nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2008‒02‒16
eight papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Macroeconomics: A Survey of Laboratory Research By John Duffy
  2. The Dynamic Interplay of Inequality and Trust - An Experimental Study By Ben Greiner; Axel Ockenfels; Peter Werner
  3. Effects of Profitable Downsizing on Collective Bargaining By Sven Fischer; Werner Güth; Christoph Köhler
  4. Communication and Gulit in a Prisoner's Dilemma By Miettinen, T.; Suetens, S.
  5. Error Cascades in Observational Learning: An Experiment on the Chinos Game By Francesco Feri; Miguel A. Melendez-Jimenez; Giovanni Ponti; Fernando Vega Redondo
  6. Conformity and the demand for environmental goods By Carlsson, Fredrik; García, Jorge H.; Löfgren, Åsa
  7. One Round versus Two Round Elections: An Experimental Study By André Blais; Jean-François Laslier; Annie Laurent; Nicolas Sauger; Karine Van-Der-Straeten
  8. Election by Majority Judgement: Experimental Evidence By Michel Balinski; Rida Laraki

  1. By: John Duffy
    Abstract: This chapter surveys laboratory experiments addressing macroeconomic phenomena. The first part focuses on experimental tests of the microfoundations of macroeconomic models discusing laboratory studies of intertemporal consumption/savings decisions, time (in)consistency of preferences and rational expectations. Part two explores coordination problems of interest to macroeconomists and mechanisms for resolving these problems. Part three looks at experiments in specific macroeconomic sectors including monetary economics, labor economics, international economics as well-as large scale, multi-sector models that combine several sectors simultaneously. The final section addresses experimental tests of macroeconomic policy issues.
    JEL: C9 E0
    Date: 2008–02
  2. By: Ben Greiner (Harvard Business School); Axel Ockenfels (University of Cologne, Department of Economics); Peter Werner (University of Cologne, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We study the interplay of inequality and trust in a dynamic game, where trust increases efficiency and thus allows higher growth of the experimental economy in the future. We find that trust is initially high in a treatment starting with equal endowments, but decreases over time. In a treatment with unequal endowments, trust is initially lower yet remains relatively stable. The difference seems partly due to the fact that equal start positions increase subjects' inclination to condition their trust decisions on wealth comparisons, whereas conditional trust is much less prevalent with unequal initial endowments. As a result, with respect to efficiency, the initially more unequal economy fares worse in the short run but better in the long run, and the disparity of wealth distributions across economies mitigates over time.
    Keywords: inequality, trust, growth, laboratory experiments
    JEL: C73 C92 D63 E25 O15
    Date: 2007–10
  3. By: Sven Fischer (Department of Economics, University College London); Werner Güth (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena); Christoph Köhler (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Institute for Sociology, Economic and Social Structure Group)
    Abstract: We experimentally test how acceptance thresholds react to the decision of the proposer in a three party ultimatum game to exclude one of two responders with veto power from the game. We elicit responder acceptance thresholds in case the proposer decides to exclude one of them, what increases the available pie, and in case he doesn't exclude him despite strong monetary incentives. We ?nd that on the aggregate level the proposer's decision has no effect on acceptance thresholds. However, if the proposer excludes one responder, the distribution of thresholds becomes bimodal, indicating a polarization in behavior.
    Keywords: bargaining, experiment, labor markets
    JEL: C91 J52
    Date: 2008–02–12
  4. By: Miettinen, T.; Suetens, S. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: In this paper we measure experienced guilt in a prisoner?s dilemma experiment with pre-play communication. We find that feelings of guilt only arise in the case of unilateral defection and that they are stronger when players have mutually agreed to cooperate. We also find that fining unilateral defection reduces feelings of guilt.
    Keywords: cooperation;guilt;experiments;prisoner?s dilemma;pre- play communication
    JEL: C91 D74
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Francesco Feri; Miguel A. Melendez-Jimenez; Giovanni Ponti; Fernando Vega Redondo
    Abstract: The paper reports an experimental study based on a variant of the popular Chinos game, which is used as a simple but paradigmatic instance of observational learning. There are three players, arranged in sequence, each of whom wins a fixed price if she manages to guess the total number of coins lying in everybody’s hands. Our evidence shows that, despite the remarkable frequency of equilibrium outcomes, deviations from optimal play are also significant. And when such deviations occur, we find that, for any given player position, the probability of a mistake is increasing in the probability of a mistake of her predecessors. This is what we call an error cascade, which we rationalize by way of a simple model of “noisy equilibrium”.
    Keywords: positional learning, error cascades
    JEL: C92 D8
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); García, Jorge H. (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Löfgren, Åsa (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: We test the hypothesis that people conform to certain social norms, i.e. that some individuals may be willing to pay a higher price premium for green products the more widespread green consumerism is in society. To investigate consumer preferences for environmentally friendly products, we conducted a choice experiment where the respondents were asked to choose among coffee products varying with respect to their share of ecological beans, share of fair trade beans, and price. Three treatments were used, differing only in the information given about the choices made by other consumers. More specifically, the respondents in the three subgroups were told that 10%, 50%, and 90% of all other consumers chose the alternative with 100% ecological beans. We find different responses to the treatments across individuals. In particular, we can only confirm our hypothesis of conformity for women, although men appear to have stronger preferences for ecological coffee than women.<p>
    Keywords: Conformity; Choice Experiments; Environmental Goods
    JEL: C90 D12
    Date: 2008–02–13
  7. By: André Blais (Université de Montréal -); Jean-François Laslier (PREG - Pole de recherche en économie et gestion - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X); Annie Laurent (Université de Lille II -); Nicolas Sauger (CEVIPOF - Centre de Recherches Politiques de Sciences Po - CNRS : UMR7048 - Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris); Karine Van-Der-Straeten (PSE - La plante et son environnement - CNRS : IFR87 - INRA - INAPG - Université Paris Sud - Paris XI)
    Abstract: L'article présente une série d'expériences dans lesquelles les participants étaient invités à voter dans quatre élections au scrutin à un tour et quatre élections au scrutin à deux tours, avec le même ensemble de cinq candidats parmi lesquels trois étaient viables et cinq ne l'étaient pas. Les expérimences visaient à tester les arguments avancés par Duverger et Cox à propos de la propension à voter sincèrement ou non dans les élections à un ou deux tours. Dans les deux systèmes on observe une tendance forte à déserter les deux candidats non viables. Les données sont plus favorables à la théorie de Cox qu'à celle de Duverger.
    Keywords: Vote stratégique;Cox;Duverger
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Michel Balinski (PREG - Pole de recherche en économie et gestion - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X); Rida Laraki (PREG - Pole de recherche en économie et gestion - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)
    Abstract: Le jugement majoritaire est une méthode d'élection. Cette méthode est l'aboutissement d'une nouvelle théorie du choix social où les électeurs jugent les candidats au lieu de les ranger. La théorie est développée dans d'autres publications ([2, 4]). Cet article décrit et analyse des expériences électorales conduites pendant les deux dernières élections présidentielles françaises dans plusieurs buts: (1) démontrer que le jugement majoritaire est une méthode pratique, (2) la décrire et établir ses principales propriétés, (3) démontrer qu'elle échappe aux paradoxes classiques, et (4) illustrer comment dans la pratique tous les mécanismes de vote connus violent certains critères importants. Les démonstrations utilisent des concepts et méthodes nouveaux.
    Date: 2007

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