nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2005‒12‒20
two papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. How Do People Learn by Listening to Others? Experimental Evidence from Thailand By Andrew Healy
  2. The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach By Alexander W. Cappelen; Astri D. Hole; Erik Ø. Sørensen; Bertil Tungodden

  1. By: Andrew Healy (Loyola Marymount University)
    Abstract: This paper presents experimental evidence about how individuals learn from information that comes from inside versus outside their ethnic group. In the experiment, Thai subjects observed information that came from Americans and other Thais that they could use to help them answer a series of questions. Two main findings emerge. First, subjects display overconfidence in their own opinions and place too low a value on the information that they observe. Second, conditional on this overconfidence, subjects weigh American information relative to Thai information in a nearly optimal way. The data also indicates that subjects appear to understand that outside information has extra value because people from different groups know different things and so have an opportunity to learn from each other.
    Keywords: laboratory experiment, economic development, Bayesian updating, behavioral economics, learning
    JEL: C11 C53 C91 D83 O10 Q16
    Date: 2005–12–16
  2. By: Alexander W. Cappelen; Astri D. Hole; Erik Ø. Sørensen; Bertil Tungodden
    Abstract: A core question in the contemporary debate on distributive justice is how the fair distribution of income is affected by differences in talent and effort. Important theories of distributive justice, such as strict egalitarianism, liberal egalitarianism and libertarianism, all give different answers to this question. This paper presents the results from a version of the dictator game where the distribution phase is preceded by a production phase. Each player’s contribution is a result of an exogenously given talent and a chosen effort. We estimate simultaneously the prevalence of three main principles of distributive justice among the players as well as the distribution of weights they attach to fairness considerations.
    JEL: D63
    Date: 2005

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