nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2018‒03‒05
twenty-two papers chosen by

  1. Believing in Others’ Dishonesty: An Experimental Study on Beliefs about Lying By Silvia Lübbecke
  2. Essays in the Economics of Corruption: Experimental and empirical evidence By Nastassia Leszczynska
  3. Environmental investment decisions: experimental evidence of team versus individual decision making By Felgendreher, Simon; Hennlock, Magnus; Löfgren, Åsa; Wollbrant, Conny
  4. DeMo by NaMo (Demonetization by Narendra Modi): Money burning in India By Gupta, N.
  5. Discrimination as favoritism: The private benefits and social costs of in-group favoritism in an experimental labor market By David L. Dickinson; David Masclet; Emmanuel Peterle
  6. How success breeds success By Ambroise Decamps; Changxia Ke; Lionel Page
  7. The Effect of Inequality Aversion on a Climate Coalition Formation: Theory and Experimental Evidence By Lin, Yu-Hsuan
  8. Honesty in the digital age By Alain Cohn; Tobias Gesche; Michel Maréchal
  9. Deliberative Structures and their Impact on Voting Behavior under Social Conflict By Jordi Brandts; Leonie Gerhards; Lydia Mechtenberg
  10. Framing Game Theory A real player sometimes fails to practice hypothetical thinking, which increases the occurrence of anomalies in various situations. This study incorporates psychology into game theory and demonstrates a cognitive method to encourage bounded-rational players to practice correct hypothetical thinking in strategic interactions with imperfect information. We introduce a concept termed “frame†as a description of a synchronized cognitive procedure through which each player decides multiple actions in a step-by-step manner, shaping his (or her) strategy selection. We could regard a frame as the supposedly irrelevant factors from the viewpoint of full rationality. However, this paper theoretically shows that in a multi-unit trading with private values, the ascending proxy auction has a significant advantage over the second-price auction in terms of the bounded-rational players' incentive to practice hypothetical thinking, because of the difference, not in physical rule, but in background frame. By designing a frame appropriately, we generally show that any static game that is solvable in iteratively undominated strategies is also solvable, even if players cannot practice hypothetical thinking without the help of a well-designed frame. We further investigate the possibility that even a detail-free frame design serves to overcome the difficulty of hypothetical thinking. We extend this investigation to the Bayesian environments. By Hitoshi Matsushima
  11. The Signal of Applying for a Job Under a Vacancy Referral Scheme By Van Belle, Eva; Caers, Ralf; De Couck, Marijke; Di Stasio, Valentina; Baert, Stijn
  12. Heard it Through the Grapevine: Direct and Network Effects of a Tax Enforcement Field Experiment By William C. Boning; John Guyton; Ronald H. Hodge, II; Joel Slemrod; Ugo Troiano
  13. Lies have long legs. Cheating, public scrutiny and loyalty in teams By Pietro Battiston; Simona Gamba; Matteo Rizzolli; Valentina Rotondi
  14. An Experiment On Social Mislearning By Eyster, Erik; Rabin, Matthew; Weizsäcker, Georg
  15. Power of Joint Decision-Making in a Finitely-Repeated Dilemma By Kenju Kamei
  16. Confidence and Career Choices: An Experiment By Barron, Kai; Gravert, Christina
  17. Physical Activity after Commitment Lotteries : Examining Long-Term Results in a Cluster Randomized Trial By van der Swaluw, Koen; Lambooij, M.; Mathijssen, Jolanda; Schipper, M.; Zeelenberg, Marcel; Berkhout, S.; Polder, Johan; Prast, Henriette
  18. Varieties of risk elicitation By Friedman, Daniel; Habib, Sameh; James, Duncan; Crockett, Sean
  19. The Effect of Community Engagement on Healthcare Utilization and Health Insurance Enrolment in Ghana Results from a Randomized Experiment By Stephen K.O. Duku; Edward Nketiah-Amponsahd; Christine J. Fenenga; Daniel K. Arhinful; Wendy (W.) Janssens; Menno (M.) Pradhan
  20. Emotional Responses to Behavioral Economic Incentives for Health Behavior Change By van der Swaluw, Koen; Lambooij, Mattijs S; Mathijssen, Jolanda; Zeelenberg, Marcel; Polder, Johan; Prast, Henriette
  21. Perfect and Imperfect Strangers in Social Dilemmas By Ghidoni, Riccardo; Cleave, Blair; Suetens, Sigrid
  22. Incentives and Random Answers in Post-Experimental Questionnaires By Lisa Bruttel; Irenaeus Wolff

