Research Paper Series

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

Whereas systems integration is recognized as an important organizational capability, the mechanisms through which it creates value as well as the environmental contingencies that delimit its effectiveness remain unclear, particularly when firms deliver integrated solutions embodying products and services. Focusing on IT solution providers, we investigate the effectiveness of systems integration with respect to three specific approaches to solution design: breadth, modularity, and customization. We find a complementarity effect between systems integration and solution design approaches: if firms pursue customization or rely on a broad set of heterogeneous knowledge bases, systems integration becomes fundamental. Conversely, if firms adopt a modular design, systems integration is redundant and even counterproductive. We also find evidence of complementarity between breadth and customization, but not between breadth and modularity nor between customization and modularity.

Keywords: systems integration, modularity, customization, solution design


Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Strategic alliances are undertaken to create value through complementarities of resources and capabilities of the partner firms. We develop a matching framework to study strategic alliances, taking a market perspective that explicitly incorporates key features of transactions in strategic alliances: two sided decision making in voluntary collaboration; quest for complementarities between indivisible and heterogeneous partner attributes; and competition on each side for partners on the other side. We assess the relative performance of matching models and binary choice models when estimating parameters within simulations based on a known functional relationship. Within the context of research alliances in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, we hypothesize and find support using the matching model framework for complementarity in partner size, and in upstream research capabilities.

Keywords: alliances, two-sided matching, maximum score estimator, bio-pharmaceutical industry, complementarity


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Nudge is a semantically multifarious concept that originates in Thaler and Sunstein's (2008) popular eponymous book. In one of its senses, it is a policy for redirecting an agent's choices by only slightly altering his choice conditions, in another sense, it is concerned with bounded rationality as a means of the policy, and in still another sense, it is concerned with bounded rationality as an obstacle to be removed by the policy, when the latter has a benevolent aim. The paper centres on the interrelations, both semantic and factual, of these three nudge concepts. It argues that the first and second are basically disconnected on Thaler and Sunstein's major examples of nudges, and that this has gone unnoticed to them because they wrongly equate the second with the third concept, and also because they overestimate the explanatory power of behavioural economics, compared with that of classical rational choice theory, to account for successful interventions. After completing this analysis, the paper moves to some of the normative issues raised by Thaler and Sunstein. Their thought-provoking claim that liberalism and paternalism can be reconciled within one and the same doctrine of social ethics - libertarian paternalism – has been subjected to thorough philosophical criticism. Rather than following this abstract line, the paper takes the shortcut of arguing that Thaler and Sunstein lose their best defence of libertarian paternalism after the nudge concepts are disentangled. They had effectively based their case on the view that slight interventions could have powerful effects through a clever use of bounded rationality, and it has been shown that the latter is not really at work in the interventions they consider. The paper finally concludes that the three nudge concepts are worth pursuing, though independently of each other, and in particular that the third one, which involves correcting the pitfalls of bounded rationality, should receive sustained attention from policy analysts

Keywords: Nudge, liberal paternalism, policy analysis, law and economics, behavioural economics, rational choice theory, Thaler and Sunstein


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS), Finance

Using inter-state banking deregulation in the U.S. as an exogenous experiment, we find that a 1% increase in banking integration between U.S. states caused a 0.164-0.184% increase in the foreign exports/domestic shipments ratio for U.S. state level exports in the years 1992-1996. We can ascribe these effects to the integration by banks with foreign assets: a 1% increase in banking integration through such banks caused the exports/domestic shipments ratio to increase by 0.22-0.41% while the expansion of banks with purely domestic assets appears to have no impact. Given our empirical specification, this increase in openness can be attributed to an increase in capital to cover variable and fixed export costs relative to domestic shipping costs and a higher provision of trade finance services. Serving new destinations (the extensive margin defined at the state-country level) accounts for 22% to 28% of the banking integration effect that we observe.

Keywords: Exports, financial depth, inter-state banking deregulation


Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper models payment evasion as a source of profit by letting the firm choose the price charged to paying consumers and the fine collected from detected payment evaders. The consumers choose whether to purchase, evade payment, or refrain from consumption. We show that payment evasion allows the firm to charge a higher price to paying consumers and to generate a higher profit. We also show that higher fines do not necessarily reduce payment evasion. Finally, we provide empirical evidence which is consistent with our theoretical analysis, using comprehensive micro data on fare dodging on the Zurich Transport Network.

