nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2017‒11‒05
28 papers chosen by

  1. Can Rank-Order Competition Resolve the Free-Rider Problem in the Voluntary Provision of Impure Public Goods? Experimental Evidence By Andrej Angelovski; Tibor Neugebauer; Maroš Servatka
  2. Welfare Stigma in the Lab: Evidence of Social Signaling By Jana Friedrichsen; Tobias König; Renke Schmacker
  3. Trusting versus Monitoring: An Institutional Choice Experiment By Andrej Angelovski; Daniela Di Cagno; Werner Güth; Daniela Grieco
  4. Disappointment Aversion and Social Comparisons in a Real-Effort Competition By Simon Gaechter; Lingbo Huang; Martin Sefton
  5. Thinking about Tomorrow? Predicting Experimental Choice Behavior and Life Outcomes from a Survey Measure of Present Bias By Pia R. Pinger
  6. Voting For a Cartel as a Sign of Cooperativeness By Gillet, Joris
  7. Contests as Selection Mechanisms: The Impact of Risk Aversion By Christoph March; Marco Sahm
  8. When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering? By Alberto Abadie; Susan Athey; Guido Imbens; Jeffrey Wooldridge
  9. A Large-Scale Field Experiment to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Paid Search Advertising By Lorenzo Coviello; Uri Gneezy; Lorenz Götte
  10. Consultative Democracy & Trust By Bogliacino, Francesco; Grimalda, Gianluca; Jimenez, Laura
  11. Risk, time and social preferences : Evidence from large scale experiments By Perez Padilla, Mitzi
  12. Whistle-Blower Protection: Theory and Experimental Evidence By Lydia Mechtenberg; Gerd Mühlheusser; Andreas Roider
  13. The Importance of Peers for Compliance with Norms of Fair Sharing By Simon Gaechter; Leonie Gerhards; Daniele Nosenzo
  14. Framing Effects in Intertemporal Choice: A Nudge Experiment By Faralla, Valeria; Novarese, Marco; Ardizzone, Antonella
  15. How voters use grade scales in evaluative voting By Antoinette Baujard; Frédéric Gavrel; Herrade Igersheim; Jean-François Laslier; Isabelle Lebon
  16. When to Stop - A Cardinal Secretary Search Experiment By Andrej Angelovski; Werner Güth
  17. The Econometrics of Randomized Experiments By Susan Athey; Guido Imbens
  18. Experimentation at Scale By Karthik Muralidharan; Paul Niehaus
  19. Estimating Average Treatment Effects: Supplementary Analyses and Remaining Challenges By Susan Athey; Guido Imbens; Thai Pham; Stefan Wager
  20. Intuitive versus Contemplative: Do Entrepreneurs differ in their Decision-Making Style from Managers and Employees? By Martin Koudstaal; Randolph (R.) Sloof; Mirjam (C.M.) van Praag
  21. A Matter of Perspective: How Experience Shapes Preferences for Redistribution By Lea Cassar; Arnd H. Klein
  22. Land Trade and Development: A Market Design Approach By Gharad Bryan; Jonathan de Quidt; Tom Wilkening; Nitin Yadav
  23. "Institutionalization Aversion" and the Willingness to Pay for Home Health Care By Joan Costa-i-Font
  24. Performance Pay May Not Raise Performance – A Cautionary Tale Based On Evidence from Large Scale Field Experiments in a Retail Chain By Manthei, Kathrin; Sliwka, Dirk; Vogelsang, Timo
  25. Estimating Treatment Effects using Multiple Surrogates: The Role of the Surrogate Score and the Surrogate Index By Susan Athey; Raj Chetty; Guido Imbens; Hyunseung Kang
  26. External Effects of 'Daddy Months': How Fathers' Parental Leave Changes Social Norms By Wrohlich, Katharina; Unterhofer, Ulrike
  27. Information Aversion By Marianne Andries; Valentin Haddad
  28. A Theory of Experimenters By Abhijit Banerjee; Sylvain Chassang; Sergio Montero; Erik Snowberg

  1. By: Andrej Angelovski (LUISS Guido Carli); Tibor Neugebauer (University of Luxembourg); Maroš Servatka (Macquarie Graduate School of Management;University of Economics in Bratislava)
    Abstract: Publicly provided goods often create differential payoffs due to timely or spatial distances of group members. We design and test a provision mechanism which utilizes rank competition to mitigate free-riding. In our Rank-Order Voluntary Contribution Mechanism (Rank-Order-VCM) group members compete via observable contributions for a larger share of the public good; high contributors receive preferential access (and thus a larger share), while low contributors receive a restricted access (lower share). In a laboratory experiment Rank-Order-VCM elicits median contributions equal to the full endowment throughout the finitely played games with constant groups, including the last period. In the control treatment, with randomly assigned ranks and therefore also payoffs from the public good, the contributions are significantly lower and decline over time. We thus provide evidence of rank competition, in situations where discriminatory access to public goods is possible, being efficiency enhancing.
