nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2016‒05‒14
thirty papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Moral Costs and Rational Choice: Theory and Experimental Evidence By James C. Cox; John A. List; Michael Price; Vjollca Sadiraj; Anya Samek
  2. Estimating Social Preferences and Gift Exchange at Work By Gautam Rao; Stefano DellaVigna; John List; Ulrike Malmendier
  3. Emotion vs. cognition - Experimental evidence on cooperation from the 2014 Soccer World Cup By Graf Lambsdorff, Johann; Giamattei, Marcus; Werner, Katharina; Schubert, Manuel
  4. The Impact of Redistribution Mechanisms in the Vote with the Wallet Game: Experimental Results By Becchetti, Leonardo; Salustri, Francesco; Pelligra, Vittorio
  5. Persuasion and Gender: Experimental Evidence from Two Political Campaigns By Galasso, Vincenzo; Nannicini, Tommaso
  6. Emotional numbing and lessons learned after a violent conflict - Experimental evidence from Ambon, Indonesia By Werner, Katharina; Graf Lambsdorff, Johann
  7. Persuasion and Gender: Experimental Evidence from Two Political Campaigns By Vincenzo Galasso; Tommaso Nannicini
  8. Incentivizing Creativity: A Large-Scale Experiment with Tournaments and Gifts By Christiane Bradler; Susanne Neckermann; Arne Warnke
  9. Payoff Calculator Data: An Inexpensive Window into Decision Making By Jordi Brandts; David J. Cooper
  10. Diffusion of Being Pivotal and Immoral Outcomes By Armin Falk; Nora Szech
  11. Leaving the market or reducing the coverage? By Anne Corcos; François Pannequin; Claude Montmarquette
  12. How to hire helpers? Evidence from a field experiment By Bernd Irlenbusch; Dirk Sliwka; Julian Conrads; Rainer Rilke; Tommaso Reggiani
  13. Communication and voting in heterogeneous committees: An experimental study By Mark T. Le Quement; Isabel Marcin
  14. Reducing crime and violence : experimental evidence on adult noncognitive investments in Liberia By Blattman,Christopher; Jamison,Julian C; Sheridan,Margaret
  15. Motivating Effort in Contributing To Public Goods Inside Organizations: Field Experimental Evidence By Blasco, Andrea; Olivia S. Jung; Karim R. Lakhani
  16. Do Veterinary Paraprofessionals Provide Quality Clinical Veterinary Services for Cattle? Results from a Role Play Experiment in Rural Uganda By Ilukor, John; Birner, Regina
