Northwestern Events Calendar


Applied Microeconomics Lunch Seminar

When: Thursday, May 18, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Central

Where: Kellogg Global Hub, 3301, 2211 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Mariya Acherkan  

Group: Department of Economics: Applied Microeconomics Lunch

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


Speaker: Anastasiia Evdokimova 

Title: Does the Internet Improve Health Behavior? Costly Information Acquisition Under Heterogeneity in Health-Related Risk Perception

Abstract: This study explores the impact of online health information (OHI) acquisition on health-related behavior and investigates the underlying mechanism to address heterogeneity in its effects. The phenomenon of cyberchondria, characterized by unwarranted concerns based on online search results, has raised doubts regarding the potential benefits of OHI. I propose that the acquisition of OHI is a costly process influenced by individuals' heterogeneous risk perception of health-related information. Some individuals find it more difficult to be convinced of their healthiness compared to others, irrespective of the information source. To examine this, I develop a rational inattention model incorporating a novel cost function that captures heterogeneity in health-related risk perception and results in confirmation bias. Empirical evidence supports our theoretical framework, revealing that OHI usage is associated with increased health utilization overall. Furthermore, we find that individuals with lower risk tolerance regarding their health status exhibit even higher rates of health utilization when utilizing OHI.

Speaker: Roma Poberegski
Title: “Interlocking directorates, competition, and innovation”

Abstract: “Holding concurrent seats on boards of rival firms, 'horizontal directors' dampen competition and increase firm performance. In the cross-section of public US firms, losing an interlock with a competitor decreases returns by 2 to 3 percentage points. I propose a mechanism of market segmentation where horizontal directors steer firms away from fierce direct competition. Using data on patenting, I show that horizontal interlocks help firms maintain distance in the competitive space and reduce redundancy, increasing innovation quantity and quality by 15 to 35 percent.”

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