nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2017‒06‒04
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Experienced vs. inexperienced participants in the lab: Do they behave differently? By Benndorf, Volker; Moellers, Claudia; Normann, Hans-Theo
  2. Distributional preferences and donation behavior among marine resource users in Wakatobi, Indonesia By Nelson, Katherine M.; Schlüter, Achim; Vance, Colin
  3. Wage delegation and intrinsic motivation: an experimental study By Marco Faillo; Costanza Piovanelli
  4. How Do Peers Impact Learning? An Experimental Investigation of Peer-to-Peer Teaching and Ability Tracking By Erik O. Kimbrough; Andrew D. McGee; Hitoshi Shigeoka
  5. Nudging Study Habits: A Field Experiment on Peer Tutoring in Higher Education By Wilson, Nicholas; Pugatch, Todd
  6. From the Field to the Lab. An Experiment on the Representativeness of Standard Laboratory Subjects By L. Frigau; T. Medda; V. Pelligra
  7. Management and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment By Roland G. Fryer, Jr
  8. Integration and Segregation By Goyal, S.; Hernández, P.; Martínez-Cánovasz, G.; Moisan, F.; Muñoz-Herrera, M.; Sánchez, A.
  9. Effective anti-corruption policy-making: What can we learn from experimental economics? By Boly, Amadou; Gillanders, Robert
  10. he Effect of Physical Activity on Student Performance in College: An Experimental Evaluation By Fricke, Hans; Lechner, Michael; Steinmayr, Andreas
  11. Be who you ought or be who you are? Environmental framing and cognitive dissonance in going paperless By Greer Gosnell
  12. A Unified Characterization of Randomized Strategy-proof Rules By Roy, Souvik; Sadhukhan, Soumyarup

  1. By: Benndorf, Volker; Moellers, Claudia; Normann, Hans-Theo
    Abstract: We analyze whether subjects with extensive laboratory experience and first-time participants, who voluntarily registered for the experiment, differ in their behavior. Subjects play four one-shot, two-player games: a trust game, a beauty contest, an ultimatum game, a travelers' dilemma and, in addition, we conduct a singleplayer lying task and elicit risk preferences. We find few significant differences. In the trust game, experienced subjects are less trustworthy and they also trust less. Furthermore, experienced subjects submit fewer non-monotonic strategies in the risk elicitation task. We find no differences whatsoever in the other decisions. Nevertheless, the minor differences observed between experienced and inexperienced subjects may be relevant because we document a potential recruitment bias: the share of inexperienced subjects may be lower in the early recruitment waves.
    Keywords: dilemma,experienced subjects,laboratory methods,trust game
    JEL: C90 C70 C72
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Nelson, Katherine M.; Schlüter, Achim; Vance, Colin
    Abstract: This study examines the effect of participants' distributional preferences on donations of money and time using a field experiment with marine resource users in Indonesia. Individuals participate in a real effort task to earn money and are faced with a donation decision under different treatments - monetary donation, time donation, monetary match, and time match. In the distributional preferences elicitation we classify individuals' preferences as benevolent, egalitarian, own-money-maximizing, and spiteful. We find that the different distributional preference types are a significant indicator of participants' donation behavior. The people showing spiteful preferences and those that focus only on maximizing their own payoff are less likely to donate any amount compared to those that make egalitarian choices. Furthermore, we find strong evidence that individuals that choose payoff structures characterized as "benevolent" donate a significantly higher amount compared to the egalitarian types. We analyze the results econometrically in two-stages to better understand the determining factors for whether an individual donates and those factors that determine how much one donates. Practical implications involve the segmentation of the target audience, not by the type of charity but by the mechanism which motivates their donation behavior.