  17. Long-lasting effects of temporary incentives in public good games. By Mathieu Lefebvre; Anne Stenger
  18. Eye Tracking to Model Attribute Attendance By Chavez, Daniel; Palma, Marco; Collart, Alba J.
  19. Quadratic Voting By Steven Lalley; E. Glen Weyl
  20. Public versus Secret Voting in Committees By Mattozzi, Andrea; Nakaguma, Marcos Y.
  21. Hidden persuaders: do small gifts lubricate business negotiations? By Michel André Maréchal; Christian Thöni
  22. What's in a Name ?The Effect of an Artist's Name on Aesthetic Judgements By Axel Cleeremans; Victor Ginsburgh; Olivier Klein; Abdul Ghafar Noury
  23. Community Supported Agriculture and Preferences for Risk and Fairness By Bernard, Kévin; Bonein, Aurélie; Bougherara, Douadia
  24. Optimal Data Collection for Randomized Control Trials By Carneiro, Pedro; Lee, Sokbae; Wilhelm, Daniel
  25. Home Cooking and Willingness to Pay: Local Blueberry Pancake, Muffin, and Banana Bread Mixes in a Take-and-Bake Experiment By Ilunga, Yves T.; Woods, Timothy A.; Batte, Marvin; Zarebanadkoki, Samane
  26. Can Iron-Fortified Salt Control Anemia? Evidence from Two Experiments in Rural Bihar By Abhijit Banerjee; Sharon Barnhardt; Esther Duflo
  27. Integrating Computer Assisted Learning into a Regular Curriculum: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Rural Schools in Shaanxi By Mo, Di; Zhang, Linxiu; Luo, Renfu; Qu, Qinghe; Huang, Weiming; Wang, Jiafu; Qiao, Yajie; Boswell, Matthew; Rozelle, Scott
  28. The Interplay of Cultural Aversion and Assortativity for the Emergence of Cooperation By Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli; Jiabin Wu
  29. Revising claims and resisting ultimatums in bargaining problems By Johannes Spinnewijn; Frans Spinnewyn
  30. Pharmacotherapy Relapse Prevention in Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial By Katharine A. Phillips; Aparna Keshaviah; Darin D. Dougherty; Robert L. Stout; William Menard; Sabine Wilhelm

  1. By: James C. Cox; John A. List; Michael Price; Vjollca Sadiraj; Anya Samek
    Abstract: The literature exploring other regarding behavior sheds important light on interesting social phenomena, yet less attention has been given to how the received results speak to foundational assumptions within economics. Our study synthesizes the empirical evidence, showing that recent work challenges convex preference theory but is largely consistent with rational choice theory. Guided by this understanding, we design a new, more demanding test of a central tenet of economics—the contraction axiom—within a sharing framework. Making use of more than 325 dictators participating in a series of allocation games, we show that sharing choices violate the contraction axiom. We advance a new theory that augments standard models with moral reference points to explain our experimental data. Our theory also organizes the broader sharing patterns in the received literature.
    JEL: C9 C93 D01 D03
    Date: 2016–05
  2. By: Gautam Rao; Stefano DellaVigna; John List; Ulrike Malmendier
    Abstract: We design a model-based field experiment to estimate the nature and magnitude of workers' social references towards their employers. We hire 446 workers for a one-time task. Within worker, we vary (i) piece rates; (ii) whether the work has payoffs only for the worker, or also for the employer; and (iii) the return to the employer. We then introduce a surprise increase or decrease in pay (`gifts') from the employer. We find that workers have substantial baseline social preferences towards their employers, even in the absence of repeated-game incentives. Consistent with models of warm glow or social norms, but not of pure altruism, workers exert substantially more effort when their work is consequential to their employer, but are insensitive to the precise return to the employer. Turning to reciprocity, we find little evidence of a response to unexpected positive (or negative) gifts from the employer. Our structural estimates of the social preferences suggest that, if anything, positive reciprocity in response to monetary `gifts' may be larger than negative reciprocity. We revisit the results of previous field experiments on gift exchange using our model and derive a one-parameter expression for the implied reciprocity in these experiments.
    Date: 2016–05
  3. By: Graf Lambsdorff, Johann; Giamattei, Marcus; Werner, Katharina; Schubert, Manuel
    Abstract: We investigate methods for stimulating cooperation by help of a controlled lab-inthefield experiment. This allows us to compare group-related emotional and cognitive stimuli. The experiment was carried out in a sober classroom and in an emotionally loaded environment, a Bavarian beer garden during a public viewing event with a large screen displaying the soccer game. Contrary to widespread belief, we do not find shared and contagious emotions at the public viewing event to advance cooperation. Variations of the game reveal that only cognitive factors, namely the joint attention to a common goal, substantially increase cooperation.
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Becchetti, Leonardo (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit); Salustri, Francesco (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit); Pelligra, Vittorio (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)
    Abstract: We use the Vote-with-the-Wallet game (VWG) to model socially or environmentally responsible consumption, an increasingly relevant but still under-researched phenomenon. Based on a theoretical model outlining game equilibria and the parametric interval of the related multiplayer prisoners’ dilemma (PD) we evaluate with a controlled lab experiment players’ behavior in the game and test the effects of an ex post redistribution mechanism between defectors and cooperators. Our findings document that the redistribution mechanism interrupts cooperation decay and stabilizes the share of cooperators at a level significantly higher, even though inferior to the Nash equilibrium.
