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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2024 Grand Challenge: Business Resilience
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

decision making


We conduct a field-experiment at an automobile spare-parts retailer to examine the profit implications of providing discretionary power to managers.

The selection of novel ideas is vital to the development of truly innovative products. Firms often turn to idea crowdsourcing challenges, in which both ideators and the seeker firms participate in the idea selection process. Yet prior research cautions that ideators and seeker firms may not select novel ideas. To address the links between idea novelty and selection, this study proposes a bi-faceted notion of idea novelty and probes the role of task structure.

Private Equity Research Symposium
Apr 24, 2019

Costing Systems

This monograph provides a structured overview of costing system research that can explain the variation in the characteristics and properties of costing systems found in practice based on firms’ source(s) of their demand for cost information. Costing systems are not developed in a vacuum but are designed to fulfill a purpose. In order to have a meaningful decision on the various demands for cost information, I start in Part 1 by exploring the different techniques firms can use to supply cost information to its managers and employees.

We investigate how auditor alignment, i.e. parent and subsidiary are audited by auditors from the same audit firm network, affects the quality of the internal information environment of groups and their subsidiaries decision making and performance management processes. We predict that auditor alignment improves internal information quality via better information coordination across the group, and via lower internal information asymmetry between parent and subsidiaries.

Motivated by challenges faced by firms entering an unknown market, we study a strategic investment problem in a duopoly setting. The favorableness of the market is unknown to both firms, but firms have prior information about it. A leader invests first by choosing its investment size. Then, in a continuous-time Bayesian setting, a competitive follower dynamically learns about whether the market is favorable or not by observing the leader’s earnings, and chooses its investment size and timing. In this setting, we characterize equilibrium strategies of firms.

We explore the theoretical relation between earnings and market returns as well as the properties of earnings frequency distributions under the assumption that managers use unbiased accounting information to sequentially decide on real options their firms have and report generated earnings truthfully, with the market pricing the firm based on those reported earnings. We generate benchmarks against which empirically observed earnings‐returns relations and aggregate earnings distributions can be evaluated.

As firms mature, their founders are often replaced with seasoned executives. When founders are retained, the surrounding top management team (TMT) members are viewed as critical resources in helping compensate for the founder's managerial deficiencies. Surprisingly, however, little is known about how TMT members affect a founder‐led firm's performance later in a firm's life.

Retailers routinely indulge in comparative pricing where they post two different prices (e.g., regular price and sale or posted price) on the price tag of a product. Previous literature shows that comparing the posted price to a higher reference price, also known as the advertised reference price (ARP), increases consumer’s likelihood to purchase. In this paper, we study the effect of ARP on transacted prices (conditional on purchase) in settings where consumers can negotiate on prices.

We examine the uncertainty in households' expectations regarding macroeconomic outcomes, namely, inflation and the rate of nationwide home price growth. We document that people extrapolate from the instability of their personal and local environment when assessing the future volatility of these macroeconomic variables.

We explore the impact of Knightian uncertainty on contracting within a multi-layered firm. We study a setting where, absent uncertainty, division managers should be paid based on their division performance, but not other divisions' performance.

We investigate a novel determinant of financial distress, namely individuals' self-efficacy, or belief that their actions can influence the future. Individuals with high self-efficacy are more likely to take precautions that mitigate adverse financial shocks. They are subsequently less likely to default on their debt and bill payments, especially after experiencing negative shocks such as job loss or illness. Thus, non-cognitive abilities are an important determinant of financial fragility and subjective expectations are an important factor in household financial decisions.

Strategy formation is central to why some firms succeed in entrepreneurial settings while others do not. Prior research suggests that executives effectively form strategies through actions to learn about novel opportunities, and thinking to develop a holistic understanding of the complex set of activities that must fit together.