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Rechts- und Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät Fakultät - Jahrgang 2017


Titel Essays in Economic Theory
Autor Benjamin Schickner
Publikationsform Dissertation
Abstract This thesis consists of three chapters.
The first chapter studies the trade-off between realizing match values early and waiting for good matches that arises in a dynamic matching model with discounting. We consider heterogeneous agents that arrive stochastically over time to a centralized matching market. First, we derive the welfare-maximizing assignment rule, which displays the subtle trade-off between matching agents early and accumulating agents to form assortative matches. Second, we show that the welfare-maximizing policy is implementable when agents have private information about their types. The corresponding mechanism satisfies natural requirements. Furthermore, we identify situations in which the designer can abstain from using monetary incentives.
The second chapter studies a seller whose reputation is determined by the types of her customers. In our model, a monopolist repeatedly sells a good to heterogeneous customers who, depending on their type, increase or decrease the seller's reputation. First, we study a trade-off between realizing current-period profits and building reputation for future periods. Second, we analyze reputation dynamics. Over time, reputation always converges to a stable level. Convergence behavior, however, depends strongly on the good's durability. While the reputation of less durable goods fluctuates around the long-run reputation, the reputation of more durable goods converges monotonically.
The third chapter develops a model of the German health insurance system for identifying redistribution streams and evaluating proposals to change the system. A population, characterized by health and income, obtains health insurance either from a budget-balancing public insurer or a more flexible, revenue-maximizing private insurer. Redistribution occurs across health and income, and the private insurer extracts surplus, by attracting profitable customers, which cannot be used for redistribution. We analyze changes in redistribution when switching from the current contribution-based system to a premium-based system with only one type of insurer. Furthermore, we study the properties of welfare-maximizing fee schedules.
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