Essays in Strategy and Microeconomics
Poliquin, Christopher W.
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CitationPoliquin, Christopher W. 2018. Essays in Strategy and Microeconomics. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Business School.
AbstractThis dissertation consists of three essays.
In Chapter 1, I study the beneficiaries of technology adoption in the workplace. I combine worker-level wage data with information on broadband adoption by Brazilian firms to estimate the effects of broadband on wages. Overall, wages increase 2.3 percent following broadband adoption. Consistent with the theory of biased technological change, wages increase the most for workers engaged in non-routine cognitive tasks and returns are negative for routine cognitive tasks. There is no effect of broadband adoption on wages for either routine or non-routine manual tasks. Additionally, I estimate the effect of broadband on selected quantiles of the within-firm wage distribution and find evidence that within-firm wage inequality increases following broadband adoption. Both new hires and the firm's existing employees benefit from broadband adoption, which indicates that broadband's effects are not driven only by better recruitment of new employees.
Chapter 2 presents three main findings about the impact of mass shootings on gun policy in the United States. First, mass shootings evoke large policy responses. A single mass shooting leads to a 15 percent increase in the number of firearm-related bills introduced within a state in the following year. This effect increases with the number of fatalities. Second, mass shootings account for a small portion of all gun deaths, but have an outsized influence relative to other homicides. Our estimates suggest that the per death impact of mass shootings on bills introduced is about 80 times as large as the impact of individual gun homicides in non-mass shooting incidents. Third, when looking at enacted laws, the impact of mass shootings depends on the political party in power. A mass shooting increases the number of enacted laws that loosen gun restrictions by 75 percent in states with Republican-controlled legislatures. There is no statistically significant effect of mass shootings on laws enacted when there is a Democrat-controlled legislature.
Chapter 3 directly studies the extent and drivers of internal labor markets in multi-business firms. Leveraging a rich employer-employee matched dataset from Brazil, we track all worker movements across firm units. We find that multi-business firms source a large share of their workers internally, especially managers and workers with more firm-specific experience. Redeployed workers earn a large wage premium over otherwise comparable workers hired through external labor markets. Geographic proximity and resource relatedness between establishments play an important role in facilitating redeployment. In contrast to prevailing views of internal labor markets as a means to avoid external labor market frictions, our findings are consistent with internal labor markets as conduits of knowledge.
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