Michael Sykuta

Michael Sykuta
University of Missouri | Mizzou · Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

PhD, Economics

About

62
Publications
14,270
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Introduction
Dr. Michael Sykuta is an Associate Professor in the Division of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Missouri. Michael does research in Industrial Organization, Law and Economics, and Organizational Economics. He is Executive Director of the Financial Research Institute, which facilitates education, research and outreach related to public utilities regulation and innovation.
Additional affiliations
September 2005 - present
University of Missouri
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 1998 - August 2005
University of Missouri
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 1995 - August 1998
University of Pittsburgh
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
August 1989 - May 1994
Washington University in St. Louis
Field of study
  • Industrial Organization, Contracting, Econometrics

Publications

Publications (62)
Preprint
Full-text available
Two-dimensional Hotelling models predict that firms choose to maximally differentiate on one dominant characteristic and minimally differentiate on the other dominated characteristic. When consumers have more choices, firms tend to improve all dimensions. This study uses lodging tax data from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to examine the...
Article
Even if the corporate tax effects the cost of debt financing, firms’ responses to tax changes may differ conditional on country-specific corporate structure. For instance, South Korea is a newly developed country and has distinctive, family-controlled conglomerate structures. This paper explores the effects of the two tax policy changes (a tax cut...
Article
Full-text available
Antitrust scholars have recently proposed additional interventions — beyond enforcement of traditional rules on hub-and-spoke conspiracies, collusion- facilitating devices, etc. — to police anticompetitive harms purportedly resulting from institutional investors’ common ownership of small stakes in competing firms. They maintain that the current “e...
Article
Full-text available
Recent empirical research purports to demonstrate that institutional investors’ “common ownership” of small stakes in competing firms causes those firms to compete less aggressively, injuring consumers. A number of prominent antitrust scholars have cited this research as grounds for limiting the degree to which institutional investors may hold stak...
Article
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The evidence of anticompetitive harm from institutional investing is weak and the proposed policy solutions would be more harmful than the supposed problem.
Article
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A central theme in much of the franchising literature is that franchising mitigates the principle-agent problems between the owner of the franchise company and the operator of the local establishment by making the operator the owner-franchisee of the establishment. Despite the centrality of that assumption in the literature, there is little empiric...
Article
Full-text available
The transition from precision agriculture to big data opens a variety of concerns among both farmers and ag data service providers about the privacy, ownership and use of farm data. This paper discusses the nature of those concerns as well as an attempt to establish industry guidelines concerning data privacy and security. I argue that the proposed...
Article
While there has been significant research on the reasons for franchising, little work has examined the effects of franchising on establishment performance. This paper attempts to fill that gap. We use restricted-access US Census Bureau microdata from the 2007 Census of Retail Trade to examine establishment-level productivity of franchisee- and fran...
Article
Full-text available
The wine industry in the United States has grown tremendously over the past few decades, from fewer than 1,000 wineries in 1980 to upwards of 7,700 today. The growth has occurred over a period that has seen substantial changes in the structure of the wine industry, the modes of distribution available to wineries, and the regulations governing them,...
Article
Full-text available
Agriculture has long been viewed by economists as the best example of an industry characterized by perfect competition. However, the history of modern agriculture is marked with differences about just how competitive the industry is and whether competition is in fact a desirable thing. Present debates about competition in agriculture rally disconte...
Article
The adoption and diffusion of contract farming and vertical integration in modern agriculture has varied widely across regions, commodities, or farm types. This paper lays out a framework for understanding the evolution of organizational practices in U.S. agriculture by drawing on theories of the diffusion of technology and organizational complemen...
Article
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Under the rubric of "big is not per se bad, but can lead to predatory business practices," the partnering of DOJ and USDA represents a move to apply antitrust and the Packers and Stockyard Act as two blades of a scissor to cut down practices deemed inappropriate by regulators. Michael Sykuta, University of Missouri
Article
This paper investigates the use of procurement methods and contracting terms in markets for organic products, where contracting is more prevalent than in the conventional commodity sector. Findings largely support transaction cost arguments for chosen procurement methods and contracting terms. Further, contracting is decreasing in general, while th...
Book
'Not too long ago it was possible to be familiar with all of the important works and latest developments in transaction cost economics. That that is no longer the case is a testament to the intellectual appeal and empirical success of the transaction cost approach. For newcomers, the entries in this volume, by some of TCE's most knowledgeable and e...
Article
Full-text available
This comment was filed with the Department of Justice Antitrust Division on December 31, 2009, as "Comments Regarding Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy" in response to the DOJ/USDA request for public comments for the agencies' joint workshops on antitrust issues in the agricultural sector. Regarding firm size...
Article
This article provides a unique perspective to why U.S. producers’ hedging practices are not consistent with the price-risk management literature. We conduct a formal test of income support program impacts with survey data from South Africa and the United States, which have different producer income support policies. We find that producing in a supp...
