Who Donates Their Bodies to Science? The Combined Role of Gender and Migration Status among California Whole-body Donors
The number of human cadavers available for medical research and training, as well as organ transplantation, is limited. Researchers disagree about how to increase the number of whole-body bequeathals, citing a shortage of donations from the one group perceived as most likely to donate from attitudinal survey data—educated white males over 65. This focus on survey data, however, suffers from two main limitations: First, it reveals little about individuals' actual registration or donation behavior. Second, past studies' reliance on average survey measures may have concealed variation within the donor population. To address these shortcomings, we employ cluster analysis on all whole-body donors' data from the Universities of California at Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Two donor groups emerge from the analyses: One is made of slightly younger, educated, married individuals, an overwhelming portion of whom are U.S.-born and have U.S.-born parents, while the second includes mostly older, separated women with some college education, a relatively higher share of whom are foreign-born and have foreign-born parents. Our results demonstrate the presence of additional donor groups within and beyond the group of educated and elderly white males previously assumed to be most likely to donate. More broadly, our results suggest how the intersectional nature of donors' demographics in particular, gender and migration status shapes the configuration of the donor pool, signaling new ways to possibly increase donations.
MediaTek: From Feature Phones to Smartphones
MediaTek was the third largest fabless semiconductor company n the world, and was the second largest supplier of the silicon microchips that powered mobile phones. Yet as the company’s chairman reflected on his R&D strategy, he wondered why it hadn’t moved faster on the transition to smartphones. He also thought about what was on his firm’s menu of choices, and what was on the menus of his competitors.
Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions;
Shih, Willy. "MediaTek: From Feature Phones to Smartphones." Harvard Business School Case 614-059, March 2014.
Waste, Recycling and Entrepreneurship in Central and Northern Europe, 1870-1940
This working paper examines the role of entrepreneurs in the municipal solid waste industry in industrialized central and northern Europe from the late nineteenth century to the 1940s. It explores the emergence of numerous German, Danish and other European entrepreneurial firms explicitly devoted to making a profitable business out of conserving and returning valuable resources to productive use, while maintaining public sanitation and in many cases offering nascent environmental protections. These ventures were qualitatively different from both earlier smaller private waste traders, and the later garbage agglomerates, and have been neglected in an era that historians have treated as a period of municipalization. These entrepreneurs sometimes had strikingly modern views of environmental challenges and the need to overcome them. They initiated processes for sorting and recycling waste materials that are still employed today. Yet it proved difficult to combine making profits and achieving social value in accordance with the “shared value” model of today. As providers of public goods such as health and sanitation and a cleaner environment the entrepreneurs were often unable to capture sufficient profits to sustain businesses. Recycled-goods markets were volatile. There was also a tension between the constant waste stream on the collection side and a seasonal/cyclical demand for recycled products. The frequent failure of these businesses helps to explain why in more recent decades private waste companies have been associated with late entry into recycling, often trailing municipal governments and non-profit entities.
Keywords: Environmental Entrepreneurship;
Green Technology Industry;
Cheating More for Less: Upward Social Comparisons Motivate the Poorly Compensated to Cheat
Intuitively, people should cheat more when cheating is more lucrative, but we find that the effect of performance-based pay rates on dishonesty depends on how readily people can compare their pay rate to that of others. In Experiment 1, participants were paid 5 cents or 25 cents per self-reported point in a trivia task, and half were aware that they could have received the alternative pay rate. Lower pay rates increased cheating when the prospect of a higher pay rate was salient. Experiment 2 illustrates that this effect is driven by the ease with which poorly compensated participants can compare their pay to that of others who earn a higher pay rate. Our results suggest that low pay rates are, in and of themselves, unlikely to promote dishonesty. Instead, it is the salience of upward social comparisons that encourages the poorly compensated to cheat.
Motivation and Incentives;
Compensation and Benefits;
The Use of Broker Votes to Reward Brokerage Firms' and Their Analysts' Research Activities
In traditional markets, the price mechanism directs the flow of resources and governs the process through which supply and demand are brought into equilibrium. In the investment-research industry, broker votes perform these functions. Using detailed clinical data from a midsized investment bank for the years 2004 to 2007, we present evidence that institutional investors use broker votes to budget future aggregate commission payments across brokerage firms; that these votes are responsive to actions that brokerage-house analysts take to communicate with client investors; and that brokerage firms use client-supplied votes as a quasi allocation base to indirectly reward individual analysts for contributions to brokerage-wide commission payments. Overall, our results suggest that broker votes function as the nexus for a set of implicit contractual relationships between sell-side brokers, their affiliated analysts, and their buy-side clients.
