New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2012‒11‒11
23 papers chosen by

  1. Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations? Evidence from a Large Scale Natural Field Experiment By Andreas Leibbrandt; John A. List
  2. Reference Points in Renegotiations: The Role of Contracts and Competition By Bartling, Björn; Schmidt, Klaus M.
  3. “At least I didn’t lose money” Nominal Loss Aversion Shapes Evaluations of Housing Transactions By Stephens, Thomas A; Tyran, Jean-Robert
  4. Social preferences in the online laboratory.A randomized experiment By Jérôme Hergueux; Nicolas Jacquemet
  5. Gender Differences in Competitive and Non Competitive Environments: An Experimental Evidence By David Masclet; Emmanuel Peterle; Sophie Larribeau
  6. Sincere Giving and Shame in a Dictator Game By Emmanuel PETIT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Anna TCHERKASSOF (Laboratoire Interuniversitaire de Psychologie. Personnalité, Cognition et Changement Social (LIP/PC2S), Université Pierre Mendès France); Xavier GASSMANN (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Université de Rennes)
  7. Appropriation in the commons: variations in the opportunity costs of conservation By Esther Blanco; Maria Claudia Lopez; James M. Walker
  8. Goals (th)at Work – Goals, Monetary Incentives, and Workers’ Performance By Sebastian Goerg; Sebastian Kube
  9. Charitable Giving, Self-Image and Personality By Cueva, Carlos; Dessi, Roberta
  10. Trust and Reciprocity, Empowerment and Transparency By Kiridaran Kanagaretnam; Stuart Mestelman; S. M. Khalid Nainar; Mohamed Shehata
  11. Does Privatization of Vocational Rehabilitation Improve Labor Market Opportunities? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Sweden By Laun, Lisa; Skogman Thoursie, Peter
  12. Social risk and ambiguity in the trust game By Fairley, Kim; Sanfey, Alan; Vyrastekova, Jana; Weitzel, Utz
  13. Gender and Risk Taking in the Classroom By Justine Burns; Simon Halliday; Malcolm Keswell
  14. Managerial compensation contracts in quantity-setting duopoly By Iván Barreda-Tarrazona; Nikolaos Georgantzís; Constantine Manasakis; Evangelos Mitrokostas; Emmanuel Petrakis
  15. Indiscriminate Discrimination: A Correspondence Test for Ethnic Homophily in the Chicago Labor Market By Nicolas Jacquemet; Constantine Yannelis
  16. Egalitarian Envy: Cross-cultural Variation in the Development of Envy in Children By Kirsten Häger; Bastiaan Oud; Daniel Schunk
  17. Trust and Cheating By Butler, Jeffrey V.; Giuliano, Paola; Guiso, Luigi
  18. Students' Cheating as a Social Interaction: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in a National Evaluation Program By Lucifora, Claudio; Tonello, Marco
  19. The relationship between economic preferences and psychological personality measures By Becker Anke; Deckers Thomas; Dohmen Thomas; Falk Armin; Kosse Fabian
  20. How Does Child Labor Affect the Demand for Adult Labor? Evidence from Rural Mexico By Kirk Doran
  21. The Outreach and Sustainability of Microfinance: Is There a Tradeoff? By Bengtsson, Niklas; Pettersson, Jan
  22. Gambling on Genes: Ambiguity Aversion Explains Investment in Sisters’ Children By Brishti Guha
  23. Promoting handwashing behavior in Peru : the effect of large-scale mass-media and community level interventions By Galiani, Sebastian; Gertler, Paul; Orsola-Vidal, Alexandra

  1. By: Andreas Leibbrandt; John A. List
    Abstract: One explanation advanced for the persistent gender pay differences in labor markets is that women avoid salary negotiations. By using a natural field experiment that randomizes nearly 2,500 job-seekers into jobs that vary important details of the labor contract, we are able to observe both the nature of sorting and the extent of salary negotiations. We observe interesting data patterns. For example, we find that when there is no explicit statement that wages are negotiable, men are more likely to negotiate than women. However, when we explicitly mention the possibility that wages are negotiable, this difference disappears, and even tends to reverse. In terms of sorting, we find that men in contrast to women prefer job environments where the ‘rules of wage determination’ are ambiguous. This leads to the gender gap being much more pronounced in jobs that leave negotiation of wage ambiguous.
