nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2016‒02‒23
25 papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Raising the Price of Talk: An Experimental Analysis of Transparent Leadership By Daniel Houser; David M. Levy; Kail Padgitt; Sandra J. Peart; Erte Xiao
  2. Income inequality and risk taking By Schmidt, Ulrich; Neyse, Levent; Aleknonyte, Milda
  3. Cheating in the Lab Predicts Fraud in the Field: An Experiment in Public Transportations By Dai, Zhixin; Galeotti, Fabio; Villeval, Marie Claire
  4. Loss Aversion and Competition in Vickrey Auctions: Money Ain't No Good By Rosato, Antonio; Tymula, Agnieszka
  5. The Efficiency of Crackdowns: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Public Transportations By Zhixin Dai; Fabio Galeotti; Marie Claire Villeval
  6. Small cash rewards for big losers : experimental insights into the fight against the obesity epidemic By Augurzky,Boris; Bauer,Thomas K.; Reichert,Arndt Rudiger; Schmidt,Christoph M.; Tauchmann,Harald
  7. Beliefs About People’s Prosociality Eliciting predictions in dictator games By András Molnár; Christophe Heintz
  8. Voluntary Cooperation in Local Public Goods Provision. An Experimental Study By Andrej Angelowski; Daniela Di Cagno; Werner Güth; Francesca Marazzi; Luca Panaccione
  9. Heaven Game By Aurora García-Gallego; Nikolaos Georgantzís; Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutiérrez
  10. Intuitive cooperation in The Hague : A natural field experiment By Artavia Mora, L.D.
  11. Impact of altruistic behavior on group cooperation: A mechanism working in the presence of an altruist may solve the public goods provision problem By Hiroki Ozono; Yoshio Kamijo; Kazumi Shimizu
  12. Incentivizing Quantity and Quality of Output: An Experimental Investigation of the Quantity-Quality Trade-off By Rubin, Jared; Samek, Anya; Sheremeta, Roman
  13. Identifying Ideology: Experimental Evidence on Anti-Americanism in Pakistan By Bursztyn, Leonardo; Callen, Michael; Ferman, Bruno; Gulzar, Saad; Hasanain, Ali; Yuchtman, Noam
  14. Can Self-Help Groups Really Be 'Self-Help'? By Greaney, Brian; Kaboski, Joseph P.; Van Leemput, Eva
  15. Reciprocity evolving: partner choice and communication in a repeated prisoner’s dilemma By Strømland, Eirik; Tjøtta, Sigve; Torsvik, Gaute
  16. Indirect Higher Order Beliefs and Cooperation By WU, JIABIN
  17. Bidding with money or action plans? Asset allocation under strategic uncertainty By Katerina Sherstyuk; Nina Karmanskaya; Pavel Teslia
  18. Information and Communication Technologies, Prenatal Care Services and Neonatal Health By Diether Beuermann; Rafael Anta; Patricia J. García; Alessandro Maffioli; Jose Perez Lu; Maria Fernanda Rodrigo
  19. Knowledge about aerosol injection does not reduce individual mitigation efforts By Merk, Christine; Pönitzsch, Gert; Rehdanz, Katrin
  20. An integrated algorithm for the optimal design of stated choice experiments with partial profiles By CUERVO, Daniel Palhazi; KESSELS, Roselinde; GOOS, Peter; SÖRENSEN, Kenneth
  21. Does Active Choosing Promote Green Energy Use? Experimental Evidence By Simon Hedlin; Cass R. Sunstein
  22. The Effect of Survey Design on Extreme Response Style: Rating Job Satisfaction By Luisa Corrado; Majlinda Joxhe
  24. Utilitarian Moral Judgments Are Cognitively Too Demanding By Da Silva, Sergio; Matsushita, Raul; De Sousa, Maicon
  25. Multicandidate Elections: Aggregate Uncertainty in the Laboratory By Laurent Bouton; Micael Castanheira De Moura; A. Llorente-Saguer

