nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2023‒05‒29
eight papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  2. To request or not to request: charitable giving, social information, and spillover By Valeria Fanghella; Lisette Ibanez; John Thøgersen
  3. Noncognitive Skills at the Time of COVID-19: An Experiment with Professional Traders and Students By Marco Angrisani; Marco Cipriani; Antonio Guarino; Ryan Kendall; Julen Ortiz de Zarate Pina
  4. Sanction Enforcement among Third Parties:New Experimental Evidence from Two Societies By Kenju Kamei; Smriti Sharma; Matthew J. Walker
  5. Elicited Time Preferences and Behavior in Long-Run Projects By AKIN, ZAFER; YAVAS, ABDULLAH
  6. Beliefs as a Means of Self-Control? Evidence from a Dynamic Student Survey By Felix Bönisch; Tobias König; Sebastian Schweighofer-Kodritsch; Georg Weizsäcker
  7. ‘Let's call a spade a spade, not a gardening tool’: How euphemisms shape moral judgement in corporate social responsibility domains By Katherine Farrow; Gilles Grolleau; Naoufel Mzoughi
  8. Teaching Self-Regulation By Daniel Schunk; Eva M. Berger; Henning Hermes; Kirsten Winkel; Ernst Fehr

  1. By: Timo Goeschl; ; Alice Soldà (-)
    Abstract: Pledges feature in international climate cooperation since the 2015 Paris Agreement. We explore how differences in pledgers’ trustworthiness affect outcomes in a social dilemma that parallels climate change. In an online experiment, two participants interact with a randomly matched third player in a repeat maintenance game with a pledge stage. Treatments vary whether participants are matched with a player that is more or less trustworthy as revealed by behavior in a promise-keeping game; and whether they observe that trustworthiness. We find that participants knowingly matched with more trustworthy players cooperate more than participants matched with less trustworthy players (knowingly or unknowingly), but also more than participants unknowingly matched with more trustworthy players. In contrast, participants knowingly matched with less trustworthy players do not co-operate less than participants who are unknowingly so. Our findings suggest that the use of pledges, as per the Paris Agreement, can leverage the power of trustworthiness to enhance cooperation.
    Keywords: Social dilemmas; cooperation; pre-play communication; credibility;pledges; group formation
    JEL: C72 C92 D83 D91
    Date: 2023–05
  2. By: Valeria Fanghella (EESC-GEM Grenoble Ecole de Management); Lisette Ibanez (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - UM - Université de Montpellier); John Thøgersen (Aarhus University [Aarhus])
    Abstract: Prosocial behavior is important for a well-functioning society, but many people try to avoid situations where they could act prosocially. This paper studies the avoidance of a prosocial request, how it is affected by social pressure, and whether request avoidance and social pressure generate spillover effects on following prosocial behaviors. To this aim, we conduct an incentivized online experiment (N=1400), where participants play two consecutive dictator games with a charity. In the first game, we vary the type of game and information provided in a 2 x 2 between-subject design: (i) standard dictator game or dictator game with costly opt-out; (ii) with or without social information (mean donation in a previous session). The second game is a standard dictator game for all and aims to capture spillover effects from the first decision. We find that the opt-out option leads to significantly lower donations, especially when social information is present (but this effect is not statistically significant). The negative effect of the opt-out option spills over to the second donation decision. We also observe a negative spillover effect after a standard dictator game. Social information reduces donations in a standard dictator game, but also allows to mitigate the negative spillover effect from the first to the second behavior.
    Keywords: prosocial behavior, opt-out option, social information, spillover, charitable giving, selfimage
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Marco Angrisani; Marco Cipriani; Antonio Guarino; Ryan Kendall; Julen Ortiz de Zarate Pina
    Abstract: We study the stability of noncognitive skills by comparing experimental results gathered before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a sample of professional traders, we find a significant decrease in agreeableness and locus of control and a moderate decrease in grit. These patterns are primarily driven by those with more negative experiences of the pandemic. Other skills, such as trust, conscientiousness, and self-monitoring, are unchanged. We contrast these results with those from a sample of undergraduate students whose noncognitive skills remain constant (except conscientiousness). Our findings provide evidence against the stability of noncognitive skills, particularly among professional traders.
