Research Paper Series

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Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences

This paper shows that bailouts of private agents can optimally take the form of the purchase of a defaulting asset, even if this also means paying off external asset holders. When anticipated, this form of bailouts leads to an endogenous implicit guarantee, where even an intrinsically worthless asset may be traded at a positive price. In the presence of borrowing constraints and imperfectly observable private liquidity needs, direct transfers are imperfect so that, when more constrained agents are also more exposed to a given asset, the compensation through asset purchases becomes optimal. I then show that this possibility of implicit guarantee is amplified by other frictions as risk-shifting and ultimately leads to a coordination problem for selecting stores of liquidity. Finally, I derive policy implications for financial regulation and international capital flows.

Keywords: Implicit guarantees, bailouts, intrinsically worthless assets

Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We revisit well-known models of learning in which a sequence of agents make a binary decision on the basis of a private signal and additional information. We introduce efficiency measures, aimed at capturing the speed of learning in such contexts. Whatever the distribution of private signals, we show that the learning efficiency is the same, whether each agent observes the entire sequence of earlier decisions, or only the previous decision. We provide a simple necessary and sufficient condition on the signal distributions under which learning is efficient. This condition fails to hold in many prominent cases of interest. Extensions are discussed.

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

Equity crowdfunding has recently become available and is quickly expanding. Concerns have been raised that investors ('backers') may be following the crowd 'too much' and making investments ('pledges') based on past investments rather than private information. We construct a model of equilibrium rational herding where uninformed investors follow signals generated by in formed investors with private information and a public belief generated by all past pledges. We show that large investments provide positive public information about the project's quality, whereas periods of absence of investment provide negative information. An information cascade is shown to occur only if not enough positive signals are generated. We then empirically analyse a large number of pledges from a leading European equity crowdfunding platform. We show that a pledge is strongly affected by both the size of the most recent pledge, and the time elapsed since the most recent pledge. For pledges that are not adjacent in the order of arrivals, the correlation between their sizes is still positive, but after being separated by two or more intervening pledges the correlation is no longer statistically significant. The effects are strongest for less-informed investors, and in some specifications the effects are strongest at the early stage of a campaign. We find similar results in IV analysis. Results are consistent with our model and inconsistent with some alternative models

Keywords: Equity Crowdfunding, Herding

Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We consider a Bayesian persuasion problem where the persuader and the decision maker communicate through an imperfect channel which has a fixed and limited number of messages and is subject to exogenous noise. Imperfect communication entails a loss of payoff for the persuader. We establish an upper bound on the payoffs the persuader can secure by communicating through the channel. We also show that the bound is tight: if the persuasion problem consists of a large number of independent copies of the same base problem, then the persuader can achieve this bound arbitrarily closely by using strategies which tie all the problems together. We characterize this optimal payoff as a function of the information-theoretic capacity of the communication channel

Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We study the effect of demographics on innovation, arguing that a younger labor force produces more innovation. Using the native born labor force projected based on local historical births, we find that a younger age structure causes a significant increase in innovation. We confirm our finding at three levels of analysis – commuting zones, firms, and inventors – in demanding specifications that account for firm and inventor life cycles and location choices. Innovation activities reflect the innovative characteristics of younger labor forces. Our results indicate that demographics increase innovation through the labor supply channel rather than through a financing supply or consumer demand channel.

Keywords: Innovation; Demographics; Age structure; Labor markets; Firms; Inventors; Patents

Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

While single-brand reward programs encourage customers to remain loyal to that one brand, coalition programs encourage customers to be “promiscuous” by offering points redeemable across partner stores. Despite the benefits of this “open relationship” with customers, store managers face uncertainty as to how rewards offered by partners influence transactions at their own stores. We use a model of multi-store purchase incidence to show how the value of points shared among partner stores can explain patterns in customer-level purchases across them. The model is used to empirically test hypotheses on how reward spillovers among partners are driven by: (1) differences in policies on reward redemption, (2) the overlap in product categories between stores, and (3) geographic distance between stores within a city. In addition, we leverage variation generated by a natural experiment, i.e., a devaluation of the program's points, to demonstrate how the value of points influences the positioning of partner stores within the coalition and the purchasing patterns across them. We conclude by delineating some managerial implications for the design of a coalition's reward policies, including a simulation showing that customer-centric targeted rewards can be an effective strategy to compensate for the devaluation.