  1. By: Silvia Lübbecke (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: Several experiments provide evidence for discriminating behavior towards the out-group—even in settings where group division is arbitrary. This paper studies whether discriminatory behavior can be traced back to subjects holding discriminating beliefs. An experiment is presented where subjects are randomly assigned to minimal groups. First, subjects are asked to draw a marble in private and report whether it is white or speckled. Second, their beliefs are elicited about how many of the others in the respective group have reported the payoff-maximizing speckled marble. Data show that subjects expect others to behave dishonestly in general, but do not differ in their beliefs about the behavior of in- and out-group members. Further, the results indicate that subjects’ beliefs about others’ honesty are positively correlated with the individual lying behavior. Subjects who report the profit-maximizing type also believe in significantly more payoff-maximizing reports by others compared to those subjects who report the unfavorable outcome.
    Keywords: Group identity, Minimal groups, Intergroup discrimination, Incentivized belief elicitation, Experimental economics
    JEL: C91 D01 D82 D83 D91 Z13
    Date: 2018–02
  2. By: Nastassia Leszczynska
    Abstract: The advent of experimental methodologies have led to decisive progress in the study of corrupt behaviour in the last two decades. Since they can complement survey data and perception indexes with controlled experimental data, scholars and policy makers have reached a better understanding of decision-making in bribery situations and are able to design innovative anticorruption policies.In this thesis, I use experimental and empirical data to contribute to the field of the economics of corruption. The first two chapters of this PhD dissertation use experimental methodologies to study decision-making in a bribery scenario. The first chapter tests an anti-corruption strategy with a lab in the field experiment in Burundi. The second chapter studies the fairness concerns that might arise when dealing with redistribution in a bribery situation. The third chapter uses an empirical analysis to explore the controversial issue of political moonlighting, i.e. having outside activities while holding public office. It investigates "double-hat politicians", who combine mayor and parliamentary positions in Wallonia.In a first chapter, written with Jean-Benoit Falisse, we explore the effect of anti- corruption messages on corrupt behavior and public service delivery. In a novel lab-in-the-field experiment, 527 public servants from Burundi were asked to allocate rationed vouchers between anonymous citizens; some of these citizens attempted to bribe the public servants to obtain more vouchers than they were entitled to. Two groups of public servants were randomly exposed to short messages about good governance or professional identity reminders. Participants in these two groups behaved in a fairer manner than those of a third group who were not exposed to any message. The result is more robust in the case of the group exposed to the professional identity reminder. The underlying mechanisms seem to be that when a public servant reflects upon governance values and her professional identity, the moral cost increases, prompting more equal service delivery. Bribe-taking was not impacted by the messages. The experiment provides new insights into the design of anti-corruption strategies.The second chapter, written with Lena Epp, investigates the impact of a public officials’ fairness considerations towards citizens in a petty corruption situation. Other-regarding preferences, and, more particularly, fairness concerns are widely acknowledged as crucial elements of individual economic decision-making. In petty corruption contexts, public officials are to a large extent aware of differences between citizens. Here, we experimentally investigate how fairness considerations may impact on corrupt behaviour. Our novel bribery game reveals that bribes are less frequently accepted when bribers are unequal in terms of endowments. These results suggest that fairness considerations can influence corrupt behaviour.In the last chapter, I focus on political moonlighting in Wallonia. Activities outside of public office or combining specific public offices simultaneously is a topic of ongoing heated debates. An element crucial to these discussions is whether moonlighting is detrimental for politicians’ performance. In Belgium, the combination of local executive and regional legislative offices, i.e. double hat politicians, is a frequent habit for a majority of politicians. This accumulation of activities might lead to (un-)desirable outcomes in terms of political achievements. This chapter investigates the impact of holding several remunerated and honorary positions on regional MPs parliamentary activities and mayor’s municipality performance in Wallonia. I use a database of all public and private positions held by Belgian politicians in Wallonia since the disclosure of positions became compulsory for those holding at least one public position, i.e. from 2004 to 2016. For members of Parliament, wearing a double hat reduces global parliamentary activity. For mayors, it seems that holding more remunerated positions is associated with less efficient municipality management.
