WorldCat Identities

Mullainathan, Sendhil

Works: 171 works in 656 publications in 1 language and 7,127 library holdings
Genres: Educational films  Internet videos 
Roles: Author, Other, Contributor
Classifications: HB801, 338.521
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works about Sendhil Mullainathan
Most widely held works by Sendhil Mullainathan
Policy and choice : public finance through the lens of behavioral economics by William J Congdon( )

21 editions published between 2010 and 2011 in English and held by 1,838 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Applies the psychological insights of behavioral economics to economic concepts such as moral hazard, deadweight loss, and incidence. Explores how deviations from the standard economic model of decisionmaking--imperfect optimization, bounded self-control, and nonstandard preferences--might affect public finance policy regarding externalities, information asymmetries, poverty, and taxes"--Provided by publisher
Scarcity : why having too little means so much by Sendhil Mullainathan( Book )

21 editions published between 2013 and 2014 in English and Undetermined and held by 1,354 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

An examination of how scarcity--and our flawed responses to it--shapes our lives, our society, and our culture
Is there discretion in wage setting? : a test using takeover legislation by Marianne Bertrand( )

25 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 165 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Anecdotal evidence suggests that uncontrolled managers let wages rise above competitive levels. Testing this popular perception has proven difficult, however, because independent variation in the extent of managerial discretion is needed. In this paper, we use states' passage of anti-takeover legislation as a source of such independent variation. Passed in the 1980's, these laws seriously limited takeovers of firms incorporated in legislating states. Since many view hostile takeovers as an important disciplining device, these laws potentially raised managerial discretion in affected firms. If uncontrolled managers pay higher wages, we expect wages to rise following these laws. Using firm-level data, we find that relative to a control group, annual wages for firms incorporated in states passing laws did indeed rise by 1 to 2% or about $500 per year. The findings are robust to a battery of specification checks and do not appear to be contaminated by the political economy of the laws or other sources of bias. Our results suggest that discretion significantly affects wages. They challenge standard theories of wage determination which ignore the role of managerial preferences
Executive compensation and incentives : the impact of takeover legislation by Marianne Bertrand( )

23 editions published between 1997 and 1999 in English and held by 160 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We investigate the impact of changes in states' anti-takeover legislation on executive compensation. We find both pay for performance sensitivities and mean pay increase for the firms affected by the legislation (relative to a control group). These findings are partially consistent with an optimal contracting model of CEO pay as well as with a skimming model in which reduced takeover fears allow CEO's to skim more. We compute lower bounds on the relative risk aversion coefficients implied by our findings. These lower bounds are relatively high, indicating that the increase in mean pay may have been more than needed to maintain CEO's individual rationality constraints. Under both models however, our evidence shows that the increased pay for performance offsets some of the incentive reduction caused by lower takeover threats
Network effects and welfare cultures by Marianne Bertrand( )

22 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 159 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper empirically examines the role of social networks in welfare participation. Social theorists from across the political spectrum have argued that network effects have given rise to a culture of poverty. Empirical work, however, has found it difficult to distinguish the effect of networks from unobservable characteristics of individuals and areas. We use data on language spoken to better infer an individual's network within an area. Individuals who are surrounded by others speaking their language have a larger pool of available contacts. Moreover, the network influence of this pool will depend on their welfare knowledge. We, therefore, focus on the differential effect of increased contact availability: does being surrounded by others who speak the same language increase welfare use more for individuals from high welfare using language groups? The results strongly confirm the importance of networks in welfare participation. We deal with omitted variable bias in several ways. First, our methodology allows us to include local area and language group fixed effects and to control for the direct effect of contact availability; these controls eliminate many of the problems in previous studies. Second, we instrument for contact availability in the neighborhood with the number of one's language group in the entire metropolitan area. Finally, we investigate the effect of removing education controls. Both instrumentation and removal of education controls have little impact on the estimates
Scarcity : the new science of having less and how it defines our lives by Sendhil Mullainathan( Book )

8 editions published between 2013 and 2014 in English and Undetermined and held by 145 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

An examination of how scarcity--and our flawed responses to it--shapes our lives, our society, and our culture
Public policy and extended families : evidence from South Africa by Marianne Bertrand( )

