nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2011‒08‒15
nine papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Path dependence in public-good games By Lisa Bruttel; Tim Friehe
  2. Role Selection and Team Performance By Cooper, David J.; Sutter, Matthias
  3. Lies and Biased Evaluation: A Real-Effort Experiment By Rosaz, Julie; Villeval, Marie Claire
  4. Asymmetric Obligations By Nadine Riedel; Hannah Schildberg-Hoerisch
  5. Limited insurance within the household: evidence from a field experiment in Kenya By Robinson, Jonathan
  6. Emotions, Sanctions and Cooperation By Mateus Joffily; David Masclet; Charles N. Noussair; Marie-Claire Villeval
  7. Upgrading or Downgrading? \ Framing Effects in Online Shopping Environments \ By Nozomi NAKAJIMA
  8. Using a Discrete Choice Experiment to Elicit Consumersâ WTP for Health Risk Reductions Achieved By Nanotechnology in the UK By Erdem, Seda; Rigby, Dan
  9. Ambiguity aversion solves the conflict between efficiency and incentive compatibility By Nabil I. Al-Najjar; Luciano De Castro

  1. By: Lisa Bruttel; Tim Friehe
    Abstract: This paper presents experimental evidence that contributions to a public good can be path-dependent for a limited time span. We study a repeated linear public-good game with punishment opportunities. Our data shows that subjects who had experienced a higher marginal return on public-good contributions in rounds 1-10 contributed more to the public good in rounds 11 and 12, even though they faced the same marginal return as the control group in these later rounds. In contrast, di erences in contributions were not significant when comparing subjects bearing the same current costs of punishment points, but having had different costs in the past.
    Keywords: public-good game, team, punishment, path dependence, experiment
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Cooper, David J. (Florida State University); Sutter, Matthias (University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: Team success relies on assigning team members to the right tasks. We use controlled experiments to study how roles are assigned within teams and how this affects team performance. Subjects play the takeover game in pairs consisting of a buyer and a seller. Understanding optimal play is very demanding for buyers and trivial for sellers. Teams perform better when roles are assigned endogenously or teammates are allowed to chat about their decisions, but the interaction effect between endogenous role assignment and chat unexpectedly worsens team performance. We argue that ego depletion provides a likely explanation for this surprising result.
    Keywords: role selection in teams, team performance, takeover game, winner's curse, communication, experiment
    JEL: C91 C92
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Rosaz, Julie (University of Lyon 2); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a laboratory experiment in which workers perform a real-effort task and supervisors report the workers’ performance to the experimenter. The report is non verifiable and determines the earnings of both the supervisor and the worker. We find that not all the supervisors, but at least one third of them bias their report. Both selfish black lies (increasing the supervisor's earnings while decreasing the worker's payoff) and Pareto white lies (increasing the earnings of both) according to Erat and Gneezy (2009)'s terminology are frequent. In contrast, spiteful black lies (decreasing the earnings of both) and altruistic white lies (increasing the earnings of workers but decreasing those of the supervisor) are almost non-existent. The supervisors' second-order beliefs and their decision to lie are highly correlated, suggesting that guilt aversion plays a role.
    Keywords: evaluation, lie-aversion, guilt aversion, self-image, deception, lies, experiments
    JEL: C91 D82 M52
    Date: 2011–07
  4. By: Nadine Riedel (Centre for Business Taxation, University of Oxford); Hannah Schildberg-Hoerisch (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: We use a laboratory experiment to investigate the behavioral effects of obligations that are not backed by binding deterrent incentives. To implement such `expressive law' we introduce different levels of very weakly incentivized, symmetric and asymmetric minimum contribution levels (obligations) in a repeated public goods experiment. The results provide evidence for a weak expressive function of law: while the initial impact of high obligations on behavior is strong, it decreases over time. Asymmetric obligations are as effective as symmetric ones. Our results are compatible with the argument that expressive law affects behavior by attaching an emotional cost of disobeying the own obligation.
    Keywords: non-binding obligations, expressive law, public goods, experiment
    JEL: C92 H41 K40
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Robinson, Jonathan
    Abstract: In many developing countries, unexpected income shocks are common, formal insurance is absent, and informal inter-household risk-sharing networks are unable to provide full insurance. An important question is therefore whether risk sharing within the household is effective. I conducted a field experiment in Western Kenya in which 142 married couples were followed for approximately 8 weeks. Every week, each individual had a 50% chance of receiving an income shock equivalent to a few days' income. Since these shocks are, by definition, small relative to lifetime income, they should not affect intra-household bargaining power and should only affect a Pareto efficient household through the pooled budget constraint. However, I find that men increase their private consumption when they receive the shock but not when their wives do, a rejection of efficiency. I present evidence that such behavior is not specific to the experiment - both husbands and wives spend more on themselves in weeks in which their labor income is higher. The results suggest that insurance is limited even within the households in this sample.
