nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2018‒07‒09
twenty-six papers chosen by

  1. Keep It Simple: A field experiment on information sharing in social networks By Catia Batista; Pedro Vicente; Marcel Fafchamps
  2. Using Ethical Dilemmas to Predict Antisocial Choices With Real Payoff Consequences: An Experimental Study By David L. Dickinson; David Masclet
  3. Nutritional and economic impact of 5 alternative front-of-pack nutritional labels: experimental evidence By Paolo Crosetto; Anne Lacroix; Laurent Muller; Bernard Ruffieux
  4. Giving once, giving twice: A two-period field experiment on inter-temporal crowding in charitable giving By Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
  5. Active Learning Fosters Financial Behavior: Experimental Evidence By Tim Kaiser; Lukas Menkhoff
  6. Preferences for information precision under ambiguity By Roxane Bricet
  7. Toward a better understanding of elicitation effects in stated preference studies By Christian A. Vossler; Ewa Zawojska
  8. Does Ignorance of Economic Returns and Costs Explain the Educational Aspiration Gap? Evidence from Representative Survey Experiments By Lergetporer, Philipp; Werner, Katharina; Woessmann, Ludger
  9. Trust and its determinants: Evidence from the Trustlab experiment By Fabrice Murtin; Lara Fleischer; Vincent Siegerink; Arnstein Aassve; Yann Algan; Romina Boarini; Santiago González; Zsuzsanna Lonti; Gianluca Grimalda; Rafael Hortala Vallve; Soonhee Kim; David Lee; Louis Putterman; Conal Smith
  10. Duration dependence as an unemployment stigma: Evidence from a field experiment in Germany By Nüß, Patrick
  11. Eliciting temptation and self-control through menu choices: a lab experiment By Toussaert, Séverine
  12. Quality certifications for nonprofits, charitable giving, and donor's trust: experimental evidence By Adena, Maja; Alizade, Jeyhun; Bohner, Frauke; Harke, Julian; Mesters, Fabio
  13. Naïve and Sophisticated Mixing: Experimental Evidence By Christian Alcocer;Thomas D. Jeitschko; Robert Shupp; Thomas D. Jeitschko; Robert Shupp
  14. When does team remuneration work? An experimental study on interactions between workplace contexts By Bartke, Simon; Gelhaar, Felix
  15. The price for instrumentally valuable information By Roxane Bricet
  16. Higher order risk attitudes and prevention under different timings of loss By Takehito Masuda; Eungik Lee
  17. Effects of Institutional History and Leniency on Collusive Corruption and Tax Evasion By Johannes Buckenmaier; Eugen Dimant; Luigi Mittone
  18. Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior Among Peers and the Role of Social Proximity By Eugen Dimant
  19. Does personalized information improve health plan choices when individuals are distracted? By Cornel Kaufmann, Tobias Mueller, Andreas Hefti, Stefan Boes
  20. Quicksand or Bedrock for Behavioral Economics? Assessing Foundational Empirical Questions By Victor Stango; Joanne Yoong; Jonathan Zinman
  21. The Truth About Tattoos By B.J. Ruffle, A. Wilson
  22. Precise versus imprecise datasets: revisiting ambiguity attitudes in the Ellsberg paradox By Roxane Bricet
  23. Comparing the Productive Effects of Cash and Food Transfers in a Crisis Setting: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Yemen By Benjamin Schwab; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  24. Voting on behalf of a future generation: A laboratory experiment By Yoshio Kamijo; Yoichi Hizen; Tatsuyoshi Saijo; Teruyuki Tamura
  25. Long Term Care Risk Misperceptions By Martin Boyer; Philippe De Donder; Claude Fluet; Marie-Louise Leroux; Pierre-Carl Michaud
  26. Looking at the bright side: The motivation value of overconfidence By Chen, Si; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah

  1. By: Catia Batista; Pedro Vicente; Marcel Fafchamps
    Abstract: In this paper, we study information sharing through text messages among rural Mozambicans with access to mobile money. For this purpose, we conducted a lab-in-the-field experiment involving exogeneously assigned information links. In the base game mobile money users receive an SMS containing information on how to redeem a voucher for mobile money. They are then given an opportunity to share this information with other subjects. We find that participants have a low propensity to redeem the voucher. They nonetheless share the information with others, and many subjects share information they do not use themselves, consistent with warm glow. We observe that there is more information sharing when communication is entirely anonymous, and we uncover no evidence of homophily in information sharing. We introduce various treatments: varying the cost of information sharing; being shamed for not sending vouchers; and allowing subjects to appropriate (part of) the value of the shared information. All these treatments decrease information sharing. The main implication is that, to encourage information sharing, the best is to keep it simple.
