nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2020‒06‒08
nine papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Guilt Aversion in (New) Games: the Role of Vulnerability By Giuseppe Attanasi; Claire Rimbaud; Marie-Claire Villeval
  2. Innovation and Communication Media in Virtual Teams – An Experimental Study By Grözinger, Nicola; Irlenbusch, Bernd; Laske, Katharina; Schröder, Marina
  3. Drinking is Different! Examining the Role of Locus of Control for Alcohol Consumption By Marco Caliendo; Juliane Hennecke
  4. Collaboration, Alphabetical Order and Gender Discrimination – Evidence from the Lab By Wiborg, Vegard Sjurseike; Brekke, Kjell Arne; Nyborg, Karine
  5. Responding to (Un)Reasonable Requests by an Authority By Vittorio Pelligra; Tommaso Reggiani; Daniel John Zizzo
  6. Investigating the Genetic Architecture of Non-Cognitive Skills Using GWAS-By-Subtraction By Demange, Perline A.; Malanchini, Margherita; Mallard, Travis T.; Biroli, Pietro
  7. Prosocial Behavior in the Time of COVID-19: The Effect of Private and Public Role Models By Abel, Martin; Brown, Willa
  8. Positive framing does not solve the tragedy of the commons By Isaksen, Elisabeth Thuestad; Brekke, Kjell Arne; Richter, Andries
  9. Risk attitude and air pollution: Evidence from chess* By Joris Klingen; Jos van Ommeren

  1. By: Giuseppe Attanasi (Université Côte d'Azur; CNRS, GREDEG, France); Claire Rimbaud (Université Lyon 2; GATE CNRS); Marie-Claire Villeval (Université Lyon 2; GATE CNRS)
    Abstract: From the literature we know that contextual factors modulate guilt aversion, such as pre-play communication and social closeness. In this study, we investigate whether a particular feature of the game itself = the vulnerability of the co-players = affects a player's guilt aversion. We deem that a co-player is (i) ex-post vulnerable when her final payoff depends on the decision-maker's actions, and (ii) ex-ante vulnerable when the use of her initial endowment depends on the decision-maker's actions. In a laboratory experiment, we introduce four (new) three-player trust games played within-subjects, varying whether the trustees can condition their decision on the belief of another player who is ex-post vulnerable and/or ex-ante vulnerable. We put forward a portable model of lexicographic altruism and role-dependent guilt, where the trustee can only be altruistic toward the most disadvantaged player and can feel guilty simply because of his role in the game. We find that trustees' guilt aversion is insensitive to the opponents' vulnerability and to the role of the vulnerable player.
    Keywords: Guilt aversion, vulnerability, psychological game theory, experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 D91
    Date: 2020–05
  2. By: Grözinger, Nicola (University of Cologne); Irlenbusch, Bernd (University of Cologne); Laske, Katharina (University of Cologne); Schröder, Marina (Hannan University)
    Abstract: In a novel real-effort setting, we experimentally study the effects of different communication media on creative performance in a collaborative tasks. We find that creative performance significantly decreases when group members communicate via chat instead of face-to-face. However, we find no significant difference between performances of groups that communicate via video conferences as compared to face-to-face. Thus, we provide evidence that barriers to creativity in virtual teams can be mitigated by real-time video conference communication.
    Keywords: creativity, communication, laboratory experiment, real-effort, complex problem solving, innovation
    JEL: C91 J30 M52 O30
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Marco Caliendo (University of Potsdam, IZA Bonn, DIW Berlin, IAB Nuremberg); Juliane Hennecke (Auckland University of Technology, IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Unhealthy behavior can be extremely costly from a micro- and macroeconomic perspective and exploring the determinants of such behavior is highly important from an economist’s point of view. We examine whether locus of control (LOC) can explain alcohol consumption as an important domain of health behavior. LOC measures how much an individual believes that she is in control of the consequences of her own actions for her life’s future outcomes. While earlier literature showed that an increasing internal LOC is associated with increased health-conscious behavior in domains such as smoking, exercise or diets, we find that drinking seems to be different. Using German panel data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) we find a significant positive effect of having an internal LOC on the probability of moderate and regular drinking. We suggest and discuss two likely mechanisms for this relationship and find interesting gender differences. While social investments play an important role for both men and women, risk perceptions are especially relevant for men.
    Keywords: locus of control, alcohol consumption, health behavior, risk perception, social investment
    JEL: I12 D91
    Date: 2020–05
  4. By: Wiborg, Vegard Sjurseike (University of Oslo); Brekke, Kjell Arne (University of Oslo); Nyborg, Karine (University of Oslo)
    Abstract: If individual abilities are imperfectly observable, statistical discrimination may affect hiring decisions. In our lab experiment, pairs of subjects solve simple mathematical problems. Subjects then hire others to perform similar tasks. Before choosing whom to hire, they receive information about the past scores of pairs, not of individuals. We vary the observability of individuals' abilities by ordering pair members either according to performance, or alphabetically by nickname. We find no evidence of gender discrimination in either treatment, however, possibly indicating that gender stereotypes are of limited importance in the context of our study.
