My research focuses on how status competition biases the behavior and judgments of market and non-market (i.e., government and regulatory) actors. A vibrant literature in economic sociology and organizational theory argues that social status is a source of competitive advantage. Building on this work, I seek to address two inter-related questions: (1) Do status hierarchies that emerge from competition bias the evaluations of (supposedly) objective actors? (2) How does the pursuit of status shape the strategic choices of firms, and system-level outcomes such as inequality?
- Status Bias
- Non-Market Strategy
Using patient-level data from the National Inpatient Survey (NIS), the project examines how status shifts (i.e., US News Rankings) influence the collaboration networks among specialities within hospitals.
Using detailed patient-level data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database, the project attempts to understand hospital-level variation in treatment regimens (i.e., chemotherapy, surgery, radiation) for lung cancer patients from 2002-2012.
The project investigates how status in Major League Baseball (MLB) influences the evaluation of performance by relevant audiences. The first paper examined the impact of status on umpire ball-strike evaluation. (See Publications to download paper). The second paper looks at how status shapes fan and manager perception in the selection of All Stars. Collaborator: Brayden King
We explore the effects of firm-government ties, often called a revolving door, on firm regulatory outcomes. In the context of genetically engineered (GE) crop industry, we study the effects of such ties on the speed of firms’ crops being approved for planting by the USDA. Controlling for a number of firm and crop characteristics, as well as for the selection bias in tie formation between the USDA and firms, we find that the overall direct firm-USDA ties increase the speed of regulatory approval. On the other hand, overall indirect ties slow down the regulatory process for GE crops. In terms of direct ties, we find that interlock, entry and exit revolving door ties all increase regulatory speed, while indirect exit ties decrease it. Firms, however, see increased regulatory speed after former regulators become their lobbyists. Our findings provide evidence for regulation being influenced by personal biases of regulators in favor of their former and current agribiotech employers. Moreover, our study shows support for regulatory capture by firms through direct ties at exit, as well as for tollbooth holding by regulators via indirect ties at exit. Collaborator: Ivana Katic
Using data on corporate donations from 2003-2011, we investigate the extent to which the industry in which a firm operates shapes the corporate donation decisions of publicly traded firms. More specifically, we look at 1) whether firms donate, 2) how much they donate, and 3) which causes they donate, and examine how similar these strategies are within and between industries. Collaborators: Stephan Meier and Jiao Luo