nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2019‒02‒18
ten papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Isolating the Effect of Injunctive Norms on Conservation Behavior: New Evidence from a Field Experiment in California By Syon Bhanot
  2. Within-group inequality in inter-group competition By Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap; Abhijit Ramalingam; Brock K. Stoddard
  3. Are we more honest than others think we are? By Claire Mouminoux; Jean-Louis Rullière
  5. The effects of status mobility and group identity on trust By Rémi Suchon; Marie Claire Villeval
  6. The moderating role of individual variables in the relationship between organizational justice and organizational commitment By Jale Minibas-Poussard; Jeanne Le Roy; Turhan Erkmen
  7. Promoting socially desirable behaviors: experimental comparison of the procedures of persuasion and commitment By Cécile Bazart; Mathieu Lefebvre; Julie Rosaz
  8. Information redundancy neglect versus overconfidence: a social learning experiment By Marco Angrisani; Antonio Guarino; Philippe Jehiel; Toru Kitagawa
  9. Are the poor so present-biased? By Rachel Cassidy
  10. Rac(g)e Against the Machine? Social Incentives When Humans Meet Robots By Brice Corgnet; Roberto Hernán-González; Ricardo Mateo

  1. By: Syon Bhanot
    Abstract: Social norms messaging campaigns are increasingly used to influence human behavior, with social science research generally finding that they have modest but meaningful effects. One aspect of these campaigns in practice has been the inclusion of injunctive norms messaging, designed to convey a social judgement about one's behaviors (often in the form of encouraging or discouraging language, or a visual smiley or frowny face). While some prominent research has provided support for the use of such messaging as a tool for positive behavior change, causal evidence on the effect of injunctive norms messaging as a motivator (as opposed to just one part of a multifaceted messaging campaign) is limited. This paper presents a field experiment on water conservation behavior conducted by an organization in California, involving over 40,000 households, which provides some of the most precise evidence to date regarding the effect of injunctive norms on decision making. I find that not only do injunctive norms encourage conservation behavior, there is also no evidence that they discourage individuals from further attending norms messaging-regardless of whether the social judgement conveyed is negative or positive. Taken together, this suggests that injunctive norms are a useful tool in "nudge"-style campaigns tackling behavior change.
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap; Abhijit Ramalingam; Brock K. Stoddard
    Abstract: In experiments, contributions to a team public good increase when the team is placed in a competition with another team for prize. This paper is concerned with whether this insight generalises to teams that are internally unequal. In the experiment we report, it does. Indeed, the boost to public goods contributions is bigger with unequal teams than equal ones. We also find that the boost to contributions is most significant among the ‘rich’ in the team. Hence, since the public good is shared equally, competition not only promotes efficiency, it also reduces inequality in our experiment. Key Words: public goods, experiment, team competition, inequality, within group, productivity
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D31 D63 D72 H41
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Claire Mouminoux (SAF - Laboratoire de Sciences Actuarielle et Financière - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon); Jean-Louis Rullière (SAF - Laboratoire de Sciences Actuarielle et Financière - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon)
    Abstract: While the laws are justified on the basis of the efficiency they provide to society, policy makers and researchers focus on the reasons why people violate the law. Crimes and violations induce directly costs. But there is another indirect costs that is generally ignored : the fact that a person can violate the law (whether it does or not) can reduce trust in one's honesty. Thus, even if the economic agent is honest and respects the law, this loss of confidence, which could be unfounded, is also a source of inefficiency. We introduce in an experiment, a normative rule of "decision" in order to elicit both honesty and beliefs about honesty from subjects in the lab. There is no direct transfer of money between both part to avoid any inequality aversion or altruism aversion. The main question remains how individuals trust in the honesty of an anonymous group. Subjects are split into two groups : those who are subject to the temptation of (unverifiable) dishonesty and those who value the dishonesty of others. We inform each participant that we cannot identify defection. We find an important heterogeneity of trust in honesty through subjects. On average, subjects A suggests that participants B are more honest than they are. Moreover, we identify distortion of effective honesty and beliefs about other honesty when the environment of players A is unfavorable.
    Keywords: Behavioral economics,Trust measurement,Honesty,Experiment
    Date: 2019–01–30
  4. By: Zubair, Maria; Khanum, Ayesha; Nasir, Marjan
    Abstract: It is commonly believed that parents transfer their behavioral traits to their offspring. But where does one draw the line between nature and nurture? Most of us have received our first lessons in lying, trust, generosity and even selfishness from our parents. These non-cognitive skills, like patience, ambition, tenacity etc. are all thus malleable traits if we come to prove that they are transferred from parent to their child. A field experiment was conducted at a private school in Lahore, Pakistan. These experiments measured two key non-cognitive skills that literature believes are passed onto the offspring via their parents: patience and trust. To measure the correlation between parents and children, an ordered probit analysis was employed. Our findings show that there is a strong negative relationship between child’s patience to that of her parent. Child and parent trust display no significant relationship. However, a positive significant relationship was analyzed between child reciprocity and parent reciprocity.