Keywords: Payment Evasion, Pricing, Fine, Self-Selection


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS), Finance

We provide the first evidence that changes in risk-based capital requirements for banks affect the real economy through international trade. Using a natural experiment – mandatory Basel II adoption in its Standardized Approach by all banks in Turkey on July 1, 2012 – we investigate the impact of new risk-weights applied to commercial letters of credit (CLC) on that country’s exports to 174 countries. We estimate the resulting payment-term-cost elasticity of CLC-financed trade to be between -0.5 and -1 while the overall trade elasticity to be between -0.032 and -0.179. Calculations suggest that both CLC-related bank pricing and rationing channels are involved.

Keywords: commercial letters of credit; international trade finance; exports; risk-weights; Basel II


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Judgment (or logical) aggregation theory is logically more powerful than social choice theory and has been put to use to recover some classic results of this field. Whether it could also enrich it with genuinely new results is still controversial. To support a positive answer, we prove a social choice theorem by using the advanced nonbinary form of judgment aggregation theory developed by Dokow and Holzman (2010c). This application involves aggregating classifications (specifically assignments) instead of preferences, and this focus justifies shifting away from the binary framework of standard judgement aggregation theory to a more general one.

Keywords: Social choice, Judgment aggregation, Logical aggregation, Aggregation of classifications, Assignments, Nonbinary evaluations


Departments: GREGHEC (CNRS), Finance

Using securities lawsuits related to M&A as an industry shock, we examine whether litigation risk acts as an external governance mechanism by disciplining managers' investment decisions. In the two years following an M&A lawsuit (a lawsuit where plaintiffs allege that the firm hid poor performance related to a prior acquisition), we find that industry peers experience higher bidder announcement returns, choose more adequate methods of payment, and engage in fewer diversifying and smaller takeovers. Collectively, this evidence is consistent with post lawsuit deals being of higher quality. Furthermore, we find that peer firms respond to the increased litigation risk by reducing abnormally high investment expenditures. Finally, the reactions are stronger among firms with fewer anti-takeover provisions. Overall, our results show that M&A lawsuits can have an industry-wide deterrence effect on firms' suboptimal investment behavior.

Keywords: Litigation Risk, Mergers, Investment Decisions, Corporate Governance


Departments: Accounting & Management Control

Meaning work is a key category of institutional work, which aims at maintaining or changing of field-level meanings. Mobilizing institutional analysis of field level change processes and the social movement framing literature, this study conceptualizes the types of meaning work that actor at the boundary of a social movement and the incumbent field undertake in the process of “mainstreaming”. Mainstreaming in this paper is defined as a process whereby a social movement succeeds in diffusing its norms, values or practices across the wider incumbent field. During the past few decades, socially responsible investment (SRI) has shifted from being a marginal, religious, mostly US-based movement to an influential international movement, which has succeeded in mobilizing a large number of incumbent investors and financial organizations. Based on a multi-stage qualitative analysis of the SRI field during the past 50 years, this study first establishes the structural changes that define a field undergoing mainstreaming. It then introduces propositions regarding links between these field-level changes and the meaning work that actors at the boundary between a social movement and the incumbent field undertake.

Keywords: field, social movements, framing, institutions, socially responsible investment, meaning


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

One apparent reason for deferring a decision – abstaining from choosing, leaving the decision open to be taken by someone else, one’s later self, or nature – is for lack of sufficient confidence in the relevant beliefs. This paper develops an axiomatic theory of decision in situations where a costly deferral option is available that captures this source of deferral. Drawing on it, a preliminary behavioural comparison with other accounts of deferral, such as those based on information asymmetry, is undertaken, and a simple multi-factor model of deferral – involving both confidence and information considerations – is formulated. The model suggests that incorporating confidence can account for cases of deferral that traditional accounts have trouble explaining.

Keywords: Confidence, multiple priors, deferral, delegation, information acquisition, value of information, incomplete preferences