Discussion Papers

Discussion Paper No. 265
December 22, 2020

Truly Standard-Essential Patents? A Semantics-Based Analysis

Author:

Brachtendorf, Lorenz (MPI-IC & LMU Munich)
Gaessler, Fabian (MPI-IC Munich)
Harhoff, Dietmar (MPI-IC & LMU Munich)

Abstract:

Standard-essential patents (SEPs) have become a key element of technical coordination in standard-setting organizations. Yet, in many cases, it remains unclear whether a declared SEP is truly standard-essential. To date, there is no automated procedure that allows for a scalable and objective assessment of SEP status. This paper introduces a semantics-based method for approximating the standard essentiality of patents. We provide details on the procedure that generates the measure of standard essentiality and present the results of several validation exercises. In a first empirical application we illustrate the measure's usefulness in estimating the share of true SEPs in firm patent portfolios for several mobile telecommunication standards. We find firm-level differences that are statistically significant and economically substantial. Furthermore, we observe a general decline in the average share of presumably true SEPs between successive standard generations.

Keywords:

patents; standards; standard essentiality; standard-setting organizations

JEL-Classification:

L24; O33; O34

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Discussion Paper No. 264
December 22, 2020

The Effect of Self-Control on Borrowing: Experimental Evidence

Author:

Grohmann, Antonia (Aarhus University & DIW Berlin)
Hamdan, Jana S. (HU & DIW Berlin)

Abstract:

This paper examines the effect of reduced self-control on debt-taking in a laboratory experiment. We manipulate self-control using an ego depletion task and show that it is effective. Following the ego depletion task, participants can anonymously buy hot drinks on credit. We find no significant average effects, but find that treated individuals that have low financial literacy are more likely to buy drinks. We complement our experimental analysis with survey evidence that suggests that people with low self-control have more problems with the repayment of consumption debt, but this relationship is, in line with the experimental results, weaker for individuals with high financial literacy.

Keywords:

debt; consumption; borrowing; self-control; ego depletion

JEL-Classification:

D14; G51; C91

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Discussion Paper No. 263
December 22, 2020

Decisions and Performance Under Bounded Rationality: A Computational Benchmarking Approach

Author:

Zegners, Dainis (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Sunde, Uwe (LMU Munich)
Strittmatter, Anthony (CREST-ENSAE)

Abstract:

This paper presents a novel approach to analyze human decision-making that involves comparing the behavior of professional chess players relative to a computational benchmark of cognitively bounded rationality. This benchmark is constructed using algorithms of modern chess engines and allows investigating behavior at the level of individual move-by-move observations, thus representing a natural benchmark for computationally bounded optimization. The analysis delivers novel insights by isolating deviations from this benchmark of bounded rationality as well as their causes and consequences for performance. The findings document the existence of several distinct dimensions of behavioral deviations, which are related to asymmetric positional evaluation in terms of losses and gains, time pressure, fatigue, and complexity. The results also document that deviations from the benchmark do not necessarily entail worse performance. Faster decisions are associated with more frequent deviations from the benchmark, yet they are also associated with better performance. The findings are consistent with an important influence of intuition and experience, thereby shedding new light on the recent debate about computational rationality in cognitive processes.

Keywords:

cognitively bounded rationality; benchmark computing; artificial intelligence; decision quality; decision time

JEL-Classification:

D01; D09; C07; C08

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Discussion Paper No. 262
November 10, 2020

National Identity and the Integration of Second-Generation Immigrants

Author:

Monscheuer, Ole (HU Berlin)

Abstract:

This paper studies the effect of immigrants' national identity on integration in an inter-generational context. Economic theory predicts that the origin country identity of immigrants affects their children's integration through its effects on social network choices and incentives to invest in country-specific human capital. Yet, it is difficult to identify these effects empirically due to potential endogeneity. The empirical analysis of this paper relies on a novel IV strategy inspired by the epidemiological approach, and exploits rich survey data from the U.S. Results show that children whose parents are strongly attached to their origin country have less contact to natives and develop a stronger origin country identity. Consistent with the theoretical argument, they speak English less frequently and more poorly, and perform worse in school compared to peers whose parents are less attached to their origin country. Additional results from the CPS suggest that there exist negative long-term effects on labor market outcomes.

JEL-Classification:

F22; J15; Z13

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Discussion Paper No. 261
November 5, 2020

Understanding the Response to High-Stakes Incentives in Primary Education

Author:

Bach, Maximilian (ZEW Mannheim)
Fischer, Mira (WZB Berlin)

Abstract:

This paper studies responses to high-stakes incentives arising from early ability tracking. We use three complementary research designs exploiting differences in school track admission rules at the end of primary school in Germany’s early ability tracking system. Our results show that the need to perform well to qualify for a better track raises students’ math, reading, listening, and orthography skills in grade 4, the final grade before students are sorted into tracks. Evidence from self-reported behavior suggests that these effects are driven by greater study effort but not parental responses. However, we also observe that stronger incentives decrease student well-being and intrinsic motivation to study.

