Postdoctoral Researcher (Akademischer Rat a. Zt.)
Diploma Economics, University of Mainz, 2009
We design a novel test for changes in market discipline based on the relation between firm-specific risk, credit spreads, and equity returns. We use our method to analyze the evolution of bailout expectations during the recent financial crisis. We find that bailout expectations peaked in reaction to government interventions following the failure of Lehman Brothers, and returned to pre-crisis levels following the initiation of the Dodd-Frank Act. We do not find such changes in market discipline for non-financial firms. Finally, market discipline is weaker for government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and systemically important banks (SIBs) than for investment banks.
Bernard, Mark, Florian Hett, and Mario Mechtel. "Social Identity and Social Free Riding"
European Economic Review, forthcoming. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.01.001
We model individual identification choice as a strategic group formation problem. When choosing a social group to identify with, individuals appreciate high social status and a group stereotype to which they have a small social distance. A group's social status and stereotype are shaped by the (exogenous) individual attributes of its members and hence endogenous to individuals' choices. Unless disutility from social distance is strong enough, this creates a strategic tension as individuals with attributes that contribute little to group status would like to join high-status groups, thereby diluting the latters' status and changing stereotypes. Such social free-riding motivates the use of soft exclusion technologies in high-status groups, which provides a unifying rationale for phenomena such as hazing rituals, charitable activities or status symbols that is not taste-based or follows a standard signaling mechanism.
Girard, Yann, Florian Hett, and Daniel Schunk. "How Individual Characteristics Shape the Structure of Social Networks"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 115 (2015), 197-216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2014.12.005
We study how students’ social networks emerge by documenting systematic patterns in the process of friendship formation of incoming students; these students all start out in a new environment and thus jointly create a new social network. As a specific novelty, we consider cooperativeness, time and risk preferences – elicited experimentally – together with factors like socioeconomic and personality characteristics. We find a number of robust predictors of link formation and of the position within the social network (local and global network centrality). In particular, cooperativeness has a complex association with link formation. We also find evidence for homophily along several dimensions. Finally, our results show that despite these systematic patterns, social network structures can be exogenously manipulated, as we find that random assignments of students to groups on the first two days of university impacts the students’ friendship formation process.
Hett, Florian, Markus Kröll, and Mario Mechtel. "Choosing Who You Are: The Structure and Behavioral Effects of Revealed Identification Preferences"
Recent studies have shown that differences in individuals' social identity explain differences in behavior. But where do differences in social identity come from? Theory claims that identification allows people to affect their social identity by choosing who they are. Accordingly, this paper treats social identity as a choice and analyzes its behavioral effects. We find identification to be systematically related to behavioral heterogeneity in group-specific social preferences. In a first step, we measure identification preferences using a revealed preference approach in a laboratory experiment. Confirming social identity theory, participants reveal a stronger identification preference for groups that have a higher social status and to which they have a smaller social distance. In a second step, we analyze how identification affects subsequent behavior. Between- as well as within-subject heterogeneity in identification preferences explains corresponding heterogeneity in group-specific dictator games. Overall, our paper documents the importance of identification as a choice and its relevance for explaining the frequently observed heterogeneity in identity-related behavior.
Girard, Yann and Florian Hett. "Competitiveness in Dynamic Contests: Evidence from combined field and lab data"
Winner of the Unicredit & Universities Best Paper Award on ”Behavioral Organizational Economics”
Hett, Florian. "Heterogeneity in Dynamic Contests: Empirical Evidence from a Gaming App"