    Keywords: Information, lab-in-the-field experiment, mobile money, Mozambique, NOVAFRICA, social networks
    Date: 2018
  2. By: David L. Dickinson; David Masclet
    Abstract: Anti-social behaviours are costly to organizations, and the ability to identify predictors of such behaviours can be valuable. In this paper, we used a within-subjects laboratory design to study choices in the well-known (hypothetical) Trolley problem as well as in a real payoff moneyburning experiment that can inform our understanding of moral preferences and antisocial behavior. Choices in both environments respond to incentives (i.e., the relative price of the ethical decision). Trolley problem decisions are consistent with previously known results— individuals prefer no action over action, and they prefer to avoid direct over indirect responsibility when negative consequences would be similar in either instance. In analyzing the determinants of anti-social money burning, our data identify money burning due to inequality aversion, but we also find evidence of pure nastiness (burning money of others to increase one’s advantageous inequality). Importantly, we find that willingness to commit ethically dubious acts in the Trolley problem significantly predicts money burning and, more specifically, nastiness. We conclude that choices in hypothetical environments can predict consequential and inefficient antisocial behaviours. Also, utilitarian behaviour in the Trolley dilemma is not linked to antisocial money burning, which contrasts with conclusions in the literature. Key Words: experiments, money burning, ethical dilemmas, anti-social behavioral, trolley problem
    JEL: C90 C91 Z10
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Paolo Crosetto (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes, INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique); Anne Lacroix (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes, INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique); Laurent Muller (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes, INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique); Bernard Ruffieux (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: We study in a laboratory framed field experiment the impact of five Front of Pack labels (FOPL) on the nutritional quality and cost of a daily consumption basket. We employ a difference in difference experimental design, between subjects, to cleanly identify the impact of FOPL. 691 subjects issued from the general population shop twice within a catalog of 290 products: a first time without and a second unan-nounced time with labels. Purchases are real. We test five different labels and compare result against a benchmark treatment in which subjects shop twice with no labels. Labels include the existing Multiple Traffic Lights, Reference Intakes and Health Star Rating, and two newly proposed designs: NutriScore, a 5-color synthetic label, and SENS, a frequency-based recommendation label. We measure nutritional quality using the FSA score. All labels but Reference Intakes significantly improve nutritional quality. NutriScore is significantly more effective than all other labels, followed by the Australian Health Star and Multiple Traffic Lights. The nutritional improvements due to the labeling come at an economic cost, as the average cost of 2000Kcal increases for all labels. Nonetheless, we show that the extra cost for a unit nutritional improvement is borne mainly by richer households. Behaviorally, change is concentrated in the extremal categories of each label. Easier to understand labels have a higher impact and crowd out more successfully other information cues like ingredients lists and nutritional tables.
    Keywords: Nutritional labels,Experiment,Front of Pack,Etiquetage nutritionnel,Economie expérimentale
    Date: 2018–06–01
  4. By: Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
    Abstract: We study intertemporal crowding between two fundraising campaigns for the same charitable organization by manipulating donors’ beliefs about the likelihood of future campaigns in two subsequent field experiments. Theory predicts that the effect of such belief manipulations depends on whether multiple donations are perceived as substitutes or complements. In line with intuition, the data from our experiment in the first year suggests that multiple donations are substitutes and, consequently, that rendering future campaigns more likely causes crowding out. In the second year, however, we find that our belief manipulations no longer have an effect. When receiving a second fundraising call, donors learn that also future repetitions may occur. In contrast with theoretical predictions for substitutes, we find that year-2 donations are increasing in year-1 donations, that is, higher do-nations in an earlier campaign crowd in future donations.
