nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2018‒05‒28
28 papers chosen by

  1. Surveillance cues do not enhance altruistic behavior among anonymous strangers in the field By Erik J. Koornneef; Aurelie Dariel; Iffat Elbarazi; Ahmed R. Alsuwaidi; Paul B.M. Robben; Nikos Nikiforakis
  2. Evaluating Trust and Trustworthiness in Social Groups and Networks By O'Higgins, Niall; Mazzoni, Clelia; Sbriglia, Patrizia
  3. Social Norms, Endogenous Sorting and the Culture of Cooperation By Fehr, Ernst; Williams, Tony
  4. Technical education, noncognitive skills and labor market outcomes: experimental evidence from Brazil By Camargo, Juliana; Lima, Lycia Silva e; Riva, Flavio Luiz Russo; Souza, André Portela Fernandes de
  5. Collective Incentives and Cooperation in Teams with Imperfect Monitoring By Mengel, Friederike; Mohlin , Erik; Weidenholzer, Simon
  6. Does Ignorance of Economic Returns and Costs Explain the Educational Aspiration Gap? Evidence from Representative Survey Experiments By Lergetporer, Philipp; Werner, Katharina; Woessmann, Ludger
  7. Reciprocity Reciprocity in Climate Coalition Formationin Climate Coalition Formation By Lin, Yu-Hsuan
  8. RNN-based counterfactual time-series prediction By Jason Poulos
  9. Elusive Beliefs: Why Uncertainty Leads to Stochastic Choice and Errors By Irenaeus Wolff; Dominik Bauer
  10. Statistical Discrimination and Affirmative Action in the Lab By Dianat, Ahrash; Echenique, Federico; Yariv, Leeat
  11. Locus of Control and Consistent Investment Choices By Pia Pinger; Sebastian Schäfer; Heiner Schumacher
  12. Physical Disability and Labor Market Discrimination: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Bellemare, Charles; Goussé, Marion; Lacroix, Guy; Marchand, Steeve
  13. Sales Performance and Social Preferences By Essl, Andrea; Kosfeld, Michael; Kröll, Markus; Von Bieberstein, Frauke
  14. Dynamic Runs and Circuit Breakers: An Experiment By Jacopo Magnani; David Munro
  15. Is fairness intuitive? An experiment accounting for subjective utility differences under time pressure By Merkel, Anna; Lohse, Johannes
  16. Preferences for the scope of protests By Miquel Pellicer; Eva Wegner; Alexander De Juan
  17. Who Is Cheating? The Role of Attendants, Risk Aversion, and Affluence By Olaf Hübler; Lukas Menkhoff; Ulrich Schmidt
  18. Do Short Sellers Cause CEOs to Be Fired? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Bennett, Benjamin; Wang, Zexi
  19. Traffic and the Provision of Public Goods By Louis-Philippe Beland; Daniel A. Brent
  20. Adaptive push-to-web: experiments in a household panel study By Carpenter, Hannah; Burton, Jonathan
  21. The Impact of Defaults on Technology Adoption, and Its Underappreciation by Pollicymakers By Bergman, Peter; Rogers, Todd
  22. Development and Research of Economic Behavior of Households in Changing Conditions By Levin, Mark; Matrosova, Ksenia
  23. A Dynamic Analysis of Nash Equilibria in Search Models with Fiat Money By Federico Bonetto; Maurizio Iacopetta
  24. Immigrant Responses to Social Insurance Generosity By Bratsberg, Bernt; Raaum, Oddbjørn; Røed, Knut
  25. The Finite Sample Performance of Treatment Effects Estimators based on the Lasso By Michael Zimmert
  26. Are women more risk averse than men:? Evidence from a residential real estate bubble By Paul Ryan; Clare Branigan
  27. Survey Item-Response Behavior as an Imperfect Proxy for Unobserved Ability: Theory and Application By Kassenboehmer, Sonja C.; Schurer, Stefanie
  28. Unconditional cash transfers do not prevent children's undernutrition in the Moderate Acute Malnutrition Out (MAM'Out) cluster-randomized controlled trial in rural Burkina Faso By Jean-François Huneau; Freddy Houngbe; Audrey Tonguet-Papucci; Chiara Altare; Myriam Ait-Aissa; Lieven Huybregts; Patrick Kolsteren

  1. By: Erik J. Koornneef; Aurelie Dariel; Iffat Elbarazi; Ahmed R. Alsuwaidi; Paul B.M. Robben; Nikos Nikiforakis (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: The degree of altruistic behavior among strangers is an evolutionary puzzle. A prominent explanation is the evolutionary legacy hypothesis according to which an evolved reciprocity-based psychology affects behavior even when reciprocity is impossible, i.e., altruistic behavior in such instances is maladaptive. Empirical support for this explanation comes from laboratory experiments showing that surveillance cues, e.g., photographs of watching eyes, increase altruistic behavior. A competing interpretation for this evidence, however, is that the cues signal the experimenter’s expectations and participants, aware of being monitored, intentionally