nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2005‒12‒01
seven papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Universita del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Receiving Other People's Advice: Influence and Benefit By Ilan Yaniv
  2. Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange By Luigi Guiso; Paola Sapienza
  3. Herding and Social Preferences By Luca Corazzini; Ben Greiner
  4. Big Decisions: Opting, Converting, Drifting By Edna Ullmann-Margalit
  5. Is There a Link between Economic Outcomes and Genetic Evolution? Cross-Country Evidence from the Major Histocompatibility Complex By José A. M. Borghans; Lex Borghans; Bas ter Weel
  6. Institutions: Why are They Persistent and Why Do They Change? By Bryan Paterson
  7. Design of web questionnaires : a test for number of items per screen By Teopoel,Vera; Das,Marcel; Soest,Arthur van

  1. By: Ilan Yaniv
    Abstract: Seeking advice is a basic practice in making real life decisions. Until recently, however, little attention has been given to it in either empirical studies or theories of decision making. The studies reported here investigate the influence of advice on judgment and the consequences of advice use for judgment accuracy. Respondents were asked to provide final judgments on the basis of their initial opinions and advice presented to them. The respondents’ weighting policies were inferred. Analysis of the these policies show that (a) the respondents tended to place a higher weight on their own opinion than on the advisor's opinion (the self/other effect); (b) more knowledgeable individuals discounted the advice more; (c) the weight of advice decreased as its distance from the initial opinion increased; and (d) the use of advice improved accuracy significantly, though not optimally. A theoretical framework is introduced which draws in part on insights from the study of attitude change to explain the influence of advice. Finally the usefulness of advice for improving judgment accuracy is considered.
    Date: 2005–09
  2. By: Luigi Guiso (Graduate School of Business University of Chicago); Paola Sapienza
    Keywords: Culture, Exchange, Trust, Priors
    JEL: D84 F10
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Luca Corazzini; Ben Greiner
    Abstract: We study the role of social preferences in explaining herding behavior in anonymous risky environments. In an experiment similar to information cascade settings, but with no private information, we find no evidence that inequality aversion causes herding. On the contrary, we observe a significant amount of non-conform behavior, which cannot be attributed to errors.
    Keywords: herding, information cascades, non-conformity, inequality aversion, laboratory experiments
    JEL: C92 D31 D81
    Date: 2005–11–16
  4. By: Edna Ullmann-Margalit
    Date: 2005–11
  5. By: José A. M. Borghans (Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, UMC Utrecht); Lex Borghans (ROA, Maastricht University and IZA Bonn); Bas ter Weel (MERIT, Maastricht University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This research develops a theory and presents empirical evidence of a link between economic outcomes and genetic evolution. Important properties for successful analysis of such a link are found in the adaptive immune system and particularly in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a genetically encoded complex involved in the defence against infections. The theory incorporates properties of the MHC in a model of mutual dependence and exhibits a trade-off in which every agent who is better off having an immune response different from that of others is also part of the protecting belt of others in a population, in which mounting similar immune responses is optimal. The data are based on large numbers of blood samples from 63 different populations. The cross-country estimates show a robust negative association between economic and health outcomes and MHC diversity and between average offers in ultimatum and trust games and MHC diversity. The analyses suggest that societies incorporating externalities from mutual dependence are economically more successful, and that the incorporation of such externalities is evident at the gene level.
    Keywords: genetic evolution, human cooperation, economic outcomes
    JEL: O10 I10 C90
    Date: 2005–11
  6. By: Bryan Paterson (Economics Queen's University)
    Keywords: institutions, persistence, economic growth
    JEL: O10 P16
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Teopoel,Vera; Das,Marcel; Soest,Arthur van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper presents results from an experimental manipulation of one versus multiple-items per screen format in a Web survey. The purpose of the experiment was to find out if a questionnaire s format influences how respondents provide answers in online questionnaires and if this is depending on personal characteristics. Four different formats were used, varying the number of items on a screen (1, 4, 10, and 40 items). To test how robust the results were, and to find out whether or not a specific format shows more deviation in answer scores, the experiment was repeated. We found that mean scores, variances and correlations do not differ much in the different formats. In addition, formats show the same deviation of item scores between repeated experiments. In relation to non-response error, we found that the more items appear on a single screen, the higher the number of people with one or more missing values. Placing more items on a single screen a) shortens the duration of the interview, b) negatively influences the respondent's evaluation of the duration of the interview, c) negatively influences the respondent's evaluation of the layout, and d) increases the difficulty in completing the interview. We also found that scrolling negatively influences the evaluation of a questionnaire's layout. Furthermore, the results show that differences between formats are influenced by personal characteristics.
    Keywords: web surveys;questionnaire design;measurement errors;non-response errors; C81; questionnaires;error analysis
    JEL: C42 C93
    Date: 2005

This nep-cbe issue is ©2005 by Marco Novarese. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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