Guest Lectures and Seminars 2020-2021
Thursday, 22 October - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School seminar series
Speaker: Anna Cabigiosu, Ca' Foscari University
From execution to learning: how shifting focus in New Product Development eases Post Merger Integration processes
Abstract This paper explores the question how firms manage PMI when new joint projects must be completed long before the PMI process is completed and identifies integration mechanisms and organizational solutions at work when firms have to develop new products while still merging their relative sets of innovation competences and knowledge. By employing a processual view and longitudinal analysis, our results show how Fiat and Chrysler, two major automotive manufacturer, carried out the integration of their highly complex and tacit knowledge during their first co-development project. The project represented the real locus of technological and knowledge integration between the two firms and the organizational and integration solutions identified contribute to the NPD literature by showing how, at the same time, firms’ can support both new projects execution and integration efforts after M&As. JEL classification: O32 Keywords: R&D integration, NPD organization, merger and acquisitions The paper is co-authored with Markus C. Becker (University of Southern Denmark) and Francesco Zirpoli (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice)
Thursday, 29 October - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Diletta Pegoraro, University of Trento
Manufacturing Reshoring and Global Value Chains: a Cross-Regional Analysis
In the last decade, many events occurred that shaped the modus operandi of western firms (e.g. Global Financial Crisis, rise of populism and nationalist governments, a restructuration of the Global Value Chains towards a more macro regional perspective, and a more fragile China-USA diplomacy). As a consequence of these events and the increasing importance of technology for collecting and analysing data, firms are often questioning the location decisions of their daily operations. One option for firms’ location decisions is to reorient their investments into their home country by adopting a manufacturing reshoring strategy. Manufacturing reshoring strategy is an intrinsic choice of location decision whereby concepts of Economic Geography (EG) and International Business (IB) disciplines come into play. Following on from this important shortcoming of the academic literature, this paper investigates the manufacturing reshoring strategies by adopting the framework of the Global Value Chains (GVCs) as a bridge between EG and IB. To narrow down the boundaries of the unit of analysis, the region as administrative territory is considered (i.e. Veneto in Italy, Midlands in United Kingdom and California in United States). To understand the rationale behind these modalities, a discrete choice model and a qualitative analysis are performed to identify which group of factors are more important at the regional level. Results suggest that factors related to efficiency seeking are statistically significant for adopting a full manufacturing reshoring strategy (i.e. in-house and insourcing). This reveals the indirect importance of a wealthy local supplier system and a supportive local ecosystem composed by universities, research centres and place-based policies.
Thursday, 5 November - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Tahnee Ooms, London School of Economics
Correcting the underestimation of capital incomes in inequality indicators: a UK case study
I propose a methodological framework to better incorporate non-labour income into existing indicators of economic inequality. Poor measurement of capital incomes in household surveys has long been acknowledged but attempts to correct for this have remained few. Capital incomes are disproportionately held at the top of the income distribution where measurement error is largest. In recent years, there has been a surge in top income harmonisation methodologies, combining survey and tax data, which are found to have a significant upward effect on the indicators. The current analysis finds that these methods fail to correct entirely for capital income underestimation and puts forward a capital income adjustment which can be applied to existing top income methodologies. The adjustment accounts for both under-coverage and under-estimation error of capital income across the income distribution, using as benchmark information reported in tax administrative sources. The UK household survey has experienced a significant decline in capital income measurement over the past 20 years (1997-2016). Therefore, it provides a relevant case study to investigate thoroughly the causes of capital income underestimation combined with an empirical application of the proposed adjustment. The household survey is traditionally used to produce inequality indicators used by governments, statistical offices and policy makers. This marks its societal relevance and the importance of keeping scrutinising all types of biases in household surveys. The policy implication is that any type of income missing from indicators structurally falls out of inequality debates, which has arguably been the case for capital incomes.
Thursday, 12 November - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Filippo Visintin, University of Florence
Understanding servitization, definitions and practical examples
Abstract: Servitization of manufacturing can be defined as a change process whereby a manufacturing company deliberately or in an emergent fashion introduces service elements in its business model. Servitization studies have developed in the crossing of the scholarly disciplines of industrial marketing, service marketing, and operations management, growing out of its former niche status and becoming a mainstream research interest. Servitization is now a common trend in many industries, yet, many companies fail in servitizing their business. In this seminar, working definitions of the concepts of service, service innovation, and servitization will be provided and the benefits and threats usually associated with servitization will be discussed through a case study.
