nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2015‒01‒09
23 papers chosen by

  1. Contributing to Public Goods as Individuals versus Group Representatives: Evidence of Gender Differences By Hauge, Karen Evelyn; Røgeberg, Ole
  2. Risk-taking with Other People’s Money By Kvaløy, Ola; Eriksen, Kristoffer; Luzuriaga , Miguel
  3. Gender and the Labor Market: What Have We Learned from Field and Lab Experiments? By Azmat, Ghazala; Petrongolo, Barbara
  4. Cognitive Ability and the Effect of Strategic Uncertainty By Nobuyuki Hanaki; Nicolas Jacquemet; Stéphane Luchini; Adam Zylberstejn
  5. Dynamic Optimization and Conformity in Health Behavior and Life Enjoyment over the Life Cycle By Hernán Bejarano; Hillard Kaplan; Stephen Rassenti
  6. Game form misconceptions do not explain the endowment effect By Björn Bartling; Florian Engl; Roberto A. Weber
  7. Defaults and Donations: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Altmann, Steffen; Falk, Armin; Heidhues, Paul; Jayaraman, Rajshri
  8. The Shaping Power of Market Prices and Individual Choices on Preferences. An Experimental Investigation By Sergio Beraldo; Valerio Filoso; Marco Stimolo
  9. Does performance disclosure influence physicians’ medical decisions? An experimental study* By Godager, Geir; Hennig-Schmidt, Heike; Iversen, Tor
  10. Uncertain Penalties and Compliance By Carol Luengo; Marcelo Caffera; Carlos Chávez
  11. Motivating Knowledge Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance? By Erlend Berg; Maitreesh Ghatak; R Manjula; D Rajasekhar; Sanchari Roy
  12. Does the Unemployement Benefit Institution Affect the Productivity of Workers? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Blanco, M.; Dalton, P.S.; Vargas, J.F.
  13. Risky Choices of Poor People: Comparing Risk Preference Elicitation Approaches in Field Experiments By Holden , Stein
  14. Do Single-Sex Classes Affect Achievement? An Experiment in a Coeducational University By Booth, Alison L; Cardona Sosa, Lina; Nolen, Patrick
  15. Self-Confidence, Overconfidence and Prenatal Testorone Exposure : Evidence from the Lab By Dalton, P.S.; Ghosal, S.
  16. Collective choices under ambiguity By Maria Vittoria Levati; Stefan Napel; Ivan Soraperra
  17. Health information, treatment, and worker productivity : experimental evidence from malaria testing and treatment among Nigerian sugarcane cutters By Dillon, Andrew; Friedman, Jed; Serneels, Pieter
  18. Voting and Peer Effects: Experimental Evidence from Mozambique By Marcel Fafchamps; Ana Vaz; Pedro C. Vicente
  19. Race and Marriage in the Labor Market: A Discrimination Correspondence Study in a Developing Country By Eva Olimpia Arceo Gómez; Raymundo Campos-Vázquez
  20. How Does Peer Pressure Affect Educational Investments? By Leonardo Bursztyn; Robert Jensen
  21. To Charge or Not to Charge: Evidence from a Health Products Experiment in Uganda By Fischer, Greg; Karlan, Dean S.; McConnell, Margaret; Raffler, Pia
  22. Think Twice Before Running! Bank Runs and Cognitive Abilities By Hubert János Kiss; Ismael Rodriguez-Lara; Alfonso Rosa-García
  23. Voluntary sleep choice and its effects on Bayesian decisions: A study of two samples of college students. By David L. Dickinson; Sean P.A. Drummond; Jeff Dyche

  1. By: Hauge, Karen Evelyn (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research,); Røgeberg, Ole (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research,)
    Abstract: We report evidence from a laboratory experiment comparing contributions in public good games played as individuals to contributions made as group representatives. We find that women alter their behaviour more than men. The change is in an out-group friendly direction: while men’s contributions are largely similar across the two treatments, women increase their contributions by 40% on average as group representatives. The results are consistent with empirical research from labour markets suggesting that female corporate leaders emphasize stakeholders beyond the shareholders to a larger extent than men, and they are in line with stereotypes commonly held regarding male and female leaders.
