PDF: CV (December 2016)


  1. Brown, J. and D.A. Matsa. 2016. “Boarding a Sinking Ship? An Investigation of Job Applications to Distressed Firms” Journal of Finance, 71(2): 507-549.  [doiworking paper version]
  1. Brown, J. and D.B. Minor. 2014. “Selecting the Best? Spillover and Shadows in Elimination Tournaments.” Management Science, 60(12): 3087-3102. [doi, working paper version]
  1. Brown, J. 2011. “Quitters Never Win: The (Adverse) Incentive Effects of Competing with Superstars.” Journal of Political Economy, 119(5): 982-1013.
  1. Brown, J., T. Hossain, and J. Morgan. 2010. “Shrouded Attributes and Information Suppression: Evidence from the Field.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125(2):859-876.
  1. Brown, J. and J. Morgan. 2009. “How much is a Dollar Worth? Tipping versus Equilibrium Coexistence on Competing Online Auction Sites.”   Journal of Political Economy, 117(4): 668-700.
  1. Brown, J. and J. Morgan. 2009. “Moving Targets: Price, Quality, and Platform Competition.” Journal of Marketing Research, 46(2): 158-159.  (Commentary and Rejoinder on “Does Quality Win? Network Effects Versus Quality in High-Tech Markets”) [doiworking paper version]
  1. Berck, P., J. Brown, J.M. Perloff, and S.B. Villas-Boas. 2008. “Sales: Tests of Theories on Causality and Timing.” International Journal of Industrial Organization, 26(6): 1257-1273. [doi]
  1. Brown, J., J. Hastings, E.T. Mansur, and S.B. Villas-Boas. 2008. “Reformulating Competition? Gasoline Content Regulation and Wholesale Gasoline Prices.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 55(1): 1-19[doi]
  1. Brown, J. and J. Morgan. 2006. “Reputation in Online Auctions: The Market for Trust.” California Management Review, 49(1): 61-81. [doi]
  1. Brown, J., J.A.L. Cranfieldand S. Henson. 2005. “Relating Consumer Willingness-to-pay for Food Safety to Risk Tolerance: An Experimental Approach.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 53(2-3): 249-263. [doi]
  1. Brown, J. 2001. “Price discrimination and pricing to market behavior of Canadian canola exporters.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 83(5): 1343-49


  1. Jen Brown and Dylan Minor. August 2015. “Misconduct in Financial Services: Differences across Organizations”  NBER Working Paper No. 18608 (revision requested, March 2016)

ABSTRACT: We examine misconduct in financial services. We propose a theory in which experts extract surplus based on the value of their firm’s brand and their own skills. Using sales complaint data for insurance agents, we find that agents working exclusively for large branded firms are more likely to be the subject of justified sales complaints, relative to smaller independent experts, despite doing substantially less business. In addition, more experienced experts attract more complaints per year.

  1. Phil Brookins, Jen Brown, and Dmitry Ryvkin. July 2016. “Peer Information and Risk Taking under Competitive and Non-competitive Pay Schemes” NBER Working Paper No. 22486

ABSTRACT:  Incentive schemes that reward participants based on their relative performance are often thought to be particularly risk-inducing. Using a novel, real-effort task experiment in the laboratory, we find that the relationship between incentives and risk-taking is more nuanced and depends critically on the availability of informa- tion about peers’ strategies and outcomes. Indeed, we find that when no peer information is available, relative rewards schemes are associated with significantly less risk-taking than non-competitive rewards. In contrast, when decision-makers receive information about their peers’ actions and/or outcomes, relative incentive schemes are associated with more risk-taking than non-competitive schemes. The nature of the feedback—whether subjects receive information about peers’ strategies, outcomes, or both—also affects risk-taking. We find no evidence that competitors imitate their peers when they face only feedback about other subjects’ risk-taking strategies. However, decision-makers take more risk when they see the gaps between their performance score and their peers’ scores grow. Combined feedback about peers’ strategies and performance—from which subjects may assess the overall relationship between risk-taking and success—is associated with more risk-taking when rewards are based on relative performance; we find no similar effect for non-competitive rewards.

  1. Jen Brown and David Matsa. March 2017. Locked in by Leverage: Job Search during the Housing Crisis”  NBER Working Paper No. 22929

ABSTRACT: This paper examines how housing market distress affects job search. Using data from a leading online job search platform during the Great Recession, we find that job seekers in areas with depressed housing markets apply for fewer jobs that require relocation. With their search constrained geographically, job seekers broaden their search to lower-level positions nearby. These effects are stronger for job seekers with recourse mortgages, which we confirm using spatial regression discontinuity analysis. Our findings suggest that housing market distress distorts labor market outcomes by impeding household mobility.

  1. Anne Boring and Jen Brown. October 2016. “Gender, Competition, and Choices in Higher Education” [email to request most recent version]
    1. Jen Brown and Jin Li. July 2010. “Going for it: The Adoption of Risky Strategies in Tournaments.”