Thursday, 19 November - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School seminar series
Speaker: Moris Triventi, University of Trento
The causal effect of educational tracking on student achievement: Evidence from a difference-in-difference approach with matching
Abstract The aim of this article is to assess whether the track attended in upper secondary education affects student achievement in Italy, by disentangling the genuine effects of track choices from selection biases relating to the different characteristics of students enrolled in different tracks. We contribute to the literature by relying on a more detailed measure of tracking, by focusing on between-school tracking and exploring whether track effects vary systematically by student social background, a largely overlooked issue in previous research. We adopt a counterfactual approach and rely on population panel data on a recent cohort of students assessed in 5th, 8th and 10th grade. We rely on a difference-in-difference strategy integrated with marginal mean weighting with stratification and inverse probability weighting, which are used respectively to better control for selection into tracks and account for missing data. First, we document strong social selection into tracks, along selection based on previous scholastic achievement. Second, we find that track effects are substantial on both reading and mathematics performance, albeit slightly larger in the latter subject. Beyond the anticipated advantage of the academic track over vocational education, we also find differential effects of attending different curricula within these tracks. Third, the benefits of attending the academic tracks appear to be rather homogeneous across students from different social backgrounds. Keywords: tracking; inequality; achievement; causal effect; social background
Thursday, 26 November - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Stefano Zedda, University of Cagliari
Analysis of banks’systemic risk contribution and contagion determinants through the leave-one-out approach
Abstract In this paper we develop an in-depth analysis of the systemic risk and contagion determinants through the differential effects of excluding one bank on the banking system. The measure allows for splitting the contribution of individual banks into systemic risk as the sum of two components—the stand-alone bank risk and the contagion risk—and measuring the role of assets, riskiness, capitalization, and interconnectedness as determinants of each of the two components. Results show that the variables determining the stand-alone risk component are different from those determining the contagion risk component, so that a bank which is relatively safe with respect to stand-alone risk, can be an important contagion vehicle, or vice versa. Results also show that crisis severity significantly affects results, so that the severity of different crises results in different weights for the input variables and different contributions for the banks considered. These results add highly significant information for macroprudential regulation, not only from the cross-sectional point of view, but also with reference to the time dimension.
Thursday, 3 December - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Thomas Schneider, Ryerson University
Triple Bottom Line Evaluation of Energy Retrofit Spending in Social Housing: Shovel Ready or Shovel Worthy?
This paper outlines findings from field research investigating the distribution of government-sourced stimulus funding to energy retrofitting capital projects in the social housing sector. The research provides an opportunity to observe how a municipal government department responsible for social housing, a chronically underfunded part of the public sector, responded to the availability of unexpected funding from a large stimulus funding program. This study extends a prior pilot study that applied a ‘triple bottom line’ perspective to evaluate the energy retrofitting investment in a small social housing property. The current study expands our investigation to the municipal government level, looking at the department that administers and funds a portfolio of social housing provider organizations. This department was responsible for allocating the stimulus funding to selected social housing provider properties in its portfolio, and developed a variety of new processes and reporting models to implement this relatively large spend. Our research is designed as an exploratory study, collecting and analyzing interviews, documents and reports from the field site. The first phase of the research, reported here, involves applying the triple bottom line concepts of economic, environmental, and social sustainability to the actions and events obtained from interviewing the key actors. Our main research goal is to assess the implications of these events in terms of sustainability. We also glean some preliminary insights about how the sustainability concepts may map into broader theoretical perspectives from the sociology of worth literature. The second phase of the research is still in the data collection stage, and will involve analysis of quantitative data from the field study. The paper is co-authored with Kathryn Bewley, Ryerson University
Thursday, 10 December - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Nicola Cortinovis, Utrecht University
Learning from Exporters: establishment-level productivity spillovers in Colombia
Authors: Cortinovis Nicola (Utrecht University) e Jacopo Timini (Banco de Espana)
Different strands of literature have highlighted the effects of trade linkages and participation in the international markets on the productivity of firms and countries. While most of the micro-level studies in this field focuses on the impact of international trade on the productivity of internationally active firms, we tackle a related but less explored question, namely whether and how firms only serving domestic markets are affected by horizontal and vertical linkages to exporters. Making use of establishment- level data on a sample of manufacturing firms in Colombia for the period 2001-2011, we assess the effect of exporters in the same industry and in vertically related ones on the growth of total factor productivity (TFP) of establishments that are exclusively domestic-oriented. Using an identification strategy which leverages the entry of China in the WTO, our analysis indicates the existence of productivity-enhancing spillovers from backward linkages to exporters. We further expand our analysis by considering the role of absorptive capacity and free trade zones (FTZs) in Colombia.
