nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2017‒04‒23
seven papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Gender Differences in Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Competitive Behavior By Carpenter, Jeffrey P.; Frank, Rachel; Huet-Vaughn, Emiliano
  2. Courtship behavior: "The Out-of-my-league effect" By Fabrice Le Lec; Theodore Alexopoulos; Béatrice Boulu-Reshef; M-P Fayant; Franck Zenasni; Todd Lubart; Nicolas Jacquemet
  3. Information Aversion By Andries, Marianne; Haddad, Valentin
  4. Risk Aversion and Son Preference: Experimental Evidence from Chinese Twin Parents By Soo Hong Chew; Junjian Yi; Junsen Zhang; Songfa Zhong
  5. The Impact of Cash Mobs in the Vote with the Wallet Game: Experimental Results. By Leonardo Becchetti; Maurizio Fiaschetti; Francesco Salustri
  6. Facing Yourself: A Note on Self-Image By Falk, Armin
  7. Psychology into economics: fast and frugal heuristics By Schilirò, Daniele

  1. By: Carpenter, Jeffrey P. (Middlebury College); Frank, Rachel (Yale Law School); Huet-Vaughn, Emiliano (Middlebury College)
    Abstract: Gender differences in competitive behavior have been well documented by economists and other social scientists; however, the bulk of the research addresses competition with others and excludes other economically relevant competition that may contribute to the gender pay gap. In this paper, we ask: How does gender affect how individuals react to competition against themselves? In a laboratory experiment in which some subjects compete against others and some compete against themselves, we find women select into intrapersonal competition at significantly higher rates than interpersonal competition, the first such findings. We find perseverance or "grit" to be a poor predictor of interpersonal competition selection, but find familial effects such as parent's education and number of brothers to be correlated with competition selection.
    Keywords: gender, competition, tournament, real effort, labor
    JEL: C92 J16 M52
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Fabrice Le Lec (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Theodore Alexopoulos (UPD5 - Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5); Béatrice Boulu-Reshef (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); M-P Fayant (UPD5 - Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5); Franck Zenasni (LATI - Laboratoire Adaptations Travail Individu - UPD5 - Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5); Todd Lubart (LATI - Laboratoire Adaptations Travail Individu - UPD5 - Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5); Nicolas Jacquemet (PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Comment on Maestripieri, Henry, Nickels: Explaining financial and prosocial biases in favor of attractive people: Interdisciplinary perspectives from economics, social psychology, and evolutionary psychology”, forthcoming in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    Keywords: Matching
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Andries, Marianne; Haddad, Valentin
    Abstract: We propose a theory of inattention solely based on preferences, absent cognitive limitations or external costs of information. Under disappointment aversion, agents are intrinsically information averse. In a consumption-savings problem, we study how information averse agents cope with their fear of information, to make better decisions: they acquire information at infrequent intervals only, and inattention increases when volatility is high, consistent with the empirical evidence. Adding state-dependent alerts following sharp downturns improves welfare, despite the additional endogenous information costs. Our framework accommodates a broad range of applications, suggesting our approach can explain many observed features of decision under uncertainty.
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Soo Hong Chew (National University of Singapore); Junjian Yi (The University of Chicago); Junsen Zhang (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Songfa Zhong (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: We study the role of risk aversion underlying son preference in patriarchal societies, where sons serve as better insurance for old-age support than daughters. The implications of an insurance motive on son preference are two-fold. First, prior to the birth of their children, more risk-averse parents have a stronger preference for sons than for daughters. Second, after the birth of their children, parents with sons are more risk seeking, compared to parents with daughters. We adopt a within-twin-pair fixed-effects estimator with a weak identification assumption, which enables us to jointly identify these two effects. We further conduct an incentivized choice experiment to assess parental risk attitude in a sample of Chinese twins with children, and follow up with a second twin sample to examine the replicability of the findings. In both samples, we find that parents with higher risk aversion before the birth of their children are more likely to have sons through sex selection than parents with lower risk aversion. Additionally, having sons significantly decreases parental risk aversion. These results contribute to the literature on the sources of son preference and help shed light on the nature of gender inequality.
    Keywords: risk aversion, son preference, twins, experimental economics
    JEL: C93 D10 D80 J13
    Date: 2017–04
  5. By: Leonardo Becchetti (DEF & CEIS University of Rome Tor Vergata); Maurizio Fiaschetti (SOAS University of London); Francesco Salustri (DEF University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: We simulate in a randomised lab experiment the effect of Cash Mobs on consumers’ behaviour in an original variant of the multiplayer Prisoner’s dilemma called Vote-with-the-Wallet Game (VWG). The effect is modelled in a sequential game with/without an environmental frame in which a subset of players (cash-mobbers) is given the opportunity to reveal publicly (in aggregate without disclosing individual identities) their cooperation decision. We find that the treatment has a positive gross effect, that is, the share of cooperators is significantly higher in treated sessions and this is mainly due to the higher share of cooperators among cash-mobbers. Our results suggest that cash mobs-like mechanisms can help to solve social dilemmas with entirely private solutions (not based on punishment but on positive action) without costs for government budgets.
    Keywords: vote with the wallet, prisoner’s dilemma, randomised experiment
    JEL: C72 C73 C91 M14
    Date: 2017–04–18
  6. By: Falk, Armin (briq, University of Bonn)
    Abstract: Numerous signaling models in economics assume image concerns. These take two forms, as relating either to social image or self-image. While empirical work has identified the behavioral importance of the former, little is known about the role of self-image concerns. We exogenously vary self-image concerns in manipulating self-directed attention and study the impact on moral behavior. The choice context in the experiment is whether subjects inflict a painful electric shock on another subject to receive a monetary payment. Three between-subjects conditions are studied. In the main treatment, subjects see their own face on the decision screen in a real-time video feed. In the two control conditions, subjects see either no video at all or a neutral video. We find that the exogenous increase in self-image concerns significantly reduces the fraction of subjects inflicting pain.
    Keywords: self-image, moral behavior
    JEL: D64 C91
    Date: 2017–03
  7. By: Schilirò, Daniele
    Abstract: The present essay focuses on the fast and frugal heuristics program set forth by Gerd Gigerenzer and his fellows. In particular it examines the contribution of Gigerenzer and Goldstein (1996) ‘Reasoning the Fast and Frugal Way: Models of Bounded Rationality’. This essay, following the theoretical propositions and the empirical evidence of Gigerenzer and Goldstein, points out that simple cognitive mechanisms such as fast and frugal heuristics can be capable of successful performance in real world, without the need of satisfying the classical norms of rational inference.
    Keywords: behavioral economics; heuristics; biases; fast and frugal heuristics
    JEL: D0 D10 D80
    Date: 2015–11

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