    Keywords: Charitable giving,field experiments,intertemporal crowding
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Tim Kaiser; Lukas Menkhoff
    Abstract: We conduct a randomized field experiment to study the effects of two financial education interventions offered to small-scale retailers in Western Uganda. The treatments contrast “active learning” with “traditional lecturing” within standardized lesson-plans. We find that active learning has a positive and economically meaningful impact on savings and investment outcomes, in contrast to insignificant impacts of lecturing. These results are not conditional on prior education or financial literacy. The active learning intervention seems to be superior as it works via three cognitive and non-cognitive mechanisms, i.e. increased financial knowledge, self-control, and financial confidence, while lecturing only affects financial confidence.
    Keywords: financial behavior, financial literacy, active learning, lecturing, training method, field experiment
    JEL: O16 D14 I21
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Roxane Bricet (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: This paper presents an experiment designed to measure the effect of information precision on ambiguity attitudes. The Ellsberg’s two-urns experiment is adapted so that the subjects are provided with sets of observations informing on the composition of the ambiguous urn. The central feature of the design consists in keeping the frequencies of observations constant across datasets, which allows to isolate the influence of information precision by varying the number of observations. The experimental results suggest that the availability of information does not eliminate Ellsberg-type preferences, since most subjects prefer the risky urn to the ambiguous urn to bet on both colors, but it does not translate into significantly different valuations for the risky and ambiguous prospects. Moreover, I do not find evidence that the increase in information precision is associated with higher valuation of the ambiguous prospect.
    Keywords: Preferences for information precision, Ambiguity, Ellsberg paradox, Certainty Equivalence, Preference Reversals, Experiment, Prince.
    JEL: C91 D81 D83
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Christian A. Vossler (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee); Ewa Zawojska (Faculty of Economic Sciences University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)
    Abstract: Empirical evidence accumulated over several decades suggests that survey-based welfare measures for public goods can be very sensitive to the format of the value elicitation, e.g., an up-or-down vote or an open-ended willingness-to-pay question. The underlying drivers of these effects remain poorly understood. As myriad formats are employed in practice, this raises concerns for both academics and policymakers. We design and implement a controlled experiment to cleanly test for elicitation effects among a set of four oft-used formats: single binary choice, double-bounded binary choice, payment card, and open-ended. The experiment retains important field context properties (e.g., the funding of a public, environmental good) and varies only the elicitation format, while holding fixed ancillary characteristics of the elicitations (such as framing, decision rule, payment method, and incentive compatibility). We find all formats lead to statistically identical welfare estimates. On one hand, this evidence suggests that variance in design characteristics other than the elicitation format may explain some prior results. On the other, to the extent that characteristics of our elicitations can be mirrored in the field, this offers a pathway for mitigating elicitation effects.
    Keywords: contingent valuation; mechanism design; experiment; voting; elicitation effects; convergent validity
    JEL: Q51 C92 D82 H41
    Date: 2018–06
  8. By: Lergetporer, Philipp (University of Munich); Werner, Katharina (University of Munich); Woessmann, Ludger (University of Munich)
    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 Classification: D83, I24, J24, H75
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Fabrice Murtin (OECD); Lara Fleischer (OECD); Vincent Siegerink (OECD); Arnstein Aassve (Bocconi University); Yann Algan (Sciences Po, Paris); Romina Boarini (OECD); Santiago González (OECD); Zsuzsanna Lonti (OECD); Gianluca Grimalda (Kiel University); Rafael Hortala Vallve (London School of Economics); Soonhee Kim (Korea Development Institute); David Lee (Korea Development Institute); Louis Putterman (Brown university); Conal Smith (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper describes the results of an international initiative on trust (Trustlab) run in six OECD countries between November 2016 and November 2017 (France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Slovenia and the United States). Trustlab combines cutting-edge techniques drawn from behavioural science and experimental economics with an extensive survey on the policy and contextual determinants of trust in others and trust in institutions, administered to representative samples of participants. The main results are as follows: 1) Self-reported measures of trust in institutions are validated experimentally, 2) Self-reported measures of trust in others capture a belief about trustworthiness (as well as altruistic preferences), whereas experimental measures rather capture willingness to cooperate and one’s own trustworthiness. Therefore, both measures are loosely related, and should be considered complementary rather than substitutes; 3) Perceptions of institutional performance strongly correlate with both trust in government and trust in others; 4) Perceived government integrity is the strongest determinant of trust in government; 5) In addition to indicators associated with social capital, such as neighbourhood connectedness and attitudes towards immigration, perceived satisfaction with public services, social preferences and expectations matter for trust in others; 6) There is a large scope for policy action, as an increase in all significant determinants of trust in government by one standard deviation may be conducive to an increase in trust by 30 to 60%.