Thursday, 17 December - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School seminar series - CANCELLED
Speaker: Emilio Marti, University of Rotterdam
From Internal Cohesion Problems To External Attacks: Board Demographic Diversity As An Opportunity For Hedge Fund Activism
Board demographic diversity is widely seen as beneficial for firms’ external relations and detrimental for boards’ internal cohesion. Yet, internal cohesion problems may also make boards less willing and able to swiftly and unitedly respond to confrontational stakeholders, making firms with diverse boards attractive opportunities for activism. With this in mind, we argue that activist hedge funds are more likely to target firms with demographically diverse boards, and that activists are more likely to use these opportunities to influence firms when firms exhibit governance, performance, and reputation problems that activists can potentially resolve. Our analyses of US-based activist hedge fund campaigns between 2010 and 2018 provides support for our hypotheses. We discuss theoretical implications for research on board diversity, stakeholder theory, and corporate opportunity structures. Joint work with Mark DesJardine and Wei Shi
Thursday, 14 January - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Maria Tsouri, University of Oslo
Does participation in knowledge networks facilitate international market access? The case of offshore wind
Abstract This article explores the effects of knowledge network participation on firms` international market access. We use a unique dataset comprising Norwegian firm data on RD&D (research, development and demonstration) and market participation in offshore wind. The empirical results show that participating in pilot and demonstration projects positively affects firms’ presence in international markets, while we do not observe the same positive effect for R&D projects. However, the econometric evidence shows that increasing extents of international collaborators, particularly from countries with home markets, contributes to a positive effect of R&D project participation on market access, while negative effects are observed for domestic collaborators. The results suggest that transnational knowledge linkages constitute an important mechanism for international market access, especially for countries with weak or absent domestic markets. We suggest that RD&D policy design could benefit from ensuring international collaboration, particularly with partners in countries with domestic markets, and support for demonstration activities.
Thursday, 21 January - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School seminar series
Speaker: Silke Anger, IZA Institute of Labor Economics
The Impact of Minimum Wages on Teenagers’ Educational Plans
Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the minimum wage on teenagers’ educational investment behavior. We exploit the introduction of the German statutory minimum wage law in 2015 and the regional variation in the bite to analyze causal effects of minimum wages on educational plans of teenagers with different skill levels. Using detailed survey data in a difference-in-differences design, we find that in highly affected regions, teenagers aim for a higher educational degree after the minimum wage introduction despite their exemption from the law. This effect is driven by educational intentions of low-skilled teenagers who are most likely affected by the minimum wage when entering the labor market. In contrast, in hardly affected regions the minimum wage did not alter expected wage or employment prospects of teenagers and hence did not affect their educational plans. We conclude that low-skilled teenagers consider regional labor market conditions in their schooling decision and intend to compensate for lower employment prospects by increasing investments in human capital. Keywords: minimum wage, educational intentions, employment prospects JEL-Codes: J24, J31, I21
Thursday, 28 January - 2 PM - ONLINE
Does flexible remote working mean more job satisfaction? An investigation of the mediating role of knowledge creation and organizational support
The inception of modern socio-economic and technological innovations in business requires organizations to approach novel forms of working (Bentley et al., 2016). Such strategies can be considered a flexible form of remote working practices, adapting new work arrangements and fully embracing the information technologies that support workers in performing at any time and any place (De Leede & Heuver, 2016). These arrangements are often termed as “teleworking”, “remote working”, or “agile working”, integrating an advancement in the use of digital technology and the variations in terms of when and where work is undertaken (Bentley et al., 2016). According to Birkinshaw (2010), implementing a remote working approach resembles with two distinct aspects: (1) the organization’s intention to manifest