Keywords: loyalty programs, rewards, retailing, Bayesian estimation

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

The impact of socially responsible corporate behavior on economic performance is a major preoccupation of managers today. This article explores the links between narrowly defined constructs: stakeholder orientation, environmental proactivity and profitability, from the perspectives of stakeholder theory and resource-based theory. We collected data on the food and beverage, and household and personal products, industries. Using structural equation modeling, this paper makes two contributions. We found a negative link between companies simply having a higher stakeholder orientation and profitability. Importantly, however, environmental proactivity not only had a positive impact on profitability, but also appeared to mediate the relationship between stakeholder orientation and profitability. In other words, if a company is more environmentally proactive, it will be more attentive to a broad array of stakeholders, and this will in turn contribute positively to profitability.

Keywords: environmental proactivity, firm profitability, resource-based theory, stakeholder theory, stakeholder orientation

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

In this paper, we develop a theoretical model and offer a first empirical test of how competitive dethronement affects managerial risk taking. Drawing on the mechanism of endowment effect and reference-dependent utility theory, we predict that former market leaders take more risks compared to, otherwise identical, competitors. We empirically test this prediction using two contexts allowing us to use different methods to operationalize risk. The first setting draws on field data from a two-month banking sales contest. The second, quasi-laboratory, data comes from an educational game. Consistent with model’s prediction, we find that dethronement is associated with increased risk taking but that the endowment effect leading to such response decays over time. In contrast, a mere decline in performance ranking does not have the same effect.

Departments: Tax & Law, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This complaint to the European Ombudsman by Access Info Europe and the HEC-NYU EU Public Interest Clinic alleges maladministration in the selection of judges for the Courts of Justice of the EU (CJEU). The complaint argues that the Council of Europe wrongly refused access to information on selection processes used for CJEU judges.For each judicial appointment to the CJEU, a special panel issues an opinion regarding the candidate’s suitability. This opinion is not made publicly available and is only shared with member states.Since 2014, the clinic has repeatedly sought access to the panel opinions. The underlying rationale for requesting access to these opinions is that the public has a right to expect a high degree of transparency about the professional competence of candidates during the judicial selection process.The Council denied access to the opinions arguing Regulation 1049/2001 (on public access to EU institutions’ documents) does not apply to the requested documents and that the procedure for appointing judges and Advocates General is not within the Council’s “sphere of responsibility.” The EU Ombudsman opened an investigation in 2015 and after examining the panel’s opinion she encouraged the Council to reconsider its disclosure policy.During this process, the Council announced that it had reassessed its practices and decided to apply Regulation 1049/2001 to documents held by its General Secretariat in relation to tasks supporting various intergovernmental bodies and entities, including the relevant panel.The Ombudsman welcomed the Council's policy change, and encouraged the complainants to file a new access request to the Council.In her final 2016 decision, the Ombudsman stated that data relating to the professional competence and activities of public figures, especially those appointed to a high level public posts, may not require the same level of protection as might apply to personal data in other circumstances.Access Info and the clinic therefore made a repeat request to the Council. A first reply from the Council, received on the same day as the Ombudsman published her final 2016 decision, only granted partial access to the documents and left aside all information relating to the suitability of the candidates – which is the subject matter of this complaint.The complaint follows on an earlier complaint submitted to the Ombudsman:

Keywords: Judicial Transparency, CJEU, Court of Justice, EU Law, European Ombudsman, Access to Information, Transparency, Judicial, Judges

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Constructing narratives of transformative change is an important but challenging practice through which strategy makers attempt to influence acceptance of an ongoing transformation. To understand whether and how strategy makers can construct a steady influx of captivating narratives of transformative change, we analyzed how one noted strategy maker assisted the successful transformation of his organization over three decades by orchestrating the production of change narratives. Our analysis reveals that the strategy maker constructed and reconstructed meanings of change over time using three sets of distinct but interconnected narrative practices. We develop a dynamic model linking the simultaneous mobilization of these practices to strategy makers’ ability to harness the persistent tension between novelty and familiarity in a transformative change, and thereby win endorsement from key audiences.

Keywords: Strategic Change, Narrative, Strategy as Practice, Storytelling, Reflection