nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2013‒10‒11
ten papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Willpower depletion and framing effects By de Haan, Thomas; van Veldhuizen, Roel
  2. The Size of the LGBT Population and the Magnitude of Anti-Gay Sentiment are Substantially Underestimated By Katherine B. Coffman; Lucas C. Coffman; Keith M. Marzilli Ericson
  3. Giving and sorting among friends: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment By Binzel, Christine; Fehr, Dietmar
  4. Long-term commitment and cooperation By Frédéric Schneider; Roberto A. Weber
  5. The Aggregate Effect of School Choice: Evidence from a Two-stage Experiment in India By Karthik Muralidharan; Venkatesh Sundararaman
  6. The Difficult Case of Persuading Women: Experimental Evidence from Childcare By Vincenzo Galasso; Paola Profeta; Chiara Pronzato; Francesco Billari
  7. Taking the Well-being of Future Generations Seriously : Do People Contribute More to Intra-temporal or Inter-temporal Public Goods? By Gilles Grolleau; Angela Sutan; Radu Vranceanu
  8. Comparing charitable fundraising schemes: Evidence from a natural field experiment and a structural model By Huck, Steffen; Rasul, Imran; Shephard, Andrew
  9. Will Ugly Betty ever find a job in Italy? By Giovanni BUSETTA; Fabio FIORILLO
  10. Tullock Contests with Asymmetric Information By Einy, E; Haimanko, O; Moreno, D; Sela, A; Shitovitz, B

  1. By: de Haan, Thomas; van Veldhuizen, Roel
    Abstract: We investigate whether depleting people's cognitive resources (or willpower) affects the degree to which they are susceptible to framing effects. Recent research in social psychology and economics has suggested that willpower is a resource that can be temporarily depleted and that a depleted level of willpower is associated with self-control problems in a variety of contexts. In this study, we extend the willpower depletion paradigm to framing effects and argue that willpower depletion should increase framing effects. To test this we designed two experiments in which we depleted participants' willpower and subsequently had them take part in a series of tasks, including a framed prisoner's dilemma, an attraction effect task, a compromise effect task, and an anchoring task. However, we find no evidence that framing effects were indeed more prevalent in willpower-depleted participants than in controls. --
    Keywords: willpower,ego depletion,framing,willpower depletion,experiment,behavioral economics
    JEL: D81 C91
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Katherine B. Coffman; Lucas C. Coffman; Keith M. Marzilli Ericson
    Abstract: Measuring sexual orientation, behavior, and related opinions is difficult because responses are biased towards socially acceptable answers. We test whether measurements are biased even when responses are private and anonymous and use our results to identify sexuality-related norms and how they vary. We run an experiment on 2,516 U.S. participants. Participants were randomly assigned to either a “best practices method” that was computer-based and provides privacy and anonymity, or to a “veiled elicitation method” that further conceals individual responses. Answers in the veiled method preclude inference about any particular individual, but can be used to accurately estimate statistics about the population. Comparing the two methods shows sexuality-related questions receive biased responses even under current best practices, and, for many questions, the bias is substantial. The veiled method increased self-reports of non-heterosexual identity by 65% (p
    JEL: C90 D10 J10
    Date: 2013–10
  3. By: Binzel, Christine; Fehr, Dietmar
    Abstract: Among residents of an informal housing area in Cairo, we examine how dictator giving varies by the social distance between subjects - friend versus stranger - and by the anonymity of the dictator. While giving to strangers is high under anonymity, we find - consistent with Leider et al. (2009) - that (i) a decrease in social distance increases giving, (ii) giving to a stranger and to a friend is positively correlated, and (iii) more altruistic dictators increase their giving less under non-anonymity than less altruistic dictators. However, friends are not alike in their altruistic preferences, suggesting that an individual's intrinsic preferences may not necessarily be shaped by his (or her) peers. Instead, reciprocal motives seem important, indicating that social relationships may be valued differently when individuals are financially dependent on them. --
    Keywords: giving,reciprocity,social distance,networks, sorting
    JEL: C93 D64 L14 O12
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Frédéric Schneider; Roberto A. Weber
    Abstract: We study how the willingness to enter long-term bilateral relationships affects cooperation even when parties have little information about each other, ex ante, and cooperation is otherwise unenforceable. We experimentally investigate a finitely-repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma, allowing players to endogenously select interaction durations. Consistent with prior research, longer interactions facilitate cooperation. However, many individuals avoid long-term commitment, with uncooperative types less likely to commit than conditional cooperators. Endogenously chosen long-term commitment yields higher cooperation rates (98% in one condition) than exogenously imposed commitment. Thus, the willingness to enter into long-term relationships provides a means for fostering - and screening for - efficient cooperation.
