Research seminar summer 22

The Department of Econonomics of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS) invites researchers to present and discuss their latest research in economics and management.

Research seminar summer 22

Our research seminar is Tuesdays from 18:00–19:30. On-site talks take place in room HS 302 ( FRA1OG4.420). Online talks take place on Zoom. 

If you want to attend the seminar, please contact Jörg Paetzold.

Title: Covid-19 and economic consequences in Italy
Speaker: Luca Onorante (European Commission)
Title:  Political Support, Cognitive Dissonance and Political Preferences
Speaker: Georg D. Granic (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract: Voters often express support for a candidate whose policy platforms differ from their ideal policy preferences. We argue that under these circumstance acts of expressing support can causally change voters’ policy preferences. We conceptualize our arguments in a theoretical model of policy preference changes rooted in cognitive dissonance theory. A pre-registered, online experiment with 1,200 U.S. participants confirms our main hypotheses. As predicted by cognitive dissonance theory, voters align their policy preferences with those of the supported candidate. The more important the policy issue, the sharper the change in preferences. We also find that larger pre-support policy distance and higher effort in expressing support increases the magnitude of preference changes. Our results suggest that policy preferences can change mechanically after voters express support for a candidate.
Title: Gibt es die Marktwirtschaft noch? (in German)
Speaker: Josef Falkinger (University of Zurich)

Abstract: Dieser Vortrag stellt einen Versuch über politische Ökonomie im einundzwanzigsten Jahrhundert vor. Vor achtzig Jahren hat Schumpeter vorausgesagt, der Kapitalismus werde am eigenen Erfolg zugrunde gehen. Nun, der Kapitalismus ist quicklebendig; aber lebt die Marktwirtschaft noch?
Im aktuellen wirtschaftlichen Diskurs ist „Marktwirtschaft“ nicht viel mehr als eine Beschwörungsformel – für alles, was gut ist, aus Sicht ihrer Anhänger:innen und alles Schlechte aus Sicht der Kritiker:innen. Der Vortrag ruft die theoretischen Grundlagen der marktwirtschaftlichen Ordnung in Erinnerung und konfrontiert ihre konstituierenden Elemente mit der ökonomischen Realität, die insbesondere von Finanzialisierung, Digitalisierung und globalen Kräften geprägt ist. Darauf aufbauend wird eine Agenda für Wissenschaft, Wirtschaftspolitik und die Entwicklung des öffentlichen Sektors skizziert, um das Konzept einer auf mündigen Wirtschaftssubjekten und fairem Wettbewerb beruhenden Wirtschaft als Teil einer freien demokratischen Gesellschaft in die Zukunft zu transformieren.     
Title:  Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment?
Speaker: Philip Lergetporer (TU München)

Abstract: Why are children with lower socioeconomic status (SES) substantially less likely to be enrolled in child care? We study whether behavioral barriers in the application process work against lower-SES children — the group known to benefit strongest from child care enrollment. In an RCT in Germany with highly subsidized child care (n > 600), we offer treated families information and personal assistance for applications. We find large, equity-enhancing effects: the treatment closes half of the large SES gap in child care enrollment. We provide evidence that the effect is driven by altered application behavior, and derive policy implications for the design of universal child care programs.
Title: Liechtensteins Finanzsektor und die Sicherstellung der Finanzstabilität in der Praxis (in German)
Speaker: Martin Gächter (FMA Liechtenstein)

Abstract: Liechtenstein gilt mit einem BIP/Kopf von etwa 180.000 US-Dollar gemäss UN als das reichste Land der Welt. Der Vortrag gibt einen kurzen Überblick über die Besonderheiten der Volkswirtschaft sowie den Finanzsektor, greift einige wesentliche systemische Risiken des Finanzsektors auf und erklärt, wie diese aus einer Policy-Perspektive adressiert werden. Im zweiten Teil des Vortrags werden zwei aktuelle Forschungsprojekte herausgegriffen, die aus der praktischen Arbeit entstanden sind. Das erste Projekt widmet sich der Forschungsfrage, wie Abwärtsrisiken für das BIP-Wachstum («growth-at-risk») durch strukturelle Faktoren wie Offenheit, die Grösse des Finanzsektors, die Staatsquote sowie die Regierungseffektivität beeinflusst werden. Das zweite Projekt untersucht den Einfluss von Finanzstress im Euroraum auf den Wechselkurs des Schweizer Franken und beleuchtet in diesem Zusammenhang auch die Auswirkungen der SNB-Interventionen am Devisenmarkt.
Title:  Bayesian Semiparametric estimation of structural VAR models with multivariate stochastic volatility
Speaker: Luca Rossini (University of Milan)

Abstract: This paper extends the existing fully parametric Bayesian literature on structural VAR models with stochastic volatility (SVAR-SV) by introducing an innovative Bayesian semiparametric framework to model high-dimensional time series of financial returns. A Bayesian nonparametric (BNP) approach based on a Dirichlet process mixture is used to flexibly model the returns distribution by also accounting for skewness and kurtosis, while the dynamics of each series volatility is modeled with a parametric structure. Our hierarchical prior overcomes overparametrization and over-fitting issues by clustering the coefficients into groups and shrinking the coefficients of each group toward a common location. An efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling scheme is designed to perform inference in high-dimensional settings and provide a complete characterization of parametric and distributional uncertainty.
Title:  Monopsony Makes Firms not only Small but also Unproductive: Why East Germany has not Converged
Speaker: Rüdiger Bachmann (University of Notre Dame)

