nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2017‒05‒21
fifteen papers chosen by

  1. Information, Switching Costs, and Consumer Choice: Evidence from Two Randomized Field Experiments in Swedish Primary Health Care By Anell, Anders; Dietrichson, Jens; Ellegård, Lina Maria; Kjellsson, Gustav
  2. Household Matters: Revisiting the Returns to Capital among Female Micro-entrepreneurs By Arielle Bernhardt; Erica Field; Rohini Pande; Natalia Rigol
  3. Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005 By Baert, Stijn
  4. Fluid intelligence and cognitive reflection in a strategic environment: evidence from dominance-solvable games By Nobuyuki Hanaki; Nicolas Jacquemet; Stéphane Luchini; Adam Zylbersztejn
  5. Multiple switching behavior in different display formats of multiple price lists By Bauermeister, Golo-Friedrich; Mußhoff, Oliver
  6. Harnessing Policy Complementarities to Conserve Energy: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment By John A. List; Robert D. Metcalfe; Michael K. Price; Florian Rundhammer
  7. Cognitive ability and the effect of strategic uncertainty By Nobuyuki Hanaki; Nicolas Jacquemet; Stéphane Luchini; Adam Zylbersztejn
  8. Evaluating the Effects of a Targeted Home Visiting Program on Maternal and Child Health Outcomes By Sandner, Malte; Cornelissen, Thomas; Jungmann, Tanja; Herrmann, Peggy
  9. Nudging Households to Take Up Health Insurance: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Burkina Faso By Bocoum, Fadima; Grimm, Michael; Hartwig, Renate; Zongo, Nathalie
  10. Climate Change: Behavioral Responses from Extreme Events and Delayed Damages By R. Ghidoni; G. Calzolari; M. Casari
  11. Satisfaction Guaranteed: When Moral Hazard meets Moral Preferences By James Andreoni
  12. A New Approach to the Study of Editing of Repeated Lotteries By Alessandra Cillo; Enrico De Giorgi
  13. Impact of Lower Rated Journals on Economists' Judgments of Publication Lists: Evidence from a Survey Experiment By Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Riyanto, Yohanes E.; Knetsch, Jack L.
  14. An Experimental Analysis of Modifications to the Survivor Benefit Information Within the Social Security Statement By Jeffrey Diebold; Susan Camilleri
  15. Mounting Multiple Experiments on Longitudinal Social Surveys: Design and Implementation Considerations By Lynn, Peter; Jäckle, Annette

  1. By: Anell, Anders (Department of Business Administration, Lund University); Dietrichson, Jens (The Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI)); Ellegård, Lina Maria (Department of Economics, Lund University); Kjellsson, Gustav (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Consumers of services that are financed by a third party, such as publicly financed health care or firm-sponsored health plans, are often allowed to freely choose provider. The rationale is that consumer choice may improve the matching of consumers and providers and spur quality competition. Such improvements are contingent on consumers having access to comparative information about providers and acting on this information when making their choice. However, in the presence of information frictions and switching costs, consumers may have limited ability to find suitable providers. We use two large-scale randomized field experiments in primary health care to examine if the choice of provider is affected when consumers receive comparative information by postal mail and small costs associated with switching are reduced. The first experiment targeted a subset of the general population in the Swedish region Skåne, and the second targeted new residents in the region, who should have less prior information and lower switching costs. In both cases, the propensity to switch provider increased significantly after the intervention. The effects were larger for new residents than for the general population, and were driven by individuals living reasonably close to alternative providers.
    Keywords: Consumer choice; Information; Switching costs; Primary health care; Field experiments
    JEL: D83 I11 I18
    Date: 2017–05–17
  2. By: Arielle Bernhardt; Erica Field; Rohini Pande; Natalia Rigol
    Abstract: Several field experiments fi nd positive returns to grants for male and not female micro-entrepreneurs. But, these analyses largely overlook that male and female micro-entrepreneurs often belong to the same household. Using data from randomized trials in India, Sri Lanka and Ghana, we show that the gender gap in microenterprise performance is not due to a gap in aptitude. Instead, low average returns of female-run enterprises are observed because women's capital is invested into their husbands' enterprises rather than their own. When women are the sole household enterprise operator, capital shocks lead to large increases in profits. Household-level income gains are equivalent regardless of the grant or loan recipient's gender.
    JEL: D1 H31 J16 O12
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    Abstract: This chapter aims to provide an exhaustive list of all (i.e. 90) correspondence studies on hiring discrimination that were conducted between 2005 and 2016 (and could be found through a systematic search). For all these studies, the direction of the estimated treatment effects is tabulated. In addition, a discussion of the findings by discrimination ground is provided.