20 editions published between 1999 and 2003 in English and held by 143 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Tightly knit extended families, in which people often give money to and get money from relatives, characterize many developing countries. These intra-family flows mean that public policies may affect a very different group of people than the one they target. To assess the empirical importance of these effects, we study a cash pension program in South Africa that targets the elderly. Focusing on three-generation households, we use the variation in pension receipt that comes from differences in the age of the elder(s) in the households. We find a sharp drop in the labor force participation of prime-age men in these households when elder women reach 60 years old or elder mean reach 65, the respective ages for pension eligibility. We also find that the drop in labor supply diminishes with family size, as the pension money is split over more people, and with educational attainment, as the pension money becomes less significant relative to outside earnings. Other findings suggest that power within the family might play an important role: (1) labor supply drops less when the pension is received by a man rather than by a woman; (2) middle aged men (those more likely to have control in the family) reduc
Do CEO's set their own pay? : the ones without principals do by Marianne Bertrand( )

24 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 140 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We empirically examine two competing views of CEO pay. In the contracting view, pay is used to solve an agency problem: the compensation committee optimally chooses pay contracts which give the CEO incentives to maximize shareholder wealth. In the skimming view, pay is the result of an agency problem: CEOs have managed to capture the pay process so that they set their own pay, constrained somewhat by the availability of cash or by a fear of drawing shareholders' attention. To distinguish these views, we first examine how CEO pay responds to luck, observable shocks to performance beyond the CEO's control. Using several measures of luck, such as changes in oil price for the oil industry, we find substantial pay for luck. Pay responds about as much to a lucky' dollar as to a general dollar. Most importantly, we find that better governed firms pay their CEOs less for luck. Our second test examines how much CEOs are charged for the options they are granted. Since options never appear on balance sheets, they might offer an appealing way to skim. Here again we find a crucial role for governance: CEOs in better governed firms are charged more for the options they are given. These results suggest that both views of CEO pay matter. In poorly governed firms, the skimming view fits better (pay for luck and little charge for options) while in well governed firms, the contracting view fits better (filtering out of luck and charging for options)
Behavioral economics by Sendhil Mullainathan( )

19 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 128 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Behavioral Economics is the combination of psychology and economics that investigates what happens in markets in which some of the agents display human limitations and complications. We begin with a preliminary question about relevance. Does some combination of market forces, learning and evolution render these human qualities irrelevant? No. Because of limits of arbitrage less than perfect agents survive and influence market outcomes. We then discuss three important ways in which humans deviate from the standard economic model. Bounded rationality reflects the limited cognitive abilities that constrain human problem solving. Bounded willpower captures the fact that people sometimes make choices that are not in their long-run interest. Bounded self-interest incorporates the comforting fact that humans are often willing to sacrifice their own interests to help others. We then illustrate how these concepts can be applied in two settings: finance and savings. Financial markets have greater arbitrage opportunities than other markets, so behavioral factors might be thought to be less important here, but we show that even here the limits of arbitrage create anomalies that the psychology of decision making helps explain. Since saving for retirement requires both complex calculations and willpower, behavioral factors are essential elements of any complete descriptive theory
Do cigarette taxes make smokers happier? by Jonathan Gruber( )

14 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 128 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

To measure how policy changes affect social welfare, economists typically look at how policies affect behavior, and use a formal model to infer welfare consequences from the behavioral responses. But when different models can map the same behavior to very different welfare impacts, it becomes hard to draw firm conclusions about many policies. An excellent example of this conundrum is the taxation of addictive substances such as cigarettes. Existing empirical evidence on smoking is equally consistent with two models that have radically different welfare implications. Under the rational addiction model, cigarette taxes make time consistent smokers worse off. But, under alternative time inconsistent models, smokers are made better off by taxes, as they provide a valuable self-control device. We therefore propose an alternative approach to assessing the welfare implications of policy interventions: examining directly the impact on subjective well-being. We do so by matching information on cigarette excise taxation to separate surveys from the U.S. and Canada that contain data on self-reported happiness. And we model the differential impact of excise taxes on those predicted to be likely to be smokers, relative to others, in order to control for omitted correlations between happiness and excise taxation. We find consistent evidence in both countries that excise taxes make predicted smokers happier. This evidence suggests that the time inconsistent model of smoking is more appropriate, and that as a result welfare is improved by higher cigarette taxes
Ferreting out tunneling : an application to Indian business groups by Marianne Bertrand( )