    JEL: C93 J0
    Date: 2012–11
  2. By: Bartling, Björn; Schmidt, Klaus M.
    Abstract: Several recent papers argue that contracts provide reference points that affect ex post behavior. We test this hypothesis in a canonical buyer-seller relationship with renegotiation. Our paper provides causal experimental evidence that an initial contract has a highly significant and economically important impact on renegotiation behavior that goes beyond the effect of contracts on bargaining threatpoints. We compare situations in which an initial contract is renegotiated to strategically equivalent bargaining situations in which no ex ante contract was written. The ex ante contract causes sellers to ask for markups that are 45 percent lower than in strategically equivalent bargaining situations without an initial contract. Moreover, buyers are more likely to reject given markups in renegotiations than in negotiations. We do not find that these effects are stronger when the initial contract is concluded under competitive rather than monopolistic conditions.
    Keywords: renegotiation; bargaining; reference points; contracts; competition
    JEL: C78 C91 D03 D86
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Stephens, Thomas A; Tyran, Jean-Robert
    Abstract: Loss aversion is one of the most robust findings to have emerged from behavioral economics. Surprisingly little attention, however, has been devoted to nominal loss aversion, the interaction of loss aversion and money illusion. People tend to think of transactions in terms of their nominal (monetary) values. Real losses may therefore loom larger in people’s minds when they lose money than when real losses are hidden by purely nominal gains. Using a survey experiment with a large and heterogeneous sample, we show that evaluations of housing transactions are systematically biased by purely nominal gains versus losses.
    Keywords: bounded rationality; housing transactions; loss aversion; money illusion
    JEL: A10 C91 D00
    Date: 2012–10
  4. By: Jérôme Hergueux (LaRGE Research Center, Université de Strasbourg); Nicolas Jacquemet
    Abstract: Internet is a very attractive technology for experiments implementation, both in order to reach more diverse and larger samples and as a field of economic research in its own right. This paper reports on an experiment performed both online and in the laboratory, designed so as to strengthen the internal validity of decisions elicited over the Internet. We use the same subject pool, the same monetary stakes and the same decision interface, and randomly assign two groups of subjects between the Internet and a traditional University laboratory to compare behavior in a set of social preferences games. This comparison concludes in favor of the reliability of behaviors elicited through the Internet. Our behavioral results contradict the predictions of social distance theory, as we find that subjects allocated to the Internet treatment behave as if they were more altruistic, more trusting, more trustworthy and less risk averse than laboratory subjects. Those findings have practical importance for the growing community of researchers interested in using the Internet as a vehicle for social experiments and bear interesting methodological lessons for social scientists interested in using experiments to research the Internet as a field.
    Keywords: Social Experiment, Field Experiment, Internet, Methodology, Randomized Assignment.
    JEL: C90 C93 C70
    Date: 2012
  5. By: David Masclet (University of Rennes1 - CREM UMR CNRS 6211, France and CIRANO, Montréal, Canada); Emmanuel Peterle (University of Rennes 1 - CREM UMR CNRS 6211, France); Sophie Larribeau (University of Rennes 1 - CREM UMR CNRS 6211, France)
    Abstract: We present a new experimental design that permits us to explore gender differences in both performance and compensation choice. We design a game in which participants are asked to choose between a flat wage and a tournament scheme and to perform under each scheme. Our data indicate that men and women of similar ability differ in both performance and compensation choice. Men are more likely to choose a tournament than a flat wage scheme. These findings reflect both higher women (men)‟s concerns for equality (competitive preferences) and stronger men‟s overconfidence. Our data also indicate significant gender differences in effort provision. Men increase significantly more their effort than women when moving from a flat wage to a tournament. More surprisingly, our data show that women provide significantly more effort than men under a flat wage scheme despite the absence of any penalty for shirking and the fastidious and boring dimension of the task. This gender gap remains highly significant after controlling for several individual and social preferences. As such, we believe that an interpretation in terms of gender differences in intrinsic motivation is the most consistent with all of our experimental findings.
