nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2011‒02‒19
seven papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Attracted but Unsatisfied: The Effects of Arousing Contents on Television Consumption Choices By Luca Stanca; Marco Gui; Marcello Gallucci
  2. Using or Hiding Private Information ? An Experimental Study of Zero-Sum Repeated Games with Incomplete Information By Nicolas Jacquemet; Frédéric Koessler
  3. On the Effects of Deposit Insurance and Observability on Bank Runs: An Experimental Study By Hubert Janoss Kiss; Ismael Rodriguez Lara; Alfonso Rosa Garcia
  4. Differences between Decision and Experienced Utility: An Investigation using the Choice Experiment method By Colombo, Sergio; Hanley, Nick; Tinch, Dugald
  5. Social Norm, Costly Punishment and the Evolution to Cooperation By Tongkui, Yu; Shu-Heng, Chen; Honggang, Li
  6. Monetary incentives vs. monitoring in addressing absenteeism: experimental evidence By Francesco D'Amuri
  7. Ökonomische Laborexperimente als Instrument der Agrarpolitik - Anayse am Beispiel einer Untersuchung genossenschaftlicher Unternehmen im Mengenwettbewerb By Zieseniß, Roland; Ernst, Tanja

  1. By: Luca Stanca; Marco Gui; Marcello Gallucci
    Abstract: This paper investigates experimentally the effects of arousing contents on viewing choices and satisfaction in television consumption. We test the hypothesis that the portrayal of arousing content combines high attraction and low satisfaction and is thus responsible for sub- optimal choices. In our experiment, subjects can choose among three programs during a viewing session. In the experimental condition, one of the three programs portrays a violent verbal conflict, whereas in the control condition the same program portrays a calm debate. A post-experimental questionnaire is used to assess subjects' satisfaction with the programs and the overall viewing experience. The results support the hypothesis: the presence of arousing content causes sub- jects to watch more of a given program, although they experience lower content-specific and overall satisfaction. Arousing contents also significantly increase the discrepancy between actual and desired viewing.
    Keywords: Rational Choice, Audience, Television, Satisfaction, Arousing content, Laboratory Experiments.
    JEL: D63 C78 C91
    Date: 2011–02
  2. By: Nicolas Jacquemet (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Frédéric Koessler (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris)
    Abstract: This paper studies experimentally the value of private information in strictly competitive interactions with asymmetric information. We implement in the laboratory three examples from the class of zero-sum repeated games with incomplete information on one side and perfect monitoring. The stage games share the same simple structure, but differ markedly on how information should be optimally used once they are repeated. Despite the complexity of the optimal strategies, the empirical value of information coincides with the theoretical prediction in most instances. In particular, it is never negative, it decreases with the number of repetitions, and it is nicely bounded below by the value of the infinitely repeated game and above by the value of the one-shot game. Subjects are unable to completely ignore their information when it is optimal to do so, but the use of information in the lab reacts qualitatively well to the type and length of the game being played.
    Keywords: Concavification, laboratory experiments, incomplete information, value of information, zero-sum repeated games.
    Date: 2011–01
  3. By: Hubert Janoss Kiss (University Complutense of Madrid); Ismael Rodriguez Lara (ERI-CES); Alfonso Rosa Garcia (University of Murcia)
    Abstract: We study the effects of deposit insurance and observability of previous actions on the emergence of bank runs by means of a controlled laboratory experiment. We consider three depositors in the line of a common bank. Depositors decide in sequence between withdrawing or keeping their money deposited. We have three different treatments in which depositors who keep the money have full insurance, are partially insured, or not insured at all in case of a bank run. We find that different levels of deposit insurance and the possibility of observing other depositors' actions reduce the likelihood of bank runs. The effect of these variables is not independent. Our data suggest that optimal deposit insurance should take into account the degree of observability: full and partial insurance are equally effective when decisions are observable, whereas full insurance is more likely to prevent bank runs when depositors do not observe other depositors' decisions.