    Keywords: corruption; experimental economics; behavioural games; public service delivery; fairness; political moonlighting; bribery game; messages; rank reversal aversion
    Date: 2018–02–20
  3. By: Felgendreher, Simon (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Hennlock, Magnus (olicy and Economy, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute); Löfgren, Åsa (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Wollbrant, Conny (Department of Economics, University of Stirling)
    Abstract: We study experimentally how investment decisions are affected by equally stringent but different policy regime treatments and how differences depend on whether decisions are made individually or in groups. In our experiment, subjects decide on an investment level either individually or jointly in groups of three. In addition, decisions are made subject to either a tax or performance standard treatment. We find that investments are significantly higher and closer to the level that maximizes revenues of the hypothetical firm in the performance standard treatment. This holds for both individual and group decisions, but we find no evidence of an interaction effect. Even though groups seem to have a knowledge advantage, they are not able to benefit from it, since intragroup communication is not able to transmit the microeconomic reasoning to group members without such knowledge. Also, groups are not able to attenuate the attention bias of focusing on selective information depending on the specific policy treatment.
    Keywords: group behavior; investment inefficiencies; policy instruments
    JEL: C92 D70 H32
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: Gupta, N.
    Abstract: Despite the well-documented hardship caused by demonetization policy implemented on 8th November 2016 in India, the large scale public support and acceptance of it was puzzling. Was this acceptance a silent protest to punish those with ill-gotten wealth and an aversion towards the growing inequality in the country? Motivated by this ambiguity, this thesis attempts to understand the demonetization acceptance as being in line with the research in experimental economics and experimental psychology that argues that notions such as inequity aversion and fairness drives human behaviour into taking decisions which are not economically rational. More specifically, the study will examine the role of social preferences and fairness in an economic agents’ behaviour. The research paper designs a “money-burning” experiment in a field setting in India and attempts to mimic the acquisition of money through unfair means (black money) and thereafter offers participants a chance to punish each other (reduce each other’s money at a cost to themselves). The study finds a balanced support for both, self-interest behaviour and fairness preference. Empirically, the study did not find any link between the burning behaviour and demonetization acceptance.
    Keywords: social preferences, money burning, fairness, procedural fairness, experimental economics, demonetization, India
    Date: 2018–02–20
  5. By: David L. Dickinson (Appalachian State University, IZA, ESI); David Masclet (Univ Rennes, CREM, CNRS, UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes, France); Emmanuel Peterle (CRESE EA3190, Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté, F-25000 Besançon, France)
    Abstract: We examine both the private benefits and spillover costs of labor market favoritism in a unique laboratory experiment design. Group identities are first created and the data show that both employment preference rankings and wage offers favor in-group members. Workers positively reciprocate towards in-group employers by choosing higher effort in a gift exchange game. Thus, favoritism can be privately rational for employers. However, unemployed subjects are allowed to burn resources (at a cost to themselves), and we document significantly increased resource destruction when unemployment can be attributed to favoritism towards others. This highlights a significant spillover cost of favoritism that is often ignored, and it points to one possible micro-foundation of some anti-social behavior.