inertial behaviors to cope with the smart paradigm shift; and (2) the search for elements in order to balance new business targets against the evolving needs of their employees (Leonardi, 2011). It is notable that such working arrangements also promote the design, use, or success of ICT and systems to support better knowledge management (KM) (Del Giudice & Della Peruta, 2016). Despite notable advancements related to work practice development, the results of KM practices have been scarcely investigated in the scholarly literature (Tseng, 2008). They are thus not consistent in representing how organizations facilitate such practices by adopting a flexible remote working approach (Alker et al., 2014). In this seminar, the gap above will be fulfilled by assessing a study that uses the knowledge creation capabilities and the organizational support needed to function in harmony with a flexible remote working approach to achieve higher workplace satisfaction. Primarily, two factors (i.e., organizational support and knowledge creation) have opted for this objective to integrate their respective impact. The contributing values of this seminar are manifested in two directions: (1) Better conceptualization of the relationships mentioned above between flexible remote working concepts and job satisfaction through the development of the mediating effects of knowledge creation and organizational support; and (2) shedding light on how an organization using flexible remote working can facilitate increased job satisfaction, specifically by testing empirically hypothesized relationships through partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) analysis on a sample of survey data from the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS). The findings of this investigation indicate that a flexible remote working approach supports and facilitates the creation of knowledge and organizational support, which then leads to increased job satisfaction. Further, the results outline the identification of a double-mediation effect, which significantly impacts upon this relationship and finally, suggestions for further research directions are presented.
Thursday, 4 February - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Simone D'Alessandro, University of Pisa
Who cares? The impact of universal care income and working time reduction on economic inequality and time distribution.
Abstract SARS-COV-2 crisis has socioeconomic effects on both paid and unpaid work, and asymmetrically impacts women and men. The increased unemployment and the burden of care has fallen mainly on women, starting a trend that could be difficult to revert. We introduce time-use dynamics in the EUROGREEN model [D'Alessandro et al. (2020). Feasible Alternatives to Green Growth, Nature Sustainability, 3, pp. 329–335] to analyse the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic on gender income and time gaps. The proposed analysis highlights the relevance of social innovation strategies to exit this emergency phase and envision a post-pandemic future both environmentally viable and socially just. We evaluate the potentials of the joint implementation of a Universal Care Income and Working Time Reduction. We find that: i. these policies bring about a relevant reduction of the gender income gap, and also ii. a better distribution of unpaid working time between genders, ii. the reduction in working hours increases labour demand that compensates for the reduction of female labour force participation due to the care income incentive, iii. care income compensates for the income reduction caused by working time reduction and promotes a more equal distribution of income.
Thursday, 11 February - 4 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Evelyn Micelotta, University of Ottawa
Family Firms Innovativeness across Generations: How Imprinting, Succession Execution, and Knowledge Transfer Shape Post-succession Innovation
A growing body of research has begun to explore innovation activities of family firms. Research shows that innovation is a long-term capability and the succession process may contribute significantly to the ability of a family firm to pursue innovation and succeed across generations. Yet, research on innovation activities in the post-succession period is still limited. Drawing on a multiple case study of seven Dutch family firms in the food industry, we offer a theoretical explanation of how three key factors – the innovation imprinting of the incumbent, the execution of the succession, and the transfer of knowledge to the successor – interact to shape firms’ innovation postures post-succession.
Thursday, 18 February - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School Seminar Series
Speaker: Marco Buti, European Commission
The European response to the pandemic crisis
Recovery and Resilience Plans will determine how they will come out of the crisis and influence the future process of European integration.
