nep-bec New Economics Papers
on Business Economics
Issue of 2005‒11‒19
24 papers chosen by
Christian Calmes
Universite du Quebec en Outaouais

  1. International Capital Flows in a World of Greater Financial Integration By Viktoria Hnatkovska; Martin Evans
  2. Expansionary Fiscal Shocks and the Trade Deficit By Christopher Erceg; Luca Guerrieri
  3. Trends and cycles in the Euro Area: how much heterogeneity and should we worry about it? By Domenico Giannone; Lucrezia Reichlin
  4. Agency Conflicts, Investment, and Asset Pricing By Neng Wang; Rui Albuquerque
  5. Bank finance versus bond finance - what explains the differences between US and Europe? By Fiorella De Fiore; Harald Uhlig
  6. Market Incompleteness and the Equity Premium Puzzle: Evidence from State-Level Data By Kris Jacobs; Stephane Pallage; Michel A. Robe
  7. Does Financial Structure Matter for the Information Content of Financial Indicators? By Ramdane Djoudad; Jack Selody; Carolyn Wilkins
  8. Declining Output Volatility: What Role for Structural Change? By Christopher Kent; Kylie Smith; James Holloway
  9. Fairness and Contract Design By Ernst Fehr; Alexander Klein; Klaus M. Schmidt
  10. An Information-Based Trade Off between Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment By Itay Goldstein; Assaf Razin
  11. Default Risk Sharing Between Banks and Markets: The Contribution of Collateralized Debt Obligations By Guenter Franke; Jan Pieter Krahnen
  12. Buyer Investment, Product Variety, and Intrafirm Trade By Robert C. Feenstra; Yongmin Chen
  13. Corporate governance, stake-holding and the nature of employment relations within the firm By Suzanne Konzelmann; Neil Conway; Linda Trenberth; Frank Wilkinson
  14. Management characteristics, collaboration and innovative efficiency: evidence from UK survey data By Andy Cosh; Xiaolan Fu; Alan Hughes
  15. Hierarchy and opportunism in teams By Potters,Jan; Sefton,Martin; Heijden,Eline van der
  16. Outsourcing and Organizational Change, An employee perspective By Roe,Robert A.; Smeelen,Mariska; Hoefeld,Carola
  17. Governance structure and the weighting of performance measures in CEO compensation By Davila, Toni; Peñalva, Fernando
  18. The Effects of Internationalization on CEO Compensation By Oxelheim, Lars; Randoy, Trond
  19. Extending Logistic Approach to Risk Modelling Through Semiparametric Mixing By Marco Alf˜; Giovanni Trovato
  20. Common Trends and Common Cycles in Canadian Sectoral Output By Christoph Schleicher; Francisco Barillas
  21. Operational risk management and new computational needs in banks By Duc PHAM-HI
  22. A Time-Frequency Analysis of the Coherences of the US Business By Christian Richter; Andrew Hughes Hallett
  23. Organizational versus individual responsibility for career management: Complements or substitutes? By De Vos, A.; Buyens, D.
  24. Customers'usage of self service technology in retail setting By Weijters, B.; Schillewaert, N.; Rangarajan,D.; Falk, T.

