nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2013‒09‒06
eleven papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. A political theory of Russian orthodoxy: Evidence from public goods experiments By Grigoriadis, Theocharis
  2. Could Learning Strategies Reduce the Performance Gap Between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students? By OECD
  3. Do Institutions Affect Social Preferences? Evidence from Divided Korea By Kim, Byung-Yeon; Choi, Syngjoo; Lee, Jungmin; Lee, Sokbae; Choi, Kyunghui
  4. It is Not Just Confusion! Strategic Uncertainty in an Experimental Asset Market By Eizo Akiyama; Nobuyuki Hanaki; Ryuichiro Ishikawa
  5. Searching for a job is a beauty contest By Busetta, Giovanni; Fiorillo, Fabio; Visalli, Emanuela
  6. Physiological Responses to Stressful Work Situations in Low-Immersive Virtual Environments By Valeria Faralla; Alessandro Innocenti; Stefano Taddei; Eva Venturini
  7. The curse of uninformed voting: An experimental study By Jens Großer; Michael Seebauer
  8. Too many charities? Insight from an experiment with multiple public goods and contribution thresholds By Luca Corazzini; Christopher Cotton; Paola Valbonesi
  9. GraduatesÕ emotional competency: aligning academic programs, firmsÕ requirements and studentsÕ profiles By Fabrizio Gerli; Sara Bonesso; Claudio Pizzi; Mariachiara Barzotto
  10. Adaptive Learning and Survey Data By Agnieszka Markiewicz; Andreas Pick
  11. Religious identity, public goods and centralization: Evidence from Russian and Israeli cities By Grigoriadis, Theocharis; Torgler, Benno

  1. By: Grigoriadis, Theocharis
    Abstract: In this paper, I test the effects of religious norms on the provision of public goods. My evidence is drawn from public goods experiments that I ran with regional bureaucrats in Tomsk and Novosibirsk, Russia. I introduce three treatments, which I define as degrees of Eastern Orthodox collectivist enforcement: 1. Solidarity, 2. Obedience, and 3. Universal discipline. I argue for the existence of an Eastern Orthodox hierarchy in the Russian bureaucracy that facilitates the delivery of public goods under conditions of universal discipline and the principal´s overfulfillment. Eastern Orthodox hierarchy is enforced through universal disciplinary monitoring, which induces collective punishment when the public good is not delivered. Contrary to conventional wisdom about freeriding in administrative institutions, higher ranks in Russian bureaucracies are associated with less freeriding. --
    Keywords: public goods experiments,bureaucracy,enforcement,Russia,religion,incomplete information,hierarchy
    JEL: C91 C92 D72 D73 P21 P26 P32 P51 Z12
    Date: 2013
  2. By: OECD
    Abstract: <ul> <li>Students who know how to summarise information tend to perform better in reading. </li> <li>If disadvantaged students used effective learning strategies to the same extent as students from more advantaged backgrounds do, the performance gap between the two groups would be almost 20% narrower. </li></ul>
    Date: 2013–06
  3. By: Kim, Byung-Yeon (Seoul National University); Choi, Syngjoo (University College London); Lee, Jungmin (Sogang University); Lee, Sokbae (Seoul National University); Choi, Kyunghui (University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: The Cold War division of Korea, regarded as a natural experiment in institutional change, provides a unique opportunity to examine whether institutions affect social preferences. We recruited North Korean refugees and South Korean students to conduct laboratory experiments eliciting social preferences, together with standard surveys measuring subjective attitudes toward political and economic institutions. Our experiments employ widely used dictator and trust games, with four possible group matches between North and South Koreans by informing them of the group identity of their anonymous partners. Experimental behavior and support for institutions differ substantially between and within groups. North Korean refugees prefer more egalitarian distribution in the dictator games than South Korean students, even after controlling for individual characteristics that could be correlated with social preferences; however, two groups show little difference in the trust game, once we control for more egalitarian behavior of North Koreans. North Korean refugees show less support for market economy and democracy than South Korean subjects. Attitudes toward institutions are more strongly associated with the experimental behaviors among South Korean subjects than among North Korean subjects.
    Keywords: social preferences, experiment, institutions, market economy, democracy
    JEL: C92 C93 D03 P20
    Date: 2013–08
  4. By: Eizo Akiyama (Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems, University of Tsukuba); Nobuyuki Hanaki (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS, and IUF); Ryuichiro Ishikawa (Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems, University of Tsukuba)
    Abstract: To what extent is the observed mis-pricing in experimental asset markets caused by strategic uncertainty (SU) and by individual bounded rationality (IBR)? We address this question by comparing subjects initial price forecasts in two market environments – one with six human traders, and the other with one human and five computer traders. We find that both SU and IBR account equally for the median initial forecasts deviation from the fundamental values. The effect of SU is greater for subjects with a perfect score in the Cognitive Reflection Test, and it is not significant for those with low scores.
    Keywords: Bounded rationality, Strategic uncertainty, Experiment, Asset markets, Computer traders,Cognitive Re?ection Test
    JEL: C90 D84
    Date: 2013–08–08
  5. By: Busetta, Giovanni; Fiorillo, Fabio; Visalli, Emanuela
    Abstract: The paper deals with the impact of beauty on employability of people, stressing the first stage of the hiring process. In particular, we studied if there exists a preference for attractive candidates and if it does whether it depends on sex, physical features and racial characteristics. We monitored all relevant agencies offering jobs in Italy from August 2011 to September 2012 sending 11008 CVs to 1542 advertised job openings. To do so, we construct fake CVs and we sent the same CV 8 times, changing only name and surname, address, and the photo included. In particular, we sent 4 CVs with photo of an attractive and unattractive man and women, and 4 CVs without photo of an Italian and a foreign men and women to each job opening. Callbacks rates are statistically significant higher for attractive women and men than unattractive ones. Racial discrimination appears to be statistically relevant, but less than discrimination based on the physical features, especially for women.
