Abstract: I analyze the relationship between state‐level economic shocks and suicides using historical US gold discoveries (1840‐1860) as a large unexpected economic shock. Gold discoveries were an unexpected and large economic shock of up to 3.5% of GDP. They provide as good as random variation to the local economy, that I use to estimate the effect of economic changes on suicides. Comprehensive mortality data by state and year does not exist for the US for 1840 to 1860. I thus make use of web scraped data from a newspaper archive and use suicide mentions per 100,000 pages as a proxy for suicides. Results show that overall gold discoveries are linked with a clear reduction in newspaper suicide mentions. The results indicate that an economic shock changes the suicide rate by one for every $136,659 to $251,145. This is estimate implies a higher cost‐effectiveness than previous research but is still seven to fourteen times the size of modern, cost‐effective suicide prevention method.
Abstract: One quarter of married, fertile‐age women in Sub‐Saharan Africa report not wanting a pregnancy and yet do not use contraceptives. To study this issue, we collect detailed data on women’s subjective probabilistic beliefs and estimate a structural model of contraceptive choices. Our results indicate that costly interventions like eliminating supply constraints would only modestly increase contraceptive use. Alternatively, increasing partners’ approval of methods, aligning partners’ fertility preferences with women’s beliefs about pregnancy risk absent contraception have the potential to increase use considerably. Results from a before/after experiment testing this last finding are highly consistent with the structural estimates.
On Monday, November 16 2020, 16:00 - 17:30, Ariel Stern (Harvard Business School) will present:
Product Recalls and New Product Development: Own Firm Distractions and Competitor Firm Opportunities
Product recalls create significant challenges for R&D intensive firms, but simultaneously generate potentially lucrative opportunities for competitors. Using the U.S. medical device industry as our setting, we develop predictions and provide evidence that own firm recalls slow new product development activities, while competitor firm recalls accelerate them. We also examine two firm-level moderators that influence the recall and new product development relationship: product scope and ownership structure. We find that own firm recalls slow new product development for all firm types: a single own firm recall slows new product development up to 43 days, equating to more than $10 million in revenue lost in this high-margin and highly competitive setting. We also find that competitor firm recalls are associated with accelerated development times, but only for broad (vs. narrow) product scope firms and public (vs. private) firms. A one standard deviation increase in competitor firm recalls for these firm types accelerates new product development by more than two weeks. Organizational resources and financial incentives are thus key determinants of whether firms can effectively capitalize on the potential market opportunities created by competitor recalls. In post-hoc analyses, we explore whether future product quality is predicted by post-recall submission times, but find no evidence for this relationship. This result suggests that new product development delays following own firm recalls are more likely driven by organizational distractions than by product quality learning, and that firms react strategically and rationally by speeding new products to market after competitor recalls.
Room: Due to the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the talk will be held in a virtual seminar room. For more information click here.