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Results 18 resources
Bernheim, B. D. (1986). On the Voluntary and Involuntary Provision of Public Goods. American Economic Review, 76, 789–793.
This paper extends pre-existing results concerning voluntary private funding of public goods. The assumption that individuals care about themagnitude of their own contributions only insofar as these contributions affect the aggregate level of expenditures is shown to have untenable implications. The analysis suggests that a reexaminationof the factors that motivate individuals to make contributions is in order. Copyright 1986 by American Economic Association.
Bernheim, B. D. (2000). How Much Should Americans Be Saving for Retirement? American Economic Review, 90, 288–292.
Bernheim, B. D., & Rangel, A. (2007). Toward Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics. American Economic Review, 97, 464–470.
Bernheim, B. D., & Levin, L. (1989). Social Security and Personal Saving: An Analysis of Expectations. American Economic Review, 79, 97–102.
Bernheim, B. D., & Stark, O. (1988). Altruism within the Family Reconsidered: Do Nice Guys Finish Last? American Economic Review, 78, 1034–1045.
In this paper, the authors criticize the view that the presence of altruism either increases the benefits of group interactions or improves the allocation of resources within families. They demonstrate first that altruism can alter the social utility possibility frontier in surprising and sometimes unfortunate ways. Next, they argue that, in a variety of situations, altruism entails exploitability and therefore causes family members to behav e in ways that leave all parties worse off. Specifically, an altruist may take u ndesirable actions in order to discourage subsequent exploitation. In addition, altruists have difficulty enforcing agreements in that they may be extremely reluctant to punish betrayals. Copyright 1988 by American Economic Association.
Bernheim, B. D., & Madsen, E. (2017). Price Cutting and Business Stealing in Imperfect Cartels. American Economic Review, 107, 387–424.
Although economists have made substantial progress toward formulating theories of collusion in industrial cartels that account for a variety of fact patterns, important puzzles remain. Standard models of repeated interaction formalize the observation that cartels keep participants in line through the threat of punishment, but they fail to explain two important factual observations: first, apparently deliberate cheating actually occurs; second, it frequently goes unpunished even when it is detected. We propose a theory of equilibrium price cutting and business stealing in cartels to bridge this gap between theory and observation.
Bernheim, B. D., & Wantz, A. (1995). A Tax-Based Test of the Dividend Signaling Hypothesis. American Economic Review, 85, 532–551.
The authors propose and implement a new test of the dividend signaling hypothesis. Dividend signaling models generally imply that an increase in dividend taxation should increase the share price response per dollar of dividends (or 'bang-for-the-buck'). Many other dividend-preference theories have the opposite implication. An analysis of recent variations in tax policy reveals a strong positive relation between dividend tax rates and the bang-for-the-buck. Additional evidence on the relation between the bang-for-the-buck and other variables that are related to the marginal cost of paying dividends provides further support for dividend signaling. Copyright 1995 by American Economic Association.
Bernheim, B. D., & Rangel, A. (2004). Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes. American Economic Review, 94, 1558–1590.
We propose a model of addiction based on three premises: (i) use among addicts is frequently a mistake; (ii) experience sensitizes an individual to environmental cues that trigger mistaken usage; (iii) addicts understand and manage their susceptibilities. We argue that these premises find support in evidence from psychology, neuroscience, and clinical practice. The model is tractable and generates a plausible mapping between behavior and the characteristics of the user, substance, and environment. It accounts for a number of important patterns associated with addiction, gives rise to a clear welfare standard, and has novel implications for policy.
Bagwell, L. S., & Bernheim, B. D. (1996). Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption. American Economic Review, 86, 349–373.
The authors examine conditions under which 'Veblen effects' arise from the desire to achieve social status by signaling wealth through conspicuous consumption. While Veblen effects cannot ordinarily arise when preferences satisfy a 'single-crossing property,' they may emerge when this property fails. In that case, 'budget' brands are priced at marginal cost, while 'luxury' brands, though not intrinsically superior, are sold at higher prices to consumers seeking to advertise wealth. Luxury brands earn strictly positive profits under conditions that would, with standard formulations of preferences, yield marginal-cost pricing. The authors explore factors that induce Veblen effects and they investigate policy implications. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.
Bernheim, B. D., & Whinston, M. D. (1998). Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity. American Economic Review, 88, 902–932.
Why are observed contracts so often incomplete in the sense that they leave contracting parties' obligations vague or unspecified? Traditional answers to this question invoke transaction costs or bounded rationality. In contrast, the authors argue that such incompleteness is often an essential feature of a well-designed contract. Specifically, once some aspects of performance are unverifiable, it is often optimal to leave other verifiable aspects of performance unspecified. The authors explore the conditions under which this occurs, and investigate the structure of optimal contracts when these conditions are satisfied. Copyright 1998 by American Economic Association.
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