    Keywords: Discrimination, Experimental Economics, Social identity, Conflicts
    JEL: C90 C92 J15 J16
    Date: 2018–01
  6. By: Ambroise Decamps; Changxia Ke; Lionel Page
    Abstract: We study whether and how success increases the chance of subsequent success using a real-effort laboratory experiment. We identify the causal effect of winning in a simple dynamic contest (best-of-three) using the random component of a stochastic contest success function that determines the winner of each round. We find a positive effect of an initial success on subsequent performance. Replacing either the first round or the last round of the contest with a die selecting the winner at random, we disentangle two competing explanations of the positive effect: strategic thinking and psychological effect of winning. Our results clearly support the existence of a psychological effect of winning. On the contrary, we do not find evidence that strategic thinking can explain the effect of winning. Varying the amount of feedback provided in contest, we find that the psychological effect is likely driven by improved self-confidence after experiencing a success. We suggest that contest models need to venture beyond the framework of games with complete information to explain behaviour in dynamic contests.
    Date: 2018–02–24
  7. By: Lin, Yu-Hsuan
    Abstract: This chapter examines the impact of inequality-averse attitudes on the individual incentives of participating in international environmental agreements by a laboratory experiment. The experimental result shows that the inequality-averse attitudes have significantly positive impact on the incentives of participation. Particularly, when they are non-critical players, egalitarians are likely to give up the free riding benefit by joining a coalition. It helps us to understand the coalition formation in the international conventions.
    Keywords: Social preference, experimental design, international environmental agreement, inequality aversion, heterogeneous countries
    JEL: C91 D71 Q01 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2017–01
  8. By: Alain Cohn; Tobias Gesche; Michel Maréchal
    Abstract: Modern communication technologies enable efficient exchange of information, but often sacrifice direct human interaction inherent in more traditional forms of communication. This raises the question of whether the lack of personal interaction induces individuals to exploit informational asymmetries. We conducted two experiments with 866 subjects to examine how human versus machine interaction influences cheating for financial gain. We find that individuals cheat significantly more when they interact with a machine rather than a person, regardless of whether the machine is equipped with human features. When interacting with a human, individuals are particularly reluctant to report unlikely favorable outcomes, which is consistent with social image concerns. The second experiment shows that dishonest individuals prefer to interact with a machine when facing an opportunity to cheat. Our results suggest that human interaction is key to mitigating dishonest behavior and that self-selection into communication channels can be used to screen for dishonest people.
    Keywords: Cheating, honesty, private information, communication, digitization, lying costs
    JEL: C99 D82 D83
    Date: 2018–02
  9. By: Jordi Brandts; Leonie Gerhards; Lydia Mechtenberg
    Abstract: Inequalities in democracies are multi-faceted. They not only incorporate differences in economic opportunities, but also differences in access to information and social influence. In a lab experiment, we study the interaction of these inequalities to provide a better understanding of socio-political tensions in modern societies. We identify the tragedy of the elite, the dilemma that privileged access to information about a fundamental state that mediates political conflict creates lying incentives for the better informed. In our experiment, an electorate consists of two groups, one informed and one uninformed about an uncertain state of the world. Incentives depend on this state. Before voting the two groups can communicate. We study four different communication protocols which vary the access to communication channels of the two groups and are meant to represent societies with different degrees of openness. We hypothesize that the deliberative structures affect group identities, preferences, and voting. Our observed outcomes largely coincide with those predicted by our theoretical analysis.
    Keywords: communication, social conflict, Inequality
    JEL: C92 D91
    Date: 2018–02
  10. By: Hitoshi Matsushima (The University of Tokyo)
  11. By: Van Belle, Eva; Caers, Ralf; De Couck, Marijke; Di Stasio, Valentina; Baert, Stijn
    Abstract: Persistent unemployment across OECD countries has led to increasing investments in activation programmes and, as a consequence, rigorous evaluations of the effectiveness of these programmes. The results of these evaluations have been mixed at best. To improve the effectiveness of the activation programmes, it is important to know why we observe these unsatisfactory results. One possible explanation that has been largely underexplored is the signal these programmes send to prospective employers. We investigate this signalling effect in the context of a job-vacancy referral system. To this end, we conduct a state-of-the-art vignette experiment in which HR professionals make hiring decisions concerning fictitious job candidates who apply either under a job-vacancy referral system or directly (without referral). By analysing the experimental data, we provide first causal evidence for a substantial adverse effect of referral on the probability of being hired. In addition, our experimental design allows us to explore whether this effect is heterogeneous by job candidate and recruiter characteristics and what exactly is signalled by the job-vacancy referral. In particular, we find that employers perceive referred candidates as being less motivated than other candidates.
