nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2017‒02‒05
24 papers chosen by

  1. The Origins and Extent of Entrepreneurial Action-Orientedness: An Experimental Study By Barirani, Ahmad; Sloof, Randolph; van Praag, Mirjam C.
  2. Leveling up? An inter-neighborhood experiment on parochialism and the efficiency of multi-level public goods provision By Gallier, Carlo; Goeschl, Timo; Kesternich, Martin; Lohse, Johannes; Reif, Christiane; Römer, Daniel
  3. Who is audited? Experimental study on rule-based tax auditing schemes By Yoshio Kamijo; Takehito Masuda; Hiroshi Uemura
  4. Social Motives vs Social Influence: an Experiment on Time Preferences By Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael; Ponti, Giovanni
  5. Incentivising the Social Discounting Task: A laboratory experiment By Frederik Booysen; Tshele Moloi; Alistair Munro; Sevias Guvurino; Celeste Campher
  6. (Im)patience by Proxy: Making Intertemporal Decisions for Others By Angela C.M. de Oliveira; Sarah Jacobson
  7. One in a Million: Field Experiments on Perceived Closeness of the Election and Voter Turnout By Alan Gerber; Mitchell Hoffman; John Morgan; Collin Raymond
  8. The Effect of Early Education on Social Preferences By Alexander Cappelen; John List; Anya Samek; Bertil Tungodden
  9. Anger Management: Aggression and Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods By Gee, Laura Katherine; Lyu, Xinxin; Urry, Heather
  10. Gender Differences in Competitive Positions, Experimental Evidence on Job Promotion By Emmanuel Perterle; Holger A. Rau
  11. Does mutual knowledge of preferences lead to more equilibrium play? Experimental evidence By Brunner, Christoph; Kauffeldt, T. Florian; Rau, Hannes
  12. Fine-Tuning Willingness-To-Pay Estimates in Second Price Auctions By Kassas, Bachir; Palma, Marco; Ness, Meghan; Anderson, David
  13. Identifying the reasons for coordination failure in a laboratory experiment By Külpmann, Philipp; Khantadze, Davit
  14. An Experimental Approach to Resolving Uncertainty in Water Quality Trading Programs By Sharp, Misti; Suter, Jordan; Hoag, Dana
  15. Who Cares about Social Image? By Jana Friedrichsen; Dirk Engelmann
  16. Cutthroat capitalism versus cuddly socialism: Are Americans more meritocratic and efficiency-seeking than Scandinavians? By Ingvild Almås; Alexander Cappelen; Bertil Tungodden
  17. Would I lie to you? Strategic deception in the face of uncertain penalties By Cardak, Buly A; Neelim, Ananta; Vecci, Joseph; Wu, Kevin