  1. By: Daniel Houser (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University); David M. Levy (Center for the Study of Public Choice and Department of Economics, George Mason University); Kail Padgitt (Tax Foundation); Sandra J. Peart (University of Richmond); Erte Xiao (Department of Social and Decision Sciences Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: Does transparent leadership promote cooperative groups? We address this issue using a public goods experiment with exogenously selected leaders who are able to send non-binding contribution suggestions to the group. To investigate the effect of transparency in this setting we vary the ease with which a leader’s actions are known by the group. We find leaders’ suggestions encourage cooperation in all treatments, but that both leaders and their group members are more likely to follow leaders’ recommendations when institutions are transparent so that non-leaders can easily see what the leader does. Consequently, transparency leads to significantly more cooperation, higher group earnings and reduced variation in contributions among group members. Length: 46
    Keywords: experimental economics
    Date: 2014–06
  2. By: Schmidt, Ulrich; Neyse, Levent; Aleknonyte, Milda
    Abstract: Standard economic theory assumes that individual risk taking decisions are independent from the social context. Recent experimental evidence however shows that the income of peers has a systematic impact on observed degrees of risk aversion. In particular, subjects strive for balance in the sense that they take higher risks if this gives them the chance to break even with their peers. The present paper is, to the best of our knowledge, the first systematic analysis of income inequality and risk taking. We perform a real effort field experiment where inequality is introduced to different wage rates. After the effort phase subjects can invest (part of) their salary into a risky asset. Besides the above mentioned possibility of higher risk taking of low-wage individuals to break even with high-wage individuals, risk taking can be influenced by an income effect consistent with e.g. decreasing absolute risk aversion and a house money effect of high- wage individuals. Our results show that the dominant impact of inequality on risk taking is what can be termed a social house money effect: high-wage individuals take higher risks than low- wage individuals only if they are aware of the inequality in wages.
    Keywords: Risk,Inequality,Real Effort,Field Experiment,Social Comparison
    JEL: D81 C93 D63 J31
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Dai, Zhixin (CNRS, GATE); Galeotti, Fabio (CNRS, GATE); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: We conduct an artefactual field experiment using a diversified sample of passengers of public transportations to study attitudes towards dishonesty. We find that the diversity of behavior in terms of dis/honesty in laboratory tasks and in the field correlate. Moreover, individuals who have just been fined in the field behave more honestly in the lab than the other fare-dodgers, except when context is introduced. Overall, we show that simple tests of dishonesty in the lab can predict moral firmness in life, although frauders who care about social image cheat less when behavior can be verified ex post by the experimenter.
    Keywords: dishonesty, fare-dodging, field experiment, external validity, public transportations
    JEL: B41 C91 C93 K42
    Date: 2016–02
  4. By: Rosato, Antonio; Tymula, Agnieszka
    Abstract: We present results from an experiment with a within-subject design aimed at testing a unique prediction of expectations-based reference-dependent preferences and loss aversion in private-value second-price (Vickrey) auctions. If bidders have expectationsbased reference-dependent preferences, the total number of participants in an auction should affect bids in auctions for real objects but not in auctions with induced monetary values. Our findings are consistent with expectations-based reference-dependent preferences and loss aversion. In real-object auctions, subjects' bids are affected by the number of competitors and, on average, they decline with the intensity of competition. In induced-value auctions, instead, bids are unaffected by the intensity of competition. We also successfully replicate an experiment from Sprenger (2015) aimed at distinguishing expectations-based loss aversion from models of Disappointment Aversion. This provides additional evidence that our findings in the auction experiments are due to expectations-based loss aversion.
