Results for “shleifer regulation”
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Population predicts regulation — but why?

We found that across states, a doubling of population size is associated with a 22 to 33 percent increase in regulation.

The relationship between regulation and population is surprisingly robust- it also holds for Australian states and Canadian provinces, and based on the limited data we have seems to hold across countries too (for instance, the “free market” United States has 10 times as many regulations as Canada- just as it has 10 times the population).

What is less clear is why this relationship is so strong. Mulligan and Shleifer attribute it to a fixed cost of regulating; larger polities can spread this cost over more people, making the average cost of regulating cheaper, so they do it more. We note two other explanations: larger polities might have more externalities worth regulating, or if regulation produces concentrated benefits and dispersed costs, a larger population could make it harder for those harmed by regulation to organize collectively to oppose it.

That blog post is based on work from James Bailey, James Broughel and Patrick McLaughlin, the latter two my Mercatus colleagues, written by James Bailey.

Regulation and Distrust–The Ominous Update

Here’s a post I wrote in 2009 (no indent) that I will update today:

In an interesting paper, Aghion, Algan, Cahuc and Shleifer show that regulation is greater in societies where people do not trust one another.  The graph below, for example, shows that societies with a greater level of distrust have stronger minimum wage laws.  Note that the result is not that distrust in markets is associated with stronger minimum wages but that distrust in general is associated with greater regulation of all kinds.  Distrust in government, for example, is positively correlated with regulation of business.  Or to put it the other way, trust in government (as well as other institutions) is associated with less regulation.

Aghion et al. argue that the causality flows both ways on the regulation-distrust nexus. Distrust makes people turn to government but in a society with a lot of distrust government is often corrupt and this makes people distrust even more.  Crucially, when people distrust others they invest not in the highest return projects but in human and physical capital that is complementary to distrust–for example, they invest in human capital that helps them bond with their group/tribe/family rather than in human capital that helps them to bond with “outsiders” and they invest in physical capital that is more difficult to expropriate rather than in easier to expropriate capital, even though in both cases the latter investments may be the all-else-equal higher return investments.  Such distrust traps are quite similar to Bryan Caplan’s idea traps.

Thus, societies with a lot of distrust generate regulation and corruption and citizens who don’t have the skills or preferences to break out of the distrust equilibrium.  Consider, for example, that in societies with a lot of distrust parents are less likely to consider it important to teach their children about tolerance and respect for others.

The update should be obvious. More and more this appears to be describing the United States. More distrust in government, more regulation, lower growth and more people who are so distrustful of one another that they can’t cooperate to break out of the bad equilibrium. Here drawn from Our World in Data is interpersonal trust in the United States.

DistrustoverTime

Regulation and Distrust

In an interesting paper, Aghion, Algan, Cahuc and Shleifer show that regulation is greater in societies where people do not trust one another.  The graph below, for example, shows that societies with a greater level of distrust have stronger minimum wage laws.  Note that the result is not that distrust in markets is associated with stronger minimum wages but that distrust in general is associated with greater regulation of all kinds.  Distrust in government, for example, is positively correlated with regulation of business.  Or to put it the other way, trust in government (as well as other institutions) is associated with less regulation.

minwagedistrustrespectdistrustAghion et al. argue that the causality flows both ways on the regulation-distrust nexus. Distrust makes people turn to government but in a society with a lot of distrust government is often corrupt and this makes people distrust even more.  Crucially, when people distrust others they invest not in the highest return projects but in human and physical capital that is complementary to distrust–for example, they invest in human capital that helps them bond with their group/tribe/family rather than in human capital that helps them to bond with “outsiders” and they invest in physical capital that is more difficult to expropriate rather than in easier to expropriate capital, even though in both cases the latter investments may be the all-else-equal higher return investments.  Such distrust traps are quite similar to Bryan Caplan’s idea traps.

Thus, societies with a lot of distrust generate regulation and corruption and citizens who don’t have the skills or preferences to break out of the distrust equilibrium.  Consider, for example, that in societies with a lot of distrust parents are less likely to consider it important to teach their children about tolerance and respect for others.

Regulation and Distrust

Brought to you by Aghion, Algan, Cahuc and Shleifer, this is one of the best papers so far this year.  It’s so good I’ll give you a longer than usual quotation from the opening pages:

In a cross-section of countries, government regulation is strongly negatively correlated with social capital. We document, and try to explain, this highly significant empirical correlation.  The correlation works for a range of measures of social capital, from trust in others to trust in corporations and political institutions, as well as for a range of measures of regulation, from product markets, to labor markets, to judicial procedures. 

We present a simple model explaining this correlation. The model turns on the idea that investment in social capital makes people both more productive and more civic (e.g., Coleman 1990). Compared to people who have invested in social capital, those who have not are both less productive and impose a negative externality on others when they produce (e.g., pollute).  The community (whether through voting or through some other political mechanism) regulates production when the expected negative externalities are large. But regulation itself must be implemented by government officials, who are corrupt if they have not invested in social capital. As a consequence, when production is restricted through regulation, investment in social capital may not pay off.  In this model, when people expect to live in a civil community, they expect low levels of regulation, and so invest in social capital. Their beliefs are justified, as lack of investment leads to incivility, high regulation, high corruption, and low production.  The model has two Pareto ranked equilibria.

…The model predicts, most immediately, that distrust influences not just regulation itself, but the demand for regulation…distrust fuels support for government control over the economy.  What is perhaps most interesting about this finding, and also consistent with the model’s predictions, is that distrust generates demand for regulation even when people realize that the government is corrupt and ineffective; they prefer state control to unbridled production by uncivil firms.

…We take evidence on the demand for regulation as supportive of causality running from distrust to regulation.  To test the reverse causality, we look at the experiment of transition from socialism, which we interpret as a radical reduction in government regulation in low trust societies.  Our model predicts that such a reduction should lead to 1) a reduction in output, 2) an increase in corruption, 3) an increase in demand for government control at a given level of trust, and 4) a reduction of trust in the short run.

Business Regulation

Andrei Shleifer and colleagues have engaged in a massive collection of data on legal regimes around the world. The World Bank has now released a major report written by the same group called Doing Business 2004 (summary here). In addition, the data from their project is available on the World Bank website Doing Business. This is a major resource for economists.

Here’s a nice graph from the report (click to expand).

regulation.JPG

A simple argument for state capacity libertarianism

Again and again—and in countries all over the world—declines in trust of government correlate strongly with calls for more government regulation in more parts of our lives. “Individuals in low-trust countries want more government intervention even though they know the government is corrupt,” explain the authors of a 2010 Quarterly Journal of Economics paper. That’s certainly the case in the United States, where the size, scope, and spending of government has vastly increased over exactly the same period in which trust and confidence in the government has cratered. In 2018, I talked with one of the paper’s authors, Andrei Shleifer, a Harvard economist who grew up in the Soviet Union before coming to America. Why do citizens ask a government they don’t believe in to bring order? “They want regulation,” he said. “They want a dictator who will bring back order.”

Counterintuitively, the relative size and spending of government in the United States actually flattened or dipped during periods when trust and confidence in government picked up…

That is Nick Gillespie, via Arnold Kling.

My spring 2020 Industrial Organization reading list and syllabus

It is long, do note that many topics are covered in the other half of the class, I tried to put this beneath the fold, but today WordPress software is not cooperating…

  1. Productivity

American Economic Review Symposium, May 2010, starts with “Why do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?” runs pp.620-633.

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen, “Recent Advances in the Empirics of Organizational Economics,” http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0970.pdf.

Serguey Braguinsky, Lee G. Branstetter, and Andre Regateiro,The Incredible Shrinking Portuguese Firm,” http://papers.nber.org/papers/w17265#fromrss. 

Bloom, Nicholas, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen. “Management as a Technology?” National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 22327, June 2016.