    Keywords: vote with the wallet; prisoner’s dilemma; lab experiment
    JEL: C72 C73 C91 M14
    Date: 2015–09–22
  5. By: Galasso, Vincenzo (Bocconi University); Nannicini, Tommaso (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the differential response of male and female voters to competitive persuasion in political campaigns. We implemented a survey experiment during the (mixed gender) electoral race for mayor in Milan (2011), and a field experiment during the (same gender) electoral race for mayor in Cava de' Tirreni (2015). In both cases, a sample of eligible voters was randomly divided into three groups. Two were exposed to either a positive or a negative campaign by one of the opponents. The third (control) group received no electoral information. In Milan, the campaigns were administered online and consisted of a bundle of advertising tools (videos, texts, slogans). In Cava de' Tirreni, we implemented a large scale door-to-door campaign in collaboration with one of the candidates, randomizing positive vs. negative messages. In both experiments, stark gender differences emerge. Females vote more for the opponent and less for the incumbent when they are exposed to the opponent's positive campaign. Exactly the opposite occurs for males. These gender differences cannot be accounted for by gender identification with the candidate, ideology, or other observable attributes of the voters.
    Keywords: gender differences, political campaigns, randomized controlled trials, competitive persuasion
    JEL: D72 J16 M37
    Date: 2016–04
  6. By: Werner, Katharina; Graf Lambsdorff, Johann
    Abstract: Violent conflict is sometimes believed to provoke discrimination, but sometimes also seen to reduce pro-sociality in general. While discrimination may reinforce conflict, a lack of pro-sociality hinders peace reconciliation, social capital formation and development. We test which of these viewpoints finds support and how activation of memories of the conflict affects people's pro-social behavior. Lab-in-the-field experiments were run among Muslim and Christian students in post-conflict Ambon, Indonesia, and combined with data from a post-experimental questionnaire. With the help of dictator, ultimatum and trust games, we investigate the impact of activation of memories of the conflict on different types of pro-sociality. We do not find evidence for discrimination against out-group members. Instead, pro-sociality is significantly reduced if subjects are reminded of the conflict. This effect is particularly strong if subjects had been highly exposed to violence and thus particularly dismal memories were activated. Our findings run counter to the viewpoint that conflict, group identities and discrimination reinforce each other and lead to a downward spiral. They are supportive of emotional numbing. Subjects behave pro-socially, potentially due to the lessons learned from the conflict, unless memories of the conflict are activated. For peace reconciliation, it is thus important to avoid activation of such memories.
    Keywords: Conflict resolution,Religion,Ethnicity,Discrimination,Experiment,Conflict exposure
    JEL: C93 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Vincenzo Galasso; Tommaso Nannicini
    Abstract: This paper investigates the differential response of male and female voters to competitive persuasion in political campaigns. We implemented a survey experiment during the (mixed gender) electoral race for mayor in Milan (2011), and a field experiment during the (same gender) electoral race for mayor in Cava de’ Tirreni (2015). In both cases, a sample of eligible voters was randomly divided into three groups. Two were exposed to either a positive or a negative campaign by one of the opponents. The third—control—group received no electoral information. In Milan, the campaigns were administered online and consisted of a bundle of advertising tools (videos, texts, slogans). In Cava de’ Tirreni, we implemented a large scale door-to-door campaign in collaboration with one of the candidates, randomizing positive vs. negative messages. In both experiments, stark gender differences emerge. Females vote more for the opponent and less for the incumbent when they are exposed to the opponent’s positive campaign. Exactly the opposite occurs for males. These gender differences cannot be accounted for by gender identification with the candidate, ideology, or other observable attributes of the voters. Keywords: gender differences, political campaigns, randomized controlled trials, competitive persuasion. JEL classification: D72, J16, M37.
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Christiane Bradler (ZEW Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim, Germany); Susanne Neckermann (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and ZEW Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim, Germany); Arne Warnke (ZEW Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper reports the results from a large-scale laboratory experiment investigating the impact of tournament incentives and wage gifts on creativity. We find that tournaments substantially increase creative output, with no evidence for crowding out of intrinsic motivation. By comparison, wage gifts are ineffective. Additional treatments show that it is the uncertain mapping between effort and output that inhibits reciprocity. This uncertainty is prevalent in creative and other complex tasks. Our findings provide a rationale for the frequent use of tournaments when seeking to motivate creative output.