    Keywords: Auctions; Reference-Dependent Preferences; Loss Aversion; Expectations
    JEL: C91 C92 D03 D44 D81 D84
    Date: 2016–02–08
  5. By: Zhixin Dai (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France); Fabio Galeotti (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France); Marie Claire Villeval (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: The concentration of high frequency controls in a limited period of time (“crackdowns”) constitutes an important feature of many law-enforcement policies around the world. In this paper, we offer a comprehensive investigation on the relative efficiency and effectiveness of various crackdown policies using a lab-in-the-field experiment with real passengers of a public transport service. We introduce a novel game, the daily public transportation game, where subjects have to decide, over many periods, whether to buy or not a ticket knowing that there might be a control. Our results show that (a) concentrated crackdowns are less effective and efficient than random controls; (b) prolonged crackdowns reduce fare-dodging during the period of intense monitoring but induces a burst of fraud as soon as they are withdrawn; (c) pre-announced controls induces more fraud in the periods without control. Overall, we also observe that real fare-dodgers fraud more in the experiment than non-faredodgers.
    Keywords: Crackdowns, fraud, risk, monitoring, transportation, field experiment
    JEL: C91 D83 K42
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Augurzky,Boris; Bauer,Thomas K.; Reichert,Arndt Rudiger; Schmidt,Christoph M.; Tauchmann,Harald
    Abstract: This paper examines the sustainability of weight loss achieved through cash rewards and, for the first time, the potential of monetary incentives to prevent weight cycling. In a three period randomized controlled trial, about 700 obese persons were assigned to two treatment groups, which were promised different cash rewards contingent on the achievement of an individually assigned target weight, and to a control group. Successful participants were subsequently allocated to two treatment groups offered different monetary incentives for maintaining the previously achieved target weight and to a control group. This is the first experiment of this kind that finds sustainable effects of weight loss rewards on the body weight of the obese even 18 months after the rewards were removed. Additional incentives to maintain an achieved body weight improve the sustainability of weight loss only while are in place.
    Keywords: Science Education,Disease Control&Prevention,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Engineering,Scientific Research&Science Parks
    Date: 2015–06–26
  7. By: András Molnár; Christophe Heintz
    Abstract: One of the most pervasive economic decisions that people have to take is whether to enter an economic interaction. A rational decision process takes into account the probability that the partner will act in a favorable way, making the interaction or the cooperative activity beneficial. Do people actually decide upon such predictions? If yes, are these predictions accurate? We describe a novel experimental method for eliciting participants' implicit beliefs about their partners' prosociality: In a modified dictator game, receivers are offered to forgo what the dictator shall transfer and take a sure amount instead. We then infer receivers' subjective probabilities that the dictator makes a prosocial decision. Our results show that people do form prior beliefs about others' actions based on others' incentives, and that they decide whether to enter an interaction based on these beliefs. People know that others have prosocial as well as selfish preferences, yet the prior beliefs about others' prosocial choices is biased: First, participants underestimate others' prosociality. Second, their predictions about others' choice correlate with their own choice, reflecting a consensus effect. We also find a systematic difference between implicit and explicit predictions of others' choices: Implicit beliefs reflect more trust towards others than explicit statements.
    Date: 2016–01–21
  8. By: Andrej Angelowski (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome); Daniela Di Cagno (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome); Werner Güth (Luiss Guido Carli, Rome; Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt; Max Planck Institute on Collective Goods, Bonn); Francesca Marazzi (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata); Luca Panaccione (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: In a circular neighborhood with each member having a left and a right neighbor, individuals choose two contribution levels, one each for the public good shared with the left, respectively right, neighbor. This allows for general free riders, who do not contribute at all, and general cooperators, who contribute to both local public goods, as well as for differentiating contributors who contribute in a discriminatory way. Although the two-person local public good games are structurally independent, we investigate whether intra- as well as interpersonal spillover effects arise. We find that participants do not behave as if they are playing two separate public good games, hence that both inter-personal and intrapersonal behavioral spillovers occur. To investigate more clearly motives for voluntary cooperation via analyzing individual adaptations in playing two structurally independent games, we design treatments differing in cooperation incentives (i.e. different MPCR) and structural (a)symmetry of local public goods. We find that when the MPCR is asymmetric, free-riding occurs less, and contributions are more stable over time. We also find that contributions in the asymmetric treatment when MPCR is low are higher than contributions in symmetric treatments with higher MPCR.