David Lagakos, “Explaining Cross-Country Productivity Differences in Retail Trade,” Journal of Political Economy, April 2016, 124, 2, 1-49.

Dani Rodrik, “A Surprising Convergence Result,” http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2011/06/a-surprising-convergence-result.html, and his paper here http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/drodrik/Research%20papers/The%20Future%20of%20Economic%20Convergence%20rev2.pdf

Tyler Cowen, The Complacent Class, chapter four, “Why Americans Stopped Creating,” 2017.

Ufuk Akcigit and Sina T. Ates, “Ten Facts on Declining Business Dynamism and Lessons from Endogenous Growth Theory,” NBER working paper 25755, April 2019.

Syerson, Chad “What Determines Productivity?” Journal of Economic Literature, June 2011, XLIX, 2, 326-365. 

Michael Kremer, “The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 1993, 108, 3, 551-575.

Song, Jae, David J. Price, Fatih Guvenen, and Nicholas Bloom. “Firming Up Inequality,” Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis working paper 750, April 2018.  Do not bother with the very long appendix.

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen, the slides for “Americans do I.T. Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle,” http://www.people.hbs.edu/rsadun/ADITB/ADIBslides.pdf, the paper is here http://www.stanford.edu/~nbloom/ADIB.pdf but I recommend focusing on the slides. 

Tyler Cowen and Ben Southwood, “Is the rate of scientific progress slowing down?”, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cEBsj18Y4NnVx5Qdu43cKEHMaVBODTTyfHBa8GIRSec/edit 

Patrick Collison and Michael Nielsen, “Science is Getting Less Bang for its Buck,” Atlantic, November 16, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/11/diminishing-returns-science/575665/ 

Decker, Ryan and John Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, and Javier Miranda. “Where Has all the Skewness Gone?  The Decline in High-Growth (Young) Firms in the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 21776, December 2015.

Furman, Jason and Peter Orszag. “A Firm-Level Perspective on the Role of Rents in the Rise in Inequality.” October 16, 2015.

 

2. Competition and monopoly

Bresnahan, Timothy F. “Competition and Collusion in the American Automobile Industry: the 1955 Price War,” Journal of Industrial Economics, 1987, 35(4), 457-82.

Asker, John, “A Study of the Internal Organization of a Bidding Cartel,” American Economic Review, (June 2010), 724-762.

Tim Sablik and Nicholas Trachter, “Are Markets Becoming Less Competitive?” Economic Brief, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, June 2019.

Susanto Basu, “Are Price-Cost Markups Rising in the United States? A Discussion of the Evidence,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2019, 33, 3, 3-22.

Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, Pierre-Daniel Sarte, and Nicholas Trachter, “Diverging Trends in National and Local Concentration,” NBER Working Paper 25066, Septemmber 2018.

David Autor, David Dorn, Lawrence Katz, Christina Patterson, John Van Reenen, “The Fall of the Labor Share and the Rise of Superstar Firms,” https://economics.mit.edu/files/12979, make sure you get the Oct. 2019 version, not the earlier NBER paper.

Whinston, Michael D., “Antitrust Policy Toward Horizontal Mergers,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.III, chapter 36, see also chapter 35 by John Sutton.

Jan De Loecker and Jan Eeckhout, “The Rise of Market Power and its Macroeconomic Implications,” http://www.janeeckhout.com/wp-content/uploads/RMP.pdf.  My comment on it is here: https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/08/rise-market-power.html and see also me on intangible capital, https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/09/intangible-investment-monopoly-profits.html.

Chang-Tai Hsieh and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, “The Industrial Revolution in Services, September 20, 2019, on-line.

Klein, Benjamin and Leffler, Keith. “The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance.”  Journal of Political Economy 89 (1981): 615-641.

Breit, William. “Resale Price Maintenance: What do Economists Know and When Did They Know It?” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (1991).

Bogdan Genchev, and Julie Holland Mortimer. “Empirical Evidence on Conditional Pricing Practices.” NBER working paper 22313, June 2016.

Sproul, Michael.  “Antitrust and Prices.”  Journal of Political Economy (August 1993): 741-754.

McCutcheon, Barbara. “Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?”  Journal of Political Economy (April 1997): 336-350.

Crandall, Robert and Winston, Clifford, “Does Antitrust Improve Consumer Welfare?: Assessing the Evidence,”  Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 2003), 3-26, available at http://www.brookings.org/views/articles/2003crandallwinston.htm.

FTC, Bureau of Competition, website, http://www.ftc.gov/bc/index.shtml, an optional browse, perhaps read about some current cases and also read the merger guidelines.

Parente, Stephen L. and Prescott, Edward. “Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches.”  American Economic Review 89, 5 (December 1999): 1216-1233.

Demsetz, Harold.  “Why Regulate Utilities?”  Journal of Law and Economics (April 1968): 347-359.

Armstrong, Mark and Sappington, David, “Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, chapter 27, also on-line.

Shleifer, Andrei. “State vs. Private Ownership.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1998): 133-151.

Xavier Gabaix and David Laibson, “Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets,”http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=728545.

Strictly optional, most of you shouldn’t read this: Ariel Pakes and dynamic computational approaches to modeling oligopoly:

http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/pakes/files/Pakes-Fershtman-8-2010.pdf

http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/pakes/files/handbookIO9.pdf

 

III. Economics of Tech

 

Farrell, Joseph and Klemperer, Paul, “Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.III, chapter 31, also on-line.

Weyl, E. Glenn. “A Price Theory of Multi-Sided Platforms.” American Economic Review, September 2010, 100, 4, 1642-1672.

Gompers, Paul and Lerner, Josh. “The Venture Capital Revolution.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 145-168.

Paul Graham, essays, http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html, to browse as you find useful or not.

Acemoglu, Daron and Autor, David, “Skills, Tasks, and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings,” http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/5607

Robert J. Gordon and Ian Dew-Becker, “Unresolved Issues in the Rise of American Inequality,” http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~idew/papers/BPEA_final_ineq.pdf

Browse through the first issue of Nakamoto.com on blockchain governance, read (or not) as you find useful.

 

IV. Organization and capital structure

 

Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson on the firm, if you haven’t already read them, but limited doses should suffice.

Gibbons, Robert, “Four Formal(izable) Theories of the Firm,” on-line at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=596864.

Van den Steen, Eric, “Interpersonal Authority in a Theory of the Firm,” American Economic Review, 2010, 100:1, 466-490.

Lazear, Edward P. “Leadership: A Personnel Economics Approach,” NBER Working Paper 15918, 2010.

Oyer, Paul and Schaefer, Scott, “Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives,” NBER Working Paper 15977, 2010.

Tyler Cowen chapter on CEO pay in big Business, to be distributed.

Ben-David, Itzhak, and John R. Graham and Campbell R. Harvey, “Managerial Miscalibration,” NBER working paper 16215, July 2010.

Glenn Ellison, “Bounded rationality in Industrial Organization,” http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/papers/vol2_chap5.pdf 

Miller, Merton, and commentators.  “The Modigliani-Miller Propositions After Thirty Years,” and comments, Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1988): 99-158.

Myers, Stewart. “Capital Structure.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 81-102.

Hansemann, Henry.  “The Role of Non-Profit Enterprise.” Yale Law Journal (1980): 835-901.

Kotchen, Matthew J. and Moon, Jon Jungbien, “Corporate Social Responsibility for Irresponsibility,” NBER working paper 17254, July 2011.

Strictly optional but recommended for the serious: Ponder reading some books on competitive strategy, for MBA students.  Here is one list of recommendations: http://www.linkedin.com/answers/product-management/positioning/PRM_PST/20259-135826

Furman, Jason. ”Business Investment in the United States: Facts, Explanations, Puzzles, and Policy.” Remarks delivered at the Progressive Policy Institute, September 30, 2015, on-line at https://m.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20150930_business_investment_in_the_united_states.pdf.