    Keywords: creativity; incentives; tournament; reciprocity; experiment; crowding-out
    JEL: C91 D03 J33 M52
    Date: 2016–05–03
  9. By: Jordi Brandts; David J. Cooper
    Abstract: Payoff calculators provide a source of information about subjects’ decision making process that is cheap, frequently available, and rarely used. We study data from an experiment designed to look at a difficult coordination problem. The experiments were *not* designed to study payoff calculator use; the payoff calculator was included as a tool for helping subjects to understand the payoffs. Our goal is to show that data about payoff calculator usage can yield useful insights about subjects’ decision making. The main issue in the game is whether players will successful coordinate, and, if so, whether they coordinate at an efficient equilibrium or a safe one. We find that initial searches using the calculator have predictive power for the total surplus and probability of coordinating for a pair in the long run. Specifically, searches consistent with the efficient equilibrium reduce total surplus and the probability of coordinating. These conclusions remain true after controlling for a pair’s initial outcomes, indicating that the data about calculator searches has predictive power beyond the pairs’ initial outcomes.
    Keywords: Coordination, experiments, Organizations, asymmetric Information
    JEL: C92 D23 J31 L23 M52
    Date: 2016–04
  10. By: Armin Falk (Universität Bonn); Nora Szech (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie)
    Abstract: We study how diffusing being pivotal affects the willingness to support immoral outcomes. Subjects decide about agreeing to kill mice and receiving money versus objecting to kill mice and foregoing the monetary amount. We investigate an exogenous diffusion of being pivotal imposed by organizational design as well as self-imposed, endogenous diffusion of being pivotal. Regarding exogenous diffusion, we compare two treatments. We keep overall financial incentives and overall payoff consequences identical, yet vary the decision rule: In Baseline subjects decide individually about the life of one mouse. In the Exogenous Diffusion treatment, subjects are organized into groups of eight. Eight mice are killed if at least one subject supports the killing. The fraction of subjects agreeing to kill is significantly higher in Exogenous Diffusion than in Baseline. Moreover, in Exogenous Diffusion, the likelihood to agree to the killing decreases in subjective perceptions of being pivotal. We then show that many subjects actually have a preference to actively create a situation where being pivotal is diffused. In the Endogenous Diffusion treatment, each subject chooses the probability of killing a mouse. The monetary amount a subject receives is proportional to the killing probability. More than 30 percent of subjects opt for intermediate killing probabilities, thereby actively diffusing being pivotal at a proportional reduction of money. Response times and feelings of remorse and bad conscience suggest that it is in particular subjects experiencing moral conflict who prefer diffusing being pivotal. Presumably, this serves as a means to keep a positive self-image while behaving selfishly.
    Keywords: diffusion of being pivotal, morality, replacement logic, self-image, response times
    JEL: C91 D01 D03 D23 D63
    Date: 2016–05
  11. By: Anne Corcos; François Pannequin; Claude Montmarquette
    Abstract: This study develops an experimental analysis addressing the premium sensitivity of the demand for insurance accounting for risk attitudes, including risk-loving. Our contribution disentangles the conditional demand (the non-null demand for insurance) from the propensity to buy insurance. Our research shows that the contraction of the global demand for insurance induced by the raise in unit prices and fixed cost is primarily due to policyholders exiting the insurance market rather than reducing their levels of coverage. However, contrary to the theoretical predictions, an increase in the fixed cost has effects only on the risk lovers’ behavior. The stability of the conditional demand is robust to changes in insurance contracts and individuals’risk attitude. These results suggest that the decision about insurance may boil down to an “all or nothing” choice. In line with the theory, risk lovers express a lower global demand for insurance than risk-averse subjects and are the first to leave the insurance market when the premium (unit price or fixed cost) is prohibitive. Implications regarding public and economic policies are discussed. As a by-product, our experimental design enables to test and reject the assumption of inferiority of the risk averters’ demand for insurance.
