Ben Zou

Michigan State University
Department of Economics
East Lansing, MI 48824

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Institutional Affiliation: Michigan State University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2016Incomplete Disclosure: Evidence of Signaling and Countersignaling
with Benjamin B. Bederson, Ginger Zhe Jin, Phillip Leslie, Alexander J. Quinn: w22710
In 2011, Maricopa County adopted voluntary restaurant hygiene grade cards (A, B, C, D). Using inspections results between 2007 and 2013, we show that only 58 percent of the subsequent inspections led to online grade posting. Although the disclosure rate in general declines with inspection outcome, higher-quality A restaurants are less likely to disclose than lower-quality As. After examining potential explanations, we believe the observed pattern is best explained by a mixture of signaling and countersignaling: the better A restaurants use nondisclosure as a countersignal, while worse As and better Bs use disclosure to stand out from the other restaurants.

Published: Benjamin B. Bederson & Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie & Alexander J. Quinn & Ben Zou, 2018. "Incomplete Disclosure: Evidence of Signaling and Countersignaling," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, vol 10(1), pages 41-66. citation courtesy of

April 2016The Effect of Aid on Growth: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment
with Sebastian Galiani, Stephen Knack, Lixin Colin Xu: w22164
The literature on aid and growth has not found a convincing instrumental variable to identify the causal effects of aid. This paper exploits an instrumental variable based on the fact that since 1987, eligibility for aid from the International Development Association (IDA) has been based partly on whether or not a country is below a certain threshold of per capita income. The paper finds evidence that other donors tend to reinforce rather than compensate for reductions in IDA aid following threshold crossings. Overall, aid as a share of gross national income (GNI) drops about 59 percent on average after countries cross the threshold. Focusing on the 35 countries that have crossed the income threshold from below between 1987 and 2010, a positive, statistically significant, and economically ...

Published: Sebastian Galiani & Stephen Knack & Lixin Colin Xu & Ben Zou, 2017. "The effect of aid on growth: evidence from a Quasi-experiment," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 1-33, March. citation courtesy of

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