Scharfstein, David S. and Stein, Jeremy C.  “Herd Behavior and Investment.”  American Economic Review 80 (June 1990): 465-479.

Stein, Jeremy C. “Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 104 (November 1989): 655-670.

 

V. Sectors: finance, health care, education, international trade, others 

Gorton, Gary B. “Slapped in the Face by the Invisible Hand: Banking and the Panic of 2007,” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1401882, published on-line in 2009. 

Erel, Isil, Nadault, Taylor D., and Stulz, Rene M., “Why Did U.S. Banks Invest in Highly-Rated Securitization Tranches?” NBER Working Paper 17269, August 2011. 

Healy, Kieran. “The Persistence of the Old Regime.” Crooked Timber blog, August 6, 2014.

More to be added here, depending on your interests.

My Fall Industrial Organization reading list

This is only part one for the class, do not panic over whatever you think might be completely left out. That said, suggested additions are welcome, here goes:

Competition

Bresnahan, Timothy F. “Competition and Collusion in the American Automobile Industry: the 1955 Price War,” Journal of Industrial Economics, 1987, 35(4), 457-82.

Bresnahan, Timothy and Reiss, Peter C. “Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets,” Journal of Political Economy, (1991), 99(5), 977-1009.

Asker, John, “A Study of the Internal Organization of a Bidding Cartel,” American Economic Review, (June 2010), 724-762.

Whinston, Michael D., “Antitrust Policy Toward Horizontal Mergers,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.III, chapter 36, see also chapter 35 by John Sutton.

“Benefits of Competition and Indicators of Market Power,” Council of Economic Advisors, April 2016.

Jan De Loecker and Jan Eeckhout, “The Rise of Market Power and its Macroeconomic Implications,” http://www.janeeckhout.com/wp-content/uploads/RMP.pdf.  My comment on it is here: https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/08/rise-market-power.html

Me on intangible capital, https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/09/intangible-investment-monopoly-profits.html.

Traina, James. “Is Aggregate Market Power Increasing?: Production Trends Using Financial Statements,” https://research.chicagobooth.edu/-/media/research/stigler/pdfs/workingpapers/17isaggregatemarketpowerincreasing.pdf

Shapiro, Carl. “Antitrust in a Time of Populism.” UC Berkeley, working draft from 24 October 2017, forthcoming in International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Klein, Benjamin and Leffler, Keith. “The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance.”  Journal of Political Economy 89 (1981): 615-641.

Breit, William. “Resale Price Maintenance: What do Economists Know and When Did They Know It?” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (1991).

Bogdan Genchev, and Julie Holland Mortimer. “Empirical Evidence on Conditional Pricing Practices.” NBER working paper 22313, June 2016.

Sproul, Michael.  “Antitrust and Prices.”  Journal of Political Economy (August 1993): 741-754.

McCutcheon, Barbara. “Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?”  Journal of Political Economy (April 1997): 336-350.

Crandall, Robert and Winston, Clifford, “Does Antitrust Improve Consumer Welfare?: Assessing the Evidence,”  Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 2003), 3-26, available at http://www.brookings.org/views/articles/2003crandallwinston.htm.

FTC, Bureau of Competition, website, http://www.ftc.gov/bc/index.shtml., an optional browse, perhaps read about some current cases and also read the merger guidelines.

Parente, Stephen L. and Prescott, Edward. “Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches.”  American Economic Review 89, 5 (December 1999): 1216-1233.

Demsetz, Harold.  “Why Regulate Utilities?”  Journal of Law and Economics (April 1968): 347-359.

Armstrong, Mark and Sappington, David, “Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, chapter 27, also on-line.

Shleifer, Andrei. “State vs. Private Ownership.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1998): 133-151.

Xavier Gabaix and David Laibson, “Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=728545. 

Strictly optional most of you shouldn’t read this: Ariel Pakes and dynamic computational approaches to modeling oligopoly: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/pakes/files/Pakes-Fershtman-8-2010.pdf

http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/pakes/files/handbookIO9.pdf

 

Economics of Tech 

Farrell, Joseph and Klemperer, Paul, “Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.III, chapter 31, also on-line.

Weyl, E. Glenn. “A Price Theory of Multi-Sided Platforms.” American Economic Review, September 2010, 100, 4, 1642-1672.

Tech companies as platforms, Tyler Cowen chapter, to be distributed.

Gompers, Paul and Lerner, Josh. “The Venture Capital Revolution.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 145-168.

Paul Graham, essays, http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html, and on Google itself, http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/thewrongstuff/archive/2010/08/03/error-message-google-research-director-peter-norvig-on-being-wrong.aspx

Acemoglu, Daron and Autor, David, “Skills, Tasks, and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings,” http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/5607

Robert J. Gordon and Ian Dew-Becker, “Unresolved Issues in the Rise of American Inequality,”http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~idew/papers/BPEA_final_ineq.pdf

Song, Jae, David J. Price, Fatih Guvenen, and Nicholas Bloom. “Firming Up Inequality,” CEP discussion Paper no. 1354, May 2015.

Andrews, Dan, Chiara Criscuolo and Peter N. Gal. “Frontier firms, Technology Diffusion and Public Policy: Micro Evidence from OECD Countries.”  OECD working paper, 2015.

Mueller, Holger M., Paige Ouimet, and Elena Simintzi. “Wage Inequality and Firm Growth.” Centre for Economic Policy Research, working paper 2015.

Readings on blockchain governance, to be distributed.

Haltiwanger, John, Ian Hathaway, and Javier Miranda. “Declining Business Dynamism in the U.S. High-Technology Sector.” Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, February 2014.

 

Organization and capital structure

Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson on the firm, if you haven’t already read them, but limited doses should suffice.

Gibbons, Robert, “Four Formal(izable) Theories of the Firm,” on-line at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=596864.

Van den Steen, Eric, “Interpersonal Authority in a Theory of the Firm,” American Economic Review, 2010, 100:1, 466-490. 

Lazear, Edward P. “Leadership: A Personnel Economics Approach,” NBER Working Paper 15918, 2010.

Oyer, Paul and Schaefer, Scott, “Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives,” NBER Working Paper 15977, 2010.

Tyler Cowen chapter on CEO pay, to be distributed.

Cowen, Tyler, Google lecture on prizes, on YouTube.

Ben-David, Itzhak, and John R. Graham and Campbell R. Harvey, “Managerial Miscalibration,” NBER working paper 16215, July 2010.

Glenn Ellison, “Bounded rationality in Industrial Organization,” http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/papers/vol2_chap5.pdf 

Miller, Merton, and commentators.  “The Modigliani-Miller Propositions After Thirty Years,” and comments, Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1988): 99-158.

Myers, Stewart. “Capital Structure.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 81-102.

Hansemann, Henry.  “The Role of Non-Profit Enterprise.” Yale Law Journal (1980): 835-901.

Kotchen, Matthew J. and Moon, Jon Jungbien, “Corporate Social Responsibility for Irresponsibility,” NBER working paper 17254, July 2011.

Strictly optional but recommended for the serious: Ponder reading some books on competitive strategy, for MBA students.  Here is one list of recommendations: http://www.linkedin.com/answers/product-management/positioning/PRM_PST/20259-135826

 

Production

American Economic Review Symposium, May 2010, starts with “Why do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?” runs pp.620-633. 

Dani Rodrik, “A Surprising Convergence Result,” http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2011/06/a-surprising-convergence-result.html, and his paper here http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/drodrik/Research%20papers/The%20Future%20of%20Economic%20Convergence%20rev2.pdf

 Serguey Braguinsky, Lee G. Branstetter, and Andre Regateiro, “The Incredible Shrinking Portuguese Firm,” http://papers.nber.org/papers/w17265#fromrss. 

