Sharon M. Oster

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Conventional hedonic techniques for estimating the value of local amenities rely on the assumption that households move freely among locations. We show that when moving is costly, the variation in housing prices and wages across locations may no longer reflect the value of differences in local amenities. We develop an alternative discrete-choice approach(More)
Growth in the nonprofit sector typically occurs through a system of franchises. This paper explores the factors which encourage franchising in the sector. Data are analyzed from a survey by the author which suggest that the choice by nonprofits of the franchise versus branch offke form is consistent with the predictions made by agency theory. Mechanisms(More)
We estimate the causal effect of prison conditions on recidivism rates by exploiting a discontinuity in the assignment of federal prisoners to security levels. Inmates housed in higher security levels are no less likely to recidivate than those housed in minimum security; if anything, our estimates suggest that harsher prison conditions lead to more(More)
Popular wisdom holds that publishers revise college textbooks mainly to kill off the secondary market for used books. While this behavior might be profitable if consumers are myopic, uninformed or have high short-run discount rates (that exceed the publishers'), neoclassical authors have noted that it will typically not be profitable if publishers can(More)
Many environmental regulations encourage the use of “clean” inputs. When the suppliers of such an input have market power, environmental regulation will affect not only the quantity of the input used, but also its price. We investigate the effect of the Title IV emissions trading program for sulfur dioxide on the market for low-sulfur coal. We find that the(More)
Many studies have found substantial market failures in electricity markets that have been restructured to allow wholesalers to set prices. Vertical integration of firms may partially mitigate market power, since integrated firms have a reduced interest in setting high prices. These producers sell electricity and also are required to buy power, which they(More)
This note addresses three elements: first, Sharon Oster and Harrison White's core arguments concerning their own work in industrial organization economics and economic sociology (Oster 1982; White 1981); second, Oster and White's comments about each other's work; and, third, suggestions about understanding strategy as a field distinct from economics and(More)
A cytologic staining technique in which the reaction produces an insoluble colored precipitate at the site of trypsin-like proteolysis was applied to human vaginal smears, taken daily over six menstrual cycles. The day of urinary LH surge for each cycle was determined. The enzyme action, namely hydrolysis by plasminogen activator, is confined mainly to(More)