18.11.2020 Lars Norden, Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration
  Labor and Finance: the effect of bank relationships (with Patrick Behr and Raquel Oliveira)

We investigate whether and how firms’ number of bank relationships affects labor market outcomes. We base our analysis on more than 5 million observations on matched credit and labor data from Brazilian firms during 2005-2014. We find that firms with more bank relationships employ significantly more workers and pay significantly higher wages. Moreover, increases (decreases) in the number of bank relationships result in positive (negative) effects on employment and wages. These results are robust for strictly exogenous changes in the number of bank relationships due to nationwide bank M&A activity and independent of firm size. The effects are due (but not limited) to higher credit availability, lower cost of credit, higher heterogeneity in firms’ bank relationships and robust for different levels and changes in local bank competition. Importantly, the firm-level results consistently translate into positive macroeconomic effects at the municipality and state levels. The evidence is novel and suggests positive effects of multiple bank relationships on labor market outcomes in an emerging economy.
25.11.2020 Dirk Briskorn, Bergische U Wuppertal
  Anarchy in the Uj: Coordination Mechanisms for Maximizing the Number of On-Time Jobs

We consider the distributed scheduling problem on parallel machines with the central objective of maximizing the number of on-time jobs. Jobs are self-interested utility-maximizers that can choose the machines they are processed on in order to reduce their own completion time or tardiness. Each machine processes the jobs according to a local policy. We discuss Nash equilibria in the resulting schedules and perform a thorough analysis of the resulting (absolute) prices of anarchy for various parallel machine environments, utilities of the agents, and local policies of the machines. We show that local policies that are based on simple sorting-based procedures like SPT and EDD lead to big losses in welfare compared to the global optimum. However, when employing Moore-Hodgson's algorithm as a local policy, we can prove a price of anarchy of $(2m-1)/m$ for uniform machines and a price of anarchy of $2$ for related and unrelated parallel machines. Moreover, we show how these results can be used to prove approximation ratios for greedy scheduling algorithms.
02.12.2020 Martin Kanz, World Bank
  Learning to Navigate a New Financial Technology: Evidence from Payroll Accounts (with Emily Breza (Harvard) and Leora Klapper (World Bank))

How do inexperienced consumers learn to use a new financial technology? We present results from a field experiment that introduced payroll accounts in a population of largely unbanked factory workers in Bangladesh. In the experiment, workers in a treatment group receive monthly wage payments into a bank or mobile money account while workers in a control group continue to receive wages in cash, with a subset also receiving an account without automatic wage payments. We find that exposure to payroll accounts leads to increased account use and consumer learning. Those receiving accounts with automatic wage payments learn to use the account without assistance, begin to use a wider set of account features, and learn to avoid illicit fees, which are common in emerging markets for consumer finance. The treatments have real effects, leading to increased savings and improvements in the ability to cope with unanticipated economic shocks. We conduct an additional audit study and find suggestive evidence of market externalities from consumer learning: mobile money agents are less likely to overcharge inexperienced customers in areas with high payroll account penetration. This suggests potentially important equilibrium effects of introducing accounts at scale.
13.01.2021 Galina Zudenkova, TU Dortmund
  Information and Communication Technologies, Protests, and Censorship (with Maxim Ananyev, Dimitrios Xefteris, and Maria Petrova)

We develop a theory of information flows and political regime change, when citizens use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for both information acquisition and protest coordination. Governments can respond by obfuscation of citizens' signal or by restricting access to ICTs used for coordination. We find that introduction of communication technologies lowers the probability of regime survival, but this effect is weaker in economies that do not use ICTs for production. We also expect less competent governments to use coordination censorship, though this effect is weaker in economies that use ICTs extensively. Some high-frequency empirical evidence is consistent with our predictions.
27.01.2021 Mark Le Quement, U of East Anglia (UK)
  Disliking to Disagree (with K. Khalmetski, and F. Hoffmann)

Abundant experimental and field evidence suggests that people tend to dislike open disagreement. We propose a formalization of perceived disagreement and study the implications of perceived disagreement aversion in disclosure games involving agents with different priors. Across a variety of settings, ideal conditions for disclosure involve identical prior variances and differing prior means. When equilibrium disclosure is partial, it is biased towards evidence that is congruent with the most confident agent's prior bias. We furthermore use our concept to approach questions such as assortative matching, echo chambers, political correctness and collective information acquisition.
03.02.2021 Karsten Kieckhäfer, FernUni Hagen, and Christian Thies, TU Braunschweig
  Towards a carbon-neutral fleet of passenger cars in 2050 – a dynamic stock and flow analysis

Motivated by the urgent need to curb greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, we investigate alternative pathways towards a carbon-neutral fleet of passenger cars in 2050. For the analysis, a dynamic stock and flow model is developed. The model simulates the evolution of the fleet composition in terms of vehicle age, powertrain technologies, and fuel and energy consumption based on aging-chain structures. Fleet emission are assessed over the whole vehicle life cycle with a special emphasis on upstream emissions from fuel and electricity production. The model is applied to the German market of passenger cars to determine transition pathways that lead to a carbon-neutral vehicle fleet in 2050 and acknowledge the remaining carbon budget for limiting global warming according to the IPCC targets. We show that staying within the carbon budget is possible for different scenarios. A prerequisite, however, is a coordinated action between the transport and the energy sector, aiming at a simultaneous uptake of the deployment of electric vehicles, renewable energies, and green fuels. For a carbon-neutral fleet in 2050, additional measures such as carbon sequestration or offsetting become necessary. We estimate the magnitude of the required measures and discuss the feasibility of their implementation.