Economic Inquiry

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 1, January

Adam Smith's Concept of Self-Command as a Solution to Dynamic Inconsistency and the Commitment Problem
I. INTRODUCTION In his famous letter of July 28, 1759 to Adam Smith, David Hume objects to Smith's conception of sympathy. Hume argues that Smith fails to explain apparently contradictory possible pathways of fellow feeling. (1) The first pathway,...
A Winning Proposition: The Economic Impact of Successful National Football League Franchises
"It was the best of times and it was the worst of times." This classic phrase could be used to describe the period of 1990 through 1993 for fans of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills performed well enough to win the American Football Conference Championship...
Bequest Receipt and Family Size Effects
I. INTRODUCTION The seminal economic models of intergenerational human capital investment demonstrate the potential importance of credit market failure in determining child achievement (Becker and Barro 1988; Becker and Lewis 1973; Becker and Tomes...
Collection Sales: Good or Bad for Journals?
I. INTRODUCTION Publishers perform several valuable tasks that an academic journal cannot usually do well on its own, such as marketing, negotiations with libraries, maintaining a Web site, and so on. When it acts for several journals, one function...
Contest Design and Optimal Endogenous Entry
I. INTRODUCTION A contest is a situation in which economic agents expend costly and nonrefundable resources in order to win a limited number of prizes. Numerous academic surveys and anecdotal accounts have shown that a wide variety of competitive...
Contests with Stochastic Abilities
I. INTRODUCTION Many tournaments are characterized by multiple rounds, with or without the elimination of some candidates in earlier stages of the process of determining a final winner. In the political context, election processes that determine...
Estimation and Impact of Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance
I. INTRODUCTION Are women systematically less risk-tolerant than men? The answer has critical implications for the financial well-being of women (Schubert et al., 1999). For example, corporations may pass women over for promotion if it is believed...
Gender-Based Risk Aversion and Retirement Asset Allocation
I. INTRODUCTION There have been a number of recent studies that have explored gender-based differences in retirement asset allocation. (1) In these studies, researchers rely on the assumption that asset-class risk and risk aversion are negatively...
Incentives and Outcomes in a Strategic Setting: The 3-Points-for-a-Win System in Soccer
I. INTRODUCTION The behavior of agents in a strategic contest is a central concern of economic models, and the notion of Nash equilibrium (and various extensions and refinements thereof) is the guiding principle of analysis. Results in this setting...
Mutual Admiration Clubs
Birds of a feather flock together; presumably, they admire their peers' plumage. There is a wealth of evidence that members of a particular social group evaluate in-group members more favorably than out-group members (e.g., Brewer and Kramer 1985;...
Point Shaving in College Basketball: A Cautionary Tale for Forensic Economics
The study of crime and corruption has significant interest to economists. Of central interest is the actual extent to which individuals engage in illegal behavior. The problem is that the very laws that discourage corruption (Shleifer and Vishny 1993)...
Portfolio Choice and Risk Attitudes: An Experiment
I. INTRODUCTION Suppose an investor is faced with a decision concerning how to allocate financial resources between a risky lottery (asset) with a higher expected return and an asset with a fixed and guaranteed lower return. Is the choice of portfolio...
That's News to Me! Information Revelation in Professional Certification Markets
I. INTRODUCTION Market economies devote substantial resources to certify product quality--Educational Testing Services (ETS) offers SAT tests for college applicants, U.S. News & World Report ranks universities, Underwriters Laboratories certifies...
The Economics of Terrorism
I. INTRODUCTION The purpose of this paper is to treat terrorism as an economic phenomenon--as a way to understand it and to control it. It uses the tools of economic analysis to understand the sources of terrorism and how they could be countered....
The Effect of Prayer on God's Attitude toward Mankind
I. INTRODUCTION This article uses data available from the National Opinion Research Center's survey on religious attitudes and powerful statistical methods to evaluate the effect of prayer on the attitude of God toward human beings. The technique--due...
The Knowledge Production Function for University Patenting
I. INTRODUCTION Following the work of Griliches (1979), it has become standard practice to speak of the knowledge production function. Numerous studies have estimated various forms of the function, focusing on industry. More recently, considerable...
The Law of Genius and Home Runs Refuted
I. INTRODUCTION "Empirical regularities in biology, as in other fields, can be extremely interesting. In particular, such regularities may suggest the operation of fundamental laws. Unfortunately, apparent regularities sometimes cannot stand up...
The Relationship between Betting and Lottery Play
I. INTRODUCTION The range of modes of gambling permitted to operate legally has expanded markedly in many jurisdictions in North America and Europe and many states are debating further liberalization. One focus of research relevant to analysis of...
What's in a Name?
I. INTRODUCTION Recently, economists have turned to the analysis and impact of an individual's first name. (1) This article contributes to this literature by trying to answer two questions. First, does a person's name convey information about their...

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