18 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 124 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In many countries, controlling shareholders are accused of tunneling, transferring resources from companies where they have few cash flow rights to ones where they have more cash flow rights. Quantifying the extent of such tunneling, however, has proven difficult because of its illicit nature. This paper develops a general empirical technique for quantifying tunneling. We use the responses of different firms to performance shocks to map out the flow of resources within a group of firms and to quantify the extent to which the marginal dollar is tunneled. We apply our technique to data on Indian business groups. The results suggest a significant amount of tunneling between firms in these groups
Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? : a field experiment on labor market discrimination by Marianne Bertrand( )

15 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 121 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We perform a field experiment to measure racial discrimination in the labor market. We respond with fictitious resumes to help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers. To manipulate perception of race, each resume is assigned either a very African American sounding name or a very White sounding name. The results show significant discrimination against African-American names: White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. We also find that race affects the benefits of a better resume. For White names, a higher quality resume elicits 30 percent more callbacks whereas for African Americans, it elicits a far smaller increase. Applicants living in better neighborhoods receive more callbacks but, interestingly, this effect does not differ by race. The amount of discrimination is uniform across occupations and industries. Federal contractors and employers who list Equal Opportunity Employer' in their ad discriminate as much as other employers. We find little evidence that our results are driven by employers inferring something other than race, such as social class, from the names. These results suggest that racial discrimination is still a prominent feature of the labor market
Media bias by Sendhil Mullainathan( )

16 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 121 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

There are two different types of media bias. One bias, which we refer to as ideology, reflects a news outlet's desire to affect reader opinions in a particular direction. The second bias, which we refer to as spin, reflects the outlet's attempt to simply create a memorable story. We examine competition among media outlets in the presence of these biases. Whereas competition can eliminate the effect of ideological bias, it actually exaggerates the incentive to spin stories
Profitable investments or dissipated cash? : evidence on the investment-cash flow relatinoship from oil and gas lease bidding by Marianne Bertrand( )

13 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 104 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"The strong positive relationship between corporate cash flow and investment has been interpreted through the lens of both agency- and non-agency-based models. In this paper, we distinguish between these two interpretations using project-level data in the oil and gas industry. The specific projects we consider are auctioned-off leases that give mineral exploration rights to tracts of federal land. We find the standard positive relationship between investment and cash flow in this data, in that positive shocks to residual cash flow (netting out firm and time effects) are associated with higher spending on these leases. Interestingly, the increased investment comes from an increase in the price paid per tract with little to no change in the total number of tracts or total acreage of land bought. The positive association between price and cash flow holds even after controlling for a set of tract and firm characteristics that might be ex-ante related to expected return on a given tract. This data is most useful, however, because we can directly observe the eventual productivity of each of these projects. We find that the increase in price induced by higher cash flow is associated with lower average productivity. In fact, the total number of productive tracts does not increase with cash flow. In other words, while higher cash flow is associated with higher spending on these projects, higher cash flow does not lead to higher revenues from these projects. Combining this finding with the lack of a quantity response, we conclude that our results are best described by an agency model where managers use cash flow to simplify their job (or live a 'quiet life'') rather than 'empire-build.'"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site
Scarcity : why having too little means so much by Sendhil Mullainathan( Recording )

6 editions published between 2013 and 2014 in English and held by 99 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In the blockbuster tradition of Freakonomics, a Harvard economist and a Princeton psychology professor team up to offer a surprising and empowering new way to look at everyday life, presenting a paradigm-challenging examination of how scarcity, and our flawed responses to it, shapes our lives, our society, and our culture
Persuasion in finance by Sendhil Mullainathan( )

11 editions published between 2005 and 2006 in English and held by 99 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Persuasion is a fundamental part of social activity, yet it is rarely studied by economists. We compare the traditional economic model, in which persuasion is communication of objectively valuable information, with a behavioral model, in which persuasion is an effort to fit the message into the audience's already held beliefs. We present a simple formalization of the behavioral model, and compare the two models using data on financial advertising in Money and Business Week magazines over the course of the internet bubble. The evidence on the content of the persuasive messages is broadly consistent with the behavioral model of persuasion
Sticking with your vote : cognitive dissonance and voting by Sendhil Mullainathan( )

