nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2022‒02‒14
nine papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Comparing behavior between a large sample of smart students and a representative sample of Japanese adults By Nobuyuki Hanaki; Keigo Inukai; Takehito Masuda; Yuta Shimodaira
  2. Voluntary 'donations' versus reward-oriented 'contributions': Two experiments on framing in funding mechanisms By Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
  3. Intertemporal consumption and debt aversion: A replication and extension By Ahrens, Steffen; Bosch-Rosa, Ciril; Meissner, Thomas
  4. Does commonness fill the common fund? Experimental evidence on the role of identity for public good contributions in India By Konda, Bruhan; Dietrich, Stephan; Nillesen, Eleonora
  6. Ever since Allais By Aluma Dembo; Shachar Kariv; Matthew Polisson; John Quah
  7. Fear and Economic Behavior By Andersson, Lina
  8. Thumbs Down for the Thumbs Up Emoji: Experimental Evidence on the Impact of Instantaneous Positive Reinforcement on Charitable Giving By Ben Grodeck; Philip J. Grossman
  9. Puzzling Answers to Crosswise Questions - Examining Overall Prevalence Rates, Primacy Effects and Learning Effects By Walzenbach, Sandra; Hinz, Thomas

  1. By: Nobuyuki Hanaki; Keigo Inukai; Takehito Masuda; Yuta Shimodaira
    Abstract: We address a concern about the external validity, in particular, the representativeness of the sampled population, of an experiment conducted with university students. We do so by conducting large-scale (partly) incentivized online surveys of students at a Japanese university and of a sample of Japanese adults to measure individual characteristics such as cognitive ability, mentalizing skills, preferences for risk and distribution, and personality traits. While significant differences between these two samples are observed in many of these characteristics, the correlational structures among these characteristics are very similar in the two samples.
    Date: 2022–02
  2. By: Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
    Abstract: In an artefactual field experiment, we implemented a crowdfunding campaign for an institute's summer party and compared donation and contribution framings. We found that the use of the word 'donation' generated higher revenue than the use of 'contribution'. While the individuals receiving the donation framing gave substantially larger amounts, those receiving the contribution framing responded more strongly to reward thresholds and suggestions. An additional survey experiment on MTurk indicated that the term 'donation' triggers more positive emotional responses and that emotions are highly correlated with giving. It appears that making a donation is perceived as a more voluntary act and is thus more successful at generating warm glow than making a contribution. We surmise that this extends to other funding mechanisms.
    Keywords: crowdfunding,field experiment,framing
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Ahrens, Steffen; Bosch-Rosa, Ciril; Meissner, Thomas
    Abstract: We replicate Meissner (2016) where debt aversion was reported for the first time in an intertemporal consumption and saving problem. While Meissner (2016) uses a German sample, our subjects are US undergraduate students. All of the main findings from the original study replicate, with similar effect sizes. Additionally, we extend the original analysis by correlating a new individual index of debt aversion on individual characteristics such as gender, cognitive ability, and risk aversion. The findings suggest that gender and risk aversion are not correlated with debt aversion. However, cognitive ability is positively correlated with debt aversion. Overall, this paper confirms the importance of debt aversion in intertemporal consumption problems and validates the approach of Meissner (2016).
    Keywords: Debt Aversion,Replication,Experiment
    JEL: C91 D84 G11 G41
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Konda, Bruhan (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Dietrich, Stephan (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Nillesen, Eleonora (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: We examine how the type of common identity affects voluntary contribution to public goods in groups that differ in their social image. We conjecture that groups with perceived high-status identity engage in higher levels of collective action compared to groups with perceived low-status identity. We study this using a lab-in-the-field experiment in rural India with members from the top and bottom of the caste hierarchy. Using a 2-person public good game, we empirically test (i) whether a caste gap in contributions emerges when group identities are made salient (ii) whether these differences are driven by the presence of punishment, and (iii) whether exogenously boosting caste identities by a role model prime diminishes the caste gap. Our results show that stereotyped groups fail to act collectively to provide public goods, possibly due to lack of trust towards their own group members. This gap disappears after the role model priming treatment and reaffirms the role of social identity in explaining the difference in contributions between groups that differ in the social image.