    Keywords: PME, Experiment, Gender differences, Tournament Scheme, Flat Wage Scheme
    JEL: C91 J16 J31 M52
    Date: 2012–07
  6. By: Emmanuel PETIT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Anna TCHERKASSOF (Laboratoire Interuniversitaire de Psychologie. Personnalité, Cognition et Changement Social (LIP/PC2S), Université Pierre Mendès France); Xavier GASSMANN (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Université de Rennes)
    Abstract: Our experiment aims at examining the impact of induced shame on altruism in a dictator game context with exit option. Using an Internet design, we collect a large battery of psychological and demographic variables which enables us to investigate dispositional and social characteristics likely to influence subjects’ altruistic behaviour. Using the emotional induction technique, we induce either shameful or neutral emotions to the participants before they play the dictator game. We then measure the evaluation that subjects give of their own emotions, and subsequently observe their altruistic behaviour. We find that imagined shame-induction is able to increase significantly altruistic behaviour. We observe that forty-one percent of participants are willing to choose to exit the game and do not observe any difference in exiting between the two emotion conditions. Our data show that women are significantly more eager to take the exit option than males. Economics students are, to a large extent, more prone to adopt greedy choices patterns than other social sciences students.
    Keywords: Shame; Induction procedure; Altruism; Internet experiment; Gender differences
    JEL: C91 D81
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Esther Blanco; Maria Claudia Lopez; James M. Walker
    Abstract: This study examines individual and group behavior in a linear appropriation game setting. Subjects make decisions from a menu of eight games, without feedback. Four treatment conditions vary the magnitude of the opportunity cost of conservation, including symmetric and asymmetric treatments. A parallel set of four treatments implement the same parameter variations in a setting where probabilistic degradation of the commons is linked to group appropriation. Thus, this setting introduces uncertainty in the value of the opportunity cost of appropriation. In summary, subjects respond systematically to changes in the marginal incentives and to the possibility of degradation. These responses are shown to be related to a direct effect of changes in marginal monetary incentives and to an indirect effect associated with changes in subjects’ first order beliefs of the appropriation decisions of others.
    Keywords: common-pool resources, asymmetry, cooperation, laboratory experiments
    JEL: D7 D3 H4 C90
    Date: 2012–10
  8. By: Sebastian Goerg (Florida State University, Department of Economics); Sebastian Kube (University of Bonn, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In a randomized field experiment, we investigate the connection between work goals, monetary incentives, and work performance. Employees are observed in a natural work environment where they have to do a simple, but effort-intense task. Output is perfectly observable and workers are paid for performance. While a regular piece-rate contract serves as a benchmark, in some treatments workers are paid a bonus conditional on reaching a pre-specified goal. We observe that the use of personal work goals leads to a significant output increase. The positive effect of goals not only prevails if they are self-chosen by the workers, but also if goals are set exogenously by the principal – although in the latter case, the exact size of the goal plays a crucial role. Strikingly, the positive effect of self-chosen goals persists even if the goal is not backed up by monetary incentives. We propose a novel incentive contract where – through the choice of a personal work goal – workers themselves determine the risk and the size of their bonus payment at the same time.
    Keywords: Field experiment, Goal setting, monetary incentives, bonus payments, pay-for-performance contracts, workplace behavior
    JEL: J33 C93 D01 A12 M52 D03 D24 J24
    Date: 2012–10
  9. By: Cueva, Carlos (Univeristy Cambridge); Dessi, Roberta (IDEI, Toulouse School of Economics)
    Abstract: We provide an experimental test of the role of self-signaling in decisions to do- nate to charity. Our data strongly supports the theoretical prediction of a non- monotonic, hill-shaped relationship between self-confidence, proxied by the Social Potency personality trait, and prosocial behavior motivated by image concerns. Making self-image concerns more salient can more than double donations by indi- viduals with medium self-confidence.
    Keywords: charity, donations, prosocial behavior, self-signaling, self-image, personality, leadership, social norms, social potency.
    JEL: D01 D03 D64
    Date: 2012–10–11
  10. By: Kiridaran Kanagaretnam; Stuart Mestelman; S. M. Khalid Nainar; Mohamed Shehata
    Abstract: In a laboratory-controlled environment characterized by uncertainty and incomplete information we provide experimental evidence on the effects of transparency and empowerment on trust (investment by a principal) and trustworthiness (reciprocal behavior of an agent) in a simple two-person investment game. We find that when principals are empowered by being able to punish agents who may not act in a way the principal believes is in the principal’s best interest, trust and investment increases over that which is realized in the absence of empowerment. We also find that when asymmetric or incomplete information characterizes the investment game the levels of trust (investment) are lower than when information is complete (the environment is transparent). In transparent environments the effect of empowerment is about the same regardless of whether empowerment is introduced or removed. However, in opaque environments, the loss of empowerment has a substantially greater negative effect on trust that the positive effect associated with the introduction of empowerment. While this environment is substantially abstracted from the naturally occurring environment, these results suggest that practical public policies designed to increase transparency in financial transactions are likely to have positive effects on investment. Furthermore, public policies designed to empower principals, such as the Say on Pay practices, are likely to increase investment while the limitation of the empowerment of principals with respect to their agents (consistent with deregulation) will have a much more dramatic negative impact on trust (and investment).
