nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2022‒10‒24
nine papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Moral Motive Selection in the Lying-Dictator Game By Barron, Kai; Stüber, Robert; Veldhuizen, Roel van
  2. Mind the framing when studying social preferences in the domain of losses By Antinyan, Armenak; Corazzini, Luca; Fišar, Miloš; Reggiani, Tommaso
  3. Time Pressure Preferences By Buser, Thomas; van Veldhuizen, Roel; Zhong, Yang
  4. Self-Regulatory Resources and Institutional Formation: A First Experimental Test By Kenju Kamei
  5. The Poor, the Rich and the Middle Class: Experimental evidence from heterogeneous public goods games By Daniel W. Derbyshire; Michalis Drouvelis; Brit Grosskopf
  6. Meta-Nudging Honesty: Past, Present, and Future of the Research Frontier By Eugen Dimant; Shaul Shalvi
  7. Enhanced "Green Nudging": Tapping the Channels of Cultural Transmission By Christian Cordes; Joshua Henkel
  8. Long-lasting effects of incentives and social preference: A public goods experiment By Maho Nakagawa; Mathieu Lefebvre; Anne Stenger
  9. The backfiring effects of monetary and gift incentives on Covid-19 vaccination willingness By Xinrui Zhang; Tom Lane

  1. By: Barron, Kai (WZB Berlin Social Science Center); Stüber, Robert (NYU Abu Dhabi); Veldhuizen, Roel van (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: An extensive literature documents that people are willing to sacrifice personal material gain to adhere to a moral motive. Yet, less is known about what happens when moral motives are in conflict. We hypothesize that individuals engage in what we term “motive selection,” namely adhering to the moral motive that aligns with their self-interest. We test this hypothesis using a laboratory experiment that induces a conflict between two of the most-studied moral motives: fairness and truth-telling. In line with our hypothesis, our results show that individuals prefer to adhere to the moral motive that is more aligned with their self-interest.
    Keywords: Motivated reasoning; dictator game; lying game; motives; moral dilemmas
    JEL: C91 D01 D63 D90
    Date: 2022–08–19
  2. By: Antinyan, Armenak (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University.); Corazzini, Luca; Fišar, Miloš; Reggiani, Tommaso (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: There has been an increasing interest in altruistic behaviour in the domain of losses recently. Nevertheless, there is no consensus in whether the monetary losses make individuals more generous or more selfish. Although almost all relevant studies rely on a dictator game to study altruistic behaviour, the experimental designs of these studies differ in how the losses are framed, which may explain the diverging findings. Utilizing a dictator game, this paper studies the impact of loss framing on altruism. The main methodological result is that the dictators’ prosocial behaviour is sensitive to the loss frame they are embedded in. More specifically, in a dictator game in which the dictators have to share a loss between themselves and a recipient, the monetary allocations of the dictators are more benevolent than in a standard setting without a loss and in a dictator game in which the dictators have to share what remains of their endowments after a loss. These differences are explained by the different social norms that the respective loss frames invoke.
    Keywords: loss; framing; altruism; dictator game; experiment; social norms.
    JEL: C91 D02 D64
    Date: 2022–10
  3. By: Buser, Thomas (University of Amsterdam); van Veldhuizen, Roel (Department of Economics, Lund University); Zhong, Yang (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Many professional and educational settings require individuals to be willing and able to perform under time pressure. We use a lab experiment to elicit preferences for working under time pressure in an incentivized way by eliciting the minimum additional payment participants require to complete a cognitive task under various levels of time pressure versus completing it without time pressure. We make three main contributions. First, we document that participants are averse to working under time pressure on average. Second, we show that there is substantial heterogeneity in the degree of time pressure aversion across individuals and that these individual preferences can be partially captured by simple survey questions. Third, we include these questions in a survey of bachelor students and show that time pressure preferences correlate with future career plans. Our results indicate that individual differences in time pressure aversion could be an influential factor in determining labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: Time Pressure; Experiment; Gender
    JEL: C90 D91 J22
    Date: 2022–09–13
  4. By: Kenju Kamei (Faculty of Economics, Keio University)
    Abstract: This study reports the result of a novel laboratory experiment that shows for the first time that the state of people fs self-regulatory resources influences reliance on formal enforcement of norms in a social dilemma. In a laboratory, subjects f self-regulatory resources are rigorously manipulated using well-known depletion tasks. On the one hand, when their resources are not depleted, the vast majority decide to govern themselves through monitoring and decentralized peer-to-peer punishment in a public goods dilemma, and then successfully achieve high cooperation norms. On the other hand, when their resources are small, the majority vote to enact a costly formal sanctioning institution and then construct deterrent punishment toward free riders; backed by formal punishment, the groups achieve strong cooperation. A supplementary survey regarding the Covid-19 pandemic was also conducted to enhance the external validity of the finding, generating a similar pattern. The so-called self-control and commitment preferences combined with inequality aversion can explain these patterns, because the theory predicts that those with smaller self-regulatory resources are motivated to remove temptations in advance as a commitment device, thereby avoiding a large self-control cost. This underscores the role of commitment in a social dilemma context.
