Industrial organisation

Steven Davis, John Haltiwanger, Kyle Handley, Ben Lipsius, Josh Lerner, Javier Miranda, 22 October 2019

Private equity buyouts arouse intense interest among investors and business owners as well as policymakers and politicians, but the difficulty of assembling the data needed for a systematic evaluation makes assessing their effects hard. This column uses data on thousands of buyouts in the US to examine the effects on employment, job reallocation, productivity, and worker compensation.  The findings suggest that the effects differ greatly by type of buyout, with the credit conditions at the time of buyout, and with the post-buyout evolution of credit conditions and the macroeconomy, casting doubt on the efficacy of ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy prescriptions for private equity.

Brad Larsen, 22 October 2019

Some negotiations may fail even when there are potential gains from trading, but this is hard to estimate because we do not know what the private valuations of the buyers and sellers were. The column describes a database of trades from US car auctions that quantify the lost surplus from failed bilateral bargaining. In this market, 17-24% of negotiations ended in disagreement even when gains from trade existed. 

Stefania Garetto, Lindsay Oldenski, Natalia Ramondo, 08 October 2019

Multinational enterprises play an important role in coordinating production around the globe. This column presents a dynamic quantitative model of multinational enterprise expansion that can be used to analyse the effects of policies that affect the cost of the operations of such firms. It uses this model to estaimte the impact of potential implementations of Brexit.

Basil Halperin, Ben Ho, Ian Muir, John List, 02 October 2019

Even economies built on market capitalism are built on relationships. And when trust within relationships fray, apologies can help to restore them. This column describes the first large-scale apology experiment done in the field. Using the Uber platform to better understand the costs of apologising, the study asked why and in what cases apologies helped restore relationships. It finds that apologies can indeed work but are sometimes costly.

Willem Thorbecke, 02 October 2019

Japanese exports in electronic parts and components dramatically fell in value after the Global Crisis and have not recovered until today. This column investigates why Japan lost this comparative advantage. It argues that capital inflows seeking safe havens during the crisis led to a sharp appreciation of the yen and caused yen export prices to tumble relative to production costs. Plummeting profits then hindered Japanese firms from investing enough in capital and innovation to compete with rivals.

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