    Keywords: Public goods, experiments, voluntary contribution mechanism
    JEL: C91 C72 H41
    Date: 2015–12
  9. By: Aurora García-Gallego (LEE-Ec. Dpt., U. Jaume I (Spain)); Nikolaos Georgantzís (Agriculture Policy and Development, University of Reading (UK) &LEE & Economics Dept., Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain)); Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutiérrez (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)
    Abstract: We present an experiment on the Heaven game, a generalization of the dictator game. The heavendictator player chooses between increasing, decreasing and maintaining the earnings of the passive player, without incurring any cost or profit. Thus, we avoid the experimenter demand effect. Based on the psychological literature on music as mood inductor and on the effects of mood on helping behavior, we also study the effect of exposure to different types of music on the heaven-dictator choices. We find that the overwhelming majority of subjects choose to increase their partners’ earnings and no general effect of music over the heaven-dictator choices, except for classical music that seems to foster helping-indifference behavior.
    Keywords: experimental economics, behavioural economics, other-regarding preferences, musicinduced mood, dictator game
    JEL: C72 C91
    Date: 2015–12–07
  10. By: Artavia Mora, L.D.
    Abstract: Cooperation is at the centre of human nature and at the heart of social transformations. Grasping how strangers cooperate and behave with each other may permit a better understanding of the way societies function and can develop as they modernize. To advance this comprehension, this study examines whether humans are naturally predisposed towards cooperation or selfishness, and how their behavior changes when people have more time to think. To answer these questions, the study implements an original natural field experiment which exogenously varies response times (through average human walking time) to analyze the intuitive and rational underpinnings of human behavior. The experimental findings suggest that while humans are naturally inclined to help each other, they start behaving more selfishly as thinking time increases. There is also clear evidence that humans are prone to withhold help when strangers violate social norms and the likelihood of such indirect punishment increases when they have more time to think.
    Keywords: cooperation, natural field experiment, dual-reasoning, The Hague
    Date: 2016–01–29
  11. By: Hiroki Ozono (Faculty of Law, Economics and Humanities, Kagoshima University); Yoshio Kamijo (Department of Management, Kochi University of Technology); Kazumi Shimizu (School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose a new mechanism to achieve cooperation in public goods provision. The mechanism is named GEM, which stands for gradualism, endogeneity, and modification, its important properties. In a public goods game with GEM, spread over 20 periods, a target contribution is presented to the players in each period. The target is gradually increased when all members reach it. If players contribute less than the target in a certain period, the minimum contribution will be treated as the next period’s target. In the experiment, the GEM mechanism achieved a high level of cooperation when the participants’contributions were restricted to the target. However, when participants were allowed to contribute more than the target, cooperation was not achieved because of the presence of“excessive altruists”—participants who contributed more than the target.This is because excessive cooperation facilitated free riding by other members. Finally,we discuss the limitation and possibilities of the GEM mechanism.
    Keywords: cooperation, public goods game, altruist, experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 M54
    Date: 2014–08
  12. By: Rubin, Jared; Samek, Anya; Sheremeta, Roman
    Abstract: Firms face an optimization problem that requires a maximal quantity output given a quality constraint. How firms should incentivize quantity and quality to meet these dual goals remains an open question, potentially due to limitations of field data. We provide a theoretical model and conduct an experiment in which participants are paid for both quantity and quality of a real effort task. Consistent with the theoretical predictions, higher quality incentives encourage participants to shift their attention from quantity to quality, and higher quality incentives reduce inefficient decision-making. We also observe behavioral components in responsiveness to the quality incentive.
    Keywords: quantity, quality, experiment, incentives, real effort, loss aversion
    JEL: D24 J24 J31 J41
    Date: 2016–01–27
  13. By: Bursztyn, Leonardo; Callen, Michael; Ferman, Bruno; Gulzar, Saad; Hasanain, Ali; Yuchtman, Noam
    Abstract: Identifying the role of intrinsic, ideological motivation in political behavior is confounded by agents' consequential aims and social concerns. We present results from two experiments that implement a methodology isolating Pakistani men's intrinsic motives for expressing anti-American ideology, in a context with clearly-specified financial costs, but minimal consequential or social considerations. Over one-quarter of subjects forgo around one-fifth of a day's wage to avoid anonymously checking a box indicating gratitude toward the U.S. government, thus revealing anti-Americanism. We find that ideological expression responds to financial and social incentives, and that measured ideology predicts membership in a major anti-American political party.
    Keywords: Ideology; Political Expression; Political Participation; Revealed Preference Measurement
    JEL: C90 D03 P16
    Date: 2016–02
  14. By: Greaney, Brian (Yale University); Kaboski, Joseph P. (University of Notre Dame); Van Leemput, Eva (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))
    Abstract: We provide an experimental and theoretical evaluation of a cost-reducing innovation in the delivery of "self-help group" microfinance services, in which privatized agents earn payments through membership fees for providing services. Under the status quo, agents are paid by an outside donor and offer members free services. In our multi-country randomized control trial we evaluate the change in this incentive scheme on agent behavior and performance, and on overall village-level outcomes. We find that privatized agents start groups, attract members, mobilize savings, and intermediate loans at similar levels after a year but at much lower costs to the NGO. At the village level, we find higher levels of borrowing, business-related savings, and investment in business. Examining mechanisms, we find that self-help groups serve more business-oriented clientele when facilitated by agents who face strong financial incentives.
    Keywords: Microfinance; Self-Help Groups; Privatized Delivery
    JEL: O1 O12 O16
    Date: 2016–01–08
  15. By: Strømland, Eirik (Department of Economics, University of Bergen); Tjøtta, Sigve (Department of Economics, University of Bergen); Torsvik, Gaute (Department of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Through what mechanisms do individuals enforce cooperation? In this paper, we show experimentally that partner choice by mutual consent improves cooperation compared to random matching of subjects. We find that partner choice is used to establish lasting reciprocal partnerships and thus that partner choice may be a force in the evolution of reciprocal cooperation. There is no additional impact on cooperation by allowing for both chat and partner choice. Our findings suggest that partner choice will improve cooperation in settings where ongoing group communication is infeasible, but not when there are opportunities to use large-scale communication to enforce cooperation.
    Keywords: Cooperation; Partner Choice; Communication; Reciprocity; Prisoner’s Dilemma
    JEL: C91 C92
    Date: 2016–02–15
  16. By: WU, JIABIN
    Abstract: This paper experimentally examines why communication may matter for inducing cooperation in strategic interactions involving intermediaries. We consider a three-player centipede game in which the first and the third players do not interact sequentially, but only through the second player. We posit that the third player's decision to cooperate depends on his indirect higher order belief, that is, his belief about what the first player believes the second player would choose. The evidence demonstrates that communication between the first and the third player can effectively induce cooperation from the third player through shaping his indirect higher order belief.
    Keywords: indirect higher order beliefs, communication, psychological game theory, guilt aversion, sequential reciprocity, social preferences, behavioral economics, experimental economics
    JEL: C72 C9 C91 D03 D83
    Date: 2016–02–18
  17. By: Katerina Sherstyuk (University of Hawaii); Nina Karmanskaya (Novosibirsk State Technical University); Pavel Teslia (Novosibirsk State Technical University)
    Abstract: We study, theoretically and experimentally, alternative mechanisms to allocate assets when the future value of the asset is unknown at the time of allocation because of strategic uncertainty. We compare auctions, or bidding with money, for the right to play the minimum effort coordination game, with bidding with action (effort) proposals, where bidders with the highest proposed actions are selected as winners. Provided that the bidders commit to their proposals, bidding with action proposals eliminates strategic uncertainly and is characterized by the unique fully efficient Nash equilibrium. Allowing to revise action proposals after the assets are allocated admits both informative fully efficient, and uninformative babbling equilibria. In the experiment, bidding with action proposals with commitment consistently leads to the efficient outcome, whereas without commitment, both fully efficient and inefficient outcomes are observed. Auctioning off the right to play leads to higher actions than under random allocation, but is characterized by significant overbidding and winner losses. We further experimentally compare the mechanisms in their ability to train the players to achieve and sustain efficient coordination even after the allocation mechanism changes.