    Keywords: discrimination, hiring, field experiments, correspondence experiments, correspondence tests
    JEL: C93 J71
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Nobuyuki Hanaki (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nicolas Jacquemet (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Stéphane Luchini (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille); Adam Zylbersztejn (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Etienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Dominance solvability is one of the most straightforward solution concepts in game theory. It is based on two principles: dominance (according to which players always use their dominant strategy) and iterated dominance (according to which players always act as if others apply the principle of dominance). However, existing experimental evidence questions the empirical accuracy of dominance solvability. In this study, we study the relationships between the key facets of dominance solvability and two cognitive skills, cognitive reection and uid intelligence. We provide evidence that the behaviors in accordance with dominance and one-step iterated dominance are both predicted by one's uid intelligence rather than cognitive reection. Individual cognitive skills, however, only explain a small fraction of the observed failure of dominance solvability. The accuracy of theoretical predictions on strategic decision making thus not only depends on individual cognitive characteristics, but also, perhaps more importantly, on the decision making environment itself.
    Keywords: Raven's test,experiment,Dominance solvability,cognitive skills,CRT
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Bauermeister, Golo-Friedrich; Mußhoff, Oliver
    Abstract: A common approach to elicit risk attitude is the multiple price list with a series of binary choices. However, a frequently observed problem when using multiple price lists is that participants switch more than once from the safer to the riskier option, thus exhibiting multiple switching behavior. The present study analyzes whether the visualization of different multiple price lists reduce multiple switching behavior. Therefore, we conduct two types of multiple price lists in two different display formats. Participants are randomly assigned into a textual or a visual group and carry out both multiple price lists in the corresponding display format. Our results reveal that different types of multiple price lists lead to differences in the extent of multiple switching behavior. Moreover, we show that the visualization of a multiple price list can be an instrument to greatly reduce multiple switching behavior.
    Keywords: experiment,multiple price list,multiple switching behavior,visualization
    JEL: C90 D81 D89
    Date: 2017
  6. By: John A. List; Robert D. Metcalfe; Michael K. Price; Florian Rundhammer
    Abstract: The literature has shown the power of social norms to promote residential energy conservation, particularly among high usage users. This study uses a natural field experiment with nearly 200,000 US households to explore whether a financial rewards program can complement such approaches. We observe strong impacts of the program, particularly amongst low-usage and low-variance households, customers who typically are less responsive to normative messaging. Our data thus suggest important policy complementarities between behavioral and financial incentives: whereas non-pecuniary interventions disproportionately affect intense users, financial incentives are able to substantially affect the low-user, “sticky households.”
    JEL: C93 D03 Q4
    Date: 2017–04
  7. By: Nobuyuki Hanaki (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nicolas Jacquemet (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Stéphane Luchini (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille); Adam Zylbersztejn (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: How is one's cognitive ability related to the way one responds to strategic uncertainty? We address this question by conducting a set of experiments in simple 2 × 2 dominance solvable coordination games. Our experiments involve two main treatments: one in which two human subjects interact, and another in which one human subject interacts with a computer program whose behavior is known. By making the behavior of the computer perfectly predictable, the latter treatment eliminates strategic uncertainty. We find that subjects with higher cognitive ability are more sensitive to strategic uncertainty than those with lower cognitive ability.
    Keywords: Experiment,Strategic uncertainty,Bounded rationality,Robot
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Sandner, Malte (University College London); Cornelissen, Thomas (University of York); Jungmann, Tanja (University of Rostock); Herrmann, Peggy (Hannover Medical School (MHH))
    Abstract: We evaluate the effects of home visiting targeted towards disadvantaged first-time mothers on maternal and child health outcomes. Our analysis exploits a randomized controlled trial and combines rich longitudinal survey data with unique administrative health data. In a context in which the target group has comprehensive health care access, we find that home visiting has no effects on most types of health utilization, health behaviors, and physical health measures. However, the intervention has a remarkably robust and sizable positive effect on maternal mental health, reducing depressions reported in the survey data and prescriptions of psycholeptics recorded in the administrative data.
    Keywords: child health, disadvantaged families, mental health, early childhood intervention
    JEL: I14
    Date: 2017–04
  9. By: Bocoum, Fadima (Institute de Recherche en Sciences de Santé (IRSS)); Grimm, Michael (University of Passau); Hartwig, Renate (University of Namur); Zongo, Nathalie (Association Songui Manégré- Aide au développement Endogène (ASMADE))
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the impact of a randomized information package on the understanding and uptake of community based health insurance. The information package consists of a detailed brochure which is distributed to households through home visits, a video also presented in people's homes and a personalized phone reminder. Overall, we find significant treatment effects on insurance uptake at the margin, although insurance uptake is low in general. We also find evidence for a better understanding of insurance principles among treated households, in particular in poorer households and in households with literate household heads. Finally, we see that treated households share the information they received with their neighbors and this also has positive effects on their understanding of insurance principles. We find further suggestive evidence that information sharing remains locally concentrated and does not surpass a radius of 1 km. Our findings contribute to the understanding how knowledge about the functioning of insurance can be enhanced in a context where the concept of insurance is largely unknown and where strong cultural beliefs prevail, and eventually, how insurance uptake can be increased, although the latter may take more time.
