nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2011‒09‒22
ten papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. What do we actually mean by talent in business? Does it really matter? By Eva Gallardo-Gallardo
  2. Intertemporal Utility and Correlation Aversion By Steffen Andersen; Glenn W. Harrison; Morten Lau; Elisabet E. Rutstroem
  3. Asset Integration and Attitudes to Risk: Theory and Evidence By Steffen Andersen; James C. Cox; Glenn W. Harrison; Morten Lau; Elisabet E. Rutstroem; Vjollca Sadiraj
  4. Learning about a Class of Belief-Dependent Preferences without Information on Beliefs By Bellemare, Charles; Sebald, Alexander
  5. Use of data on planned contributions and stated beliefs in the measurement of social preferences By Anna Conte; M. Vittoria Levati
  6. Lying and Team Incentives By Conrads, Julian; Irlenbusch, Bernd; Rilke, Rainer Michael; Walkowitz, Gari
  7. Two heads are less bubbly than one: Team decision-making in an experimental asset market By Cheung, Stephen L.; Palan, Stefan
  8. The influence of tax labeling and tax earmarking on the willingness to contribute: A conjoint analysis By Hundsdoerfer, Jochen; Sielaff, Christian; Blaufus, Kay; Kiesewetter, Dirk; Weimann, Joachim
  9. Spillovers in learning and behavior: Evidence from a nutritional information campaign in urban slums By Singh, Prakarsh
  10. Long-Term Care, Altruism and Socialization By Grégory Ponthière

  1. By: Eva Gallardo-Gallardo (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The conceptualization of talent has become increasingly relevant for scholars and practitioners as they seek to advance the study of talent management (TM). Indeed, confusion about the meaning of talent within the business field hinders consensus on the concept and practice of TM. In this theoretical study we review the talent concept in business to summarize what we have learned and to discuss the pros and cons of different approaches. We conclude by formulating an overall definition of this term, since an acknowledged interpretation of talent managementnot to mention the successful management of talent will depend on having a clear understanding of what is meant by talent in an organizational context. Moreover, with our definition of talent, we delimit the talent concept while avoiding problems uncovered in previous definitions (e.g. generality and tautology) and highlighting important variables that affect it and can make it more manageable.
    Keywords: talent management, competencies, talent
    JEL: M12 M59 M50
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Steffen Andersen (Copenhagen Business School); Glenn W. Harrison (Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University); Morten Lau (Durham Business School); Elisabet E. Rutstroem (Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University)
    Abstract: Convenient assumptions about qualitative properties of the intertemporal utility function have generated counter-intuitive implications for the relationship between atemporal risk aversion and the intertemporal elasticity of substitution. If the intertemporal utility function is additively separable then the latter two concepts are the inverse of each other. We review a simple theoretical specification with a long lineage in the literature on multi-attribute utility, and demonstrate the critical role of a concept known as intertemporal risk aversion or intertemporal correlation aversion. This concept is the intertemporal analogue of a more general concept applied to two attributes of utility, but where the attributes just happen to be the time-dating of the good. In the context of intertemporal utility functions, the concept provides an intuitive explanation of possible differences between (the inverse of) atemporal risk aversion and the intertemporal elasticity of substitution. We use this theoretical structure to guide the design of a series of experiments that allow us to identify and estimate intertemporal correlation aversion. Our results show that subjects are correlation averse over lotteries with intertemporal income profiles, and that the convenient additive specification of the intertemporal utility function is not an appropriate representation of preferences over time.
    Date: 2011–03–01
  3. By: Steffen Andersen (Copenhagen Business School); James C. Cox (Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University); Glenn W. Harrison (Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University); Morten Lau (Durham Business School); Elisabet E. Rutstroem (Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University); Vjollca Sadiraj (Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University)
    Abstract: Measures of risk attitudes derived from experiments are often questioned because they are based on small stakes bets and do not account for the extent to which the decision-maker integrates the prizes of the experimental tasks with personal wealth. We exploit the existence of detailed information on individual wealth of experimental subjects in Denmark, and directly estimate risk attitudes and the degree of asset integration consistent with observed behavior. The behavior of the adult Danes in our experiments is consistent with partial asset integration: they behave as if some small fraction of personal wealth is combined with experimental prizes in a utility function, and that this combination entails less than perfect substitution. Our subjects do not perfectly asset integrate. The implied risk attitudes from estimating these specifications imply risk premia and certainty equivalents that are a priori plausible under expected utility theory or rank dependent utility models. These are reassuring and constructive solutions to payoff calibration paradoxes. In addition, the rigorous, structural modeling of partial asset integration points to a rich array of neglected questions in risk management and policy evaluation in important field settings.
    Date: 2011–09–14
  4. By: Bellemare, Charles (Université Laval); Sebald, Alexander (University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: We show how to bound the effect of belief-dependent preferences on choices in sequential two-player games without information about the (higher-order) beliefs of players. The approach can be applied to a class of belief-dependent preferences which includes reciprocity (Dufwenberg and Kirchsteiger, 2004) and guilt aversion (Battigalli and Dufwenberg, 2007) as special cases. We show how the size of the bounds can be substantially reduced by exploiting a specific invariance property common to preferences in this class. We illustrate our approach by analyzing data from a large scale experiment conducted with a sample of participants randomly drawn from the Dutch population. We find that behavior of players in the experiment is consistent with significant guilt aversion: some groups of the population are willing to pay at least 0.16e to avoid 'letting down' another player by 1e. We also find that our approach produces narrow and thus very informative bounds on the effect of reciprocity in the games we consider. Our bounds suggest the model of reciprocity we consider is not a significant determinant of decisions in our experiment.
