. I propose a nonparametric selection model with latent choice sets to relate where access was received to the treatment assignment status, participation decision and outcome, and a linear programming procedure to compute the identified set for parameters evaluating the average effects of program access in this model. I illustrate the framework by analyzing the average effects of Head Start preschool access using the Head Start Impact Study. I find that the provision of Head Start access induces parents to enroll their child into Head Start and also positively impacts test scores, and that these effects heterogeneously depend on the availability of access to an alternative preschool.

Date: 4 December 2019

Time: 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre Room 0.41

Work and Employment 'Calculated Bias: The social relations of data-driven technologies in the HR Function' Dr Xanthe Whittaker, University of Leeds

Discussion around AI and data-driven technologies and their application in the HR function has tended to focus on the ethical dimensions of their use – identifying the issues of data-driven decision-making as pertaining to accountability, transparency and fairness – with responses drawing on rights-based frameworks around privacy, consent and explainability. This paper presents work from a research project which shifts the focus from a moral lens to assess the social and political impacts of data-driven technologies in HR, seeking to locate the power, interests and agency of groups of actors including managers, capitalists, workers and the state in the choices that drive the development of technology and the practices and institutions that influence their adoption and use. Theoretically, it draws on earlier critiques of technology at work which focus on the politics and social relations of new technology (Wilkinson, 1983; Noble, 1984) and feminist sociologies of technology (Wajcman, 1991; Cockburn & Ormrod, 1993). The empirical work in this paper focuses on the design of data technologies – an area which has been little explored – presenting early findings from a study of HR tech developers and consultants to think about how their orientations, assumptions and cultures around work inform the choices that drive the development of data technologies in HR.

References

Cockburn, C & Ormrod, S. (1993). Gender and Technology in the Making. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Noble, D. (1984). Forces of production: A social history of industrial automation. New York: Knopf.

Wajcman, J., (1991). Feminism confronts technology. Penn State Press.

Wilkinson, B. (1983). The shopfloor politics of new technology. Gower Publishing Company, Limited.

 

Previous 2019 seminars

Date/Time/LocationDivisionTitleSpeakerAbstract

Date: 27 November 2019

Time: 14:00 - 15:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre 0.42a/b

Economics Attention Oligopoly Professor Tommaso Valletti, Imperial College, London We model digital platforms as attention brokers that have proprietary information about their users’ product preference and sell targeted ad space to retail product industries. Retail producers -- incumbents or entrants -- compete for access to this attention bottleneck. We discuss when increased concentration among attention brokers results in a tightening of the attention bottleneck, leading to higher ad prices, fewer ads being sold to entrants, and lower consumer welfare in the product industries. The welfare effect is characterized in terms of patterns of individual usage across platforms. A merger assessment that relies on aggregate platform usage alone can be highly biased. You can find out more about the speaker and his research through this link: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/t.valletti

Date: 20 November 2019

Time: 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre, Room 0.41

Work and Employment Global norm-making at work in 'liquid' multinationals Phil Almond, University of Leicester School of Business This presentation addresses processes of global norm-making concerning the nature of work within multinational companies. It develops and applies a framework for analyzing the relations between formal and informal elements of global norm-making. This stresses dynamic interdependencies between formality and informality on four dimensions: the codification of norms; enforcement mechanisms; the “platforms” through which norms are taken forward; and how different norms aggregate together. By analyzing a number of cases taken from intensive qualitative research, we investigate how these interdependencies work, both for norms that emanate from the upper levels of corporate hierarchies, and those developed at lower levels among global operational teams. We suggest that incumbent approaches to HR/IR policy transfer in multinationals risk becoming outmoded given the extent of global operational teams that coordinate internationally on a routine, daily basis, and the relative unimportance of HR functions to much global norm-making in what we characterize as ‘liquid’ multinationals. Broader implications for research into the management of work are discussed.