    Keywords: cooperative games, implicit association test, no cooperative games, trust, trust in institutions
    Date: 2018–06–30
  10. By: Nüß, Patrick
    Abstract: Based on a correspondence experiment covering 3,124 fictitious job applications, the paper identifies and quantifies duration dependence in Germany, with a particular emphasis on company and vacancy characteristics as potential determinants. The experiment reveals that duration dependence manifests itself in a sharp decline of 26% to 35% in callbacks when an individual has been unemployed for 10 months, pointing to the existence of an unemployment stigma for Germany. The results are driven by labor market tightness, companies' access to applicants and screening behavior related to company size, with no evidence for an unemployment stigma determined by the contract type.
    Keywords: Field Experiments,Public Policy,Labor Demand,Unemployment Duration,Labor Discrimination
    JEL: C93 J68 J23 J64 J71
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Toussaert, Séverine
    Abstract: Unlike present‐biased individuals, agents who suffer self‐control costs as in Gul and Pesendorfer, 2001 may choose to restrict their choice set even when they expect to resist temptation. To identify these self‐control types, I design an experiment in which the temptation was to read a story during a tedious task. The identification strategy relies on a two‐step procedure. First, I measure commitment demand by eliciting subjects' preferences over menus that did or did not allow access to the story. I then implement preferences using a random mechanism, allowing to observe subjects who faced the choice yet preferred commitment. A quarter to a third of subjects can be classified as self‐control types according to their menu preferences. When confronted with the choice, virtually all of them behaved as they anticipated and resisted temptation. These findings suggest that policies restricting the availability of tempting options could have larger welfare benefits than predicted by standard models of present bias.
    Keywords: temptation; self-control; menu choice; curiosity; experiment
    JEL: C91 D83 D99
    Date: 2018–05
  12. By: Adena, Maja; Alizade, Jeyhun; Bohner, Frauke; Harke, Julian; Mesters, Fabio
    Abstract: In an experiment, we test the impact of quality certificates on donations to a charity. Compared to the control group, participants presented with a quality certificate chose higher donations by around 10% and reported higher trust towards the same charity. The choice of donation values over time shows strong persistence such that the difference between the two groups remained even after all participants were informed about the certificate. Since the initially uninformed donors did not adjust their donations sufficiently upwards, we conclude that quality certification is less likely to affect giving of existing donors. Finally, we find no significant effect of information about certificate fees.
    Keywords: non-profit certification,charitable giving,experiment,trust
    JEL: D64 C99 D81
    Date: 2018
  13. By: Christian Alcocer;Thomas D. Jeitschko; Robert Shupp; Thomas D. Jeitschko; Robert Shupp
    Abstract: We identify a behavioral bias in games with completely mixed equilibria. Following Alcocer and Jeitschko (2014) we characterize players who, when indifferent between several optimal choices, assign an equal probability to playing any one of them, rather than following the mixing of the Nash Equilibirum. We design an experiment to test for the presence of such ‘na ??ve’ players. In a first session, we sort subjects into na ??ve players and their sophisticated counterparts, according to their tendency to skew towards uniform mixing rather than Nash equilibrium mixing. Two weeks later, each group played against varying proportions of automated players (bots) that follow varying off-equilibrium mixed strategies. Subjects categorized as na ??ve continue to tend towards uniform mixing and also are less apt to account for distortions due to off-equilibrium bots. In contrast, sophisticated players do compensate for the distortions in the game, although this compensation is not large enough to restore equilibria, implying there are predictable methods to attain above-equilibrium payoffs. We also isolate altruistic components of players’ strategies: behavior gets closer to Nash equilibria by adding transparent bots that do not directly incentivize any change in behavior but decrease the benefits of surplus maximizing behavior. Lastly, we show that the probability of being categorized as na ??ve is correlated with the performance on a quantitative test.
