Columbia Business School
90 Morningside Dr Apt 6C
New York, NY 10027
Institutional Affiliation: Columbia Business School
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2020||The Persuasive Effect of Fox News: Non-Compliance with Social Distancing During the Covid-19 Pandemic|
with Szymon K. Sacher, Jean-Pierre H. Dubé, Shirsho Biswas: w27237
We test for and measure the effects of cable news in the US on regional differences in compliance with recommendations by health experts to practice social distancing during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. We use a quasi-experimental design to estimate the causal effect of Fox News viewership on stay-at-home behavior by using only the incremental local viewership due to the quasi-random assignment of channel positions in a local cable line-up. The average partial effect of Fox News viewership in a zipcode implies that 1 percentage point increase in cable viewership reduces the propensity to stay at home by 8.9 percentage points compared to the pre-pandemic average. We find a persuasion rate of Fox News on non-compliance with stay-at-home behavior during the crisis of about 33.5%...
|September 2019||State-Dependent Demand Estimation with Initial Conditions Correction|
with Jean-Pierre H. Dubé, Günter J. Hitsch, Peter E. Rossi: w26217
We analyze the initial conditions bias in the estimation of brand choice models with structural state dependence. Using a combination of Monte Carlo simulations and empirical case studies of shopping panels, we show that popular, simple solutions that mis-specify the initial conditions are likely to lead to bias even in relatively long panel datasets. The magnitude of the bias in the state dependence parameter can be as large as a factor of 2 to 2.5. We propose a solution to the initial conditions problem that samples the initial states as auxiliary variables in an MCMC procedure. The approach assumes that the joint distribution of prices and consumer choices, and hence the distribution of initial states, is in equilibrium. This assumption is plausible for the mature consumer packaged good...