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Department of Economics Working Paper Series, 280-284

01. April 2019

You can also find the Department WP Series on the international Plattform REPec and on the WU publication page ePubWU.

Department of Economics Working Paper Series, 280, 2019

The impact of price adjustment costs on price dispersion in E-commerce

Böheim, René; Hackl, Franz; Hölzl-Leitner, Michael

Abstract: We analyze price dispersion using panel data from a large price comparison site. We use past pricing behavior to instrument for potential endogeneity that might result from the selection of firms to certain product markets. We find that greater price adjustment costs result in greater price dispersion. Although the impact of price adjustment costs on price dispersion became weaker over time, the causal effect of price adjustment costs on price dispersion is still present at the end of the period. Our results are robust to many alternative empirical speciffications. We also test a range of alternative explanations of price dispersion, such as search cost, service differentiation, obfuscation, vertical restraints, and market structure.


Department of Economics Working Paper Series, 281, 2019

Do male managers increase risk-taking of female teams? Evidence from the NCAA

Böheim, René; Freudenthaler, Christoph; Mario, Lackner

Abstract: We analyze the effect of the coach's gender on risk-taking in women sports teams using data taken from National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball games. We find that the coach's gender has a sizable and significant effect on risk-taking, a finding that is robust to several empirical strategies, including an instrumental variable approach. In particular, we find that risk-taking among teams with a male head coach is 5 percentage points greater than that in teams with a female head coach. This gap is persistent over time and across intermediate game standings. The fact that risk-taking has a significantly positive effect on game success suggests that female coaches should be more risk-taking.

The full paper is available under


Department of Economics Working Paper Series, 282, 2019

Unemployment dynamics in Austria - The role of gender-specific worker-flows

Schoiswohl, Florian

Abstract: There is a growing literature studying unemployment dynamics by means of worker flow data between labor market states. This paper contributes to this literature stream by analyzing the dynamics of the Austrian unemployment rate applying novel worker flow data for 2005-2016. Our main results can be summarized along two dimensions: First, we show that worker flows between unemployment and inactivity are major determinants of unemployment fluctuations in Austria. Second, we show for the working-age population that the contribution of male worker flows to the overall variation of the unemployment rate is higher, but that this relation turns when it comes to the youth cohort. The gender differences are probably related to the early occupational and educational segregation of young men and women in Austria. The paper concludes by stressing a strong need for further empirical and theoretical research which aims to link structural differences in an economy with different responses to the business cycle.

The full paper is available under


Department of Economics Working Paper Series, 283, 2019

Enhancing customer retention in case of service elimination? An empirical investigation in telecommunications

Stiassny, Alfred; Somosi, Agnes; Kolos, Krisztina

Abstract: Generally, service industries require a rapid innovation of service portfolios to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. In this context, service elimination is a tool of portfolio renewal, where customer retention is a strategic priority for companies. This is especially so because service elimination usually causes higher churn rates than an average churn in telecommunications. Thus, customer retention is seen as a major aspect in enhancing service elimination success. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that increase customer churn in the case of service elimination. We use one of the three Hungarian telecommunication Operator's databases containing usage data three months before and after Service elimination in the course of a major service package reform. Contract-related information and demographics of 10 065 customers are used to differentiate between high and low churn factors, taking care of a possible sample selection problem. The results show that in the course of service elimination there is a significant positive relationship between price decrease, tenure, interaction intensity on the one, and customer retention on the other side. Besides these, demographics (age and residence) also play an important role in explaining churn rates during service elimination. Furthermore, we find that a higher monthly fee after elimination increases the customer´s usage intensity. This research aims to contribute both to service elimination, as well as to customer retention literature, by hierarchical modeling of retention and usage during service elimination with practical implications for decision-makers in rapidly innovating telecommunication markets.

The full paper is available under

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