Research Paper Series

  • Title
  • Author(s)


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This handbook chapter covers the existing theoretical literature on social preference and social welfare under risk (i.e., when probability values enter the data of the situation) and uncertainty (i.e., when this is not the case and only subjective probability assessments can be formed). Section 1 sets the stage historically by contrasting classical social choice theory and welfare economics, which are restricted to the certainty case, with Harsanyi's pathbreaking attempt at extending these fields to the risk case. Section 2 reviews the work, both ancient and recent, stemming from Harsanyi's Impartial Observer Theorem. Section 3 does the same job for Harsanyi's Social Aggregation Theorem and discusses Sen's objections against the utilitarian relevance of either theorem. Section 4 explains why the Social Aggregation Theorem does not carry through from risk to uncertainty, a major conundrum that can also be expressed as a clash between ex ante and ex post welfare assessments; the proposed solutions are covered, including some very recent ones. Section 5 explains that equality, like social welfare, can be defined either ex ante or ex post, and using a basic example by Diamond, that these two definitions clash with each other. Section 6 covers the main solutions that egalitarian writers have given to this problem, again including some very recent ones.


Departments: Accounting & Management Control

This article presents a summary of the Strategic Management Accounting (SMA) literature. In its first part, the article shows how authors define SMA (by its characteristics, its practices and methods) and compares SMA to Strategic Cost Management (SCM). The second part of the article discusses the empirical research work conducted in the SMA/SCM field and its main results. The article then questions the theoretical contribution of the SMA/SCM literature and its limitations before proposing a framework which relates the concepts of costs, value and price, and incorporates many of the practices usually connected to SMA.

Keywords: Strategic Management Accounting, Strategic Cost Management, literature review


Departments: Operations Management & Information Technology, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper examines the relationship among IT capability, operations strategy decisions and operational performance. Using primary data from a sample of European firms, we test a model of fit between two specific IT capability-building decisions and three competitive priorities, and we analyze the impact of IT capability alignment on several dimensions of process performance. After uncovering three stylized configurations, we note that firms tend to adopt internally coherent IT capability-building decisions but we find only mixed evidence of alignment between IT capability-building decisions and competitive priorities. Interestingly, however, failing to achieve alignment has negative performance consequences but only for firms that develop limited IT capability. Our results suggests that IT plays a central role in the fulfillment of a firm’s operations strategy, not only for firms that pursue differentiation and are interested in improving the effectiveness of their customer-oriented functions, but also for firms seeking efficiency improvements in back-office operations. Although it is, a priori, more expensive, the development of advanced IT capability can support cost leadership strategies more effectively than a frugal approach, as long as IT projects are used to generate operational knowledge and thus improve process efficiency. At the same time, our results cast further doubt on the value of frugal IT capability, even for firms that strive to reduce cost.

Keywords: This paper examines the relationship among IT capability, operations strategy decisions and operational performance. Using primary data from a sample of European firms, we test a model of fit between two specific IT capability-building decisions and three competitive priorities, and we analyze the impact of IT capability alignment on several dimensions of process performance. After uncovering three stylized configurations, we note that firms tend to adopt internally coherent IT capability-building decisions but we find only mixed evidence of alignment between IT capability-building decisions and competitive priorities. Interestingly, however, failing to achieve alignment has negative performance consequences but only for firms that develop limited IT capability. Our results suggests that IT plays a central role in the fulfillment of a firm’s operations strategy, not only for firms that pursue differentiation and are interested in improving the effectiveness of their customer-oriented functions, but also for firms seeking efficiency improvements in back-office operations. Although it is, a priori, more expensive, the development of advanced IT capability can support cost leadership strategies more effectively than a frugal approach, as long as IT projects are used to generate operational knowledge and thus improve process efficiency. At the same time, our results cast further doubt on the value of frugal IT capability, even for firms that strive to reduce cost.