Thursday, 25 February - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Enrico Rossi, LSE
Blockchain technology and the theory of the firm
Blockchain technology has been widely regarded as an institutional technology, rather than a productive technology, as it represents the underlying infrastructure for the decentralised and autonomous coordination of distributed and pseudonymous actors acting non-cooperatively. By doing so, its protocol provides the institutional rules of conduct (in line with the “code is law” philosophy”). This characteristic distinguishes the blockchain from the standard technologies supporting cooperative peer production of online digital communities over the web 2.0. Moreover, the blockchain technology is an institutional technology also because it allows for the digital transmission and transaction of social claims (rights and value), which makes it radically different from the usual sharing of public goods over digital commons. For this reason, an increasing amount of works have emerged trying to understand how this new digital technology at the foundation of web 3.0 affects our understanding of the “economic institutions of capitalism”, especially the theories of contract and property. An increasing amount of work has enquired the way in which blockchain technologies can potentially revolutionise our understanding of basic legal categories such as contracts (through the introduction of smart contracts) and property (through the introduction of programmable, or tokenized, property). Very little work has provided a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the implications of blockchain for the theory of the firm: is it true that blockchain technology can bypass firms and make them obsolete in practice, as some authors have suggested? What are the implications of blockchain technology for the theory of the firm in theory? This paper addresses these questions: it provides a detailed taxonomy to study blockchain technologies in function of the two dimensions of data access/use (consumption of consensus over the blockchain) and data manipulation/production (production of consensus), and highlights the way in which the different theories of the firm should be conceptualised and understood in function of this novel taxonomy. The paper shows that in the same way in which there is no single theory of the firm (but a multiplicity of theories of the firm depending on the specific perspective adopted), there is also no single blockchain technology (but a multiplicity of blockchains depending on the specific perspective adopted and topology implemented). The paper provides a mapping between the two; it discusses the way in which blockchain technology should be understood as an institutional technology in function of its different dimensions, and how different characteristics of the blockchain technology can replace or support different aspects and dimensions of firms, but never the whole institution of the firm in its entirety (for the simple reason that there is no single overarching theory of the firm). The main section of the paper provides a detailed discussion of the six different interpretations of the blockchain technology in function of the resulting six different theories of the firm: classical, neoclassical, Coasean, agency, adaptation/hold-up theories (transaction-cost economics), and investment theories (property-right theories).
Thursday, 4 March - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Stefano Cirella, University of Essex
Collective Creativity in Organisations: A Collaborative Research Approach
The seminar will present and discuss a framework of collective creativity. Collective creativity goes well beyond the creativity of any single person and involves exchanging and integrating knowledge among individuals, teams, and groups. Organisational factors for collective creativity are identified, underlining the relevance of structured processes and technological support. Moreover, the focus is on the intentionally designed learning mechanisms that are critical to the development of collective creativity as a key organisational competence. This stream of research was developed with different collaborative research initiatives. In the seminar, specific attention is devoted to the methodological issues and, specifically, to collaborative research methodologies that can guarantee both relevance and rigour. In conclusion, future research directions will be presented, in particular referring to interorganisational practices for creativity and innovation (collaborative innovation).
Thursday, 11 March - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Giordano Mion, University of Sussex
Understanding why certain jobs are 'better' than others and what implications they have for a worker's career is clearly an important but still relatively unexplored question. We provide both a theoretical framework and a number of empirical results that help distinguishing 'good' from 'bad' jobs in terms of their impact on a worker's lifetime wage income profile through wage jumps occurring upon changing job ('static effects') or through increases in the wage growth rate ('dynamic effects'). We find that the distinction between internationally active firms and domestic firms is a meaningful empirical dividing line between employers providing 'good' and 'bad' jobs.First, in internationally active firms the experience-wage profile is much steeper than in domestic firms, especially for managers as opposed to blue-collar workers. Second, the higher lifetime wage income for managers in internationally active firms relies on the stronger accumulation of experience that these firms allow for and on the (almost) perfect portability of the accumulated dynamic wage gains to other firms. Static effects are instead much more important for blue-collar workers. Finally, the distinction between internationally active and domestic firms is relevant also at a more aggregate level to explain cross-sectional differences in wages among workers and spatial differences in average wages across regions within a country. The paper is co - authored with Luca David Opromolla and Gianmarco Ottaviano
Thursday, 18 March - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School Seminar Series
Speaker: Nazareno Panichella, Università degli Studi di Milano, La Statale
Migration, Class Attainment and Social Mobility. An Analysis of Migrants’ Socio-Economic Integration in Italy
This article focuses on the socio-economic integration of ethnic minorities in Italy, combining the literature on migration with research on social stratification. We analyse the ethnic penalty on occupational attainment and career mobility, integrating the origin-education-destination theoretical framework with the migration status. Since ethnic penalty is an ‘umbrella concept’, we also quantify the extent to which it is mediated by differences in education and social origin. Furthermore, adopting a diachronic view of immigrants’ class attainment, we verify whether the post-migration downgrading is followed by a recovery during the career, considering also mobility within the working class (standard and non-standard). Our analyses are based on the Multipurpose Survey on Households and Social Condition and Integration of Foreign Citizens. The results show that migrants are penalized in the Italian labour market, remaining largely ‘trapped’ in the working class. This inclusion at the bottom of the class structure reduces their heterogeneity by education and by social origin. Moreover, their penalty increases during the career, except when they move from the non-standard to the standard working class. Finally, we find that the ‘unexplained’ component of ethnic penalty, net of education and social origin, is substantial and increases from the first to the current job.