behave more altruistically to boost their reputation. Here we report the first results from a field experiment on the topic in which participants are unaware they are being monitored and reciprocity is precluded. The experiment investigates the impact of surveillance cues on a textbook example of altruistic behavior – hand hygiene prior to treating a ‘patient’. We find no evidence surveillance cues affect hand hygiene, despite using different measures of hand-hygiene quality and cues that have been previously shown to be effective. We argue that surveillance cues may have an effect only when participants have reasons to believe they are actually monitored. Thus they cannot support claims altruistic behavior between strangers is maladaptive.
    Date: 2018–05
  2. By: O'Higgins, Niall (ILO International Labour Organization); Mazzoni, Clelia (University of Campania-Luigi Vanvitelli); Sbriglia, Patrizia (University of Campania-Luigi Vanvitelli)
    Abstract: Trust and trustworthiness are important components of social capital and much attention has been devoted to their correct evaluation. In this paper, we argue that individuals' trust and trustworthiness are strongly dependent on the level of trust and trustworthiness of the social group in which subjects operate. Attitudinal indicators which are often used to measure trust and trustworthiness in economic and sociological studies are proxies of the individual's propensity to trust, but are insufficient measures of the effective level of trust since the latter may be strongly affected by the behaviour of the components of the individuals' social groups. In order to test our hypothesis, we use a rich dataset based on two experiments on the Trust Game (Berg et al.; 1995), where subjects also filled a questionnaire containing the main attitudinal questions the EVS (the European Value Survey) uses to measure individuals' trust. We then compare the ex-ante behavioural and attitudinal measures of trust with the ex post relative measures. Our main finding is that trust strongly varies once the individual is informed on the on the level of trustworthiness of the social group to which he\she has been allocated during the experiment. This difference is higher the higher is the family level of income and the parental education status of the subjects. We also find that relative behavioural measures are not correlated to attitudinal measures (Glaeser et al., 2000, Lazzarini, 2005), but they are strongly correlated to groups' trustworthiness. We also find that similar social preferences profiles (between Senders and Recipients) tend to enhance the degree of behavioural trust.
    Keywords: social capital, trust, experiments
    JEL: C91 C92
    Date: 2018–04
  3. By: Fehr, Ernst (University of Zurich); Williams, Tony (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Throughout human history, informal sanctions played a key role in the enforcement of social norms and the provision of public goods. However, a considerable body of evidence suggests that informal peer sanctions often cause large efficiency costs. This raises the question whether alternative (peer) sanctioning systems exist that avoid these costs and will be preferred by the people. Here, we show that welfare-enhancing peer sanctioning without much need for costly punishment emerges quickly if we introduce two relevant features of social life into the experiment: (i) subjects can migrate across groups with different sanctioning institutions and (ii) they have the chance to achieve consensus about normatively appropriate behavior. The exogenous removal of the norm consensus opportunity reduces the efficiency of peer punishment and renders centralized sanctioning by an elected judge the dominant institution. However, if given the choice, subjects universally reject peer sanctioning without a norm consensus opportunity – an institution that has hitherto dominated research in this field – in favor of peer sanctioning with a norm consensus opportunity or an equally efficient institution with centralized punishment by an elected judge. Migration opportunities and normative consensus building are key to the quick emergence of an efficient culture of universal cooperation because the more prosocial subjects populate the two efficient institutions first, elect prosocial judges (if institutionally possible), and immediately establish a social norm of high cooperation. This norm appears to guide subjects' cooperation and punishment choices, including the virtually complete removal of antisocial punishment when judges make the sanctioning decision.
