nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2020‒11‒16
five papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Renewable resource use with imperfect self-control By Strulik, Holger; Werner, Katharina
  2. Whoever You Want Me to Be: Personality and Incentives By McGee, Andrew; McGee, Peter
  3. Are women less effective leaders than men? Evidence from experiments using coordination games By Heursen, Lea; Ranehill, Eva; Weber, Roberto A
  4. Public Speaking Aversion By Thomas Buser; Auteur2
  5. Academic Integrity in On-line Exams: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment By Flip Klijn; Mehdi Mdaghri Alaoui; Marc Vorsatz

  1. By: Strulik, Holger; Werner, Katharina
    Abstract: We investigate renewable resources when the harvesting agents face self-control problems. Individuals are conceptualized as dual selves. The rational long-run self plans for the infinite future while the affective short-run self desires to maximize instantaneous profits. Depending on the degree of self-control, actual behavior is partly driven by short-run desires. This modeling represents impatience and present bias without causing time inconsistent decision making. In a model of a single harvesting agent (e.g. a fishery), we discuss how self-control problems affect harvesting behavior, resource conservation, and sustainability and discuss policies to curb overuse and potential collapse of the resource due to present-biased harvesting behavior. We then extend the model to several harvesting agents and show how limited self-control exacerbates the common pool problem. Finally, we investigate heterogenous agents and show that there are spillover effects of limited self-control in the sense that perfectly rational agents also behave less conservatively when they interact with agents afflicted by imperfect self-control.
    Keywords: self-control,temptation,renewable resource use,sustainability,common pool resource management
    JEL: D60 D90 Q20 Q50 Q58 O40
    Date: 2020
  2. By: McGee, Andrew (University of Alberta); McGee, Peter (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: What can employers learn from personality tests when job applicants have incentives to misrepresent themselves? Using a within-subject, laboratory experiment, we compare personality measures with and without incentives for misrepresentation. Incentivized personality measures are weakly to moderately correlated with non-incentivized measures in most treatments but are correlated with intelligence when test-takers have information about desired personalities or are warned that responses may be verified. We document that actual job ads provide information about desired personalities and that employers in the UK who administer personality tests are also likely to administer intelligence tests despite the potential for substitution between the tests.
    Keywords: personality, measurement, hiring, screening, experiments
    JEL: C91 D82 M50
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Heursen, Lea (Department of Economics, Humboldt University Berlin); Ranehill, Eva (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Weber, Roberto A (Department of Economics, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We study whether one reason behind female underrepresentation in leadership is that female leaders are less effective at coordinating action by followers. Two experiments using coordination games investigate whether female leaders are less successful than males in persuading followers to coordinate on efficient equilibria. Group performance hinges on higher-order beliefs about the leader’s capacity to convince followers to pursue desired actions, making beliefs that women are less effective leaders potentially self-confirming. We find no evidence that such bias impacts actual leadership performance, identifying a precisely-estimated null effect. We show that this absence of an effect is surprising given experts’ priors.
    Keywords: gender; coordination games; leadership; experiment
    JEL: C72 C92 D23 J10
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Thomas Buser (University of Amsterdam); Auteur2 (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Fear of public speaking is very common but we know little about its economic implications. We establish public speaking aversion as an economically relevant preference using three steps. First, we use a lab and a classroom experiment to show that preferences for speaking in public vary strongly across individuals with many participants willing to give up significant amounts of money to avoid giving a short presentation in front of an audience. Second, we introduce two self-reported items to elicit preferences for speaking in public through surveys. We show that these items are strongly related to choices in the incentivized lab experiment and that public speaking aversion is distinct from established traits and preferences including extraversion. Finally, we elicit these items in a student survey and show that public speaking aversion predicts students' career expectations, indicating that it is an influential factor in determining career choices.
    Keywords: public speaking, validated survey measures, human capital, career choice
    JEL: C91 D9 J24
    Date: 2020–11–03
  5. By: Flip Klijn; Mehdi Mdaghri Alaoui; Marc Vorsatz
    Abstract: We study academic integrity in a final exam of a compulsory course with almost 500 undergraduate students (mostly in Economics and Business Management and Administration) at a major Spanish university. Confinement and university closure due to Covid-19 took place by the end of the last lecture week. As a consequence, the usual classroom exam was turned into an unproctored on-line multiple-choice exam without backtracking. We exploit the different orders of exam problems and detailed data with timestamps to study students’ academic integrity. Taking the average over questions that were part of both earlier and later “rounds,” we find that the number of correct answers to questions in the later round was 7.7% higher than those to the same questions in the earlier round. Moreover, the average completion time of questions in the later round was 18.1% shorter than that of the same questions in the earlier round. We estimate that between 13.4% and 22.5% of the students cheated due to information flows from earlier to later rounds. Nonetheless, since exam grades are positively correlated with previous continuous assessment, they can be considered informative. Finally, a mere reminder of the university’s code of ethics, which was sent to a subgroup halfway through the exam, did not affect cheating levels.
    Keywords: education, Field Experiment, academic integrity, on-line exam, multiple-choice questions, code of ethics, continuous assessment, proctoring, COVID-19
    JEL: A22 I21 I23 C93 D9
    Date: 2020–10

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