ניירות דיון 2020

1-2020 "Influence in Economics and Aging"

Pavel Jelnov and Yoram Weiss


We study the relationship between age and influence in a closed group of 1,000 leading economists. We consider, as a measurement of influence, monthly RePEc rankings. We find that the rankings are not related to age but are related to experience. The optimal level of experience is 30 years from Ph.D. graduation. Additionally, we observe no robust difference in the effect of age and experience between Nobel laureates and leading non-Nobelists. Finally, we find that labor economists enjoy an especially steep improvement in the rankings before they reach the peak; however, the rankings also peak relatively early in their careers.

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Published in Labour Economics Available online 6 April 2021, 101992


2-2020 "A Simple Model of a Money-Management Market with Rational and Extrapolative Investors"

Ran Spiegler


I analyze a simple model of competition in fees among mutual funds. The funds are vertically differentiated in terms of the expected return they can generate for investors. Following Berk and Green (2004), I assume that a fund’s net return is decreasing in the amount of capital it manages, and that there is an infinite supply of capital by rational investors. Unlike the Berg-Green model, I assume there is also a finite supply of capital by non-rational investors who naively chase recent net returns. Investor behavior and the funds’ fee profile induce a long-run average amount of managed capital for each fund. I analyze Nash equilibrium in the game played by the funds, focusing on the implications of fund skill on fees, capital flows and net performance.

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Published in European Economic Review Volume 127, August 2020, 103488


3-2020 "Strategic Interpretations"

Kfir Eliaz, Ran Spiegler and Heidi C. Thysen


We study strategic communication when the sender can influence the receiver's understanding of messages'  quilibrium meaning. We focus on a “pure persuasion" setting, in which the informed sender wants the informed receiver to always choose “accept". The sender's strategy maps each state of Nature to a distribution over pairs consisting of: (i) a multi-dimensional message, and (ii) a “dictionary" that credibly discloses the state-dependent distribution of some of the messsage's components. The receiver does not know the sender's strategy by default; he can only interpret message components that are covered by the dictionary he is provided with. We characterize the sender's optimal persuasion strategy and show that full persuasion is possible when the prior on the acceptance state exceeds a threshold that quickly decreases with message dimensionality. We extend our analysis to situations where interpretation of messages is done by a third party with uncertain preferences, and explore alternative notions of “dictionaries".

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Published in Journal of Economic Theory Volume 192, March 2021 105192


4-2020 "What Should a Firm Know? Protecting Consumers' Privacy Rents"

Daniel Bird and Zvika Neeman


A monopolistic firm observes a signal about the state of the world and then makes a take-it-or-leave-it offer to an uninformed consumer who has recourse to some outside option. We provide a geometric characterization of the fim's information structure that maximizes the consumer's surplus: the optimal regime partitions the space of payoff states into polyhedral cones with disjoint interiors. We interpret our results in terms of the maximization of the consumer's “privacy rents." We illustrate and motivate our approach through an example of the regulation of the privacy of geneticinformation.

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5-2020 "Efficient Resolution of Partnership Disputes"

Daniel Fershtman and Béla Szabadi


We study efficient resolution of partnership disputes where, in a departure from the literature on partnership dissolution, dissolution need not be the efficient outcome and hence is treated as endogenous. The endogeneity of efficient dissolution implies that a dispute in a more effective partnership may be less costly to resolve efficiently, in contrast with environments in which the efficiency of dissolution is certain. We characterize which disputes can be resolved efficiently without running a budget deficit, and show that a partnership's effectiveness has a non-monotonic effect on the cost of efficiently resolving the dispute. The latter implies unless a partnership is sufficiently ineffective, efficient resolution is impossible.

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6-2020 "Using Employment Subsidies to incentivize Job Search and Employment of Job Seekers in Remote Areas"

Naomi Gershoni, Itay Saporta-Eksten, Analia Schlosser

(Paper in Hebrew)

6-2020 "כלים לעידוד תעסוקה של תושבי הפריפריה: הערכת ההשפעה של "מענק עבודה מרוחקת"