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen, “Recent Advances in the Empirics of Organizational Economics,” http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0970.pdf.

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen, the slides for “Americans do I.T. Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle,” http://www.people.hbs.edu/rsadun/ADITB/ADIBslides.pdf, the paper is here http://www.stanford.edu/~nbloom/ADIB.pdf but I recommend focusing on the slides.

Bloom, Nicholas, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen. “Management as a Technology?” National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 22327, June 2016.

Syerson, Chad “What Determines Productivity?” Journal of Economic Literature, June 2011, XLIX, 2, 326-365.

David Lagakos, “Explaining Cross-Country Productivity Differences in Retail Trade,” Journal of Political Economy, April 2016, 124, 2, 1-49.

Casselman, Ben. “Corporate America Hasn’t Been Disrupted.” FiveThirtyEight, August 8, 2014.

Decker, Ryan and John Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, and Javier Miranda. “Where Has all the Skewness Gone?  The Decline in High-Growth (Young) Firms in the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 21776, December 2015.

Furman, Jason and Peter Orszag. “A Firm-Level Perspective on the Role of Rents in the Rise in Inequality.” October 16, 2015.

http://evansoltas.com/2016/05/07/pro-business-reform-pro-growth/

Furman, Jason. ”Business Investment in the United States: Facts, Explanations, Puzzles, and Policy.” Remarks delivered at the Progressive Policy Institute, September 30, 2015, on-line at https://m.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20150930_business_investment_in_the_united_states.pdf.

Scharfstein, David S. and Stein, Jeremy C.  “Herd Behavior and Investment.”  American Economic Review 80 (June 1990): 465-479.

Stein, Jeremy C. “Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 104 (November 1989): 655-670.

 

Sectors: finance, health care, education, others

Gorton, Gary B. “Slapped in the Face by the Invisible Hand: Banking and the Panic of 2007,” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1401882, published on-line in 2009. 

Erel, Isil, Nadault, Taylor D., and Stulz, Rene M., “Why Did U.S. Banks Invest in Highly-Rated Securitization Tranches?” NBER Working Paper 17269, August 2011. 

Healy, Kieran. “The Persistence of the Old Regime.” Crooked Timber blog, August 6, 2014.

More to be added, depending on your interests.

My Fall 2017 Ph.d Industrial Organization reading list

It is long, and thus below the fold…

  1. Competition

 

Einav, Lira and Levin, Jonathan, “Empirical Industrial Organization: A Progress Report,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, (Spring 2010), 145-162.

Bresnahan, Timothy F. “Competition and Collusion in the American Automobile Industry: the 1955 Price War,” Journal of Industrial Economics, 1987, 35(4), 457-82.

Asker, John, “A Study of the Internal Organization of a Bidding Cartel,” American Economic Review, (June 2010), 724-762.

Bresnahan, Timothy and Reiss, Peter C. “Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets,” Journal of Political Economy, (1991), 99(5), 977-1009.

Whinston, Michael D., “Antitrust Policy Toward Horizontal Mergers,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.III, chapter 36, see also chapter 35 by John Sutton.

“Benefits of Competition and Indicators of Market Power,” Council of Economic Advisors, April 2016.

Klein, Benjamin and Leffler, Keith.  “The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance.”  Journal of Political Economy 89 (1981): 615-641.

Bogdan Genchev, and Julie Holland Mortimer. “Empirical Evidence on Conditional Pricing Practices.” NBER working paper 22313, June 2016.

Sproul, Michael.  “Antitrust and Prices.”  Journal of Political Economy (August 1993): 741-754.

McCutcheon, Barbara. “Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?”  Journal of Political Economy (April 1997): 336-350.

Crandall, Robert and Winston, Clifford, “Does Antitrust Improve Consumer Welfare?: Assessing the Evidence,”  Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 2003), 3-26, available at http://www.brookings.org/views/articles/2003crandallwinston.htm.

FTC, Bureau of Competition, website, http://www.ftc.gov/bc/index.shtml.  Read about some current cases and also read the merger guidelines.

Parente, Stephen L. and Prescott, Edward. “Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches.”  American Economic Review 89, 5 (December 1999): 1216-1233.

Demsetz, Harold.  “Why Regulate Utilities?”  Journal of Law and Economics (April 1968): 347-359.

Armstrong, Mark and Sappington, David, “Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, chapter 27, also on-line.

Shleifer, Andrei. “State vs. Private Ownership.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1998): 133-151.

Farrell, Joseph and Klemperer, Paul, “Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.III, chapter 31, also on-line.

Xavier Gabaix and David Laibson, “Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets,” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=728545. 

 Strictly optional: Ariel Pakes and dynamic computational approaches to modeling oligopoly: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/pakes/files/Pakes-Fershtman-8-2010.pdf

http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/pakes/files/handbookIO9.pdf

 

2. Organization

Gibbons, Robert, “Four Formal(izable) Theories of the Firm,” on-line at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=596864.

“Make Versus Buy in Trucking: Asset Ownership, Job Design, and Information,” by George P. Baker and Thomas N. Hubbard, American Economic Review, (June 2003), 551-572.

Van den Steen, Eric, “Interpersonal Authority in a Theory of the Firm,” American Economic Review, 2010, 100:1, 466-490.

 Miller, Merton, and commentators.  “The Modigliani-Miller Propositions After Thirty Years,” and comments, Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1988): 99-158.

Myers, Stewart. “Capital Structure.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 81-102.

Hansemann, Henry. “The Role of Non-Profit Enterprise.” Yale Law Journal (1980): 835-901.

Optional: Charness, Gary and Kuhn, Peter J. “Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn From the Lab?” NBER Working Paper, 15913, 2010, Lazear, Edward P. “Leadership: A Personnel Economics Approach,” NBER Working Paper 15918, 2010, Oyer, Paul and Schaefer, Scott, “Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives,” NBER Working Paper 15977, 2010.

Cowen, Tyler, Google lecture on prizes, on YouTube.

 

3. Production 

American Economic Review Symposium, May 2010, starts with “Why do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?” runs pp.620-633. 

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen, “Recent Advances in the Empirics of Organizational Economics,” http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0970.pdf.

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen, the slides for “Americans do I.T. Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle,” http://www.people.hbs.edu/rsadun/ADITB/ADIBslides.pdf, the paper is here http://www.stanford.edu/~nbloom/ADIB.pdf but I recommend focusing on the slides. 

Bloom, Nicholas, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen. “Management as a Technology?” National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 22327, June 2016.

Syerson, Chad “What Determines Productivity?” Journal of Economic Literature, June 2011, XLIX, 2, 326-365.

Diego Restuccia and Richard Rogerson, “The Causes and Costs of Misallocation,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2017, 31, 3, 151-174. 

Dani Rodrik, “A Surprising Convergence Result,http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2011/06/a-surprising-convergence-result.html, and his paper here http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/drodrik/Research%20papers/The%20Future%20of%20Economic%20Convergence%20rev2.pdf

Serguey Braguinsky, Lee G. Branstetter, and Andre Regateiro,The Incredible Shrinking Portuguese Firm,” http://papers.nber.org/papers/w17265#fromrss.

David Lagakos, “Explaining Cross-Country Productivity Differences in Retail Trade,” Journal of Political Economy, April 2016, 124, 2, 1-49.

Casselman, Ben. “Corporate America Hasn’t Been Disrupted.” FiveThirtyEight, August 8, 2014.

Decker, Ryan and John Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, and Javier Miranda. “Where Has all the Skewness Gone?  The Decline in High-Growth (Young) Firms in the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 21776, December 2015.  NB: This paper and the three that follow have some repetition, so read them selectively rather than exhaustively.