    Keywords: demand for insurance, conditional demand, propensity to buy insurance, risk attitude, two-part tariff, experimental study,
    JEL: C91 D81
    Date: 2016–05–06
  12. By: Bernd Irlenbusch; Dirk Sliwka; Julian Conrads; Rainer Rilke; Tommaso Reggiani
    Abstract: How to hire voluntary helpers? We shed new light on this question by reporting a field experiment in which we invited 2859 students to help at the 'ESA Europe 2012' conference. Invitation emails varied non-monetary and monetary incentives to convince subjects to offer help. Students could apply to help at the conference and, if so, also specify the working time they wanted to provide. Just asking subjects to volunteer or offering them a certificate turned out to be significantly more motivating than mentioning that the regular conference fee would be waived for helpers. By means of an online-survey experiment, we find that intrinsic motivation to help is likely to have been crowded out by mentioning the waived fee. Increasing monetary incentives by varying hourly wages of 1, 5, and 10 Euros shows positive effects on the number of applications and on the working time offered. However, when comparing these results with treatments without any monetary compensation, the number of applications could not be increased by offering money and may even be reduced.
    Date: 2015
  13. By: Mark T. Le Quement (University of Bonn); Isabel Marcin (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: We study experimentally the effectiveness of communication in common value committees exhibiting publicly known heterogeneous biases. We test models assuming respectively self-interested and strategic-, joint payoff-maximizing- and cognitively heterogeneous agents. These predict varying degrees of strategic communication. We use a 2 x 2 design varying the information protocol (communication vs exogenous public signals) and the group composition (heterogeneous vs homogeneous). Results are only consistent with the third model. Roughly 80% of (heuristic) subjects truth-tell and vote with the majority of announced signals. Remaining (sophisticated) agents lie strategically and approximately apply their optimal decision rule.
    Keywords: Committees, Voting, Information Aggregation, Cheap Talk, Experiment
    JEL: C92 D72 D82 D83
    Date: 2016–03
  14. By: Blattman,Christopher; Jamison,Julian C; Sheridan,Margaret
    Abstract: The paper shows that self-control, time preferences, and values are malleable in adults, and that investments in these skills and preferences reduce crime and violence. The authors recruited criminally-engaged Liberian men and randomized half to eight weeks of group cognitive behavioral therapy, fostering self-regulation, patience, and noncriminal values. They also randomized $200 grants. Cash alone and therapy alone dramatically reduced crime and violence, but effects dissipated within a year. When cash followed therapy, however, crime and violence decreased by as much as 50 percent for at least a year. They hypothesize that cash reinforced therapy's lessons by prolonging practice and self-investment.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Science Education,Educational Sciences,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Disease Control&Prevention
    Date: 2016–04–20
  15. By: Blasco, Andrea; Olivia S. Jung; Karim R. Lakhani
    Abstract: We investigate the factors driving workers? decisions to generate public goods inside an organization through a randomized solicitation of workplace improvement proposals in a medical center with 1200 employees. We find that pecuniary incentives, such as winning a prize, generate a threefold increase in participation compared to non-pecuniary incentives alone, such as prestige or recognition. Participation is also increased by a solicitation appealing to improving the workplace. However, emphasizing the patient mission of the organization led to countervailing effects on participation. Overall, these results are consistent with workers having multiple underlying motivations to contribute to public goods inside the organization consisting of a combination of pecuniary and altruistic incentives associated with the mission of the organization.
    Date: 2016–04
  16. By: Ilukor, John; Birner, Regina
    Abstract: The study uses a role play experiment to analyze how the interaction of farmers and service providers influences the quality and the demand for clinical services. The game was played in four rounds, and the quality of clinical services was measured by scoring the accuracy of a service provider prescribing the appropriate drug for selected animal diseases. The results show that the accuracy of prescriptions by veterinarians is not significantly different from that of paraprofessionals trained in veterinary science. However, the ability of service providers who are not trained in veterinary medicine is significantly lower than that of service providers trained in veterinary science. The continued interaction between paraprofessionals and veterinarians gradually leads to an improvement in the ability of paraprofessionals not trained in veterinary sciences to perform correct diagnosis and drug prescription. However, farmers’ inability to punish poor quality service providers limits interaction between paraprofessionals and veterinarians.