Article
The idea that individuals adapt their behaviors in response to changes in incentive systems is fundamental to most economic analysis. This paper incorporates the concept of price discovery costs into the incentive theory to offer a theoretical model and empirical evidence on the differential incentive effects of long-term contracts and spot markets...
Article
Achieving consistency in hog quality has been one of the greatest challenges in the US pork industry. Packers, processors and retailers all ranked lack of uniformity in live hogs, carcasses, and retail cuts with regard to size and backfat as the most important quality issue facing the industry in the mid 1990s (NPPC, Pork Quality Audit, 1994), and...
Chapter
Introduction: From its inception, new institutional economics (NIE) has been characterized by its emphasis on empirical research. This is not to say that NIE is hostile or even ambivalent toward formal theory; quite the contrary. Rather, it is to say that NIE places a premium on realism that is absent in much of traditional neoclassical economic th...
Article
The CORI K-Base is a digital library of contract documents, forms, and other materials related to business organization. The collection was created to facilitate academic research on enterprise structure, though practitioner use is welcomed. The K-Base includes more than four hundred fifty thousand contracts from a wide range of industries and tran...
Article
The CORI K-Base is a digital library of contract documents, forms, and other materials related to business organization. The collection was created to facilitate academic research on enterprise structure, though practitioner use is welcomed. The K-Base includes more than four hundred fifty thousand contracts from a wide range of industries and tran...
Article
The CORI K-Base is a digital library of contract documents, forms, and other materials related to business organization. The collection was created to facilitate academic research on enterprise structure, though practitioner use is welcomed. The K-Base includes more than four hundred fifty thousand contracts from a wide range of industries and tran...
Article
Full-text available
This working paper was subsequently published as "Do Income Support Programs Impact Producer Hedging Decisions? Evidence from a Cross-Country Comparison," Review of Agricultural Economics, 31(4), 834-852, 2009
Article
The authors examine whether cooperatives are characterized by greater trust than investor-owned firms. They surveyed 2,000 Missouri corn and soybean farmers and found that trust and farmer perceptions of honesty and competence are higher in cooperatives than in investor-owned firms and that trust is a significant factor explaining the choice of far...
Article
Full-text available
We show that immigrant managers are substantially more likely to hire immigrants than are native managers. The finding holds when comparing establishments in the same 5-digit industry and location, when comparing different establishments within the same firm, when analyzing establishments that change management over time, and when accounting for wi...
Article
The corporate governance literature is rich with empirical tests of the relation between board composition and firm performance. We consider the effect of board composition on a different measure of performance, the probability a firm will be sued by shareholders. We find firms that are defendants in securities litigation have higher proportions of...
Article
New Institutional Economics is characterized by its real-word orientation and empirical focus. Nowhere is this broader scope more evident than in microeconomic theories of firms and markets. NIE has led researchers not only to crack open the black box of production known as the firm, but also the market itself, examining the structures of individua...
Article
Full-text available
The rise of contract farming and vertical integration is one of the most important changes in modern agriculture. Yet the adoption and diffusion of these new forms of organization has varied widely across regions, commodities, or farm types, however. Transaction cost theories and the like are not fully effective at explaining the variation of adopt...
Article
Full-text available
From production to retail, information systems have become increasingly important in the agrifood system. Retailers use information systems to improve inventory management and increase efficiency in production and logistics. Innovations in agribiotechnology and food safety issues highlighted by incidences related to Starlink corn and “mad cow dis...
Article
Full-text available
The grain/oilseed industry is undergoing considerable structural change through mergers and new value-added businesses, which raises price-related questions. We analyze the level of price integration prior to and following a merger between two grain firms and the start-up of a producer-owned ethanol facility. This research utilizes error correction...
Article
We examine how organizational characteristics of producer-owned firms are correlated with the level of perceived trust among cooperative members, using survey data from a sample of U.S. agricultural cooperatives. Our results indicate trust is correlated with property right and organizational structures previously identified in the literature as sig...
Article
In 1986, California passed legislation restricting the direct importation of wine from another state by California residents unless the originating state allowed direct shipment from California wineries to residents in that state. The result has been a patchwork of direct shipment regulations across states. We examine how various economic and publi...
Article
Full-text available
In 1986, California passed legislation prohibiting the direct shipment of wine to its residents from another state unless the originating state allows California wineries to ship directly to that state's residents. The legislation's obvious intent was to break down other states' barriers to the direct shipment of California wine; prior to 1986, dir...
Article
Organizational and contract economics have achieved an increasingly important role in analyses of the food, agribusiness, and agricultural sectors. In particular, formal theoretical models of contract design and firm integration have begun to appear in the leading agricultural economics journals. Although the introduction of organizational economic...
