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Essays on the Social Impact of Firms

Morrall, Ian (2018) Essays on the Social Impact of Firms. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation studies the behavior of firms and their interactions with society. Each essay analyzes this through a different lens; combining these independent and diversified applied works, I am able to depict a unique picture of the impact firms are having on our society. The first essay studies the relationship between crime and off-premise alcohol availability by looking at how fixed firm locations dictate the impact of an institutional change. Specifically looking at the repeal of Connecticut’s blue law banning the sale of retail alcohol on Sundays, I find that allowing Sunday sales increased police incidents near retail alcohol stores in Hartford by approximately 14%. This increase was mostly driven by alcohol-related and less-serious crimes. The second essay examines the expansion of corporate dentistry, analyzing the impact of dental support organizations (DSOs), commonly referred to as dental chains, on the provision of dental care and their strategic entry and exit into markets. I find that the entry of DSO offices has a negligible but negative impact on the number of independent dentist offices. Moreover, I also measure the effects of rival offices and local chain networks for a heterogeneous sample of DSOs. The third essay studies how firms influence government, analyzing firms’ strategic lobbying decisions in the context of unconventional upstream natural gas development in Pennsylvania. Lobbying seems to be the main strategy to influence the state government, and campaign contributions from these companies are relatively small and concentrated to legislative candidates running in districts that contain the majority of shale gas wells. Although previous campaign finance theories postulate that contributions aim to "buy policy" or "buy access" for lobbying, I find little evidence for either channel.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Morrall, Ianirm13@pitt.eduirm13
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBeresteanu,
Committee MemberRichard,
Committee MemberZincenko,
Committee MemberKang,
Date: 28 June 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 April 2018
Approval Date: 28 June 2018
Submission Date: 5 April 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 140
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: regulation
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2018 18:30
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2018 18:30


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