Now You Know

When should you start talking about money with your kids?

Q: When should you start talking about money with your kids?

The answer, according to recent research from Elizabeth Odders–White, U.S. Bank Professor of Finance at the Wisconsin School of Business, is “right now—just make sure the lessons are age–appropriate.”

Odders–White and her co–authors reviewed existing research from consumer science and developmental psychology to determine the best age to teach children the skills they need to manage their finances later in life. They found that:

Pre–elementary kids can learn foundational skills, such as staying focused despite distractions and delaying gratification. Elementary and middle school children can acquire positive financial attitudes and learn about savings and goal setting by watching adults manage household finances.

Adolescents and young adults can learn by doing by managing bank or credit accounts with their parents’ guidance. This helps young people understand how to seek out information and make good decisions.

“The key is providing opportunities that are developmentally appropriate,” says Odders–White. “Through practice supported by adults, children can develop positivefinancial habits related to skillful money management, goal setting, and financial research.”

What is the long-term value of buying
									 a Toyota that was assembled in the U.S. versus one assembled in Japan?

Q: What is the long–term value of buying a Toyota that was assembled in the U.S. versus one assembled in Japan?

In a recent study, Justin Sydnor, Wisconsin School of Business associate professor of actuarial science, risk management, and insurance, looked at whether leading multinational manufacturers can successfully transfer their production practices overseas.

So does it matter what country a product is manufactured in? Not really, according to Sydnor’s findings— at least, in the auto industry.

After analyzing data on more than 500,000 sales of used vehicles made by Japanese companies at wholesale auctions in the U.S., Sydnor and his co-author concluded that the Toyotas built in the U.S. in recent years have resale values at least as high as the ones built in Japan.

Interestingly, though, looking back further in the data, Sydnor finds that prior to 2002, Toyotas assembled in Japan were of “modestly higher quality” than similar vehicles assembled in the U.S. Why did the gap close? Because Toyota redesigned the assembly process and communications in its U.S. plants, resulting in greater quality control and intercontinental parity.

What makes certain offices kinder, gentler places to work?

Q: What makes certain offices kinder, gentler places to work?

New research from Evan Polman, assistant professor of marketing at the WSB, and his co–author suggest that the more women you work with, the more “interpersonal sensitivity” you’ll find in the office.

Polman discovered that male team members are more likely to behave in a caring and respectful way when female members are on their team.

In other words, on mixed–gender teams, both men and women are generally more sensitive to each other, a dynamic that has been found to reduce stress and emotional exhaustion, decrease vengeful behavior, build trust, facilitate sharing among employees, and increase employees’ acceptance of unfavorable decisions.

Polman cautions, however, that the level of interpersonal sensitivity on a mixed–gender team can vary due to a number of factors—for example, the increased sensitivity is more pronounced when women hold a lower rank on the team. The higher women rise in the team ranks, the less likely their male counterparts are to behave with sensitivity in their presence.

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Jim Mottern

Jim Mottern, MBA '74,

works with multinational corporations on complicated CFO and CIO issues such as cost reduction and operations improvement ... Read More »

Lisa Harris

Lisa Harris, BBA '97,

is a regional director for Sanrio, a former Target buyer, current member of the Wisconsin Business Alumni Board ... Read More »

Megan Ramey

Megan Ramey, MBA '07,

founded with her husband Kyle Ramey (MBA ’07) to inspire two-wheeled tourism in North America’s best biking cities ... Read More »