Keywords: Markets for information;
Public and private communications;
Balance and Stability;
Supply and Industry;
Compensation and Benefits;
Conflicts of College Conference Realignment: Pursuing Revenue, Preserving Tradition, and Assessing the Future
Over the past two years, conference realignment has taken a front seat in the college sports landscape. Economic incentives were too attractive to overlook for some universities. College football programs across the country have a lot at stake, because for many, football is an integral component of the community’s, as well as the university’s, culture. With conference realignment already being discussed extensively in the college sports arena as well as in the media, what should these universities do? Passively waiting to see what happens to one’s conference is risky, as it may be on the verge of collapse—taking your program with it. On the other hand, boldly applying to a different conference is not a safe bet either, as the future of other conferences may be uncertain. The conflicts between the economic incentives of the program and the emotional desires of sports fans, alumni, and athletes themselves are at the crossroads of these realignment decisions.
Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation;
Motivation and Incentives;
Strava is a new fast-growing social network for the avid cyclist and runner. The Strava case traces the entrepreneurial journey of two serial entrepreneurs who have been co-founders in a prior venture, and who have co-founded Strava 3 years ago. The protagonists must decide whether or not to accept the Series A investment terms from their venture capitalists.
Keywords: entrepreneurship, cycling, biking, running, sports, technology, mobile app, mobile, gps, motivation, behavioral science, founders, term sheet, investment, terms, silicon valley, lifestyle, Strava, financing, fundraising, angel, valuation, growth, forecast;
Forecasting and Prediction;
Decision Choices and Conditions;
Collaborative Innovation and Invention;
Innovation and Management;
Growth and Development Strategy;
Consumer Products Industry;
Web Services Industry;
Lassiter, Joseph B., III, William A. Sahlman, and Sid Misra. "Strava." Harvard Business School Case 814-055, February 2014.
Mylan Laboratories’ Proposed Merger with King Pharmaceutical
Perry Capital owns shares in King and, to facilitate approval of the merger, buys shares in Mylan, whilst hedging out its economic exposure to Mylan's share price using derivatives. The price at which Mylan proposes to merge with King is generous to King shareholders, but the merger does not look likely to be approved by Mylan shareholders, who must vote upon it. If Perry can swing the voting in favor of the deal, it will gain handsomely on its King shares without facing any corresponding losses on its Mylan holdings since those are hedged. Carl Icahn, another shareholder in Mylan, opposed the deal and sued Perry for alleged vote buying.
Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions;
Lawsuits and Litigation;
'Last-place Aversion': Evidence and Redistributive Implications
We present evidence from laboratory experiments showing that individuals are "last-place averse." Participants choose gambles with the potential to move them out of last place that they reject when randomly placed in other parts of the distribution. In modified-dictator games, participants randomly placed in second-to-last place are the most likely to give money to the person one rank above them instead of the person one rank below. Last-place aversion suggests that low-income individuals might oppose redistribution because it could differentially help the group just beneath them. Using survey data, we show that individuals making just above the minimum wage are the most likely to oppose its increase. Similarly, in the General Social Survey, those above poverty but below median income support redistribution significantly less than their background characteristics would predict.
Keywords: Income Characteristics;
Rank and Position;
Nudging Physicians to Pursue Careers in Underserved Areas: A case for Behavioral Economics
Currently, more than 60 million Americans live in “Health Professional Shortage Areas.” Unless policymakers can encourage more physicians to practice in medically under-resourced areas, an increased number of uninsured individuals newly able to obtain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act may contribute to even greater physician access problems in these communities. Behavioral economics is a discipline that recognizes the limits of rational decision-making based on the principle that human behavior is influenced by cognitive biases and the social/emotional context in which decisions are made. Behavioral economics-based policy approaches that aim to change the context in which physicians make practice decisions have received little attention thus far. In this paper, we propose a behavioral economics-based policy framework for carefully designing program and policy options to nudge physicians toward practice in medically underserved, under-resourced areas in the U.S.
Keywords: Access to care;
Health Care and Treatment;
Lopez, Joseph, Mona Singh, Nava Ashraf, and Joel Weissman. "Nudging Physicians to Pursue Careers in Underserved Areas: A case for Behavioral Economics." (Working Paper, February 2014. Under review.)