- Astorne-Figari, C. and Yankelevich, A. Consumer Search with Asymmetric Price Sampling. Economics Letters 122/2 (2014), pp. 331-333. (Extended version here)
- Astorne-Figari, C. and Speer, J. D. Drop out, switch majors, or persist? The contrasting gender gaps. Economics Letters 164 (2018), pp. 82-85.
- Astorne-Figari, C. and Lee, J. An empirical investigation on the transfer of expatriates within MNCs from a knowledge perspective. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming.
Are Changes of Major Major Changes? The Roles of Grades, Gender, and Preferences in College Major Switching (with Jamin Speer )
The choice of college major is a key stage in the career search. Almost half of college graduates switch majors at least once, suggesting that major choice is a process rather than a single decision. This paper provides the first comprehensive analysis of major switching, modeling the choice process as a matching problem between student and major on both academics and preferences. Low grades signal academic mismatch and predict switching majors - and the lower the grades, the larger the switch in terms of course content. Additionally, when students switch majors, they switch to majors that "look like them": females to female-heavy majors, blacks to black-heavy majors, and so on. Lower-ability women flee competitive majors at high rates, while higher-ability women and men of all abilities are undeterred. Women are far more likely to leave STEM fields and to switch to majors that are less competitive - but not less science or math-intensive - suggesting that leaving STEM is more about fleeing the "culture" and makeup of STEM majors than it is about fleeing science and math.
Advertising for Consideration (with Joaquin Lopez and Aleksandr Yankelevich)
We analyze markets where firms competing on price advertise to increase the probability of entering consumers' consideration sets. We find that moderately costly advertising permits firms to raise prices and possibly profits by reducing the fraction of price conscious consumers, and by segmenting the market according to the size of consumers' consideration sets. However, when the cost of advertising is sufficiently low, advertising leads to a prisoners' dilemma that adversely impacts profits without affecting expected prices.
Production Hierarchies, Expatriates and Korean MNCs (with Joonhyung Lee)
We study the adjustment of knowledge for an expanding MNC through the lens of a knowledge hierarchy model. In particular, based on the recent evidence that expatriates serve as a means for knowledge transmission from MNCs to their foreign affiliates, we investigate how the use of expatriates changes when foreign affiliates expand or contract. Using data on labor mobility for MNCs headquartered in South Korea, we analyze foreign affiliates that expand with and without changing their organization of hierarchical layers. We find that foreign affiliates who expand by changing their number of organizational layers require more Korean expatriates, especially at the higher layers. When affiliates expand by adding an organizational layer, the new layer mostly comprises Korean expatriates, while the need for Korean expatriates in the layer immediately below declines. Similarly, when affiliates contract by dropping a layer, the need for Korean expatriates in the layer immediately below increases. Additionally, when affiliates grow without adding a layer, the span of control at the upper layer(s) increases. These results are consistent with the predictions of the knowledge hierarchy model.
Expectations and Follow-Through: The Roles of Confidence and Non-Cognitive Skills for Self-Employment (with Andrew Hussey and Daniel Mangrum)
We examine the predictors of both long-term expectations of self-employment and future self-employment activities and earnings among the same individuals, with a particular focus on gender differences and the roles of non-cognitive skills. Using longitudinal data from the GMAT Registrant Survey, which includes prospective graduate management students, our analysis involves wide-ranging and novel sets of variables, including work-life balance and job preferences, self-efficacy, confidence, and other non-cognitive skills or characteristics. We find notable differences in the drivers of self-employment and self-employment expectations between men and women, and also large differences in the set of variables that relate to self-employment intentions versus future self-employment outcomes. While preferences for work-life balance matter more for men's expectations, preferences about non-monetary characteristics of the job, such as job security and interesting work, matter more for women. In contrast, regarding actual self-employment, only non-cognitive skills play a substantial role for women, while men are driven mostly by preferences over work-life balance. Confidence in one's quantitative skills influences self- employment decisions, especially for women, and it also affects success in both the self-employed and the traditionally employed sectors, as reflected in earnings.
Can pure altruism generate strategic altruism when kin recognition is noisy? This paper studies a prisoners' dilemma played between two people who exhibit altruistic preferences towards kin. The probability that a player's opponent is kin is common knowledge. Instead of observing the degree of relatedness with the other player, each player observes a noisy private signal. When the game is played once, players cooperate only with those identified as kin. However, when the prisoners' dilemma is played for two periods instead of one, uncertainty about relatedness brings strategic considerations into the game even if the odds of being related are small. There are Perfect Bayesian Equilibria in which players cooperate in the first round even after getting a negative kin signal. Since a player can make inferences about her opponent's signal based on first period actions, a non-relative mimics kin to induce cooperation in the second period.