Research funded by Keio University Academic Development Fund
Main Research Activities
We are conducting the following research until the end of March 2020.
“A Study of the Community Mechanism by Behavioral Economics: Empirical and Theoretical Research on Child Care and Education”
Research Progress to Date
This research has been reported at various conferences and workshops, including a general report and a poster sessions at the 13th Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Economics (see for a preliminary report in Japanese). Based on the comments received, the paper is almost ready to be submitted as a Discussion Paper at the Institute for Economics Studies at Keio University and is in the process of being revised for submission to an academic journal.
Research Results to Date
Many people believe or express that the market mechanism of bidding or open calls is necessary or effective for fairness and economic efficiency when outsourcing childcare services. The purpose of this study is to examine (1) whether bidding and public solicitation are truly necessary for fairness and efficiency; (2) if not, under what conditions they are not necessary or even harmful; (3) how institutions that outsource childcare services act? In this study, we adopted a qualitative analysis approach through interviews as a method of empirical research. In our empirical research, we focus on universities and hospitals that outsource childcare services. According to previous studies, when outsourcing contracts are renewed, there is a possibility that the community mechanism will collapse and the quality of childcare will rapidly deteriorate, and many children will become victims. Empirical studies and theoretical analysis in economics in our research have shown that (1) bidding and open calls are not always necessary for fairness and efficiency. In other words, it is a misconception to think that bidding and open calls are always necessary for fairness and efficiency. (2) Under the condition that the community mechanism is working strongly, bidding and open calls may be harmful. In other words, the misperception may destroy the community. (3) If the community mechanism is working well and there is no problem in the audit or evaluation of the quality of childcare at the end of the contract, the university or hospital should renew the contract instead of bidding or open calls, and if there is a problem, the contractor should take corrective measures. In principle, the contract should be renewed rather than publicly solicited, and if problems arise, the contractor should take corrective measures. In addition, careful consideration should be given to whether it is desirable to conduct bidding or open calls. In principle, bidding or open callsonly when there are serious problems that require urgent contract termination. If the community in childcare is working well, but the bidding or open calls is inevitable, it is necessary to require the contracting corporation to maintain the employment and treatment of the employees of the childcare center in order not to destroy the community. In the case of a for-profit company, it is necessary to consider the possibility of a future takeover and the inability to maintain trust with the company.