  18. All-Pay Auctions with Extra Prize: A Partial Exclusion Principle By Matthias Dahm
  19. Contagion in Experimental Financial Markets By Suren Vardanyan
  20. Coarse correlation and coordination in a game By Konstantinos Georgalos; Sonali Sen Gupta; Indrajit Ray
  21. From self-fulfilling mistakes to behavioral learning equilibria By Cars Hommes
  22. Not for everyone: Personality, mental health, and the use of online social networks By Howley, P.; Boyce, C.;
  23. Meta-Analysis of Multiple Treatments Experiments By Zapata, Samuel D.; Griffin, Terry W.
  24. Are Consumers Poorly-Informed about Fuel Economy? Evidence from Two Experiments By Hunt Allcott; Christopher Knittel

  1. By: Barirani, Ahmad (Copenhagen Business School); Sloof, Randolph (University of Amsterdam); van Praag, Mirjam C. (Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: We test the hypothesis, based on popular and theoretical perspectives, that entrepreneurs are more action-oriented than other occupational groups. We compare their playing strategies in an optimal stopping game using a randomized online experiment among 100s of entrepreneurs, managers and employees. Our experimental results show that entrepreneurs are indeed more action-oriented than others. We theorize that this is driven by their lower levels of loss aversion and higher levels of curiosity. Our empirical test results show that (i) entrepreneurs score indeed higher, on average, than managers and employees on curiosity and lower on loss aversion; (ii) the difference in action-orientedness between entrepreneurs and others vanishes when controlling for individual curiosity levels and (iii) an alternative treatment that provides subjects with counterfactual information (about what would have happened in case of stopping) increases their willingness to stop. Under some assumptions, the combination of these results leads to the conclusion that the higher action-orientedness of entrepreneurs can be linked to their greater curiosity, but not to their lower level of loss aversion. Hence, we find support for the intuitive idea that (curiosity driven) action-orientedness enhances the identification and/or exploitation of opportunities.
    Keywords: entrepreneurs, managers, employees, inaction, curiosity, loss aversion, lab-in-the field experiment
    JEL: L26 C93 D03
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Gallier, Carlo; Goeschl, Timo; Kesternich, Martin; Lohse, Johannes; Reif, Christiane; Römer, Daniel
    Abstract: Many public goods can be provided at different spatial levels. Evidence from social identity theory and in-group favoritism raises the possibility that where higher-level provision is more efficient, subjects’ narrow concern for local outcomes (parochialism) could harm efficiency. Building on the experimental paradigm of multi-level public good games and the ‘neighborhood attachment’ concept, we conduct an artefactual field experiment with 600 participants in a setting conducive to parochial behavior. In an inter-neighborhood intra-region design, subjects allocate an endowment between a personal account, a local, and a regional public good account. The between-subjects design varies across two dimensions: One informs subjects that the smaller local group consists of members from their own neighborhood (‘neighbors’). The other varies the relative productivity at the two public goods provision levels. We find evidence for parochialism, but contrary to our hypothesis, parochialism does not interfere with efficiency: The average subject responds to a change in relative productivities at the local and regional level in the same way, whether aware of their neighbors’ presence in the small group or not. The results even hold for subjects with above-median neighborhood attachment and subjects primed on neighborhood attachment.
    Keywords: Social identity; parochialism; multi-level public goods; artefactual field experiment.
    Date: 2017–02–01
  3. By: Yoshio Kamijo (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Takehito Masuda (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University); Hiroshi Uemura (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)
    Abstract: In this study, we employ a game-theoretic framework to formulate and analyze a number of tax audit schemes. We then test the theoretical predictions in a laboratory experiment. We compare audit schemes based on three audit rules: the random rule, cut-off rule, and lowest income reporter audited rule. While the cut-off rule is known to be optimal in theory, it has not thus far been examined in a controlled laboratory experimental setting. Contrary to the theory, the lowest income reporter audited rule yielded higher compliance behavior than the optimal cut-off rule in the experiment, even after controlling for social norms regarding tax payment perceived by the subjects. This empirical finding is practically important because the tax authorities in most countries assign higher priority to enhancing tax compliance.
    Keywords: audit scheme; tax evasion; laboratory experiment; cut-off rule; lowest income reporter audited rule
    JEL: C91 C92 D81 H26
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael; Ponti, Giovanni
    Abstract: We report experimental evidence on the effects of social preferences on intertemporal decisions. To this aim, we design an intertemporal Dictator Game to test whether Dictators modify their discounting behavior when their own decision is imposed on their matched Recipients. We run four different treatments to identify the effect of payoffs externalities from those related to information and beliefs. Our descriptive statistics show that heterogeneous social time preferences and information about others’ time preferences are significant determinants of choices: Dictators display a marked propensity to account for the intertemporal preferences of Recipients, both in the presence of externalities (social motives) and/or when they know about the decisions of their matched partners (social influence). We also perform a structural estimation exercise to control for heterogeneity in risk attitudes. As for individual behavior, our estimates confirm previous studies in that high risk aversion is associated with low discounting. As for social behavior, we find that social motives outweigh social influence, especially when we restrict our sample to pairs of Dictators and Recipients who satisfy minimal consistency conditions.