    Keywords: Competition, contest, cooperation, public goods, experiment, voluntary contribution mechanism.
    JEL: C91 H41
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: Jana Friedrichsen; Tobias König; Renke Schmacker
    Abstract: Using a laboratory experiment, we present first evidence that stigmatization through public exposure causally reduces the take-up of an individually beneficial transfer. Our design exogenously varies the informativeness of the take-up decision by varying whether transfer eligibility is based on ability or luck, and how the transfer is financed. We find that subjects avoid the inference both of being low-skilled and of being willing to live off others. Using a placebo treatment we can exclude other explanations for the observed stigma effect. In the experiment, social stigmatization implies a reduction in the take-up rate of 30 percentage points.
    Keywords: stigma, signaling, redistribution, non take-up, welfare program
    JEL: D03 H31 I38 C91
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Andrej Angelovski (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome); Daniela Di Cagno (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome); Werner Güth (Luiss Guido Carli, Rome; Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt; Max Planck Institute on Collective Goods, Bonn); Daniela Grieco (Università Bocconi)
    Abstract: To shed light on the choice between trusting a partner versus monitoring her, we let one party decide between two stylized game paradigms—namely, the Ultimatum Game and the Yes–No Game. While in Ultimatum Games responders monitor the allocation proposal, in Yes–No Games, responders react without monitoring. Since monitoring can be costly, we allow the shared amount in Yes–No Games to be larger than that in Ultimatum Games. Experimental conditions can vary the monitoring cost, who decides between trusting and monitoring (i.e., proposer or responder), and whether the responder’s conflict payoff will be negative or positive. The latter brings about Yes–No Game (i.e., trusting) social dilemma situations. We question whether some responders opt for trusting and predominantly accept an unknown offer, especially when justified by efficiency concerns, and whether some proposers, due to behavioral concerns, are more inclined to suggest monitoring.
    Keywords: Trust, Monitoring, Institutional Choice, Ultimatum Game, Yes No Game
    JEL: C91 C72 C73
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Simon Gaechter; Lingbo Huang; Martin Sefton
    Abstract: We present an experiment to investigate the source of disappointment aversion in a sequential real-effort competition. Specifically, we study the contribution of social comparison effects to the disappointment aversion previously identified in a two-person real-effort competition (Gill and Prowse, 2012). To do this we compare “social†and “asocial†versions of the Gill and Prowse experiment, where the latter treatment removes the scope for social comparisons. If disappointment aversion simply reflects an asymmetric evaluation of losses and gains we would expect it to survive in our asocial treatment, while if losing to or winning against another person affects the evaluation of losses/gains we would expect treatment differences. We find behavior in social and asocial treatments to be similar, suggesting that social comparisons have little impact in this setting. Unlike in Gill and Prowse we do not find evidence of disappointment aversion.
