Most discussion papers can be found online. If you cannot find a paper you need drop me a line.
Much of my recent work is concerned with expert decision making, both in terms of evaluating decision making (of judges and doctors) and trying to better understand how to design organizations and contracts that better manage and employ experts. A fundamental problem is that the evaluation of experts is subjective, and hence short run market exchange is not always efficient. In "Reputation and School Choice" (with Miguel Urquiola) we show that a free market for reputation is not always efficient, and then provide some empirical evidence of these effects in "The Big Sort" (with Evan Riehl, Juan Saavedrea and Miguel Urquiola). Currently I am working on choices make by admissions committees, conflict in organizations, and the role of inequality on deterence and police behavior.
Advanced Microeconomics for Contract, Institutional and Organizational Economics, Forthcoming, MIT Press April 2022.
This is a graduate economics book that is appropriate for a graduate economics course after a graduate course in price theory and general equilibrium theory. A unique feature of the book is a discussion of the relevance of the theories reviewed for empirical research.
New Discussion Papers
Mandatory Retirement for Judges Improved Performance on U.S. State Supreme Courts, with Elliott Ash, supported by NSF SES-1260875, NBER WP 28025, DOI 10.3386/w28025, October 2020;
Worker Empowerment and Subjective Evaluation: On Building an Effective Conflict Culture, with Victoria Valle Lara, Christian Zehnder, NBER Working paper 27857, September 2020.
Opportunism in Principal-Agent Relationships with Subjective Evaluation, Appendix, with Teck Yong Tan, February 25, 2017 (Chapter 10 in Advanced Microeconomics).
Recent Public Lectures
Viewpoint: The Human Capital Approach to Causal Inference, Canadian Journal of Economics , Vol. 50, No. 1, February 2017, public lecture at the Canadian Economics Association, May 2015.
Human Capital: Linking behavior to rational choice via dual process theory, Labour Economics, Volume 41, August 2016, Pages 20-312, public lecture at the Society of Labor Economists, June 2015.
Selected publications since 1998
The Performance of Elected Officials: Evidence from State Supreme Courts, with Elliott Ash, Journal of Public Economics, Vol 201, 104478, 2021.
Why does the U.S. have the best research universities? Incentives, Resources, and Virtuous Circles. joint with Miguel Urquiola, Journal of Ecoomic Perspectives, Winter 2021.
Unsupervised Extraction of Workplace Rights and Duties from Collective Bargaining Agreements, Elliott Ash, Jeff Jacobs, Bentley MacLeod, Suresh Naidu, and Dominik Stammbach, Proceedings of the 20th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining -- International Workshop on Mining and Learning in the Legal Domain (ICDM-MLLD). 2020.
Understanding Physician Decision Making: The Case of Depression, with Janet Currie, Econometrica, 2020, 88, 847-878.
Is Education Consumption or Investment? Implications for the Effect of School Competition, with Miguel Urquiola, Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 11: (Volume publication date August 2019). https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-economics-080218-030402
Diagnosis and Unnecessary Procedure Use: Evidence from C-sections, with J. Currie, Journal of Labor Economics, Vol 35, No. 1, 1-43, 2017.
The Big Sort: College Reputation and Labor Market Outcomes, joint with Evan Riehl, Juan Saavedrea and Miguel Urquiola, American Economics Journal: Applied Economics, 2017.
Physician Practice Style and Patient Health Outcomes: The Case of Heart Attacks, with J. Currie, and Jessic van Parys, Journal of Health Economics, Volume 47, pp 64-80, 2016.
Intrinsic Motivation in Public Service: Theory and Evidence from State Supreme Courts , with Elliott Ash, supported by NSF SES-1260875, Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 58: No. 4, Article 5, 2015.
Reputation and School Choice, with Miguel Urquiola, American Economic Review, 105(11): 3471-88, 2015.
Transactions Costs and the Employment Contract in the US Economy, with Daniel Parent. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, published online March 25, 2014, doi:10.1093/jleo/ewu005.
“Institutions and Contract Enforcement,” with Armin Falk and David Huffman, Journal of Labor Economics, July 2015 issue, vol. 33, no. 3.
Savage Tables and Tort Law: An Alternative to the Precaution Model, with Janet Currie, Chicago Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 1 (Winter 2014), pp. 53-82.
"Contract Form, Wage Flexibility, and Employment, " with Thomas Lemieux and Daniel Parent. American Economic Review, 2012, 102(3): 526-531
Contracts between Legal Persons, with Lewis Kornhauser, in The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Robert Gibbons and John Roberts, editors, December 2012, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
"Great Expectations: Law, Employment Contracts, and Labor Market", Handbook of Labor Economics 4 (2011): 1591-1696.
"Performance Pay and Wage Inequality", with Thomas Lemieux and Daniel Parent, Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2009, Vol 124, No. 1, pp. 1-49
"First Do No Harm? Tort Reform and Birth Outcomes",, with Janet Currie, Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2008, Vol. 123, No. 2, pp. 795-830.
"Can Contract Theory Explain Social Preferences", American Economic Review, May 2007, Vol 97, Issue 2, pp. 187-192.
"Reputations, Relationships and Contract Enforcement", Journal of Economic Literature, September 2007, Vol 45, Issue 3, pp. 597-630.
"Welfare Economics with Intransitive Revealed Preferences: A Theory of the Endowment Effect", with H. Lorne Carmichael, Journal of Public Economic Theory, April 2006, Vol 8, Issue 2, pp. 193-218.
"Tenure Is Justifiable", Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2006, Vol 29, Issue 6, pp. 581 582.
"Cut to the Bone? Hospital Takeovers and Nurse Employment Contracts", with Janet Currie and Mehdi Farsi, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2005, Vol 58, Issue 3, pp. 471-93.
"Worker Cooperation and the Ratchet Effect", with Lorne Carmichael,Journal of Labor Economics, January 2000, Vol 18, pp. 1-19.
Supply side hysteresis: the case of the Canadian unemployment insurance system", with Thomas Lemieux, Journal of Public Economics, October 2000, 78(1-2), pp. 139-170.
Job Characteristics and the Form of Compensation, with Daniel Parent, Research in Labor Economics, JAI Press 1999, Vol. 18, pp. 177-242.
"Motivation and Markets", with James Malcomson, American Economic Review, July 1998, Vol 88, pp. 388-411.
Discussion Papers and Book Chapters in Discussion Paper Form
A Theory of Cooperative Teams, CORE Discussion Paper 8441. This paper eventually ended up as two publications MacLeod (1987), Behavior and the Organization of the Firm, Journal of Comparative Economics, and MacLeod (1988), Efficiency and Incentives in Cooperative Teams, Advances in the Economics Analysis of Participatory and Labor Managed Firms.
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