    Keywords: responsibility; group representative; gender; public good game; laboratory experiment
    JEL: C91 H41 J16
    Date: 2014–07–30
  2. By: Kvaløy, Ola (UiS); Eriksen, Kristoffer (UiS); Luzuriaga , Miguel (UiS)
    Abstract: We present an experimental study on how people take risk with other people’s money. We use three different elicitation methods, and study how each subject makes decisions both on behalf of own money and on behalf of another individual’s money. We find that a majority of subjects make different decisions on behalf of others than on behalf of themselves. Approximately one third of the subjects increase risk-taking when it is on behalf of another subject, while one third reduces risk-taking. In sum, we find a weak tendency of lower risk-taking with other’s money compared with own money. We also find that subjects on average think that others are more risk averse than themselves. Moreover, subjects believe that other participants take less risk with their own money than with other people’s money.
    Keywords: Risk-taking; Experiment; Social preferences
    JEL: C91 G11
    Date: 2014–11–20
  3. By: Azmat, Ghazala; Petrongolo, Barbara
    Abstract: We discuss the contribution of the experimental literature to the understanding of both traditional and previously unexplored dimensions of gender differences and discuss their bearings on labor market outcomes. Experiments have offered new findings on gender discrimination, and while they have identified a bias against hiring women in some labor market segments, the discrimination detected in field experiments is less pervasive than that implied by the regression approach. Experiments have also offered new insights into gender differences in preferences: women appear to gain less from negotiation, have lower preferences than men for risk and competition, and may be more sensitive to social cues. These gender differences in preferences also have implications in group settings, whereby the gender composition of a group affects team decisions and performance. Most of the evidence on gender traits comes from the lab, and key open questions remain as to the source of gender preferences—nature versus nurture, or their interaction—and their role, if any, in the workplace.
    Keywords: Discrimination; Field experiments; Gender; Gender preferences; Lab experiments
    JEL: C91 C92 C93 J16 J24 J71
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Nobuyuki Hanaki (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS); Nicolas Jacquemet (Université de Lorraine (BETA) and Paris School of Economics); Stéphane Luchini (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS); Adam Zylberstejn (Université de Lyon)
    Abstract: How is one’s cognitive ability related to the way one responds to strategic uncertainty? We address this question by conducting a set of experiments in simple 2 x 2 dominance solvable coordination games. Our experiments involve two main treatments: one in which two human subjects interact, and another in which one human subject interacts with a computer program whose behavior is known. By making the behavior of the computer perfectly predictable, the latter treatment eliminates strategic uncertainty. We find that subjects with higher cognitive abilities are more sensitive to strategic uncertainty than those with lower cognitive abilities.
    Keywords: strategic uncertainty, robot, bounded rationality, Experiment
    JEL: C92 D83
    Date: 2014–12–16
  5. By: Hernán Bejarano (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University, Orange, CA); Hillard Kaplan (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University, Orange, CA and University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Stephen Rassenti (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University, Orange, CA)
    Abstract: This article examines individual and social influences on investments in health and enjoyment from immediate consumption. We report the results of a lab experiment that mimics the problem of health investment over a lifetime, building on Grossman’s (1972a, 1972b) theoretical framework. Subjects earn money through the experiment in proportion to the sum of the life enjoyment they have consumed. However, income in each period is a function of previous health investments, so there is a dynamic optimum for maximizing earnings through the appropriate expenditures on life enjoyment and health in each period. In order to model social effects in the experiment, we randomly assigned individuals to chat/observation groups, composed of four subjects each. Two treatments were employed: In the Independent treatment, an individual’s rewards from investments in life enjoyment depend only on his choice and in the Interdependent treatment, rewards not only depend on an individual’s choices but also on their similarity to the choices of the others in their group. Seven predictions were tested and each was supported by the data. We found: 1) Subjects engaged in helpful chat in both treatments; 2) there was significant heterogeneity among both subjects and groups in chat frequencies; and 3) chat was most common early in the experiment. The interdependent treatment 4) increased strategic chat frequency, 5) decreased within-group variance, 6) increased between-group variance, and 7) increased the likelihood of behavior far from the optimum with respect to the dynamic problem. Individual incentives explain a large part, but not all, of the variance in prosocial behavior in the form of strategic advice. Incentives for conformity appear to promote prosocial behavior, but also increase variance among groups in equilibrium outcomes, leading to convergence on suboptimal strategies for some groups
    Keywords: experimental economics, behavioral economics, health economics, dynamic programming
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Björn Bartling; Florian Engl; Roberto A. Weber
    Abstract: We test the claim that game form misconception among subjects making choices through the Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) value elicitation procedure provides an explanation for the endowment effect, as suggested by Cason and Plott (forthcoming). We employ a design that allows us to clearly identify whether subjects comprehend the incentive properties of a price-list version of the BDM procedure. We find a robust endowment effect, even among those subjects whose elicited valuations for a known monetary value and whose ability to calculate the payoffs resulting from their choices indicate no misconception of the task. We conclude that game form misconceptions alone are unlikely to account for behavioral patterns like the endowment effect.
