nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2022‒11‒21
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Misperceiving Economic Success: Experimental Evidence on Meritocratic Beliefs and Inequality Acceptance By Dietmar Fehr; Martin Vollmann
  2. How Narratives Impact Financial Behavior - Experimental Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic By Müller, Lara Marie; Harrs, Sören; Rockenbach, Bettina
  3. You will receive your money next week! Experimental evidence on the role of Future-Time Reference for intertemporal decision-making By Niklas Ziemann
  4. Mixture-Dependent Preference for Commitment By Fernando Payró Chew

  1. By: Dietmar Fehr; Martin Vollmann
    Abstract: Meritocratic beliefs are often invoked as justification of inequality. We provide evidence on how meritocratic beliefs are shaped by economic status and how they contribute to the moral justification of inequality. In a large-scale survey experiment in the US, we show that success causes a change in beliefs about success depending on effort rather than luck. Exploiting exogenous variation in meritocratic beliefs in a two-stage analysis shows that beliefs affect how much inequality people accept. Successful people prefer to remain ignorant about the true underlying reasons for success and there is no evidence that beliefs are moderated by political orientation.
    Keywords: meritocratic beliefs, inequality acceptance, fairness, political views, survey experiment
    JEL: D31 D63 C93 H23 H24
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Müller, Lara Marie; Harrs, Sören; Rockenbach, Bettina
    JEL: D83 D91 G41
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Niklas Ziemann (University of Potsdam)
    Abstract: Against the background of the increasingly discussed “Linguistic Saving Hypothesis” (Chen, 2013), I studied whether the targeted use of a present tense (close tense) and a future tense (distant tense) within the same language have an impact on intertemporal decision-making. In a monetarily incentivized laboratory experiment in Germany, I implemented two different treatments on intertemporal choices. The treatments differed in the tense in which I referred to future rewards. My results show that individuals prefer to a greater extent rewards which are associated with a present tense (close tense). This result is in line with my prediction and the first empirical support for the Linguistic Saving Hypothesis within one language. However, this result holds exclusively for males. Females seem to be unaffected by the linguistic manipulation. I discuss my findings in the context of “gender-as-culture” as well as their potential policy-implications.
    Keywords: Experiment, Intertemporal Choice, Language, Linguistic Saving Hypothesis
    JEL: C91 D15 D90 Z13
    Date: 2022–11
  4. By: Fernando Payró Chew
    Abstract: The literature on temptation and self-control is motivated by evidence of a preference for commitment. This literature has typically put forth models for preferences over menus of lotteries that satisfy the Independence axiom. Independence requires that the ranking of two menus is not affected if each is mixed (probabilistically) with a common third menu. In particular, the preference for commitment is invariant under Independence. We argue that intuitive behavior may require that the preference for commitment be affected by such mixing, and hence be mixture-dependent. To capture such behavior, we generalize Gul and Pesendorfer (2001) by replacing their Independence axiom with a suitably adapted version of the Mixture-Betweenness axiom of Chew (1989)- Dekel (1986). Axiomatizing the model involves a novel extension of the Mixture Space Theorem to preferences that satisfy Mixture-Betweenness.
    Keywords: temptation, self-control, mixture space, independence
    JEL: D11
    Date: 2022–09

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