    Keywords: beauty premium, racial discrimination, experimental economics.
    JEL: C93 J71
    Date: 2013–08–30
  6. By: Valeria Faralla; Alessandro Innocenti; Stefano Taddei; Eva Venturini
    Abstract: The paper analyzes physiological responses to different visual representations of stressful work activities. A between-subject experiment was conducted to analyze differences in heart rate (HR) and electromyography (EMG) between subjects watching videos featuring real actors and virtual videos with avatars representing the same situation. Findings show that exposure to real videos is associated with greater physiological activations than exposure to virtual videos. This evidence may suggest that, by inducing less emotional involvement, low-immersive virtual environments activate different cognitive mechanisms of stress perception.
    Keywords: work stress, physiological activations, perception, virtual reality.
    JEL: C91 D01 D81
    Date: 2013–07
  7. By: Jens Großer; Michael Seebauer
    Abstract: We study majority voting over two alternatives in small groups. Individuals have identical preferences but are uncertain about which alternative can better achieve their common interest. Before voting, each individual can get informed, to wit, buy a valuable but imperfect signal about the better alternative. Voting is either voluntary or compulsory. In the compulsory mode, each individual can vote for either of the two alternatives, while in the voluntary mode they can also abstain. An uninformed random vote generates negative externalities, as it may override informative group decisions in pivotal events. In our experiment, participants in groups of three or seven get informed more often with compulsory than voluntary voting, and in this way partly counteract the curse of uninformed voting when they cannot avoid it by abstaining. Surprisingly, uninformed voting is a common phenomenon even in the voluntary mode! A consequence of substantial uninformed voting is poor group efficiency in all treatments, indicating the need to reconsider current practices of jury and committee voting.
    Date: 2013–08–27
  8. By: Luca Corazzini (University of Padova); Christopher Cotton (University of Miami); Paola Valbonesi (University of Padova)
    Abstract: We present results from an experiment with multiple public goods, where each good produces benefits only if total contributions to it reach a minimum threshold. The experiment allows us to compare contributions in a benchmark treatment with a single public good and in treatments with more public goods than can be funded. The presence of multiple public goods makes coordination among participants more diffcult, discouraging contributions, and decreasing the likelihood of any public good being effectively funded. Multiplicity decreases funding unless one public good stands out as being the most efficient alternative. Applied to the case of philanthropy, the results show how overall donations and the number of effectively funded charities may both decrease as the total number of charities increase. This is true even if the new charities offer higher potential benefits than previous options.
    Keywords: Threshold public goods, multiple public goods, laboratory experiment, fundraising. JEL: C91, C92, H40, H41.
    Date: 2013–08
  9. By: Fabrizio Gerli (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice); Sara Bonesso (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice); Claudio Pizzi (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice); Mariachiara Barzotto (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice)
    Abstract: This study explores the still under-investigated phenomenon of the development of behavioral competencies in higher education settings. We carried out a study on a sample of graduate students enrolled in different disciplinary academic programs in a public University located in northern Italy. We analyzed their emotional, social and cognitive competencies (by adopting a research method that includes a multi-rater approach), comparing them with those expected by a sample of recruiting companies and with those developed by the teachers. Moreover, this study provides preliminary evidence on the impact of a set of characteristics related to the academic learning environment (such as the teaching methods) on the studentsÕ competency profile, correlating these variables with single competencies and clusters.
    Keywords: Emotional and social competencies, graduate students, higher education, behavioral competency, learning environment, competency development.
    JEL: I23 J24 M12 M51 M53
    Date: 2013–08
  10. By: Agnieszka Markiewicz (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Andreas Pick (Erasmus University Rotterdam and De Nederlandsche Bank)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the ability of the adaptive learning approach to replicate the expectations of professional forecasters. For a range of macroeconomic and financial variables, we compare constant and decreasing gain learning models to simple, yet powerful benchmark models. We find that both, constant and decreasing gain models, provide a good fit for the expectations of professional forecasters for a range of variables. These results suggest that, instead of relying only on the the most recent observation, agents use more complex models to form their expectations even for financial variables where random walk forecasts are often difficult to beat.
    Keywords: expectations, survey of professional forecasters, adaptive learning, bounded rationality
    JEL: E37 E44 G14 G15
    Date: 2013–02–28
  11. By: Grigoriadis, Theocharis; Torgler, Benno
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the effects of religious identity - defined both as personal identification with a religious tradition and institutional ideas on the provision of public goods - on attitudes toward central government. We explore whether citizens belonging to collectivist rather than individualist religious denominations are more likely to evaluate their central government positively. Moreover, we explore whether adherence to collectivist norms of economic and political organization leads to a positive evaluation of central government. Surveys were conducted in Russia and Israel as these countries provide a mosaic of three major world religions - Judaism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Sunni Islam. The information gathered also allows us to study whether attitudes towards religious institutions such as the Russian Orthodox Church, the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, and the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Israel are able to predict positive attitudes toward centralized forms of governance. We find strong support for the proposition that collectivist norms and an institutional religious identity enhance positive attitudes towards central government. --
    Keywords: Religious identity,public goods,collectivism,individualism,local government,centralization,Russia,Israel
    JEL: P16 P17 P21 P35 P51 P52 Z12
    Date: 2013

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