    Keywords: intertemporal choices, time preferences, risk and social preferences, social influence, beliefs (JEL: C91, D70, D81)
    JEL: C9 D70 D81
    Date: 2017–02–01
  5. By: Frederik Booysen (University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa); Tshele Moloi (University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa); Alistair Munro (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Sevias Guvurino (University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa); Celeste Campher (University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa)
    Abstract: Altruism is one of the single most important social preferences driving human behaviour. In Psychology experiments, the Social Discounting Task is employed as a measure of altruism. A conventional laboratory experiment was conducted with 117 undergraduate students, with students randomly assigned to complete an incentivized and un-incentivized Social Discounting Task. In accordance with the 1/d law of giving, the results exhibit the expected inverse relationship between social distance and altruism. There is weak evidence that incentivizing the Social Discounting Task impacts the measurement of altruism in a student population. More specifically, subjects are more altruistic when incentivized, possibly due to enforced reciprocity. At the same time, making payments real influence the identity of the target recipients: paying makes subjects more likely to choose people who are physically and psychologically close at high ranks, and more likely to report greater physical and psychological distance to subjects at lower ranks. Further research is required to verify the robustness of this result. The study also shows that among students family members are more altruistic toward each other as are those exhibiting greater intergenerational solidarity. Preferences for altruism in this student population is no different from WEIRD subject populations.
    Date: 2017–01
  6. By: Angela C.M. de Oliveira (University of Massachusetts-Amherst); Sarah Jacobson (Williams College)
    Abstract: Decisions with consequences that play out over time are ubiquitous in business, policy, and family relations, and frequently the agent making these decisions is distinct from those who bear the consequences. We use a lab experiment to examine whether individuals make different intertemporal decisions for others of varying social distance than for themselves. Subjects make a series of intertemporal work time allocation decisions for themselves and for another individual, either a friend or a stranger. We find that people who receive no information about their recipient’s preferences choose more impatiently (moving a disutility cost into the future) for others than for themselves. In other words, a decision made for you by proxy is more impatient than a decision you would make for yourself and thus is probably suboptimal. This result contrasts with the literature, and this may be because, as we find from a separate survey, people perceive procrastination of tasks as qualitatively different from other discounting decisions. Survey evidence suggests that individuals believe that they are more patient than the other subjects are, suggesting that these too-impatient decisions are made for others out of benevolence with a mistaken belief. Further, when the decision-maker is given information about the recipient’s own-stated preferences, this bias of excessively impatient decisions, particularly when the recipient is a friend. Taken together, our results imply that given limited information, proxy decision-makers choose more impatiently (pushing more costs into the future) than agents would prefer, but information mitigates this error.
    Keywords: proxy decision-making, intertemporal choice, laboratory experiment
    JEL: D03 D90 D64 C91
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: Alan Gerber; Mitchell Hoffman; John Morgan; Collin Raymond
    Abstract: A common feature of many models of voter turnout is that increasing the perceived closeness of the election should increase voter turnout. However, cleanly testing this prediction is difficult and little is known about voter beliefs regarding the closeness of a given race. We conduct a field experiment during the 2010 US gubernatorial elections where we elicit voter beliefs about the closeness of the election before and after showing different polls, which, depending on treatment, indicate a close race or a not close race. We find that subjects update their beliefs in response to new information, but systematically overestimate the probability of a very close election. However, the decision to vote is unaffected by beliefs about the closeness of the election. A follow-up field experiment, conducted during the 2014 gubernatorial elections but at much larger scale, also points to little relationship between poll information about closeness and voter turnout.