    Keywords: economic experiments; minimum effort coordination game; selection mechanisms
    JEL: C90 C72
    Date: 2016–02
  18. By: Diether Beuermann; Rafael Anta; Patricia J. García; Alessandro Maffioli; Jose Perez Lu; Maria Fernanda Rodrigo
    Abstract: We evaluate the effectiveness of sending text messages to pregnant women containing appointment reminders and suggestions for healthy behaviors during pregnancy. Receiving messages had an overall positive effect of 5 percent on the number of prenatal care visits attended. Moreover, for women who live close to their assigned health center and who have higher educational attainment, the intervention positively affected vitamin intake compliance, APGAR scores, and birth weight. Evidence suggests that reminders are more effective among those who are more able to understand the future benefits of preventive care (more educated) and who face lower transaction costs of going to prenatal care checkups (located near health centers). No evidence of geographical spillover effects was found.
    Keywords: e-Health, Human health, Health Care, RCT, Peru, e-Health, experimental design, prenatal controls, health center, WAWARED, Pregnancy, electronic medical records
    Date: 2015–05
  19. By: Merk, Christine; Pönitzsch, Gert; Rehdanz, Katrin
    Abstract: Stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) is a climate engineering (CE) method that is reputed to be very effective in cooling the planet but is also thought to involve major risks and side effects. As a new option in the bid to counter climate change, it has attracted an increasing amount of research and the debate on its potential gained momentum after it was referred to in the 5th IPCC report (IPCC 2013). One major objection to SAI and the research done on it is that it could undermine commitment to the mitigation of greenhouse gases (Lawrence & Crutzen 2013; Schneider 2001). Policymakers, interest groups or individuals might wrongly perceive SAI as an easy fix for climate change and accordingly reduce their mitigation efforts. This is the first study to provide an empirical evaluation of this claim for individuals. In a large-scale framed field experiment with more than 650 participants, we show that people do not back-pedal on mitigation when they learn that the climate change problem could be partly addressed via SAI. Instead, we observe that people who have been informed about SAI mitigate more than people who have not. Our data suggest that the increase is driven by a perception of SAI as potentially hazardous.
    Keywords: climate engineering,risk compensation,moral hazard,climate change mitigation
    JEL: Q54 D19 C93
    Date: 2015
  20. By: CUERVO, Daniel Palhazi; KESSELS, Roselinde; GOOS, Peter; SÖRENSEN, Kenneth
    Abstract: Stated choice experiments are conducted to identify the attributes that drive people's preferences when choosing between competing options of products or services. They are widely used in transportation in order to support the decision making of companies and governmental authorities. A large number of attributes might increase the complexity of the choice task in a choice experiment, and have a detrimental effect on the quality of the results obtained. In order to reduce the cognitive effort required by the experiment, researchers may resort to experimental designs where the levels of some attributes are held constant within a choice situation. These designs are called partial profile designs. In this paper, we propose an integrated algorithm for the generation of D-optimal designs for stated choice experiments with partial profiles. This algorithm optimizes the set of constant attributes and the levels of the varying attributes simultaneously. An extensive computational experiment shows that the designs produced by the integrated algorithm outperform those obtained by existing algorithms, and match the optimal designs that have been analytically derived for a number of benchmark instances. We also evaluate the performance of the algorithm under varying experimental conditions and study the structure of the designs generated.