    Keywords: behavioral games, trust, patience, intergenerational transfers
    JEL: D19
    Date: 2018–10–02
  5. By: Rémi Suchon (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69131 Ecully, France); Marie Claire Villeval (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69131 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: In a laboratory experiment we test the interaction effects of status and group identity on interpersonal trust. Natural group identity is generated by school affiliation. Status (expert or agent) is awarded based on relative performance in a math quiz that is ex ante less favorable to the subjects from one group. We find that "promoted" trustors (individuals from the disadvantaged group that nevertheless achieve the status of expert) trust less both in-group and out-group trustees, compared to the other members of their group. Rather than playing against the effects of natural group identity, status promotion singles-out individuals. In contrast, trustworthiness is not affected by status and there is no evidence that interacting with promoted individuals impacts trust or trustworthiness.
    Keywords: Trust, status, group identity, social mobility, experiment
    JEL: C92 D91 J62
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Jale Minibas-Poussard (IRG - Institut de Recherche en Gestion - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12 - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée); Jeanne Le Roy (EBS Paris); Turhan Erkmen
    Abstract: Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of individual variables (organization-based self-esteem (OBSE) and work locus of control (WLOC)) that have been suspected to intervene as moderators on the relationship between organizational justice and organizational commitment. Design/methodology/approach-Self-administered survey was completed by 272 bank employees in Istanbul, Turkey. Findings-The results of moderation analyses clearly indicated a significant effect of OBSE and WLOC on the link between justice perceptions and organizational commitment. People are more committed to organizations when they have high OBSE. WLOC together with OBSE moderated the relationship between procedural justice and organizational commitment: people engaged less in their organizations when they perceived low procedural justice and reported lower OBSE. This relationship was revealed only when external WLOC scores were high. Research limitations/implications-The study was conducted in Istanbul, Turkey and the sample was limited to 272 participants. These results show that managers should not only hire personnel with high OBSE but they also should provide a participative work atmosphere where employees can perform with all their potential and capacity that may help them reveal their internal WLOC. Theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed in the end. Originality/value-The study provides some valuable contributions to the existing body of literature by exhibiting the role of individual variables in the strong relationship between organizational justice and organizational commitment. The findings of the study also contribute to banking sector that has been critical and popular in Turkey since 2001.
    Keywords: Quantitative,Work locus of control Paper type Research paper,Organizational justice,Organizational commitment,Organization-based self-esteem
    Date: 2017–11–06
  7. By: Cécile Bazart (CEEM, University of Montpellier, Avenue Raymond Dugrand - site Richter C.S. 79606, 34960 Montpellier, France); Mathieu Lefebvre (BETA, University of Strasbourg, 61 avenue de la Forêt Noire, 67085 Strasbourg, France); Julie Rosaz (Univ Lyon, Université Lumière Lyon 2, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: In a series of experiments, we test the relative efficiency of persuasion and commitment schemes to increase and sustain contribution levels in a Voluntary Contribution Game. The design allows to compare a baseline consisting of a repeated public good game to, respectively, four manipulation treatments relying on: an information strategy, a low commitment strategy, a high commitment strategy and a promise strategy. We confirm the advantages of psychologically orientated policies as they increase the overall level of contribution and for some, that is commitment and promises, question the decreasing trend traditionally observed in long term contributions to public goods.
    Keywords: Experiment, Persuasion, Commitment, Voluntary Contribution Mechanism
    JEL: C91 D91 H41
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Marco Angrisani (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Antonio Guarino (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Philippe Jehiel (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Toru Kitagawa (Institute for Fiscal Studies and cemmap and University College London)
    Abstract: We study social learning in a continuous action space experiment. Subjects, acting in sequence, state their belief about the value of a good, after observing their predecessors' statements and a private signal. We compare the behavior in the laboratory with the Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium prediction and the predictions of bounded rationality models of decision making: the redundancy of information neglect model and the overconfidence model. The results of our experiment are in line with the predictions of the overconfidence model and at odds with the others'.
    Date: 2018–11–07
  9. By: Rachel Cassidy (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: Estimates of "present-bias" among the poor may be exaggerated if poor individuals are credit-constrained and expect to have greater liquidity in the future. I conduct an experiment in rural Pakistan which provides causal evidence of this effect. I use windfalls to generate fully exogenous variation in subjects' liquidity constraints. I show that fluctuating liquidity has a signifi cant and sizeable effect on measures of time-inconsistency, which does not operate via cognitive functioning. Importantly, I establish that the causation runs from tighter liquidity constraints to appearing "present-biased" rather than truly present-biased individuals making choices which lead to tighter liquidity constraints.
    Date: 2018–10–17
  10. By: Brice Corgnet (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France); Roberto Hernán-González (Univ. Bourgogne Franche Comté, Burgundy School of Business-CEREN (EA 7477), 29 rue Sambin, 21000 Dijon, France); Ricardo Mateo (Universidad de Navarra, 31009 Pamplona)
    Abstract: Because work is most often performed in a social context, social incentives are key to understand incentive setting in firms. We assess the strength of social incentives, which critically depend on the extent of social preferences and social pressure at work, by assessing the difference in human performance when people complete a sequential task with either other humans or robots. We find evidence that, despite maintaining monetary incentives intact, humans who work with robots underperform those who work with other humans, especially under team pay. The lack of altruism toward robots and the lack of social pressure exerted by robots are key to explain this negative effect under team pay. Under piece rate, the lack of envy toward robots plays a crucial role. Regardless of the payment scheme, our findings show that social incentives are powerful. Accounting for the weakening of social incentives when assessing the cost-efficiency of replacing humans with robots is thus critical.
    Keywords: Incentives, social pressure, social preferences, personnel economics, organizational behavior, automation
    JEL: C92 D23 D91 M52
    Date: 2019

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