    Keywords: Belief updating, lemon market, role play game, Livestock Production/Industries,
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Mathieu Lefebvre; Anne Stenger
    Abstract: This paper addresses the question of cooperative behaviours in the long run after the removal of incentives to contribute to a public good game. This question becomes central when looking both at cost-effectiveness of public program and sustainability of the funding institutions. This paper looks at the potential permanence effect of incentives by comparing nonmonetary and monetary, positive and negative, incentives to contribute in public-good game experiments. The results show first that both monetary and nonmonetary punishments and rewards significantly increase contributions compared to the baseline but monetary sanctions lead to the highest contributions while nonmonetary sanctions lead to the lowest contributions. Second, the four types of incentives do not display long-lasting effects. In every treatment, contributions fall to the level of the initial contributions in the baseline right after the withdrawal of the incentives. Third, the results show that there are no change of preferences following the introduction of the incentives since those who free-ride and have been highly sanctioned are those who contribute the less after the removal of the sanctions. Finally, one interesting result is the same efficiency of non-monetary and monetary rewards on contribution. These findings underline the importance of looking both at the type of incentives and to better understand the changes in behavior in institutional arrangements between individuals when long-lasting cooperation is sought.
    Keywords: Experiments, Monetary incentives, Non-monetary incentives, Rewards, Punishments, Long-lasting cooperation, Voluntary Contribution Mechanism.
    JEL: D81 C91
    Date: 2016
  18. By: Chavez, Daniel; Palma, Marco; Collart, Alba J.
    Abstract: The literature on choice experiments has been dealing with ways to refine preference elicitation from subjects and predictive power of models. Technological advances such as eye tracking has improved our understanding on how much of the attributes and attribute levels presented to participants is being considered in the decision making process in these kind of experiments. This study investigates subjects’ degree of attendance to attributes and how it influences their choices. The amount of time the subjects spent observing each attribute, relative to all available information on each choice set is used to estimate the attribute attendance. This indicates the revealed attendance to the attributes in the experiment. A simple econometric approach compares the parameter estimates from revealed attribute attendance adjusted models using data from an eye tracking device and a model endogenously inferring the probabilities of using information from each attribute in the choice. The results show that the assumption that participants use all the available information to make their decisions produces significant differences in the parameter estimates, leading to potential bias. The results also illustrate that model fit and predictive power is greatly increased by using revealed attendance levels using eye tracking measures. The most significant improvement however, is to endogenously infer attribute attendance; even more so with revealed attendance indicators.
    Keywords: Choice Experiments, Eye-Tracking, Attribute Attendance, Agribusiness, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, C91, C18,
    Date: 2016–01–22
  19. By: Steven Lalley (University of Chicago); E. Glen Weyl (Microsoft Research New England)
    Abstract: N individuals must choose between two collective alternatives. Under Quadratic Voting (QV), individuals buy vote in favor of their preferred alternative from a clearing house, paying the square of the number of votes purchased, and the sum of all votes purchased determines the outcome. Heuristic arguments and experimental results have suggested that this simple, detail-free mechanism is utilitarian efficient. In an independent private-values environment, we rigorously prove that for any value distribution all symmetric Bayes-Nash equilibria of QV converge toward efficiency in large populations, with waste decaying generically as 1=N.
    Keywords: social choice, collective decisions, large markets, costly voting, vote trading
    Date: 2015
  20. By: Mattozzi, Andrea; Nakaguma, Marcos Y.
    Abstract: This paper studies a committee decision-making problem. Committee members are heterogeneous in their competence, they are biased towards one of the alternatives and career oriented, and they can choose whether to vote or abstain. The interaction between career concern and bias a¤ects the voting behavior of members depending on transparency of individual votes. We show that transparency attenuates the pre-existing biases of competent members and exacerbates the biases of incompetent members. Public voting leads to better decisions when the magnitude of the bias is large, while secret voting performs better otherwise. We provide experimental evidence supporting our theoretical conclusions.
