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Full-Text Articles in Other Economics

Money Is More Than Memory, Maria Bigoni, Gabriele Camera, Marco Casari Dec 2018

Money Is More Than Memory, Maria Bigoni, Gabriele Camera, Marco Casari

ESI Working Papers

Impersonal exchange is the hallmark of an advanced society and money is one key institution that supports it. Economic theory regards money as a crude arrangement for monitoring counterparts’ past conduct. If so, then a public record of past actions—or memory—should supersede the function performed by money. This intriguing theoretical postulate remains untested. In an experiment, we show that the suggested functional equivalence between money and memory does not translate into an empirical equivalence: money removed the incentives to free ride, while memory did not. Monetary systems performed a richer set of functions than just revealing past behaviors.


A Theory Of Cultural Revivals, Murat Iyigun, Jared Rubin, Avner Seror Nov 2018

A Theory Of Cultural Revivals, Murat Iyigun, Jared Rubin, Avner Seror

ESI Working Papers

Why do some societies fail to adopt more efficient political and economic institutions in response to changing economic conditions? And why do such conditions sometimes generate conservative ideological backlashes and, at other times, progressive social and political movements? We propose an explanation that highlights the interplay--or lack thereof--between productivity, cultural beliefs and institutions. In our model, production shocks that benefit one sector of the economy may induce forward-looking elites to provide public goods associated with a different, more traditional sector that benefits their interests. This investment results in more agents generating cultural beliefs complementary to the provision of the ...


The Ideological Roots Of Institutional Change, Murat Iyigun, Jared Rubin Apr 2017

The Ideological Roots Of Institutional Change, Murat Iyigun, Jared Rubin

ESI Working Papers

Why do some societies fail to adopt more efficient institutions in response to changing economic conditions? And why do such conditions sometimes generate ideological backlashes and at other times lead to transformative sociopolitical movements? We propose an explanation that highlights the interplay--or lack thereof--between new technologies, ideologies, and institutions. When new technologies emerge, uncertainty results from a lack of understanding how the technology will fit with prevailing ideologies and institutions. This uncertainty discourages investment in institutions and the cultural capital necessary to take advantage of new technologies. Accordingly, increased uncertainty during times of rapid technological change may generate an ideological ...


Information Effects In Uniform Price Multi-Unit Dutch Auctions, Joy A. Buchanan, Steven Gjerstad, David Porter May 2016

Information Effects In Uniform Price Multi-Unit Dutch Auctions, Joy A. Buchanan, Steven Gjerstad, David Porter

Economics Faculty Articles and Research

We design a multi-unit descending-price (Dutch) auction mechanism that has applications for resource allocation and pricing problems. We address specific auction design choices by theoretically and experimentally determining optimal information disclosure along two dimensions. Bidders are either informed of the number of bidders in the auction, or know that it is one of two possible sizes; they also either know the number of units remaining for sale or are unaware of how many units have been taken by other bidders. We find that revealing group size decreases bids, and therefore revenue, if units remaining are not shown. When group size ...


Information Effects In Multi-Unit Dutch Auctions, Joy A. Buchanan, Steven Gjerstad, David Porter Jan 2012

Information Effects In Multi-Unit Dutch Auctions, Joy A. Buchanan, Steven Gjerstad, David Porter

ESI Working Papers

We design a multi-unit descending-price (Dutch) auction mechanism that has applications for resource allocation and pricing problems. We address specific auction design choices by theoretically and experimentally determining optimal information disclosure along two dimensions. Bidders are either informed of the number of bidders in the auction, or know that it is one of two possible sizes; they also either know the number of units remaining for sale or are unaware of how many units have been taken by other bidders. We find that revealing group size decreases bids, and therefore revenue, if units remaining are not shown. When group size ...