  1. By: Viktoria Hnatkovska; Martin Evans (Economics Georgetown University)
    Abstract: International capital flows have increased dramatically since the 1980s, with much of the increase being due to trade in equity and debt markets. Such developments are often attributed to the increased integration of world financial markets. We present a model that allows us to examine how greater integration in world financial markets affects the structure of asset ownership and the behavior of international capital flows. Our model predicts that international capital flows are large (in absolute value) and very volatile during the early stages of financial integration when international asset trading is concentrated in bonds. As integration progresses and households gain access to world equity markets, the size and volatility of international bond flows fall dramatically but continue to exceed the size and volatility of international equity flows. We also find that variations in the equity risk premia account for almost all of the international portfolio flows in bonds and equities. We argue that both effects arise naturally as a result of increased risk sharing facilitated by greater financial integration. The paper also makes a methodological contribution to the literature on dynamic general equilibrium asset-pricing. We present a new technique for solving a dynamic general equilibrium model with production, portfolio choice and incomplete markets
    Keywords: Portfolio Choice; Financial Integration; Incomplete Markets
    JEL: D52 F36 G11
    Date: 2005–11–11
  2. By: Christopher Erceg; Luca Guerrieri
    Abstract: In this paper, we use an open economy DGE model (SIGMA) to assess the quantitative effects of fiscal shocks on the trade balance in the United States. We examine the effects of two alternative fiscal shocks: a rise in government consumption, and a reduction in the labor income tax rate. Our salient finding is that a fiscal deficit has a relatively small effect on the U.S. trade balance, irrespective of whether the source is a spending increase or tax cut. In our benchmark calibration, we find that a rise in the fiscal deficit of one percentage point of GDP induces the trade balance to deteriorate by less than 0.2 percentage point of GDP. Noticeably larger effects are only likely to be elicited under implausibly high values of the short-run trade price elasticity
    Keywords: DGE Models, Open-Economy Macroeconomics
    JEL: F32 F41 E62
    Date: 2005–11–11
  3. By: Domenico Giannone (Universite' Libre de Bruxelles, ECARES); Lucrezia Reichlin (European Central Bank, CEPR)
    Abstract: Not so much and we should not, at least not yet.
    Keywords: International Business Cycles, Euro Area, Risk Sharing, European Integration, Income Insurance.
    JEL: E32 C33 C53 F2 F43
    Date: 2005–11–15
  4. By: Neng Wang; Rui Albuquerque (Finance and Economics Columbia Business School)
    Abstract: Corporations in most countries are run by controlling shareholders whose cash flow rights are substantially smaller than their control rights in the firm. This separation of ownership and control allows the controlling shareholders to pursue private benefits at the cost of outside minority investors by diverting resources away from the firm and distorting corporate investment and payout policies. We develop a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium asset pricing model that acknowledges the implications of agency conflicts through imperfect investor protection on security prices. We show that countries with weaker investor protection have more overinvestment, lower market-to-book equity values, larger expected equity returns and return volatility, higher dividend yields, and higher interest rates. These predictions are consistent with empirical findings. We develop new predictions: countries with high investment-capital ratios have both higher variance of GDP growth and higher variance of stock returns. We provide evidence consistent with these hypotheses. Finally, we show that weak investor protection causes significant wealth redistribution from outside shareholders to controlling shareholders
    Keywords: investment, asset pricing, investor protection
    JEL: G12
    Date: 2005–11–11
  5. By: Fiorella De Fiore (Directorate General Research, European Central Bank, Postfach 160319, 60066 Frankfurt am Main, Germany); Harald Uhlig (School of Business and Economics,WiPol 1, Humboldt University, Spandauer Str. 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany)
    Abstract: We present a dynamic general equilibrium model with agency costs, where heterogeneous firms choose among two alternative instruments of external finance - corporate bonds and bank loans. We characterize the financing choice of firms and the endogenous financial structure of the economy. The calibrated model is used to address questions such as - What explains differences in the financial structure of the US and the euro area? What are the implications of these differences for allocations? We find that a higher share of bank finance in the euro area relative to the US is due to lower availability of public information about firms'credit worthiness and to higher efficiency of banks in acquiring this information. We also quantify the effect of differences in the financial structure on per-capita GDP.
    Keywords: Financial structure; agency costs; heterogeneity.