    Keywords: Committees, Voting, Career Concern, Transparency
    JEL: D72 C92 D71
    Date: 2016
  21. By: Michel André Maréchal; Christian Thöni
    Abstract: Gift-giving customs are ubiquitous in social, political, and business life. Legal regulation and industry guidelines for gifts are often based on the assumption that large gifts have the potential to influence behavior and create confl of interest, but small gifts do not. However, scientific evidence on the impact of small gifts on business relationships is scarce. We conducted a controlled field experiment in collaboration with sales agents of a multinational consumer products company to study the influence of small gifts on the outcome of business negotiations. We find that small gifts matter. On average, sales representatives generate more than twice as much revenue when they distribute a small gift at the onset of their negotiations. However, we also find that small gifts tend to be counterproductive when purchasing and sales agents meet for the first time, underlining that the nature of the business relationship crucially affects the profitability of gifts.
    Keywords: Reciprocity, gift exchange, field experiment, negotiations
    JEL: D63 C93
    Date: 2016–04
  22. By: Axel Cleeremans; Victor Ginsburgh; Olivier Klein; Abdul Ghafar Noury
    Abstract: Both economists and art historians suggest that the name of the artist is important and belongs with the work. We carried out an experiment to explore the influence that the presence and knowledge of an artist’s name exert on aesthetic judgments. Forty participants (20 students majoring in psychology and 20 in art history) were asked to rank twelve works painted by different artists, some of which bore the name of their actual creators, others not. The results demonstrated that the presence of artists’ names led to higher rankings among psychology majors, but only if they had been attending to the presented names. In contrast, in the case of art students, it was knowledge of the artists that predicted judgments. The results suggest that for people untrained in the visual arts, the presence of a name can function as heuristic cue to denote value.Keywords: Name of artist, context, perception, experimental aesthetics.
    Keywords: name of artist; context; perception; experimental aesthetics
    Date: 2016–05
  23. By: Bernard, Kévin; Bonein, Aurélie; Bougherara, Douadia
    Abstract: We aim to elicit consumers’ preferences for attributes of consumer supported agriculture (CSA) contracts and their determinants, especially risk and fairness preferences. We combine two incentivized field experiments with a stated choice survey. Risk preferences are structurally-elicited from several binary lottery choices and fairness preferences from a modified dictator game. We use a stated choice survey to determine consumers’ preferences for three attributes of CSA contracts: duration, loss in basket size due to production risks and price change. We face-to-face interviewed 162 CSA members. In line with fairness theory, we find consumers are averse to advantageous inequality (AI) toward CSA and non CSA farmers and averse to disadvantageous inequality (DI) toward non CSA farmers; but, we also find evidence of DI seeking toward CSA farmers. In the stated choice survey, we find consumers prefer longer contracts and that it is risk-driven rather than fairness-driven. As expected, consumers exhibit a dislike for losses and for share price increases. We find a high willingness to pay to avoid losses. High AI averse consumers tend to be less sensitive to losses. High DI seeking consumers tend to be less sensitive to losses and price increase.
    Keywords: CSA, Stated choice, Field experiment, Risk preferences, Fairness preferences, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Environmental Economics and Policy, Risk and Uncertainty, C93, D63, D81, Q18,
    Date: 2016
  24. By: Carneiro, Pedro (University College London); Lee, Sokbae (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London); Wilhelm, Daniel (University College London)
    Abstract: In a randomized control trial, the precision of an average treatment effect estimator can be improved either by collecting data on additional individuals, or by collecting additional covariates that predict the outcome variable. We propose the use of pre-experimental data such as a census, or a household survey, to inform the choice of both the sample size and the covariates to be collected. Our procedure seeks to minimize the resulting average treatment effect estimator's mean squared error, subject to the researcher's budget constraint. We rely on a modification of an orthogonal greedy algorithm that is conceptually simple and easy to implement in the presence of a large number of potential covariates, and does not require any tuning parameters. In two empirical applications, we show that our procedure can lead to substantial gains of up to 58%, measured either in terms of reductions in data collection costs or in terms of improvements in the precision of the treatment effect estimator.
