Pramit Bhattacharya of Mint has a piece saying who says economists can’t have fun. He cites several papers where the idea has been to be whacky.
This year, Gennaro Bernile of the Singapore Management University, Vineet Bhagwat of the University of Oregon and P. Raghavendra Rau won the Ig Nobel Prize in management for their research showing that chief executive officers (CEOs) who experience fatal disasters early in life without suffering much for it lead firms that behave much more aggressively compared with peers.
Their research paper uses a unique database of county-level exposure to natural disasters in the US to figure out which CEOs had exposure to fatal disasters in their formative years (ages 5 to 15).
Firms whose CEOs experienced a moderate level of fatalities from disasters have a 3.4% higher leverage ratio than firms whose CEOs experienced no fatal disasters, while firms whose CEOs experienced extreme levels of fatalities from disasters have a 3.7% lower leverage ratio than firms whose CEOs have no fatal disaster experience, the authors found.
In the end he says: