nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
23 papers chosen by

  1. Incentives and Social Preferences: Experimental Evidence from a Seemingly Inefficient Traditional Labor Contract By Goto, Jun; Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Aoyagi, Keitaro
  2. Grit Trumps Talent? An experimental approach By Leonie; Christina Gravert
  3. Charitable Giving, Emotions, and the Default Effect By Noussair, Charles; Habetinova, Lenka
  4. Take it or leave it: Experimental evidence on the effect of time-limited offers on consumer behaviour By Robert Sugden; Mengjie Wang; Daniel John Zizzo
  5. Some (Mis)facts about Myopic Loss Aversion By Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene; Giovanni Ponti; Josefa Tomás Lucas
  6. Job history, work attitude, and employability By Alain Cohn; Michel André Maréchal; Frédéric Schneider; Roberto A. Weber
  7. Problems of utility and prospect theories. A “certain–uncertain” inconsistency within their experimental methods By Harin, Alexander
  8. Social Distance and Control Aversion: Evidence from the Internet and the Laboratory By Katrin Schmelz; Anthony Ziegelmeyer
  9. Centralized vs. Decentralized Management: an Experimental Study By Jordi Brandts; David J. Cooper
  10. On whom would I want to depend; Humans or nature? By Mike Farjam
  11. Efficiency versus equality in real-time bargaining with communication By Fabio Galeotti; Maria Montero; Anders Poulsen
  12. Voting and transfer payments in a threshold public goods game By Feige, Christian; Ehrhart, Karl-Martin
  13. Intrinsic and extrinsic effects on behavioral tax biases in risky investment decisions By Fochmann, Martin; Hemmerich, Kristina; Kiesewetter, Dirk
  14. The effectiveness of public subsidies for private innovations: An experimental approach By Brüggemann, Julia
  15. When do in-service teacher training and books improve student achievement ? experimental evidence from Mongolia By Fuje,Habtamu Neda; Tandon,Prateek
  16. Cognitive ability and the effect of strategic uncertainty By Nobuyuki Hanaki; Nicolas Jacquemet; Stéphane Luchini; Adam Zylbersztejn
  17. Charitable giving and intermediation By Nadine Chlaß; Lata Gangadharan; Kristy Jones
  18. Volunteering to Take on Power: Experimental Evidence from Matrilineal and Patriarchal Societies in India By Debosree Banerjee; Marcela Ibanez; Gerhard Riener; Meike Wollni
  19. Elected Officials’ Opportunistic Behavior on Third-Party Punishment: An Experimental Analysis By Natalia Jiménez; Ángel Solano-García
  20. Forecasting with Colonel Blotto By Peeters R.J.A.P.; Wolk K.L.
  21. Providing Advice to Job Seekers at Low Cost: An Experimental Study on On-Line Advice By Belot, Michele; Kircher, Philipp; Muller, Paul
  22. Effects of Early Childhood Intervention on Fertility and Maternal Employment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Malte Sandner
  23. Pathos & ethos: emotions and willingness to pay for tobacco products By Francesco Bogliacino; Cristiano Codagnone; Giuseppe Alessandro Veltri; Amitav Chakravarti; Pietro Ortoleva; George Gaskell; Andriy Ivchenko; Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva; Francesco Mureddu; Caroline Rudisill

  1. By: Goto, Jun; Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Aoyagi, Keitaro
    Abstract: This paper investigates the interplay between economic incentives and social norms in formulating rice planting contracts in the Philippines. In our study area, despite the potential for pervasive opportunistic behaviors by workers, a fixed-wage (FW) contract has been dominant for rice planting. To account for the use of this seemingly inefficient contractual arrangement, we adopt a hybrid experimental method of framed field experiments by randomized controlled trials (RCT), in which we randomly assign three distinct labor contracts—FW, individual piece rate (IPR), and group piece rate (GPR)—and artefactual field experiments to elicit social preference parameters. Through analyses of individual workers' performance data from framed field experiments and data on social preferences elicited by artefactual field experiments, three main empirical findings emerge. First, our basic results show the positive incentive effects in IPR and, equivalently, moral hazard problems in FW, which are consistent with standard theoretical implications. Second, non-monetary incentives seem to play a significant role under FW: while social preferences such as altruism and guilt aversion play an important role in stimulating incentives under FW, introducing monetary incentives crowds out such intrinsic motivations, and other nonmonetary factors such as positive peer effects significantly enhance incentives under a FW contract. Finally, as alternative hypotheses, our empirical results are not necessarily consistent with the hypothesis of the interlinked contract of labor and credit transactions in mitigating moral hazard problems, the optimality of FW contract under large effort measurement errors, and the intertemporal incentives arising from performance-based contract renewal probabilities. Hence, considering the interplay of intrinsic motivations and monetary incentives as well as the monetary costs of mitigating moral hazard and free-riding problems through IPR, we may conclude that seemingly perverse traditional contractual arrangements might be socially efficient.
    Keywords: Randomized controlled trials, incentives, social preferences, peer effect, labor contract, field experiments
    JEL: D03 C93 D22 C91
    Date: 2015–03
  2. By: Leonie (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark); Christina Gravert (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
    Abstract: Perseverance to accomplish long-term goals, also know as grit, is a crucial determinant for success in life. In the present study we introduce an innovative laboratory design to elicit grit in an incentivized and controlled way. Subjects work on a computerized task to solve anagrams. By observing their decision not to shirk, we measure their grittiness experimentally. We find that the original questionnaire measure of grit developed by Duckworth et al. (2007) is significantly correlated with our new experimental measure - even when controlling for ability and a questionnaire measure of self-control. Moreover, subjects' earnings increase in their experimentally elicited grit
    Keywords: Grit, perseverance, laboratory experiment, real-effort task
    JEL: C91 D03 M50
    Date: 2015–07–10
  3. By: Noussair, Charles (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Habetinova, Lenka
    Abstract: We report an experiment to study the effect of defaults on charitable giving. In<br/>three different treatments, participants face varying default levels of donation. In<br/>three other treatments that are paired with the first three, they receive the same<br/>defaults, but are informed that defaults are thought to have an effect on their donation decisions. The emotional state of all individuals is monitored throughout the sessions using Facereading software, and some participants are required to report their emotional state after the donation decision. We find that the default level has no effect on donations, and informing individuals of the possible impact of defaults also has no effect. The decision to donate is independent of prior emotional state, unless specific subgroups of participants are considered. Donors experience a negative change in the valence of their emotional state subsequent to donating, when valence is measured with Facereading software. This contrasts with the selfreport data, in which donating correlates with a more positive reported subsequent emotional state.
    Keywords: charitable giving; emotion; default; facereading
    JEL: C91
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Robert Sugden (University of East Anglia); Mengjie Wang (University of East Anglia); Daniel John Zizzo (Newcastle University)
    Abstract: Time-limited offers have become one of the most frequently applied pricing practices worldwide. We devise an experiment to explore the influence of time-limited offers on consumers’ behaviour and the mechanisms by which time-limited offers generate this influence. In our experimental tasks, subjects choose among several offers in which one might be time-limited. We vary the time pressure level, the offer value and the occurrence timing of time-limited offers. We control the amount of feedback information that subjects get in various treatments and also subjects’ degree of risk aversion. The experimental results show a strong tendency for subjects to choose time-limited offers. Feedback information has a significant impact on subjects' decisions. Subjects' decision quality shows no improvement with experience. Time-limited offers cause significant consumer welfare losses.
    JEL: C91 D03 D12 D18
    Date: 2015–10–27
  5. By: Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene (Universidad de Alicante); Giovanni Ponti (Universidad de Alicante); Josefa Tomás Lucas (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: Gneezy and Potters (1997) run an experiment to test the empirical content of Myopic Loss Aversion (MLA). They find that the attractiveness of a risky asset depends upon the investors’ time horizon: consistently with MLA, individuals are more willing to take risks when they evaluate their investments less frequently. This paper shows that these experimental findings can be easily accommodated by the most standard version of Expected Utility Theory, namely a CRRA specification. Additionally, we use four different datasets to estimate a CRRA model and two alternative MLA versions, together with various mixture specifications of the two competing models. Our econometric exercise finds little evidence of subjects’ loss aversion, which provides empirical ground for our theoretical claim.