    Keywords: Endowment effect, game from misconception, BDM mechanism, experimental methods, replicable audio files of instructions
    JEL: C91 D03
    Date: 2014–11
  7. By: Altmann, Steffen (University of Copenhagen); Falk, Armin (University of Bonn); Heidhues, Paul (European School of Management and Technology (ESMT)); Jayaraman, Rajshri (European School of Management and Technology (ESMT))
    Abstract: We study how website defaults affect consumer behavior in the domain of charitable giving. In a field experiment that was conducted on a large platform for making charitable donations over the web, we exogenously vary the default options in two distinct choice dimensions. The first pertains to the primary donation decision, namely, how much to contribute to the charitable cause. The second relates to an "add-on" decision of how much to contribute to supporting the online platform itself. We find a strong impact of defaults on individual behavior: in each of our treatments, the modal positive contributions in both choice dimensions invariably correspond to the specified default amounts. Defaults, nevertheless, have no impact on aggregate donations. This is because defaults in the donation domain induce some people to donate more and others to donate less than they otherwise would have. In contrast, higher defaults in the secondary choice dimension unambiguously induce higher contributions to the online platform.
    Keywords: default options, charitable giving, online platforms, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D03 D64
    Date: 2014–11
  8. By: Sergio Beraldo; Valerio Filoso; Marco Stimolo
    Abstract: We repeatedly elicited individuals' Willingness to Accept (WTA) evaluations for an auctioned bad in an experimental setting in which truthful revelation is the (weakly) dominant strategy. We investigate whether the observation of supposedly irrelevant signals (the market price, the asks at either the bottom or the top of the distribution of asks) affect the elicited values. Our experimental sample was made up of 162 subjects partitioned in 18 independent markets characterized by different informational conditions. Our analysis provide two main findings. First, individuals’ WTA evaluations are remarkably driven by a strong although unexpected tendency to conform to the asks either at the bottom or the top of the distribution by a factor of 44-66\%. Second, although a clear tendency to adapt one's own ask to the market price (Shaping effect) emerges when no other information is being provided, the provision of information about the actual behavior of well identified (groups of) individuals more than halves its magnitude, suggesting that this effect may also qualify as a peculiar case of conformity. We conjecture that in the context at hand conformity emerges as an adaptive response to a problem of preferences imprecision. Our results are identified by means of a methodology not yet employed in the field, which helps in distinguishing between the dynamic and the asymptotic features of preference formation in the presence of either adaptive or rational expectations. The overall evidence suggests a decisive role for market interactions in the definition of preferences.
    Keywords: Endogenous preferences, Shaping effect, Conformity, Experimental Vickrey auction.
    JEL: C91 C92 D44
    Date: 2014–12–01
  9. By: Godager, Geir (Department of Health Management and Health Economics); Hennig-Schmidt, Heike (Department of Health Management and Health Economics); Iversen, Tor (Department of Health Management and Health Economics)
    Abstract: Quality improvements in markets for medical care are key objectives in any Health reform. An important question is whether disclosing physicians’ performance can contribute to achieving these goals. Due to the asymmetric information inherent in medical markets, one may argue that changes in the information structure are likely to influence the environment in which health care providers operate. In a Laboratory experiment with medical students that mimics a physician decision-making environment we analyze the effect of disclosing performance information to peers. We find that making performance transparent has a positive impact in that significantly higher total patient benefits are generated than under a regime where physician performance is private information. Also, significantly more patients receive benefit-maximizing treatment. We discuss policy implications of our findings
    Keywords: Physician payment system; laboratory experiment; incentives; transparency; fee-for-service; information and product quality
    JEL: C91 H40 I11 J33 L15
    Date: 2014–11–27
  10. By: Carol Luengo; Marcelo Caffera; Carlos Chávez
    Abstract: Using a series of laboratory economic experiments, we study the effect of information regarding the amount of the fine on the individual decision to violate an emission standard. Specifically, the analysis considers variations in the information available for the regulated subjects regarding the amount of the monetary sanction, as well as variations in the stringency in the inspection effort by the regulator. Our results suggest that in the case of a regulation design that induces compliance, the presence of uncertainty regarding the amount of the fine may increase violations in certain cases. When enforcement is not sufficient to induce compliance, the uncertainty regarding the amount of the fine does not have any effect on the level of transgression. Overall, the results suggest that a cost-effective regulation design should consider including public information on the consequences of an offense.