    Keywords: distributional preferences,donations,field experiment
    JEL: Q22 Z1
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Marco Faillo; Costanza Piovanelli
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate experimentally whether and to what extent subjects’ intrinsic motivation and performance change when they are allowed to self-set their own wage for performing a task; moreover, it investigates how differently motivated people react to the possibility of deter- mining their own wage. We propose a novel experimental design, in which the subjects are asked to perform a complex real-effort task under two different conditions: wages can be either chosen by the subjects themselves, or randomly determined. With this setting, we are able to disentangle intrinsic motivation from the reciprocity concerns that are likely to characterize the standard principal-agent interaction. Our main result is that subjects increase their performance more when they are delegated the wage choice than when they receive a random payment; moreover, subjects who are both highly motivated and delegated their wage choice are those who perform better. Finally, subjects with higher motivation ask for lower wages.
    Keywords: Compensation, Incentives, Delegation, Motivation, Experiment
    JEL: C91 J33 M52 M54
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Erik O. Kimbrough; Andrew D. McGee; Hitoshi Shigeoka
    Abstract: Classroom peers are believed to influence learning by teaching each other, and the efficacy of this teaching likely depends on classroom composition in terms of peers’ ability. Unfortunately, little is known about peer-to-peer teaching because it is never observed in field studies. Furthermore, identifying how peer-to-peer teaching is affected by ability tracking—grouping students of similar ability—is complicated by the fact that tracking is typically accompanied by changes in curriculum and the instructional behavior of teachers. To fill this gap, we conduct a laboratory experiment in which subjects learn to solve logic problems and examine both the importance of peer-to-peer teaching and the interaction between peer-to-peer teaching and ability tracking. While peer-to-peer teaching improves learning among low-ability subjects, the positive effects are substantially offset by tracking. Tracking reduces the frequency of peer-to-peer teaching, suggesting that low-ability subjects suffer from the absence of high-ability peers to teach them.
    JEL: C91 I24 I28
    Date: 2017–05
  5. By: Wilson, Nicholas; Pugatch, Todd
    Abstract: More than two of every five students who enrolled in college in 2007 failed to graduate by 2013. Peer tutoring services offer one approach toward improving learning outcomes in higher education. We conducted a randomized controlled experiment designed to increase take-up of university tutoring services. Brief, one-time messages increased tutoring take-up by 7 percentage points, or 23% of the control group mean. Attendance at multiple tutoring sessions increased by nearly the same amount, suggesting substantial changes in study habits in response to a simple and inexpensive intervention. We find little evidence of advertising-induced tutoring on learning outcomes.
    Keywords: peer tutoring,human capital investment,behavioral response to advertising,nudges,higher education
    JEL: D83 I23
    Date: 2017
  6. By: L. Frigau; T. Medda; V. Pelligra
    Abstract: We replicate in the lab an artefactual field experiment originally run with a representative sample of the population. Our results show that, despite the many differences between university students and representative subjects from the whole population, the two samples closely follow a common behavioral pattern in a set of binary dictator games. The only exception seems to be represented by a significant difference in those situations where self-interest plays a prominent role. This gap is mainly related to the academic background of the participants - our sample of undergraduate economics students, in fact, differs in its degree of self-interested choices both from the representative group of the population and from its sub-sample of students from heterogeneous disciplines.
    Keywords: Prosocial Behavior;Methodology;External Validity;Experiments
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Roland G. Fryer, Jr
    Abstract: This study examines the impact on student achievement of implementing management training for principals in traditional public schools in Houston, Texas, using a school-level randomized field experiment. Across two years, principals were provided 300 hours of training on lesson planning, data-driven instruction, and teacher observation and coaching. The findings show that offering management training to principals significantly increases student achievement in all subjects in year one and has an insignificant effect in year two. We argue that the results in year two are driven by principal turnover, coupled with the cumulative nature of the training. Schools with principals who are predicted to remain in their positions for both years of the experiment demonstrate large treatment effects in both years – particularly those with principals who are also predicted to implement the training with high fidelity – while those with principals that are predicted to leave have statistically insignificant effects in each year of treatment.