    Keywords: cooperation, punishment, endogenous institutions, public goods
    JEL: D02 D03 D72 H41
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Camargo, Juliana; Lima, Lycia Silva e; Riva, Flavio Luiz Russo; Souza, André Portela Fernandes de
    Abstract: This paper describes the results from the evaluation of the Student Training Scholarship ('Bolsa Formação Estudante'), a public policy that offers scholarships to current and former high school students of the public educational system in Brazil so that they can attend technical and vocational education courses free of charge. We base our analysis on a waiting list randomized controlled trial in four municipalities and use survey and administrative data to quantify the effects of the program on educational investments, labor market outcomes, noncognitive skills and self-reported risky behaviors. Our intention-to-treat estimates suggest substantial gender heterogeneity two years after program completion. Women experienced large gains in labor market outcomes and noncognitive skills. In particular, those who received the offer scored 0.63σ higher on an extraversion indicator, but, surprisingly, reported more frequently that they were involved in argument or fights and binge drinking. We find no effects of the program on the male sub-sample. The findings corroborate the evidence on gender heterogeneity in the literature on technical and vocational education programs, and also extend it to additional dimensions.
    Date: 2018–05
  5. By: Mengel, Friederike (Department of Economics, University of Essex); Mohlin , Erik (Department of Economics, Lund University); Weidenholzer, Simon (Department of Economics, University of Essex)
    Abstract: We experimentally explore the role of collective incentives in sustaining cooperation in finitely repeated public goods games with imperfect monitoring. In our experiment players only observe noisy signals about individual contributions, while total output is perfectly observed. We consider sanctioning mechanisms that allow agents to commit to collective punishment in case total output fall short of a target. We find that cooperation is higher in the case of collective punishment compared to both the case of no punishment and the case of standard peer-to-peer punishment which conditions on the noisy signals. Further experiments indicate that both the commitment possibility and the collective nature of punishment matter for the positive effect of collective incentives on cooperation.
    Keywords: Public goods game; Team production; Punishment; Collective sanctions; Imperfect monitoring
    JEL: C72 D02 D23 D90
    Date: 2018–05–19
  6. By: Lergetporer, Philipp (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Werner, Katharina (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: The gap in university enrollment by parental education is large and persistent in many countries. In our representative survey, 74 percent of German university graduates, but only 36 percent of those without a university degree favor a university education for their children. The latter are more likely to underestimate returns and overestimate costs of university. Experimental provision of return and cost information significantly increases educational aspirations. However, it does not close the aspiration gap as university graduates respond even more strongly to the information treatment. Persistent effects in a follow-up survey indicate that participants indeed process and remember the information. Differences in economic preference parameters also cannot account for the educational aspiration gap. Our results cast doubt that ignorance of economic returns and costs explains educational inequality in Germany.
    Keywords: inequality, higher education, university, aspiration, information, returns to education, survey experiment
    JEL: D83 I24 J24 H75
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Lin, Yu-Hsuan
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of reciprocal altruistic attitudes on individual willingness to participate in a climate coalition with experimental evidences. The theoretical result suggested that the scope of the coalition’s formation could be enlarged by the participation of altruists. However, we found that a kind participant in the altruism test could behave unkindly to others in the public good game. Considering attitudes against reciprocal altruism, when participants thought they were being treated badly, they were more likely to join a coalition because of the threat of punishment. In contrast, when participants were noncritical to a coalition, such altruistic attitudes were insignificant to their decisions. This result implies that decisions in international conventions are not self-enforced. Overall, this study reveals that self-interest remains the key factor influencing individual participation in climate coalitions. Coalition formation can also be affected by reciprocal altruistic preferences.
