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This dissertation consists of three essays on regulation. In the first essay, "Firm Reputation and Screening at the Patent Office" , we assert that the patent office is an important regulator, exerting influence on firm outcomes.
The dramatic growth of commodity index investment over the last decade has caused a heated debate regarding its impact on commodity prices among legislators, practitioners and academics. This paper focuses on the unique rolling activity of commodity index investors in the commodity futures markets and shows that the price impact due to this rolling activity is both statistically and economically significant.
Previous studies have shown that managers are overwhelmingly likely to sacrifice long-term firm value for immediate earnings and satisfaction from the financial markets (Graham, Harvey, and Rajgopal, 2005). Research in marketing has empirically confirmed this myopia at both aggregate (Mizik and Jacobson, 2007; Mizik, 2010) and individual firm levels (Chapman, 2011). That is, marketing managers consider not only actions that impact real earnings, but also how their firm is immediately perceived by the financial markets.
This dissertation analyzes the role of institutional investors in corporate governance. The first essay studies the effect of potential proxy contests on corporate policies. I find that when the likelihood of a proxy contest increases, companies exhibit increases in leverage, dividends, and CEO turnover. In addition, companies decrease R&D, capital expenditures, stock repurchases, and executive compensation. Following these changes, there is an improvement in profitability. The second essay investigates the optimal contract with an informed money manager.
In this dissertation, I examine cultural differences in perceptions of time looking at intertemporal decisions, social norms, policy preferences, and behaviors in the environmental domain. Looking closely at the environmental domain allows for a unique opportunity to examine whether or not cultural worldviews or social norms are motivating environmental behaviors (e.g. energy conservation).
Scarcity has long been known to impact consumers' choices. Yet, the impact of shelf-based scarcity in retail environments, created by stocking level depletion, has received almost no attention in the literature. Indeed, little research to date has even examined if consumers will attend to shelf-based scarcity in retail environments, much less how this cue can impact choice. A priori, given the inherently noisy and cue-filled nature of retail environments, it is quite reasonable to expect that shelf-based scarcity would play little to no role in consumers' choices.
Product assortment selection is among the most critical decisions facing retailers: product variety and relevance is a fundamental driver of consumers' purchase decisions and ultimately of a retailer's profitability. In the last couple of decades an increasing number of firms have gained the ability to frequently revisit their assortment decisions during a selling season. In addition, the development and consolidation of online retailing have introduced new levels of operational flexibility, and cheap access to detailed transactional information.
A great deal of research in consumer decision-making and social-cognition has explored consumers' attempts to simplify choices by bolstering their tentative choice candidate and/or denigrating the other alternatives. The present research investigates a diametrically opposed process, whereby consumers complicate their decisions.
This research models the impact of firm pricing decisions on different facets of the customer purchasing process in business-to-business (B2B) contexts and develops an integrated framework for inter-temporal targeted pricing to optimize long-term profitability for the firm.
In three essays, I explore the implications of the idea that there are two distinct ways in which links between the individual and the surrounding social structure can be formed--through interpersonal relationships and through group memberships. I argue that the pattern of interaction between these two types of links is fundamental to social order and adherence to norms, and explore how to best approach the analytical separation of these two types of links.