Article
It is generally agreed that boards are endogenously determined institutions that serve both oversight and advisory roles in a firm. While the oversight role of boards has been extensively studied, relatively few studies have examined the advisory role of corporate boards. We examine the participation of political directors on the boards of natural...
Article
Full-text available
We examine whether cooperatives are characterized by greater trust than investor-owned firms. We survey 2000 Missouri corn and soybean farmers and find that trust and farmer perceptions of trustworthiness and competence are higher in cooperatives than in investor-owned firms and that trust is a significant factor explaining the choice of farmers to...
Article
The authors examine whether cooperatives are characterized by greater trust than investor-owned firms. They surveyed 2,000 Missouri corn and soybean farmers and found that trust and farmer perceptions of honesty and competence are higher in cooperatives than in investor-owned firms and that trust is a significant factor explaining the choice of far...
Article
We examine how organizational characteristics of producer-owned firms affect the level of perceived trust among cooperative members, using survey data from a sample of U.S. agricultural cooperatives. Our results indicate trust is correlated with property right and organizational structures previously identified in the literature as significant for...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides a survey of contract design structures in identity-preserved soybean production. Drawing from economic theories of contract and organizational design, we document the allocation of value and decision rights associated with the transaction and the resulting allocation of risk associated with various sources of uncertainty for a s...
Article
In 1986, the State of California passed legislation restricting the direct importation of wine from another state by California residents unless the originating state allowed the reciprocal privilege of direct shipment from California wineries to residents in that state. This proved to be the opening salvo in a series of legislative and judicial ba...
Article
The latter 1990s witnessed rapid growth among the largest retail food chain companies, much of it through acquisitions. An explanatory motive is that grocery chains could achieve greater scale economies and operating efficiencies, and increase their bargaining power with packaged food manufacturer-suppliers. This article begins to examine whether t...
Article
Full-text available
Empirical research on the organization and governance of economic activity has certainly advanced over the past two decades. However, a great deal of work remains. I believe this future work will be characterized by two features: a continued accumulation of empirical studies of contract design and organizational structure, and an increasing integra...
Article
The purpose of this article is to proffer a comparative conceptual framework that examines efficiency implications for contracting parties depending on the ownership structure of the contractor. New institutional economics theories of contracting, agency, and property rights allocation suggest that cooperative contractors may be able to design cont...
Article
Full-text available
Our purpose in this paper is to highlight the role of organizational structure and incentives in the design of contracts between buyers and sellers of agricultural products. In particular, we consider how differences between investor-owned (IOF) and producer-oriented (POF) firms, and differences between alternate types of POFs, may affect the types...
Article
According to the conventional wisdom, a revolving door operates between government and industry. High ranking government officials leave office and head for Washington law firms or major corporations where they use their connections and influence to further their new employers' political interests. Despite the pervasiveness of this story, remarkabl...
Article
This paper examines the relation between commodity futures trading and the real side contracting behavior of firms dealing in the commodity. I argue that futures serve as a flexible form of physical contracting and should be examined in the context of the firm's contracting activities, and not strictly in the context of its financial activities. Da...
Article
The purpose of this research note is to document the importance of empirical specification in the analysis of the influence of race on home mortgage lending decisions. Using a variety of testing procedures and detailed lending decision data for a large midwestern lending institution, the authors show that dramatically different results may be obtai...
Article
Empirical research on contracting and organization is hampered by a lack of data. Re- searchers must typically choose between narrowly focused, but richly detailed, collections of contracts and cross-industry datasets containing proxies for some contractual information. This paper assesses another source of data on contracts, one that spans industr...
Article
Full-text available
The paper addresses the choice between long-term contracts and spot-markets, for coordinating the quality of slaughter hogs in the U.S. pork industry. We provide an analytical model accounting for contract choice assuming only both bounded rationality and uncertainty. By analysis of the model, we identify that upstream firms' optimal decision on ti...