Date: 20 November 2019

Time: 13:30 - 15:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre, 0.42 A&B

Economics Intergenerational mobility and unequal school opportunity Professor Jean Hindriks, Universite Catholique de Louvain

We analyze the impact of unequal school opportunity on intergenerational income persistence and human capital accumulation. Building upon the classical Becker-Tomes-Solon framework, we use a regime switch model that allows for differences in income transmission across groups, depending on school segregation and inequality. We find that unequal school opportunity raises average human capital because of assortative matching of high investment families with the best schools. At the same time, this increases income persistence within the top and decreases it within the bottom. Because income dispersion tends to be higher at the top, in most cases unequal school opportunity increases intergenerational income persistence overall. We test the magnitude of this efficiency-mobility tradeoff by calibrating the model to the US income distribution and the school segregation rate. Our simulations suggest that school equalization and de-segregation policies have strong positive effects on mobility, and small efficiency costs.

Link to the speaker’s personal website: https://uclouvain.be/en/directories/jean.hindriks

Date: 13 November 2019

Time: 14:00 - 15:30

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre Room 0.42a/b

Economics Gender differences in performance: the role of corporate social responsibility Professor Michalis Drouvelis, University of Birmingham

We examine experimentally the impact of corporate social responsibility techniques on individuals’ performance. Our experiment adopts the Niederle-Vesterlund (2007) paradigm whereby individuals perform a real-effort task under piece-rate and tournament incentives, followed by an opportunity to determine which of the two payment schemes they prefer. In our main treatment, we introduce social responsibility by informing individuals that 50% of their earnings will be donated to a charity of their own choice. Our findings indicate that, in the presence of social incentives, women perform significantly better than men under both payment schemes. Despite this, women’s lower willingness to take risks does not affect their tastes for competition across treatments.

Speaker’s personal website: https://sites.google.com/site/michalisdrouvelis/

Date: 6 November 2019

Time: 13:30 - 15:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre, Room 0.42 A/B

Economics Estimating Endogenous Effects on Ordinal Outcomes Professor Adam Rosen, Duke University

Recent research underscores the sensitivity of conclusions drawn from the application of econometric methods devised for quantitative outcome variables to data featuring ordinal outcomes. The issue is particularly acute in the analysis of happiness data, for which no natural cardinal scale exists, and which is thus routinely collected by ordinal response. With ordinal responses, comparisons of means across different populations and the signs of OLS regression coefficients have been shown to be sensitive to monotonic transformations of the cardinal scale onto which ordinal responses are mapped. In many applications featuring ordered outcomes, including responses to happiness surveys, researchers may wish to study the impact of a ceteris paribus change in certain variables induced by a policy shift. Insofar as some of these variables may be manipulated by the individuals involved, they may be endogenous. This paper examines the use of instrumental variable (IV) methods to measure the effect of such changes. While linear IV estimators suffer from the same pitfalls as averages and OLS coefficient estimates when outcome variable are ordinal, nonlinear models that explicitly respect the ordered nature of the response variable can be used. This is demonstrated with an application to the study of the effect of neighborhood characteristics on subjective well-being among participants in the Moving to Opportunity housing voucher experiment. In this context, the application of nonlinear IV models can be used to estimate marginal effects and counterfactual probabilities of categorical responses induced by changes in neighborhood characteristics such as the level of neighborhood poverty.

Speaker’s personal website: https://sites.google.com/site/amr331/

Date: 30 October 2019

Time: 13:30 - 15:00

Venue: Attenborough Building, Room 208

Economics Partial identification and Inference in Nonparametric one-to-one matching models Dr Shruti Sinha

When the analyst has data on one large market, we study partial identification of the preference parameters in models of one-to-one matching with transfers without imposing parametric distributional restrictions on the agents' unobserved characteristics. We provide a tractable characterisation of the sharp identified set and discuss inference, under various classes of nonparametric distributional assumptions on the agents' unobserved characteristics. We use our methodology to test if the variations in marriage matching patterns observed over time in the U.S. are caused by changes in the agents' preferences for education assortativeness or by a shift in the proportion of educated women.

