nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2017‒08‒27
ten papers chosen by

  1. Assam riots in India in 1980s: Examining the behavioural outcomes By Asad Islam; Ratul Mahanta
  2. Intertemporal choice and income regularity: Non-fungibility in a lab-in-the-field experiment By Kramer, Berber; Kunst, David
  3. Cooking contests for healthier recipes: Impacts on nutrition knowledge and behaviors in Bangladesh By Kramer, Berber
  4. Insurance structure, risk sharing, and investment decisions: An empirical investigation of the implications of individual and group weather index insurance By Munro, Laura
  5. The First 2,000 Days and Child Skills: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment of Home Visiting By Orla Doyle
  6. Nudging Retirement Savings: A Field Experiment on Supplemental Plans By Robert L. Clark; Robert G. Hammond; Melinda Sandler Morrill; Christelle Khalaf
  7. Crime and Violence: Desensitization in Victims to Watching Criminal Events By Rafael Di Tella; Lucia Freira; Ramiro H. Gálvez; Ernesto Schargrodsky; Diego Shalom; Mariano Sigman
  8. Inclusive recruitment? Hiring discrimination against older workers By Drydakis, Nick; MacDonald, Peter; Bozani, Vasiliki; Chiotis, Vangelis
  9. Cash transfers and management advice for agriculture: Evidence from Senegal: By Ambler, Kate; de Brauw, Alan; Godlonton, Susan
  10. How Much Do the Effects of Education and Training Programs Vary Across Sites? Evidence from Past Multisite Randomized Trials By Michael J. Weiss; Howard S. Bloom; Natalya Verbitsky-Savitz; Himani Gupta; Alma E. Vigil; Daniel N. Cullinan

