SSRN Weekly Top 5 Papers – October 2nd, 2017

1. Social Animal House: The Economic and Academic Consequences of Fraternity Membership by Jack Mara (10 Thoughts), Lewis Davis (Union College – Department of Economics) and Stephen Schmidt (Union College – Department of Economics)

2. Customer-Based Corporate Valuation for Publicly Traded Non-Contractual Firms by Daniel McCarthy (Emory University – Department of Marketing) and Peter Fader (University of Pennsylvania – Marketing Department)

In our previous paper, we laid out a methodology for customer-based corporate valuation for subscription firms, using a public company’s publicly disclosed customer data to more accurately value the firm and study its unit economics. While it was well received, it begged the question — is there an analogous way to value non-subscription businesses (such as e-commerce retailers) using their customer data? In the current paper, we answer this question. We propose a model for how customers are acquired, how long they remain with the firm, how many purchases they make while they are retained, and how much they spend on those purchases. These models are combined to generate the revenue forecasts which drive our valuation model. To bring the methodology to life, we apply it to data from two publicly traded e-commerce retailers, Overstock and Wayfair. We see this as an important step towards properly incorporating customer behaviors into standard valuation models. – Daniel McCarthy

3. 2017 Global Blockchain Benchmarking Study by Garrick Hileman ( Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Judge Business School) and Michel Rauchs (Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance)

The new research on use, testing and future intentions regarding blockchain technology builds on our cryptocurrency-focussed study, which we published earlier this year. Cryptocurrency and blockchain are two of the most heavily-hyped new technologies in recent times, and we felt we could make a contribution by benchmarking levels of adoption and other measures. Our empirically driven insights were derived largely from non-public data entrusted to us by hundreds of central banks, various public sector institutions, firms and individuals. The positive response to our research speaks to both the overall level of interest in these topics as well as a dearth of empirical data that can aid researchers and other stakeholders looking to cut through the hype. These benchmarking studies present a snapshot of current activity levels and sentiment, which are of immediate use to academics, policymakers and industry, and which can also be utilised in future temporal analysis. We look forward to continuing this work in the years ahead. – Garrick Hileman

4. The Minimal Persuasive Effects of Campaign Contact in General Elections: Evidence from 49 Field Experiments by Joshua Kalla (University of California, Berkeley) and David Broockman (Stanford Graduate School of Business)

5. Do Stocks Outperform Treasury Bills? by Hendrik Bessembinder (Arizona State University)