Monday , January 27 2020
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Seldomly updated

January, 2020

  • 24 January

    Performance management and workplace culture: evidence from a US trucking firm

    Summary Firms increasingly collect data on their employees’ performance, a management practice that they can use to promote comparisons among staff and potentially boost productivity. At the same time, there is growing corporate emphasis on employee empowerment, teamwork, and happiness – again with the goal of improving overall performance. Are these two objectives compatible? A new study investigates how the success of a management practice depends on the underlying values articulated by senior managers. The researchers report evidence on what happened when a large US transport company tried to combine performance management with changing the workplace culture.

December, 2019

  • 15 December

    Brainteasers From My Dad

    When my sister and I were little, our Dad would challenge us with riddles and word games. I mentioned three in my eulogy for Dad: 1. Imagine a two-volume dictionary sitting on a shelf. Each volume has 500 pages. A bookworm is on the first page of letter A. It wants to eat its way to the end of letter Z as fast as possible. How many pages does it need to eat? 2. Should you walk to work or bring your lunch? 3. Is it warmer in the summer or in England? Dad used the first to show the perils of leaping to conclusions. The second introduced basic economics. As far as I can tell, the third is just amusing; if you see a deeper meaning, please let me know. Share this:Like this:Like Loading...

  • 15 December

    Brainteasers From My Dad

    When my sister and I were little, our Dad would challenge us with riddles and word games. I mentioned three in my eulogy for Dad: 1. Imagine a two-volume dictionary sitting on a shelf. Each volume has 500 pages. A bookworm is on the first page of letter A. It wants to eat its way to the end of letter Z as fast as possible. How many pages does it need to eat? 2. Should you walk to work or bring your lunch? 3. Is it warmer in the summer or in England? Dad used the first to show the perils of leaping to conclusions. The second introduced basic economics. As far as I can tell, the third is just amusing; if you see a deeper meaning, please let me know. Share this:Like this:Like Loading...

  • 13 December

    The impact of new entry in regulated transport markets: evidence from New York City taxis

    Summary Traditional taxi services are giving way to ride-hailing companies such as Uber in many cities around the world – partly as a result of new technologies that make it easier to match waiting passengers with searching drivers; and partly because new entrants have been able to avoid local price and entry regulation. A new study uses data from New York City yellow cabs before the arrival of Uber to analyze the matching process, and to simulate the effects of new entry into the market, alternative matching technologies, and different market densities. While in textbook markets, prices serve to balance demand and supply, in the traditional taxi market, this

  • 9 December

    Remembering My Dad, Donald Marron, 1934 – 2019

    My dad died unexpectedly last Friday. He lived a remarkable, generous life. Obituaries in Bloomberg, NYT, and WSJ give a taste of his success in business, charity, and the arts. He was truly a self-made man. Some of my favorite memories, however, are of my dad’s rare failures. His unsuccessful effort to hurdle my sister’s cello during a game of chase. That time we got ejected from Yankee Stadium for throwing paper airplanes. The one and only set of tennis I ever won from him. It’s difficult to believe he’s gone. Dad brought such vigor and energy to life. Indeed, it was only a few months ago that we rocked to Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. You should have heard him sing “Movin’ Out”. If I make it to my 80s, I’d be thrilled to have half his energy and sharpness. Health issues

  • 9 December

    Remembering My Dad, Donald Marron, 1934 – 2019

    My dad died unexpectedly last Friday. He lived a remarkable, generous life. Obituaries in Bloomberg, NYT, and WSJ give a taste of his success in business, charity, and the arts. He was truly a self-made man. Some of my favorite memories, however, are of my dad’s rare failures. His unsuccessful effort to hurdle my sister’s cello during a game of chase. That time we got ejected from Yankee Stadium for throwing paper airplanes. The one and only set of tennis I ever won from him. It’s difficult to believe he’s gone. Dad brought such vigor and energy to life. Indeed, it was only a few months ago that we rocked to Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. You should have heard him sing “Movin’ Out”. If I make it to my 80s, I’d be thrilled to have half his energy and sharpness. Health issues

November, 2019

  • 21 November

    Who benefits from rent control? Evidence from San Francisco

    Summary Steadily rising rents in many American cities have brought the issue of affordable housing to the forefront of policy debate. This column reports evidence on the effects of an expansion of rent control in San Francisco on tenants, landlords, and inequality. The researchers find that while the policy prevented short-term displacement of incumbent tenants, landlords responded by converting rental housing to other uses, reducing the overall supply and ultimately making rents even less affordable. Rent control seems to have contributed to the gentrification of San Francisco, the exact opposite of the intended goal. Indeed, by simultaneously bringing in higher income residents and preventing

  • 6 November

    Effects of vertical mergers in multichannel TV markets: evidence from regional sports programming

    Summary When producers of TV channels, such as Time Warner, and distributors of those channels, such as AT&T, are merged, what are the impacts on consumers, rival producers and rival distributors? Because ‘vertical integration’ of this kind can have both efficiency and anti-competitive effects, competition authorities and courts evaluating a prospective merger need to assess both the potential benefits and the potential harms to determine the overall welfare effects. A team of economists has developed a new framework for doing just that, and used it to quantify welfare effects in the context of high-value sports content in the US cable and satellite TV

September, 2019

  • 9 September

    When Fewer Options are Better for Consumers: The Benefits of Narrow Health Insurance Networks

    Summary Should health insurers be required to allow their enrollees to visit any hospital or doctor?  Many insurers limit enrollees to “in-network” medical providers, forcing them to pay significant “out-of-network” costs if they seek care elsewhere. Our research examines the role that limited medical provider networks play in the U.S. commercial healthcare market and measures both their impact on spending and their potential for consumer harm. We show that by excluding certain medical providers, particularly those that are low-quality or high-cost, insurers can obtain significant rate reductions when negotiating with hospitals. These reductions may then be partly passed along to consumers in the form

August, 2019

  • 14 August

    Providing low-cost labor market information to assist jobseekers

    Summary People who are receiving unemployment benefits and looking for a job are typically required to consider occupations beyond their preferred line of work, at least after an initial period of joblessness. But how should jobseekers decide which occupations to consider, and how should employment agencies advise them? A team of economists has developed a new tool to provide tailored advice to jobseekers at low cost. The tool is based on two alternative algorithms that identify potentially suitable occupations: one based on observed labor market transitions; the other drawing on O*NET, an online tool for career exploration and job analysis, which identifies