nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2023‒10‒16
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. How Overconfidence Bias Influences Suboptimality in Perceptual Decision Making By Marine Hainguerlot; Thibault Gajdos; Jean-Christophe Vergnaud; Vincent de Gardelle
  2. Stated preferences outperform elicited preferences for predicting reported compliance with Covid-19 prophylactic measures By Phu Nguyen-Van; Thierry Blayac; Dimitri Dubois; Sebastien Duchene; Bruno Ventelou; Marc Willinger
  3. Time Preferences and Food Choice By Andy Brownback; Alex Imas; Michael A. Kuhn
  4. How to Organize Monitoring and Punishment: Experimental Evidence By Goeschl, Timo; Haberl, Beatrix; Soldà, Alice

  1. By: Marine Hainguerlot (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Thibault Gajdos (LPC - Laboratoire de psychologie cognitive - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jean-Christophe Vergnaud (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Vincent de Gardelle (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: In perceptual decision making, it is often found that human observers combine sensory information and prior knowledge suboptimally. Typically, in detection tasks, when an alternative is a priori more likely to occur, observers choose it more frequently to account for the unequal base rate but not to the extent they should, a phenomenon referred to as "conservative decision bias" (i.e., observers do not shift their decision criterion enough). One theoretical explanation of this phenomenon is that observers are overconfident in their ability to interpret sensory information, resulting in overweighting the sensory information relative to prior knowledge. Here, we derived formally this candidate model, and we tested it in a visual discrimination task in which we manipulated the prior probabilities of occurrence of the stimuli. We measured confidence in decisions and decision criterion placement in two separate experimental sessions for the same participants (N = 69). Both overconfidence bias and conservative decision bias were found in our data, but critically the link that was predicted between these two quantities was absent. Our data suggested instead that when informed about the a priori probability, overconfident participants put less effort into processing sensory information. These findings offer new perspectives on the role of overconfidence bias to explain suboptimal decisions.
    Keywords: overconfidence bias, perceptual decision making, suboptimality, signal detection theory, conservative decision bias, sensitivity
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Phu Nguyen-Van; Thierry Blayac; Dimitri Dubois; Sebastien Duchene; Bruno Ventelou; Marc Willinger
    Abstract: This paper studies the behavioral and socio-demographic determinants of reported compliance with prophylactic measures against COVID-19: barrier gestures, lockdown restrictions and mask wearing. The study contrasts two types of measures for behavioral determinants: experimentally elicited preferences (risk tolerance, time preferences, social value orientation and cooperativeness) and stated preferences (risk tolerance, time preferences, and the GSS trust question). Data were collected from a representative sample of the metropolitan French adult population (N=1154) surveyed during the first lockdown in May 2020, and the experimental tasks were carried out on-line. The in-sample and out-of-sample predictive power of several regression models - which vary in the set of variables that they include - are studied and compared. Overall, we find that stated preferences are better predictors of compliance with these prophylactic measures than preferences elicited through incentivized experiments: self-reported level of risk, patience and trust are predicting compliance, while elicited measures of risk-aversion, patience, cooperation and prosociality did not.
    Keywords: COVID-19, individual preferences, social preferences, elicited preferences, stated preferences
    JEL: C90 D90 I18
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Andy Brownback; Alex Imas; Michael A. Kuhn
    Abstract: Healthy food choices are a canonical example used to illustrate the importance of time preferences in behavioral economics. However, the literature lacks a direct demonstration that they are well-predicted by incentivized time preference measures. We offer direct evidence by combining a novel, two-question, incentivized time preference measurement with data from a field experiment that includes grocery purchases and consumption. Our present-focus measure is highly predictive of food choice, capturing a number of behaviors consistent with self-control problems, which provides direct evidence for the common assumption that important aspects of nutrition are driven by time preferences.
    JEL: D03 H20 I12 I39
    Date: 2023–09
  4. By: Goeschl, Timo; Haberl, Beatrix; Soldà, Alice
    Abstract: Punishment institutions for curtailing free-riding in social dilemmas rely on information about individuals’ behavior collected through monitoring. We contribute to the experimental study of cooperation-enhancing institutions by examining how cooperation and efficiency in a social dilemma change in response to varying how monitoring and punishment are jointly organized. Specifically, we evaluate - against a no-monitoring baseline - combinations of two imperfect monitoring regimes (cen-tralized vs. decentralized) and three punishment regimes (self- vs. peer- vs. del-egated punishment) in a repeated public goods game. As hypothesized, we find that delegated punishment outperforms other punishment regimes, irrespective of the monitoring regime, both in terms of cooperation and efficiency. Monitoring, both centralized and decentralized, cannot raise cooperation relative to the baseline unless accompanied by a credible punishment. When combined with a punishment institution, both monitoring regime outperforms the baseline.
    Keywords: compliance; monitoring; punishment; experiment
    Date: 2023–09–22

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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