Kellogg World Winter 2010

A Look at the Latest Research From Kellogg faculty members

Before You Hit the Ballpark

America’s favorite pastime — the game of baseball — is also a statistician’s dream. But the plethora of metrics available on pitches, swings and hits can overwhelm even the savviest of statisticians. Kellogg researchers dig through the metrics and find the stats that most accurately predict a team’s performance.

From “One, Two, Three Stats and More at the Old Ballgame: Identifying Baseball’s Best Players and Most Reliable Statistics,” based on the research of Alexander Braunstein, Shane T. Jensen, Assistant Professor of Marketing Blake McShane, James Piette and Abraham J. Wyner.

Trusting Strangers

What’s in a name? As it turns out, a lot. Kellogg researchers find that hearing a name that has positive associations can make someone instantly trust a stranger — even without knowing much about him or her. The results, researchers note, are both “exciting and scary.”

From “A Trusted Name: Why We Trust People We Do Not Know,” based on the research of Lecturer Li Huang and J. Keith Murnighan, the Harold H. Hines Jr. Professor of Risk Management.

The Hidden Costs of Healthcare

Have market forces really protected U.S. workers from the price-gouging of healthcare premiums? The answer, according to research by Leemore Dafny, is a resounding no. The study finds that, by charging companies higher premiums in the midst of posting high profits, health insurance companies control the market and practice price discrimination.

From “An Unhealthy Market for Competition: Health Insurance Companies in the U.S., Not Consumers, Control the Market,” based on the research of Associate Professor of Management & Strategy Leemore S. Dafny.

Traders of a Feather Flock Together

Some traders use instant messaging to share information about daily news, which in turn helps guide their buying and selling decisions.  By measuring waves of traders’ instant messages, Kellogg researchers find that traders who trade in sync with their instant messaging counterparts tend to perform better than those who do not.

From “Synchronicity Pays: Instant Messaging Helps Traders Buy and Sell at the Right Time,” based on the research of Kathleen Hagerty, First Chicago Professorship in Finance, Serguei Saavedra and Brian Uzzi, the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change.

Gas Guzzlers and Common Sense

Does the price at the pump really affect consumers’ car-buying decisions? Yes, says a study by Kellogg researchers, which finds that American consumers react in an “entirely reasonable fashion” to the changing prices of gasoline.

From “Consumers, Cars and Common Sense: The Role of Gas Prices in American Automobile Purchases,” based on the research of Associate Professor of Management & Strategy Meghan Busse, Christopher R. Knittel and Florian Zettelmeyer, the J. L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Marketing.

The Quiet Upperclass

Although the public has scrutinized Main Street executives and their hefty paychecks, Kellogg researchers find evidence of a new, emerging class of millionaires. Who makes up this top 1 percent?  And why does the income gap between the very rich and everyone else keep getting wider? The researchers find out.

From “Today’s Rising One-percenters: The Growing Gap Between the Very Rich and Everyone,” based on the research of Steven Kaplan and Associate Professor of Finance Joshua Rauh.

Ballooning Budgets

Over a four-year period, Britain’s Parliament was able to slash that nation’s budget by $130 billion — while U.S. lawmakers struggled to make even modest cuts. Researchers explain why countries under parliamentary rule have an easier time cutting their budgets compared to countries operating within a presidential system.

From “Ballooning Budgets: Why Federal Budgets Grow but Rarely Shrink,” based on the research of Daniel Diermeier, the IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice, and Pohan Fong.

Forgetting What We Know

Why do market leaders tend to maintain their position at the top? It’s because they sell more units, which helps them gain a better — and faster — understanding of a product, Kellogg researchers find. By contrast, the fewer units sold, the more likely a follower firm will experience “organizational forgetting.”

From “Remaining the Market Leader: The Role of Learning-By-Doing and Organizational Forgetting,” based on the research of David A. Besanko, the Alvin J. Huss Professor of Management & Strategy; Ulrich Dorazelski, Yaroslav Kryukov and Mark Satterthwaite, the A.C. Buehler Professor in Hospital & Health Services Management.

Adapted from Kellogg Insight articles, based on the research of Kellogg professors. For the full text of these and other Insight articles, please visit


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