Political Turnover, Gaming, and Venture Acceleration – Chicago News

Political Turnover

Let’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Chicago business schools this week.

Why Economic Crises Trigger Political Turnover in Some Countries but Not OthersKellogg Insight

New research from Northwestern Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics and Decisions Nancy Qian explores “how much the people of a country typically trust other people” in an attempt to understand why recessions are catalysts for political turmoil in certain countries, like Greece, and not others, like Norway.

Qian explains that trust plays a key role.

“If I’m a less trusting person, I might say something like, ‘I don’t understand the details of what our leader is doing, but most politicians are bad and they’re lazy, so it is probably his fault. It’s about how likely I am to attribute the economic problems to circumstance or luck versus to the political leadership.”

The researchers found that “economic downturns were less likely to cause political turnover in high-trust countries, like Sweden (63 percent) than in low-trust ones, like Italy (29 percent).”

Qian explains that their findings “have direct implications for how nations approach economic interactions.”

“If we think our trade decisions are going to have economic effects in those nations, we need to also consider the potential political consequences,” Qian says. You can read the rest of the research here.

Keep Them Guessing, Keep Them GamingChicago Booth Blog

In a new Journal of Consumer Research study from Chicago Booth Professor Christopher Hsee and the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Luxi Shen, it was found that “people repeat a task more for an uncertain incentive than for a certain incentive, even when the uncertain incentive is financially worse.”

According to the Chicago Booth Blog entry, “one reason uncertain incentives motivate behavior is the psychological boost consumers get in moving from the unpleasantness of uncertainty to the satisfaction of certainty resolution.”

Hsee and Shen’s research suggests that efforts to entice consumers to repeat behaviors “may be even more successful if consumers don’t know the amount of the reward in advance.”

You can read the full article here and find “The Fun and Function of Uncertainty: Uncertain Incentives Reinforce Repetition Decisions” here.

Spine Injury Inspires Mark Van den Avont to Create Better Sports MatsGies College of Business Blog

Following a high school spine injury that broke the T11 and T12 vertebrae during a backflip dismount, current University of Illinois mechanical engineering sophomore Mark Van den Avont founded HexNest with the goal to create safer and more cost-effective mats.

HexNest is an outgrowth of Gies’ iVenture Accelerator through which he received a $2,500 summer housing stipend and a $10,000 grant to fund “product development, buying competitors’ mats and purchasing equipment to make his mats.”

Van den Avont writes:

“iVenture has been extremely important because I was able to work on HexNest full-time over the summer and devote all my energy to it. It’s great being around other entrepreneurs as well. I’ll be at the iVenture Accelerator at 10 pm on a Tuesday night or early Sunday morning, and I’ll look to my left and right, and everybody’s here.”

You can read more about HexNest and Van den Avont’s journey here.


About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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