    Keywords: real effort competition, social comparison effects, disappointment aversion, reference-dependent preferences
    JEL: C91 D12 D81 D84
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Pia R. Pinger
    Abstract: Using a representative sample of the German adult population, this paper investigates the extent to which a survey measure of present bias predicts present-biased choice behavior in incentive-compatible experiments and real-world outcomes related to in-vestments in financial assets and human capital. The results are threefold. First, the survey and experimental measures of present bias are significantly related. Second, the survey measure predicts choices between immediate and delayed monetary payoffs inan incentive-compatible experiment, but not between payoffs at two future points in time. Third, the survey measure of present bias is a good predictor of the propensity to save money, to obtain a university degree, and to maintain a healthy life style. In most specifications, the survey measure tends to be a stronger predictor of real life outcomes than the experimentally elicited measure of present bias.
    Keywords: time discounting, present bias, self-control, education, health behavior
    JEL: D01 D03 C91 D91
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Gillet, Joris
    Abstract: This paper tests the hypothesis that a (partial) reason why cartels – costly non-binding price agreements – lead to higher prices in Bertrand Pricing Game-experiments could be because participants who form these kinds of agreements are more cooperative and pick higher numbers in general. To test this hypothesis we run an experiment where participants play two consecutive Bertrand oligopoly games: first a standard version without the opportunity to make price agreements; followed by a version where participants can vote, by majority, on whether to have a costly nonbinding agreement to pick the highest number. We find no statistically significant difference between the numbers picked in the first game by participants who vote for and against an agreement in the second game. We do confirm that having a price agreement leads to higher numbers being picked on average. Additionally we find that participants who vote for or against the price-agreement behave differently in response to the existence of the price agreement. In particular, participants who vote for a price agreement react more positively to the price agreement. The difference in numbers picked in the second game between situations with and without a price agreement is larger for participants who voted in favour of the agreement. Voters who voted for the price agreement are more cooperative than voters who voted against but only in situations where there is a price agreement.
    Keywords: Bertrand Pricing Game, oligopoly, experimental economics
    JEL: C91 D02 D43 L13
    Date: 2017–10–17
  7. By: Christoph March; Marco Sahm
    Abstract: We investigate how individual risk preferences affect the likelihood of selecting the more able contestant within a two-player Tullock contest. Our theoretical model yields two main predictions: First, an increase in the risk aversion of a player worsens her odds unless she already has a sufficiently large advantage. Second, if the prize money is sufficiently large, a less able but less risk averse contestant can achieve an equal or even higher probability of winning than a more able but more risk averse opponent. In a laboratory experiment we confirm both, the non-monotonic impact and the compensating effect of risk aversion on winning probabilities. Our results suggest a novel explanation for the gender gap and the optimality of limited monetary incentives in selection contests.
    Keywords: selection contest, risk aversion, competitive balance, gender gap
    JEL: C72 D72 J31 K41 M51 M52
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Alberto Abadie; Susan Athey; Guido Imbens; Jeffrey Wooldridge
    Abstract: In empirical work in economics it is common to report standard errors that account for clustering of units. Typically, the motivation given for the clustering adjustments is that unobserved components in outcomes for units within clusters are correlated. However, because correlation may occur across more than one dimension, this motivation makes it difficult to justify why researchers use clustering in some dimensions, such as geographic, but not others, such as age cohorts or gender. It also makes it difficult to explain why one should not cluster with data from a randomized experiment. In this paper, we argue that clustering is in essence a design problem, either a sampling design or an experimental design issue. It is a sampling design issue if sampling follows a two stage process where in the first stage, a subset of clusters were sampled randomly from a population of clusters, while in the second stage, units were sampled randomly from the sampled clusters. In this case the clustering adjustment is justified by the fact that there are clusters in the population that we do not see in the sample. Clustering is an experimental design issue if the assignment is correlated within the clusters. We take the view that this second perspective best fits the typical setting in economics where clustering adjustments are used. This perspective allows us to shed new light on three questions: (i) when should one adjust the standard errors for clustering, (ii) when is the conventional adjustment for clustering appropriate, and (iii) when does the conventional adjustment of the standard errors matter.