13 editions published between 2005 and 2006 in English and held by 95 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In traditional models, votes are an expression of preferences and beliefs. Psychological theories of cognitive dissonance suggest, however, that behavior may shape preferences. In this view, the very act of voting may influence political attitudes. A vote for a candidate may lead to more favorable interpretations of his actions in the future. We test the empirical relevance of cognitive dissonance in US Presidential elections. The key problem in such a test is the endogeneity of voter choice which leads to a mechanical relationship between voting and preferences. We use the voting age restrictions to help surmount this difficulty. We examine the Presidential opinion ratings of nineteen and twenty year olds two years after the President's election. Consistent with cognitive dissonance, we find that twenty year olds (who were eligible to vote in the election) show greater polarization of opinions than comparable nineteen year olds (who were ineligible to vote). We rule out that aging drives these results in two ways. First, we find no polarization differences in years in which twenty and nineteen year olds would not have differed in their eligibility to vote in the prior Presidential election. Second, we show a similar effect when we compare polarization (for all age groups) in opinions of Senators elected during high turnout Presidential campaign years with Senators elected during low turnout non-Presidential campaign years. Thus we find empirical support for the relevance of cognitive dissonance to voting behavior. This finding has at least three implications for the dynamics of voting behavior. First, it offers a new rationale for the incumbency advantage. Second, it suggests that there is an efficiency argument for term limits. And finally, our results demonstrate that efficiency may not be increasing in turnout level
The shape of temptation : implications for the economic lives of the poor by Abhijit Banerjee( )

15 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 95 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper argues that the relation between temptations and the level of consumption plays a key role in explaining the observed behaviors of the poor. Temptation goods are defined to be the set of goods that generate positive utility for the self that consumes them, but not for any previous self that anticipates that they will be consumed in the future. We show that the assumption of declining temptations, which says that the fraction of the marginal dollar that is spent on temptation goods decreases with overall consumption, has a number of striking implications for the investment, savings, borrowing and risk-taking behavior of the poor, which would not arise if temptations were either non-declining or entirely absent. Moreover the predicted behaviors under the declining temptation assumption can help us explain some of the puzzling facts about the poor that have been emphasized in the recent literature
Coarse thinking and persuasion by Sendhil Mullainathan( )

11 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 90 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We present a model of coarse thinking, in which individuals group situations into categories, and transfer the informational content of a given message from situations in a category where it is useful to those where it is not. The model explains how uninformative messages can be persuasive, particularly in low involvement situations, and how objectively informative messages can be dropped by the persuader without the audience assuming the worst. The model sheds light on product branding, the structure of product attributes, and several puzzling aspects of mutual fund advertising
Behavioral economics and tax policy by William J Congdon( )

9 editions published between 2009 and 2010 in English and held by 85 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Behavioral economics is changing our understanding of how economic policy operates, including tax policy. In this paper, we consider some implications of behavioral economics for tax policy, such as how it changes our understanding of the welfare consequences of taxation, the relative desirability of using the tax system as a platform for policy implementation, and the role of taxes as an element of policy design. We do so by reviewing the logic of specific features of tax policy in light of recent findings in areas such as tax salience, program take-up, and fiscal stimulus
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Policy and choice : public finance through the lens of behavioral economics
Alternative Names
Sendhil Mullainathan eacnamaí Indiach

Sendhil Mullainathan economista indi

Sendhil Mullainathan economista indio

Sendhil Mullainathan économiste

Sendhil Mullainathan ekonomist indian

Sendhil Mullainathan Indiaas econoom

Sendhil Mullainathan indisch-amerikanischer Volkswirt

Сендил Муллайнатан

سيندهيل مولايناثان

செந்தில் முல்லைநாதன்

செந்தில் முல்லைநாதன் இந்திய பொருளியல் மேதை

멀레이너선, 센딜 1972-

세딜 뮬라나단


ムッライナタン, センディル

ムッライナタン, センディル 1972-

森德希尔 穆拉伊特丹

English (326)