Link to paper

Link to speaker's webpage

Date: 16 October 2019

Time: 13:30 - 15:00

Venue: Attenborough Building, Room 206

Economics Regional Output Growth in the United Kingdom: More Timely and Higher Frequency Estimates, 1970-2017 Professor Gary Koop, University of Strathclyde
Output growth estimates for the regions of the UK are currently published at the annual frequency only, released with a long delay and offer limited historical coverage. To improve the regional database this paper develops a mixed-frequency multivariate model and uses it to produce consistent estimates of quarterly regional output growth dating back to 1970. We describe how these estimates are updated and evaluated on an ongoing, quarterly basis to publish online (at www.escoe.ac.uk/regionalnowcasting) more timely regional growth estimates. We illustrate how the new quarterly data can contribute to our historical understanding of business cycle dynamics and connectedness between regions.
Link to the speaker’s webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/garykoop/
Output growth estimates for the regions of the UK are currently published at the annual frequency only, released with a long delay and offer limited historical coverage. To improve the regional database this paper develops a mixed-frequency multivariate model and uses it to produce consistent estimates of quarterly regional output growth dating back to 1970. We describe how these estimates are updated and evaluated on an ongoing, quarterly basis to publish online (at www.escoe.ac.uk/regionalnowcasting) more timely regional growth estimates. We illustrate how the new quarterly data can contribute to our historical understanding of business cycle dynamics and connectedness between regions.
Link to the speaker’s webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/garykoop/

Date: 9 October 2019

Time: 15:00 - 16:30

Venue: Seminar Room 527, Ken Edwards Building

Management and Organisation Republish - Typography as Cultural Artefacts Giang Nguyen

In this talk we would want to present about our current self-initiated typographic project “Republish” and its progress. This project is an effort to see typography being more than just a designer’s device but as an element of design culture and literacy of Vietnam.

We will showcase our studio’s collaborative process to find, collect, and study old typographic remnants in Vietnam. Scattered from signages to newsprints and other paraphernalia, these remnants are results of artisanal craftmanship, transformative architecture or sometimes just mundane yet elegant traces of the past. we then study in depth to revive them in the digital realm as working typefaces (fonts) that can be used by anybody.

We will also share how this project is our attempt to not only create more resources for designers but also a step to contribute in forming a Vietnamese identity in international design industry while promoting the significance of socio-cultural sustainability in the age of rapid development and globalization

Date: 9 October 2019

Time: 13:30 - 15:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre, Room 42 A/B

Economics Collusion via Information Sharing and Optimal Auctions Dr Olga Gorelkina,University of Liverpool This paper studies collusion via information sharing in the context of auctions. The model of collusion via information sharing builds on Aumann’s (1976) description of knowledge. Robustness of mechanisms to collusion via information sharing is defined as the impossibility of an agreement to collude. A cartel can agree to collude on a contract if it is common knowledge within that cartel that the contract is incentive compatible and individually rational. Robust mechanisms are characterized in a number of settings where some, all, or no bidders are bound by limited liability. Finally, the characterization is used in a simple IPV setting to design a mechanism that is both optimal and robust to collusion

Date:

Time: 13:30 - 15:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre, Seminar Room 0.42 a and b

Economics Gender Wage Gap at the Top, Job Inflexibility and Product Market Competition Dr Pehr-Johan Norback, Research Institute of Industrial Economics Research show that women are disadvantaged in inflexible occupations. We show that this will imply that female managers are on average more skilled than male managers. Due to the higher hurdles faced by women, only the most skilled among them will pursue a management career. This implies that female managers will, on average, be more beneficial for the firm when product market competition is intense. Using detailed matched employee-employer data, we find that (i) more intense product market competition leads to relatively higher wages for female managers and (ii) the share of female managers is higher in firms in more competitive industries.