    JEL: E20 E44 C68
    Date: 2005–11
  6. By: Kris Jacobs; Stephane Pallage; Michel A. Robe
    Abstract: This paper investigates the importance of market incompleteness by comparing the rates of risk aversion estimated from complete and incomplete markets environments. For the incomplete-markets case, we use consumption data for 50 U.S. states. While the use of state-level data is conceptually inferior to the use of data on individual consumption, it may be preferable because state-level data are less susceptible to measurement errors. We find that the rate of risk aversion under the incomplete-markets setup is much lower. Furthermore, including the second and third moments of the cross-sectional distribution of consumption growth in the pricing kernel lowers the estimate of risk aversion. These findings suggest that market incompleteness ought to be seen as an important component of solutions to the equity premium puzzle
    Keywords: Heterogeneity; Idiosyncratic consumption risk; Incomplete markets; Consumption-based asset pricing model; Risk aversion; Equity premium puzzle
    JEL: G12
    Date: 2005–11–11
  7. By: Ramdane Djoudad; Jack Selody; Carolyn Wilkins
    Abstract: Of particular concern to monetary policy-makers is the considerable unreliability of financial variables for predicting GDP growth and inflation. As Stock and Watson (2003) find, some financial variables work well in some countries or over some time periods and forecast horizons, but the results do not show any clear pattern. This may be caused by the changing nature of financial structures within countries across time, or the differing types of financial structures across countries. The authors assess the extent to which financial structure across countries influences the information content of financial variables for predicting real GDP growth and inflation. Their assumption is that financial asset prices will dominate financial quantities in economies with highly developed market-based financial systems. The authors use standard methods to determine the predictive content of common financial asset prices and quantities for 29 countries. They find no systematic pattern between financial structure and whether financial asset prices or quantities are the best financial indicators for monetary policy. Importantly, financial quantities are sometimes the best financial indicator, even in economies with highly developed market-based financial systems. The authors conclude that it would be difficult to tell, a priori, whether a financial asset price or quantity would be the best indicator for monetary policy for a particular country at a particular point in time.
    Keywords: Inflation and prices; Business fluctuations and cycles; Credit and credit aggregates; Monetary aggregates; Interest rates
    JEL: E31 E32
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Christopher Kent (Reserve Bank of Australia); Kylie Smith (Reserve Bank of Australia); James Holloway (Reserve Bank of Australia)
    Abstract: The decline in output volatility in a number of countries over the past few decades has been well-documented, though less agreement has been reached about the causes of this decline. In this paper, we use a panel of data from 20 OECD countries to see if there is a role for various indicators of structural reform in explaining the general decline in output volatility. We suggest that reforms in product and labour markets can reduce volatility of aggregate output by encouraging productive resources to shift more readily in response to differential shocks across firms and sectors. In contrast to other studies, we include direct measures of product market regulations and monetary policy regimes as indicators of structural reform. We find that less product market regulation and stricter monetary policy regimes have played a role in reducing output volatility. Our estimates are reasonably robust to a number of alternative specifications, including those that attempt to control for a possible trend in common (unexplained) innovations to output volatility such as a possible decline in the magnitude of global shocks.
    Keywords: business cycles; volatility; panel regression; structural reform; monetary policy; OECD
    JEL: E32 E52 E58
    Date: 2005–10
  9. By: Ernst Fehr (Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich, Bluemlisalpstrasse 10, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland, email: and Collegium Helveticum, Schmelzbergstrasse 25, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland); Alexander Klein (Department of Economics, University of Munich, Ludwigstrasse 28, D-80539 Muenchen, Germany); Klaus M. Schmidt (Department of Economics, University of Munich, Ludwigstrasse 28, D-80539 Muenchen, Germany, email:
    Abstract: We show experimentally that fairness concerns may have a decisive impact on the actual and optimal choice of contracts in a moral hazard context. Bonus contracts that offer a voluntary and unenforceable bonus for satisfactory performance provide powerful incentives and are superior to explicit incentive contracts when there are some fair-minded players. But trust contracts that pay a generous wage upfront are less efficient than incentive contracts. The principals understand this and predominantly choose the bonus contracts. Our results are consistent with recently developed theories of fairness, which offer important new insights into the interaction of contract choices, fairness and incentives.