    Date: 2017–10
  9. By: Lorenzo Coviello; Uri Gneezy; Lorenz Götte
    Abstract: Companies spend billions of dollars online for paid links to branded search terms. Measuring the effectiveness of this marketing spending is hard. Blake, Nosko and Tadelis (2015) ran an experiment with eBay, showing that when the company suspended paid search, most of the traffic still ended up on its website. Can findings from one of the largest companies in the world be generalized? We conducted a similar experiment with, arguably a more representative company, and found starkly different results. More than half of the paid traffic is lost when we shut off paid-links search. These results suggest money spent on search-engine marketing may be more effective than previously documented.
    Keywords: field experiment, online advertising
    JEL: C19 C93 D03
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Bogliacino, Francesco; Grimalda, Gianluca; Jimenez, Laura
    Abstract: We report experimental results from three Colombian villages concerning the impact of a voting mechanism on interpersonal trust and trustworthiness. The vote is purely consultative in that participants are asked to declare in a secret ballot the most “appropriate” plan of action for individuals involved in a “Trust Game”. The plan of action that is most voted is then publicly announced. The mechanism is unbinding, as only the aggregate result of the voting is disclosed and it has no bearing on individual decisions. In spite of the strategic irrelevance of the announcement, we observe an increase in both trust and trustworthiness after the announcement is carried out, in comparison to the baseline condition where no voting takes place.
    Keywords: Experiments, Trust, Voting
    JEL: C9 D7 H4
    Date: 2017–10–21
  11. By: Perez Padilla, Mitzi (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: This dissertation contains four chapters studying individual preferences and economic decision-making. The first three chapters study preferences for risk taking and intertemporal choice. First, it asks the question whether economic preferences are related to psychological measures of personality and whether they have similar prediction power on financial decisions. Our main finding is that the channels through which personality affect economic behavior is different than those measured by economic preferences. The next two papers ask the following questions: How are financial choices within a household being made? If a household is composed of more than one individual, which family members decide and what influences their decisions? Are individual preferences considered stable over time? These questions are approached by using experimental data and information on actual financial choices such as household portfolio composition and financial wealth. Findings suggest that bargaining power with respect to risky and intertemporal choices is not equally divided within couples. The third essay finds a positive correlation between preferences over time, and no strong evidence for cross-couple effects of economic or health shocks. The last chapter discusses the relationship between social preferences, specifically, trust and trustworthiness and socio-economic status.
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Lydia Mechtenberg; Gerd Mühlheusser; Andreas Roider
    Abstract: Whistle-blowing by employees plays a major role in uncovering corporate fraud. Various recent laws aim at improving protection of whistle-blowers and enhancing their willingness to report. Evidence on the effectiveness of such legislation is, however, scarce. Moreover, critics have raised worries about fraudulent claims by low-productivity employees. We study these issues in a theory-guided lab experiment. Easily attainable (“belief-based†) protection indeed leads to more reports, both truthful and fraudulent. Fraudulent claims dilute prosecutors’ incentives to investigate, and thereby hamper deterrence. These effects are ameliorated under more stringent (“fact-based†) protection.
    Keywords: corporate fraud, corruption, whistle-blowing, business ethics, cheap-talk games, lab experiment
    JEL: C91 D83 D73 K42 M59
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Simon Gaechter; Leonie Gerhards; Daniele Nosenzo
    Abstract: A burgeoning literature in economics has started examining the role of social norms in explaining economic behavior. Surprisingly, the vast majority of this literature has studied social norms in asocial decision settings, where individuals are observed to act in isolation from each other. In this paper we use a large-scale dictator game experiment (N = 850) to show that “peers†can have a profound influence on individuals’ perceptions of norms of fair sharing, which we elicit in an incentive compatible way. However, in contrast to these strong peer effects in social norms of fair sharing, we find limited evidence of the influence of norms and peers on actual sharing behavior. We discuss how these results can be explained by heterogeneity in normative views as well as in willingness to comply with norms.