    Keywords: Expected Utility Theory, Myopic Loss Aversion, Evaluation Period
    JEL: C91 D81 D14
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Alain Cohn; Michel André Maréchal; Frédéric Schneider; Roberto A. Weber
    Abstract: We study whether employment history can provide information about a worker’s noncognitive skills—in particular about “work attitude,” or the ability to work well and cooperatively with others. Our hypothesis is that, holding all else equal, a worker’s frequent job changes can indicate poorer work attitude, and that this information is transmitted in labor markets through employment histories. We provide support for this hypothesis across three studies that employ complementary lab, field, and survey experiments. First, using a laboratory labor market in which the only valuable characteristic of workers is their reliability in complying with an employer’s effort requests, we demonstrate that prior employment information allows employers to screen for such reliability and allows high-reliability workers to obtain better employment outcomes. Second, we conduct a field experiment in which we vary the frequency of job changes in fictitious job applicants’ resumes. Those applicants with fewer job changes receive more callbacks from prospective employers. A third survey experiment with human resource professionals confirms that the resume manipulations in the field study create different perceptions of work attitude and that these account for the callback differences. Our work highlights the potential importance of job history as a signal of worker characteristics, and points to a cost for workers of frequent job changes.
    Keywords: Employability; work attitude; job mobility
    JEL: C90 C93 J01 E24
    Date: 2015–11
  7. By: Harin, Alexander
    Abstract: In random–lottery incentive experiments, the choices of certain outcomes are stimulated by uncertain lotteries. This “certain–uncertain” inconsistency is evident, but only recently emphasized. Because of it, conclusions from a random–lottery incentive experiment that includes a certain outcome cannot be unquestionably correct. Well-known experimental results and purely mathematical theorems support this. The main result presented here is: The usual experimental systems of utility and prospect theories may need additional independent analyses in the context of the “certain–uncertain” inconsistency.
    Keywords: utility; prospect theory; experiment; incentive; random-lottery incentive system; Prelec; probability weighting function;
    JEL: C1 C9 C90 C91 C93 D8 D81
    Date: 2015–11–16
  8. By: Katrin Schmelz; Anthony Ziegelmeyer
    Abstract: We test experimentally whether monitoring is less likely to reduce work motivation in distant than in close principal-agent relationships. Employing the same standard subject pool of students, we compare a laboratory and an internet implementation of an experimental principal-agent game where the principal can impose control at two different levels on the agent. Agency relationships are arguably more distant in the internet than in the laboratory setting. We find that differences in agents' effort due to an increase in the level of control are larger in the internet than in the laboratory experiment. The effect is driven by both higher intrinsic motivation and stronger control aversion in the laboratory. Agents' effort differences are fairly stable over time in both experiments which indicates that even experienced agents react more negatively to the implementation of control in the laboratory than on the internet.
    Keywords: Control, Crowding effects of control, Internet, Motivation, Social distance, Workplace arrangements
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Jordi Brandts; David J. Cooper
    Abstract: We introduce a new game to the experimental literature and use it to study how behavioral phenomena affect the tradeoffs between centralized and decentralized management. Our game models an organization with two divisions and one central manager. Each division must choose or be assigned a product. Ignoring asymmetric information, the underlying game is an asymmetric coordination game related to the Battle of the Sexes. In equilibrium, the divisions coordinate on identical products. Each division prefers an equilibrium where the selected products are closest to its local tastes while central management prefers the efficient equilibrium, determined by a randomly state of the world, which maximizes total payoffs. The state of the world is known to the divisions, but the central manager only learns about it through messages from the divisions who have incentives to lie. Contrary to the theory, overall performance is higher under centralization, where the central manager assigns products to divisions after receiving messages from the divisions, than under decentralization where the divisions choose their own products. Underlying this, mis-coordination is common under decentralization and divisions fail to use their information when they do coordinate. Mis-coordination is non-existent under centralization and there is a high degree of truth-telling by divisions as well. Performance under centralization is depressed by persistent sub-optimal use of information by central managers.
    Keywords: Coordination, experiments, Organizations, Asymmetric Information
    JEL: C92 D23 J31 L23 M52
    Date: 2015–11
  10. By: Mike Farjam (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics)
    Abstract: We study in an experiment whether humans prefer to depend on decisions of other humans (social uncertainty) or states of nature (environmental uncertainty). In the social uncertainty treatments subjects depend only on past decisions of other humans. This is the first experiment that studies social uncertainty that does not derive from a strategic situation. The results indicate that even without any strategic context humans prefer lotteries where the distribution of outcomes is due to states of nature to lotteries where the distribution is due to decisions of humans. This holds even when distributions are identical and known to subjects.
    Keywords: Ambiguity aversion, Experiment, Risk, Social Uncertainty
    JEL: C91 D81
    Date: 2015–11–19
  11. By: Fabio Galeotti (University of Lyon); Maria Montero (University of Nottingham); Anders Poulsen (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: We collect experimental data from unstructured bargaining situations where bargainers are free to communicate via written messages. We vary the set of feasible contracts, thereby allowing us to assess the focality of three properties of bargaining outcomes: equality, Pareto efficiency, and total earnings maximization. Our main findings are that subjects avoid an equal earnings contract if it is Pareto inefficient; a large proportion of bargaining pairs avoid equal and Pareto efficient contracts in favor of unequal and total earnings maximizing contracts, and this proportion increases when unequal contracts offer larger earnings to one of the players, even though this implies higher inequality. Finally, observed behavior violates the Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives axiom, a result we attribute to a 'compromise effect'.
    Keywords: bargaining, efficiency, equality, communication, experiment, independence of irrelevant alternatives
    JEL: C70 C72 C92
    Date: 2015–10–24
  12. By: Feige, Christian; Ehrhart, Karl-Martin
    Abstract: In a laboratory experiment, we investigate if groups consisting of two heterogeneous player types (with different marginal contribution costs) can increase their total contributions and payoffs in a threshold public goods game if transfer payments are possible among the players. We find that transfer payments are indeed used in many groups to shift contributions from high-cost players to low-cost players, thereby not only increasing social welfare, but also equalizing payoffs. In a repeated setting with individual voluntary contributions and transfers, this redistribution effect takes a few rounds to manifest and high-cost players benefit the most in terms of payoffs. The same beneficial effect of transfer payments can also be achieved in a one-shot setting by having the groups vote unanimously on contributions and transfers of all players.
    Keywords: threshold public good,transfer payments,experimental economics,unanimous voting,committee,heterogeneity
    JEL: C92 D71 H41
    Date: 2015
  13. By: Fochmann, Martin; Hemmerich, Kristina; Kiesewetter, Dirk
    Abstract: In a variety of recent papers, it is shown that individuals do not take taxes correctly into account, which results in distorted or unexpected investment behavior. We shed further light on the discussion of such behavioral tax perception biases by analyzing intrinsic and extrinsic effects on decision behavior. We study two dimensions: (1) the influence of emotions and cognition (individual dimension, intrinsic effects) and (2) the influence of available tax information by varying tax complexity and salience (tax system dimension, extrinsic effects). In our laboratory experiment, we construct the payoff structure such that the subjects are confronted with exactly the same choices in net terms in a situation with or without a capital gains tax. This design allows us to identify pure tax perception biases. We show that both dimensions are able to explain tax perception biases. In particular, we find evidence that perceived risk (cognition) is lower and consequently willingness to take risk is higher with a capital gains tax (with full loss offset provision) than without taxation. Furthermore, this positive effect on risky investment is higher in a situation with a rather low level of tax information in which tax complexity is high and tax salience is low. In addition, we are able to provide evidence that the use of decision heuristics can explain the observed tax bias differences between our information treatments. In particular, we find a negative relationship between the information level and the use of heuristics.
    Keywords: Tax Perception,Behavioral Taxation,Risk Taking Behavior,Tax Complexity,Tax Salience,Affect and Cognition,Experimental Economics
    JEL: C91 D14 H24
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Brüggemann, Julia
    Abstract: The effects of public subsidies in supporting private innovative activity is subject to longstanding political and scientific debates. Since the empirical findings remain largely inconclusive, this study adds to this debate with counterfactual evidence from a laboratory experiment. In a creative real effort task simulating the innovation process, two distinct means of allocating subsidies are compared to a benchmark treatment without subsidies to identify their effects in fostering innovativeness. Furthermore, subjects' cooperative behavior in relation to subsidies is investigated. Overall, subsidies lead to a substantial crowding-out of private investment. While the individual revenues increase due to the subsidy, the innovative activity fails to increase and less sophisticated innovations are realized. Consequently, subsidies have no positive and even negative effects on overall welfare, depending on the subsidy specifics. However, subsidies do not influence cooperative behavior. These findings imply that the additional costs of subsidies for innovations might not be warranted by gains from additional innovations and increased welfare.
    Keywords: creativity,innovation policy,laboratory experiment,real effort task,subsidies
    JEL: C91 H25 O31
    Date: 2015
  15. By: Fuje,Habtamu Neda; Tandon,Prateek
    Abstract: This study presents evidence from a randomized control trial (RCT) in Mongolia on the impact of in-service teacher training and books, both as separate educational inputs and as a package. The study tests for the complementarity of inputs and non-linearity of returns from investment in education as measured by students'test scores in five subjects. It takes advantage of a national-scale RCT conducted under the Rural Education and Development project. The results suggest that the provision of books, in addition to teacher training, raises student achievement substantially. However, teacher training and books weakly improve test scores when provided individually. Students whose teachers have received training and whose classrooms have acquired books improved their cumulative score (totaled across five tests) by 34.9 percent of a standard deviation, relative to a control group. Students treated only with books improved their total score by 20.6 percent of a standard deviation relative to a control group of students. On the other hand, extra teacher training did not have a statistically significant effect on the total test score. In addition, providing both inputs jointly improved test scores in most subjects, which was not the case when either input was provided individually. This study sheds light on the relevance of supplementing teacher training schemes with appropriate teaching materials in resource-poor settings. The policy implication is that isolated education investments, in settings where complementary inputs are missing, could deliver minimal or no return.
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–11–09
  16. By: Nobuyuki Hanaki (GREDEG, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, and Skema Business School. 250 Rue Albert Einstein, 06560, Valbonne, France); Nicolas Jacquemet (Paris School of Economics and University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. MSE, 106 Bd de l'hopital, 75013 Paris); Stéphane Luchini (Université de Lyon, F-69007, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, 93, Chemin des Mouilles, F-69130, Ecully, France; Université Lyon 2, Lyon, F-69007, France); Adam Zylbersztejn (Université de Lyon, F-69007, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, 93, Chemin des Mouilles, F-69130, Ecully, France; Université Lyon 2, Lyon, F-69007, France)
    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 ability are more sensitive to strategic uncertainty than those with lower cognitive ability.
    Keywords: Strategic Uncertainty, Bounded Rationality, Robot, Experiment
    JEL: C92 D83
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Nadine Chlaß (Department of Economics, University of Turku, Finland and University of Jena, Germany); Lata Gangadharan (Department of Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia); Kristy Jones (Department of Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
    Abstract: Charitable donations are often made through intermediaries who can fund themselves from these same donations. Donors who purchase charitable output through an intermediary incur a principal-agent problem with unobservable prices. We compare charitable giving in an experiment with and without intermediation. Different donor types emerge: 41 per-cent of all donors reduce their donation in response to intermediation, 59 per-cent of all donors give as much or more with than without intermediation. The price of charitable output does not explain these types and appears to only matter after taking characteristics of donors' moral judgement into account.
    Keywords: charitable giving, altruism, intermediation, charitable institutions, price elasticity, moral judgement reasoning
    JEL: C91 D64 L31
    Date: 2015–11–19
  18. By: Debosree Banerjee (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Marcela Ibanez (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Gerhard Riener (University of Düsseldorf); Meike Wollni (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: Gender equity in the creation and enforcement of social norms is important not only as a normative principle but it can also support long term economic growth. Yet in most societies, coercive power is in the hands of men. We investigate whether this form of segregation is due to inherent gender differences in the willingness to volunteer for take on positions of power. In order to study whether potential differences are innate or driven by social factors, we implement a public goods game with endogenous third-party punishment in matrilineal and patriarchal societies in India. Our findings indicate that segregation in coercive roles is due to conformity with pre-assigned gender roles in both cultures. We find that women in the matrilineal society are more willing to assume the role of norm enforcer than men while the opposite is true in the patriarchal society. Moreover, we find that changes in the institutional environment that are associated with a decrease in the exposure and accountability of the norm enforcer, result in increased participation of the segregated gender. Our results suggest that the organizational environment can be adjusted to increase representation of women in positions of power, and that it is critical to take the cultural context into account.
    Keywords: Gender; Norm enforcement; Segregation; Third party punisher; Public goods game
    JEL: C90 C92 C93 C92 D03 D70 D81 J16
    Date: 2015–11–13
  19. By: Natalia Jiménez (Dpto. Teoría e Historia Económica); Ángel Solano-García (Dpto. Teoría e Historia Económica)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze how the punishment behavior of a democratically elected official varies when facing an electoral process (opportunism). To this aim, we conduct an economic experiment in which officials are third party punishers in a public goods game. We consider two different scenarios which differ in the degree of cooperation within the society. We¿find that officials increase their punishment when they face elections in both scenarios. Contrary to candidates expectations, voters always vote for the least severe candidate. En este artículo se analiza como el comportamiento sancionador varía si el que decide el grado de la sanción es elegido democráticamente o no. Para esto realizamos un experimento de laboratorio en el que unos sancionadores externos pueden castigar el comportamiento no cooperativo en un juego de bienes públicos. Consideramos dos posibles escenarios, uno donde existe una gran cooperación y otro donde ésta es escasa. Nuestros resultados muestran que aquellos sancionadores que se enfrentan a un proceso electoral son más duros en su castigo en ambos escenarios. Sin embargo, contrariamente a las expectativas de los candidatos, los votantes votan por el candidato menos severo.
    Keywords: Oportunismo, castigo, juego de bienes públicos, votación, experimentos de laboratorio. Opportunism, Punishment, Public Goods Games, Voting, Experiments
    JEL: C92 D72 H4
    Date: 2015–11
  20. By: Peeters R.J.A.P.; Wolk K.L. (GSBE)
    Abstract: In this paper we design and test a competitive forecasting mechanism based on the Colonel Blotto game. In the game, forecasters allocate a fixed number of resources to different battlefields. Each field is realized with a probability that is determined by a stochastic process. Subjects learn about the underlying process during the course of the experiment and thereby form beliefs about the probability that a field is selected. Once a field is selected, the subject competes for a payoff that is associated with the number of resources allocated to that field. We implement two different payment rules, a lottery and an auction, and find that the lottery outperforms the auction. This relative underperformance of the auction can be attributed to the strategic uncertainty being too high in the auction and the strong incentives to misalign allocations.
    Keywords: Noncooperative Games; Design of Experiments: Laboratory, Group Behavior; Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design; Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief;
    JEL: C72 C92 D82 D83
    Date: 2015
  21. By: Belot, Michele (University of Edinburgh); Kircher, Philipp (University of Edinburgh); Muller, Paul (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Helping job seekers to identify suitable jobs is a key challenge for policy makers. We develop and evaluate experimentally a novel tool that provides tailored advice at low cost and thereby redesigns the process through which job seekers search for jobs. We invited 300 job seekers to our computer facilities for 12 consecutive weekly sessions. They searched for real jobs using our web interface. After 3 weeks, we introduced a manipulation of the interface for half of the sample:instead of relying on their own search criteria, we displayed relevant other occupations to them and the jobs that were available in these occupations. These suggestions were based on background information and readily available labor market data. We recorded search behavior on our site but also surveyed participants every week on their other search activities, applications and job interviews. We find that these suggestions broaden the set of jobs considered by the average participant. More importantly, we find that they are invited to significantly more job interviews. These effects are predominantly driven by job seekers who searched relatively narrowly initially and who have been unemployed for a few months.<p>
    Keywords: Online job search; occupational broadness; search design.
    JEL: C93 D83 J62
    Date: 2015–11
  22. By: Malte Sandner
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a randomized study of a home visiting program implemented in Germany for low-income, first-time mothers. A major goal of the program is to improve the participants’ economic self-sufficiency and family planning. I use administrative data from the German social security system and detailed telephone surveys to examine the effects of the intervention on maternal employment, welfare benefits, and household composition. The study reveals that the intervention unintentionally decreased maternal employment and increased subsequent births. These results contradict those of previous studies from the United States, where home visiting programs successfully increased employment and decreased fertility. Analyzing the reason for the different results, suggests that the program interacts with low employment incentives and generous welfare state arrangements for disadvantaged mothers with young children inGermany.
    Keywords: Early Childhood Intervention, Randomized Experiment, Fertility
    JEL: J13 J12 I21 H52
    Date: 2015
  23. By: Francesco Bogliacino; Cristiano Codagnone; Giuseppe Alessandro Veltri; Amitav Chakravarti; Pietro Ortoleva; George Gaskell; Andriy Ivchenko; Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva; Francesco Mureddu; Caroline Rudisill
    Abstract: In this article we use data from a multi-country Randomized Control Trial study on the effect of anti-tobacco pictorial warnings on an individual’s emotions and behavior. By exploiting the exogenous variations of images as an instrument, we are able to identify the effect of emotional responses. We use a range of outcome variables, from cognitive (risk perception and depth of processing) to behavioural (willingness to buy and willingness to pay). Our findings suggest that the odds of buying a tobacco product can be reduced by 80% if the negative affect elicited by the images increases by one standard deviation. More importantly from a public policy perspective, not all emotions behave alike, as eliciting shame, anger, or distress proves more effective in reducing smoking than fear and disgust.
    JEL: C99 I18
    Date: 2015–10–20

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