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Archive for the ‘academia’ Category

Effects of Targeted Promotions: Evidence from Field Experiments

May 12, 2015 Comments off

Effects of Targeted Promotions: Evidence from Field Experiments
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

The prevalence and widespread usage of email has given businesses a direct and cost effective way of providing consumers with targeted promotional offers. While targeted promotions are expected to increase the demand for the promoted products, are these promotions effective in increasing revenues? Do they have effects beyond acting as price reductions? We study these questions using individual-level data from 70 randomized experiments run by a large online ticket resale platform. We measure the impact of emailed promotions by comparing purchases by individuals who received the experimental promotions with purchases by those who did not receive the offers because of the experimental randomization. We find that the offers cause the average expenditure to increase by $3.03 (a 37.2% increase) during the promotion window. However, ninety percent of these gains are not through redemption of the offers. Interestingly, the promotion causes carryover to the week after the promotion expires; we find that spending increases by $1.55 in the week after the offer expires. Additionally, we find evidence for cross category spillovers to non-promoted products – offers not applicable to a ticket genre cause an increase in spending in that genre. We conclude that emailed promotions can serve as a form of “advertising” for the firm’s products.

Using a Life Cycle Model to Evaluate Financial Literacy Program Effectiveness

May 10, 2015 Comments off

Using a Life Cycle Model to Evaluate Financial Literacy Program Effectiveness
Source: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Pension Research Council)

Prior studies disagree regarding the effectiveness of financial literacy programs, especially those offered in the workplace. To explain such measurement differences in evaluation and outcomes, we employ a stochastic life cycle model with endogenous financial knowledge accumulation to investigate how financial education programs optimally shape key economic outcomes. This approach permits us to measure how such programs shape wealth accumulation, financial knowledge, and participation in sophisticated assets (e.g. stocks) across heterogeneous consumers. We then apply conventional program evaluation econometric techniques to simulated data, distinguishing selection and treatment effects. We show that the more effective programs provide follow-up in order to sustain the knowledge acquired by employees via the program; in such an instance, financial education delivered to employees around the age of 40 can raise savings at retirement by close to 10%. By contrast, one-time education programs do produce short-term but few long-term effects. We also measure how accounting for selection affects estimates of program effectiveness on those who participate. Comparisons of participants and non-participants can be misleading, even using a difference-in-difference strategy. Random program assignment is needed to evaluate program effects on those who participate.

Stranded Assets and Subcritical Coal: The Risk to Companies and Investors

May 8, 2015 Comments off

Stranded Assets and Subcritical Coal: The Risk to Companies and Investors (PDF)
Source: University of Oxford, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

We have located subcritical coal-fired power stations globally and identified the ones most at risk of stranding due to their carbon intensity and deleterious effects on local air pollution and water stress. The research shows which companies own these assets and ranks companies by exposure. Furthermore, we examine how environment-related risks facing subcritical coal assets might develop in the future.

The Causal Effects of Growing up in Different Counties on Earnings in Adulthood — Percentage Gains/Losses Relative to National Average

May 4, 2015 Comments off

The Causal Effects of Growing up in Different Counties on Earnings in Adulthood — Percentage Gains/Losses Relative to National Average
Source: Harvard University (Equality of Opportunity Project)

How can we improve economic opportunities for low-income children? The Equality of Opportunity Project uses “big data” to develop new answers to this question. The previous phase of the project presented statistics on how upward mobility varies across areas of the U.S. and over time. In the current phase, we focus on families who moved across areas to study how neighborhoods affect upward mobility. We find that every year of exposure to a better environment improves a child’s chances of success, both in a national quasi-experimental study of five million families and in a re-analysis of the Moving to Opportunity Experiment. We use the new methodology and data to present estimates of the causal effect of each county in America on upward mobility.

Governance of Online Intermediaries: Observations from a Series of National Case Studies

May 4, 2015 Comments off

Governance of Online Intermediaries: Observations from a Series of National Case Studies
Source: Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

This project examines the rapidly changing landscape of online intermediary liability at the intersection of law, technology, norms, and markets, and is aimed at informing and improving Internet policy-making globally. It is a first output of a larger initiative on the governance of online intermediaries and represents a globally coordinated, independent academic research project by the Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers (NoC) consisting of a case study series exploring online intermediary liability frameworks and issues in Brazil, the European Union, India, South Korea, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam, and a synthesis paper.

Fiscal and Economic Aspects of Book Consumption in the European Union

May 4, 2015 Comments off

Fiscal and Economic Aspects of Book Consumption in the European Union (PDF)
Source: University of Southern Denmark

One of the available and yet underappreciated tools in cultural policy at the national level is the reduction of VAT rates for cultural goods and services. We document the standard and reduced VAT rates in EU-28 countries in the period from 1993 to 2013 and explore the underlying determinants. We further introduce a simple theoretical framework to explain how reduced fiscal rates are expected to decrease prices and increase quantities of the consumed cultural goods and services. We then estimate quantitatively that a decrease in the VAT rate for books by one percentage point is associated with an economically significant drop in the price by 2.6 percent. Finally, we show the positive effect of a fiscal rate reduction on the book expenditure of well-off households, where a one percentage point decrease in the VAT rate for books leads to an increase in expenditure by 2.7 percent.

What Female Candidates Need to Know: Current Research on Gender Effects in Campaigns and Elections

May 1, 2015 Comments off

What Female Candidates Need to Know: Current Research on Gender Effects in Campaigns and Elections (PDF)
Source: Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Studies show that the vast majority of people have no problem voting for a woman and that when women run they win as often as men, yet female representation remains startlingly low in the U.S. Women are 50.8 percent of the U.S. population, but they account for merely 19.4% of the 535 seats in Congress, 24.5% of statewide executive positions, 24.2% of state legislatures, and 17.6% of mayors in cities with populations over 30,000 (Center for American Women and Politics 2015).

There is certainly much research dedicated to gender and politics. But what is missing from current literature is an organized compilation of relevant research that can be easily used for practical purposes. While many books and articles have been written on various pieces of this puzzle, there is not a comprehensive manual for practical use drawing from a range of research. I intend to build on existing literature by organizing it in topical categories and presenting the findings of current research with some practical implications. My hope is that it can serve as a reference guide tailored to both researchers and practitioners.

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