Thursday, 25 March - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Emilio Marti, University of Rotterdam
Hedge fund attacks and board diversity
Thursday, 1 April - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Matteo Ferrari, University of Trento
The Role of Private Regulation in Promoting Sustainability: The Case of Viticultural Industry
The presentation analyzes the contribution that some types of private regulation, meant as a body of rules that are bottom-up, flexible and that concern a limited group of subjects, can have in promoting sustainability. Private regulation is present in many realms and can take different forms, ranging from private standards to codes of conduct, from groups’ internal rules to third-party guidelines. While in theory private regulation has a non-binding nature, in practice it has gained prominence and it is widely employed across different sectors. Sustainability represents no exception: private norms represent an almost inescapable benchmark for those market players who want to implement sustainable ways of production. By using examples from the wine sector, the analysis shows how regulation created by private subjects and third-party certification schemes can integrate public regulation, highlighting the relation between sustainability and market.
Thursday, 8 April - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Päivi Maijanen-Kyläheiko, LUT School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University
Dynamic capabilities – key drivers of organizational renewal
Dynamic capabilities are so called higher-order capabilities that organizations develop and exploit to reconfigure and transform their resource base – technologies, routines, competencies, capabilities – to better fit with the changing business environment. The launch of the dynamic capability view in the 1990s was an important step toward dynamizing the strategic management perspective having its roots in the evolutionary economics and organizational theory. By now, it has become a frequently used approach in the strategic management research to explain firm’s successful adaptation and competitive advantage in the volatile business environment. The research on dynamic capabilities has advanced considerably and one of the trends has been the shift from the industry and top management perspective towards in depth analyses of microfoundations of dynamic capabilities in their organizational context. As an example of this trend, Päivi Maijanen-Kyläheiko introduces her current work-in-progress based on an in-depth longitudinal case study in the Finnish media industry. At the time of the study, the company was going through a vast digital transformation process. The study scrutinizes how dynamic capabilities are deployed by top and middle managers and how dynamic capabilities between the different organizational levels are interrelated and managed during the organizational renewal process. The study highlights how internal networks and development of more lean and flexible structures strengthen dynamic capabilities. From the evolutionary perspective, this study indicates that each organizational level follows its own learning paths that are, however, strongly interconnected, thus, strengthening evolutionary learning cycles of the whole organization.
Thursday, 15 April - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School Seminar Series
Speaker: Marie Claire Villevalle, GATE - CNRS France
Homophily, Peer Effects, and Dishonesty
If individuals tend to behave like their peers, is it because of conformity, that is, the preference of people to align behavior with the behavior of their peers; homophily, that is, the tendency of people to bond with similar others; or both? We address this question in the context of an ethical dilemma. Using a peer effect model allowing for homophily, we designed a real-effort laboratory experiment in which individuals could misreport their performance to earn more. Our results reveal a preference for conformity and for homophily in the selection of peers, but only among participants who were cheating in isolation. The size of peer effects is similar when identical peers were randomly assigned and when they were selected by individuals. We thus jointly reject the presence of a self-selection bias in the peer effect estimates and of a link strength effect.
Thursday, 22 April - 4.30 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca
Stated preference methods to estimate Willingness-To-Pay: with an application to a project of water infrastructure improvement in Georgetown (Guyana)
Household Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) for safe and reliable drinking water can be estimated using both stated preferences (e.g., Contingent Valuation) and revealed preferences (e.g., Adverting Behavior Method). After a discussion on the pros and cons of the elicitation of WTP via closed-ended, single-bound dichotomous choice (DC) format, I show an application to a project of water infrastructure improvement in Georgetown (Guyana), with a comparison of the estimation of WTP by using the Adverting Behavior Method.