    Keywords: health insurance, take-up, encouragement design, learning, financial education
    JEL: D83 G22 I13 M31 O33
    Date: 2017–04
  10. By: R. Ghidoni; G. Calzolari; M. Casari
    Abstract: Understanding how to sustain cooperation in the climate change global dilemma is crucial to mitigate its harmful consequences. Damages from climate change typically occurs after long delays and can take the form of more frequent realizations of extreme and random events. These features generate a decoupling between emissions and their damages, which we study through a laboratory experiment. We find that some decision-makers respond to global emissions, as expected, while others respond to realized damages also when emissions are observable. On balance, the presence of delayed/stochastic consequences did not impair cooperation. However, we observed a worrisome increasing trend of emissions when damages hit with delay.
    JEL: C70 C90 D03 Q54
    Date: 2017–05
  11. By: James Andreoni
    Abstract: Theorists and policy analysts have convincingly argued that greater trust makes a more efficient society by eliminating costly contracts or expensive reputations. Concurrently, experiments suggest that reciprocity is a potent substitute for law when compliance with contracts is imperfectly enforced. This paper examines these issues within the context of a common trust-building contract device: satisfaction guaranteed. We find that satisfaction guaranteed indeed builds trust and improves efficiency. Interestingly, sellers offering a guarantee are more trustworthy than those who don't, even when honoring it is fully voluntary, but the guarantee only elicits the trust of buyers when it has legal backing.
    JEL: C92 D02 D4 K2
    Date: 2017–04
  12. By: Alessandra Cillo; Enrico De Giorgi
    Abstract: We propose a new theoretical approach to the study of editing rules applied by decision makers when dealing with repeated lotteries. Under the assumption that decision makers detect statedominance among simply two-outcome lotteries and always prefer n draws of a dominating lottery to n draws of a dominated lottery, we study editing rules beyond the use of acceptance rates. We derive an appropriate experimental methodology based on loss and gain differences, which also allows us to quantify the strength of preferences. An experiment supports previous findings showing that editing might depend on the risk profile of the underlying lottery. Moreover, we provide evidence that acceptance rates could lead to different conclusions than our methodology, because they generally do not account for the strength of preferences. Keywords: editing, segregation, aggregation, repeated lotteries. JEL Classification: D81.
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick); Riyanto, Yohanes E. (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore); Knetsch, Jack L. (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: Publications in leading journals are widely known to have a positive impact on economists' judgments of the value of authors' contributions to the literature and on their professional reputations. Very little attention has been given, however, to the impacts of the addition of publications in lower rated journals on such judgments. In our main tests, we asked subsamples of economists in 44 universities throughout the world to rate either a publication list with only higher rated journals or a list with all of these but with additional publications in nearly as many respected but lower rated journals. Our primary finding was that the inclusion of lower rated journals had a statistically significant negative impact on these economists' judgments of the value of the author's contribution. To the extent that such judgments may influence research and publication strategies our findings imply negative implications on social welfare.
    Keywords: lower ranked journals, publication, judgment bias, less-is-better effect, resume
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2017–04
  14. By: Jeffrey Diebold; Susan Camilleri
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of modifications to the survivor benefit information in the Social Security Statement on the benefit knowledge and the expected claiming behavior of married men using an experimental survey of workers from the RAND American Life Panel (ALP). Critical components of this analysis include modifications to the survivor benefit information in the Statement’s benefit table and a “special insert” that explains the survivor benefit provisions. The key limitations of this study include the limited generalizability of the results due to the sampling frame (i.e., men) and the self-selection of ALP panel members into the study. Second, a worker’s claiming decision is likely the result of a more complicated decision-making process than was allowed for in this experiment. Our study assumes, for example, that married workers evaluate their benefit information and make a decision about when to claim independent of input from their spouse. While the occurrence and scope of such deliberations will vary by household, given the financial implications of this decision for each spouse, the assumption that married workers make this decision unilaterally is somewhat tenuous.
    Date: 2017–05
  15. By: Lynn, Peter; Jäckle, Annette
    Abstract: Mounting experiments on longitudinal surveys adds a further dimension to the value of randomised experiments (designed to maximise internal validity) mounted on probability surveys (to maximise external validity): for example, repeated measurement over time can be used to test effects on inherently longitudinal outcomes, or to test inherently longitudinal treatments. The unique value of experimentation in longitudinal surveys is, however, matched by unique challenges in design and implementation. We summarise key methodological features and challenges based on experiences with the Understanding Society Innovation Panel, a probability-based household panel with annual interviews that exists solely for experimentation and methodological development
    Date: 2017–05–11

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