    JEL: D03 D72 H10 P16
    Date: 2017–01
  8. By: Alexander Cappelen (Norwegian School of Economics); John List (University of Chicago); Anya Samek (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Bertil Tungodden (Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: We present results from the first study to examine the causal impact of early childhood education on social preferences of children. We compare children who, at 3-4 years old, were randomized into either a full-time preschool, a parenting program with incentives, or to a control group. We returned to the same children when they reached 7-8 years old and conducted a series of incentivized experiments to elicit their social preferences. We find that early childhood education has a strong causal impact on social preferences several years after the intervention: attending preschool makes children more egalitarian in their fairness view and the parenting program enhances the importance children place on efficiency relative to fairness. Our findings highlight the importance of taking a broad perspective when designing and evaluating early childhood educational programs, and provide evidence of how differences in institutional exposure may contribute to explaining heterogeneity in social preferences in society.
    Keywords: field experiment, social preferences, child experiment
    JEL: C93 J23 J33
    Date: 2017–01
  9. By: Gee, Laura Katherine (Tufts University); Lyu, Xinxin (Tufts University); Urry, Heather (Tufts University)
    Abstract: The ability to punish free-riders can increase the provision of public goods. However, sometimes the benefit of increased public good provision is outweighed by the costs of punishments. One reason a group may punish to the point that net welfare is reduced is that punishment can express anger about free-riding. If this is the case, then tools that regulate emotions could decrease the use of punishments while keeping welfare high, possibly depending on pre-existing levels of aggression. In this lab experiment, we find that adopting an objective attitude (Objective), through a form of emotion regulation called cognitive reappraisal, decreases the use of punishments and makes a statistically insignificant improvement to both net earnings and self-reported emotions compared to a control condition (Natural). Although the interaction between the emotion regulation treatment and level of aggression is not significant, only low aggression types reduce their punishments; the results are of the same direction but statistically insignificant for high aggression types. Overall, our findings suggest that pairing emotion regulation with punishments can decrease the use of punishments without harming monetary and mental welfare.
    Keywords: public goods, punishment, emotions
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D7 H41
    Date: 2017–01
  10. By: Emmanuel Perterle (Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, CRESE); Holger A. Rau (University of Goettingen)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes gender differences in access to competitive positions. We implement an experiment where workers can apply for a job promotion by sending a signal to their employer. We control for gender differences in anticipation of discrimination in a treatment where a computer randomly recruits. Discriminatory behavior by the employer is isolated in a treatment where workers cannot send signals. We find that gender disparity among promoted workers is highest when workers can apply for promotion and employers recruit. Strikingly, the gender composition in competitive position is balanced in the absence of a signaling institution. When signaling is possible, we observe that female workers who do not request a promotion are discriminated against.
    Keywords: Experiment, Discrimination, Gender Differences, Real Effort.
    JEL: C9 J24 J70
    Date: 2017–01
  11. By: Brunner, Christoph; Kauffeldt, T. Florian; Rau, Hannes
    Abstract: In many experiments, the Nash equilibrium concept seems not to predict well. One reason may be that players have non-selfish preferences over outcomes. As a consequence, even when they are told what the material payoffs of the game are, mutual knowledge of preferences may not be satisfied. We experimentally examine several 2x2 games and test whether revealing players' preferences leads to more equilibrium play. For that purpose, we elicit subjects' preferences over outcomes before the games are played. It turns out that subjects are significantly more likely to play an equilibrium strategy when other players' preferences are revealed. We discuss a noisy version of the Bayesian Nash equilibrium and a model of strategic ambiguity to account for observed subject behavior.
    Keywords: Behavioral Game Theory; Epistemic Game Theory; Nash Equilibrium; Games of Incomplete Information
    Date: 2017–01–30
  12. By: Kassas, Bachir; Palma, Marco; Ness, Meghan; Anderson, David
    Abstract: It is well documented that people overbid in second price auctions (SPAs). Yet, this fact is conveniently ignored when eliciting willingness-to-pay (WTP) for market goods. We propose a simple design that not only tests the external validity of SPA bids, but also suggests a more accurate method of eliciting WTP in SPAs. Following the SPA, participants were offered a randomly chosen price, from the range of retail prices in actual markets, at which they can purchase any amount of the good in an onsite secondary market. The design links overbidding and underbidding behavior to violations of the weak axiom of revealed preferences (WARP). We find robust evidence that the dominance of overbidding over underbidding in SPAs leads to an upward bias in the WTP estimates. While this can compromise market good valuations by inflating the perceived value of products, our design enables utilization of Kotlarski’s identity to recover the distribution of the unobserved true valuations.