    Keywords: s Uncertainty; Risk; Compound risk; Fine; Emission standard; Economic experiment
    JEL: C91 L51 Q58 K42
  11. By: Erlend Berg; Maitreesh Ghatak; R Manjula; D Rajasekhar; Sanchari Roy
    Abstract: This paper studies the interaction of incentive pay and social distance in the dissemination of information. We analyse theoretically as well as empirically the effect of incentive pay when agents have pro-social objectives, but also preferences over dealing with one social group relative to another. In a randomised field experiment undertaken across 151 villages in South India, local agents were hired to spread information about a public health insurance programme. Relative to at pay, incentive pay improves knowledge transmission to households that are socially distant from the agent, but not to households similar to the agent.
    Keywords: public services, information constraints, incentive pay, social proximity, knowledge transmission
    JEL: C93 D83 I38 M52 O15 Z13
    Date: 2013–03
  12. By: Blanco, M.; Dalton, P.S. (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Vargas, J.F.
    Abstract: Abstract: We investigate whether and how the type of unemployment bene t institution affects productivity. We designed a field experiment to compare workers' productivity under a welfare system, where the unemployed receive an unconditional monetary transfer, with their productivity under a workfare system, where the transfer is received conditional on the unemployed spending some time on ancillary activities. First, we fi nd that having an unemployment bene fit institution, regardless of whether it makes transfers conditional or unconditional, increases workers' productivity. Second, we find that productivity is higher under Welfare than under Workfare. Becoming unemployed under Welfare comes at the psychological cost of a drop in self-esteem, presumably due to the shame or stigma associated with receiving an unconditional unemployment benefi t. We document the empirical relevance of precisely this channel. The differences we observe in productivity suggest that this psychological cost acts as an extra non- monetary incentive for workers under Welfare to put a higher effort in their work.
    Keywords: Unemployment Benefi ts; Workfare; Productivity; Self-esteem; Shame
    JEL: J24 J65 J45
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Holden , Stein (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: This paper studies the risk preferences of poor rural households in Malawi and compares the Holt and Laury (2002) (HL) multiple price list approach with hypothetical real-world framing and monetary incentive-compatible framing with the Tanaka, Camerer and Nguyen (2010) (TCN) monetary framing approach to elicit prospect theory parameters. The consistency of the results, the role of and potential bias attributable to measurement error, and correlations with socioeconomic characteristics are assessed. The study shows that measurement error can lead to upward bias in risk aversion estimates and over-weighting of low probabilities. The hypothetical real–world HL framing experiments are associated with higher sensitivity to background variation such as exposure to a recent drought shock and distance to markets/poor market access.
    Keywords: expected utility theory; prospect theory; risk preferences; loss aversion; probability weighting; field experiment; multiple price lists; measurement error; Malawi
    JEL: C93 D03 O12
    Date: 2014–11–18
  14. By: Booth, Alison L; Cardona Sosa, Lina; Nolen, Patrick
    Abstract: We examine the effect of single-sex classes on the pass rates, grades, and continued enrollment of students in a coeducational university. We randomly assign students to all-female, all-male, and coed classes and, therefore, get around the selection issues present in studies on single-sex education done on students in primary and secondary school. We find that one hour a week of single-sex education benefits females: females are 7.5% more likely to pass their first year courses and score 8% higher overall. Furthermore, females in all-females classes are roughly 9% more likely to continue studying economics and business at university than females who studied in coed classes. There is evidence that single-sex education causes women to adopt behaviors associated with better academic outcomes: such as attending more classes and doing optional assignments. However, these behavioral changes can explain, at most 40% of the all-female effect, suggesting that there is a large direct effect of single-sex education on outcomes.