Abstract: When employers face a trade-off between growing large and paying low wages — that is, when they have monopsony power — some productive employers will decide to acquire fewer customers, forgo sales, and remain small. These decisions have adverse consequences for aggregate labor productivity. Using high-quality administrative data from Germany, we document that East German plants (compared to West German ones) face a steeper sizewage curve, invest less into marketing, and remain smaller. A model with labor market monopsony, product market power, and customer acquisition matching these features of the data produces 10 percent lower aggregate labor productivity in East Germany.
Title: Overcoming algorithm aversion – the power of task-procedure fit
Speaker: Elena Freisinger (TU Illmenau)

Abstract: Decision-making by Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled agents challenges some of the fundamental believes of technology acceptance, both from a decision-maker and a decision-affected perspective. Despite the immense technological potential and rapid developments, finding effective roles for the technological agents and forms of human-technology collaborations in decision-making remains challenging. Prior research shows in parts irrational rejection of superior algorithms (algorithm aversion) and only rare situations in which people prefer algorithmic over human decision-makers (algorithm appreciation). We show that severe negative consequences of decisions dominate people’s perceptions of the decision-maker, whereas technological anxiety and the decision-maker’s nature matter for the acceptance of positive decision outcomes (study 1). Expert decision-makers, while emphasizing a strong negative attitude towards AI-enabled decision-makers, do acknowledge the opportunities and potentials of the technology (study 2). When AI-enabled decision-makers become part of a mixed human-technology decision group, the perceived task-procedure fit fully mediates the negative effect of AI involvement on peoples’ willingness to accept the decision. Algorithm aversion thereby negatively moderates the relationship between AI involvement and task-procedure fit (study 3). The results provide insight into the mixed, but overly negative perceptions of AI-enabled decision agents and reveal how identifying an appropriate task-procedure fit can help to overcome algorithm aversion.
Title: Dynamic factor models with common (drifting) stochastic trends
Speaker: Sylvia Kaufmann (Study Center Gerzensee)

Abstract: High-dimensional macroeconomic and financial data are often composed of groups of series that display a common upward or downward drift, or a kind of long-run oscillating behavior. It is now common to capture these drifts by modelling a stochastic trend, i.e. a random walk with or without drift, respectively. When using a factor model to extract common components, common drifts traditionally are removed by mean-adjusting first differences of the level series. However, it may be of interest to extract factors that include the drift of the common stochastic trend component. We propose a dynamic factor model that captures the common drifting trend component as well as a remaining idiosyncratic stochastic trend component. We address identification issues and apply a MCMC sampler based on parameter expansion to obtain posterior inference.
Title: Managing equality? Exploring organizations in the Economy for the Common Good as possible sites to take equality as a starting point
Speaker: Alexander Fleischmann (IMD Business School)

Abstract: In contrast to approaches that see equality as an achievement in the near or distant future, my presentation explores how Jacques Rancière’s ‘method of equality’ – insisting that equality must be the starting point in the here and now – can be realized in contemporary organizational settings. Based on an empirical study of organizations committed to the Economy for the Common Good in Austria, I argue that this means to give a part, as taking equality as a starting point means that those in powerful positions must– ‘generously’ – give a part to those who currently have no part, e.g. by granting the possibility to participate. Nevertheless, the analysis also shows that equality can be taken as a starting point in the here and now in situations generally deemed as unequal, that such assertion do restructure the sensible – which allows to enlarge our understanding of democratic and equality-oriented organizing.
Title: When the money keeps rolling in development offices in American universities
Speaker: Francisco Ramirez (Stanford Graduate School of Education)

14:0016:00, room HS 241 ( Mönchsberg 2, 2nd floor)

Abstract: American higher education is a hyper competitive organizational field made up of socially embedded universities. American universities operate as organizational actors with goals and plans to attain these goals, often in interaction with multiple “stakeholders.” Fundraising has increasingly become central in American universities. University development offices with fund raising objectives emerged, expanded, and have professionalized. Utilizing an original national representative sample of universities these organizational developments are traced and discussed. Whether these developments globally diffuse is also discussed with evidence from a cross-national sample of universities worldwide. Lastly, further research directions focused on development offices are sketched.
28.06.2022Title: Cooperation through collective punishment and participation
Speaker: Simon Weidenholzer (University Essex)

Abstract: We experimentally explore the role of institutions imposing collective sanctions in sustaining cooperation in finitely repeated public goods game with imperfect monitoring. In our experiment, players only observe noisy signals about individual contributions, while total output is perfectly observed as it is often the case in collective actions problems in society. We consider sanctioning mechanism that allow agents to commit to collective punishment in the case the level of cooperation among members of society falls short a target. We find that cooperation is higher with collective punishment compare to both no punishment or punishment targeting individuals. Importantly, our results indicate that it is the combination of making a commitment to be punished and the collective nature of punishment inducing cooperation. Our findings show that punishing a group collectively for misbehavior of some of its members induces cooperation when individuals participate in setting up the sanctioning institution.

Picture: ©