    Keywords: Moral Hazard, Incentives, Bonus Contract, Trust Contract, Fairness, Inequity Aversion
    JEL: C7 C9 J3
    Date: 2005–11
  10. By: Itay Goldstein; Assaf Razin
    Abstract: The paper develops a model of foreign direct investments (FDI) and foreign portfolio investments (FPI).The model describes an information-based trade off between direct investments and portfolio investments. Direct investors are more informed about the fundamentals of their projects. This information enables them to manage their projects more efficiently. However, it also creates an asymmetric-information problem in case they need to sell their projects prematurely, and reduces the price they can get in that case. As a result, investors, who know they are more likely to get a liquidity shock that forces them to sell early, are more likely to choose portfolio investments, whereas investors, who know they are less likely to get a liquidity shock, are more likely to choose direct investments. FDI is characterized by hands-on management style which enables the owner to obtain relatively refined information about the productivity of the firm. This superiority of FDI relative to FPI, comes with a cost: a firm owned by the relatively well-informed FDI investor has a low resale price because of a "lemons" type asymmetric information between the owner and potential buyers. The model can explain several stylized facts regarding foreign equity flows, such as the larger ratio of FDI to FPI inflows in developing countries relative to developed countries, and the greater volatility of FDI net inflows relative to FPI net inflows.
    JEL: F3 G3
    Date: 2005–11
  11. By: Guenter Franke; Jan Pieter Krahnen
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the economics of financial institutions risk management by exploring how loan securitization affects their default risk, their systematic risk, and their stock prices. In a typical CDO transaction a bank retains through a first loss piece a very high proportion of the default losses, and transfers only the extreme losses to other market participants. The size of the first loss piece is largely driven by the average default probability of the securitized assets. If the bank sells loans in a true sale transaction, it may use the proceeds to expand its loan business, thereby affecting systematic risk. For a sample of European CDO issues, we find an increase of the banks’ betas, but no significant stock price effect around the announcement of a CDO issue.
    JEL: D82 G21 D74
    Date: 2005–11
  12. By: Robert C. Feenstra; Yongmin Chen
    Abstract: This paper studies a simple model of buyer investment and its effect on the variety and vertical structure of international trade. A distinction is made between two types of buyer investment: "flexible" and "specific." Their interactions with the entry and pricing incentives of suppliers are analyzed. It is shown that (i) there can be multiple equilibria in the variety of products traded, and (ii) less product variety is associated with more intrafirm trade. The possibility of multiple equilibria is consistent with the observation that some similar economies, such as Taiwan and South Korea, differ substantially in their export varieties to the U.S. A formal empirical analysis confirms the negative correlation between product variety and intrafirm trade.
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2005–11
  13. By: Suzanne Konzelmann; Neil Conway; Linda Trenberth; Frank Wilkinson
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of different forms of corporate governance on the structure and nature of stakeholder relationships within organizations and the consequent impact on employment relations within the firm. In this, HRM assumes a dual role in delivering improvements in production efficiency and in fostering employee commitment to the organization and its objectives. However, different forms of corporate governance prioritise stakeholder interests in ways that may bring these two objectives into conflict. To address these questions, we examine the interrelationship between corporate governance, HRM practices and HRM outcomes in a comparative analysis of companies operating under alternative forms of governance, including private sector, public sector and family-owned firms. The empirical analysis is based on the UK Work and Employment Relations Survey (WERS98).
    Keywords: corporate governance, human resource management, stakeholding, employment, relations and Work and Employment Relations Survey
    JEL: J24 J53 L21 L23 M12 M5
  14. By: Andy Cosh; Xiaolan Fu; Alan Hughes
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of management characteristics and patterns of collaboration on a firmÕs innovation performance in transforming innovation resources into commercially successful outputs. These questions are investigated using a recent firm level survey database for 465 innovative British small and medium enterprises (SMEs) over the years 1998-2001. Both Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) are employed to benchmark a firmÕs innovative efficiency against best practice. Quality and the variety of innovations are taken into account by combining Principal Component Analysis (PCA) with DEA. We find evidence suggesting that the innovative efficiency of SMEs is significantly affected by their management characteristics and collaboration behaviour. Collaboration, organisational flexibility, formality in management systems and incentive schemes are found to contribute significantly to a firmÕs innovative efficiency. Managerial share-ownership also shows some positive effect. The importance of these effects, however, varies across different sectors. WE find that innovative efficiency in high-tech SMEs is significantly enhanced by collaboration, formal management structure and training; and that in medium- and low-tech SMEs is significantly associated with managerial ownership, incentive schemes and organisational flexibility.