    Keywords: Overbidding, WARP, WTP, Kotlarski’s identity, non-parametric estimation, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, D44,
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Külpmann, Philipp (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University); Khantadze, Davit (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of absence of common knowledge on the outcomes of coordination games in a laboratory experiment. Using cognitive types, we can explain coordination failure in pure coordination games while differentiating between coordination failure due to first- and higher-order beliefs. In our experiment, around 76% of the subjects have chosen the payoff-dominant equilibrium strategy despite the absence of common knowledge. However, 9% of the players had first-order beliefs that lead to coordination failure and another 9% exhibited coordination failure due to higher-order beliefs. Furthermore, we compare our results with predictions of commonly used models of higher-order beliefs.
    Keywords: Higher-order beliefs, coordination failure, cognitive abilities, experimental economics, game theory
    Date: 2016–09–26
  14. By: Sharp, Misti; Suter, Jordan; Hoag, Dana
    Abstract: Uncertainty remains problematic for pollution control in water resources due to difficulties in tracing pollution flows and uncertainty regarding future regulation. This study uses experimental techniques to evaluate how farmers in a water quality trading (WQT) market behave when they are able to resolve two issues of uncertainty: uncertainty regarding the benefits of WQT participation and uncertainty over future regulation. Experiments were conducted in the summer of 2016 with participants assigned the role of “farmer” (seller) or “wastewater treatment plant manager” (buyer) in a WQT market. In the base treatment, all farm credit generation required two units of clean-up for one pollution credit and voluntary practice implementation by farmers. In a second treatment, farmers had an opportunity to verify their true trading ratio. Preliminary results suggest that farmers will invest in verification and market outcomes typically improve. A third treatment asked farmers to implement practices voluntarily to reach a threshold to avoid regulation. Results indicate that farmers are unlikely to meet voluntary thresholds; moreover, market outcomes are worse as voluntarily abatement comes at an opportunity cost in the trading market. These results suggest an opportunity for regulators to increase participation and improve social outcomes by resolving uncertainty in WQT markets.
    Keywords: Water quality, behavioral economics, experiments, pollution markets, Environmental Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Jana Friedrichsen; Dirk Engelmann
    Abstract: This paper experimentally investigates how concerns for social approval relate to intrinsic motivations to purchase ethically. Participants state their willingness-to-pay for both a fair trade and a conventional chocolate bar in private or publicly. A standard model of social image predicts that all increase their fair trade premium when facing an audience. We find that the premium is higher in public than in private only for participants who preferred a conventional over a fair trade chocolatebar in a pre-lab choice. This is captured by a generalized model where intrinsic preferences and the concern for social approval are negatively correlated.
    Keywords: Image concerns, ethical consumption, fair trade, social approval, crowding out, experiments
    JEL: D03 C91 D12
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Ingvild Almås (Norwegian School of Economics); Alexander Cappelen (Norwegian School of Economics); Bertil Tungodden (Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: There is a striking difference in income inequality and redistributive policies between the United States and Scandinavia. To study whether there is a corresponding cross-country difference in social preferences, we conducted the first large-scale international social preference experiment, with nationally representative samples from the United States and Norway. We introduce a new experimental approach, which combines the infrastructure of an international online market place and the infrastructure of a leading international data collection agency. A novel feature of our experiment is that Americans and Norwegians make real distributive choices in identical situations where they have complete information about the source of inequality and the cost of redistribution. We show that Americans and Norwegians differ significantly in fairness views, but not in the importance assigned to efficiency. The study also provides robust causal evidence of fairness considerations being much more fundamental for inequality acceptance than efficiency considerations in both countries.
