The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of many colleges moving to testoptional, and in some cases test-blind, admissions policies. A frequent claim is that by not seeing standardized test scores, a college is able to admit a student body that it prefers, such as one with more diversity. But how can observing less information allow a college to improve its decisions? We argue that test-optional policies may be driven by social pressure on colleges’ admission decisions.
The Implied Equity Premium
I propose and test a simple model of the equity premium implied by the prices of options on the stock market. The model assumes that markets for the stock index and its options are frictionless and complete to extract as much information as possible from their prices. Its forecasts of the equity premium are more accurate than those in prior work, especially when arbitrage costs are low. It oers new economic insights into why the premium varies, including why it increased for many years after the 2008 crisis.
The new LBO market: it’s gone private
Private equity was a bright spot in institutional investors’ portfolios last year. The asset class held up much better than public stocks, which were whipsawed by rising rates. Read the full article at the Financial Times.
Data and Markups: A Macro-Finance Perspective
How can we measure the extent to which data-intensive firms are using their market power? Economists typically look to markups as evidence of market power. Using a simple model with firms that price risk in their capital allocation and production decisions, we highlight the competing forces that make markups an unreliable measure of data-derived market power. Instead, we show how markups measured at different levels of aggregation reflect data and distinguish data from other intangible investments.
Carbon Dioxide as a Risky Asset
We develop a financial-economic model for carbon pricing with an explicit representation of decision making under risk and uncertainty that is consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report. We find that this approach provides economic support for the warming targets in the Paris Agreement across a variety of specifications. We show that risk associated with high damages in the long term leads to stringent mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions in the near term.
Credit Information in Earnings Calls
We develop a novel technique to extract credit-relevant information from the text of quarterly earnings calls. This information is not spanned by fundamental or market variables and forecasts future credit spread changes. One reason for such forecastability is that our text-based measure predicts future credit spread risk and firm profitability. More firm- and call-level complexity increase the forecasting power of our measure for spread changes. Out-of-sample portfolio tests show the information in our measure is valuable for investors.
Model-Free Mispricing Factors
We identify model-free mispricing factors and relate them to global stock prices and investor beliefs. The factors are model-free as they measure variation in the relative prices of assets with the same cash ows. We design three factors to re ect the beliefs and capital ows of important clientele: investors in United States (US), developed, and emerging stock markets; and individuals and institutions. Together the three factors capture most (52%) of the systematic variation in price premiums of individual securities.
The Effect of Financial Constraints on In-Group Bias: Evidence from Rice Farmers in Thailand
In-group bias can be detrimental for communities and economic development. We study the causal effect of financial constraints on in-group bias in prosocial behaviors – cooperation, norm enforcement, and sharing – among low-income rice farmers in rural Thailand, who cultivate and harvest rice once a year. We use a between-subjects design – randomly assigning participants to experiments either before harvest (more financially constrained) or after harvest. Farmers interacted with a partner either from their own village (in-group) or from another village (out-group).
Privacy and the Value of Data
How does protecting the privacy of consumers affect the value of their personal data? We model an intermediary that uses consumers' data to influence the price set by a seller. When privacy is protected, consumers choose whether to disclose their data to the intermediary. When privacy is not protected, the intermediary can access consumers' data without their consent. We illustrate that protecting consumers' privacy has complex effects. It can increase the value of some consumers' data while decreasing that of others.
Market Consequences of Sovereign Accounting Errors
This paper investigates the market consequences of sovereign accounting errors. Eurostat, a division of the European Commission, issues semiannual assessments of financial reports produced by the member states of the European Union (EU), and issues reservations that detail financial reporting errors when they have doubts on the quality of sovereign financial reporting.
Proximity Bias: Motivated Effects of Spatial Distance on Probability Judgments
Competitive Markets for Personal Data
Personal data is an essential input for the digital economy. Yet, individuals often have limited control over its use and are rarely compensated for it. What inefficiencies does this status quo generate? Which market institutions could improve upon it? We study the competitive equilibria of an economy where platforms acquire consumers' data and use it to intermediate consumers and sellers. We find that granting consumers control over their data can backfire: It can lead to lower social welfare than when consumers are simply expropriated of their data.