    Keywords: social preference, experimental design, reciprocity, altruism, international environmental agreements
    JEL: C91 D64 H41 Q54
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Jason Poulos
    Abstract: This paper proposes an alternative to the synthetic control method (SCM) for estimating the effect of a policy intervention on an outcome over time. Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are used to predict counterfactual time-series of treated unit outcomes using only the outcomes of control units as inputs. Unlike SCM, the proposed method does not rely on pre-intervention covariates, allows for nonconvex combinations of control units, can handle multiple treated units, and can share model parameters across time-steps. RNNs outperform SCM in terms of recovering experimental estimates from a field experiment extended to a time-series observational setting. In placebo tests run on three different benchmark datasets, RNNs are more accurate than SCM in predicting the post-intervention time-series of control units, while yielding a comparable proportion of false positives. The proposed method contributes to a new literature that uses machine learning techniques for data-driven counterfactual prediction.
    Date: 2017–12
  9. By: Irenaeus Wolff; Dominik Bauer
    Abstract: People often cannot assign a clear probability to an event but face uncertainty about their subjective probabilities. We model belief uncertainty by assuming that agents’ beliefs are characterized by a distribution over subjective-probability distributions that agents cannot access directly. Our model produces stochastic choice because each decision-relevant belief is but one realization out of the distribution over all possible beliefs. Our model predicts that when comparing unknown situations to routine choices, people will make more ex-ante suboptimal choices in unknown situations. The model also offers an explanation for experiment participants not playing a best-response to their stated beliefs: participants are uncertain what belief to report or base their decision on, and hence, act on momentaneous ‘belief realizations’. In an experiment, we exogenously manipulate participants’ belief uncertainty. We find support for both predictions. Low belief uncertainty leads to fewer errors and thus, higher earnings, even when controlling for the accuracy of participants’ beliefs. Second, under low belief uncertainty, observed best response rates are high and increasing in the amount of information we provide. Conversely, high belief uncertainty leads to lower consistency.
    Keywords: Stochastic choice, Belief-Action Consistency, Belief Elicitation, Discoordination Game
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Dianat, Ahrash; Echenique, Federico; Yariv, Leeat
    Abstract: We present results from laboratory experiments studying the impacts of affirmative action policies. We induce statistical discrimination in simple labor-market interactions between firms and workers. We then introduce affirmative-action policies that vary in the size and duration of a subsidy firms receive for hiring discriminated-against workers. These different affirmative-action policies have nearly the same effect and practically eliminate discriminatory hiring practices. However, once lifted, few positive effects remain and discrimination reverts to its initial levels. One exception is lengthy affirmative-action policies, which exhibit somewhat longer-lived effects. Stickiness of beliefs, which we elicit, helps explain the evolution of these outcomes.
    Keywords: affirmative action; experiments; statistical discrimination
    JEL: C91 D04 J71
    Date: 2018–05
  11. By: Pia Pinger; Sebastian Schäfer; Heiner Schumacher
    Abstract: We document that an internal locus of control can be hindering in financial mar- ket situations, where short-term outcomes are determined by chance. The reason is that internally controlled individuals may tend to (over-)react to random out- comes. Our evidence is based on an experiment in which subjects repeatedly invest in two identical, uncorrelated, risky assets and observe previous outcome realiza- tions. Under mild restrictions, the optimal strategy is to make the same choice in each period. Yet, internals are more likely to make inconsistent risk choices. The effect size of locus of control is comparable with that of cognitive ability. Among inconsistent subjects, average switching behavior is in line with the gambler’s fal- lacy. However, choices of very internally controlled individuals tend to correspond to the hot hand fallacy.
    Keywords: Locus of Control, Risk Preferences, Investment Decisions, Cognitive Ability
    JEL: D03 G02 C91
    Date: 2018–05
  12. By: Bellemare, Charles (Université Laval); Goussé, Marion (Université Laval); Lacroix, Guy (Université Laval); Marchand, Steeve (Université Laval)
    Abstract: We investigate the determinants and extent of labor market discrimination toward people with physical disabilities using a large scale field experiment. Applications were randomly sent to 1477 private firms advertising open positions. We find that average callback rates of disabled and non-disabled applicants are respectively 14.4% and 7.2%. We find this differential does not result from accessibility constraints related to firm infrastructures. We also find that mentioning eligibility to a government subsidy to cover the cost of workplace adaptation does not increase callback rates. Finally, we estimate that a lower bound of the proportion of discriminating firms is 49.7%.
