nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2008‒03‒01
eight papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. The Relevance of Heterogeneity in a Congested Route Network with Tolls: An Analysis of Two Experiments Using Actual Waiting Times and Monetized Time Costs By John Hartman
  2. Rational Reasoning or Adaptive Behavior? Evidence from Two-Person Beauty Contest Games By Brit Grosskopf; Rosemarie Nagel
  3. A Route Choice Experiment With an Efficient Toll By John Hartman
  4. Does Resorting to Online Dispute Resolution Promote Agreements? Experimental Evidence By Yannick Gabuthy; Nicolas Jacquemet; Nadège Marchand
  5. Teaching Economics Interactively: A Cannibal's Dinner Party By Ted Bergstrom
  6. Jekyll and Hyde By Marie-Edith Bissey, John D Hey and Stefania Ottone
  7. No harm, no foul: The outcome bias in ethical judgments By Francesca Gino; Don A. Moore; Max H. Bazerman
  8. Experience Weighted Attraction in the First Price Auction and Becker Degroot Marschak By Duncan James; Derrick Reagle

  1. By: John Hartman (University of California Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: Heterogeneity is important in some settings. One such instance involves congested networks with tolls, since people trade time for money at different rates. This paper reports results from two experiments that examine these issues. In both experiments, subjects choose between traveling on an indirect route that does not congest and a direct toll route that congests as more subjects travel on it. In the first experiment, values of time are assigned to subjects. Subjects generally sort themselves with high value-of-time subjects choosing the toll route. I also find that as the cost of deviating from the equilibrium prediction increases, subjects are more likely to make choices consistent with equilibrium. In other words, coordination problems diminish as value-of-time heterogeneity increases. The second experiment simulates a boring commute in which subjects must wait after the experimental rounds are finished. Subjects can give up money for reduced waiting time in this experiment by traveling on the toll route. In this experiment, some subjects travel the toll route frequently, giving up some of their payout in order to reduce their waiting time after the experiment. These choices are likely based on individuals' values of time, since aggregate behavior differs by session. There is also evidence that subjects with time constraints travel the toll route more often than other subjects.
    Keywords: congestion, Pigou-Knight-Downs paradox, experiment, toll, value of time, externalities, heterogeneity,
    Date: 2007–11–01
  2. By: Brit Grosskopf; Rosemarie Nagel
    Abstract: Many experiments have shown that human subjects do not necessarily behave in line with game theoretic assumptions and solution concepts. The reasons for this non-conformity are multiple. In this paper we study the argument whether a deviation from game theory is because subjects are rational, but doubt that others are rational as well, compared to the argument that subjects, in general, are boundedly rational themselves. To distinguish these two hypotheses, we study behavior in repeated 2-person and many-person Beauty- Contest-Games which are strategically different from one another. We analyze four different treatments and observe that convergence toward equilibrium is driven by learning through the information about the other player’s choice and adaptation rather than self-initiated rational reasoning.
    Keywords: Beauty contest, Guessing game, Bounded rationality, Weak dominance, Learning
    JEL: C7 C9
    Date: 2007–06
  3. By: John Hartman (University of California Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: Traffic congestion is a substantial time cost for many urban commuters. This paper studies the response of subjects in an experimental setting in which subjects choose between a short direct route that becomes increasingly congested as more people travel on it and a more indirect route that does not become congested. More specifically, I investigate how subjects respond to the use of a toll that theory predicts will minimize travel time costs. The experimental results reported in this paper show that this toll comes very close to achieving efficient use of the travel network.
    Keywords: congestion, Pigou-Knight-Downs paradox, experiment, toll,
    Date: 2007–05–01
  4. By: Yannick Gabuthy (BETA - Bureau d'économie théorique et appliquée - CNRS : UMR7522 - Université Louis Pasteur - Strasbourg I); Nicolas Jacquemet (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, Ecole d'économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Nadège Marchand (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)
    Abstract: This paper presents an experiment performed to test the properties of an innovative<br />bargaining mechanism (called automated negotiation) used to resolve disputes arising from<br />Internet-based transactions. The main result shows that the settlement rule tends to chill<br />bargaining as it creates incentives for individuals to misrepresent their true valuations, which<br />implies that automated negotiation is not able to promote agreements. However, this perverse<br />effect depends strongly on the conflict situation. When the threat that a disagreement occurs is<br />more credible, the strategic effect is reduced since defendants are more interested in<br />maximizing the efficiency of a settlement than their own expected profit. The implications of<br />these results are then used to discuss the potential role of public regulation and reputation<br />mechanisms in Cyberspace
    Keywords: : Online Dispute Resolution, Electronic Commerce, Bargaining, Arbitration,<br />Experimental Economics
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Ted Bergstrom (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: This paper describes techniques that I use to teach economics principles "interactively". These techniques include classroom experiments and classroom clickers. The paper describes an experiment on market entry and gives examples of applications of classroom clickers. Clicker applications include the collection data about student preferences that can be used to construct demand curves and supply curves. Check on students' knowledge of central concepts. Play interactive games that illustrate economic concepts.
    Keywords: teaching economics, classroom clickers, classroom experiments, active learning,
    Date: 2007–10–26
  6. By: Marie-Edith Bissey, John D Hey and Stefania Ottone
    Abstract: Jekyll and Hyde were in fact two people inside the same person – an obviously dynamically inconsistent person. In the book and in the movie, the dynamic inconsistency was resolved in arather dramatic way. We investigate its resolution in the laboratory.
    Keywords: dynamic inconsistency, saving, consumption, naïve, resolute, sophisticated, dual selves
    JEL: C92 D9
    Date: 2008–01
  7. By: Francesca Gino (Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University); Don A. Moore (Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University); Max H. Bazerman (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)
    Abstract: Two studies investigated the influence of outcome information on ethical judgment. Participants read a series of vignettes describing ethically-questionable behaviors. We manipulated whether those behaviors were followed by a negative or positive consequence. As hypothesized, participants judged behavior as less ethical when it was followed by a negative consequence. In addition, they judged the behavior as more blameworthy and to be punished more harshly. Participants’ ethical judgments mediated their judgments of both blame and punishment. The results of the second experiment showed again that participants rated behavior as less ethical when it led to undesirable consequences, even if they saw that behavior as acceptable before they knew its consequences. Implications for both research and practice are discussed.
    Keywords: outcome bias, unethical behavior, judgment
    Date: 2008–02
  8. By: Duncan James (Fordham University, Department of Economics); Derrick Reagle (Fordham University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In this paper we explore the performance of Experience Weighted Attraction (EWA) in two different auction institutions: First Price Sealed Bid, and Becker-DeGroot-Marschak. Our results suggest that learning has some promise as a possible explanation for previously documented cross- institutional choice anomalies usually attributed to risk aversion. Additionally, we present results on the likely econometric (ir)recoverability of EWA parameters in these institutions.
    Keywords: Auctions, Risk Aversion, Learning, Experience Weighted Attractions
    Date: 2008

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