2015 SIOE Awards

Oliver E. Williamson Best Conference Paper Award

Laurent Frésard, University of Maryland, (with Gerard Hoberg and Gordon Phillips):
Innovation Activities and the Incentives for Vertical Acquisitions and Integration 

This paper examines the incentives for firms to vertically integrate through acquisitions and production. The authors develop a new firm-specific measure of vertical relatedness and integration using 10-K product text. They find that firms in high R&D industries are less likely to become targets in vertical acquisitions or to vertically integrate. These findings are consistent with the idea that firms with unrealized innovation avoid integration to maintain incentives to invest in intangible assets and to keep residual rights of control as in Grossman and Hart (1986). In contrast, firms in high patenting industries with mature product markets are more likely to vertically integrate, consistent with control rights being obtained by firms to facilitate commercialization of already realized innovation.

The award committee was particularly impressed by the new way to measure vertical integration using textual analysis of regulatory filings, and by the finding of a negative relationship between vertical integration and R&D, while finding a positive relationship between vertical integration and patenting.

Ronald H. Coase Dissertation Award

Orie Shelef, Stanford University, PhD from UC Berkeley:
“Essays on Contracting: Explicit Managerial Contracts and Implicit Relational Influence Contracts”

This dissertation provides both a theoretical and empirical analysis of contracting, studying incentives of mutual funds managers and political contributions. The committee was specially struck by the care and detail of both the theoretical and empirical research, and they especially recommend everybody to have a look at his third essay on political influence buying.

Elinor Ostrom Lifetime Achievement Award

Harold Demsetz, UCLA 

Harold Demsetz is Arthur Andersen UCLA Alumni Emeritus Professor of Business Economics. He previously taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. He chaired UCLA’s Department of Economics from 1978 through 1980. From 1984 to 1995, he held the Arthur Andersen UCLA Alumni Chair in Business Economics and Directed UCLA’s Business Economics program.

A towering figure in the economics of institutions and organizations, he is listed in Mark Blaugh's Great Economists Since Keynes. His works are focused on property rights, the business firm, problems in monopoly, competition, and antitrust, and even bioeconomics. Harold Demsetz is the author of numerous articles, two published monographs, and five books. His most recent book is From Economic Man to Economic System: Essays on Human Behavior and the Institutions of Capitalism, published in 2009 by Cambridge University Press. The 1972 article he co-authored (with Armen A. Alchian) “Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization,’ in the American Economic Review, was selected by the American Economic Association as one of the 25 most important papers published in the 100 year history of the AER. His 1967 paper, “Toward a Theory of Property Rights” also in the AER, has inspired an entire literature. Professor Demsetz is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, past director of the Mont Pelerin Society, and past (1996) President of the Western Economics Association International. Northwestern University, in 1994, awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters, and, in 1996, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Social Science from Francisco Marroquín University. Drexel University, in 2012, honored his work on corporate governance, and, in the same year, the University of California Los Angeles honored his work across all disciplines.