    Keywords: income inequality, redistribution, Norway, fairness, Efficiency
    JEL: D63 C93 D31
    Date: 2017–01
  17. By: Cardak, Buly A (Department of Economics and Finance, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University); Neelim, Ananta (School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University); Vecci, Joseph (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Wu, Kevin (Department of Economics, Monash University, Australia)
    Abstract: Using an experiment we investigate the effect of different centralised punishment mechanisms on deception and beliefs about deception in a principal-agent interaction that resembles many everyday expert advisor - client relationships. Agents have private information to transmit to Principals who must decide whether to follow Agent advice. Across our treatments, Agents face a range of expected penalties for deceptive behaviour with varying severity and monitoring probability. The Bayesian Nash equilibrium of the principal-agent interaction predicts penalties to have no effect on Agent behaviour. We find the magnitude of penalties to have important deterrent effects on deceptive Agent behaviour while Agents do not respond to changes in monitoring probabilities. Principal following behaviour increases in response to high penalties. However, it is unaffected by equivalent increases in monitoring. To help us understand the mechanism through which penalties deter deceptive behaviour, we test whether framing activates norms, providing an additional deterrence effect. We find norms are only activated by large penalties, providing a possible explanation for the impact of penalties on deceptive behaviour.
    Keywords: Punishment; Deception; Principal Agent; Norm Induced Behaviour
    JEL: C91 K42 L51
    Date: 2017–01
  18. By: Matthias Dahm (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of a specific affirmative action policy in complete information all-pay auctions when players differ in ability. We call this policy an extra prize. The contest organiser splits the prize of the competition into a main prize and an extra prize. Extra prizes differ from second prizes, because they are targeted towards disadvantaged (low-ability) agents. We consider a setting with one high-ability and two low-ability contestants and fully characterise equilibrium. Assuming that the contest organiser aims to maximise expected total effort, we show that (i) almost any extra prize is preferable to a standard all-pay auction without extra prize; (ii) the exclusion principle (Baye, Kovenock and de Vries, 1993) can be implemented by a wide range of sufficiently large extra prizes; and (iii) partial exclusion by means of an appropriately chosen extra prize benefits the organiser more than complete exclusion.
    Keywords: Asymmetric contests, multi-prize contests, equality of opportunity, affirmative action, discrimination, prize structure, exclusion principle
    Date: 2017–01
  19. By: Suren Vardanyan
    Abstract: We experimentally study the possibility that news of a crisis in one market may cause a contagious crisis in another market though there are no links between those markets. Literature provides models of contagion in which news of a crisis may cause contagion in Bandwagon and Strategic risk channels; however, these models lack empirical evidence. The reason may be that it is difficult to isolate the effect of news of a crisis in real data, as markets are linked in many ways. To our knowledge this is the first research into contagious effects of the news of a crisis. We modify the influential experimental design of Smith et al. (1988) to construct an environment in which two separate markets are traded simultaneously, and there is no link between these markets other than possibility of observing prices in the other market. We create a crisis in one market by simulating a price drop in that market and observe whether prices in the other market drop in a contagious manner. Our results show that news of a crisis is a significant source of contagion and the Bandwagon channel is significant, while the Strategic risk channel is not. Further, news of a crisis may cause contagion in channels other than Bandwagon and Strategic risk; however, we do not identify which channels in the present study, leaving it for future research.