    Keywords: belief-dependent preferences, guilt aversion, reciprocity, partial identification
    JEL: C93 D63 D84
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: Anna Conte (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, and University of Westminster, EQM Department, London); M. Vittoria Levati (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, and University of Verona, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In a series of one-shot linear public goods game, we ask subjects to report their contributions, their contribution plans for the next period, and their first-order beliefs about their present and future partner. We estimate subjects' preferences from plans data by a finite mixture approach and compare the results with those obtained from contribution data. Our results indicate that preferences are heterogeneous, and that most subjects exhibit conditionally cooperative inclinations. Controlling for beliefs, which incorporate the information about the other's decisions, we are able to show that plans convey accurate information about subjects' preferences and, consequently, are good predictors of their future behavior.
    Keywords: Public goods games, Experiments, Social preferences, Mixture models
    JEL: C35 C51 C72 H41
    Date: 2011–09–13
  6. By: Conrads, Julian (University of Cologne); Irlenbusch, Bernd (University of Cologne); Rilke, Rainer Michael (University of Cologne); Walkowitz, Gari (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: We investigate the influence of two widespread compensation schemes, individual piece-rates and team incentives, on participants' inclination to lie, by adapting the experimental setup of Fischbacher and Heusi (2008). Lying turns out to be more pronounced under team incentives than under individual piece-rates, which highlights a so far fairly neglected feature of these compensation schemes.
    Keywords: compensation schemes, lying, team, experiment
    JEL: C91 C92 M52
    Date: 2011–09
  7. By: Cheung, Stephen L.; Palan, Stefan
    Abstract: In the world of mutual funds management, responsibility for investment decisions is increasingly entrusted to small teams instead of individuals. Yet the effect of team decision-making in a market environment has never been studied in a controlled experiment. In this paper, we investigate the effect of team decision-making in an asset market experiment that has long been known to reliably generate price bubbles and crashes in markets populated by individuals. We find that this tendency is substantially reduced when each decision-making unit is instead a team of two. This holds across a broad spectrum of measures of the severity of mispricing, both under a continuous double-auction institution and in a call market. The result is not driven by reduced turnover due to time required for deliberation by teams, and continues to hold even when subjects are experienced. Our result also holds not only when our teams treatments are compared to the ‘narrow' baseline provided by the corresponding individuals treatments, but also when compared more broadly to the results of the large body of previous research on markets of this kind.
    Keywords: asset market experiments; price bubbles; group decision-making
    Date: 2011–09
  8. By: Hundsdoerfer, Jochen; Sielaff, Christian; Blaufus, Kay; Kiesewetter, Dirk; Weimann, Joachim
    Abstract: We apply conjoint analysis to study the influence of tax labeling and tax earmarking on German taxpayers' willingness to contribute. From a survey based sample we show that labeling and earmarking effects can substantially increase participants' willingness to contribute, which results in a considerable deviation from a pure consumption maximizing behavior. Furthermore, we give an explanation for this effect regarding socio-demographic attributes of German taxpayers. These results explain the variety in tax labels and provide implications for tax policy regarding further reforms of the tax and contribution system: Labeling and earmarking of contributions are important instruments in selling policies and increasing tax revenue. --
    Keywords: Behavioral Taxation,Tax Labeling,Tax Earmarking,Willingness to Contribute,Conjoint Analysis,Perceived Tax Burden
    JEL: H20 H51 H52 K34
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Singh, Prakarsh
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence for spillovers in learning and behavior within urban slums in Chandigarh, India. In an experiment, mothers of children (aged 3-6 years) enrolled in government day-care centers were provided recipe books to lower their price per calorie. Theory suggests that if learning takes place among untreated mothers in the same slum cluster, it may increase or decrease their food expenditure. Results from a difference-in-differences analysis show that nutritional knowledge increases among untreated mothers and there is a corresponding reduction in food expenditure. These neighbouring mothers exhibit learning spillovers and a reduction in expenditure regardless of their level of literacy.
    Keywords: Externality; Informational Spillovers; Child health; Learning; Communication; Urban slums; Behavioral Change
    JEL: D62 I12 I18 I38 D83
    Date: 2011–05
  10. By: Grégory Ponthière (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: The public provision of long-term care (LTC) can replace family-provided LTC when adults are not sufficiently altruistic towards their elderly parents. But State intervention can also modify the transmission of values and reduce the long-run prevalence of family altruism in the population. That evolutionary effect questions the desirability of the LTC public provision. To characterize the optimal LTC policy, we develop a three-period OLG model where the population is divided into altruistic and non-altruistic agents, and where the transmission of (non) altruism takes place through a socialization process à la Bisin and Verdier (2001). The optimal short-run and long-run LTC policies are shown to differ, to an extent varying with the particular socialization mechanism at work.
    Keywords: long-term care ; altruism ; socialization ; optimal policy ; crowding out effect
    Date: 2011–09

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