nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2010‒08‒14
ten papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Conditional Cooperation: Evidence for the Role of Self-Control By Martinsson, Peter; Myrseth, Kristian Ove R.; Wollbrant, Conny
  2. Paying the Price of Sweetening Your Donation - Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment By Alpízar, Francisco; Martinsson, Peter
  3. Social Norms, Information and Trust Among Strangers: Theory and Evidence By John Duffy; Huan Xie; Yong-Ju Lee
  4. Does AHP help us make a choice? - An experimental evaluation By Ishizaka, Alessio; Balkenborg, Dieter; Kaplan, Todd R
  5. Love for Efficiency or Confusion? A QRE Analysis of Individual Contributions in a Public Good Game By Luca Corazzini, Marcelo Tyszler
  6. Hypothetical and convenience sample biases in value orientations ring games By Emmanouil Mentzakis; Stuart Mestelman
  7. Trust with Private and Common Property: Effects of Stronger Property Right Entitlements By James C. Cox; Daniel T. Hall
  8. Pricing Scheme Choice: How Process Affects Outcome By Natalia Shestakova
  9. Cognitive styles and teamwork: examining the impact of team composition on team processes and outcomes By Vanderheyden, K.; Lommelen, B.; Cools, E.
  10. Ethnic discrimination in the Italian rental housing market By Massimo Baldini; Marta Federici

  1. By: Martinsson, Peter (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. (ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, Germany); Wollbrant, Conny (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: When facing the opportunity to allocate resources between oneself and others, individuals may experience a self-control conflict between urges to act selfishly and preferences to act pro-socially. We explore the domain of conditional cooperation, and we test the hypothesis that increased expectations about others’ average contribution increases own contributions to public goods more when self-control is high than when it is low. We pair a subtle framing technique with a public goods experiment. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that conditionally cooperative behavior is stronger (i.e., less imperfect) when expectations of high contributions are accompanied by high levels of self-control.<p>
    Keywords: Self-control; Pro-social behavior; Public good experiment; Conditional cooperation
    JEL: D01 D64 D70
    Date: 2010–08–05
  2. By: Alpízar, Francisco (Environment for Development Center for Central America, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica); Martinsson, Peter (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Using a natural field experiment in a recreational site, a public good almost fully dependent on voluntary donations, we explored the crowding-out effect of gift rewards. First, we investigated whether receiving a map in appreciation of a donation crowded out prosocial behavior and found no significant effect of giving the map. Second, we explored the effect of adding the map to a treatment designed to increase donations. Interestingly, when the gift was combined with our attempt to trigger reputational and self image motives, the probability of donating decreased significantly, compared to the social reference treatment alone.<p>
    Keywords: Crowding-out; donation; natural field experiment; reciprocity
    JEL: C93 D10 D60 Q50
    Date: 2010–08–05
  3. By: John Duffy; Huan Xie; Yong-Ju Lee
    Abstract: Can a social norm of trust and reciprocity emerge among strangers? We investigate this question by examining behavior in an experiment where subjects play a series of indefinitely repeated trust games. Players are randomly and anonymously matched each period. The main questions addressed are whether a social norm of trust and reciprocity emerges under the most extreme information restriction (anonymous community-wide enforcement) or whether trust and reciprocity require additional, individual-specific information about a player’s past history of play and whether that information must be provided freely or at some cost. In the absence of such reputational information, we find that a social norm of trust and reciprocity is difficult to sustain. The provision of reputational information on past individual decisions significantly increases trust and reciprocity, with longer histories yielding the best outcomes. Importantly, we find that making reputational information available at a small cost may also lead to a significant improvement in trust and reciprocity, despite the fact that most subjects do not choose to purchase this information.
    JEL: C72 C78 C91 C92 L14
    Date: 2010–08
  4. By: Ishizaka, Alessio; Balkenborg, Dieter; Kaplan, Todd R
    Abstract: In this paper, we use experimental economics methods to test how well Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) fares as a choice support system in a real decision problem. AHP provides a ranking that we statistically compare with three additional rankings given by the subjects in the experiment: one at the beginning, one after providing AHP with the necessary pair-wise comparisons and one after learning the ranking provided by AHP. While the rankings vary widely across subjects, we observe that for each individual all four rankings are similar. Hence, subjects are consistent and AHP is, for the most part, able to replicate their rankings. Furthermore, while the rankings are similar, we do find that the AHP ranking helps the decision-makers reformulate their choices by taking into account suggestions made by AHP.
    Keywords: Decision analysis; Multiple Criteria Decision Aid; Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
    JEL: C9 C44
    Date: 2010–08–02
  5. By: Luca Corazzini, Marcelo Tyszler
    Abstract: Does the hypothesis of 'love for (group) efficiency' account for subjects' over-contribution in public good games? By using data from a VCM experiment with heterogeneous endowments and asymmetric information, we estimate a quantal response equilibrium (QRE) extension of a model in which subjects have preferences for group efficiency. Under the hypothesis of homogeneous population, the estimated parameter of subjects' concerns for efficiency vanishes and most of the variability of contributions seems to be explained by noisy behaviors. A different picture emerges when we introduce cross-subject heterogeneity in concerns for group efficiency. In this case, the majority of the subjects makes contributions that are compatible with the hypothesis of 'love for (group) efficiency'. A formal likelihood-ratio test strongly rejects the models not allowing for noise in contributions and homogeneous subjects for the more general QRE extension with heterogeneous preferences for (group) efficiency coupled with noise in subjects' behavior.
