The 2021 AEJ Best Paper Awards Have Been Announced
The 2021 AEJ Best Paper Awards have been announced. The papers selected are highlighted below.
AEJ: Applied Economics
In “Social Media and Corruption,” authors Ruben Enikolopov, Maria Petrova, and Konstantin Sonin consider whether social media could hold institutional corruption in check when mainstream media is unable — or unwilling — to do so. They focused on activist Alexey Navalny’s blog posts and the impact they had on the stock returns of companies that Navalny targeted because of their political connections to the Russian government. Stock returns dropped within three hours after he posted, amounting to a daily effect of 0.33 percentage points. There were larger impacts from particularly focused posts where he mentions a single company at least five times, with the stock price dropping up to 1.26 percentage points. (AEJ: Applied Economics, Vol. 10, No. 1, January 2018)
AEJ: Economic Policy
In “How Antitrust Enforcement Can Spur Innovation: Bell Labs and the 1956 Consent Decree,” authors Martin Watzinger, Thomas A. Fackler, Markus Nagler, and Monika Schnitzer looked at a 1956 consent decree against the Bell System that obligated the telecom giant to license all of its existing patents royalty free. They found that the consent decree led to a lasting increase in innovation but only in markets outside the telecommunications sector. The findings point to one potential lever that antitrust regulators have to ensure that innovation isn’t stifled by highly concentrated markets. (AEJ: Economic Policy, Vol. 12, No. 4, November 2020)
In “Deconstructing Monetary Policy Surprises—The Role of Information Shocks,” authors Marek Jarociński and Peter Karadi disentangle monetary policy impacts from the Fed’s public assessment of the economy. They found that it’s not just the Fed’s policy decisions, but also its words about the outlook that impacts financial markets, with persistent effects on activity and prices. The findings provide a more nuanced and complicated view of how the Fed’s actions shape the economy. (AEJ: Macroeconomics, Vol. 12 No. 2, April 2020)
In “Who Benefits from Information Disclosure? The Case of Retail Gasoline,” author Fernando Luco asks whether information-disclosure policies intensify competition or facilitate coordination between suppliers. He analyzed regulations in Chile that required gas stations to post and update prices on a government website. Luco found that gas stations’ margins increased significantly after the policy, especially in poorer areas. The results show that disclosures can soften competition and that more information doesn’t always benefit consumers. (AEJ: Microeconomics, Vol. 11, No. 2, May 2019)