    Keywords: management characteristics, collaboration, innovative efficiency
    JEL: D24 O30 O32 L20 M11
  15. By: Potters,Jan; Sefton,Martin; Heijden,Eline van der (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: We use experiments to compare two institutions for allocating the proceeds of team production. Under revenue-sharing, each team member receives an equal share of team output; under leader-determined shares, a team leader has the power to implement her own allocation. Both arrangements are vulnerable to opportunistic incentives: under revenuesharing team members have an incentive to free-ride, while under leader-determined shares leaders have an incentive to seize team output. We find that most leaders forego the temptation to appropriate team output and manage to curtail free-riding. As a result, compared to revenue-sharing, the presence of a team leader results in a significant improvement in team performance.
    Keywords: team production;leadership;opportunism;experiments
    JEL: C9 D2 H4 J3 L2
    Date: 2005
  16. By: Roe,Robert A.; Smeelen,Mariska; Hoefeld,Carola (METEOR)
    Abstract: Outsourcing seems to have become the new trend in organizational strategy. In outsourcing, part of the organization’s production or service process is discontinued and transferred to another party, along with personnel and other resources. Although the potential economic benefits of outsourcing are thought to be considerable, a growing number of evaluation studies show disappointing outcomes. Cost savings tend to be less than expected and quality sometimes declines. A reason for these outcomes may be that - just like with downsizing and mergers-acquisitions in earlier days - managers tend to focus almost exclusively on economic aspects, ignoring the human and social impacts. Morespecifically, one might explain unsatisfactory economic results from a failure to consider the change implications of outsourcing. This paper analyzes the nature of the organizational change implied in outsourcing, comparing it to mergersacquisitions and downsizing. Next, it identifies some critical aspects of the transition management process which, when dealt with effectively, may enhance the success of outsourcing. The theoretical analysis is contrasted with findings from an empirical study on outsourcing in the Netherlands. In interviews with 11 experts and 10 workers on three phases of outsourcing, 70 aspects of(un)successful transition management were identified. Next, 36 employees involved in outsourcing rated the importance of these aspects and indicated their presence during the outsourcing process. Discrepancy ratings, showing which aspects of transition management received insufficient attention, confirm the results of the theoretical analysis. This underlines the importance of organizational change when implementing outsourcing.
    Keywords: Economics ;
    Date: 2005
  17. By: Davila, Toni (IESE Business School); Peñalva, Fernando (IESE Business School)
    Abstract: We empirically examine how governance structure affects the design of executive compensation contracts and, in particular, the implicit weights of firm performance measures in CEO compensation. We find that compensation contracts in firms with higher takeover protection and where the CEO has more influence on governance decisions put more weight on accounting-based measures of performance (return on assets) than on stock-based performance measures (market returns). In additional tests, we further find that CEO compensation in these firms has lower variance and a higher proportion of cash (versus stock-based) compensation. We further find that CEOs' incentives (measured as changes in CEO annual wealth, which includes changes in the value of CEOs' equity holdings, in addition to yearly compensation) do not vary across governance structures. These findings are consistent with CEOs in firms with high takeover protection and high CEO influence on governance being able to influence the contracting.
