Economics

Economics
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Results

Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), 04/2010, Volume 61, Issue 7, p.1487-1501, 2010

Behaviors, adverse events, and dispositions: An empirical study of online discretion and information control

Coye Cheshire, Judd Antin, Elizabeth Churchill, Coye Cheshire, Judd Antin, Elizabeth Churchill

The authors develop hypotheses about three key correlates of attitudes about discretionary online behaviors and control over one’s own online information: frequency of engaging in risky online behaviors, experience of an online adverse event, and the disposition to be more or less trusting and cautious of others.

Through an analysis of survey results, they find that online adverse events do not necessarily relate to greater overall Web discretion, but they do significantly associate with users’ perceptions of Web information control.

However, the frequencies with which individuals engage in risky online activities and behaviors significantly associate with both online discretion and information control. In addition, general dispositions to trust and be cautious are strongly related to prudent Internet behavior and attitudes about managing personal online information.

The results of this study have clear consequences for our understanding of behaviors and attitudes that might lead to greater online social intelligence, or the ability to make prudent decisions in the presence of Internet uncertainties and risks. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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In IEEE VisWeek Discovery Exhibition, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, 2010

Trail Explorer: Understanding User Experience in Webpage Flows

Zeqian Shen, Neel Sundaresan, Zeqian Shen, Neel Sundaresan

Trail Explorer is a visual analytics tool for better underst anding of user experiences in webpage flows. It enables exploration and discovery of user session data. This paper presents two case studies of Trail Explorer in use with real data.

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In 12th International Workshop on Agent Mediated Electronic Commerce (AMEC-10) Toronto, Canada, May 2010

Modeling Seller Listing Strategies

Quang Duong, Neel Sundaresan, Zeqian Shen

Online markets have enjoyed explosive growths and emerged as an important research topic in the field of electronic commerce. Researchers have mostly focused on studying consumer behavior and experience, while largely neglecting the seller side of these markets.

Our research addresses the problem of examining strategies sellers employ in listing their products on online market places. In particular, we introduce a Markov Chain model that captures and predicts seller listing behavior based on their present and past actions, their relative positions in the market, and market conditions. These features distinguish our approach from existing models that usually overlook the importance of historical information, as well as sellers’ interactions.

We choose to examine successful sellers on eBay, one of the most prominent online marketplaces, and empirically test our model framework using eBay’s data for fixed-priced items collected over a period of four and a half months.

This empirical study entails comparing our most complex history-dependent model’s predictive power against that of a semi-random behavior baseline model and our own history-independent model. The outcomes exhibit differences between different sellers in their listing strategies for different products, and validate our models’ capability in capturing seller behavior. Furthermore, the incorporation of historical information on seller actions in our model proves to improve its predictions of future behavior

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In Proceedings of Eurographics/IEEE VGTC Syposium on Visualization, May 2007, pp. 83-90

Path Visualization for Adjacency Matrices

Zeqian Shen, Kwan-Liu Ma, Zeqian Shen, Kwan-Liu Ma

For displaying a dense graph, an adjacency matrix is superior than a node-link diagram because it is more compact and free of visual clutter. A node-link diagram, however, is far better for the task of path finding because a path can be easily traced by following the corresponding links, provided that the links are not heavily crossed or tangled.

We augment adjacency matrices with path visualization and associated interaction techniques to facilitate path finding.

Our design is visually pleasing, and also effectively displays multiple paths based on the design commonly found in metro maps. We illustrate and assess the key aspects of our design with the results obtained from two case studies and an informal user study.

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The Review of Agricultural Economics, 29(3):446-493. (2007)

The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children

James J.Heckman

This paper presents a productivity argument for investing in disadvantaged young children. For such investment, there is no equity-efficiency tradeoff.

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Proc. Of the Asia Pacific Symposium on Information Visualization (APVIS 06), 2006

BiblioViz: A System for Visualization Bibliography Information

Zeqian Shen, Michael Ogawa, Soon Tee Teoh, Kwan-Liu Ma, Zeqian Shen, Michael Ogawa, Soon Tee Teoh, Kwan-Liu Ma

The InfoVis 2004 contest led to the development of several bibliography visualization systems. Even though each of these systems o#ers some unique views of the bibliography data, there is no single best system o#ering all the desired views. We have thus studied how to consolidate the desirable functionalities of these systems into a cohesive design.

We have also designed a few novel visualization methods. This paper presents our findings and creation: BiblioViz, a bibliography visualization system that gives the maximum number of views of the data using a minimum number of visualization constructs in a unified fashion.