    Keywords: risk sharing, intra-household, efficiency
    JEL: O20 O12
    Date: 2011–05–10
  6. By: Mateus Joffily; David Masclet; Charles N. Noussair; Marie-Claire Villeval
    Abstract: We use skin conductance responses and self-reports of hedonic valence to study the emotional basis of cooperation and punishment in a social dilemma. Emotional reaction to free-riding incites individuals to apply sanctions when they are available. The application of sanctions activates a "virtuous emotional circle" that accompanies cooperation. Emotionally aroused cooperators relieve negative emotions when they punish free riders. In response, the free-riders experience negative emotions when punished, and increase their subsequent level of cooperation. The outcome is an increased level of contribution that becomes the new standard or norm. For a given contribution level, individuals attain higher levels of shared satisfaction when sanctioning institutions are in place.<p> Document available soon. <P>Dans cette étude, nous avons utilisé des mesures physiologiques de conductance électrodermales ainsi que des mesures d’auto déclaration relatives aux émotions dans le cadre d’un jeu de contribution volontaire au financement de biens publics avec opportunité de sanction. Les émotions jouent un rôle à la fois sur les décisions de contribution et de sanction. La réaction émotionnelle à l’observation de comportement opportuniste conduit les agents à sanctionner. En retour, les passagers clandestins font l’expérience d’émotions négatives lorsqu’ils sont sanctionnés et augmentent leur niveau de contribution en conséquence.<p> Document disponible bientôt.
    Keywords: Emotions, Sanctions, Cooperation, Experiment, Skin Conductance Responses, Émotions, sanctions, coopération, expérience, mesures physiologiques de conductance électrodermales
    Date: 2011–01–01
  7. By: Nozomi NAKAJIMA (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Recent development in behavioral decision theory reveals the important role of decision environment in the consumer's evaluation and choice processes. Often it is referred as "decision framing." Of particular interest is the online shopping environment, where buyers are usually forced to make their decisions under the sellers' (programmed) guidance on their web sites. How can the decision frames constructed in online shopping environment influence consumers' decision making? What should be done to exploit the characteristics of their framed decisions in the design of online shopping environments? In the present study, we considered an online PC shop as an example because it is one of the most popular and typical online shops and it will help us get insights into the consumers' online-framed decision characteristics. Buyers are usually led to specify the configurations of personal computers, i.e., CPU, memory and hard drive size, type of optical drives, etc., taking their preferences and budgets into account. In the course of specification processes, their decisions are framed in some ways and influenced by them. Among other things, the way the choice alternatives are presented (upgrading/ downgrading, etc.), from which buyers are expected to choose, is of special interest because it can be easily controlled by the sellers. Experimental studies were conducted to investigate the influence of some decision frames including the flow of selection process, the number of alternatives, the price intervals of the alternatives, and the default choice settings. The extremeness aversion, the shifts of the reference points, and the tradeoff between utility and economic loss aversion, are the examples of the involved effects. Above all, particular attention was paid to the default choice settings that provide the total prices as well as the reference points. Based on the results of the experiments, a set of theoretical conclusions and managerial implications of default choice settings are discussed.
    Keywords: online shopping, decision framing, pricing, choice model
    Date: 2011–08
  8. By: Erdem, Seda; Rigby, Dan
    Abstract: We present research findings on consumersâ willingness to pay (WTP) for reductions in the level of foodborne health risks. The research addresses how such valuations are affected by the means of which the risk reduction is delivered and the methods of risk presentations used in choice tasks. In this case, the research has two treatments. In the first treatment, the comparison is between risk reductions achieved by an improvement in the food system in general (e.g., more stringent regulations and inspection regimes) within the slaughter and meat processing stages of the food chain, as opposed to a risk reduction achieved via innovations in food packaging using nanotechnology, which is the use of nanosensors in packaging. If there is a contamination in packaging, nanosensors reveal a colour change on the packaging material. In the second treatment, the comparison is between valuations of risk reductions in which reductions in risks are presented via absolute values and grids and absolute values together. Both comparisons are achieved via split sample Discrete Choice Experiment surveys. The difference between consumersâ valuations of foodborne risk reductions provides an implicit value for nanotechnology (i.e., WTP to avoid) and the effect of risk grids on choices people make. General results show the existence of heterogeneity in British consumersâ preferences. The effects of nanosensors and risk grids on consumersâ choices are not strong across the models. The valuations of health risk reductions show some variations across the models in both treatment groups.
    Keywords: Discrete Choice Experiments, Nanotechnology, Nanosensors, Health Risks, Grids, UK, Health Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2011–04
  9. By: Nabil I. Al-Najjar; Luciano De Castro
    Abstract: This note questions the behavioral content of second-order acts and their use in decision theoretic models. We show that there can be no verification mechanism to determine what the decision maker receives under a second-order act. This impossibility applies even in idealized repeated experiments where infinite data can be observed.
    Date: 2010–12–01

This nep-exp issue is ©2011 by Daniel Houser. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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