Keywords:

student effort; tracking; incentives

JEL-Classification:

I20; I28; I29

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Discussion Paper No. 260
October 29, 2020

COVID-19 and Educational Inequality: How School Closures Affect Low- and High-Achieving Students

Author:

Grewenig, Elisabeth (ifo Institute)
Lergetporer, Philipp (ifo Institute)
Werner, Katharina (ifo Institute)
Woessmann, Ludger (ifo Institute)
Zierow, Larissa (ifo Institute)

Abstract:

In spring 2020, governments around the globe shut down schools to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. We argue that low-achieving students may be particularly affected by the lack of educator support during school closures. We collect detailed time-use information on students before and during the school closures in a survey of 1,099 parents in Germany. We find that while students on average reduced their daily learning time of 7.4 hours by about half, the reduction was significantly larger for low-achievers (4.1 hours) than for high-achievers (3.7 hours). Low-achievers disproportionately replaced learning time with detrimental activities such as TV or computer games rather than with activities more conducive to child development. The learning gap was not compensated by parents or schools who provided less support for low-achieving students. The reduction in learning time was not larger for children from lower-educated parents, but it was larger for boys than for girls. For policy, our findings suggest binding distance-teaching concepts particularly targeted at low-achievers.

Keywords:

educational inequality; COVID-19; low-achieving students; home schooling; distance teaching

JEL-Classification:

I24; J62; D30

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Discussion Paper No. 259
October 26, 2020

Gender Norms and Labor-Supply Expectations: Experimental Evidence from Adolescents

Author:

Grewenig, Elisabeth (ifo Institute)
Lergetporer, Philipp (ifo Institute)
Werner, Katharina (ifo Institute)

Abstract:

Gender gaps in labor-market outcomes often emerge with the arrival of the first child. We investigate a causal link between gender norms and labor-supply expectations within a survey experiment among 2,000 German adolescents. Using a hypothetical scenario, we document that the majority of girls expects to work 20 hours or less per week when having a young child, and expects from their partner to work 30 hours or more. Randomized treatments that highlight the existing traditional norm towards mothers significantly reduce girls’ self-expected labor supply and thereby increase the expected gender difference in labor supply between their partners and themselves (the expected within-family gender gap). Treatment effects persist in a follow-up survey two weeks later, and extend to incentivized outcomes. In a second experiment, we highlight another, more gender-egalitarian, norm towards shared household responsibilities and show that this attenuates the expected within-family gender gap. Our results suggest that social norms play an important role in shaping gender gaps in labor-market outcomes around child birth.

Keywords:

gender norms; female labor supply; survey experiment

JEL-Classification:

J16; J22; C93; D83

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Discussion Paper No. 258
October 6, 2020

Firm Responses to High-Speed Internet

Author:

Steimer, Henrike (LMU Munich)

Abstract:

Does access to the broadband internet stimulate firm growth? In this paper, I analyze within-firm growth of established firms caused by the access to faster internet using geocoded social-security data. I identify firm responses to the access to the first generation of broadband internet and later speed upgrades by exploiting technological peculiarities of the broadband internet network. I find that firms with access to the first generation of broadband internet grow more slowly in employment while keeping their output growth constant. They reduce the share of low-skilled employment in their workforce. Further, I find that firms that receive access to later speed upgrades grow more in revenues and employment than firms that got access to the first generation of broadband internet but not to the upgrades. When getting access to higher internet speed, firms over-proportionally increase medium-skilled employment.

Keywords:

ICT; internet; firm growth; skill-bias; technology

JEL-Classification:

D22; J23; O33

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Discussion Paper No. 257
September 8, 2020

Do Women Expect Wage Cuts for Part-Time Work?

Author:

Schrenker, Annekatrin (DIW and FU Berlin)

Abstract:

Wage expectations for full- and part-time employment are key for understanding the labor supply decisions of women. However, whether women expect different wages between part-time and full-time work is not fully understood. Using German survey data, I quantify the expected full-time/part-time wage differential for a representative sample of female workers. I document that women, on average, expect only minor part-time wage penalties (1-3 percent). Comparing beliefs to selectivity-adjusted estimates of the part-time wage gap indicates that women’s mean expectations are realistic. I also show that women with children and those in managerial positions expect sizeable part-time wage cuts, with mothers overestimating the part-time wage penalty.

Keywords:

expectations; female labor supply; part-time wage gap

JEL-Classification:

D84; J22; J31

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Discussion Paper No. 256
September 7, 2020

Coordination under Loss Contracts

Author:

Ahrens, Steffen (TU Berlin)
Bitter, Lea (TU Berlin)
Bosch-Rosa, Ciril (TU Berlin)

Abstract:

In this paper we study the effects that loss contracts—prepayments that can be clawbacked later—have on group coordination when there is strategic uncertainty. We compare the choices made by experimental subjects in a minimum effort game. In control sessions, incentives are formulated as a classic gain contract, while in treatment sessions, incentives are framed as an isomorphic loss contract. Our results show that loss contracts reduce the minimum efforts of groups and worsen coordination between group members, both leading to lower payoffs. However, these results depend strongly on the group’s gender composition; groups with a larger proportion of women are better at coordinating and exert more effort.

Keywords:

strategic uncertainty; loss aversion; coordination; contract design; framing; experiment

JEL-Classification:

C91; D84; G11; G41

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