    Keywords: discrimination, disabilities, partial identification
    JEL: J71 J68
    Date: 2018–04
  13. By: Essl, Andrea; Kosfeld, Michael; Kröll, Markus; Von Bieberstein, Frauke
    Abstract: We use an incentivized experimental game to uncover heterogeneity in other-regarding preferences among salespeople in a large Austrian retail chain. Our results show that the majority of agents take the welfare of others into account but a significant fraction reveals self-regarding behavior. Matching individual behavior in the game with firm data on sales performance shows that higher concern for others is significantly associated with higher revenue per customer. At the same time, it is also associated with fewer sales per day. Both effects offset each other, so that the overall association with total sales revenue becomes insignificant. Our findings highlight the nuanced role of self- vs. other-regarding concerns in sales contexts with important implications for management and marketing research.
    Keywords: experimental games; other-regarding preferences; sales performance
    JEL: C91 D91 M31
    Date: 2018–05
  14. By: Jacopo Magnani; David Munro (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: Although now widespread in financial markets, circuit breakers remain controversial among researchers and professional investors. We formalize the popular argument that circuit breakers provide a "cooling-off" period for investors during market runs and we test it in the laboratory. Our experiment reproduces a market where investors fear future liquidity shocks but receive news about the true state over time. Notably, we find that when information quality is poor circuit breakers can have perverse effects on trading behavior. However, when information quality is high, circuit breakers can improve welfare by providing agents with time to learn about the true state, when private incentives to wait for more information are insuffcient.
    Date: 2018–05
  15. By: Merkel, Anna; Lohse, Johannes
    Abstract: Evidence from response time studies and time pressure experiments has led several authors to conclude that "fairness is intuitive". In light of conflicting findings we provide theoretical arguments showing under which conditions an increase in "fairness” due to time pressure indeed provides unambiguous evidence in favor of the "fairness is intuitive" hypothesis. Drawing on recent applications of the Drift Diffusion Model (Krajbich et al., 2015a), we demonstrate how the subjective diffculty of making a choice affects decisions under time pressure and time delay, there by making an unambiguous interpretation of time pressure effects contingent on the choice situation. To explore our theoretical considerations and to retest the "fairness is intuitive" hypothesis, we analyze choices in two-person binary dictator and prisoner’s dilemma games under time pressure or time delay. In addition, we manipulate the subjective difficulty of choosing the fair relative to the selfish option. Our main finding is that time pressure does not consistently promote fairness in situations where this would be predicted after accounting for choice difficulty. Hence, our results cast doubt on the hypothesis that "fairness is intuitive".
    Keywords: distributional preferences; cooperation; time pressure; response times; cognitive processes; drift diffusion models
    Date: 2018–05–16
  16. By: Miquel Pellicer (GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies and SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Eva Wegner (School of Politics & International Relations, University College Dublin); Alexander De Juan (Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz)
    Abstract: This paper studies a dimension of protest largely overlooked in the literature: protest scope, that is, whether protests seek large, structural, changes for a large share of the population or focus on small-scale improvements for small groups. We argue that this protest dimension is relevant for understanding the political consequences of protests. We show empirically that protests vary substantially in scope and that scope is not collinear with other protest dimensions, such as size, motive, or tactics. We explore drivers of individual preferences for protest scope with a survey experiment in two South African townships. We find that respondents made to feel more efficacious tend to support protests of broader scope. This effect operates via a social psychology channel whereby efficacy leads people to assign blame for their problems to more systemic causes.