    Keywords: Institutional choices;social dilemma;public goods;self-control;punishment
    JEL: C92 D72 H41
    Date: 2022–09–26
  5. By: Daniel W. Derbyshire (European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter); Michalis Drouvelis (Department of Economics, University of Birmingham); Brit Grosskopf (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)
    Abstract: We present the results of one-shot and repeated public good experiments that seek to understand the interaction between the endowment and marginal return in heterogeneous groups. Our focus is on treatments in which the endowment and the marginal return are either inverse or proportionally related to each other. While two normatively appealing contribution rules are aligned in the proportional treatment, a conflict between the two exists in the inverse treatment. In the one-shot experiments, we do not find significant differences across treatments. Contributions increase when the endowment, the marginal return or both increase. This is observed in all treatments except when the endowment and the marginal return are inversely related. In this case, the 'middle class' participants contribute more than both the high and low endowment types, mirroring real world observations with regards to a 'squeezed middle'. This suggests the presence of a conflict between the highly endowed subjects (but with low marginal return) and those with a high marginal return (but with low endowment). This pattern is similar when we elicit beliefs about others' contributions, whereby the two conflicting types expect others to contribute more than they do for themselves. In the long-run, however, when allowing for repeated interaction, the differences across types vanish in the inverse but not in the proportional treatment. This suggests that over time the conflicting interests arising from the interplay between the endowment and the marginal return can be overcome. Our findings have welfare implications indicating that the inverse treatment reduces inequality measured by the Gini coefficient but this is not the case for the proportional treatment, where inequality remains the same.
    Keywords: public goods, heterogeneity, endowment, marginal return, contribution norms
    JEL: H41 C92 D60
    Date: 2022–10–10
  6. By: Eugen Dimant; Shaul Shalvi
    Abstract: Achieving successful and long-lasting behavior change via nudging comes with challenges. This is particularly true when choice architects attempt to change behavior that is collectively harmful but individually beneficial, such as dishonesty. Here, we introduce the concept of ‘meta-nudging’ and illustrate its potential benefits in the context of promoting honesty. The meta-nudging approach implies that instead of nudging end-users directly, one would nudge them indirectly via “social influencers”. That is, one can arguably achieve better success by changing the behavior of those who have the ability to enforce other’s behavior and norm adherence. We argue that this represents a promising new behavior change approach that helps overcome some of the challenges that the classical nudging approach has faced. We use the case of nudging honesty to develop the theoretical foundation of meta-nudging and discuss avenues for future work.
    Keywords: behaviour change, honesty, lying, nudging
    JEL: C91 D01
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Christian Cordes; Joshua Henkel
    Abstract: This paper relates channels of cultural transmission to "green nudging". It studies the effectiveness of this behavioral policy measure as to the promotion of sustainable consumption. The impact of "green nudges" is constrained for it is subject to decay and temporary behavioral adjustments. We argue that "enhanced green nudges" incorporating social learning biases that are based on humans' evolved capacity for culture are more likely to entail persistent behavioral changes due to the inducement of preference learning. We consider biases based on norm psychology, conformity, self-similarity, and the influence of role models. Moreover, these biases' effectiveness in cultural transmission hinges on whether the learning environment resembles the one in which they evolved during human phylogeny. Hence, "enhanced green nudges" are instruments to lastingly introduce environmentally begin consumption patterns. Several scenarios based on a model of cultural evolution illustrate our arguments.
    Keywords: Nudging, Cultural evolution theory, Consumption, Social learning, Sustainability
    JEL: A12 B52 D00 Q01
    Date: 2022–09
  8. By: Maho Nakagawa (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - AgroParisTech - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Mathieu Lefebvre (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Anne Stenger (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - AgroParisTech - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the question of the effectiveness and permanence of temporary incentives to contribute to a public good. Using a common experimental framework, we investigate the effects of a recommendation that takes the form of an exhortative message to contribute, a monetary punishment and a non-monetary reward to sustain high levels of contributions. In particular, we shed light on the differential impact these mechanisms have on heterogeneous types of agents. The results show that all three incentives increase contributions compared to a pre-phase where there is no incentive. Monetary sanctions lead to the highest contributions, but a sudden drop in contributions is observed once the incentive to punish is removed. On the contrary, Recommendation leads to the lowest contributions but maintains a long-lasting impact in the Postpolicy phase. In particular, it makes free-riders increase their contribution over time in the post-incentive phase. Finally, non-monetary reward backfires against those who are weakly conditional cooperators. Our findings emphasize the importance of designing and maintaining incentives not only for free-riders, but for strong and weak conditional cooperators as well, depending on characteristics of the incentives.
    Keywords: Public goods game,Monetary policy,Game theory,Conservation science,Experimental design,Experimental economics,Social psychology,Test statistics
    Date: 2022–08–25
  9. By: Xinrui Zhang (University of Nottingham Ningbo China); Tom Lane (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
    Abstract: Policies offering material incentives for Covid-19 vaccination have been widely used around the world as countries pursue the pressing objective of boosting immunity. This paper reports an experiment in China aimed at testing the effects of such interventions on vaccination willingness. We provide the first Covid-19 vaccine study to separately consider and directly compare the effects of both monetary and gift-based incentives, both of which have been commonly employed in practice. Results from a sample of 1,365 individuals suggest that incentives in the range of 8-125 USD backfire, inducing lower vaccination willingness than simply offering vaccines for free. The effects of money and gifts of equivalent value do not significantly differ. We compare our results against the burgeoning literature on Covid-19 vaccine incentives, and demonstrate that the negative effects we identify are stronger than those observed to date in other populations.
    Keywords: Covid-19; Vaccine willingness; Incentives
    Date: 2022

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