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IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 12, 6, (Nov 2006), pp. 1429-1439

Visual Analysis of Large Heterogeneous Social Networks by Semantic and Structural Abstraction

Zeqian Shen, Kwan-Liu Ma, Tina Eliassi-Rad, Zeqian Shen, Kwan-Liu Ma, Tina Eliassi-Rad

Social network analysis is an active area of study beyond sociology. It uncovers the invisible relationships between actors in a network and provides understanding of social processes and behaviors.

It has become an important technique in a variety of application areas such as the Web, organizational studies, and homeland security. This paper presents a visual analytics tool, OntoVis, for understanding large, heterogeneous social networks, in which nodes and links could represent different concepts and relations, respectively. These concepts and relations are related through an ontology (a.k.a. a schema).

OntoVis is named such because it uses information in the ontology associated with a social network to semantically prune a large, heterogeneous network. In addition to semantic abstraction, OntoVis also allows users to do structural abstraction and importance ltering to make large networks manageable and to facilitate analytic reasoning. All these unique capabilities of OntoVis are illustrated with several case studies.

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In Finis Welch and Eric Hanushek, eds., Handbook on the Economics of Education, Vol. 1, Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 697-812. (2006)

Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation

Flavio Cunha, James J.Heckman, Lance Lochner, Dimitriy Masterov

This paper presents economic models of child development that capture the essence of recent findings from the empirical literature on skill formation. The goal of this essay is to provide a theoretical framework for interpreting the evidence from a vast empirical literature, for guiding the next generation of empirical studies, and for formulating policy. Central to our analysis is the concept that childhood has more than one stage. We formalize the concepts of self-productivity and complementarity of human capital investments and use them to explain the evidence on skill formation. Together, they explain why skill begets skill through a multiplier process.

Skill formation is a life cycle process. It starts in the womb and goes on throughout life. Families play a role in this process that is far more important than the role of schools. There are multiple skills and multiple abilities that are important for adult success.

Abilities are both inherited and created, and the traditional debate about nature versus nurture is scientifically obsolete. Human capital investment exhibits both self-productivity and complementarity. Skill attainment at one stage of the life cycle raises skill attainment at later stages of the life cycle (self-productivity). Early investment facilitates the productivity of later investment (complementarity).

Early investments are not productive if they are not followed up by later investments (another aspect of complementarity). This complementarity explains why there is no equity-efficiency trade-off for early investment. The returns to investing early in the life cycle are high. Remediation of inadequate early investments is difficult and very costly as a consequence of both self-productivity and complementarity.

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In Diane Coyle, Wendy Alexander, and Brian Ashcroft, eds., New Wealth for Old Nations: Scotland’s Economic Prospects, Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 119-165. (2005)

Skill Policies for Scotland

James J.Heckman, Dimitriy Masterov

This paper argues that skill formation is a life-cycle process and develops the implications of this insight for Scottish social policy. Families are major producers of skills, and a successful policy needs to promote effective families and to supplement failing ones. We present evidence that early disadvantages produce severe later disadvantages that are hard to remedy.

We also show that cognitive ability is not the only determinant of education, labor market outcomes and pathological behavior like crime. Abilities differ in their malleability over the life-cycle, with noncognitive skills being more malleable at later ages. This has important implications for the design of policy. The gaps in skills and abilities open up early, and schooling merely widens them.

Additional university tuition subsidies or improvements in school quality are not warranted by Scottish evidence. Company sponsored job training yields a higher return for the most able and so this form of investment will exacerbate the gaps it is intended to close.

For the same reason, public job training is not likely to help adult workers whose skills are rendered obsolete by skill-biased technological change. Targeted early interventions, however, have proven to be very effective in compensating for the effect of neglect.

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Quarterly Journal of Economics 120, no. 1 (2005): 131-172

Profit Sharing and the Role of Professional Partnerships

Steve Tadelis, Jonathan Levin

When it is hard to assess product quality, firms will sub-optimally hire low ability workers. We show that organizing as a profit-sharing partnership can alleviate these problems.

Our theory explains the historical prevalence of profit sharing in professional service industries such as law, accounting, medicine, investment banking, architecture, advertising, and consulting, and the relative scarcity of profit sharing in other industries.

It also sheds light on features of partnerships such as up-or-out promotion systems, and on recent trends in professional service industries.( JEL codes: D20, D82, J33, J44, J54, L22.

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