    Keywords: social norms, norm compliance, peer effects, fair sharing, dictator game, framing, experiments
    JEL: A13 C92 D03
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Faralla, Valeria; Novarese, Marco; Ardizzone, Antonella
    Abstract: This paper experimentally investigates the framing effects of intertemporal choice using two different elicitation modes, termed classical and penal. In the classical mode, participants are given the choice between receiving a certain amount of money, smaller and sooner, today and a higher amount, larger and later, delayed (e.g., “€55 today vs. €75 in 61 days”). This is referred to as the standard mode. In the penalty mode, the participant must give up an explicit amount of money in order to choose the smaller and sooner option (e.g., “€75 in 61 days vs. €55 today with a penalty of €20”). This is the explicit mode. We find that estimates of individual discount rates are lower in the explicit mode than in the standard mode. This result suggests that even very simple information about the amount of money one must surrender for choosing the earlier option increases delayed consumption. The finding has relevant implications for self-control and long-term planning in intertemporal choice.
    Keywords: framing, explicit penalty, intertemporal choice, discounting, nudge
    JEL: D8 D90
    Date: 2017–09
  15. By: Antoinette Baujard (Univ Lyon, UJM Saint-Etenne, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-42023 Saint- Etienne, France); Frédéric Gavrel (CREM (UMR CNRS 6211), University of Caen Normandie and Condorcet Center); Herrade Igersheim (CNRS and Beta (UMR 7522), University of Strasbourg); Jean-François Laslier (CNRS and Paris School of Economics (UMR 8545)); Isabelle Lebon (CREM (UMR CNRS 6211), University of Caen Normandie, and Condorcet Center)
    Abstract: During the first round of the 2012 French presidential election, participants in an in situ experiment were invited to vote according to “evaluative voting”, which involves rating the candidates using a numerical scale. Various scales were used: (0,1), (-1,0,1), (0,1,2), and (0,1,...,20). The paper studies scale calibration effects, i.e., how individual voters adapt to the scale, leading to possibly different election outcomes. The data show that scales are not linearly equivalent, even if individual ordinal preferences are not inconsistent. Scale matters, notably because of the symbolic power of negative grades, which does not affect all candidates uniformly.
    Keywords: Evaluative Voting, Range voting, Approval voting, In Situ Experiment, Calibration
    JEL: D72 C93
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Andrej Angelovski (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome); Werner Güth (Luiss Guido Carli, Rome; Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt; Max Planck Institute on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: For the cardinal secretary search problem, whose candidates have identically and independently distributed values, the (risk neutral) benchmark solution reveals exponentially decreasing acceptance thresholds. As acceptance thresholds are value aspirations for any given number of remaining candidates, comparing actual and optimal aspirations is an obvious advantage of experimentally studying cardinal secretary search tasks. Treatments differ in the known number of candidates and in the experimentally elicited choice data:``hot'' collects play data (finally accepted and the so far rejected values), ``warm'' asks for an acceptance threshold only when needed, and ``cold'' for a complete profile of acceptance thresholds. Each participant in ``cold'' and ``warm'' confronts successively different known numbers of candidates in increasing or decreasing order. We analyze how actual search qualitatively and quantitatively differs from benchmark behavior.
    Keywords: Optimal Stopping, Secretary Problem, Sequential Search Mechanism
    JEL: C91
    Date: 2017–08
  17. By: Susan Athey; Guido Imbens
    Abstract: In this review, we present econometric and statistical methods for analyzing randomized experiments. For basic experiments we stress randomization-based inference as opposed to sampling-based inference. In randomization-based inference, uncertainty in estimates arises naturally from the random assignment of the treatments, rather than from hypothesized sampling from a large population. We show how this perspective relates to regression analyses for randomized experiments. We discuss the analyses of stratified, paired, and clustered randomized experiments, and we stress the general efficiency gains from stratification. We also discuss complications in randomized experiments such as non-compliance. In the presence of non-compliance we contrast intention-to-treat analyses with instrumental variables analyses allowing for general treatment effect heterogeneity. We consider in detail estimation and inference for heterogeneous treatment effects in settings with (possibly many) covariates. These methods allow researchers to explore heterogeneity by identifying subpopulations with different treatment effects while maintaining the ability to construct valid confidence intervals. We also discuss optimal assignment to treatment based on covariates in such settings. Finally, we discuss estimation and inference in experiments in settings with interactions between units, both in general network settings and in settings where the population is partitioned into groups with all interactions contained within these groups.