Date: 10 April 2019

Time: 13:30 - 15:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre, Seminar Room 0.42a and 0.42b

Economics Magic Mirror in my Hand … How Trade Mirror Statistics can help us Detect Illegal Financial Flows Dr Mario Gara, Bank of Italy Misreporting tricks of different sort applied to the transfer of goods between different countries are typically exploited by criminals worldwide for money laundering ends. The main international anti-money laundering organisations started paying attention to this phenomenon, dubbed “Trade-Based Money Laundering” (TBML), a long time ago, but the failure to develop appropriate analytical tools has reportedly dogged preventive actions. Nonetheless, literature has widely advocated the possibility that the analysis of inconsistencies in mirrored bilateral trade data could provide some help. By building on previous contributions in the field, this work sets up a model factoring in the main structural determinants of discrepancies between mirrored data concerning Italy’s 2010 to 2013 external trade at a highly detailed (6-digit) level of goods classification for each partner country. Point estimates of freight costs are used to net each observation of the corresponding cif/fobdiscrepancy. The regression estimates are then deployed in order to compute TBML risk indicators at a country/(4-digit) product level. Based on the indicators rankings of countries and product lines can be compiled, which may be used for a risk-driven search of potential illegal commercial transactions.

Date: 27 March 2019

Time: 12:00 - 13:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre, Seminar Room 0.41

Management and Organisation Controlling Community Responses to Mining Operations  – A study of the workings of corporate hegemony in Albania Sara Persson, Sodertorn University, Sweden Many business scholars have disregarded corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities as mere window dressing, operating as a smokescreen to hide illegitimate corporate practises. Others have pointed to these activities as hegemonic articulations, as a way to strengthen corporate alliances with and dominance over other actors in society. In my PhD project I look at how corporate hegemony and CSR activities are linked at the local level, focusing on the Canadian oil company Bankers Petroleum Ltd. (Bankers) and their operations in Patos-Marinza, an area in south-central Albania with close proximity between oil extraction and residences. Between 2010 and 2015, I was involved as a consultant and staff member working in Bankers’ Community Relations Department in Patos-Marinza. Part of my empirical material are autobiographic narratives that I wrote down shortly after leaving Bankers, with the intent to capture my thoughts as a CSR professional before being socialised into the academic realm. In addition to these autobiographic narratives, my study is based on interviews with Bankers’ managers and staff, Bankers’ contractors, local government representatives, and residents in Patos- Marinza communities as well as reports and communication material from various actors.

Date: 13 March 2019

Time: 13:30 - 15:00

Venue: Brookfield Teaching Centre, Seminar Room 0.42

Economics Social Networks and State Repression Professor Shanker Satyanath, New York University We demonstrate the strong role of social networks in the exercise of state violence in Argentina in the 1970s.  We then examine the persistence and robustness of these networks over the past century, highlighting the strong links between social connections, business connections, and political connections.  In particular we demonstrate the strong role of social elites in sustaining non-democratic regimes.

Date: 6 March 2019

Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Venue: Seminar Room 527, Ken Edwards Building

Economics Gender, Competition and Performance: Evidence from Real Tournaments Dr Santiago Sanchez-Pages, King's College London This paper studies gender differences in performance in a high-stakes and male dominated competitive environment, expert chess tournaments. We find that women underperform compared to men of the same skill and that the gender composition of games drives this effect. Using a unique measure of within-game quality of play, we show that this gender interaction is due to women making more mistakes against men, rather than to men making fewer mistakes against women. Our results suggest that the gender composition of competitions affects behaviour in ways that are detrimental to the performance of women.