Thursday, 29 April - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Dror Etzion, McGill University
Middle Manager Cognition and Corporate Climate Action
Current research on cognition and strategy fails to account for the effect of middle manager cognition on firm performance despite the important role they play in strategy formulation and implementation. We hypothesize that when faced with ambiguous sustainability issues such as climate change, middle manager integrative complexity, or the ability to differentiate and conceptually integrate different viewpoints, leads to better socio-environmental performance. We empirically test this claim by applying a computer-aided text analysis to free-form textual responses in the Carbon Disclosure Project to measure middle manager integrative complexity. Our results support the argument that middle managers characterized by integrative complexity improve performance. The findings contribute to existing scholarship at the intersection of cognition and corporate strategy by showing that middle manager cognition is an important yet overlooked factor in climate action.
Thursday, 6 May - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Anna Toniolo, University of Trento
Sustainable Governance: Beyond the Corporate Purpose
In 2019, the Communication on the European Green Deal set out that “sustainability should be further embedded into the corporate governance framework”. In July 2020, the European Commission published the “Study on directors’ duties and sustainable corporate governance” by Ernst & Young (EY), which was accompanied by a Commission Inception Impact Assessment. The Study and the Impact Assessment claim that companies (particularly the listed ones) face pressure to focus on short-term financial performance and to redistribute a large part of the income generated to shareholders, often to the detriment of the long-term development of the company, as well as of sustainability. The main solution is identified in requiring companies to articulate in their charters the purpose for which they are formed, so that directors are forced to take into account all stakeholders’ interests as part of their duty of care to promote the interests of the company and pursue its objectives. I argue that a more “purposive” corporation would fail to solve the problem. As already underlined among the scholars, announcing the corporate purpose in the bylaws would lack both binding legal effect and operational significance. Additionally, different stakeholders have different and often conflicting interests, leaving directors without a standard for choosing among competing interests increases their discretion, and it could even provide a cover for management self-interest.For promoting sustainable governance, I suggest to shift the focus from the board of directors to the shareholders. More specifically, to a given category of shareholders, institutional investors, which are the largest owner of financial capital and the most important shareholders in many large companies. To win the assets of women and the millennial generation – that are accumulating wealth at record rates –, institutional investors are likely to demonstrate a strong commitment to their social values. These developments have the potential to reshape the corporate governance framework, further embedding sustainability in it. In this seminar, I will explore how legal rules may align the incentives of institutional investors with the interest of their beneficiaries as it relates to sustainability.
Thursday, 13 May - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Ian Bateman, Land, Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) Institute, University of Exeter Business School, UK
A natural capital approach to decision making: An application to land use policies for net zero plus forests.
The concept of ‘natural capital’ is gaining traction internationally as recognition grows of the central role of the natural environment in sustaining economic and social well-being. It is therefore encouraging to see the first signs of a ‘natural capital approach’ to decision making being accepted within government policy processes and the private sector. However, there are multiple different understandings of this ‘approach’, many of which misuse or omit key features of its foundations in natural science and economics. To address this, we present a framework for natural capital analysis and decision making that links ecological and economic perspectives. This is then applied to the challenge of designing land use policies for attaining net zero emissions through afforestation while at the same time considering the feedback effects of land use change on multiple other environmental and economic systems
Thursday, 20 May - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School Seminar Series
Speaker: Fabio Manca, OECD
How can we leverage big-data to track labour market and skill demands during the COVID-19 crisis? A Natural Language Processing model approach to the analysis of online job postings.
New advancements in automated web scraping technologies (i.e. the automated retrieval and storage of textual information from the internet) allow to collect and leverage the richness of the information contained in online job postings and use it to analyse trends in labour market dynamics and skill demands with unprecedented granularity and timeliness. The presentation will discuss the OECD approach to the analysis of the skill information contained in millions of online vacancies and the various applications of big-data analytics for labour market intelligence during the COVID-19 crisis. The presentation will also discuss the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms to derive a word’s meaning from the context and show how to empirically apply those algorithms to infer the ‘relevance’ of each skill-keyword for a wide range of occupations. Based on this, the presentation will discuss approaches to determine occupational similarity based on skill requirements and ways to leverage this information to suggest feasible retraining pathways to workers displaced during the COVID-19 crisis. Finally the discussion will provide insights on how to use NLP approaches to determine the degree of ‘transversality’ of skills across jobs and the labour market returns (wage and employment dynamics) that are associated to those.