    Keywords: signalling,activation policies,job referral,policy evaluation,unemployment
    JEL: J68 J23 C91
    Date: 2018
  12. By: William C. Boning; John Guyton; Ronald H. Hodge, II; Joel Slemrod; Ugo Troiano
    Abstract: Tax enforcement may affect both the behavior of those directly treated and of some taxpayers not directly treated but linked via a network to those who are treated. A large-scale randomized field experiment enables us to examine both the direct and network effects of letters and in-person visits on withheld income and payroll tax remittances by at-risk firms. Visited firms remit substantially more tax. Their tax preparers’ other clients also remit slightly more tax, while their subsidiaries remit slightly less. Letters have a much smaller direct effect and no network effects, yet may improve compliance at lower cost.
    JEL: C93 H26 L14
    Date: 2018–02
  13. By: Pietro Battiston (University of Milan-Bicocca); Simona Gamba (University of Verona); Matteo Rizzolli (LUMSA University); Valentina Rotondi (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: Do people cheat more if it helps their team? Does this behavior change when their actions are disclosed to their peers? To answer these questions, we run a lab-in-the-field experiment with girl scouts and boy scouts during their summer camps. Scout troops are organized in patrols: these are thus naturally occurring and persistent teams, which undertake many different activities and own common goods; moreover, loyalty is salient. We implement a variation of a standard cheating task, in which cheating behavior by an individual scout could i) either be kept private or disclosed to other members of their patrol; and ii) imply the release of an individual voucher to be spent on individual goods or a team voucher to be spent on collective goods for the patrol. While we find a very low overall level of cheating, our results show that people cheat more frequently when their decision is disclosed to their team and not kept private. On the other hand, no significant difference is observed when cheating rewards the team rather than the individual.
    Keywords: Lying; deception; cheating; public scrutiny; social image; adolescents; children; scouts; loyalty; experiments; behavioral economics
    JEL: C90 D91
    Date: 2018–02
  14. By: Eyster, Erik (London School of Economics and Political Science); Rabin, Matthew (Harvard University); Weizsäcker, Georg (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: We investigate experimentally whether social learners appreciate the redundancy of information conveyed by their observed predecessors\' actions. Each participant observes a private signal and enters an estimate of the sum of all earlier-moving participants\' signals plus her own. In a first treatment, participants move single-file and observe all predecessors\' entries; Bayesian Nash Equilibrium (BNE) predicts that each participant simply add her signal to her immediate predecessor\'s entry. Although 75% of participants do so, redundancy neglect by the other 25% generates excess imitation and mild inefficiencies. In a second treatment, participants move four per period; BNE predicts that most players anti-imitate some observed entries. Such anti-imitation occurs in 35% of the most transparent cases, and 16% overall. The remaining redundancy neglect creates dramatic excess imitation and inefficiencies: late-period entries are far too extreme, and on average participants would earn substantially more by ignoring their predecessors altogether.
