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Do Social Connections Reduce Moral Hazard? Evidence from the New York City Taxi Industry

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  • C. Kirabo Jackson
  • Henry S. Schneider

Abstract

This study investigates the role of social networks in aligning the incentives of economic agents in settings with incomplete contracts. We study the New York City taxi industry where taxis are often leased and lessee-drivers have worse driving outcomes than owner-drivers as a result of a moral hazard associated with incomplete leasing contracts. Using instrumental variables and fixed-effects analyses, we find that: (1) drivers leasing from members of their country-of-birth community exhibit significantly reduced effects of moral hazard; (2) network effects appear to operate primarily via social sanctions; and (3) network benefits can help to explain the organization of the industry in terms of which drivers and owners form business relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Kirabo Jackson & Henry S. Schneider, 2010. "Do Social Connections Reduce Moral Hazard? Evidence from the New York City Taxi Industry," NBER Working Papers 16279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16279
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    Cited by:

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    3. Bruce Owen, 2011. "Antitrust and Vertical Integration in “New Economy” Industries with Application to Broadband Access," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 38(4), pages 363-386, June.
    4. Gazda Vladimir & Malikova¡ Zuzana & Kubak Matus & Grof Marek, 2012. "Double Oral Auctions And Tendencies Toward Moral Hazard," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 207-213, December.
    5. Raymond Fisman & Daniel Paravisini & Vikrant Vig, 2017. "Cultural Proximity and Loan Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 457-492, February.
    6. Loukas Balafoutas & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2017. "Second‐Degree Moral Hazard In A Real‐World Credence Goods Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(599), pages 1-18, February.
    7. C. Kirabo Jackson & Henry S. Schneider, 2011. "Do Social Connections Reduce Moral Hazard? Evidence from the New York City Taxi Industry," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 244-267, July.
    8. Rainer Haselmann & David Schoenherr & Vikrant Vig, 2018. "Rent Seeking in Elite Networks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1638-1690.
    9. Bohnet, Iris & Saidi, Farzad, 2019. "Informational Inequity Aversion and Performance," Working Paper Series rwp19-008, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    10. Brogaard, Jonathan & Engelberg, Joseph & Parsons, Christopher A., 2014. "Networks and productivity: Causal evidence from editor rotations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 251-270.
    11. Bohnet, Iris & Saidi, Farzad, 2019. "Informational inequity aversion and performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 181-191.
    12. Ilse Lindenlaub & Anja Prummer, 2014. "Gender, Social Networks And Performance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1461, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    13. Wen Fan, 2011. "School tenure and student achievement," Working Papers 201124, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    14. Brit Grosskopf & Graeme Pearce, 2020. "Do You Mind Me Paying Less? Measuring Other-Regarding Preferences in the Market for Taxis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(11), pages 5059-5074, November.
    15. Ricard Gil & Giorgio Zanarone, 2018. "On the determinants and consequences of informal contracting," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 726-741, October.
    16. Imke Reimers & Benjamin R. Shiller, 2018. "Welfare Implications of Proprietary Data Collection: An Application to Telematics in Auto Insurance," Working Papers 119R, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School, revised May 2018.
    17. C. Kirabo Jackson & Henry S. Schneider, 2013. "Reducing Moral Hazard in Employment Relationships: Experimental Evidence on Managerial Control and Performance Pay," NBER Working Papers 19645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Rajgopal, Shivaram & White, Roger, 2019. "Cheating when in the hole: The case of New York city taxis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    19. Kareem Haggag & Brian McManus & Giovanni Paci, 2017. "Learning by Driving: Productivity Improvements by New York City Taxi Drivers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 70-95, January.
    20. Guillaume R. Fréchette & Alessandro Lizzeri & Tobias Salz, 2019. "Frictions in a Competitive, Regulated Market: Evidence from Taxis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(8), pages 2954-2992, August.
    21. Douthit, Jeremy & Millar, Melanie & White, Roger M., 2021. "Horseshoes, hand grenades, and regulatory enforcement: Close experience with potential sanctions and fraud deterrence," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 137-148.
    22. David C. Chan, Jr., 2015. "The Efficiency of Slacking Off: Evidence from the Emergency Department," NBER Working Papers 21002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Kenchington, David G. & Shohfi, Thomas D. & Smith, Jared D. & White, Roger M., 2022. "Do sin tax hikes spur cheating in interpersonal exchange?," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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