    Keywords: Repeated games, cooperation, voluntary commitment
    JEL: C72 C92 D03
    Date: 2013–09
  5. By: Karthik Muralidharan; Venkatesh Sundararaman
    Abstract: We present experimental evidence on the impact of a school choice program in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) that featured a unique two-stage lottery-based allocation of school vouchers that created both a student-level and a market-level experiment. This design allows us to study both the individual and the aggregate effects of school choice (including spillovers). We find that private-school teachers have lower levels of formal education and training than public-school teachers, and are paid much lower salaries. On the other hand, private schools have a longer school day, a longer school year, smaller class sizes, lower teacher absence, higher teaching activity, and better school hygiene. After two and four years of the program, we find no difference between the test scores of lottery winners and losers on math and Telugu (native language). However, private schools spend significantly less instructional time on these subjects, and use the extra time to teach more English, Science, Social Studies, and Hindi. Averaged across all subjects, lottery winners score 0.13σ higher, and students who attend private schools score 0.23σ higher. We find no evidence of spillovers on public-school students who do not apply for the voucher, or on students who start out in private schools to begin with, suggesting that the program had no adverse effects on these groups. Finally, the mean cost per student in the private schools in our sample is less than a third of the cost in public schools. Our results suggest that private schools in this setting deliver (slightly) better test score gains than their public counterparts, and do so at substantially lower costs per student. More generally, our results highlight that ignoring heterogeneity among schools' instructional programs and patterns of time use may lead to incorrect inference on the impact of school choice on learning outcomes.
    JEL: C93 H44 H52 I21 O15
    Date: 2013–10
  6. By: Vincenzo Galasso; Paola Profeta; Chiara Pronzato; Francesco Billari
    Abstract: Gender stereotypes are well established also among women. Yet, a recent literature suggests that earning from other women experience about the effects of maternal employment on children outcomes may increase female labor force participation. To further explore this channel, we design a randomized survey experiment, in which 1500 Italian women aged 20 to 40 are exposed to two informational treatments on the positive consequences of formal childcare on children future educational attainments. Surprisingly, we find that women reduce their intended labor supply. However, this result hides strong heterogenous effects: high educated non-mothers are persuaded by the informational treatments to increase their intended use of formal child care (and to pay more); whereas low educated non-mothers to reduce their intended labor supply. These findings are consistent with women responding to monetary incentive and/or having different preferences for maternal care. These heterogenous responses across women send a warning signal about the true effectiveness — in terms of take up rates — of often advocated public policies regarding formal child care. Keywords: gender culture, female labour supply, education JEL Classification: J2, J16, J13, J18, Z1,C99
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Gilles Grolleau (Unité MIAJ - INRA - Mathématiques et Informatique Appliquées - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA)); Angela Sutan (ESC Dijon Bourgogne - ESC Dijon Bourgogne); Radu Vranceanu (Economics Department - ESSEC Business School)
    Abstract: We investigate the dynamics of cooperation in public good games when contributions to the public good are immediately redistributed across contributors (intra-temporal transfers) and when contributions to the public good by the current group are transferred over time to a future group (inter-temporal transfers). We show that people are more cooperative in inter-temporal contexts than in intra-temporal contexts. We also find that subjects invest more on average in public goods when they know in advance their inheritance from the past.