    Keywords: social learning; redundancy neglect; experiments; higher-order beliefs;
    JEL: B49
    Date: 2018–02–21
  15. By: Kenju Kamei
    Abstract: A rich body of literature has proposed that pairs behave significantly differently from individuals due to a number of reasons such as group polarization. This paper experimentally compares cooperation behaviors between pairs and individuals in a finitely-repeated two-player public goods game (continuous prisoner’s dilemma game). We show that pairs contribute significantly more than individuals to their group accounts. Especially when two pairs are matched with each other for the entire periods, they successfully build long-lasting cooperative relationships with their matched pairs. Our detailed analyses suggest that the enhanced cooperation behavior of pairs may be driven by (a) the mere fact that they have partners as decision-making units when they make decisions, (b) group polarization – those who initially prefer to contribute smaller amounts are more affected by the partners in their pairs, and (c) stronger conditional cooperation behavior of pairs to their matched pairs.Length: 51 pages
  16. By: Barron, Kai (University College London and WZB Berlin); Gravert, Christina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Confidence is often seen as the key to success. Empirical evidence about whether such beliefs causally map into actions is, however, sparse. In this paper, we experimentally investigate the causal effect of an increase in confidence about one’s own ability on two central choices made by workers in the labor market: choosing between jobs with different incentive schemes, and the subsequent choice of how much effort to exert within the job. Using a hard-easy task manipulation to shift beliefs, we find that beliefs can be shifted, which in turn shifts decisions. In our setting, the beliefs of low ability individuals are more malleable than those of high ability individuals. Therefore, the treatment induces an increase in confidence and detrimental decision making by low ability workers but does not affect the outcomes of high ability workers. Men and women react similarly to the treatment. However, men hold higher baseline beliefs, implying that women make better incentive choice decisions. Policy implications regarding pre-labor market confidence development by means of feedback and grade inflation are discussed.
    Keywords: Overconfidence; experiment; beliefs; real-effort; grade inflation
    JEL: C91 D03 J24 M50
    Date: 2018–01
  17. By: van der Swaluw, Koen (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Lambooij, M.; Mathijssen, Jolanda (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Schipper, M.; Zeelenberg, Marcel (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Berkhout, S.; Polder, Johan (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Prast, Henriette (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: To overcome self-control difficulties, people can commit to their health goals by voluntarily accepting deadlines with consequences. In a commitment lottery, the winners are drawn from all participants, but can only claim their prize if they also attained their gym-attendance goals. In a 52-week, three-arm trial across six company gyms, we tested if commitment lotteries with behavioral economic underpinnings would promote physical activity among overweight adults. In previous work, we presented an effective 26-week intervention. In the present paper we analyzed maintenance of goal attainment at 52-week follow-up and the development of weight over time. We compared weight and goal attainment (gym attendance ≥ 2 per week) between three arms that –in the intervention period- consisted of (I) weekly short-term lotteries for 13 weeks; (II) the same short-term lotteries in combination with an additional long-term lottery after 26 weeks; and (III) a control arm without lottery-deadlines. After a successful 26-week intervention, goal attainment declined between weeks 27 and 52 in the long-term lottery arm, but remained higher than in the control group. Goal attainment did not differ between the short-term lottery arm and control arm. Weight declined slightly in all arms in the first 13 weeks of the trial and remained stable from there on. Commitment lotteries can support regular gym attendance up to 52 weeks, but more research is needed to achieve higher levels of maintenance and weight loss.
    Keywords: Behavior Change; Physical Activity; prevention; Commitment Devices; Behavioral Economics; Deadlines
    JEL: I12 D91 C93
    Date: 2018
  18. By: Friedman, Daniel; Habib, Sameh; James, Duncan; Crockett, Sean
    Abstract: We explore a variety of risk preference elicitation procedures that involve direct choice from a set of lotteries, including budget lines (BL) and binary choice lists (HL). We find statistically significant violations of the expected utility hypothesis (EUH) consistent with disappointment aversion, and also find violations of first order stochastic dominance, but both sorts of violations are mostly small and only slightly impair the predictive power of a parametric implementation of EUH. The estimated coefficient of relative risk aversion, gamma, varies widely across individual subjects (consistent with EUH) and also across elicitation tasks (inconsistent with direct implementation of EUH). An alternative nonparametric measure of risk preferences displays similar patterns. The two risk preference measures are highly correlated with each other for each elicitation task. Each separate measure varies widely across individual subjects and across elicitation tasks, with low to nil correlation between BL tasks and HL tasks. Some of the variation across tasks can be explained by attributes such as graphical vs text representation that have no role in decision theory.
