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Improved Interactions Drive Gen Y Increase in Auto Insurance Satisfaction

July 17, 2015 Comments off

Improved Interactions Drive Gen Y Increase in Auto Insurance Satisfaction
Source: J.D. Power

Gen Y[1] customers are the driving force behind an increase in overall auto insurance satisfaction due to improvement across all customer service interaction channels, the largest contributor to the customer experience, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM released today.

The study examines customer satisfaction in five factors: interaction; price; policy offerings; billing and payment; and claims. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale.

Customer interaction preferences are changing. Gen Y’s preference to interact exclusively through digital self-service (Web or mobile) has increased to 27 percent in 2015 from 21 percent in 2011. A similar pattern of preference is found in other generational groups (Gen X: 23% vs. 19% in 2011; Boomers: 12% vs. 10%; and Pre-Boomers: 6% vs. 4%). Among the interaction channels, satisfaction with the website experience receives the lowest average score, most notably among Gen Y customers (816, compared with 826 for Gen X, 841 for Boomers and 861 for Pre-Boomers).

Building Millennials’ Financial Health Via Financial Capability

July 17, 2015 Comments off

Building Millennials’ Financial Health Via Financial Capability (PDF)
Source: University of Kansas School of Social Welfare

Today’s young adults, referred to as Millennials born between the early 1980’s and 2000’s, are coming of age in an economy unlike any other. 1 The macroeconomic conditions of the Great Recession from approximately 2007 to 2011 systematically undermined Millennials’ financial health by limiting employment opportunities, stagnating income growth, reducing net worth, and increasing reliance on debt. Millennials entered a labor market with limited opportunities and saw higher unemployment rates than the rest of the population.2 Fewer Millennials entered the labor market than young adults from any preceding generation and their unemployment rate was roughly 15 to 17 percent at the height of the recession—5 to 7 percentage points higher than the average unemployment rate for the rest of the population. They also experienced diminishing returns for participating in the labor market, earning 6 percent less per paycheck than in previous years.

Fewer employment opportunities and reduced paychecks translated into less money to save and invest. The average Millennial has about $1,000 in savings,4 suggesting that many may struggle to afford necessary expenses in the face of unemployment and to become financially independent.5 Millennials also delayed investing in homes and those who did invest experienced substantial wealth losses that were driven by declining home equity. 6 These losses are reflected in the value of Millennials’ accumulated net worth compared to that of previous generations.7 Millennials’ net worth is valued at $10,000, which is 41 percent less than the values of net worth held by Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers two decades ago.8

Auto Franchise Laws Restrict Consumer Choice and Increase Prices

July 14, 2015 Comments off

Auto Franchise Laws Restrict Consumer Choice and Increase Prices
Source: Mercatus Center

Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas recently received the 2014 Luddite Award from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation for preventing automaker Tesla from selling cars directly to consumers. These states’ efforts to ban direct sales are reminiscent of the Luddites, nineteenth-century English workers employed in the textile industry who both rejected technological development and actively worked to prevent its use through its destruction. State legislatures, rather than destroying physical plant and equipment like the Luddites, actively impede alternative distribution models, reducing consumer choice.

Auto franchise laws often include three major restrictions: mandatory dealership licensing requirements, onerous terms for terminating dealerships, and the creation of exclusive territories for incumbent dealers. Each rule carries a potential cost for consumers.

The coverage of these laws has expanded significantly during the past 30 years.

The Expanding Lap of Luxury Among U.S. Consumers

July 10, 2015 Comments off

The Expanding Lap of Luxury Among U.S. Consumers
Source: Nielsen

In the U.S. retail market, the word luxury doesn’t have the same connotation that it once did. Or perhaps it’s just that the consumers who shop for luxury goods aren’t who they used to be. Either way you look at it, defining luxury today is no easy task—and neither is identifying how people view the term.

For many consumers, luxury is a way to signal that they’ve “made it,” but the ways they choose to showcase or express their status can be as varied as the consumers themselves. For example, some convey it subtly through the scarcity and heritage of the products they purchase. Others take a more forthright approach by purchasing eye-catching products they want to showcase for everyone to admire and covet.

Regardless of how consumers choose to bring luxury into their lives, the U.S. has the deepest pockets when it comes to luxury retail spending. In fact, management consulting firm Bain and Co. estimates that Americans spent $73.3 billion on luxury goods last year—more than consumers in Japan, Italy, France and China combined.

Guidebook for Airport Terminal Restroom Planning and Design

July 10, 2015 Comments off

Guidebook for Airport Terminal Restroom Planning and Design
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 130: Guidebook for Airport Terminal Restroom Planning and Design explores a process to help airport practitioners plan, design, and implement terminal restroom projects.

The guidebook’s printed appendixes include a discussion of the restroom of the future. Appendixes A, C-H include case studies, focus group summaries, and a bibliography. Appendix B includes editable restroom evaluation forms. These appendixes are available online and on the CD-ROM accompanying the print version of the report.

Bankruptcy and Bad Behavior – The Real Moral Hazard: Law Schools Exploiting Market Dysfunction

July 9, 2015 Comments off

Bankruptcy and Bad Behavior – The Real Moral Hazard: Law Schools Exploiting Market Dysfunction
Source: American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, Forthcoming (via SSRN)

The widespread discussion about the market for law graduates ignores an essential fact: it’s not a single market at all. Employment opportunities vary dramatically across schools, yet tuition prices fail to reflect those differences. As a consequence, many schools with the worst placement rates burden their students with the highest levels of educational debt. How is that possible?

The answer is market dysfunction. Current federal student loan and bankruptcy policies encourage all law school deans to maximize tuition and fill classrooms, regardless of their students’ job prospects upon graduation. This law school moral hazard combines with prelaw students’ unrealistic expectations about their legal careers to produce enormous debt for a JD degree that, for many graduates, does not even lead to a JD-required job.

This article proposes a way to identify three distinct law school submarkets. Using those submarkets, it offers a plan to create a more functional market that enhances law school accountability, encourages meaningful price differences among schools based on outcomes, and spurs innovation.

Inverse Privacy

July 7, 2015 Comments off

Inverse Privacy
Source: Microsoft Research

An item of your personal information is inversely private if some party has access to it but you do not. We analyze the provenance of inversely private information and its rise to dominance over other kinds of personal information. In a nutshell, the inverse privacy problem is unjustified inaccessibility to you of your inversely private information. We believe that the inverse privacy problem has a market-based solution.

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