nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2019‒09‒02
six papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Can APPealing and more informative bills "nudge" individuals into conserving electricity? By Meub, Lukas; Runst, Petrik; von der Leyen, Kaja
  2. Smoking and Intertemporal Risk Attitudes By Glenn W. Harrison; Andre Hofmeyr; Harold Kincaid; Don Ross; J. Todd Swarthout
  3. Gift-exchange in society and the social integration of refugees: Evidence from a field, a laboratory, and a survey experiment By Jeworrek, Sabrina; Leisen, Bernd Josef; Mertins, Vanessa
  4. An Experimental Investigation of Charity Rebates By Enrique Fatas; Joo Young Jeon; Paloma Ubeda
  5. A Social Norm Nudge to Save More: A Field Experiment at a Retail Bank By Robert Dur; Dimitry Fleming; Marten van Garderen; Max van Lent
  6. Choice Uncertainty and the Endowment Effect By Korting, Christina; Otto, Steven G.

  1. By: Meub, Lukas; Runst, Petrik; von der Leyen, Kaja
    Abstract: We use a field experiment on energy billing in a German region to evaluate the effect of two behavioral nudges (consumption feedback and social comparison) on electricity consumption. Similar experiments have revealed significant treatment effects, yet theindividual variance has proven to be substantial. On grounds of these heterogeneous treatment effects and the possibility of cross-country behavioral differences, additional experiments are warranted. For our German participants with low pre-treatment consumption compared to many other countries, we find no treatment effects. From this, we deduce that the effect of consumption feedback and social comparison is highly context dependent.
    Keywords: Energy consumtion,Electricity,Consumtion feedback
    JEL: K32 Q58
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Glenn W. Harrison; Andre Hofmeyr; Harold Kincaid; Don Ross; J. Todd Swarthout
    Abstract: Atemporal risk preferences, time preferences, and intertemporal risk preferences are central to economic explanations of addiction, but have received little attention in the experimental economic literature on substance use. We conduct an incentive-compatible experiment designed to elicit the atemporal risk preferences, time preferences, and intertemporal risk preferences of a sample of student (n = 145) and staff (n = 111) smokers, ex-smokers, and non-smokers at the University of Cape Town in 2016-2017. We estimate a structural model of intertemporal risk preferences jointly with a rank-dependent utility model of choice under atemporal risk and a quasi-hyperbolic model of time preferences. We find no substantive differences in atemporal risk preferences according to smoking status, smoking intensity, and smoking severity, but do find that time preferences have an economically significant association with smoking behaviour. Smokers discount at a far higher rate than non-smokers, and ex-smokers discount at a level between these groups. There is also a large, positive relationship between smoking intensity and discounting behaviour that has important implications for treatment. The intertemporal risk preferences of our sample exhibit significant heterogeneity and we find, contrary to the assumption employed by some economic models, that smokers do not exhibit intertemporal risk seeking behaviour. Instead, our sample is characterised by high levels of intertemporal risk aversion which varies by smoking intensity and smoking severity in men, but not in women.
    Date: 2018–12
  3. By: Jeworrek, Sabrina; Leisen, Bernd Josef; Mertins, Vanessa
    Abstract: Refugee integration needs broad support from society, but only a minority is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behaviour, we examine the idea that the proportion of supporters is increasing as a reciprocal response to refugees' contributions to society through volunteering. Our nationwide survey experiment shows that the intentions to contribute time and money rise significantly when citizens learn about refugees' pro-social activities. Importantly, this result holds for individuals who have not been in contact to refugees so far. We complement this investigation by experiments in the lab and the field - which confirm our findings for actual behaviour.
    Keywords: gift-exchange,reciprocity,refugees,integration,field experiment,laboratory experiment
    JEL: C93 D63 D91 J15
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Enrique Fatas (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University); Joo Young Jeon (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Paloma Ubeda (School of Economics and Business, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia)
    Abstract: We investigate experimentally the effects of various sources of rebates on charity donation. Subjects first play a repeated public good game (PGG) with either a low or a high endowment and then have an option to donate to a charity. They may receive a rebate on their donation either exogenously (from the experimenter) or endogenously (from the public account of the PGG), or a rebate might not be available. When the PGG endowment level is low, the endogenous rebate scheme has a negative effect on charity giving. The exogenous rebate scheme, however, does not have any such effect. If the endowment level is high and the rebate is endogenous, then other-regarding preferences become salient and boost up charity donation. Females donate more than males, but only under the endogenous rebate scheme. These results shed light on the effects of the rebate schemes on different income and demographic factors, and provide with relevant policy implications.
    Keywords: donation; rebate; dictator game; public good game
    JEL: C91 C92 D64
    Date: 2019–08–26
  5. By: Robert Dur (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Dimitry Fleming (ING Netherlands); Marten van Garderen (ING Netherlands); Max van Lent (Leiden University)
    Abstract: A large fraction of households have very little savings buffer and are therefore vulnerable to financial shocks. We examine whether a social norm nudge can stimulate such households to save more by running a small-scale survey experiment and a large-scale field experiment at a retail bank in the Netherlands. The survey experiment shows that a social norm nudge increases intended savings. In line with this, we find in our field experiment that households who are exposed to the social norm nudge click more often on a link to a personal webpage where they can start or adjust an automatic savings plan. However, analyzing detailed bank data, we find no treatment effect on actual savings, neither in the short run nor in the long run. Our null findings are quite precisely estimated.
    Keywords: household savings, field experiment, nudges, social norms
    JEL: C93 D14
    Date: 2019–08–26
  6. By: Korting, Christina; Otto, Steven G.
    Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2019–06–25

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