Research seminar winter 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

Our research seminar is Tuesdays from 18:00–19:30. On-site talks take place in room HS 212 ( CHU1OG2.286). Online talks take place on Zoom. If you want to attend the seminar, please contact Jörg Paetzold.

Title: The Political Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Germany
Speaker: Stefan Bauernschuster (University of Passau)

Abstract: Do public health crises affect political landscapes? When the 1918 influenza pandemic broke out in Germany, it was on the verge of losing WW1. To maintain order, the government largely suppressed public information on the disease. Using a constituency-level panel of election results from 1893 to 1933, we estimate the effect of pandemic intensity on voting behavior in a differences-in-differences framework. We estimate pandemic intensity at the level of all 362 constituencies using administrative total mortality data and verify the approach using city-level causes of death data. We find that Flu mortality resulted in a lasting shift of votes toward left-wing parties. We explore several mechanisms that may explain this finding.
Title: Aging and Entrepreneurship
Speaker: Ewald Kibler (Aalto University in Finland)

Abstract: In this seminar, Dr. Ewald Kibler will present some of the key insights from his previous and ongoing research around age, aging and entrepreneurship. Dr. Kibler will discuss how age relates to entrepreneurial entry rates/decisions, how late-career transitions to self-employment affect ‘older’ people’s income and quality of life, and how late-career entrepreneurs can manage age discrimination. Further, Dr. Kibler will draw from current research projects to discuss why and how late-career (vs. early career) founders engage in different types of entrepreneurial and innovation activities. He will also share recent insights from research on the influence of entrepreneurs’ ‘subjective age’ (e.g. feeling age, ideal age) on their personal wellbeing and career identity perceptions.
Title:  The Effect of Incentives in Non-Routine Analytical Teams Tasks – Evidence from a Field Experiment
Speaker: Simeon Schudy (University of Munich, Department of Economics)

Abstract: Despite the prevalence of non-routine analytical team tasks in modern economies, little is known about how incentives influence performance in these tasks. In a field experiment with more than 3000 participants, we document a positive effect of bonus incentives on the probability of completion of such a task. Bonus incentives increase performance due to the reward rather than the reference point (performance threshold) they provide. The framing of bonuses (as gains or losses) plays a minor role. Incentives improve performance also in an additional sample of presumably less motivated workers. However, incentives reduce these workers’ willingness to “explore” original solutions.
Title: Robust Permutation Test for Equality of Distributions under Covariate-Adaptive Randomization
Speaker: Mauricio Olivares (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Department of Statistics)

Abstract: Though stratified randomization achieves more balance on baseline covariates than pure randomization, it does affect the way we conduct inference. This paper considers the classical two-sample goodness-of-fit testing problem in randomized controlled trials when the researcher employs a particular type of stratified randomization—covariate-adaptive randomization. When testing the null hypothesis of equality of distributions between experimental groups in this setup, we first show that stratification leaves a mark on the test statistic’s limit distribution, making it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain critical values. We instead propose an alternative approach to conducting inference based on a permutation test that i) is asymptotically exact in the sense that the limiting rejection probability under the null hypothesis equals the nominal α level, ii) is applicable under relatively weak assumptions commonly satisfied in practice, and iii) works for randomization schemes that are popular among empirically oriented researchers, such as stratified permuted block randomization.
The proposed test’s main idea is that by transforming the original statistic by one minus its bootstrap p-value, it becomes asymptotically uniformly distributed on [0,1]. Thus, the transformed test statistic—also called prepivoted—has a fixed limit distribution that is free of unknown parameters, effectively removing the effect of stratification. Consequently, a permutation test based on the prepivoted statistic produces a test whose limiting rejection probability equals the nominal level. We present further numerical evidence of the proposed test’s advantages in a Monte Carlo exercise, showing our permutation test outperforms the existing alternatives. We illustrate our method’s empirical relevance by revisiting a field experiment by Butler and Broockman (2011) on the effect of race on state legislators’ responsiveness to help their constituents register to vote during elections in the United States. Lastly, we provide the companion R Package package to facilitate and encourage applying our test in empirical research.

Previous research seminars: Summer 2022, Winter 2021

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