    Keywords: Love for (Group) Efficiency; Voluntary Contribution Mechanism; Quantal Response Equilibrium; Laboratory Experiment.
    JEL: C92 D71
    Date: 2010–08
  6. By: Emmanouil Mentzakis; Stuart Mestelman
    Abstract: The social value orientations ring game is often used to identify behavioural types and provide insight regarding choices made by individuals in market or non-market environments. However, research on the impact of providing salient rewards to individuals making choices in the ring game is sparse. As well, the comparison of student and non-student samples with regard to social value orientations is limited. Following literature from other experimental fields, this paper is concerned with the presence of hypothetical bias (i.e. difference between subject behaviour when rewards are not salient (stated intentions) and actual subject behaviour when rewards are salient) and convenience sample bias (i.e. difference in findings of students versus non-student community subjects) in the social value orientation ring game. Looking at the social value orientation measures and their consistency, we find no evidence of hypothetical bias but significant differences when comparing student and community samples. Our findings suggest caution in generalizing value orientation results across different populations while they support the collection of value orientations at lower cost without compromising the consistency of the results.
    Keywords: value orientations; hypothetical bias; convenience sample bias
    JEL: C91 H41
    Date: 2010–08
  7. By: James C. Cox; Daniel T. Hall
    Abstract: Is mutually beneficial cooperation in trust games more prevalent with private property or common property? Does the strength of property right entitlement affect the answer? Cox, Ostrom, Walker, et al. [1] report little difference between cooperation in private and common property trust games. We assign stronger property right entitlements by requiring subjects to meet a performance quota in a real effort task to earn their endowments. We find that cooperation is lower in common property trust games than in private property trust games, which is an idiosyncratic prediction of revealed altruism theory [2].
    Date: 2010–08
  8. By: Natalia Shestakova
    Abstract: Standard price discrimination theories are based on the assumption that consumers use their future demand estimates to evaluate net utility of each pricing scheme and choose the scheme with the highest value. However, some evidence suggests that consumers might not always behave this way. The experiment presented in this paper shows that indeed a substantial proportion of subjects choose not to evaluate the net utility of the offered pricing schemes. Instead, they select from pricing schemes based on a comparison of the schemes' parameters. Interestingly, this selection approach leads to the correct pricing-scheme choice when subjects are not well aware of their demand, and to the incorrect choice when they are. The results call for alternative theories of price discrimination and corresponding policy implications.
    Keywords: Choice process; heuristics; price discrimination; experiment
    JEL: D42 D83
    Date: 2010–07
  9. By: Vanderheyden, K.; Lommelen, B.; Cools, E. (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)
    Abstract: The question whether diversity is advantageous or disadvantageous for teams has yet to be resolved. The present research investigates the effect of cognitive diversity on team processes and outcomes through two successive studies with experimental team tasks involving 57 teams of management students (N = 288). Team composition in each of the studies was manipulated on the basis of students’ cognitive profiles, as measured with the Cognitive Style Indicator (CoSI), leading to homogeneously composed teams, semi-homogeneous teams, and heterogeneous teams. Contrary to previous research, the time needed to complete the task was longer in homogeneous teams than in semi-homogeneous and heterogeneous teams, and team composition had no effect on performance or satisfaction. Apart from heterogeneous teams showing to be more task oriented, there seemed to be no relationship between team composition and team process variables, including perceived relational orientation, and groupthink. However, in the different homogeneous teams, the perception of individuals with different cognitive styles did vary on these dimensions. Cognitive styles were also significantly related to preferences for certain task types. The relevance of these findings is discussed in the light of the recruitment and staffing decisions and pathways for future research are indicated.
    Keywords: team diversity, cognitive styles, team effectiveness, team satisfaction, task orientation, relational orientation
    Date: 2010–07–26
  10. By: Massimo Baldini; Marta Federici
    Abstract: With a field experiment carried out on the Internet, this paper studies the presence of discrimination in the Italian rental housing market against persons whose names are distinctive of different ethnic groups and gender. Further, we investigate whether providing information on the job or personal characteristics of the applicant may reduce the extent of discrimination. We also study if sending ill-formed emails negatively affects immigrants’ chances of success in receiving a positive response. We created twelve fictitious individuals: four with Italian-sounding names, four with typical Arab/Muslim names and four with East European-sounding names. We made these individuals send emails to apply for vacant rental apartments in 41 Italian cities. The results provide a multifaceted picture. The degree of discrimination varies across ethnic groups, genders and the level of information, but seems to be present only in part of the country, and is also closely correlated with the size of the flat. Perfect mastery of the receiving-country’s language does not play an important role.
    Date: 2010–07

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