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper proposes and characterises a model of uncertainty averse preferences that can simultaneously accommodate three divergences from subjective expected utility: imprecision of beliefs (or ambiguity), imprecision of tastes (or multi utility), and state dependence of utility. Moreover, it characterises, in this context, a notion of state independence of utility borrowed from the literature on incomplete preferences. This notion is then shown to be basically inconsistent with the standard state-independence axiom, monotonicity, whenever tastes are imprecise. A new notion of state independence in the context of imprecise tastes, which is characterised by monotonicity, is proposed.

Keywords: State independence of utility, imprecise tastes, uncertainty aversion, multi utility, multiple priors, state-dependent utility.


Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper examines the effect of accounting quality on the degree of debt concentration (i.e., the tendency to rely predominantly on only a few types of debt) in corporate capital structures. Building on theoretical and empirical studies arguing that asymmetric information increases the renegotiation and bankruptcy costs associated with relying on multiple types of debt, we predict that lower quality accounting numbers induce firms to choose more concentrated debt structures. Measuring (low) accounting quality with the existence of material internal control weaknesses over financial reporting (ICWs), we find evidence consistent with our prediction: Firms choose more concentrated debt structures after experiencing ICWs. This effect is stronger for more severe ICWs (i.e., company-level rather than account specific ICWs). We find similar results using accounting restatements and audit quality as alternative measures of accounting quality.


Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper shows that collateral constraints restrict firm entry and post-entry growth, even in the long-run. Our empirical strategy uses French administrative data and exploits cross-sectional variation in local house-price appreciation as shocks to the value of collateral available to homeowners. We control for local demand shocks by comparing homeowners to two control groups that live in the same region but do not experience collateral shocks: (i) renters and (ii) homeowners with a mortgage outstanding, who -- in France -- cannot take out a second mortgage on their house. In both comparisons, we find that an increase in collateral value leads to a higher probability of becoming an entrepreneur. Conditional on entry, entrepreneurs with access to more valuable collateral start larger firms, use more debt, and create more value added, for at least six years after creation.

Keywords: Collateral; Entrepreneurship; Real estate


Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Raters of firms play an important role in assessing domains ranging from sustainability to corporate governance to best places to work. Managers, investors, and scholars increasingly rely on these ratings to make strategic decisions, invest trillions of dollars in capital and study corporate social responsibility (CSR), guided by the implicit assumption that the ratings are valid. We document the surprising lack of agreement across social ratings from six well-established raters. These differences remain even when we adjust for explicit differences in the definition of CSR held by different raters, implying the ratings have low validity. Our results suggest that users of social ratings should exercise caution in interpreting their connection to actual CSR and that raters should conduct regular evaluations of their ratings.


Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We study whether R&D-intensive firms are more resilient to trade shocks. We correct for the endogeneity of R&D using tax-induced changes to the cost of R&D. On average across US manufacturing firms, rising imports from China lead to slower sales growth and lower profitability. These effects are, however, significantly smaller for firms with a larger stock of R&D -- by about half when moving from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile of the R&D stock distribution. As a result, while the average firm in import-competing industries cuts capital expenditures and employment, R&D-intensive firms downsize considerably less.

Keywords: R&D, Innovation, Product Market Competition, Trade Shocks


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

An ambiguous statistical experiment is a set of joint probability distributions over states and signals. This note compares ambiguous experiments from the point of view of an ambiguity averse decision maker and extends the Blackwell (1951, 1953) ordering to this setting.

Keywords: experiments, value of information, multiple priors, maximin, rectangularity


Departments: Marketing

It is becoming increasingly easier for researchers and practitioners to collect eye tracking data during online preference measurement tasks. We develop a dynamic discrete choice model of information search and choice under bounded rationality, that we calibrate using a combination of eye-tracking and choice data. Our model extends the directed cognition model of Gabaix et al. (2006) by capturing fatigue, proximity effects, and imperfect memory encoding and by estimating individual-level parameters and partworths within a likelihood-based, hierarchical Bayesian framework. We show that modeling eye movements as the outcome of forward-looking utility maximization improves out-of-sample predictions, enables researchers and practitioners to use shorter questionnaires, and allows better discrimination between attributes.

Keywords: Preference Measurement, Incentive Compatibility, Eye Tracking, Dynamic Discrete Choice Models