nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2013‒12‒06
ten papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Does trust mean giving and not risking? Experimental evidence from the trust game By Garapin, A.; Muller, L.; Rahali, B.
  2. After the Tournament: Outcomes and Effort Provision By McGee, Andrew; McGee, Peter
  3. Using Other People's Opinions: An Experimental Study By Rudiger, Jesper
  4. WAITING TO COOPERATE? By Todd R. Kaplan; Bradley J. Ruffle; Ze’ev Shtudiner
  5. A Comment on "Cycles and Instability in a Rock-Paper-Scissors Population Game: A Continuous Time Experiment" By Wang, Zhijian; Zhu, Siqian; Xu, Bin
  6. The Utility of Expressive Writing as Self-Help to Reduce Psychosocial Stress (Japanese) By OMORI Mika
  7. Access to Technology and the Transfer Function of Community Colleges: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Fairlie, Robert W.; Grunberg, Samantha H.
  8. Experimental Evidence of the Effect of Monetary Incentives on Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Response: Experiences from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) By Mathis Schröder; Denise Sassenroth; John Körtner; Martin Kroh; Jürgen Schupp
  9. Who is the fairest of them all? The independent effect of attractive features and self-perceived attractiveness on cooperation among women. By J. A. Munoz-Reyes (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Universidad de Playa Ancha, Chile) M. Pita (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) M. Arjona (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), S. Sanchez-Pages (University of Edinburgh), E. Turiegano (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
  10. Being nice with the experimenter? By C. Giannetti; R. Orsini

  1. By: Garapin, A.; Muller, L.; Rahali, B.
    Abstract: In a within-subjects framework, we compare levels of transfer in the trust game and in the (triple) dictator game. We control preferences towards risk through the Holt and Laury test (2002) and social preferences with the ring test (Liebrand, 1984). We then provide evidence that social preferences correlate with levels of transfer, while risk attitudes do not. Finally, we also cast doubts on the predictive power of the two tests.
    JEL: C72 C90
    Date: 2013
  2. By: McGee, Andrew (Simon Fraser University); McGee, Peter (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: Modeling the incentive effects of competitions among employees for promotions or financial rewards, economists have largely ignored the effects of competition on effort provision once the competition is finished. In a laboratory experiment, we examine how competition outcomes affect the provision of post-competition effort. We find that subjects who lose arbitrarily decided competitions choose lower subsequent effort levels than subjects who lose competitions decided by their effort choices. We explore the preferences underlying this behavior and show that subjects' reactions are related to their preferences for meritocratic outcomes.
    Keywords: tournaments, counterproductive behavior, promotions, experiment
    JEL: C90 J30 D03
    Date: 2013–11
  3. By: Rudiger, Jesper
    Abstract: Expert opinions are often biased. To test how such bias affects the propensity to use opinions, we set up an experiment where subjects estimate the probability of an event that depends on (i) the subject's type, which is observable, and (ii) the unobserved state of the world. Before making their estimate, one group of subjects, the clients, observe the opinion (estimate) of another subject, the expert. The expert has private information about the state, but he may be of a different type than the clients, and therefore biased. Bias is observable and easily corrected. In spite of this, we find that clients' propensity to use expert opinions is decreasing in the size of the expert's bias. This aversion to use the opinions of biased experts is not explained by computational concerns, ex-post expert informativeness or reluctance to move away from the prior.
    Keywords: Experiments; Probability Estimation; Biased Opinions; Naive Advice
    JEL: C91 D81 D82
    Date: 2013–11–28
  4. By: Todd R. Kaplan (University of Exeter, University of Haifa); Bradley J. Ruffle (Wilfrid Laurier University, Ben-Gurion University); Ze’ev Shtudiner (Ariel University)
    Abstract: Sometimes cooperation between two parties requires exactly one to cede to the other. If the decisions whether to cede are made simultaneously, then neither or both may acquiesce leading to an inefficient outcome. However, inefficiency may be avoided if a party can wait to see what the other does. We experimentally test whether adding a waiting option to such a two-player cooperation game enhances cooperation. Although subjects cede less overall with the waiting option, we show that they coordinate more and consequently achieve higher profits. Yet, a dark side overhangs waiting: the least cooperative pairs do worse with this option. They wait not to facilitate coordination but to disguise their entry.
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Wang, Zhijian; Zhu, Siqian; Xu, Bin
    Abstract: The authors (Cason, Friedman and Hopkins, Review of Economic Studies, 2014) claimed that control treatments (using simultaneous matching in discrete time) replicate previous results that exhibit weak or no cycles. After correcting two mathematical mistakes in their cycles tripwire algorithm, we study the cycles by scanning the tripwire in the full strategy space of the games and we find significant cycles that were omitted by the authors. So we suggest that all of the treatments exhibit significant cycles.
