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Institutional Affiliation: Rice University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
with Bruce I. Carlin, Tarik Umar: w27225
A policy of deputization asks agents to monitor others without providing explicit incentives. It is often used to prevent dangerous activities. To calibrate whether and why it works, we study recent laws that deputized financial professionals to help fight elder financial abuse. We show deputization led to a 4%-6% decrease in suspected cases and a 4.5% drop in personal bankruptcies. Women, minorities, and unmarried people benefited more. Effectiveness operated through higher community-mindedness and deeper social connections. Egoistic incentives, legal concerns, publicity, and religiosity were less important. This suggests that regulators can rely on social networks to solve tough problems.
|Launching with a Parachute: The Gig Economy and New Business Formation|
with John M. Barrios, Yael V. Hochberg: w27183
The introduction of the gig economy creates opportunities for would-be entrepreneurs to supplement their income in downside states of the world and provides insurance in the form of an income fallback in the event of failure. We present a conceptual framework supporting the notion that the gig economy may serve as an income supplement and as insurance against entrepreneurial-related income volatility, and utilize the arrival of the on-demand, platform-enabled gig economy in the form of the staggered rollout of ridehailing in U.S. cities to examine the effect of the arrival of the gig economy on new business formation. The introduction of gig opportunities is associated with an increase of ~5% in the number of new business registrations in the local area, and a correspondingly-sized increas...
|February 2020||The Cost of Convenience: Ridehailing and Traffic Fatalities|
with John M. Barrios, Yael Hochberg: w26783
We examine the effect of the introduction of ridehailing in U.S. cities on fatal traffic accidents. The arrival of ridehailing is associated with an increase of approximately 3% in the number of fatalities and fatal accidents, for both vehicle occupants and pedestrians. The effects persist when controlling for proxies for smartphone adoption patterns. Consistent with ridehailing increasing congestion and road usage, we find that introduction is associated with an increase in arterial vehicle miles traveled, excess gas consumption, and annual hours of delay in traffic. On the extensive margin, ridehailing’s arrival is also associated with an increase in new car registrations. These effects are higher in cities with prior higher use of public transportation and carpools, consistent with a s...