    Keywords: single-sex; education; experiment; gender
    JEL: C91 C92 J16 J33
    Date: 2014–10
  15. By: Dalton, P.S. (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Ghosal, S.
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper examines whether the degree of confi dence and overconfi dence in one's ability is determined biologically. In particular, we study whether foetal testosterone exposure correlates with an incentive-compatible measure of con fidence within an experimental setting. We fi nd that men (rather than women) who were exposed to high testosterone levels in their mother's womb are less likely to overestimate their actual performance, which in turn helps them to gain higher monetary rewards. Men exposed to low prenatal testosterone levels, instead, set unrealistically high expectations which results in self-defeating behavior. These results from the lab are able to recon- cile hitherto disconnected evidence from the fi eld, by providing a link between traders' overcon fidence bias, long-term financial returns and prenatal testosterone exposure.
    Keywords: 2D
    JEL: C91 D03 D87
    Date: 2014
  16. By: Maria Vittoria Levati (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Stefan Napel (University of Bayreuth); Ivan Soraperra (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Keywords: Ambiguity aversion, majority voting, dictatorship
    JEL: C91 C92 D71 D81
    Date: 2014–08
  17. By: Dillon, Andrew; Friedman, Jed; Serneels, Pieter
    Abstract: Agricultural and other physically demanding sectors are important sources of growth in developing countries but prevalent diseases such as malaria adversely impact the productivity, labor supply, and choice of job tasks among workers by reducing physical capacity. This study identifies the impact of malaria on worker earnings, labor supply, and daily productivity by randomizing the temporal order at which piece-rate workers at a large sugarcane plantation in Nigeria are offered malaria testing and treatment. The results indicate a significant and substantial intent to treat effect of the intervention -- the offer of a workplace-based malaria testing and treatment program increases worker earnings by approximately 10 percent over the weeks following the offer. The study further investigates theeffect of health information by contrasting program effects by workers'revealed health status. For workers who test positive for malaria, the treatment of illness increases labor supply, leading to higher earnings. For workers who test negative, and especially for those workers most likely to be surprised by the healthy diagnosis, the health information also leads to increased earnings via increased productivity. Possible mechanisms for this response include selection into higher return tasks within the plantation as a result of changes in the perceived cost of effort. A model of the worker labor decision that allows health expectations partly to determine the supply of effort suggests that, in endemic settings with poor quality health services, inaccurate health perceptions may lead workers to suboptimal labor allocation decisions. The results underline the importance of medical treatment, but also of access to improved information about one's health status, as the absence of either may lead workers to deliver lower effort in lower return jobs.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Disease Control&Prevention,Labor Markets,Labor Policies,Work&Working Conditions
    Date: 2014–11–01
  18. By: Marcel Fafchamps; Ana Vaz; Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: Voter education campaigns often aim to increase voter particpation and political accountability. We follow randomized interventions implemented nationwide during the 2009 Mozambican elections using a free newspaper, leaflets, and text messaging. We investigate whether treatment effects were transmitted through social networks (kinship and chatting) and geographical proximity. For individuals personally targeted by the campaign, we estimate the reinforcement effect of proximity to other targeted individuals. For untargeted individuals, we estimate the diffusion of the campaign depending on a proximity to targeted individuals. We find evidence for both effects, similar across the different treatments and across the different connectedness measures. We observe that the treatments worked through the networks by raising the levels of information and interest about the election, in line with the average treatment effects of voter education on voter participation. We interpret this result as a free riding effect, likely to occur for costly actions. JEL codes:
    Date: 2013
  19. By: Eva Olimpia Arceo Gómez (Division of Economics, CIDE); Raymundo Campos-Vázquez
    Abstract: In Mexico, as in most Latin American countries with indigenous populations, it is commonly believed that European phenotypes are preferred to mestizo or indigenous phenotypes. However, it is hard to test for such racial biases in the labor market using official statistics since race can only be inferred from native language. Moreover, employers may think that married females have lower productivity, and hence they may be more reluctant to hire them. We are interested in testing both hypotheses through a field experiment in the labor market. The experiment consisted on sending fictitious curriculums (CVs) responding to job advertisements with randomized information of the applicants. The CVs included photographs representing three distinct phenotypes: Caucasian, mestizo and indigenous. We also randomly vary marital status across gender and phenotype. Hence, our test consists on finding whether there are significant differences in the callback rates. We find that females have 40 percent more callbacks than males. We also find that indigenous looking females are discriminated against, but the effect is not present for males. Interestingly, married females are penalized in the labor market and this penalty is higher for indigenous-looking women. We did not find an effect of marital status on males.