    Keywords: CEO compensation; executive compensation; performance measures; compensation contracts;
    Date: 2005–07–07
  18. By: Oxelheim, Lars (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics); Randoy, Trond (Agder University College and Agder Research)
    Abstract: This study examines the relation between the internationalization of firms and CEO compensation. Starting from a sample of Norwegian and Swedish listed firms we analyze the effects of internationalization as manifest in the capital market (international cross-listing), the market for corporate control (foreign board membership), and the product and service market (export and foreign sales). We conclude that all three markets contribute positively to the compensation level of CEOs. We argue that part of the higher CEO compensation in internationally oriented firms - as compared to less internationalized firms within the same country - reflects a risk premium for reduction in job security.
    Keywords: CEO Compensation; Internationalization; Corporate Governance; CEO Tenure; Cross-Listing; Foreign Board Membership
    JEL: G34 K12 M10 M12
    Date: 2004–02–09
  19. By: Marco Alf˜ (Universitˆ degli Studi La Sapienza); Giovanni Trovato (University of Rome II - Faculty of Economics; Universitˆ degli Studi Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: The New Proposal of Basel Committee on banking regulation issued in January 2001 allows banks to use Internal Rating Systems to classify firms. Within this context, the main problem is to find a model that fits data as better as possible, providing at the same time good prediction and explicative capabilities. In this paper, our aim is to compare two kind of classification models applied to credit worthiness using weighted classification error as performance function: the standard logistic model and a mixed logistic model, adopting respectively a parametric and a semiparametric approach. As it is well known, the main problem of the former is related to the assumption of i.i.d. hypothesis, while it often turns out necessary to consider the possible presence of unobservable heterogeneity, that characterizes microeconomic data. To better consider this phenomenon we defined and applied a random effect logistic model, avoiding parametric assumptions upon the random effect distribution. This leads to a likelihood which is defined as the integral of the kernel density with respect to the mixing density which has no analytical solution. This problem can be obviated by approximating the integral with a finite sum of kernel densities, each one characterized by a different set of model parameters. This discrete nature helps us in detecting non-overlapping clusters characterized by homogeneous values of insolvency risk, and in classifying firms to one of these clusters by means of estimated posterior probabilities of component membership.
    Keywords: bankruptcy risk, logistic model, finite mixtures, nonparametric maximum
    Date: 2004–02–16
  20. By: Christoph Schleicher; Francisco Barillas
    Abstract: This paper examines evidence of long- and short-run co-movement in Canadian sectoral output data. Our framework builds on a vector-error-correction representation that allows to test for and compute full-information maximum-likelihood estimates of models with codependent cycle restrictions. We find that the seven sectors under consideration contain five common trends and five codependent cycles and use their estimates to obtain a multivariate Beveridge-Nelson decomposition to isolate and compare the common components. A forecast error variance decomposition indicates that some sectors, such as manufacturing and construction, are subject to persistent transitory shocks, whereas other sectors, such as financial services, are not. We also find that imposing common feature restrictions leads to a non-trivial gain in the ability to forecast both aggregate and sectoral output. Among the main conclusions is that manufacturing, construction, and the primary sector are the most important sources of business cycle fluctuations for the Canadian economy.