    Keywords: investment, empowerment, veto, trust, trustworthiness, reciprocity, say on pay
    JEL: C70 C91 D63 D81 D82
    Date: 2012–10
  11. By: Laun, Lisa (Department of Economics, Stockholm University and the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU)); Skogman Thoursie, Peter (Department of Economics, Stockholm University and the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes if privatization of vocational rehabilitation can improve labor market opportunities for individuals on long-term sickness absence. We use a field experiment performed by the Employment Service and the Social Insurance Agency in Sweden during 2008 to 2010, in which over 4,000 participants were randomly offered private and public rehabilitation. We find no differences in employment rates following rehabilitation between individuals who received rehabilitation by private and public providers. Also the average cost of rehabilitation was essentially equal for the two types of providers. This suggests that there are no large efficiency gains from privatizing vocational rehabilitation.
    Keywords: Vocational rehabilitation; Privatization; Field experiment
    JEL: J14 J68 L33
    Date: 2012–10–29
  12. By: Fairley, Kim; Sanfey, Alan; Vyrastekova, Jana; Weitzel, Utz
    Abstract: Despite intensive research there is no clear evidence for a link between lottery risk preferences and risk involved in trusting others. We argue that this is partially due to a misalignment of the underlying sources of risk. Trusting is giving up control to a human source of risk while lottery risk has a mechanistic source. We propose a risky trust game that experimentally elicits social risk preferences that pertain to the same underlying human source. Our results show that transfers in the classic trust game are indeed best explained by social risk preferences and not by lottery risk preferences with an underlying mechanistic source. In addition, we argue that the type of uncertainty also plays a role. In the absence of objectively known probabilities of trustworthiness, trust also has an ambiguous component. We therefore decompose uncertainty in the trust game into social risk and an ambiguous component. Our results provide evidence that, when accounting for social risk, subjects who score high on ambiguity tolerance explain some of the remainder of trusting behavior.
    Keywords: Trust; trust game; decision making under uncertainty; risk; ambiguity; source of uncertainty
    JEL: C9 C7 D8
    Date: 2012–10–29
  13. By: Justine Burns (School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Simon Halliday; Malcolm Keswell
    Abstract: We examine whether differences in risk preferences explain gender differentials in test scores amongst a large class of undergraduate microeconomics students, where students were evaluated using multiple choice questions. In each of five class tests, the negative penalty associated with an incorrect answer was randomly varied across questions. We show that female students exhibit lower risk propensities on average, and that they are more responsive than males to an increase in the penalty for an incorrect answer. Controlling for dierences in risk preferences, we show that the gender differential in relation to answering any given question correctly reduces by a third, and that the gender differential in overall test scores becomes statistically insignicant. This result is robust to a variety of distributional assumptions.
    Keywords: Experimental Economics, Risk Aversion, Economics Education
    JEL: A2 A20 A22 C90 D81
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Iván Barreda-Tarrazona (LEE & Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain); Nikolaos Georgantzís (GLOBE & Economics Department, University of Granada, Spain; LEE & Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón-Spain; University of Portsmouth); Constantine Manasakis (University of Crete); Evangelos Mitrokostas (University of Portsmouth); Emmanuel Petrakis (University of Crete)
    Abstract: In the context of a quantity setting duopoly we experimentally test the ability of managerial compensation schemes to provide a commitment device leading to a more aggressive behavior in the product market. In line with our model, Relative Performance-based rewards are chosen more frequently than Profit-Revenue ones. Furthermore, output reacts to the contract terms in the expected way, although it tends to exceed the predicted levels. Other quantitative aspects of the model receive less support, especially because firm owners tend to use more balanced weights for their managers' induced objectives than the theory predicts. Overall, quantity setting behavior is more aggressive than the theory predicts.