    Keywords: discrimination, collaboration, alphabetic, gender
    JEL: C91 J71 A13 D83
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Vittorio Pelligra (University of Cagliari); Tommaso Reggiani (Cardiff University, Masaryk University & IZA); Daniel John Zizzo (University of Queensland)
    Abstract: We consider the notions of static and dynamic reasonableness of requests by an authority in a trust game experiment. The authority, modelled as the experimenter, systematically varies the experimental norm of what is expected from trustees to return to trustors, both in terms of the level of each request and in terms of the sequence of the requests. Static reasonableness matters in a self-biased way, in the sense that low requests justify returning less, but high requests tend to be ignored. Dynamic reasonableness also matters, in the sense that, if requests keep increasing, trustees return less compared to the same requests presented in random or decreasing order. Requests never systematically increase trustworthiness but may decrease it.
    Keywords: trust, trustworthiness, authority, reasonableness, moral wiggle room, moral licensing
    JEL: C91 D01 D03 D63
    Date: 2020–05–19
  6. By: Demange, Perline A. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Malanchini, Margherita (Queen Mary, University of London); Mallard, Travis T. (University of Texas at Austin); Biroli, Pietro (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Educational attainment (EA) is influenced by characteristics other than cognitive ability, but little is known about the genetic architecture of these "non-cognitive" contributions to EA. Here, we use Genomic Structural Equation Modelling and prior genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of EA (N = 1,131,881) and cognitive test performance (N = 257,841) to estimate SNP associations with EA variation that is independent of cognitive ability. We identified 157 genome-wide significant loci and a polygenic architecture accounting for 57% of genetic variance in EA. Non-cognitive genetics were as strongly related to socioeconomic success and longevity as genetic variants associated with cognitive performance. Noncognitive genetics were further related to openness to experience and other personality traits, less risky behavior, and increased risk for psychiatric disorders. Non-cognitive genetics were enriched in the same brain tissues and cell types as cognitive performance, but showed different associations with gray-matter brain volumes. By conducting a GWAS of a phenotype that was not directly measured, we offer a first view of genetic architecture of non-cognitive skills influencing educational success.
    Keywords: genetics, noncognitive skills, education
    JEL: J24 I24 E24 I14
    Date: 2020–05
  7. By: Abel, Martin (Middlebury College); Brown, Willa
    Abstract: In public good provision and other collective action problems, people are uncertain about how to balance self-interest and prosociality. Actions of others may inform this decision. We conduct an experiment to test the effect of watching private citizens and public officials acting in ways that either increase or decrease the spread of the coronavirus. For private role models, positive examples lead to a 34% increase in donations to the CDC Emergency Fund and a 20% increase in learning about COVID-19-related volunteering compared to negative examples. For public role models these effects are reversed. Negative examples lead to a 29% and 53% increase in donations and volunteering, respectively. Results are consistent with the Norm Activation Model: positive private role models lead to more prosocial behavior because they increase norms of trust, while negative public role models increase a sense of responsibility among individuals which convinces them to act more prosocially.
    Keywords: COVID-19, role models, public goods, prosociality
    JEL: H41 I21 K30 O15
    Date: 2020–05
  8. By: Isaksen, Elisabeth Thuestad; Brekke, Kjell Arne; Richter, Andries
    Abstract: We investigate whether positive framing increases cooperation in three social dilemmas with slightly different properties: a linear public goods (PG) game, a non-linear PG game, and a common pool resource (CPR) game. Results from our laboratory experiments show that contributions to a linear PG are higher if the externality is framed positively, rather than negatively, corroborating earlier findings by Andreoni (1995). By contrast, we find no such framing effects in the non-linear PG game or the CPR game. In these games, the best response in the material payoffs is to contribute less if others contribute more, counteracting effects of pro-social preferences. Positive framing therefore does not help to solve the tragedy of the commons.
    JEL: C72 C92 D70
    Date: 2019–05–01
  9. By: Joris Klingen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Jos van Ommeren (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Medical research suggests that particulate matter (PM) increases stress hormones, therefore increasing the feeling of stress, which has been hypothesised to induce individuals to take less risk. To examine this, we study whether PM increases the probability of drawing in chess games using information from the Dutch club competition. We provide evidence of a reasonably strong effect: A 10μg increase in PM10 (33.6% of mean concentration) leads to a 5.8% increase in draws. Our results demonstrate that air pollution causes individuals to take less risk.
    Keywords: air pollution, particulate matter, cognitive ability, risk taking
    JEL: Q53 D81 I18
    Date: 2020–05–24

This nep-cbe issue is ©2020 by Marco Novarese. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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