nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒20
twelve papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Certain and Uncertain Utility: The Allais Paradox and Five Decision Theory Phenomena By James Andreoni; Charles Sprenger
  2. Risk Preferences Are Not Time Preferences By James Andreoni; Charles Sprenger
  3. Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets By James Andreoni; Charles Sprenger
  4. Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial By Francine D. Blau; Janet M. Currie; Rachel T.A. Croson; Donna K. Ginther
  5. Strategic Sophistication of Individuals and Teams in Experimental Normal-Form Games By Sutter, Matthias; Czermak, Simon; Feri, Francesco
  6. Colorful economics: seeing red in a prisoner's dilemma game By Kaufmann W.; Van Witteloostuijn A.; Boone Ch.
  7. Trust, discrimination and acculturation Experimental evidence on Asian international and Australian domestic university students By Daniel Ji; Pablo Guillen
  8. Cooperation and diversity. An evolutionary approach By Bruni, Luigino; Smerilli, Alessandra
  9. Raising "lab rats" By Pablo Guillen; Róbert F. Veszteg
  10. Split-Plot Experiments with Factor-Dependent Whole-Plot Sizes By Schoen E.; Jones B.; Goos P.
  11. Design and analysis of industrial strip-plot experiments By Arnouts H.; Goos P.
  12. So you want to run an experiment, now what? Some Simple Rules of Thumb for Optimal Experimental Design By John A. List; Sally Sadoff; Mathis Wagner

  1. By: James Andreoni; Charles Sprenger
    Date: 2010–02–04
  2. By: James Andreoni; Charles Sprenger
    Date: 2010–02–04
  3. By: James Andreoni; Charles Sprenger
    Date: 2010–02–04
  4. By: Francine D. Blau; Janet M. Currie; Rachel T.A. Croson; Donna K. Ginther
    Abstract: While much has been written about the potential benefits of mentoring in academia, very little research documents its effectiveness. We present data from a randomized controlled trial of a mentoring program for female economists organized by the Committee for the Status of Women in the Economics Profession and sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Economics Association. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized trial of a mentoring program in academia. We evaluate the performance of three cohorts of participants and randomly-assigned controls from 2004, 2006, and 2008. This paper presents an interim assessment of the program’s effects. Our results suggest that mentoring works. After five years the 2004 treatment group averaged .4 more NSF or NIH grants and 3 additional publications, and were 25 percentage points more likely to have a top-tier publication. There are significant but smaller effects at three years post-treatment for the 2004 and 2006 cohorts combined. While it is too early to assess the ultimate effects of mentoring on the academic careers of program participants, the results suggest that this type of mentoring may be one way to help women advance in the Economics profession and, by extension, in other male-dominated academic fields.
    JEL: A11 C93 I2 J16 J24 J44
    Date: 2010–01
  5. By: Sutter, Matthias (University of Innsbruck); Czermak, Simon (University of Innsbruck); Feri, Francesco (University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: We present an experiment on strategic thinking and behavior of individuals and teams in one-shot normal-form games. Besides making choices, decision makers have to state their first- and second-order beliefs. We find that teams play the Nash strategy significantly more often, and their choices are more often consistent by being a best reply to first order beliefs. We identify the complexity of a game and the payoffs in equilibrium as determining the likelihood of consistent behavior according to textbook rationality. Using a mixture model, the estimated probability to play strategically is 62% for teams, but only 40% for individuals.
    Keywords: strategic sophistication, beliefs, experiment, team decision making, individual decision making
    JEL: C72 C91 C92
    Date: 2010–01
  6. By: Kaufmann W.; Van Witteloostuijn A.; Boone Ch.
    Abstract: The color red has been found to influence behavior and performance in a wide range of settings. We introduce the color red in a Prisoner’s Dilemma by performing a series of oneshot and repeated Bertrand duopoly laboratory games. We hypothesize a positive relationship between the color red and the number of competitive choices. Furthermore, we expect to see a habituation effect, implying that the impact of red on competitive behavior is more pronounced at the beginning of the experiment, to then fade away over time. Results indicate that the effect of the color red on cooperative behavior is more complex than hypothesized. We find no main effect for the color red, but we do reveal a significant habituation effect of the color red in the one-shot games. Contrary to our expectation, however, an escalation effect emerges in the repeated game, which suggests that the competition-enhancing effect of red is reinforced by receiving feedback about the other party’s choice.