    Keywords: common features, business cycles, vector autoregressions
    JEL: C15 C22 C32
    Date: 2005–11–11
  21. By: Duc PHAM-HI (Systemes Informations & Finance Ecole Centrale Electronique)
    Abstract: Basel II banking regulation introduces new needs for computational schemes. They involve both optimal stochastic control, and large scale simulations of decision processes of preventing low-frequency high loss-impact events. This paper will first state the problem and present its parameters. It then spells out the equations that represent a rational risk management behavior and link together the variables: Levy processes are used to model operational risk losses, where calibration by historical loss databases is possible ; where it is not the case, qualitative variables such as quality of business environment and internal controls can provide both costs-side and profits-side impacts. Among other control variables are business growth rate, and efficiency of risk mitigation. The economic value of a policy is maximized by resolving the resulting Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman type equation. Computational complexity arises from embedded interactions between 3 levels: * Programming global optimal dynamic expenditures budget in Basel II context, * Arbitraging between the cost of risk-reduction policies (as measured by organizational qualitative scorecards and insurance buying) and the impact of incurred losses themselves. This implies modeling the efficiency of the process through which forward-looking measures of threats minimization, can actually reduce stochastic losses, * And optimal allocation according to profitability across subsidiaries and business lines. The paper next reviews the different types of approaches that can be envisaged in deriving a sound budgetary policy solution for operational risk management, based on this HJB equation. It is argued that while this complex, high dimensional problem can be resolved by taking some usual simplifications (Galerkin approach, imposing Merton form solutions, viscosity approach, ad hoc utility functions that provide closed form solutions, etc.) , the main interest of this model lies in exploring the scenarios in an adaptive learning framework ( MDP, partially observed MDP, Q-learning, neuro-dynamic programming, greedy algorithm, etc.). This makes more sense from a management point of view, and solutions are more easily communicated to, and accepted by, the operational level staff in banks through the explicit scenarios that can be derived. This kind of approach combines different computational techniques such as POMDP, stochastic control theory and learning algorithms under uncertainty and incomplete information. The paper concludes by presenting the benefits of such a consistent computational approach to managing budgets, as opposed to a policy of operational risk management made up from disconnected expenditures. Such consistency satisfies the qualifying criteria for banks to apply for the AMA (Advanced Measurement Approach) that will allow large economies of regulatory capital charge under Basel II Accord.
    Keywords: REGULAR - Operational risk management, HJB equation, Levy processes, budget optimization, capital allocation
    JEL: G21
    Date: 2005–11–11
  22. By: Christian Richter; Andrew Hughes Hallett (Economics Loughborough University)
    Abstract: The dating of a possible European business cycle has been inconclusive. At this stage, there is no consensus on the existence of such a cycle, or of its periodicity and amplitude, or of the relationship of individual member countries to that cycle. Yet cyclical convergence is the key consideration for countries that wish to be members of the currency union. The confusion over whether and to what degree the UK is converging on the cycles of her European partners, or whether her cycle is more in line with the US, is an example of this lack of consensus. We show that countries will vary in the components and characteristics that make up their output cycles, as well as in the state of their cycle at any point of time. Next, we show how to decompose a business cycle in a time-frequency framework. This allows us to decompose movements in output, both at the European level and in member countries, into their component cycles and allows those component cycles to vary in importance and cyclical characteristics over time. It also allows us to determine if the inconclusive convergence results so far have appeared because member countries have some cycles in common, but diverge at other frequencies
    Keywords: Time-Frequency Analysis, Coherence, Growth Rates, Business Cycle
    JEL: C22 C29 C49
    Date: 2005–11–11
  23. By: De Vos, A.; Buyens, D.
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between organizational career management and career self-management and addresses their impact on employee outcomes. The results of a study among employees and linemanagers are presented, which partly support our hypotheses. The interaction between organizational and individual career management in explaining employee outcomes is discussed.
    Date: 2005–10–05
  24. By: Weijters, B.; Schillewaert, N.; Rangarajan,D.; Falk, T.
    Abstract: The last decade has seen an increased focus by retailers on using new technologies to deliver their services. The introduction of self-service technologies (SSTs) opens up for retailers the potential of improving productivity and service quality while cutting costs. However previous forays by retailers to get their customers to try these self-service technologies have not been proven to be quite successful. Previous empirical research on the usage of technology based self-services has mainly focused on antecedents of attitude towards and corresponding behavioral intentions to use. However, little empirical research has linked these variables to actual behavior in a real life setting. To address these issues, we collected a combination of survey and observational data using self-scanning lanes as objects of investigation. We identify ease of use, usefulness, fun, and reliability as drivers of attitude towards the SST, which in turn significantly predict actual usage of the SST. We also extend previous research by focusing on the moderating effects of age, education and gender as key demographic variables. Finally, we contribute to the literature by studying the consequences of SST use from the customers’ point of view.
    Keywords: self-service technology, retailing, consumer attitudes and behavior
    Date: 2005–11–05

This nep-bec issue is ©2005 by Christian Calmes. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.