Wednesday, 26 May - 3.30 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School Series
Speaker: Leonardo Baccini, McGill University
Austerity, Economic Vulnerability, and Populism
Governments have repeatedly adjusted fiscal policy during the past decades. We exam-ine the political effects of these adjustments in Western countries since the early 1990susing both district-level election outcomes and individual-level voting data. We expectthat austerity increases populist votes, but only among economically vulnerable voters,who are hit most by austerity. Following the political economy literature, we identifyeconomically vulnerable regions, looking at the share of low-skilled workers and shareof manufacturing production. The results from a difference-in-differences analysis showthat austerity increases support for populist parties in economically vulnerable regions,but austerity has little effect on voting in economically less vulnerable regions. Thesefindings are confirmed by the analysis at the individual level. Our results suggestthat the success of populist parties across Europe critically hinges on the governmentsfailure to protect the losers of structural economic change. The economic origins ofpopulism, therefore, are not purely external, but the populist backlash is triggered byinternal factors, notably public policies.Keywords: fiscal policy, globalization, automation, political backlash, elections, West-ern Europe.Word count: 9,462. The paper is co-authored with Thomas Sattler, University of Geneva.
Thursday, 27 May - 2 PM - ONLINE
Speaker: Valentina Rotondi - Nuffield College, Oxford University
Harnessing the Potential of Online Searches for Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Intimate Partner Violence in Italy
Despite the volume of studies leveraging big data to explore socio-demographic phenomena, we still know little about the intersection of digital information and the social problem of intimate partner violence (IPV). This is an important knowledge gap, as IPV remains a pressing public-health concern worldwide, with 35% of women having experienced it over their lifetime and cases rising dramatically in the wake of global crises such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. This study addresses the question of whether online data from Google Trends might help to reach “hard-to-reach” populations such as victims of IPV using Italy as a case-study. We ask the following questions: Can digital traces help predict instances of IPV — both potential threat and actual violent cases — in Italy? Is their predictive power weaker or stronger in the aftermath of crises such as COVID-19? Our results combined suggest that online Google searches using selected keywords measuring different aspects of IPV are a powerful tool to track potential threats of IPV before and after global-level crises such as the current COVID-19 pandemic — with stronger predictive power post-crisis — while online searches help to predict actual violence only in post-crises scenarios.
Thursday, 10 June - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School Series
Speaker: Joscha Legewie, University of Harvard
The Enduring Impact of NYC's Stop, Question & Frisk Program. Lessons from "Big Data"
A growing effort among social scientists assesses the social consequences and costs of law enforcement activity for the health and education of minorities. This talk presents four key research findings from my ongoing work on this topic: First, disparities in exposure to Stop-Question-and-Frisk (SQF) are vast. Second, racial bias in policing explains some of these disparities in exposure. Third, SQF (maybe) reduced crime. Finally, SQF has negative consequences for the education and health of minority youth. I conclude by outlining key challenges for future research on the social consequences and costs of law enforcement activity.
Thursday, 17 June - 2 PM - ONLINE - Doctoral School Seminar Series
Speaker: Matthijs Bal, Lincoln University
On Reproduction of Form in Academia and Management Research
Why does academia collectively produce so many papers? Why are so many papers so boring to read, repetitive, and unoriginal? Why are academics spending so much time of their life and work to write all these papers, with up to 95% chance to be rejected by (top-tier) journals? This piece aims to understand how the academic system has developed to its current state, what the meaning is of the enormous production of academic papers. It does so via using the concept of ‘Reproduction of Form’, which was originally coined by anthropologist Yurchak, to understand the perfect reproduction of discourse in Post-Stalin Soviet Union. This concept allows not only to understand why academic papers are formulated in such uniform ways, but also why underpinning ideologies in management research are appearing, yet hardly discussed. This piece finishes with a discussion of proposed alternatives, and pleas for variation of form and practice, to advocate for more pluralism in the ways we conduct our research and write about it.