    Keywords: Experimental economics; Oligopoly theory; Managerial delegation; Endogenous contracts
    JEL: D43 L21
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Nicolas Jacquemet (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, BETA - Bureau d'économie théorique et appliquée - CNRS : UMR7522 - Université de Strasbourg - Université Nancy II); Constantine Yannelis (Stanford University - Department of Economics - Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Numerous field experiments have demonstrated the existence of discrimination in labor markets against specific minority groups. This paper uses a correspondence test to determine whether this discrimination is due to prejudice against specific groups, or a general preference for the majority group. Three groups of identical fabricated resumes are sent to help-wanted advertisements in Chicago newspapers: one with Anglo-Saxon names, one with African-American names, and one with fictitious foreign names whose ethnic origin is unidentifiable to most Americans. Resumes with Anglo-Saxon names generate nearly one third more call-backs than identical resumes with non Anglo-Saxon ones, either African-American or Foreign. We take this as evidence that discriminatory behavior is part of a larger pattern of unequal treatment of any member of non-majority groups, ethnic homophily.
    Keywords: Correspondence testing; Discrimination; Ethnic homophily
    Date: 2012–12
  16. By: Kirsten Häger (Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Bastiaan Oud (University of Zurich); Daniel Schunk (University of Zurich and University of Mainz)
    Abstract: While envy has been studied extensively in adults, the question how envy develops during childhood has not received much attention. To address this gap, we report the results of an artefactual field experiment that investigates and compares the prevalence and development of destructive envy in children aged seven to ten. The experiment took place in the children's natural environment - their schools. We also checked for cultural variability of our results by conducting our study with German children and with children from a highly egalitarian society: the Eastern Penan of northern Borneo. We found that envious behavior was prevalent already at a young age, even when it was costly. An egalitarian upbringing did not appear to mitigate this prevalence. Furthermore, we found strong evidence of cultural variability in the development of envy in children. For instance, in contrast with the German sample, gender was not associated with envy in the Penan sample and the age pattern of envy differed across our two groups. Together, this suggests that there does not appear to be a straightforward relationship between the development of envy and the natural development of the human mind with age, e.g. through better mentalizing ability. Rather, the acquisition pattern of envy is modulated by socio-cultural context. Further research is needed to identify what, then, drives the development of envy during childhood.
    Keywords: artefactual field experiment, children, envy, egalitarianism, Germany, Penan, Malaysia
    JEL: C91 C99
    Date: 2012–10–26
  17. By: Butler, Jeffrey V. (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance); Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Guiso, Luigi (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance)
    Abstract: When we take a cab we may feel cheated if the driver takes an unnecessarily long route despite the lack of a contract or promise to take the shortest possible path. Is our decision to take the cab affected by our belief that we may end up feeling cheated? Is the behavior of the driver affected by his beliefs about what we consider cheating? We address these questions in the context of a trust game by asking participants directly about their notions of cheating. We find that: i) both parties to a trust exchange have implicit notions of what constitutes cheating even in a context without promises or messages; ii) these notions are not unique – the vast majority of senders would feel cheated by a negative return on their trust/investment, whereas a sizable minority defines cheating according to an equal split rule; iii) these implicit notions affect the behavior of both sides to the exchange in terms of whether to trust or cheat and to what extent. Finally, we show that individuals’ notions of what constitutes cheating can be traced back to two classes of values instilled by parents: cooperative and competitive. The first class of values tends to soften the notion while the other tightens it.
    Keywords: trust, trustworthiness, social norms, culture, cheating
    JEL: A1 A12 D1 O15 Z1
    Date: 2012–10
  18. By: Lucifora, Claudio (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Tonello, Marco (Catholic University Milan)
    Abstract: We analyze students' cheating behavior during a national evaluation test. We model the mechanisms that trigger cheating interactions between students and show that, when monitoring is not sufficiently accurate, a social multiplier may magnify the effects on students' achievements. We exploit a randomized experiment, which envisaged the presence of an external inspector in the administration and marking of the tests, to estimate a structural (endogenous) social multiplier in students' cheating. The empirical strategy exploits the Excess-Variance approach (Graham, 2008). We find a strong amplifying role played by social interactions within classrooms: students' cheating behaviors more than double the class average test scores results. The effects are found to be larger when students are more homogeneous in terms of parental background characteristics and social ties.
    Keywords: social multiplier, students' cheating, randomized experiment
    JEL: C31 D62 I21
    Date: 2012–10
  19. By: Becker Anke; Deckers Thomas; Dohmen Thomas; Falk Armin; Kosse Fabian (ROA rm)
    Abstract: Although both economists and psychologists seek to identify determinants ofheterogeneity in behavior, they use different concepts to capture them. In this reviewwe first analyze the extent to which economic preferences and psychological conceptsof personality - such as the Big Five and locus of control - are related. We analyze datafrom incentivized laboratory experiments and representative samples and find onlylow degrees of association between economic preferences and personality. We thenregress life outcomes - such as labor market success, health status and life satisfaction- simultaneously on preference and personality measures. The analysis reveals that thetwo concepts are rather complementary when it comes to explaining heterogeneity inimportant life outcomes and behavior.