    Keywords: Stated choice experiments, Multinomial logit model, Partial profiles, (Bayesian) D-optimality, Utility-neutral designs, Coordinate-exchange algorithm
    Date: 2015–01
  21. By: Simon Hedlin; Cass R. Sunstein
    Abstract: Many officials have been considering whether it is possible or desirable to use choice architecture to increase use of environmentally friendly (?green?) products and activities. The right approach could produce significant environmental benefits, including large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and better air quality. This Article presents new data from an online experiment (N=1,245) in which participants were asked questions about hypothetical green energy programs. The central finding is that active choosing had larger effects than green energy defaults (automatic enrollment in green energy), apparently because of the interaction between people?s feelings of guilt and their feelings of reactance. This finding is driven principally by the fact that when green energy costs more, there is a significant increase in opt-outs from green defaults, whereas with active choosing, green energy retains considerable appeal even when it costs more.More specifically, we report four principal findings. First, forcing participants to make an active choice between a green energy provider and a standard energy provider led to higher enrollment in the green program than did either green energy defaults or standard energy defaults. Second, active choosing caused participants to feel more guilty about not enrolling in the green energy program than did either green energy defaults or standard energy defaults; the level of guilt was positively related to the probability of enrolling. Third, respondents were less likely to approve of the green energy default than of the standard energy default, but only when green energy cost extra, which suggests reactance towards green defaults when enrollment means additional private costs. Fourth, respondents appeared to have inferred that green energy automatically would come at a higher cost and/or be of worse quality than less environmentally friendly energy. These findings raise important questions both for future research and for policymaking. If they reflect real-world behavior, they suggest the potentially large effects of active choosing ? perhaps larger, in some cases, than those of green energy defaults.
  22. By: Luisa Corrado (DEF and CEIS, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata" and University of Cambridge); Majlinda Joxhe (DEF, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata" - CREA and University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between survey rating scale and Extreme Response Style (ERS) using experimental data from Understanding Society (Innovation Panel 2008), where a self-assessment questionnaire measuring job satisfaction uses two alternative (7 and 11 points) rating options. Our results suggests that when shifting from a shorter to a longer scale, the survey design generates a tendency to choose response scales at the extreme of the distribution, thus creating a misleading quantification of the variable of interest. The experimental design of the data enables us to test our hypothesis using a non-linear estimation approach where age, gender and education level are shown to affect ERS.
    Keywords: Survey Design, Extreme Response Style, Job Satisfaction
    JEL: C81 C93 J28
    Date: 2016–02–08
  23. By: SOKBAE LEE (Seoul National University, Institute for Fiscal Studies); RYO OKUI (Kyoto University, VU University Amsterdam); YOON-JAE WHANG (Seoul National University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose a doubly robust method to present the het- erogeneity of the average treatment e ect with respect to observed covariates of interest. We consider a situation where a large number of covariates are needed for identifying the average treatment e ect but the covariates of interest for analyzing heterogeneity are of much lower dimension. Our proposed estimator is doubly ro- bust and avoids the curse of dimensionality. We propose a uniform con dence band that is easy to compute, and we illustrate its usefulness via Monte Carlo experiments and an application to the e ects of smoking on birth weights.
    Date: 2016–01
  24. By: Da Silva, Sergio; Matsushita, Raul; De Sousa, Maicon
    Abstract: We evaluate utilitarian judgments under the dual-system approach of the mind. In the study, participants respond to a cognitive reflection test and five (sacrificial and greater good) dilemmas that pit utilitarian and non-utilitarian options against each other. There is judgment reversal across the dilemmas, a result that casts doubt in considering utilitarianism as a stable, ethical standard to evaluate the quality of moral judgments. In all the dilemmas, participants find the utilitarian judgment too demanding in terms of cognitive currency because it requires non-automatic, deliberative thinking. In turn, their moral intuitions related to the automatic mind are frame dependent, and thus can be either utilitarian or non-utilitarian. This suggests that automatic moral judgments are about descriptions, not about substance.
    Keywords: Cognitive Reflection, Utilitarianism, Moral Judgments
    JEL: B41
    Date: 2016
  25. By: Laurent Bouton; Micael Castanheira De Moura; A. Llorente-Saguer

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