נעמי גרשוני, איתי ספורטא אקשטין, אנליה שלוסר


מאמר זה בוחן את ההשפעה של תוכנית "מענק עבודה מרוחקת" אשר יושמה על ידי שירות התעסוקה בישראל החל מסוף 2015 ועד סוף 2019. מטרת התוכנית הייתה לעודד את דורשי העבודה המתגוררים ביישובים פריפריאליים בעלי מדד סוציו כלכלי נמוך למצוא עבודה מחוץ ליישוב מגוריהם. במסגרת התוכנית, זכאי דורש עבודה לקבל מענק של כ-600 ש"ח בחודש למשך 5 חודשים אם השתלב בעבודה מחוץ ליישוב מגוריו בתקופת הזכאות, העומדת על 3 חודשים מיום קבלת ההודעה על התוכנית. התוכנית יושמה במתכונת של ניסוי מבוקר: כאחת לחודש התבצעה הקצאה של דורשי עבודה לקבוצת טיפול, אשר קיבלו הסבר על התוכנית ועל האפשרות לקבל מענק, ולקבוצת ביקורת, אשר המשיכה לקבל שירותים בלשכת התעסוקה ללא כל שינוי. הניתוח במאמר זה מתבסס על מדגם של 20,910 דורשי עבודה (8,621 בקבוצת טיפול), אשר ניתן לבחון את מצבם התעסוקתי 18 חודשים לאחר תאריך ההקצאה לתוכנית ו-39,697 דורשי עבודה (18,162 בקבוצת טיפול), אשר ניתן לבחון את מצבם לאחר 12 חודשים מתאריך ההקצאה לתוכנית. הממצאים מלמדים כי כ-9% מהפרטים שהוקצו לקבוצת הטיפול ניצלו לפחות חודש אחד של מענק. הממצא המרכזי הינו כי לתוכנית השפעה חיובית מובהקת על תעסוקה. הגידול הממוצע בשיעור התעסוקה על פני הקבוצות באופק של 18 חודשים (לאחר מיצוי מוחלט של תקופת הזכאות למענק) עומד על  1.2 נקודות אחוז לעומת שיעור תעסוקה של 38.3% בקבוצת הביקורת (גידול של 3.1%). ההשפעה המשמעותית ביותר נאמדה בקבוצה של תובעי ה"ה ותיקים – גידול של 2.5 נקודות אחוז לעומת שיעור תעסוקה של 17.9% בקבוצת הביקורת (גידול של כמעט 14%). עבור קבוצה זו, העלייה בשיעור התעסוקה מלווה גם בגידול מובהק בהכנסה החודשית מעבודה, ובירידה בהסתברות לקבלת קצבה.

לנייר העבודה ללחוץ כאן 6-2020

7-2020 "Daughters Impact on Their Fathers: A 19th Century Investigation"

David Weiss


The economics literature has noted a strong connection between a man having daughters and a stance on feminist issues. In this paper, I ask whether having daughters impacted the tendency of British Members of Parliament (MPs), between 1867 and 1873, to vote in favor of women’s suffrage in the House of Commons. I construct a unique dataset that combines demographic information on MP’s constituencies as well as biographical information on the various MPs. Notably, the biographical information includes the number of sons and daughters each MP had, as constructed from historical records. I discuss in detail the history of women’s suffrage in the UK. I also frame the debate that occurred in the House of Commons around the timing of these divisions in the context of other feminist changes occurring contemporaneously. I regress an MP’s vote on women’s suffrage in each of the 6 relevant decisions on their biographical and constituent characteristics. I do not find any consistent evidence that daughter’s impacted their fathers’ votes on women’s suffrage. I do find evidence that more agricultural areas, as well as areas more associated with the Anglican church, were more likely to oppose women’s rights. This is especially true after the secret ballot, discussed below, became law (or was clearly going to be passed). I then discuss limitations of my analysis, including the lack of use of pairings, and the timing of my analysis. I leave extensions for future research.

Click here for Paper 7-2020 in PDF


8-2020 "Optimal Defined Contribution Pension Plans: One-Size Does Not Fit All"

Kathrin Schlafmann, Ofer Setty and Roine Vestman


We build a quantitative model to study the optimal design of a defined contribution pension plan. We find that commonplace designs, with a fixed contribution rate for all individuals at all times, are unnecessarily rigid. We propose a design where the contribution rate is a function of individuals’ age, income, and stock market participation status. Compared to a typical rigid rule for the replacement rate, our rule leads to the same average.

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9-2020 "Outside Options in the Labor Market"

Sydnee Caldwell and Oren Danieli


This paper develops a method to estimate the outside employment opportunities available to each worker, and to assess the impact of these outside options on wage inequality. We outline a matching model with two-sided heterogeneity, from which we derive a sufficient statistic, the “outside options index” (OOI), that captures the effect of outside options on wages, holding productivity constant. This OOI uses the crosssectional concentration of similar workers across job types to quantify the availability of outside options as a function of workers’ commuting or moving costs, preferences and skills. Higher concentration in a narrower range of job types implies lower OOI and higher dispersion across a wide variety of job types corresponds to higher OOI. We use administrative data to estimate the OOI for every worker in a representative sample of the German workforce. We estimate the elasticity between the OOI and wages using two sources of quasi-random variation in the OOI, holding workers productivity constant: the introduction of high-speed commuter rail stations, and a shift-share (“Bartik”) instrument. Using this elasticity and the observed distribution of options, we find that differences in options explain 30% of the gender wage gap, 88% of the citizen-non-citizen wage gap, and 25% of the premium for higher education. Differences in options between genders and education groups are driven mostly by differences in the implicit costs of commuting and moving.

Click here for Paper 9-2020 in PDF


10-2020 "Why is end-of-life spending so high? Evidence from cancer patients"

Dan Zeltzer, Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, Tzvi Shir, Salomon Stemmer, Ran Balicer


We analyze rich data on 160,000 cancer patients to study why healthcare spending is highly concentrated at the end of life. Among patients with similar initial prognoses, monthly spending in the year post diagnosis is over twice as high for those who die within the year than for survivors. This elevated spending is almost entirely driven by higher inpatient spending, particularly low-intensity admissions. However, most low-intensity admissions do not result in death - even among cancer patients with poor prognoses at the time of the admission - making it difficult to target reductions. In addition, among patients with the same cancer type and initial prognosis, end-of-life spending is substantially more concentrated for younger patients compared to older patients, suggesting that preferences play a role in driving end-of-life spending patterns. Taken together, our results cast doubt on the view that end-of-life spending is a clear and remediable source of waste. 

​Click here for Paper 10-2020 in PDF

Published in The Review of Economics and Statistics (2023) 105 (3): 511–527


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