    Keywords: Experimental, Behavioral, Bounded Rationality, Compensated Equilib-rium, Computer Bots, Mixed Equilibria, Cognitive Heterogeneity, Na ??ve and Sophisti-cated Players
    JEL: C72 C91 D03 D83
    Date: 2018–02–15
  14. By: Bartke, Simon; Gelhaar, Felix
    Abstract: The extent to which individuals cooperate depends on the context. This study analyzes how interactions of workplace context elements affect cooperation when free-riding is possible. Context consists of a novel team building exercise, varying degrees of complementarity in production, and different remuneration schemes. After participation in the team building exercise and when complementarities are high, subjects exert higher efforts under team remuneration than under individual remuneration, despite the possibility to free-ride. Across all contexts, subjects cooperate significantly more than Nash equilibria predict. Compared to contexts in which not all contextual elements are cooperatively aligned, cooperation in a cooperative context relies significantly less on beliefs and personal values. Instead, a cooperative context changes how a subject's achievement motivation influences cooperation. Our findings present insights on how preferences react to context interactions and how these reactions enable organizations to use team incentives.
    Keywords: team building,workplace context,laboratory experiment,stability of preferences,motivation,cooperation
    JEL: D2 D91 L23 M14 M52
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Roxane Bricet (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: In this article, I propose an experimental design to measure the value of instrumental information in a model-free setup. In particular, this study provides operating instructions to test Blackwell’s ranking of informative structures under risk and under ambiguity. Drawing on Ellsberg’s two-color thought experiment, the subject faces three different types of choice situations: simple risk, compound risk and ambiguity. The original experiment is modified by enabling the agent to observe random draws with replacement so that he can learn about the composition of the urns. The proposed design allows to estimate the value of signals that differ in their informativeness and how it relates to ambiguity attitudes.
    Keywords: Value of Information, Ambiguity, Blackwell’s theorem, Reduction of Compound Lotteries, Ellsberg paradox, Experiment, Prince.
    JEL: C91 D81 D83
    Date: 2018
  16. By: Takehito Masuda; Eungik Lee
    Abstract: This paper provides experimental evidence of the role of higher order risk attitudes—especially prudence—in prevention behavior. Prudence, under an expected utility framework, increases (decreases) self-protection effort compared to the risk neutral level when the risk of losing part of an income exists in a future (the same) period. Motivated by these predictions that give the exact test on prudence, an experiment was designed where subjects go through higher order risk attitude elicitation and make a self-protection decision. In contrast to expected utility theory, the observed efforts are less than the risk neutral level, regardless of the timing of loss. This violation of expected utility predictions could be explained by probability weighting.
    Date: 2018–06
  17. By: Johannes Buckenmaier (Department of Economics, University of Zurich); Eugen Dimant (University of Pennsylvania and Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx), University of Nottingham); Luigi Mittone (Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, University of Trento, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of an institutional mechanism that incentivizes taxpayers to blow the whistle on collusive corruption and tax compliance. We explore this through a formal leniency program. In our experiment, we nest collusive corruption within a tax evasion framework. We not only study the effect of the presence of such a mechanism on behavior, but also the dynamic effect caused by the introduction and the removal of leniency. We find that in the presence of a leniency mechanism, subjects collude and accept bribes less often while paying more taxes, but there is no increase in bribe offers. Our results show that the introduction of the opportunity to blow the whistle decreases the collusion and bribe acceptance rate, and increases the collected tax yield. It also does not encourage bribe offers. In contrast, the removal of the institutional mechanism does not induce negative effects, suggesting a positive spillover effect of leniency that persists even after the mechanism has been removed.