    Keywords: asset market; contagion; experiment;
    JEL: C92 G12
    Date: 2016–12
  20. By: Konstantinos Georgalos; Sonali Sen Gupta; Indrajit Ray
    Abstract: In a coarse correlated equilibrium (Moulin and Vial 1978), each player finds it optimal to commit ex ante to the future outcome from a probabilistic correlation device instead of playing any strategy of their own. In this paper, we consider a specific two-person game with unique pure Nash and correlated equilibrium and test the concept of coarse correlated equilibrium with a device which is an equally weighted lottery over three symmetric outcomes in the game including the Nash equilibrium, with higher expected payoff than the Nash payoff (as in Moulin and Vial 1978). We also test an individual choice between a lottery over the same payoffs with equal probabilities and the sure payoff as in the Nash equilibrium of the game. Subjects choose the individual lottery, however, they do not commit to the device in the game and instead coordinate to play the Nash equilibrium. We explain this behaviour as an equilibrium in the game.
    Keywords: Correlation, Coordination, Lottery
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D63 D83
    Date: 2017
  21. By: Cars Hommes (CeNDEF, University of Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: This essay links some of my own work on expectations, learning and bounded rationality to the inspiring ideas of Jean-Michel Grandmont. In particular, my work on consistent expectations and behavioral learning equilibria may be seen as formalizations of JMG's ideas of self-fulfilling mistakes. Some of our learning-to-forecast laboratory experiments with human subjects have also been strongly influenced by JMG's ideas. Key features of self-fulfilling mistakes are multiple equilibria, excess volatility and persistence amplification.
    Keywords: expectations; learning; bounded rationality; chaos; almost self-fulfilling equilibria; laboratory experiments
    JEL: D84 D83 E32 C92
    Date: 2017–01–30
  22. By: Howley, P.; Boyce, C.;
    Abstract: Much previous research has examined the relationship between online socialising and mental health, but conclusions are mixed and often contradictory. In this present paper we unpack the online social networking - mental health relationship by examining to what extent the relationship between these variables is personality-specific. Consistent with the idea that communicating through the internet is fundamentally different from face-to-face socializing, we find that on average, use of social networking web-sites is negatively associated with mental health. However, we find that the mental health response is dependent upon an individual’s underlying personality traits. Specifically, individuals who are either relatively extraverted or agreeable are not substantively affected from spending significant amounts of time on social networking web-sites. On the other hand, individuals who are relatively more neurotic or conscientiousness are much more likely to experience substantive reductions in their mental health from using social networking web-sites. We suggest that if the aim of public policy is to mitigate the adverse mental health effects from excessive internet use, then one-size-fits all measures will likely be misplaced. More generally, our research highlights the importance of conducting differentiated analyses of internet users when examining the health effects from internet use.
    Keywords: personality traits; psychological health; internet; social interaction;
    JEL: I10
    Date: 2017–01
  23. By: Zapata, Samuel D.; Griffin, Terry W.
    Abstract: Limited theoretical and empirical work have been conducted to synthetize multiple treatment experiments commonly used in agricultural field sciences. The main objective of this study was to extend the current meta-analysis literature by developing a flexible econometric model to evaluate multiple treatment data. The proposed method is based on random effects meta-regression and mixed effects models. The model is illustrated on a publicly available series of nitrogen field experiments on corn production in the upper Midwestern United States. Stochastic plateau theory integrated with econometric meta-analysis methodology was used to determine the agronomic optimal nitrogen application rate and shape of the functional form of corresponding yield potential.
    Keywords: Field experiments, Meta-regression, Least significance difference, Optimal input rate, Stochastic plateau, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, Q10, C10, C93,
    Date: 2017
  24. By: Hunt Allcott; Christopher Knittel
    Abstract: It has long been argued that people are poorly-informed about and inattentive to fuel economy when buying cars, and that this causes us to buy low-fuel economy vehicles despite our own best interest. We test this assertion by running two experiments providing fuel economy information to people shopping for new vehicles. We find zero statistical or economic effect of information on average fuel economy of vehicles purchased. In the context of a simple optimal policy model, the estimates suggest that imperfect information and inattention are not valid as significant justifications for fuel economy standards at current or planned levels.
    JEL: D12 D83 L15 L91 Q41 Q48
    Date: 2017–01

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