 Decker, Ryan and John Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, and Javier Miranda. “The Secular Business Dynamism in the U.S.” Working paper, June 2014.

Haltiwanger, John, Ian Hathaway, and Javier Miranda. “Declining Business Dynamism in the U.S. High-Technology Sector.” Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, February 2014.

Haltiwanger, John, Ron Jarmin and Javier Miranda. Where Have All the Young Firms Gone? Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, May 2012.

Song, Jae, David J. Price, Fatih Guvenen, and Nicholas Bloom. “Firming Up Inequality,” CEP discussion Paper no. 1354, May 2015.

Andrews, Dan, Chiara Criscuolo and Peter N. Gal. “Frontier firms, Technology Diffusion and Public Policy: Micro Evidence from OECD Countries.”  OECD working paper, 2015.

Furman, Jason and Peter Orszag. “A Firm-Level Perspective on the Role of Rents in the Rise in Inequality.” October 16, 2015.

Mueller, Holger M., Paige Ouimet, and Elena Simintzi. “Wage Inequality and Firm Growth.” Centre for Economic Policy Research, working paper 2015.

http://evansoltas.com/2016/05/07/pro-business-reform-pro-growth/

Furman, Jason. ”Business Investment in the United States: Facts, Explanations, Puzzles, and Policy.” Remarks delivered at the Progressive Policy Institute, September 30, 2015, on-line at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20150930_business_investment_in_us_facts_explanations_puzzles_policies_slides.pdf

Scharfstein, David S. and Stein, Jeremy C.  “Herd Behavior and Investment.”  American Economic Review 80 (June 1990): 465-479.

Chen, Peter, Loukas Karabarbounis, and Brent Neiman. “The Global Rise of Corporate Saving.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 23133, February 2017.

 

4. Incentives

Edmans, Adam, Xavier Gabaix, and Dirk Jenter, “Executive Compensation: A Survey of Theory and Evidence,” NBER Working Paper 23596, July 2017.

Kaplan, Steven N. “Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance in the U.S.: Perceptions, Facts and Challenges.” Working paper, July 2012. 

Robert J. Gordon and Ian Dew-Becker, “Unresolved Issues in the Rise of American Inequality,” http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~idew/papers/BPEA_final_ineq.pdf

Stein, Jeremy C. “Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 104 (November 1989): 655-670.

http://marginalrevolution.com/?s=short-termism

Ben-David, Itzhak, and John R. Graham and Campbell R. Harvey, “Managerial Miscalibration,” NBER working paper 16215, July 2010.

 

5. Sectors: finance, health care, tech, others

 Gorton, Gary B. “Slapped in the Face by the Invisible Hand: Banking and the Panic of 2007,” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1401882, published on-line in 2009. 

Erel, Isil, Nadault, Taylor D., and Stulz, Rene M., “Why Did U.S. Banks Invest in Highly-Rated Securitization Tranches?” NBER Working Paper 17269, August 2011. 

Philippon, Thomas. “Has the U.S. Finance Industry Become Less Efficient? On the Theory and Measurement of Financial Intermediation.” Working paper, September 2014. 

Gompers, Paul and Lerner, Josh.  “The Venture Capital Revolution.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Spring 2001, 145-168.

Paul Graham, essays, http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html.

Optional: consider subscribing to Ben Thompson’s Stratechery, periodic emails on the tech industry, note it is expensive.

Friedman, Milton. “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.” The New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970.

Healy, Kieran. “The Persistence of the Old Regime.” Crooked Timber blog, August 6, 2014.

More to be added, depending on your interests.

My Fall 2016 Industrial Organization reading list, Ph.d class

This is tentative, and I still will make further changes, so by all means please leave your suggestions in the comments.  The list is long, so I am putting it under the fold…

  1. Competition

Einav, Lira and Levin, Jonathan, “Empirical Industrial Organization: A Progress Report,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, (Spring 2010), 145-162.

Bresnahan, Timothy F. “Competition and Collusion in the American Automobile Industry: the 1955 Price War,” Journal of Industrial Economics, 1987, 35(4), 457-82.

Bresnahan, Timothy and Reiss, Peter C. “Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets,” Journal of Political Economy, (1991), 99(5), 977-1009.

Berry, Steven and Reiss, Peter, “Empirical Models of Entry and Market Structure,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.III, chapter 29.

Asker, John, “A Study of the Internal Organization of a Bidding Cartel,” American Economic Review, (June 2010), 724-762.

Fontanella-Khan, James and Arash Massoudi. “Megadeals for 2015 hit record high.” The Financial Times, September 18, 2015.

Whinston, Michael D., “Antitrust Policy Toward Horizontal Mergers,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.III, chapter 36, see also chapter 35 by John Sutton.

“Benefits of Competition and Indicators of Market Power,” Council of Economic Advisors, April 2016.

Klein, Benjamin and Leffler, Keith.  “The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance.”  Journal of Political Economy 89 (1981): 615-641.

Breit, William. “Resale Price Maintenance: What do Economists Know and When Did They Know It?” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (1991).

Bogdan Genchev, and Julie Holland Mortimer. “Empirical Evidence on Conditional Pricing Practices.” NBER working paper 22313, June 2016.

Sproul, Michael.  “Antitrust and Prices.”  Journal of Political Economy (August 1993): 741-754.

McCutcheon, Barbara.  “Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?”  Journal of Political Economy (April 1997): 336-350.

Crandall, Robert and Winston, Clifford, “Does Antitrust Improve Consumer Welfare?: Assessing the Evidence,”  Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 2003), 3-26, available at http://www.brookings.org/views/articles/2003crandallwinston.htm.

FTC, Bureau of Competition, website, http://www.ftc.gov/bc/index.shtml.  Read about some current cases and also read the merger guidelines.  You’ll also find four antitrust cases discussed at the top here: http://business.fullerton.edu/economics/rmichaels/Econ410/Econ%20410.htm

Parente, Stephen L. and Prescott, Edward. “Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches.”  American Economic Review 89, 5 (December 1999): 1216-1233.

Demsetz, Harold.  “Why Regulate Utilities?”  Journal of Law and Economics (April 1968): 347-359.

Armstrong, Mark and Sappington, David, “Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, chapter 27, also on-line.

Shleifer, Andrei. “State vs. Private Ownership.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1998): 133-151.

Farrell, Joseph and Klemperer, Paul, “Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.III, chapter 31, also on-line.

Xavier Gabaix and David Laibson, “Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets,” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=728545.

Strictly optional: Ariel Pakes and dynamic computational approaches to modeling oligopoly: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/pakes/files/Pakes-Fershtman-8-2010.pdf

http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/pakes/files/handbookIO9.pdf

2. Organization

Gibbons, Robert, “Four Formal(izable) Theories of the Firm,” on-line at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=596864.

“Make Versus Buy in Trucking: Asset Ownership, Job Design, and Information,” by George P. Baker and Thomas N. Hubbard, American Economic Review, (June 2003), 551-572.

Van den Steen, Eric, “Interpersonal Authority in a Theory of the Firm,” American Economic Review, 2010, 100:1, 466-490.

Miller, Merton, and commentators.  “The Modigliani-Miller Propositions After Thirty Years,” and comments, Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1988): 99-158.

Myers, Stewart. “Capital Structure.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 81-102.

Hansemann, Henry.  “The Role of Non-Profit Enterprise.” Yale Law Journal (1980): 835-901.

Optional: Charness, Gary and Kuhn, Peter J. “Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn From the Lab?” NBER Working Paper, 15913, 2010, Lazear, Edward P. “Leadership: A Personnel Economics Approach,” NBER Working Paper 15918, 2010, Oyer, Paul and Schaefer, Scott, “Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives,” NBER Working Paper 15977, 2010.

Cowen, Tyler, Google lecture on prizes, on YouTube.