    Keywords: Non-cognitive skills; COVID-19; professional traders
    JEL: G40 D91 C93
    Date: 2023–02–01
  4. By: Kenju Kamei (Faculty of Economics, Keio University); Smriti Sharma (Business School, Newcastle University); Matthew J. Walker (Business School, Newcastle University)
    Abstract: Sanction enforcement offers the potential to mitigate free riding on punishment among multiple third parties. This paper experimentally studies third-party enforcement of social norms in a prisoner fs dilemma game with and without opportunities for higher-order punishment. Based on insights from the literature on cooperation, kinship and moral systems, we compare people fs sanction enforcement across student subjects in two societies: India and the United Kingdom. The experiment results show that, in both societies, third parties f first-order punishment is most severe for defectors and that a third party fs failure to punish a defector invites higher-order punishment from their fellow third parties. These findings are consistent with a model of social preferences and literature from anthropology and theoretical biology. Further, third-party punishment is stronger in the UK than in India, consistent with the conjecture that people in a society with relatively looser ancestral kinship ties are more willing to engage in pro-social punishment. However, in contrast to the theory or conjecture, there is clear difference in the group size effects between the two research sites: whereas third parties free ride on others f punitive acts in the UK, they punish more when in the presence of other third parties in India.
    Keywords: Experiment, Third-party punishment, Higher-order, Cross-societal variation, Public Goods
    JEL: C92 H41 D01 D91
    Date: 2023–04–26
    Abstract: We study whether and how the experimentally elicited risk and time preferences of subjects are associated with their behavior in long-run projects. First, risk and time preferences are elicited from time-dated monetary choices to estimate a general discount and utility function at an individual level, then subjects work on a longitudinal project that requires effort in multiple periods. We find that present bias in the form of a fixed cost or variable cost (quasi-hyperbolic discounting) is not supported by monetary choices. Analyses of allocation patterns of work reveal that the estimated utility and discounting models are not compatible with the observed allocations. We find evidence of both present and future bias, although the former is more prevalent and severe, and subjects exhibit naivete in their choice reversals. Furthermore, discount rate and present bias parameters estimated based on monetary choices have predictive power on how work is allocated in the long-run project.
    Keywords: time preferences, quasi-hyperbolic discounting, experiment, long-run project
    JEL: C91 D91
    Date: 2023–04–18
  6. By: Felix Bönisch; Tobias König; Sebastian Schweighofer-Kodritsch; Georg Weizsäcker
    Abstract: We repeatedly elicit beliefs about the returns to study effort, in a large university course. A behavioral model of quasi-hyperbolic discounting and malleable beliefs predicts that the dynamics of beliefs mirrors the importance of exerting self-control, such that believed returns increase as the exam approaches, and drop post-exam. Exploiting variation in exam timing to control for common information shocks, we find this prediction confirmed: average believed study returns increase by about 20% over the period before the exam, and drop by about the same amount afterwards. Additional analyses further support the hypothesized mechanism that beliefs serve as a means of self-control.
    Date: 2023–05–09
  7. By: Katherine Farrow (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Gilles Grolleau (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement); Naoufel Mzoughi (ECODEVELOPPEMENT - Unité de recherche d'Écodéveloppement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Many organizations, especially businesses, make heavy use of euphemisms when communicating on sensitive issues. We explore whether the use of euphemisms, as opposed to equivalent plain terms, influences the moral judgments made by recipients of these messages, notably pertaining to (un)ethical behaviors in corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. Using six ethical and unethical scenarios in a between-subjects experiment, we find four main results. First, individuals judge ethical actions more favorably when they are presented in euphemistic terms versus in plain terms. Second, euphemisms increase the acceptability of unethical CSR practices, which are judged to be significantly less unethical when described using euphemistic terms relative to plain terms. Third, most examined euphemisms are found to increase (respectively, decrease) the likelihood of stated willingness to sign a petition supporting (respectively, denouncing) the considered practices. Fourth, euphemisms remain effective for respondents who view firms as hypocritical.
    Keywords: CSR, Ethics, Euphemism, Moral judgement
    Date: 2021–07
  8. By: Daniel Schunk (Johannes Gutenberg University); Eva M. Berger (German Council of Economic Experts); Henning Hermes (Heinrich Heine University of Duesseldorf); Kirsten Winkel (University of Applied Sciences Saarbruecken); Ernst Fehr (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Children's self-regulation abilities are key predictors of educational success and other life outcomes such as income and health. However, self-regulation is not a school subject, and knowledge about how to generate lasting improvements in self-regulation and academic achievements with easily scalable, low-cost interventions is still limited. Here we report the results of a randomized controlled field study that integrates a short self-regulation teaching unit based on the concept of mental contrasting with implementation intentions into the school curriculum of first graders. We demonstrate that the treatment increases children's skills in terms of impulse control and self-regulation while also generating lasting improvements in academic skills such as reading and monitoring careless mistakes. Moreover, it has a substantial effect on children's long-term school career by increasing the likelihood of enrolling in an advanced secondary school track three years later. Thus, self-regulation teaching can be integrated into the regular school curriculum at low cost, is easily scalable, and can substantially improve important abilities and children's educational career path.
    Date: 2022–10–13

This nep-cbe issue is ©2023 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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