    Keywords: Collusive bribery, Institutions, Tax compliance, Leniency, Spillover
    Date: 2018–05
  18. By: Eugen Dimant (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: This paper uses a novel experimental design to study the contagion of pro- and antisocial behavior and the role of social proximity among peers. Across systematic variations thereof, we find that anti-social behavior is generally more contagious than pro-social behavior. Surprisingly, we also find that social proximity amplifies the contagion of anti-social behavior more strongly than the contagion of pro-social behavior, and that anti-social individuals are most susceptible to behavioral contagion of other anti-social peers. These findings paired with the methodological contribution are informative for the design of effective norm-based policy interventions directed at facilitating (reducing) pro- (anti-)social behavior in social and economic environments.
    Keywords: Behavioral Contagion, Peer Effects, Anti-Social & Pro-Social Behavior
    Date: 2018–04
  19. By: Cornel Kaufmann, Tobias Mueller, Andreas Hefti, Stefan Boes
    Abstract: Choice-based health insurance systems allow individuals to select a health plan that ts their needs. However, bounded rationality and limited attention may lead to sub-optimal insurance coverage and higher-than-expected out-of-pocket payments. In this paper, we study the impact of providing personalized information on health plan choices in a laboratory experiment. We seek to more closely mimic real-life choices by randomly providing an incentivized distraction to some individuals. We nd that providing personalized information signi cantly improves health plan choices. The positive e ect is even larger and longer-lasting if individuals are distracted from their original task. In addition to providing decision support, receiving personalized information restores the awareness of the choice setting to a level comparable to the case without distraction thus reducing inertia. Our results indicate that increasing transparency of the health insurance system and providing tailored information can help individuals to make better choices and reduce their out-of-pocket expenditures.
    Keywords: health insurance choice; decision under uncertainty; limited attention; information; laboratory experiment
    JEL: I13 D83 C91
    Date: 2018–03
  20. By: Victor Stango (University of California-Davis); Joanne Yoong (University of Southern California, National University of Singapore, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine); Jonathan Zinman (Dartmouth College and NBER)
    Abstract: Behavioral economics lacks empirical evidence on some foundational questions. We adapt standard elicitation methods to measure multiple behavioral factors per person in a representative U.S. sample, along with financial condition, cognitive skills, financial literacy, classical preferences, and demographics. Individually, behavioral factors are prevalent, distinct from other decision inputs, and correlate negatively with financial outcomes in richly-conditioned regressions. Conditioning further on other B-factors does not change the results, validating common practice of modeling B-factors separately. Corrections for low task/survey effort modestly strengthen the results. Our findings provide bedrock empirical foundations for behavioral economics, and offer methodological guidance for research designs.
    Date: 2018–04
  21. By: B.J. Ruffle, A. Wilson (Wilfrid Laurier University)
    Abstract: Despite their ubiquity, tattoos continue to be associated with dishonesty. Yet, scarce behavioral evidence exists. We test whether the tattooed and non-tattooed differ in their dishonest reporting in two consecutive incentivized experiments. First, subjects toss a coin privately five times and receive payment for each heads reported. After, subjects perform five additional coin tosses with the payment for each heads reported increased tenfold. We find few differences in the reporting behavior between the tattooed and non-tattooed in the number of heads reported in either reporting task or the difference between the two. Strategic dishonesty is limited to a small minority of subjects and to only one additional reported heads in the high-stakes tosses.
    Keywords: experimental economics; tattoo; honesty; strategic cheating
    JEL: C91 Z10
    Date: 2018–06–18
  22. By: Roxane Bricet (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: Most of real-life decision problems are usually characterized by uncertainty regarding the probability distribution of outcomes. This article experimentally investigates individual’s attitude towards partial ambiguity, defined by situations where more or less precise sets of observations are available to the agents. Drawing on Ellsberg’s 2-urns experiment, I depart from the classic design and describe both urns by datasets with different degrees of precision. As a result, most subjects behave in conformity with the Expected Utility Hypothesis although a significant proportion of choices can still be interpreted as an expression of non-neutral ambiguity attitude. I calculate an individual score of ambiguity-sensitivity which suggests a significant bias towards ambiguity-aversion, but weaker than in the related literature.
    Keywords: Preferences for information precision, Ambiguity, Ellsberg paradox, Experiment.