Article
Full-text available
We surveyed 2000 Missouri corn and soybean farmers about the trust they place in farm organizations, such as the USDA and the Missouri Farm Bureau. We are interested in determining whether trust in organizations can be either generalized or particularized, using the distinction raised by Uslaner (2002) and others. Trust is generalized if it is not...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
The AGRO-GOVERNANCE project is funded by the National Science Fund of Bulgaria. Its goals are to unite the experience and interdisciplinary efforts of leading Bulgarian and foreign scientists in the field of New Institutional Economics (combining economics, management, organization, law, sociology, behavioral and political sciences) and to: (1) summarise and incorporate modern achievements of the world science and managerial practice, and suggest and experiment a holistic framework for adequate definition, analysis, evaluation and improvement of agrarian governance in Bulgaria; (2) identifies and characterizes the formal and informal modes and mechanisms of agrarian governance (institutional environment, market, private, contractual, collective, public, transnational, hybrid, etc. forms), and evaluates their efficiency, complementarity, limitations and failures to achieve the goals of sustainable development in the specific socio-economic and natural environment of Bulgaria; (3) assesse the institutional environment of Bulgarian agriculture and the compliance of agrarian governance system in the country with the universal principles of "good governance" in the European Union, and identifie the needs for modernization of institutional environment and forms of public intervention in agriculture. (4) identify the mechanisms and forms, efficiency, mutual complementarity, and critical (personal, behavioral, institutional, economic, technological, natural, etc.) factors that govern the activities of Bulgarian farms of different legal type, size, specialization, geographical and ecological location; identify and assess the dominant market, contractual, collective, internal, public and hybrid modes and mechanisms applied by farms to govern the supply of land and natural resources, labor and services, long-term tangible and biological inputs, short-term inputs, innovations and knowledge, finance, and for marketing of produce and services; identify the cases of market, private, collective and public "failure", and determine the needs and forms of new public intervention in the sector. (5) make a comprehensive vertical analysis of agrarian governance (from farm level to national and European level) in a topical functional area such as preservation and supply of agro-ecosystem services, agricultural innovation, etc.; assess the comparative and absolute efficiency of employed and other feasible mechanisms and modes, identify the existing and likely cases of market, private, collective and public "failure", and determine the needs and forms of new public intervention in the area; give a more realistic answer about the probable "logic" of development and the degree of achievements of the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy and the Green Deal of the European Union. (6) provide new information and tools for decision-makers at all levels, and suggest constructive recommendations for improving scientific methods and analysis of agrarian governance, public policies and programs for agricultural development, and individual, farming and collective action for sustainable agriculture. Проектът се финансира от Фонд научни изследвания. Той цели да обедини опитът и интердисциплинарни усилия на водещи български и чуждестранни учени в областта на Новата институционална икономика (комбинираща икономика, управление, организация, право, социология, поведенчески и политически науки) и да: (1) систематизира и адаптира съвременните постижения на световната наука и управленческа практика, и разработи и експериментира холистичен подход за адекватно дефиниране, анализиране, оценяване и усъвършенстване на аграрното управление (agrarian governance) в България; (2) идентифицира и характеризира формалните и неформални форми и механизми на аграрното управление (институционална среда, пазарни, частни, договорни, колективни, обществени, транснационални, хибридни и др. форми), и оцени тяхната ефективност, взаимнадопълняемост, ограничения и провали за достигане на целите на устойчивото развитие в специфичната социално-икономическа и природна среда на България; (3) направи оценка на институционалната среда на българското селско стопанство, и на съответствието на системата за аграрно управление в страната на универсалните принципи за „добро управление“ в Европейския съюз, и идентифицира нуждите за модернизиране на институционалната среда и на формите за обществена интервенция в селското стопанство. (4) разкрие механизмите и формите, ефективността, взаимната допълняемост, и критичните (персонални, поведенчески, институционални, икономически, технологически, природни и т.н.) фактори, които управляват дейността на българските ферми от различен юридически тип, размери, специализация, географско и екологическо разположение; идентифицира и оцени доминиращите пазарни, договорни, колективни, вътрешни, обществени и хибридни форми и механизми, които се прилагат от фермите за управление на снабдяването със земя и природни ресурси, с труд и услуги, с дългосрочни материални и биологични активи, с краткосрочни активи, с иновации и знания, с финанси, и за реализация на продукцията и услугите; открои случаите на пазарен, частен, колективен и обществен „провал“, и детерминират нуждите и формите за нова обществена интервенция в отрасъла. (5) направи цялостен вертикален анализ на аграрното управление (от ниво ферма до национално и европейско) в една актуална област като съхранение и снабдяване на агроекосистемни услуги, аграрни иновации или др.; оцени сравнителната и абсолютна ефективност на прилаганите и други възможни механизми и форми, открои съществуващите и вероятни случаи на пазарен, частен, колективен и обществен „провал“, и детерминира нуждите и формите за нова обществена интервенция в дадената област; даде по реалистичен отговор за вероятната „логика“ на развитие и степента на реализиране на целите на Общо селскостопанска политика и Зелена сделка на Европейския съюз. (6) предостави нова информация и инструменти за вземащите управленчески решения на всички нива, и направи конструктивни предложения за подобряване на научните методи и анализ на аграрното управление, обществените политики и програми за аграрно развитие, и индивидуалните, фермерски и колективни действия за устойчиво селско стопанство.
Project
The agricultural sector (particularly in the US) is often stereotyped in economics as the closest thing we have to perfect competition, despite its reliance on federal industrial policy. Consolidation at all stages of the industry have given rise to increasing calls for trust-busting and other types of enhanced regulation in the name of 'protecting competition.' This project takes these issues into focus, including critiques of common arguments.