    Keywords: Public goods ; Voluntary contribution mechanism ; Inter-temporal vs intra-temporal transfers ; Sustainable development
    Date: 2013–09
  8. By: Huck, Steffen; Rasul, Imran; Shephard, Andrew
    Abstract: We present evidence from a natural field experiment and structural model designed to shed light on the efficacy of alternative fundraising schemes. In conjunction with the Bavarian State Opera, we mailed 25,000 opera attendees a letter describing a charitable fundraising project organized by the opera house. Recipients were randomly assigned to six treatments designed to explore behavioral responses to fundraising schemes varying in two dimensions: (i) the presence of a lead donor; (ii) how individual donations would be matched using the lead donation, using either linear, non-linear and fixed-gift matching schemes. We develop and estimate a structural model that simultaneously estimates individual responses on the extensive and intensive margins of giving, and then utilize the structural model to predict giving behavior in counterfactual fundraising schemes. We find that charitable donations are maximized by simply announcing the lead donation rather than using it to match the donations of others in some way. If lead donors insist their gifts must be matched in some way, we find the fundraiser is best off announcing the existence of a lead donor and using a nonconvex scheme to match the lead donation with individual donations. We conclude by providing evidence from a follow-up natural field experiment designed to probe further the question why lead donors are so effective in inducing others to give. -- Wir stellen Ergebnisse aus einem natürlichen Feldexperiment und der Schätzung eines strukturellen Modells vor, das zum Zwecke der Erhellung der Wirksamkeit von alternativen Fundraisingstrategien konzipiert wurde. In Zusammenarbeit mit der Bayerischen Staatsoper wurden 25.000 Opernbesucher angeschrieben und über ein gemeinnütziges Spendenprojekt informiert, das von der Staatsoper organisiert wurde. Die Adressaten wurden zufällig auf sechs verschiedene Anreizsysteme verteilt, die Verhaltensreaktionen auf Spendenaktionen messen sollten, und zwar hinsichtlich zweier Dimensionen: (1) ob es einen Großspender gibt oder nicht und (2) wie bei Bekanntgabe der Großspende die individuellen Spenden beeinflusst würden durch lineare und nicht-lineare Matchingregeln sowie durch einen festen Matchingbetrag. Wir entwickeln ein strukturelles Modell, das gleichermaßen die individuelle Wahrscheinlichkeit zu spenden sowie die Spendenhöhe einschätzt. Das entwickelte strukturelle Modell wird benutzt, um Spendenverhalten auch für kontrafaktische Matchingstrategien vorhersagen zu können. Dabei zeigt sich, dass Spenden eher dadurch maximiert werden können, dass eine Großspende bekannt gegeben als dass diese für die Aufstockung anderer Spenden benutzt wird. Bestehen Großspender darauf, dass ihre Spenden für Matching eingesetzt werden, erzielt die spendensammelnde Institution dann den größten Effekt, wenn sie die Existenz eines Großspenders bekannt gibt und eine nicht-konvexe Matchingregel für die Aufstockung individueller Spenden anwendet. Schließlich präsentieren wir Ergebnisse aus einem weiteren natürlichen Feldexperiment, bei dem näher untersucht wurde, warum Großspender andere so effektiv dazu animieren können, ebenfalls zu spenden.
    Keywords: charitable giving,field experiment,structural estimation
    JEL: C93 D12 D64
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Giovanni BUSETTA (Universit… di Messina, Department of Economics, Business, Environmental Sciences, and Quantitative Methods); Fabio FIORILLO (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of beauty on employability, stressing the first stage of the hiring process. In particular, we studied the Italian labor market in order to ascertain whether there exists a preference for attractive applicants according to gender and racial characteristics. The sample analyzed consists of observations collected by sending 11008 curricula vitae (henceforth CVs) to firms looking for workers in response to advertised job postings.;Positive responses were obtained by 3278 CVs (almost 30% of the sample). We then compared response rates of different categories, obtaining the following results: those who receive the highest levels of positive responses are attractive subjects; most of the responses to plain subjects involve unqualified jobs; beauty appears to be essential for front clerical work; racial discrimination appears to be significant, but less so than discrimination based on physical features, especially for women.
    Keywords: beauty premium, experimental economics, racial discrimination
    JEL: C93 J71 J78
    Date: 2013–10
  10. By: Einy, E; Haimanko, O; Moreno, D; Sela, A; Shitovitz, B
    Abstract: Under standard assumptions about players’ cost functions, we show that a Tullock contest with asymmetric information has a pure strategy equilibrium. Moreover, when players have a common value and a common state independent linear cost function, a two player Tullock contest in which one player has an information advantage has a unique equilibrium. In this equilibrium both players exert the same expected effort, although the player with information advantage has a greater payoff and wins the prize less frequently than his opponent. When there are more than two players in the contest, an information advantage leads to higher payoffs, but the other properties of equilibrium no longer hold.
    JEL: C72 D44 D82
    Date: 2013–09

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