Ph.d.-forsvar: Andreas Madum: Deciding Before an Audience. Essays in Applied Microeconomics

This thesis is made up of five self-contained chapters. While the chapters deal with quite different topics, they are related in the sense that they each investigate how decision-makers are affected when they are being monitored by others.

Chapters 1 and 2 are motivated by work in political psychology and introduce ‘behavioral’ assumptions into otherwise fairly standard game theoretical models of political behavior. More specifically, chapter 1 studies political bargaining while chapter 2 studies the dynamic through which groups provide collective action.

Chapter 3 studies conformity through voting decisions in expert committees. First, a simple game theoretical model where some experts prefer not being the only one to vote against the majority is set up and solved. Then the model’s implications are tested using data from voting in expert committees under the United States Food and Drug Administration. The data supports the notion that experts are reluctant to be the first to vote against the majority, but once someone else has done so, this reluctance disappears.

Chapters 4 and 5 study the causes (consequences) of turnover among managers in professional American football (Danish soccer). Chapter 4 finds that media scrutiny, though rather uninformative about a manager’s performance, is a significant driver of turnover decisions. Chapter 5 shows that Danish soccer team perform significantly better following managerial turnover. This is surprising, as previous studies based on data from other leagues find no such effects. A possible explanation is that decision-makers within Danish teams are subject to less pressure from media, fans, and sponsors which could prohibit unproductive scapegoating of managers.