D02 Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
Demutualization and enforcement incentives at self-regulatory financial exchanges
- n the last few years, many of the world’s largest financial exchanges have converted from mutual, not-for-profit organizations to publicly-traded, for-profit firms. In most cases, these exchanges have substantial responsibilities with respect to enforcing various regulations that protect investors from dishonest agents. We examine how the incentives to enforce such regulations change as an exchange converts from mutual to for-profit status. In contrast to oft-stated concerns, we find that, in many circumstances, an exchange that maximizes shareholder (rather than member) income has a greater incentive to aggressively enforce these types of regulations.
Academic faculty governance and recruitment decisions
- We analyze the implications of the governance structure in academic faculties for their recruitment decisions when competing for new researchers. The value to individual members through social interaction within the faculty depends on the average status of their fellow members. In recruitment decisions, incumbent members trade off the effect of entry on average faculty status against alternative uses of the recruitment budget if no entry takes place. We show that the best candidates join the best faculties but that they receive lower wages than some lesser ranking candidates. We also study the allocation of surplus created by the entry of a new faculty member and show that faculties with symmetric status distributions maximize their joint surplus under majority voting.
Paternalist economic policies: foundations, options, and challenges
- This paper analyzes the inherent dangers of paternalist economic policies associated with the newly established economic sub-disciplines of behavioral economics, economic happiness research and economic psychology. While the authors in general welcome these sub-disciplines for enriching and critically evaluating mainstream economics – especially their criticism of the Homo oeconomicus-heuristic is of great value contributing to a more realistic idea of man –, the political-economic implications as well as inherent risks of paternalist economic policies should be received with concern and thus be subject to a critical review. The paper is structured as follows: In the first step, we recapitulate Kahneman’s, Thaler/Sunstein’s, and Layard’s versions of paternalism pointing at similarities and differences alike. We contrast libertarian or soft paternalism of behavioral economics (Thaler/Sunstein) and economic psychology (Kahneman) with (Layard’s) happiness economics and its hard paternalism. In the second step, we analyze the political and economic implications and consequences of paternalism. We give an overview of the main points of criticism of paternalism from a constitutional economics perspective. The Ordnungs- vs. Prozesspolitik argument is discussed as well as epistemological, political-economic or idea of man arguments. The paper ends with some concluding remarks.