 

3. Production

American Economic Review Symposium, May 2010, starts with “Why do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?” runs pp.620-633.

Dani Rodrik, “A Surprising Convergence Result,” http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2011/06/a-surprising-convergence-result.html, and his paper here http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/drodrik/Research%20papers/The%20Future%20of%20Economic%20Convergence%20rev2.pdf

Mandel, Michael and Houseman, Susan, “Not all Productivity Gains are the Same,” http://whatmatters.mckinseydigital.com/growth_and_productivity/not-all-productivity-gains-are-the-same-here-s-why

Michael Spence and Sandile Hlatshwayo, “The Evolving Structure of the American Economy and the Employment Challenge,” Council on Foreign Relations working paper, March 2011, http://www.cfr.org/industrial-policy/evolving-structure-american-economy-employment-challenge/p24366

Serguey Braguinsky, Lee G. Branstetter, and Andre Regateiro, “The Incredible Shrinking Portuguese Firm,” http://papers.nber.org/papers/w17265#fromrss.

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen, “Recent Advances in the Empirics of Organizational Economics,” http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0970.pdf.

Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen, the slides for “Americans do I.T. Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle,” http://www.people.hbs.edu/rsadun/ADITB/ADIBslides.pdf, the paper is here http://www.stanford.edu/~nbloom/ADIB.pdf but I recommend focusing on the slides.

Bloom, Nicholas, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen. “Management as a Technology?” National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 22327, June 2016.

Syerson, Chad “What Determines Productivity?” Journal of Economic Literature, June 2011, XLIX, 2, 326-365.

New firms and an employment puzzle, http://macroblog.typepad.com/macroblog/2011/08/new-firm-employment-puzzle.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2FRUQt+%28macroblog%29

David Lagakos, “Explaining Cross-Country Productivity Differences in Retail Trade,” Journal of Political Economy, April 2016, 124, 2, 1-49.

Casselman, Ben. “Corporate America Hasn’t Been Disrupted.” FiveThirtyEight, August 8, 2014.

Decker, Ryan and John Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, and Javier Miranda. “Where Has all the Skewness Gone?  The Decline in High-Growth (Young) Firms in the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 21776, December 2015.  NB: This paper and the three that follow have some repetition, so read them selectively rather than exhaustively.

Decker, Ryan and John Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, and Javier Miranda. “The Secular Business Dynamism in the U.S.” Working paper, June 2014.

Haltiwanger, John, Ian Hathaway, and Javier Miranda. “Declining Business Dynamism in the U.S. High-Technology Sector.” Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, February 2014.

Haltiwanger, John, Ron Jarmin and Javier Miranda. Where Have All the Young Firms Gone? Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, May 2012.

Song, Jae, David J. Price, Fatih Guvenen, and Nicholas Bloom. “Firming Up Inequality,” CEP discussion Paper no. 1354, May 2015.

Furman, Jason and Peter Orszag. “A Firm-Level Perspective on the Role of rents in the Rise in Inequality.” October 16, 2015.

Andrews, Dan, Chiara Criscuolo and Peter N. Gal. “Frontier firms, Technology Diffusion and Public Policy: Micro Evidence from OECD Countries.”  OECD working paper, 2015.

Mueller, Holger M., Paige Ouimet, and Elena Simintzi. “Wage Inequality and Firm Growth.” Centre for Economic Policy Research, working paper 2015.

http://evansoltas.com/2016/05/07/pro-business-reform-pro-growth/

Berger, David W. “Countercyclical Restructuring and Jobless Recoveries.” Yale University working paper, 2012.

Furman, Jason. ”Business Investment in the United States: Facts, Explanations, Puzzles, and Policy.” Remarks delivered at the Progressive Policy Institute, September 30, 2015, on-line at https://m.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20150930_business_investment_in_the_united_states.pdf.

Scharfstein, David S. and Stein, Jeremy C.  “Herd Behavior and Investment.”  American Economic Review 80 (June 1990): 465-479.

4. Incentives

Carola Frydman and Dirk Jenter, “CEO Compensation,” NBER Working Paper 16585.

Conyon, Martin J. “Executive Compensation and Incentives.” Academy of Management Perspectivse, 2006.

Kaplan, Steven N. “Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance in the U.S.: Perceptions, Facts and Challenges.” Working paper, July 2012.

Robert J. Gordon and Ian Dew-Becker, “Unresolved Issues in the Rise of American Inequality,” http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~idew/papers/BPEA_final_ineq.pdf

 Acemoglu, Daron and Autor, David, “Skills, Tasks, and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings,” http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/5607

Stein, Jeremy C. “Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 104 (November 1989): 655-670.

http://marginalrevolution.com/?s=short-termism

Ben-David, Itzhak, and John R. Graham and Campbell R. Harvey, “Managerial Miscalibration,” NBER working paper 16215, July 2010.

Glenn Ellison, “Bounded rationality in Industrial Organization,” http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/papers/vol2_chap5.pdf

5. Sectors: finance, health care, others

Gorton, Gary B. “Slapped in the Face by the Invisible Hand: Banking and the Panic of 2007,” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1401882, published on-line in 2009.

Erel, Isil, Nadault, Taylor D., and Stulz, Rene M., “Why Did U.S. Banks Invest in Highly-Rated Securitization Tranches?” NBER Working Paper 17269, August 2011.

 Gompers, Paul and Lerner, Josh.  “The Venture Capital Revolution.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 145-168.

Paul Graham, essays, http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html, and on Google itself, http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/thewrongstuff/archive/2010/08/03/error-message-google-research-director-peter-norvig-on-being-wrong.aspx

Strictly optional but recommended for the serious: Ponder reading some books on competitive strategy, for MBA students.  Here is one list of recommendations: http://www.linkedin.com/answers/product-management/positioning/PRM_PST/20259-135826

Kotchen, Matthew J. and Moon, Jon Jungbien, “Corporate Social Responsibility for Irresponsibility,” NBER working paper 17254, July 2011.

Healy, Kieran. “The Persistence of the Old Regime.” Crooked Timber blog, August 6, 2014.

My 2010 Industrial Organization reading list

Industrial Organization I, Tyler Cowen (x2312, 4910), [email protected]

METHODS OF EVALUATION:

There will be weekly quizzes, a paper, and a final exam.

READINGS:

  

I. Firm behavior, antitrust, and vertical and horizontal control.

Einav, Lira and Levin, Jonathan, “Empirical Industrial Organization: A Progress report,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, (Spring 2010), 145-162.

Asker, John, “A Study of the Internal Organization of a Bidding Cartel,” American Economic Review, (June 2010), 724-762.

Bresnahan, Timothy F. “Competition and Collusion in the American Automobile Industry: the 1955 Price War,” Journal of Industrial Economics, 1987, 35(4), 457-82.

Bresnahan, Timothy and Reiss, Peter C. “Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets,” Journal of Political Economy, (1991), 99(5), 977-1009.

Timothy Bresnahan, “Empirical Studies of Industries with Concentrated Power,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.II.

Tirole, Jean. “Vertical Control.” In Theory of Industrial Organization, Chapter 4.

Klein, Benjamin and Leffler, Keith.  “The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance.”  Journal of Political Economy 89 (1981): 615-641.

Breit, William. “Resale Price Maintenance: What do Economists Know and When Did They Know It?” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (1991).

McKenzie, Richard B. and Lee, Dwight, In Defense of Monopoly, chapter four, “Welfare-Enhancing Monopolies,” on reserve.   

Tirole, Jean.  “Information and Strategic Behavior: Reputation, Limit Pricing, and Predation.”  In Theory of Industrial Organization, Chapter 9, on reserve.

Sproul, Michael.  “Antitrust and Prices.”  Journal of Political Economy (August 1993): 741-754.

McCutcheon, Barbara.  “Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?”  Journal of Political Economy (April 1997): 336-350.