    Keywords: Common identity, Caste, Public goods, Lab-in-the-field experiment
    JEL: C91 D64 D91 H41
    Date: 2021–10–18
  5. By: Luca Panzone (School of Natural and Environmental Science, Newcastle University; The Alan Turing Institute); Natasha Auch (The Alan Turing Institute); Daniel Zizzo (School of Economics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
    Abstract: We use an incentive-compatible experimental online supermarket to test the role of commitment and badges in reducing the carbon footprint of grocery shopping. In the experiment, some participants had the opportunity to voluntarily commit to a low carbon footprint basket before their online grocery shopping; while the commitment was forced upon other participants. We also study the impact of an online badge as a soft reward for the achievement of a low carbon footprint basket. Participants from the general population shopped over two weeks, with the experimental stimuli only in week 2; and received their shopping baskets and any unspent budget. Results indicate that requesting a commitment prior to entering the store leads to a reduction in carbon footprint of 8-9%. The online badge led to non-significant reductions in carbon footprint. Commitment mechanisms, either forced or voluntary, appear effective in motivating an environmental goal and search for low-carbon options, particularly in those accepting the commitment.
    Keywords: sustainable consumption, commitment, field experiment, carbon footprint, food consumption.
    JEL: C54 C93 D12 D91 Q18 Q56
    Date: 2022–01–16
  6. By: Aluma Dembo (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Oxford); Shachar Kariv (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Matthew Polisson (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Bristol); John Quah (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: The Allais critique of expected utility theory (EUT) has led to the development of theories of choice under risk that relax the independence axiom, but which adhere to the conventional axioms of ordering and monotonicity. Unlike many existing labora-tory experiments designed to test independence, our experiment systematically tests the entire set of axioms, providing much richer evidence against which EUT can be judged. Our within-subjects analysis is nonparametric, using only information about revealed preference relations in the individual-level data. For most subjects we ?nd that departures from independence are statistically signi?cant but minor relative to departures from ordering and/or monotonicity.
    Date: 2021–06–14
  7. By: Andersson, Lina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Fear is an important factor in decision-making under risk and uncertainty. Psychology research suggests that fear influences one’s risk attitude and fear may have important consequences for decisions concerning for example investments, crime, conflicts, and politics. I model strategic interactions between players who can be in either a neutral or a fearful state of mind. A player’s state of mind determines his or her utility function. The two main assumptions are that (i) fear is triggered by an increase in the probability or cost of negative outcomes and (ii) a player in the fearful state is more risk averse. A player’s beliefs over the probability and cost of negative outcomes determine how the player transitions between the states of mind. I use psychological game theory to analyze the role of fear in three applications, a robbery game, a bank run game, and a public health intervention.
    Keywords: emotions; fear; risk aversion; psychological game theory
    JEL: C72 D01 D91
    Date: 2022–02
  8. By: Ben Grodeck (Department of Economics, Monash University); Philip J. Grossman (Department of Economics, Monash University)
    Abstract: Historically, positive reinforcement (PRI) for charitable giving happens after the fact; thank-you letters, calls, or gifts from the charities to donors. With online giving becoming more prominent, this creates an opportunity for instantaneous PRI. Our study offers the first evidence, to our knowledge, of the effect of instantaneous PRI on donation behavior. We conduct a large-scale online experiment on Amazon Mturk (n=2,375). Participants are randomly assigned to either a baseline with no PRI; a treatment in which subjects receive a static PRI thumbs up emoji (a general recognized gesture of approval); a treatment in which subjects receive a dynamic PRI thumbs up emoji [the emoji increases (decreases) in size as the size of the donation increases (decreases)]; and two other controls. We find that, consistent with much of the findings on thank-you letters, calls, and gifts, our instantaneous dynamic PRI has no significant positive effects on donation behavior. Surprisingly, we also find that static PRI results in significantly less being donated. These results suggest that organizations and policymakers should be hesitant in using instantaneous PRI, as it ranges from null to negative effects.
    Keywords: Positive reinforcement, Charitable giving, Experiment, Fundraising
    JEL: C90 D91 H40
    Date: 2022–02
  9. By: Walzenbach, Sandra; Hinz, Thomas
    Abstract: This validation study on the crosswise model (CM) examines five survey experiments that were implemented in a general population survey. Our first crucial result is that in none of these experiments was the crosswise model able to verifiably reduce social desirability bias. In contrast to most previous CM applications, we use an experimental design that allows us to distinguish a reduction in social desirability bias from heuristic response behaviour, such as random ticking, leading to false positive or false negative answers. In addition, we provide insights on two potential explanatory mechanisms that have not yet received attention in empirical studies: primacy effects and panel conditioning. We do not find consistent primacy effects, nor does response quality improve due to learning when respondents have had experiences with crosswise models in past survey waves. We interpret our results as evidence that the crosswise model does not work in general population surveys and speculate that the question format causes mistrust in participants.
    Keywords: crosswise model,randomized response,social desirability bias,primacy effects,learning effects,panel conditioning,privacy concerns
    JEL: C83
    Date: 2022

This nep-cbe issue is ©2022 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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