    Date: 2016–07
  18. By: Karthik Muralidharan; Paul Niehaus
    Abstract: This paper makes the case for greater use of randomized experiments “at scale.” We review various critiques of experimental program evaluation in developing countries, and discuss how experimenting at scale along three specific dimensions – the size of the sampling frame, the number of units treated, and the size of the unit of randomization – can help alleviate them. We find that program evaluation randomized controlled trials published in top journals over the last 15 years have typically been “small” in these senses, but also identify a number of examples – including from our own work – demonstrating that experimentation at much larger scales is both feasible and valuable.
    JEL: C93 H4 H50 O20
    Date: 2017–10
  19. By: Susan Athey; Guido Imbens; Thai Pham; Stefan Wager
    Abstract: There is a large literature on semiparametric estimation of average treatment effects under unconfounded treatment assignment in settings with a fixed number of covariates. More recently attention has focused on settings with a large number of covariates. In this paper we extend lessons from the earlier literature to this new setting. We propose that in addition to reporting point estimates and standard errors, researchers report results from a number of supplementary analyses to assist in assessing the credibility of their estimates.
    Date: 2017–02
  20. By: Martin Koudstaal (Rabobank); Randolph (R.) Sloof (UvA; Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands); Mirjam (C.M.) van Praag (Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: We examine in a large survey (n = 1,928) how contemplative entrepreneurs, managers and employees are in their decision making styles. Besides two well-known subjective measures taken from psychology, we also build on Rubinstein (2016) by including two objective measures derived from response times and the nature of the strategic choices made. Supporting conventional wisdom, we find that entrepreneurs have a stronger subjective Faith in Intuition than others. Their actual action choices are partly in line with this: entrepreneurs make indeed more intuitive choices than managers, but are equally intuitive as employees. At the same time entrepreneurs have response times and a subjective Need for Cognition that (on average) equal those of managers. Together these findings tentatively suggest that entrepreneurs start from a stronger prior intuition, making them ceteris paribus more intuitive than others, but at the same time share with managers a higher need for cognition, and thus take more time to think things over.
    Keywords: Response times; contemplativeness; faith in intuition; need for cognition; entrepreneurs; managers; lab-in-the-field experiment
    JEL: L26 C93 D91 M13
    Date: 2017–10–26
  21. By: Lea Cassar; Arnd H. Klein
    Abstract: We investigate in a laboratory experiment if the experience of economic failure or success shapes people’s preferences for redistribution beyond self-interest. Subjects generated a high or a low income either through a lottery or through an effort-based tournament. A sub-set of subjects could then redistribute the income of another sub-set of subjects. We find that individuals who lost the tournament (lottery) redistribute significantly more than all the other types of distributors when the inequality is generated by the tournament (lottery). The effect still holds when controlling for self-selection into different outcomes of the tournament and can be explained by in- or out-group bias and a self-serving bias in responsibility attribution. These findings have implications for public policies and for the design of compensation schemes in organizations.
    Keywords: distributive justice, experience, failure, in-group bias, self-serving bias
    JEL: D31 D63 H23 M52
    Date: 2017
  22. By: Gharad Bryan; Jonathan de Quidt; Tom Wilkening; Nitin Yadav
    Abstract: Small farms and fragmented plots are hallmarks of agriculture in less-developed countries, and there is evidence of high returns to land consolidation and reallocation. Complementarities, holdout and asymmetric information mean that private trade will be slow to reallocate land, and imply that market design has the potential to contribute to the development process. Complexity concerns are, however, paramount. We present results from a framed field experiment with Kenyan farmers, comparing the performance of several continuous-time land exchanges. Farmers are able to achieve high degrees of efficiency, and to comprehend and gain from a relatively complicated package exchange.