Hazlett, Thomas W. “Is Antitrust Anticompetitive?” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, (Spring 1986).

Crandall, Robert and Whinston, Clifford, “Does Antitrust Improve Consumer Welfare?: Assessing the Evidence,”  Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 2003 ), 3-26, available at http://www.brookings.org/views/articles/2003crandallwinston.htm.

 II. The Microeconomics of the Firm

Holmstrom, Bengt and Tirole, Jean.  “The Theory of the Firm,” in Handbook of Industrial Economics, vol.I.

Holmstrom, Bengt and Roberts, John.  “The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 12, 4 (Fall 1998): 73-94.

Gibbons, Robert. “Incentives in Organizations.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1998): 115-132.

Montgomery, Cynthia.  “Corporate Diversification,” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Summer 1994): 163-178.

Hansemann, Henry.  “The Role of Non-Profit Enterprise.” Yale Law Journal (1980): 835-901.

Lazear, Edward P. “Leadership: A Personnel Economics Approach,” NBER Working Paper 15918, 2010.

Oyer, Paul and Schaefer, Scott, “Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives,” NBER Working Paper 15977, 2010.

Van den Steen, Eric, “Interpersonal Authority in a Theory of the Firm,” American Economic Review, 2010, 100:1, 466-490.

Ben-David, Itzhak, and John R. Graham and Campbell R. Harvey, “Managerial Miscalibration,” NBER working paper 16215, July 2010.

AER Symposium, May 2010, starts with “Why do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?,” runs pp.620-633.

Glenn Ellison, “Bounded rationality in Industrial Organization,” http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/papers/vol2_chap5.pdf

Xavier Gabaix and David Laibson, “Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets,” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=728545.

Charness, Gary and Kuhn, Peter J. “Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn From the Lab?” NBER Working Paper, 15913, 2010.

Cowen, Tyler, Google lecture on prizes, on YouTube.

III. Capital structure and control

Miller, Merton, and commentators.  “The Modigliani-Miller Propositions After Thirty Years,” and comments, Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1988): 99-158.

Myers, Stewart. “Capital Structure.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 81-102.

Hart, Oliver.  “Financial Contracting.”  Journal of Economic Literature (December 2001): 1079-1100.

Easterbrook, Frank H. “Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends.”  American Economic Review (September 1984).

Baker, Malcolm and Wurgler, Jeffrey. “A Catering Theory of Dividends,” Journal of Finance (2004), available at http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~jwurgler/.

Baker, Malcolm and Ruback, Richard. “Behavioral Corporate Finance: A Survey,” found at http://www.wcfia.harvard.edu/seminars/pegroup/BakerRubackWurgler.pdf

MacKinlay, A.C. (1997), “Event Studies in Economics and Finance”, Journal of

Economic Literature 35(1), 13-39.

Andrade, Gregor, et. al. “New Evidence and Perspective on Mergers.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 103-120.

Holmstrom, Bengt and Kaplan, Steven. “Corporate Governance and Merger Activity in the United States,” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 121-149.

Gompers, Paul and Lerner, Josh.  “The Venture Capital Revolution.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 145-168.

Stein, Jeremy C. “Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 104 (November 1989): 655-670.

Stein, Jeremy C.  “Takeover Threats and Managerial Myopia.”  Journal of Political Economy (1988): 61-80.

Scharfstein, David S. and Stein, Jeremy C.  “Herd Behavior and Investment.”  American Economic Review 80 (June 1990): 465-479.

Hall, Brian and Murphy, Kevin J, “The Trouble with Stock Options,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2003, also at http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~kjmurphy/HMTrouble.pdf.

Murphy, Kevin J. and Zaboznik, Jan. “CEO Pay and Appointments,” American Economic Review, May 2004, also at http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~kjmurphy/CEOTrends.pdf

Jensen, Michael, Murphy, Kevin J., and Eric Wruck. “Remuneration: Where We've Been, How We Got to Here, What are the Problems, and How to Fix Them,” available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=561305#PaperDownload.

Robert J. Gordon and Ian Dew-Becker, “Unresolved Issues in the Rise of American Inequality,” http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~idew/papers/BPEA_final_ineq.pdf

McKay, Alisdair and Reis, Ricardo, “The Brevity and Violence of Contractions and Expansions,” NBER Working Paper, 12400, 2010.

Gorton, Gary B. Slapped in the Face by the Invisible Hand: Banking and the Panic of 2007, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1401882, published on-line in 2009.

IV. Theory and Regulation of Natural Monopolies

Sanford Berg and John Tschirhart, Natural Monopoly Regulation, Cambridge University Press.

pp. 21-275. 

Demsetz, Harold.  “Why Regulate Utilities?”  Journal of Law and Economics (April 1968): 347-359.

Williamson, Oliver.  “Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies – in General and with Respect to CATV.” Bell Journal of Economics (Spring 1976): 73-104.

Crandall, Robert W. “An End to Economic Regulation?” available at http://www.brookings.org/views/papers/crandall/20030721.pdf.

Parente, Stephen L. and Prescott, Edward. “Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches.”  American Economic Review 89, 5 (December 1999): 1216-1233.

Shleifer, Andrei. “State vs. Private Ownership.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1998): 133-151.

Chang, Roberto, Constantino Hevia, and Norman Loayza, “Privatization and Nationalization Cycles,” NBER Working Paper 16126, June 2010.

Berg and Tschirhart, pp. 480-522.

Associated other topics in regulation, depending on your interests; reading suggestions will follow later in the semester.

Why should the FDA ban drugs?

305 Economists Called to Smart Questionnaire on the FDA:

Daniel Klein, Jason Briggeman, and Kevin Rollins have designed a questionnaire about the economic rationale for the policy that makes new drugs and devices banned until individually permitted by the FDA. Klein and Briggeman present the questionnaire and the list of economists. Will anyone provide a sensible market-failure rationale for the policy?

The link is here, take a look.  I believe Congress should eliminate the "effective" part of the "safe and effective" clause, dating from 1962.  If the question is allowing people to experiment with all pharmaceutical products, I see a few possible arguments (I'm not necessarily endorsing them) against doing that:

1. There will be more successes but also a greater number of bad events.  This will possibly cause people to lose confidence in pharmaceuticals, just as many crazy theories circulate about vaccines and many people refuse them or refuse them for their children.

 2. Our courts are not up to handling a greater number of liability suits, whether in terms of the quality of those courts or their ability to handle the case load.  See Andrei Shleifer's recent paper on regulation as a substitute for an imperfect court system.

3. I am a fan of Robin Hanson's paper "Warning Labels as Cheap Talk: Why Regulators Ban Products."   This was the piece Robin presented when we hired him, and it later appeared in JPubEc.  The main point is that a verbal governmental warning: "We're really not sure this is safe, caveat emptor!" is not usually credible and people will regard the product as safe, thinking the government would not have otherwise let it come to market.

4. Parents cannot be trusted with their children.

Still, I think there is a good case for greater freedom for choice when it comes to pharmaceuticals.

The Fatal Conceit

Here is a bit more on insurance and states of nature.  In the language of economics a rational, utility maximizer allocates income to equate the marginal utility of income across all contingent-states.  Thus, a rational, utility maximizer moves income from states where the marginal utility is low to states where is high, e.g. home insurance moves money from the state in which your house doesn't burn and transfers it to the state in which your house does burn  - that's good because if your house burns the marginal utility of money will be high.  Usually, the marginal utility of money is high in the "bad" state but not always.  The classic case is that it's not generally a good idea to buy death insurance for your kids.  If your kids die you are going to be miserable and more money won't help much – better to not buy the insurance and take the kids to the movies.  Bertram and Dworkin are probably right that more money doesn't buy you much more utility if you are a vegetable, thus you don't want big transfers of income to this state.  Summarizing, the first notion of insurance is transferring money across states.