    Keywords: labour economics ;
    Date: 2012
  20. By: Kirk Doran (Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame)
    Abstract: Do employers substitute adults for children, or do they treat them as complements? Using data from a Mexican schooling experiment, I find that decreasing child farm work is accompanied by increasing adult labor demand. This increase was not caused by treatment money reaching farm employers: there were no significant increases in harvest prices and quantities, non-labor inputs, or non-farm labor supply. Furthermore, coordinated movements in price and quantity can distinguish this increase in demand from changes in supply induced by the treatment's income effects. Thus, declining child supply caused increasing adult demand: employers substituted adults for children.
    Date: 2012–08
  21. By: Bengtsson, Niklas (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies); Pettersson, Jan (Swedish Ministry of Finance)
    Abstract: Both practitioners and academics posit that microfinance organizations face a tradeoff between financial performance and outreach. We designed a randomized controlled trial of a transitory interest rate subsidy to investigate this tradeoff. We find that subsidized credit substantially increases demand, although a non-trivial fraction of members abstain from borrowing even when credit is virtually free. Among those who borrow, we find no effect on default rates. Whereas the intervention is initially unpro table due to lost interest rate revenues, profits eventually catch up because subsidized clients are more likely to apply for new loans (with interest) after the subsidy is lifted. In addition, because loan-taking clients more often deposit savings in the bank, the subsidy decreases the bank's dependence on external funding. We conclude that transitory interest rate subsidies that are unpro table in the short run may improve outreach without undermining sustainability in the long run. However, outreach ultimately appears constrained by low returns to capital and weak market integration among the poor.
    Keywords: Microfinanance; Collateral; Demand for credit; Interest rate changes; Experimental methods; Randomized controlled trial; RTC
    JEL: C93 O12 O16
    Date: 2012–10–30
  22. By: Brishti Guha (Singapore Management University, School of Economics)
    Abstract: Many men invest in their sisters’ children instead of their wives’. Existing theories addressing such behavior depend on the level of paternity probability in such men’s societies being implausibly low. I link this anthropologically observed investment behavior with the experimentally observed phenomenon that some individuals are ambiguity averse. Arguing that men’s decisions are made under ambiguity, I show that an increase in ambiguity aversion results in investment in sisters’, rather than wives’, children. I show that this can happen even under risk neutrality. I also consider the special cases of a SEU maximizer and of extreme ambiguity aversion in the Gilboa-Schmeidler sense. Extremely ambiguity averse individuals invest in sister’s children regardless of risk preference or actual paternity rates. An increase in ambiguity, rather than an increase in ambiguity aversion, in contrast, may affect the investment decision either way. When sufficiently many men are ambiguity averse, inheritance norms could become avuncular, affecting women’s incentives and generating a bias towards actual nonpaternity. This is consistent with, but represents an unusual explanation of, data which show correlations between inheritance norms and actual paternity rates.
    Date: 2012–09
  23. By: Galiani, Sebastian; Gertler, Paul; Orsola-Vidal, Alexandra
    Abstract: This paper analyzes a randomized experiment that uses novel strategies to promote handwashing with soap at critical times in Peru. It evaluates a large-scale intervention that includes a mass media provincial campaign and a district-level community component. The analysis finds that the mass media intervention alone had no significant effect on exposure to the handwashing promotion campaign messages, and therefore no effect on handwashing knowledge or handwashing behavior. In contrast, the community-level intervention, a more comprehensive intervention that included several community and school activities in addition to the communications campaign, was successful in reaching the target audience with handwashing promotion messages and in improving the knowledge of the treated population on appropriate handwashing behavior. Those improvements translated into higher self-reported and observed handwashing with soap at critical junctures. However, no significant improvements in the health of children under the age of five were observed. The results are consistent with earlier literature, which indicates that substantively changing behavior to improve health is a complex task requiring intensive and more personalized interventions.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Hygiene Promotion and Social Marketing,Disease Control&Prevention,Housing&Human Habitats,Population Policies
    Date: 2012–11–01

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