    Keywords: experiments; learning; cycles; mixed equilibrium; discrete time
    JEL: C72 C73 C92 D83
    Date: 2013–11–26
  6. By: OMORI Mika
    Abstract: Psychosocial stress has received attention from scholars and practitioners as a mental health issue within a variety of domains ranging from school to industrial settings. Extreme or chronic psychological distress results in not only psychological problems such as depression but also physical illnesses mediating health risk behaviors. Evidence-based preventive strategies must be developed to promote stress reduction programs. The present paper primarily sought to discuss new directions of self-help for psychological stress. In order to accomplish this, the paper first overviewed traditional psychotherapies and argues the potential problems. Next, expressive writing proposed by Pennebaker et al. (1986) as a self-help method was introduced. The effectiveness of expressive writing within the context of college transition was empirically tested by an experimental design with 24 female college freshmen. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups: expressive writing, controlled writing, and non-writing control groups. Individuals assigned to either expressive writing or controlled writing groups were asked to engage in writing tasks for 20 minutes for three consecutive days. Changes in positive emotions increased after the completion of the writing sessions, however, those changes were not statistically significant. No statistically significant changes were observed for three outcome variables including depression, anxiety, and anger. Implications for future studies were discussed.
    Date: 2013–11
  7. By: Fairlie, Robert W. (University of California, Santa Cruz); Grunberg, Samantha H. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)
    Abstract: Access to information may represent an important barrier to learning about and ultimately transferring to 4-year colleges for low-income community college students. This paper explores the role that access to information technology, in particular, plays in enhancing, or possibly detracting from, the transfer function of the community college. Using data from the first-ever field experiment randomly providing free computers to students, we examine the relationships between access to home computers and enrollment in transferable courses and actual transfers to 4-year colleges. The results from the field experiment indicate that the treatment group of students receiving free computers has a 4.5 percentage point higher probability of taking transferable courses than the control group of students not receiving free computers. The evidence is less clear for the effects on actual transfers to 4-year colleges and the probability of using a computer to search for college information (which possibly represents one of the mechanisms for positive effects). In both cases, point estimates are positive, but the confidence intervals are wide. Finally, power calculations indicate that sample sizes would have to be considerably larger to find statistically significant treatment effects and reasonably precise confidence intervals given the actual transfer rate point estimates.
    Keywords: computer, experiment, ICT, community college, transfers, technology
    JEL: I21 J24 O33
    Date: 2013–11
  8. By: Mathis Schröder; Denise Sassenroth; John Körtner; Martin Kroh; Jürgen Schupp
    Abstract: The paper gives an overview of two experiments implemented in the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) considering the effect of monetary incentives on cross-sectional and longitudinal response propensities. We conclude that the overall effects of monetary incentives on response rates are positive compared to the "classic" SOEP setting, where a charity lottery ticket is offered as an incentive. In the cross-section, cash incentives are associated with a higher response rate as well as a lower rate of partial unit non-response (PUNR) and fewer noncontacts on the household level. Separate analyses for German and immigrant households show that a monetary incentive has a positive effect on immigrant households’ participation in subsequent waves. Regarding the regions where the households are located, the high cash incentive has a positive effect on response rates in provincial towns and rural areas. The incentive treatment decreases the likelihood of PUNR in the longitudinal setting by motivating members of participating households who had refused to participate in previous waves to respond in subsequent waves.
    Keywords: Incentive experiment, response rates, partial unit nonresponse, nonresponse bias, conditional incentives
    Date: 2013
  9. By: J. A. Munoz-Reyes (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Universidad de Playa Ancha, Chile) M. Pita (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) M. Arjona (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), S. Sanchez-Pages (University of Edinburgh), E. Turiegano (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: The present paper analyzes the extent to which attractiveness-related variables affect cooperative behavior in women. Cooperativeness is evaluated through a Prisoner’s Dilemma Game (PDG). We consider several morphometric variables related to attractiveness: Fluctuating Asymmetry (FA), Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR), Body Mass Index (BMI) and Facial Femininity (FF). These variables have been shown to predict human behavior. We also include as a control variable a score for Self-Perceived Attractiveness (SPA). We test differences in these variables according to behavior in the PDG. Our results reveal that low FA women cooperate less frequently in the PDG. We also find that women with lower WHR are more cooperative. This result contradicts the expected relation between WHR and behavior in the PDG. We show that this effect of WHR on cooperation operates through its influence on the expectation that participants hold on the cooperative intent of their counterpart. In addition, we show that the effect of attractive features on cooperation occurs independently of the participants’ perception of their own appeal. Finally, we discuss our results in the context of the evolution of cooperative behavior and under the hypothesis that attractiveness is a reliable indicator of phenotypic quality.
    Keywords: Cooperation; Attractiveness; Fluctuating asymmetry; Waist-hip ratio; Body Mass Index; Facial Femininity.
    Date: 2013–11–18
  10. By: C. Giannetti; R. Orsini
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of reciprocity towards the experimenters in the lab under a flat-wage scheme. We find that personality attributes – such as agreeableness – help predict the behaviour of the subjects. We additionally propose and assess a general measure of reciprocity.
    JEL: C91 J33
    Date: 2013–11

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