    Keywords: Discrimination; Gender, Race, Marriage, Labor market, Mexico, Hiring, Correspondence study
    JEL: I24 J10 J16 J70 O54
    Date: 2013–07
  20. By: Leonardo Bursztyn; Robert Jensen
    Abstract: When effort is observable to peers, students may act to avoid social penalties by conforming to prevailing norms. To test for such behavior, we conducted an experiment in which 11th grade students were offered complimentary access to an online SAT preparatory course. Signup sheets differed randomly across students (within classrooms) only in the extent to which they emphasized that the decision to enroll would be kept private from classmates. In non-honors classes, the signup rate was 11 percentage points lower when decisions to enroll were public rather than private. Sign up in honors classes was unaffected. To further isolate the role of peer pressure we examine students taking the same number of honors classes. The timing of our visits to each school will find some of these students in one of their honors classes and others in one of their non-honors classes; which they happen to be sitting in when we arrive to conduct our experiment should be (and, empirically, is) uncorrelated with student characteristics. When offered the course in a non-honors class, these students were 25 percentage points less likely to sign up if the decision was public rather than private. But if they were offered the course in one of their honors classes, they were 25 percentage points more likely to sign up when the decision was public. Thus, students are highly responsive to who their peers are and what the prevailing norm is when they make decisions.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2014–11
  21. By: Fischer, Greg; Karlan, Dean S.; McConnell, Margaret; Raffler, Pia
    Abstract: Pricing policy for any experience good faces a key tradeoff. On one hand, a price reduction increases immediate demand and hence more people learn about the product. On the other hand, lower prices may serve as price anchors and, through a comparison effect, decrease subsequent demand. This tension is particularly important for the distribution of health products in low-income countries, where free or heavily subsidized distribution is a common but controversial practice. Based on a model combining the learning aspect of experience goods with reference-dependent preferences, we setup a field experiment in Northern Uganda in which three health products differing in their scope for learning were initially offered either for free or for sale at market prices. In line with prior studies, when the product has potential for positive learning, we do not find an effect of free distribution on future demand. However, for products without scope for positive learning, we find evidence of price anchors: future demand is lower after a free distribution than after a distribution at market prices.
    Keywords: health; learning; pricing; subsidies
    JEL: D11 D12 D83 I11 I18 O12
    Date: 2014–06
  22. By: Hubert János Kiss (‘Momentum’ Game Theory Research Group, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Eötvös Loránd University - Department of Economics); Ismael Rodriguez-Lara (Middlesex University London - Business School and LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome); Alfonso Rosa-García (Facultad de Ciencias Juridicas y de la Empresa, Universidad Catolica San Antonio)
    Abstract: We assess the impact of cognitive abilities on withdrawal decisions in a bank-run game. In our setup, depositors choose sequentially between withdrawing or keeping their funds deposited in a common bank. They may observe previous decisions depending on the information structure. Theoretically, the last depositor in the sequence of decisions has a dominant strategy and should always keep the funds deposited, regardless of what she observes (if anything). Recognizing the dominant strategy, however, is not always straightforward. If there exists strategic uncertainty (e.g., the last depositor has no information about predecessors’ decisions) the identification of the dominant strategy requires harder thinking than when there is not strategic uncertainty (e.g., the last depositor is informed about all previous decisions). We find that cognitive abilities, as measured by the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT), predict withdrawals in the presence of strategic uncertainty (participants with higher abilities tend to identify the dominant strategy more easily) but the CRT does not predict behavior when there is no strategic uncertainty.
    Keywords: bank runs, coordination game, observability of actions, cognitive abilities, strate-gic uncertainty
    JEL: C91 D03 D8 G02 J16
    Date: 2014–11
  23. By: David L. Dickinson; Sean P.A. Drummond; Jeff Dyche
    Abstract: This study examines whether voluntary sleep restriction at commonly experienced levels impacts decision-making in a Bayesian choice task. Participants were largely traditional age college students from a regional state university (n=100) and a federal military academy (n=99). Sleep was measured by actigraphy over a one-week period, followed by performance of a decision task. The task involved two sources of information, base rate odds and sample evidence, with subjects asked to make a probability judgment. Results found that subjects with nightly sleep < 6 hr (sleep deprived=SD), relative to those with > 7 hr, placed less decision weight on new evidence, relative to base rate information, in making difficult choices. This result is mediated by gender and differs when comparing cadets with traditional student subjects. For easier choices, voluntary SD did not affect relative decision weights placed on the two sources of available information, and results were similar across institutions and by gender. Key Words:
    Date: 2014

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.