    Keywords: deposit insurance, observability, bank runs, experimental economics
    JEL: G21 C90
    Date: 2011–02
  4. By: Colombo, Sergio; Hanley, Nick; Tinch, Dugald
    Abstract: Recent work by Kahneman and others has led to a new focus in economics on a wellbeing-based approach to utility. This suggests that ‘experienced utility' is an alternative and more appropriate basis for the measurement of economic value compared with ‘decision utility'. In this paper, we apply the choice experiment technique to the valuation of changes in upland landscapes in the UK, in order to identify if experience in the moment or in memory impacts on the value associated with changes in ecosystem services under different management regimes. Four treatments are employed to measure decision utility, experienced utility, and remembered utility at two different time intervals. We show that our experienced utility treatment generates very different estimates of preferences than any of the other treatments. Whilst measurement of experienced utility is rife with difficulties, the approach taken allowed the identification of experiential impacts on utility and may have implications for the future use of experienced utility as a basis for the valuation of public goods.
    Keywords: national parks; public goods; choice experiments; cost-benefit analysis; experienced utility
    Date: 2010–11
  5. By: Tongkui, Yu; Shu-Heng, Chen; Honggang, Li
    Abstract: Both laboratory and field evidence suggest that people tend to voluntarily incur costs to punish non-cooperators. While costly punishment typically reduces the average payoff as well as promotes cooperation. Why does the costly punishment evolve? We study the role of punishment in cooperation promotion within a two-level evolution framework of individual strategies and social norms. In a population with certain social norm, players update their strategies according to the payoff differences among different strategies. In a longer horizon, the evolution of social norm may be driven by the average payoffs of of all members of the society. Norms differ in whether they allow or do not allow for the punishment action as part of strategies, and, for the former, they further differ in whether they encourage or do not encourage the punishment action. The strategy dynamics are articulated under different social norms. It is found that costly punishment does contribute to the evolution toward cooperation. Not only does the attraction basin of cooperative evolutionary stable state (CESS) become larger, but also the convergence speed to CESS is faster. These two properties are further enhanced if the punishment action is encouraged by the social norm. This model can be used to explain the widespread existence of costly punishment in human society.
    Keywords: social norm; costly punishment; cooperative evolutionary stable state; attraction basin; convergence speed
    JEL: C02 D64 C73
    Date: 2011–02–01
  6. By: Francesco D'Amuri (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Exploiting two unexpected variations in sickness absence policy for civil servants in Italy, this paper assesses the relative importance of monitoring and monetary incentives in determining a basic measure of effort: presence at work. When stricter monitoring was introduced together with an average 20% cut in replacement rates for civil servants on short sick leave, sickness absence decreased by 26.4%, eliminating the wedge in absence rates with comparable private sector workers. The impact substantially decreased when a subsequent policy change brought back monitoring to the pre-reform level, while leaving monetary incentives untouched. Results are confirmed by a variety of robustness checks and are not driven by the presence of attenuation bias. No shift is detected in other types of absence as a consequence of the reforms. Given that sickness absence rates are higher in the public than in the private sector in the US and Western Europe as well, these results provide useful insights on how to draw a successful strategy for addressing absenteeism.
    Keywords: monetary incentives, monitoring, effort, sickness absence
    JEL: J32 J38 J45
    Date: 2011–01
  7. By: Zieseniß, Roland; Ernst, Tanja
    Abstract: Economic experiments have only gained limited attention as research methods within the range of agricultural policy analysis. The aim of this paper is to reconsider basics of economic experiments and to compare them to other research methods. Finally, we will demonstrate one potential application area of experiments in a pre-test of cooperative's influence on production and control decisions.
    Keywords: Ökonomisches Experiment, Agrarpolitik, Genossenschaften, Mengenwettbewerb, Arbeitseinsatz
    JEL: Q13 C90
    Date: 2011–01

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