Date: 4 March 2019

Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Venue: Room 501, Ken Edwards Building

Management and Organisation Social Infrastructure and Austerity - The Case of Public Libraries Katja Thiele, University of Bonn Digital technologies are not only relevant in business and entrepreneurship, but are also changing the provision of public services. Public libraries are an especially interesting example, as they are affected by digitization both through new forms of services and with regard to their organization and service provision. As part of social infrastructures, they contribute to educational justice and therefore are an essential subject of communal and national educational politics and discourses, which are guided by values and norms regarding the provision of public service and welfare. As public libraries are a voluntary communal service and in view of scarce financial resources and austerity policies, however, they increasingly have to justify their services and structures and organize them more economically. It is in this situation that digitization provides both a challenge and an opportunity. As a result, public libraries have for many years been in a process of restructuring, in which digitization plays a key role and which changes service provision with respect to central versus decentralized structures.
By looking at the examples of Bonn (Germany) and Leicester (UK), the research will address the ways in which digital technology in context of austerity policies shape public libraries, their services and organization and explore the implications that these changes have on service provision and educational justice.

Date: 6 February 2019

Time: 1.30pm - 3.00pm

Venue: Room 526, Ken Edwards Building

Economics Do coalitions matter in designing institutions? Dr Michele Lombardi, University of Glasgow In this paper, we re-examine the classical questions of implementation theory under complete information in a setting where coalitions are the fundamental behavioral units and the outcomes of their interactions are predicted by applying the solution concept of the core. The planner's exercise consists of designing a code of rights, which specifies the collection of coalitions that have the right to block one outcome by moving to another. A code of individual rights is a code of rights in which only unit coalitions may have blocking powers. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for implementation (under core equilibria) by codes of rights as well as by codes of individual rights. We show that these two modes of implementation are not equivalent. This result is proven robust and extends to alternative notions of core, such as that of an externally stable core. Therefore, coalitions are shown to bring value added to institutional design. The characterization results address the limitations that restrict the relevance of existing implementation theory.

Date: 23 January 2019

Time: 1.30pm - 3.00pm

Venue: Room 526, Ken Edwards Building

Economics How Polarised are Citizens? Measuring Ideology from the Group Up Dr Mirko Draca, Warwick University Strong evidence has been emerging that major democracies have become more politically polarized, at least according to measures based on the ideological positions of political elites. We ask: have the general public (‘citizens’) followed the same pattern? Our approach is based on unsupervised machine learning models as applied to issue-position survey data. This approach firstly indicates that coherent, latent ideologies are strongly apparent in the data, with a number of major, stable types that we label as: Liberal Centrist, Conservative Centrist, Left Anarchist and Right Anarchist. Using this framework, and a resulting measure of ‘citizen slant’, we are then able to decompose the shift in ideological positions across the population over time. Specifically, we find evidence of a ‘disappearing center’ in a range of countries with citizens shifting away from centrist ideologies into anti-establishment ‘anarchist’ ideologies over time. This trend is especially pronounced for the US.

Date: 16 January 2019

Time: 1.30pm - 3.00pm

Venue: Room 0.42, Teaching Centre, Brookfield

Economics A Positive Effect of Political Dynasties: the case of France's 1940 enabling act Professor Pierre-Guillaume, Méon, ULB, Brussels

The literature on political dynasties in democracies usually considers dynasties as a homogenous group and points out their negative effects. By contrast, we argue that political dynasties may differ according to their origin and that democratic dynasties - dynasties whose founder was a defender of democratic ideals - show a stronger support for democracy than other dynasties. This conclusion is based on the analysis of the vote by the French parliament on July 10, 1940 of an enabling act that granted full power to Marshall Philippe Pétain, thereby ending the Third French republic and aligning France with Nazi Germany. Using individual votes and newly-collected data from the biographies of the members of parliament, we observe that members of a democratic dynasty had a 7.6 to 9.0 percentage points higher probability to oppose the act than members of other political dynasties or elected representatives belonging to no political dynasty. Suggestive evidence points to the pro-democracy environment of democratic dynastic politicians as the main driver of this effect.

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