    Keywords: risk aversion,experiment,elicitation,multiple price list
    JEL: C91 D81 D89
    Date: 2018
  19. By: Stephen K.O. Duku (University of Ghana, Ghana); Edward Nketiah-Amponsahd (University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana); Christine J. Fenenga (Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, the Netherlands); Daniel K. Arhinful (University of Ghana, Ghana); Wendy (W.) Janssens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Menno (M.) Pradhan (Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Background: Health insurance enrolment in many Sub-Saharan African countries is low, even with highly subsidized premiums and exemptions for vulnerable populations. This paper evaluates the impact of a community engagement intervention implemented in Ghana with the aim of improving clients’ perceptions on service quality and subsequently improving healthcare utilization and health insurance enrolment. Method: We used a panel data of 6,937 individuals from a cluster randomized controlled trial conducted in 64 communities in two regions in Ghana. A random half of communities received the intervention after a baseline survey in April 2012; the remaining communities served as controls. A follow-up survey was conducted in March 2014 to evaluate the intervention. Ordinary Least Squares regression estimations were used to measure the intervention’s impact on quality perceptions, and on healthcare utilization and health insurance enrolment for the full and balanced samples of all household members as well as the uninsured at baseline. Results: In the short term (12 months) the intervention did not produce any significant impact on perceptions of service quality, healthcare utilization or health insurance enrolment in the targeted population. It however reduced the frequency of illness by 13.8 percentage points, suggesting an overall improvement in health status. It also resulted in a 7.2 percentage points increase in insurance enrolment for the uninsured. Conclusion: Community engagement has the potential to motivate service providers to improve quality of care. However, this may not lead to improved perception of service quality, and increased healthcare utilization in the short term. Still, engaging clients in community discussions on quality improvements can effectively enhance health insurance uptake among those who were previously uninsured. Further long-term intervention is necessary to investigate its long-term effects.
    Keywords: health insurance; Ghana; randomized experiment; community participation
    Date: 2018–02–28
  20. By: van der Swaluw, Koen (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Lambooij, Mattijs S; Mathijssen, Jolanda (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Zeelenberg, Marcel (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Polder, Johan (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Prast, Henriette (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: Many people aim to change their lifestyle, but have trouble acting on their intentions. Behavioral economic incentives and related emotions can support commitment to personal health goals, but the related emotions remain unexplored. In a regret lottery, winners who do not attain their health goals do not get their prize but receive feedback on what their forgone earnings would have been. This counterfactual feedback should provoke anticipated regret and increase commitment to health goals. We explored which emotions were actually expected upon missing out on a prize due to unsuccessful weight loss and which incentive-characteristics influence their likelihood and intensity. Participants reported their expected emotional response after missing out on a prize in one of 12 randomly presented incentive-scenarios, which varied in incentive type, incentive size and deadline distance. Participants primarily reported feeling disappointment, followed by regret. Regret was expected most when losing a lottery prize (vs. a fixed incentive) and intensified with prize size. Multiple features of the participant and the lottery incentive increase the occurrence and intensity of regret. As such, our findings can be helpful in designing behavioral economic incentives that leverage emotions to support health behavior change.
    Keywords: incentives; emotions; behavioral economics; health behavior; weight loss
    JEL: D91 I12
    Date: 2018
  21. By: Ghidoni, Riccardo (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Cleave, Blair (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Suetens, Sigrid (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on social dilemma games where players may or may not meet the same partner again in the future. In line with the notion that contagion of cooperation is more likely the higher the likelihood of being re-matched with the same partner in the future, both a novel experiment and a meta-study document higher cooperation rates if this likelihoodis sufficiently high.
    Keywords: cooperation; contagion; matching protocol; laboratory experiment; meta-study
    JEL: C70 C90 D70
    Date: 2018
  22. By: Lisa Bruttel; Irenaeus Wolff
    Abstract: Post-experimental questionnaires are becoming increasingly important in experimental research in economics. Yet, the question of how these questionnaires should be administered remains largely up to the individual researcher. In this paper, we focus on two aspects of the design and evaluation of questionnaire data. First, we present a procedure that can help researchers to identify careless answers ex post. Second, we provide recommendations on how a questionnaire should be set up ex ante in order to maximize answer quality.
    Keywords: Experimental economics, methods, survey, payment procedures
    Date: 2018

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