    Keywords: Protest Dimensions, Political Behaviour, Social Psychology, Survey Experiment, Efficacy, South Africa
    Date: 2018
  17. By: Olaf Hübler; Lukas Menkhoff; Ulrich Schmidt
    Abstract: This research integrates a standard “cheating” experiment into a broad household survey and finds relationships between individual characteristics and cheating behavior. We allow for attendance of others at the cheating experiment, addressing the “reputation to be seen as honest,” finding there is indeed less cheating with attendants. Regarding the preference for “honesty,” we find two related attitudes: stronger risk aversion increases the costs of cheating, i.e. behaving against the norm, while affluence makes cheating costly, as it allows behaving honestly. The underlying experiment in rural Thailand reproduces stylized facts of the cheating literature.
    Keywords: Cheating, individual characteristics, risk attitude
    JEL: D01 D81 D82
    Date: 2018
  18. By: Bennett, Benjamin (Ohio State University); Wang, Zexi (University of Bern)
    Abstract: We study the short-selling effect on forced CEO turnover. Using difference-in-differences analyses based on the SEC Regulation SHO Pilot Program, we find short selling increases the likelihood of forced turnover. Theories suggest two potential mechanisms: informed short sellers reveal negative information (Revelation), while uninformed short sellers manipulate prices (Manipulation). Consistent with Revelation, we find stronger effects when firms have more earnings management, less informative stock prices, and less competitive product markets. Consistent with Manipulation, we find stronger effects when firms have more growth opportunities, fewer blockholders, and less volatile stock. Manipulative short selling decreases the efficiency of forced turnover.
    JEL: G30 G34
    Date: 2018–03
  19. By: Louis-Philippe Beland; Daniel A. Brent
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between traffic congestion and emergency response times by match- ing traffic data at a fine spatial and temporal scale to incident report data from fire departments in California. Our results show that traffic slows down fire trucks arriving at the scene of an emergency and increases the average monetary damages from fires. Allocating more funding to fire departments decreases response times, but not the marginal effect of traffic. We document an additional externality of traffic congestion and highlight the negative effect of traffic on one of the many public goods that rely on well-functioning road infrastructure.
    Date: 2018–05
  20. By: Carpenter, Hannah; Burton, Jonathan
    Abstract: We use an adaptive design implemented in Wave 8 of the Understanding Society panelstudy to test the cost-effectiveness of several survey design features aimed at increasing theproportion of households where everyone completes their survey online. The featurestested include offering a bonus for web completion within a specified time period,extending the length of that period, making the bonus conditional on everyone in thehousehold completing online versus individual completion, adding reminder letters, andincreasing the length of the web only fieldwork period.Â
    Date: 2018–05–15
  21. By: Bergman, Peter (Columbia University); Rogers, Todd (Harvard University)
    Abstract: We conduct an experiment to understand how enrollment defaults affect the take up and impact of an education technology. We show that a standard and simplified opt-in process induce low take up. Automatically enrolling parents increases adoption significantly and improves student achievement. Our surveys show automatic enrollment is uncommon because its impact is underestimated: District leaders overestimate take-up under the standard condition by 38 percentage points and underestimate take-up under automatic enrollment by 31 percentage points. After learning the actual take-up rates, there is a 140% increase in willingness to pay for the technology when shifting implementation to automatic enrollment.
    Date: 2017–06
  22. By: Levin, Mark (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Matrosova, Ksenia (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: Household as a complex economic object consisting of one or more agents, is a one of the main participants in the economy. The interaction of individuals who make individual and collective decisions depends significantly on internal and external conditions. The main purposes of this research include the decision making by the family or household about consumption and savings, the resource allocation and investment in human capital, the issues related to marriage, divorce, birth and retirement. The aim of our research is to study microeconomic models that help predict the economic behavior of households in a changing conditions.
    Date: 2018–04
  23. By: Federico Bonetto; Maurizio Iacopetta
    Abstract: We study the rise in the acceptability fiat money in a Kiyotaki-Wright economy by developing a method that can determine dynamic Nash equilibria for a class of search models with genuine heterogenous agents. We also address open issues regarding the stability properties of pure strategies equilibria and the presence of multiple equilibria. Experiments illustrate the liquidity conditions that favor the transition from partial to full acceptance of fiat money, and the effects of inflationary shocks on production, liquidity, and trade.