    Keywords: market design, field experiments, economic development, land trade
    JEL: C93 O13 Q15
    Date: 2017
  23. By: Joan Costa-i-Font
    Abstract: We examine the presence of a systematic preference for independent living at old age which we refer as “institutionalization aversion” (IA). Given that IA is not observable from revealed preferences, we draw on a survey experiment to elicit individuals’ willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid institutionalization (e.g., in a nursing home), using a double-bounded referendum WTP format. Our results suggest robust evidence of IA and reveal a willingness to pay of up to 16% of respondent’s (individuals over fifty-five years of age) average income. We find that estimates of the willingness to pay to avoid institutionalization (or €292 at the time of the study) exceed the amount respondents are willing to pay for home health care at old age in the event of a mild impairment (€222). WTP estimates vary with income, age and especially, respondents’ housing conditions. Finally, we test the sensitivity of our estimates to anchoring effects and ‘yea-saying’ biases.
    Keywords: institutionalisation aversion, state-dependent preferences, home health care, willingness to pay, caregiving, referendum format
    JEL: R21 I18
    Date: 2017
  24. By: Manthei, Kathrin; Sliwka, Dirk; Vogelsang, Timo
    Date: 2017
  25. By: Susan Athey; Raj Chetty; Guido Imbens; Hyunseung Kang
    Abstract: Estimating the long-term effects of treatments is of interest in many fields. A common challenge in estimating such treatment effects is that long-term outcomes are unobserved in the time frame needed to make policy decisions. One approach to overcome this missing data problem is to analyze treatments effects on an intermediate outcome, often called a statistical surrogate, if it satisfies the condition that treatment and outcome are independent conditional on the statistical surrogate. The validity of the surrogacy condition is often controversial. Here we exploit that fact that in modern datasets, researchers often observe a large number, possibly hundreds or thousands, of intermediate outcomes, thought to lie on or close to the causal chain between the treatment and the long-term outcome of interest. Even if none of the individual proxies satisfies the statistical surrogacy criterion by itself, using multiple proxies can be useful in causal inference. We focus primarily on a setting with two samples, an experimental sample containing data about the treatment indicator and the surrogates and an observational sample containing information about the surrogates and the primary outcome. We state assumptions under which the average treatment effect be identified and estimated with a high-dimensional vector of proxies that collectively satisfy the surrogacy assumption, and derive the bias from violations of the surrogacy assumption, and show that even if the primary outcome is also observed in the experimental sample, there is still information to be gained from using surrogates.
    Date: 2016–03
  26. By: Wrohlich, Katharina; Unterhofer, Ulrike
    Abstract: We analyze whether the introduction of the fathers’ quota in parental leave in 2007 has changed the gender roles attitudes in the grandparents’ generation. Exploting the quasi-experimental setting of the reform, we find a positive effect of the fathers’ quota on attitudes towards gender equality. The results suggest that such programs not only induce direct behavioral responses by the target group but also have indirect effects on other groups through social interaction.
    Date: 2017
  27. By: Marianne Andries; Valentin Haddad
    Abstract: The main features of households' attention to savings are rationalized by a model of information aversion, a preference-based fear of receiving flows of news. In line with the empirical evidence, information averse investors observe the value of their portfolios infrequently; inattention is more pronounced for more risk averse investors and in periods of low or volatile stock prices. The model also explains how changes in information frequencies affect risk-taking decisions, as observed in the field and the lab. Further, we find that receiving state-dependent alerts following sharp downturns improves welfare, suggesting a role for financial intermediaries as information managers.
    JEL: E21 G02 G11
    Date: 2017–10
  28. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Sylvain Chassang; Sergio Montero; Erik Snowberg
    Abstract: This paper proposes a decision-theoretic framework for experiment design. We model experimenters as ambiguity-averse decision-makers, who make trade-offs between subjective expected performance and robustness. This framework accounts for experimenters’ preference for randomization, and clarifies the circumstances in which randomization is optimal: when the available sample size is large enough or robustness is an important concern. We illustrate the practical value of such a framework by studying the issue of rerandomization. Rerandomization creates a trade-off between subjective performance and robustness. However, robustness loss grows very slowly with the number of times one randomizes. This argues for rerandomizing in most environments.
    Keywords: experiment design, robustness, ambiguity aversion, randomization, rerandomization
    JEL: C90 D78 D81
    Date: 2017

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