    Keywords: randomized control trials, big data, data collection, optimal survey design, orthogonal greedy algorithm, survey costs
    JEL: C55 C81
    Date: 2016–04
  25. By: Ilunga, Yves T.; Woods, Timothy A.; Batte, Marvin; Zarebanadkoki, Samane
    Abstract: Home Cooking and Willingness to Pay: Local Blueberry Pancake, Muffin, and Banana Bread Mixes in a Take-and-Bake Experiment
    Keywords: blueberry, Home cooking, value-added, willingness to pay, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Marketing, D12, Q13,
    Date: 2016–01–06
  26. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Sharon Barnhardt; Esther Duflo
    Abstract: Iron deficiency anemia is frequent among the poor worldwide. While it can be prevented with the appropriate supplement or food fortification, these programs often do not consistently reach the poorest. This paper reports on the impact of a potential strategy to address iron deficiency anemia in rural areas: double fortified salt (DFS) - salt fortified with iron and iodine. We conducted a large-scale experiment in rural Bihar. In 200 villages, randomly selected out of 400, DFS was introduced at a price that was half the regular retail price for DFS. After two years, we find no evidence that either selling DFS in villages or providing it for free directly to households has an economically meaningful or statistically significant impact on hemoglobin, anemia, physical health, cognition or mental health. For the sales experiment, we can reject at the 95% level a reduction of 2.5 percentage points in the fraction anemic in the entire sample, and 3.7 percentage points among those who were previously anemic. Using an IV strategy, we find a statistically significant, though relatively small, increase in hemoglobin and reduction in the fraction anemic for adolescents, a subgroup that has responded well to supplements and fortification in earlier studies. These disappointing results are explained both by relatively low take up and by low impact of DFS even when consumed more regularly for the majority of the population.
    JEL: I0 I00 I1 O11
    Date: 2016–03
  27. By: Mo, Di; Zhang, Linxiu; Luo, Renfu; Qu, Qinghe; Huang, Weiming; Wang, Jiafu; Qiao, Yajie; Boswell, Matthew; Rozelle, Scott
    Abstract: Recent attention has been placed on whether computer assisted learning (CAL) can effectively improve learning outcomes. However, the empirical evidence of its impact is mixed. Previous studies suggest that the lack of an impact in developed countries may be attributable to substitution of effort/time away from productive, in-school activities. However, there is little empirical evidence on how effective an in-school program may be in developing countries. In order to explore the impact of an in-school CAL program, we conducted a clustered randomized experiment involving over 4000 third and fifth grade students in 72 rural schools in China. Our results indicate that the in-school CAL program has significantly improved the overall math scores by 0.16 standard deviations. Both the third graders and the fifth graders benefited from the program.
    Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2015
  28. By: Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli; Jiabin Wu
    Abstract: This paper investigates the emergence of cooperation in a heterogeneous population. The population is divided into two cultural groups. Agents in the population are randomly matched in pairs to engage in a prisoner dilemma. The matching process is assortative, that is, cooperators are more likely to be matched with cooperators, defectors are more likely to be matched with defectors. When two agents of different cultures are matched, they suffer a cost due to their cultural differences. We call such a cost cultural aversion. We find that when cultural aversion is sufficiently strong, perfect correlation between culture and behavior emerges: all agents from one cultural group cooperate, while all agents from the other cultural group defect.
    Keywords: prisoner dilemma, assortativity, cultural aversion, cooperation, type-monomorphic.
    JEL: C72 C73 Z10
    Date: 2016–04
  29. By: Johannes Spinnewijn; Frans Spinnewyn
    Abstract: We propose a simple mechanism which implements a unique solution to the bargaining problem with two players in subgame-perfect equilibrium. The mechanism incorporates two important features of negotiations; players can revise claims in an attempt to reach a compromise or pursue their claims in an ultimate take-it-or-leave-it offer. Players restrain their claims to avoid a weak bargaining position or their resistance to uncompromising behavior to acquire leadership. The Nash solution and the Kalai–Smorodinsky solution are implemented in the extreme cases when respectively no and all revisions are allowed.
    Keywords: bargaining solutions; Nash program; ultimatums
    JEL: C78 D74
    Date: 2015–06
  30. By: Katharine A. Phillips; Aparna Keshaviah; Darin D. Dougherty; Robert L. Stout; William Menard; Sabine Wilhelm
    Abstract: Continuation-phase escitalopram delayed time to relapse, and fewer escitalopram-treated subjects relapsed than did placebo-treated subjects.
    Keywords: Pharmacotherapy, body dysmophic disorder

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