    Date: 2018–05
  24. By: Bratsberg, Bernt (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Raaum, Oddbjørn (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Røed, Knut (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Immigrants from low‐income source countries tend to be underrepresented in employment and overrepresented in social insurance programs. Based on administrative data from Norway, we examine how these gaps reflect systematic differences in the impacts of social insurance benefits on work incentives. Drawing on a benefit formula reform of the temporary disability insurance program, we identify behavioral employment and earnings responses to changes in benefits, and find that responses are significantly larger for immigrants. Among female immigrant program participants, earnings of the male spouse also drop in response to more generous benefits. We uncover stronger behavioral responses among natives with characteristics similar to those of immigrants.
    Keywords: immigrants, labor supply, social insurance
    JEL: H53 J15 J22
    Date: 2018–04
  25. By: Michael Zimmert
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on treatment effects estimation with machine learning inspired methods by studying the performance of different estimators based on the Lasso. Building on recent work in the field of high-dimensional statistics, we use the semiparametric efficient score estimation structure to compare different estimators. Alternative weighting schemes are considered and their suitability for the incorporation of machine learning estimators is assessed using theoretical arguments and various Monte Carlo experiments. Additionally we propose an own estimator based on doubly robust Kernel matching that is argued to be more robust to nuisance parameter misspecification. In the simulation study we verify theory based intuition and find good finite sample properties of alternative weighting scheme estimators like the one we propose.
    Date: 2018–05
  26. By: Paul Ryan; Clare Branigan
    Abstract: A substantial literature in economics and finance has found that women tend to be more risk averse than men. In addition, compared to their male counterparts they tend to shy away from competitive situations. However, there are no extant studies exploring the relative degree of risk aversion and competitive behaviour of men vs. women in a bubble market context. Bubble markets provide a rich context to explore the potential impact of behavioural biases and emotions in investors’ decision making processes (e.g. Shiller, 2000, 2008, 2014; Kindleberger and Aliber, 2011). Drawing on auction data from the Irish residential real estate market, in the middle of a real estate bubble, we find that female winning bidders are no less risk averse or less likely to shy away from competition than their male counterparts. Our results have implications for how gender impacts on decision making in highly charged emotional contexts.
    Keywords: bubble market; Competition; Gender; risk aversion
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2017–07–01
  27. By: Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. (Monash University); Schurer, Stefanie (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: We develop and test an economic model of the cognitive and non-cognitive foundations of survey item- response behavior. We show that a summary measure of response behaviour – the survey item-response rate (SIRR) – varies with cognitive and less so with non-cognitive abilities, has a strong individual fixed component and is predictive of economic outcomes because of its relationship with ability. We demonstrate the usefulness of SIRR, although an imperfect proxy for cognitive ability, to reduce omitted-variable biases in estimated wage returns. We derive both necessary and sufficient conditions under which the use of an imperfect proxy reduces such biases, providing a general guideline for researchers.
    Keywords: survey item-response behavior, imperfect proxy variables, behavioral proxy, cognitive ability, personality traits, selection on unobservables
    JEL: J24 C18 C83 I20 J30
    Date: 2018–04
  28. By: Jean-François Huneau (PNCA - Physiologie de la Nutrition et du Comportement Alimentaire - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroParisTech); Freddy Houngbe (Food Safety and Food Quality - UGENT - Ghent University [Belgium]); Audrey Tonguet-Papucci (Action contre la Faim); Chiara Altare (Action contre la Faim); Myriam Ait-Aissa (Association de Coordination Technique Agricole); Lieven Huybregts (IFPRI - International Food Policy Research Institute); Patrick Kolsteren (Food Safety and Food Quality - UGENT - Ghent University [Belgium])
    Abstract: Background: Limited evidence is available on the impact that unconditional cash transfer (UCT) programs can have on child nutrition, particularly in West Africa, where child undernutrition is still a public health challenge. Objective: This study examined the impact of a multiannual, seasonal UCT program to reduce the occurrence of wasting (weight-for-height, midupper arm circumference), stunting (height-for-age), and morbidity among children
    Keywords: Burkina Faso,children,morbidity,nutritional status,seasonal unconditional cash transfers
    Date: 2017

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