2013 - Reprints: Managerial Economics

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On the choice of multi-task R&D defense projects: A case study of the Israeli missile defense system, Defence and Peace Economics, 24(5), 429-448, 2013 DOI:10.1080/10242694.2012.717205
E.L Pecht, A. Tishler and N. Weingold
(Reprint No. 241)

Investments in R&D constitute a major share of the expenditures of the hi-tech industry since, generally, they enable firms to successfully compete in the rapidly and constantly changing markets for hi-tech products and services. The role of R&D projects is particularly important in the areas of defense and homeland security due to the nature of warfare and the continuous threats posed by arms races and by terror organizations. This study analyzes the choice of the R&D projects designed to counter multiple related military threats. It develops the methodology required to assess whether it is preferable to develop one project to thwart several related threats, or several distinct projects, each of which provides an answer to one specific threat or a partial set of the threats. An analytic solution is provided and assessed for two simple models with two related threats. A solution of the model is then provided for any number of related threats, using a dynamic programming methodology. Finally, we demonstrate the usefulness of our model and methodology to Israel’s missile defense problem; that is, we show how to optimally develop systems aimed at thwarting the multiple threats of short-, medium-, and long-range missiles.

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Do customers learn from experience? Evidence from retail banking, Management Science, 59(9), 2019-2035, 2013
I. Ater and V. Landsman
(Reprint No. 238)
Research No.: 07820100

We study customers' adoption and subsequent switching decisions with regard to a menu of three-part tariff plans offered by a commercial bank. Using a rich panel data set covering 70,510 fee-based checking accounts over 30 months, before and after the introduction of the plans, we find that most customers adopt noncost-minimizing plans, preferring plans with large monthly allowances and high fixed payments. Furthermore, after adoption, customers who exceed their allowances and consequently pay overage fees are more likely to switch to plans with larger allowances than customers who do not experience such fees. Notably, after switching, these overage-paying customers pay higher monthly payments than before. In contrast, switching customers who did not pay overage payments before switching pay less after switching. Our findings, unlike those of previous research on experience-based learning, suggest that the behavior of experienced customers does not converge to the predictions of neoclassical models. We propose that "overage aversion," which is closely related to loss aversion and mental accounting, is the most plausible explanation for our findings.

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