    JEL: C91 D81
    Date: 2018
  23. By: Benjamin Schwab; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
    Abstract: The productive impacts of transfer programmes have received increased attention. However, little is known about such effects in emergency and crisis settings. Even less is known about whether transfer type – a food basket or a cash grant – influences the productive potential of such transfers. Theory suggests that, while cash transfers can relieve liquidity constraints associated with investments, subsidized food provision, by acting as a form of insurance, may prevent households from retreating to conservative income-generating strategies during volatile periods. Using a randomized field experiment in Yemen, we contrast the effects of transfer modality. The results demonstrate a modest productive impact of both modalities and suggest a role for both liquidity and price risk channels. Cash transfer recipients invested relatively more in activities with higher liquidity requirements (livestock), while food recipients incorporated higher-return crops into their agricultural portfolios.
    Date: 2018
  24. By: Yoshio Kamijo (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Yoichi Hizen (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Tatsuyoshi Saijo (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Teruyuki Tamura (Kyoto College of Economics)
    Abstract: Although future generations are affected by on-going economic, social, and environmental conditions, the current political process allows present-day voters to ignore future generations’ needs. This paper investigates a new voting rule wherein some people are given extra votes to serve as proxies for future generations (or individuals close to future generations). We predict that this voting scheme affects the voting behavior of those who do not receive an extra vote (i.e., single-ballot voters) because they are less likely to become a pivot, while proxy voters are expected to behave in support of the future generation. To test this prediction, we compare three scenarios wherein single-ballot voters would cast a vote: (a) one-voter-one-vote scenario wherein all voters cast only a single ballot; (b) a standard proxy-voting scenario wherein other voters cast two ballots, and the second vote is to cast for the benefit of a future generation; and (c) a non-proxy-voting scenario wherein other voters cast two ballots with no explanation for the second vote. Single-ballot voters are less inclined to vote for the future-oriented option in the non-proxy-voting scenario than in the one-voter-one-vote scenario. However, the results show that this reaction can be mitigated if the second vote is explained as being cast on behalf of the future generation.
    Keywords: Voting rule, proxy vote, Demeny voting, future generation, intergenerational equity
    Date: 2018–06
  25. By: Martin Boyer; Philippe De Donder; Claude Fluet; Marie-Louise Leroux; Pierre-Carl Michaud
    Abstract: This paper reports survey evidence on long-term care (LTC) risk misperceptions and demand for long-term care insurance (LTCI) in Canada. LTC risk misperceptions is divided into three different risks: needing help for at least one activity of daily life, needing access to a nursing home, and living to be 85 years old. We contrast subjective (i.e. stated) probabilities with actual probabilities for these three dimensions. We first provide descriptive statistics of how objective and subjective probabilities differ and correlate to each other. Second, we study cross-correlations between different types of risks. We then study how risk misperceptions correlate with individual characteristics, and evaluate how misperceptions affect intentions and actual purchase of LTCI. Our conclusions are two-fold. First, we find that most subjects are not well informed about their individual LTC risks, making it difficult for them to take the correct LTCI decisions. Second, and even though misperceptions explain an individuals actual or his intentions to take-up LTCI, misperceptions are unlikely to explain the poor take-up rate of LTCI in our sample.
    Keywords: long-term care insurance puzzle, disability, misperceptions, subjective probability
    JEL: D91 I13
    Date: 2018
  26. By: Chen, Si; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
    Abstract: The motivation value of confidence postulates that individual effort provision is increasing in beliefs on one's own productivity. This relationship also holds for overconfident individuals who have exaggerated productivity beliefs (motivation value of overconfidence). We present first empirical evidence on the existence of a motivation value of absolute overconfidence that many microeconomic models build on. Moreover, we document that debiasing information increases the accuracy of productivity beliefs of overconfident individuals but comes at the cost of diminished effort provision - a result that is of obvious relevance for many contexts such as labor relations or learning at school. As a further conceptual contribution, we offer a novel strategy for identifying significant overconfidence at the individual level.
    Keywords: overconfidence,effort provision,laboratory experiment
    JEL: C91 D91
    Date: 2018

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.