  1. By: Asad Islam; Ratul Mahanta
    Abstract: We conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment to examine the long-term effects of riots in Assam in India on a range of economic and behavioural outcomes. We find that individuals who live in the villages that have been heavily and moderately affected by riots are more trustworthy, more likely to be competitive and have higher levels of self-confidence under competitive situations. They exhibit more anti-social preferences but are less likely to be dishonest than individuals in the unaffected areas. The estimates are stronger and more often statistically significant when considering heavily affected areas than moderately affected areas - suggesting stronger influence on those who were directly exposed to or experienced the riots. Using survey measures, we observe that individuals in areas that were heavily exposed to riots have higher levels of trust, higher tendency toward altruism, and lower memory capacity.
    Keywords: riot, Assam, risk, trust, field experiments
    JEL: C91 C93 D74 D81 O12
    Date: 2017–08–14
  2. By: Kramer, Berber; Kunst, David
    Abstract: Motivated by evidence of mental accounting, this paper tests whether the choice of when to be paid depends on the income type. A lab-in-the-field experiment in Kenya asked dairy cooperative members to allocate both their regular milk payments and an irregular windfall between two dates. We find that participants allocated milk payments to the later of the two dates but allocated the windfall to the earlier date. Most participants self-reported deferring their milk payments in order to save for lump-sum expenses. Those planning to use milk payments for smaller, more frequent purchases were less likely to defer payments. Farmers hence appeared to earmark regular milk payments, but not the irregular windfall, for bulky expenditures. This behavior potentially explains why discount rates elicited using experimenter money are often higher than those inferred from observed choices over regular income. Given that compliance with informal contracts depends on whether the timing of payments aligns with recipient preferences, these findings also have implications for contract design in rural value chains.
    Keywords: markets, dairy, income, microeconomics, marketing,
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Kramer, Berber
    Abstract: Many poverty alleviation programs aiming to enhance nutrition include behavior change communication (BCC). This study uses a field experiment in Bangladesh to assess the impacts of BCC, focusing on nutrition training (providing information) and cooking contests (providing experience). First, in 900 households, we tested the nutrition knowledge of two household members and invited one of them to participate in a nutrition training. Comparing differences in pre-training and post-training knowledge among trained and nontrained household members, we find that training has a positive effect on nutrition knowledge, but the improved knowledge does not translate into healthier diets. Second, in randomly selected neighborhoods, the nutrition training was followed by a cooking contest designed to reinforce nutrition training messages and encourage participants to learn by doing. We find no additional effects of these contests on either knowledge or diets. We conclude that low-cost BCC strategies help improve knowledge, but alternative interventions are needed to strengthen links between knowledge and behavior.
    Keywords: consumption, field experiments, nutrition education,
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Munro, Laura
    Abstract: Recognition of take-up and transaction cost challenges in individual microinsurance has led to a surge of interest in group microinsurance. Yet few studies have considered the effect of group insurance on the investment decisions of the insured. In the case of weather index insurance, this is an important omission. Analogous to group microcredit, group weather insurance may exacerbate two key challenges depending on the information environment: moral hazard and group pressure. Experimental results from a framed field experiment in Gujarat, India, confirm that group pressure leads to an 8 percent reduction in risk taking in contexts with perfect information and group insurance (relative to individual insurance). The effects of moral hazard are more limited, however. As higher risk taking is associated with higher average agricultural productivity—and thus, development—these findings put a premium on greater attention to group selection, the information environment, and the regulation of payout distribution.
    Keywords: finance, insurance, group insurance, weather index insurance, group pressure, investment decisions, farmer decision making,
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Orla Doyle
    Abstract: Using a randomized experiment, this study investigates the impact of sustained investment in parenting, from pregnancy until age five, in the context of extensive welfare provision. Providing the Preparing for Life program, incorporating home visiting, group parenting, and baby massage, to disadvantaged Irish families raises children’s cognitive and socio-emotional/behavioral scores by two-thirds and one-quarter of a standard deviation respectively by school entry. There are few differential effects by gender and stronger gains for firstborns. The results also suggest that socioeconomic gaps in children’s skills are narrowed. Analyses account for small sample size, differential attrition, multiple testing, contamination, and performance bias.
    Keywords: Early childhood intervention; Cognitive skills; Socio-emotional and behavioral skills; Randomized control trial; Multiple hypothesis testing; Permutation testing; Inverse probability weighting
    JEL: C93 D13 J13
    Date: 2017–07
  6. By: Robert L. Clark; Robert G. Hammond; Melinda Sandler Morrill; Christelle Khalaf
    Abstract: Although supplemental saving plans can be an important part of an individual's financial security in retirement, contribution rates remain low, particularly among those with lower salaries and less education. We report findings from a field experiment that distributed an informational nudge containing information on key aspects of the employer-provided supplemental saving plans of older public employees in North Carolina. Among workers participating in a supplemental plan, individuals who received an informational nudge increased their contributions in the months following the intervention relative to the control group. Moreover, those that received the nudge reported in a subsequent survey that they were more likely to have developed a retirement plan and report more confidence in their retirement preparedness. In contrast, individuals who were not enrolled in a retirement saving plan were not moved to begin contributing to a supplemental plan.
    JEL: J32
    Date: 2017–08
  7. By: Rafael Di Tella; Lucia Freira; Ramiro H. Gálvez; Ernesto Schargrodsky; Diego Shalom; Mariano Sigman
    Abstract: We study desensitization to crime in a lab experiment by showing footage of criminal acts to a group of subjects, some of whom have been previously victimized. We measure biological markers of stress and behavioral indices of cognitive control before and after treated participants watch a series of real, crime-related videos (while the control group watches non-crime-related videos). Not previously victimized participants exposed to the treatment video show significant changes in cortisol level, heart rate, and measures of cognitive control. Instead, previously victimized individuals who are exposed to the treatment video show biological markers and cognitive performance comparable to those measured in individuals exposed to the control video. These results suggest a phenomenon of desensitization or habituation of victims to crime exposure.
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2017–08
  8. By: Drydakis, Nick; MacDonald, Peter; Bozani, Vasiliki; Chiotis, Vangelis
    Abstract: Addressing population ageing requires a rise in the activity rates of older workers. In this study, a field experiment for the period 2013-2015 in the UK, suggests that age discrimination persists at alarming levels. It shows that when two applicants engage in an identical job search, the older applicant would gain fewer invitations for interviews regardless of her/his experience or superiority for the appointment. The results also suggest that older applicants face higher occupational access constraints for blue-collar jobs than white-collar/pink-collar jobs, and that women face greater age discrimination than men. Worryingly, the outcomes suggest that older applicants gain poorer access to vacancies than younger applicants irrespective of written commitments to equal opportunities. The design of the study suggests that discrimination results from distaste for older applicants, which has not been eliminated by the introduction of anti-discrimination legislation. Eliminating ageism in recruitment requires organizations to adopt more inclusive HR policies at the earliest stages of the recruitment process. Social dialogue has a crucial role to play in shaping inclusive and discrimination free recruitment policies such that shared values and beliefs are not age-discriminatory but rather recognize the strengths and potential of workers from different age groups.
    Keywords: Access to Occupations,Wages,Ageism,Women,Discrimination
    JEL: C93 C9 J14 J1
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Ambler, Kate; de Brauw, Alan; Godlonton, Susan
    Abstract: This study analyzes impacts of large, one-time cash transfers and farm management plans among farmers in Senegal. Farmers were randomized into groups receiving advisory visits, the visits and an individualized farm plan, or the visits, the plan, and a cash transfer. After one year, crop production and livestock ownership were higher in the transfer group relative to the group that only received visits. Livestock gains persisted after two years. Results suggest that the plans increased crop production in year one, but there is no other evidence that the plans were effective when not accompanied by a transfer.
    Keywords: agriculture, livestock,
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Michael J. Weiss; Howard S. Bloom; Natalya Verbitsky-Savitz; Himani Gupta; Alma E. Vigil; Daniel N. Cullinan
    Abstract: Multisite trials, in which individuals are randomly assigned to alternative treatment arms within sites, offer an excellent opportunity to estimate the cross-site average effect of treatment assignment (intent to treat or ITT) and the amount by which this impact varies across sites.
    Keywords: design parameters, minimum detectable effect, power calculation, effect variation, external validity
    JEL: I

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