The second notion of insurance is using money to avoid the bad outcome.  It doesn't make sense to buy death insurance for your kids but it does make sense to buy them health insurance.  Similarly, you don't want to win the lottery when you are a vegetable but you might be williing to use lottery winnings to avoid becoming a vegetable.  

Arrow and especially Hirshleifer laid this all out in the 1960s.

My IO reading list

Industrial Organization I, Tyler Cowen (x2312, 4910), [email protected]

BOOKS:

Gordon, John Steele – An Empire of Wealth: An Epic History of American Economic Power

Lowenstein, Roger – When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

METHODS OF EVALUATION:

There will be weekly quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam.

READINGS:

I. The Firm

Holmstrom, Bengt and Tirole, Jean.  “The Theory of the Firm,” in Handbook of Industrial Economics, vol.I.

Rotemberg, Julio. “A Theory of Inefficient Intrafirm Transactions.” American Economic Review (March 1991).

Holmstrom, Bengt and Roberts, John.  “The Boundaries of the Firm Revisisted.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 12, 4 (Fall 1998): 73-94.

Demsetz, Harold and Lehn, Kenneth.  “The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences.”  Journal of Political Economy  93 (December 1985): 1155-1177.

Gibbons, Robert. “Incentives in Organizations.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1998): 115-132.

Chapters from Discover Your Inner Economist, by Tyler Cowen.

Montgomery, Cynthia.  “Corporate Diversification,” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Summer 1994): 163-178.

Rasmusen, Eric.  “Mutual Banks and Stock Banks.”  Journal of Law and Economics 31 (1988): 395-422.

Hansemann, Henry.  “Ownership of the Firm,” Journal of Law, Economics and Organization (Fall 1988).

Hansemann, Henry.  “The Role of Non-Profit Enterprise.” Yale Law Journal (1980): 835-901.

Cowen, Tyler. “Response to David Friedman,” Economics and Philosophy, at http://www.gmu.edu/jbc/Tyler/TYLER.doc.

Xavier Gabaix and David Laibson, “Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets,” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=728545.

Glenn Ellison, “Bounded rationality in Industrial Organization,” http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/papers/vol2_chap5.pdf

II. Capital structure and control

Miller, Merton, and commentators.  “The Modigliani-Miller Propositions After Thirty Years,” and comments, Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1988): 99-158.

Myers, Stewart. “Capital Structure.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 81-102.

Hart, Oliver.  “Financial Contracting.”  Journal of Economic Literature (December 2001): 1079-1100.

Easterbrook, Frank H. “Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends.”  American Economic Review (September 1984).

Fudenberg, Drew and Tirole, Jean. “A Theory of Income and Dividend Smoothing.”  Journal of Political Economy (February 1995): 75-93.

Baker, Malcolm and Wurgler, Jeffrey. “A Catering Theory of Dividends,” Journal of Finance (2004), available at http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~jwurgler/.

Baker, Malcolm and Ruback, Richard. “Behavioral Corporate Finance: A Survey,” found at http://www.wcfia.harvard.edu/seminars/pegroup/BakerRubackWurgler.pdf

MacKinlay, A.C. (1997), “Event Studies in Economics and Finance”, Journal of

Economic Literature 35(1), 13-39.

“Symposium on Takeovers,” edited by Hal Varian, Journal of Economic Perspectives (Winter 1988): 1-82.

Andrade, Gregor, et. al. “New Evidence and Perspective on Mergers.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 103-120.

Holmstrom, Bengt and Kaplan, Steven. “Corporate Governance and Merger Activity in the United States,” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 121-149.

Gompers, Paul and Lerner, Josh.  “The Venture Capital Revolution.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 2001): 145-168.

Stein, Jeremy C. “Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior.”  Quarterly Journal of Economics 104 (November 1989): 655-670.

Stein, Jeremy C.  “Takeover Threats and Managerial Myopia.”  Journal of Political Economy (1988): 61-80.

Scharfstein, David S. and Stein, Jeremy C.  “Herd Behavior and Investment.”  American Economic Review 80 (June 1990): 465-479.

Hall, Brian and Murphy, Kevin J, “The Trouble with Stock Options,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2003, also at http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~kjmurphy/HMTrouble.pdf.

Murphy, Kevin J. and Zaboznik, Jan. “CEO Pay and Appointments,” American Economic Review, May 2004, also at http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~kjmurphy/CEOTrends.pdf

Jensen, Michael, Murphy, Kevin J., and Eric Wruck. “Remuneration: Where We’ve Been, How We Got to Here, What are the Problems, and How to Fix Them,” available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=561305#PaperDownload.

Robert J. Gordon and Ian Dew-Becker, “Unresolved Issues in the Rise of American Inequality,” http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~idew/papers/BPEA_final_ineq.pdf

III. Vertical control, antitrust, and related issues.

Tirole, Jean. “Vertical Control.” In Theory of Industrial Organization, Chapter 4.

Klein, Benjamin and Leffler, Keith.  “The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance.”  Journal of Political Economy 89 (1981): 615-641.

Klein, Benjamin and Murphy, Kevin. “Vertical Restraints as Contract Enforcement Mechanisms,” Journal of Law and Economics (October 1988).

Breit, William. “Resale Price Maintenance: What do Economists Know and When Did they Know It?” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (1991).

Bernheim, R. Doug and Whinston, Michael.  “Exclusive Dealing.” Journal of Political Economy (February 1998): 64-103.

Rasmusen, Ramseyer and Wiley, 1991, “Naked Exclusion,” American Economic Review, 1137-45.      

Bittlingmayer, George.  “Decreasing Average Cost and Competition: A New Look at the Addyston Pipe Case,” Journal of Law and Economics (October 1982).

Klein, Benjamin, and Kenney, Roy. “The Economics of Block Booking,” Journal of Law and Economics, (1983), 27, 3, 497-540.

Tirole, Jean.  “Information and Strategic Behavior: Reputation, Limit Pricing, and Predation.”  In Theory of Industrial Organization, Chapter 9.

Timothy Bresnahan, “Empirical Studies of Industries with Concentrated Power,” Handbook of Industrial Organization, vol.II.

Pakes, Ariel. “Theory and Empirical Work on Imperfectly Competitive Markets,” NBER Working Paper 14117, June 2008.

Sproul, Michael.  “Antitrust and Prices.”  Journal of Political Economy (August 1993): 741-754.

McCutcheon, Barbara.  “Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?”  Journal of Political Economy (April 1997): 336-350.

Hazlett, Thomas W. “Is Antitrust Anticompetitive?” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, (Spring 1986).

Crandall, Robert and Whinston, Clifford, “Does Antitrust Improve Consumer Welfare?: Assessing the Evidence,”  Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 2003 ), 3-26, available at http://www.brookings.org/views/articles/2003crandallwinston.htm.

IV. Theory and Regulation of Natural Monopolies

Sanford Berg and John Tschirhart, Natural Monopoly Regulation, Cambridge University Press.

pp. 21-275. 

Demsetz, Harold.  “Why Regulate Utilities?”  Journal of Law and Economics (April 1968): 347-359.

Williamson, Oliver.  “Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies – in General and with Respect to CATV.” Bell Journal of Economics (Spring 1976): 73-104.

Crandall, Robert W. “An End to Economic Regulation?” available at http://www.brookings.org/views/papers/crandall/20030721.pdf.

Parente, Stephen L. and Prescott, Edward.  “Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches.”  American Economic Review 89, 5 (December 1999): 1216-1233.

Shleifer, Andrei.  “State vs. Private Ownership.” Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 1998): 133-151.

Berg and Tschirhart, pp. 480-522.

Associated other topics in regulation, depending on your interests; reading suggestions will follow later in the semester.