    Date: 2009–11
  7. By: Daniel Ji (Federal Reserve Bank of Australia); Pablo Guillen (The University of Sydney)
    Abstract: Intercultural relations between Australia and Asia are pivotal to the economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region. However, there appears to be tension between Australian domestic and Asian international students at universities in Australia. To measure the degree of trust and patterns of discrimination between these groups, the Berg, Dickhaut and McCabe (1995) trust game and a series of control games were used in framework where each participant played each game against several partners. Controlling for individual heterogeneity, domestic students significantly discriminated against international students in the trust game, and individual discrimination was preference-based rather than based on beliefs towards international students’ trustworthiness. Moreover, the degree of in-group favouritism shown by domestic students was negatively correlated with the Big Five personality trait of Openness. Intercultural patterns across the games also pointed to a willingness of international students to build relations with domestic students. However, the average amount that they sent in the trust game was negatively related with the number of semesters studied at university in Australia, which may partly reflect cultural adjustment but also institutional disadvantages faced specifically by international students. The study furthers understanding of the patterns of discrimi-nation between domestic and international university students, the nature of this discrimination, and illustrates the extent of challenges faced by the Australian tertiary education sector.
    Keywords: rust, discrimination, intercultural differences, economic experiments
    Date: 2010–01–01
  8. By: Bruni, Luigino; Smerilli, Alessandra
    Abstract: n this paper we propose a pluralistic and multi-dimensional ap- proach to cooperation. Specifically, we seek to show that, in certain settings, less unconditional forms of cooperation may be combined with more gratuitous ones. Starting with the prisoner’s dilemma game, the evolution of cooperation is analyzed in the presence of different strate- gies, which represent the heterogeneity of the forms of cooperation in civil life. There are many behaviour patterns, though not all of them are based on self-interest and conditionality. The dynamics of coop- eration are studied through the use of evolutionary games applied in contexts that are either one-shot or repetitive. One of the most impor- tant results of the paper is the conclusion that cooperation is favoured by heterogeneity.
    Keywords: cooperation; Prisoner’s Dilemma; reciprocity; hetero- geneity; evolutionary game theory
    JEL: D64 C73 C72
    Date: 2010–01
  9. By: Pablo Guillen (The University of Sydney); Róbert F. Veszteg (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: Experimental subjects usually self-select to the laboratory and this may introduce a bias to the derived conclusions. We analyze data stored by a subject-pool management software at an experimental laboratory and speculate about the eect of individual decisions on returning. In particular, we test whether experience and earnings in previous sessions together with demographic variables explain the decision to return to the laboratory. We nd that males and (in monetary terms) well-performing subjects are more likely to participate again in experiments.
    Keywords: demographic characteristics, experiments, subject pool
    Date: 2010–01–20
  10. By: Schoen E.; Jones B.; Goos P.
    Abstract: In industrial split-plot experiments, the number of runs within each whole plot is usually determined independently from the factor settings. As a matter of fact, it is often equal to the number of runs that can be done within a given period of time or to the number of samples that can be processed in one oven run or with one batch. In such cases, the size of every whole plot in the experiment is ¯xed no matter what factor levels are actually used in the experiment. In this article, we discuss the design of a real-life experiment on the production of co®ee cream where the number of runs within a whole plot is not ¯xed, but depends on the level of one of the whole-plot factors. We provide a detailed discussion of various ways to set up the experiment and discuss how existing algorithms to construct optimal split-plot designs can be modi¯ed for that purpose. We conclude the paper with a few general recommendations.
    Date: 2010–01
  11. By: Arnouts H.; Goos P.
    Abstract: The cost of experimentation can often be reduced by forgoing complete randomization. A well-known design with restricted randomization is a split-plot design, which is commonly used in industry when some experimental factors are harder to change than others or when a two-stage production process is studied. Split-plot designs are also often used in robust product design to develop products that are insensitive to environmental or noise factors. Another, lesser known, type of experimental design plan that can be used in such situations is the strip-plot experimental design. Strip-plot designs are economically attractive in situations where the factors are hard to change and the process under investigation consists of two distinct stages, and where it is possible to apply the second stage to groups of semi-finished products from the first stage. They have a correlation structure similar to row-column designs and can be seen as special cases of split-lot designs. In this paper,we show how optimal design of experiments allows for the creation of a broad range of strip-plot designs.
    Date: 2009–06
  12. By: John A. List; Sally Sadoff; Mathis Wagner
    Abstract: Experimental economics represents a strong growth industry. In the past several decades the method has expanded beyond intellectual curiosity, now meriting consideration alongside the other more traditional empirical approaches used in economics. Accompanying this growth is an influx of new experimenters who are in need of straightforward direction to make their designs more powerful. This study provides several simple rules of thumb that researchers can apply to improve the efficiency of their experimental designs. We buttress these points by including empirical examples from the literature.
    JEL: C9 C91 C92 C93
    Date: 2010–01

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