    JEL: I20 J0 M10
    Date: 2017–05
  8. By: Goyal, S.; Hernández, P.; Martínez-Cánovasz, G.; Moisan, F.; Muñoz-Herrera, M.; Sánchez, A.
    Abstract: Individuals prefer to coordinate with others, but they differ on the preferred action. In theory, this can give rise to an integrated society with everyone conforming to the same action or a segregated society with members of different groups choosing diverse actions. Social welfare is maximum when society is integrated and everyone conforms on the majority's action. In laboratory experiments, subjects with different preferences segregate into distinct groups and choose diverse actions. To understand the role of partner choice, we then consider an exogenous network of partners. Subjects in the experiment now choose to conform on the action preferred by the majority. Thus, there exists a tension between two deeply held values: social cohesion and freedom of association.
    Date: 2017–05–29
  9. By: Boly, Amadou; Gillanders, Robert
    Abstract: Experimental studies have shown that deterrence (monitoring and punishment) can be an effective anti-corruption policy. Even when they themselves stand to lose, policymakers may enact deterrence policies with real teeth ... However, policymakers' legitimacy is crucial: a given deterrence policy is more effective when chosen by an honest policymaker as opposed to a corrupt one.
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Fricke, Hans; Lechner, Michael; Steinmayr, Andreas
    Abstract: What is the role of physical activity in the process of human capital accumulation? Brain research provides growing evidence of the importance of physical activity for various aspects of cognitive functions. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle could thus be not only harmful to population health, but also disrupt human capital accumulation. This paper analyzes the effects of on-campus recreational sports and exercise on educational outcomes of university students. To identify causal effects, we randomize ?nancial incentives to encourage students’ participation in on-campus sports and exercise. The incentives increased participation frequency by 0.26 times per week (47%) and improved grades by 0.14 standard deviations. This effect is primarily driven by male students and students at higher quantiles of the grade distribution. Results from survey data suggest that students substitute off-campus with on-campus physical activities during the day but do not signi?cantly increase the overall frequency. Our ?ndings suggest that students spend more time on campus and are better able to integrate studying and exercising, which may enhance the effectiveness of studying and thus improve student performance.
    Keywords: Sports, physical activity, human capital, student achievement, randomized experiment
    JEL: C93 I12 I18 I23 J24
    Date: 2017–05
  11. By: Greer Gosnell
    Abstract: This paper explores the potential for environmental information and dissonance-inducing messaging to encourage resourceful behaviour, following a study of customers of a renewable energy provider in the UK. It uses the manipulation of message framing to analyse behavioural motivators that businesses may consider when encouraging customers – in this case, those who already have revealed environmental preferences – to switch from paper to online communications. In a large-scale natural field experiment comprising 38,654 customers of renewable supplier Good Energy, the author has randomised environmental information and messaging rooted in theories of cognitive dissonance in email communications promoting an active switch to paperless billing. The study finds that environmental information and imagery are ineffective in inducing behaviour change. Interestingly, the dissonance-inducing messaging weakly improves uptake among the main sample but backfires among a sub-sample of individuals with extensive postgraduate education. Contrary to the majority of the literature on gender and environmental behaviour, females in the sample are less likely to switch to paperless billing than males.
    Date: 2017–05
  12. By: Roy, Souvik; Sadhukhan, Soumyarup
    Abstract: This paper presents a unified characterization of the unanimous and strategy-proof random rules on a class of domains that are based on some prior ordering over the alternatives. It identifies a condition called top-richness so that, if a domain satisfies top-richness, then an RSCF on it is unanimous and strategy-proof if and only if it is a convex combination of tops-restricted min-max rules. Well-known domains like single-crossing, single-peaked, single-dipped etc. satisfy top-richness. This paper also provides a characterization of the random min-max domains. Furthermore, it offers a characterization of the tops-only and strategy-proof random rules on top-rich domains satisfying top-connectedness. Finally, it presents a characterization of the unanimous (tops-only) and group strategy-proof random rules on those domains.
    Keywords: Random Social Choice Functions; Unanimity; Strategy-proofness; Tops-onlyness; Uncompromisingness; Random min-max Rules; Single-crossing Domains.
    JEL: D71 D82
    Date: 2017–05–25

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