The Behavior of Companies Straining to Meet Earnings Forecasts

Plus: home buyers after they collect big equity gains, math and gender, and who votes

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Yellow and green work helmet and protective gloves on steel cable equipments in a factory.

Accounting gimmickry aside, companies straining to meet quarterly earnings forecasts have been found to:

Scrimp on worker safety spending and procedures, leading to increased injuries.
Commit “wage theft,” which involves things like denying overtime pay and forcing underreporting of hours worked.
Release more toxins than in quarters when they weren’t under earnings pressure.
All of the above.

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When people collect a large gain selling their previous house, in buying a new one they tend to:

Get a better price than the average buyer, indicating their prior gain reflects market acumen.
Overpay, suggesting they didn’t shop carefully enough.
Pay the same as buyers without a large equity gain.

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Girls in middle school typically outperform boys in math. The girls’ performance:

Gets even better when confronted with classmates who believe boys are better at math.
Is unaffected by classmates’ beliefs.
Suffers when surrounded by classmates who believe boys are more capable at math.

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Poorer people vote less frequently. A study of families who moved out of Chicago public housing found children in those families went on to vote at a 10% higher rate than those who stayed. Parents in the families who moved out:

Didn’t increase their voting.
Voted even less after leaving public housing.
Matched the increased voting of their offspring.

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The rise of platforms such as Amazon, which host third-party sellers but also compete against those sellers by offering the platform’s own merchandise, worries antitrust experts. One study suggests:

Third-party sellers indeed suffer lost sales and less pricing power.
Third-party sellers are unaffected when the platform competes.
Third-party sellers seem to benefit, in sales and pricing.