Car or public transportation?
On average, Austrians spend over an hour a day commuting, but how do they make mobility-related decisions? Stefanie Peer from the Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development investigated how travel times are valued based on different modes of transportation (private car, rail, local public transportation, bicycle, walking), time-related aspects (short- or long-term), and different groups of people. Her results showed that Austrians are more willing to pay for reduced travel times when travelling by car than with public transportation.
Do risky drivers seek higher insurance coverage?
Austrians drive around 13,900 kilometers every year. Depending on individual driver profiles, insurance companies offer many different types of insurance policies. In a current research project, Alexander Mürmann (Department of Finance, Accounting and Statistics) investigated which driving behaviors increase the risk of having an accident and whether people take their individual driving behavior into account when choosing their insurance policy. The researchers found out that frequent driving increases the risk of having an accident, but drivers nevertheless choose their insurance without regard to their driving behavior and their willingness to take risks.
Where does a sense of ownership come from?
We develop our sense of ownership very early in our lives, when we are still toddlers. But this type of ownership is not a legal concept. It’s a psychological mechanism that finds its purest expression in the word “mine.” WU Professor Bernadette Kamleitner from the Institute for Marketing & Consumer Research investigates how and for what we develop a sense of ownership. Her studies have shown that people tend to develop a sense of ownership especially for products with good ergonomics, because they can be controlled especially well.
Are internal auditors always objective?
In a recent project, Anne d’Arcy (Institute for Corporate Governance) investigated how internal auditors’ judgements change when they have to report to both the management and the supervisory board and when they are told to aim for different goals. The key finding: What is communicated to internal auditors before the auditing process has a great impact on how they evaluate processes.
Do donations really help?
Natural disasters often result in massive humanitarian crises, requiring immediate relief from aid agencies. Donors play a very important role, and respond especially well to fundraising campaigns for specific emergencies. Incident-specific, earmarked donations are not always the best way to help, however, according to studies conducted by Tina Wakolbinger (Institute for Transport and Logistics Management). Especially in the case of emergencies with a high level of media attention, agencies often receive more in earmarked funds than needed, which becomes a burden to the agency if they can’t be repurposed.
More women in the boardroom – but how?
Women continue to be underrepresented in upper-level management. In Austria, they make up only 4.9% of the management boards of listed companies. Heike Mensi-Klarbach from the Institute for Gender and Diversity in Organizations investigated the measures applied to increase the percentage of women in executive roles. The study showed that voluntary self-regulation doesn’t work in Austria without additional pressure. The credible threat of a statutory quota, however, did lead to an increase in the number of women in management positions.
The risks of company relocation
Tax benefits, higher dividends – changing the registered office of a company can bring many advantages. Often, however, moving the company’s registered office abroad can create disadvantages for minority shareholders. Martin Winner, Institute for Business Law, worked together with an international group of experts to identify risks for minority shareholders and gaps in the current legislation. They came to the conclusion that, in order to protect shareholders in the event of a relocation, minority shareholders should be given the option to leave with fair compensation.
What turns supervisors into talent scouts?
The success of every company depends on its employees. Division heads are in a key position to identify talent in a company’s employees. However, they can only fulfill this role if they evaluate employees’ performance appropriately. In her study, Isabella Grabner from the Institute for Strategic Management and Management Control found that division heads are most likely to review fairly and accurately if offered the prospect of career advancement.
How does CETA work?
The CETA agreement fills around 1,600 pages. It aims to further develop international trade legislation in order to promote trade in goods, services, and investments between the EU and Canada, and to strengthen economic ties between these two players. Erich Vranes (Institute for European and International Law) investigated the complex legal questions resulting from its implementation. The researcher calls for more transparency in future negotiations for similar trade agreements, and for more comprehensive information for national parliaments. He would also like to see more legally binding rules in chapters that balance economic and non-economic interests, like environmental protection.
The effects of Protectionism
The global financial crisis in the 1920s and 1930s was the most far-reaching economic event of the 20th century, and world production and global trade fell dramatically. Markus Lampe (Institute for Economic and Social History) investigated the effects of Great Britain’s changing import policies in the 1930s and what we can learn from the mistakes of the past in the age of Brexit. The results show clearly how drastic the effects can be if multilateral trade and equal market access opportunities are no longer guaranteed.
Does the ECB’s wording affect financial markets?
Eight times a year, the European Central Bank (ECB) sets key interest rates, which are announced in a press release and subsequent press conference. A study by Christian Wagner from the Institute for Finance, Banking and Insurance shows that not only the key rate itself but also the way the ECB communicates it has an impact on financial markets: A more optimistic tone on the part of the ECB is an indicator for more favorable economic developments.
Calculating more reliable credit ratings
Ratings and reviews play an important role in the financial sector, where credit ratings provide crucial information for lenders. However, there is a veritable maze of different rating schemes that is hard to navigate. Kurt Hornik, Institute for Statistics and Mathematics, and his fellow researchers investigated how several different ratings can be combined to obtain a single result – a consensus rating. This research resulted in the development of a model that has been used as a basis for one of the central monetary policy mechanisms of the Eurosystem.