nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2019‒05‒20
thirty-six papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Behavioural effects and market dynamics in field and laboratory experimental asset markets By Andraszewicz, Sandra; Wu, Ke; Sornette, Didier
  2. Does the presence of a physically disabled person in the group increase cooperation? An experimental test of the empathyaltruism hypothesis By Arnaud Tognetti; David Doat; Dimitri Dubois; Rustam Romaniuc
  3. Exploring Image Motivation in Promise Keeping – An Experimental Investigation By Kevin Grubiak
  4. Distributional Preferences Explain Individual Behavior Across Games and Time By Morten Hedegaard; Rudolf Kerschbamer; Mueller Daniel; Jean-Robert Tyran
  5. Can religious institutions promote sustainable behavior? Field experimental evidence on donations towards a carbon-offsetting fund By Feldhaus, Christoph; Gleue, Marvin; Löschel, Andreas
  6. Guilt Aversion in Economics and Psychology By Bellemare, Charles; Sebald, A.; Suetens, Sigrid
  7. ”Thanks in Advance”: The Negative Effect of a Polite Phrase on Compliance with a Request By Lisa Bruttel; Lisa Juri Nithammer; Florian Stolley
  8. Do upfront investments increase cooperation? A laboratory experiment By Fortuna Casoria; Alice Ciccone
  9. Do upfront investments increase cooperation? A laboratory experiment By Fortuna Casoria; Alice Ciccone
  10. Overpricing persistence in experimental asset markets with intrinsic uncertainty By Sornette, Didier; Andraszewicz, Sandra; Wu, Ke; Murphy, Ryan O.; Rindler, Philipp; Sanadgol, Dorsa
  11. The hidden cost of real time electricity pricing By Ioana Bejan; Carsten Lynge Jensen; Laura M. Andersen; Lars Gårn Hansen
  12. Social Effects of the Vote of the Majority: A Field-Experiment on the Brexit-Vote By Fernanda L. Lopez de Leon; Markus Bindemann
  13. The Strategic Display of Emotions By Chen, Daniel; Hopfensitz, Astrid; van Leeuwen, Boris; van de Ven, J.
  14. Collaboration, Alphabetical Order and Gender Discrimination. Evidence from the Lab By Wiborg, Vegard Sjurseike; Brekke, Kjell Arne; Nyborg, Karine
  15. Credence goods markets and the informational value of new media: A natural field experiment By Rudolf Kerschbamer; Daniel Neururer; Matthias Sutter
  16. Are Estimates of Early Education Programs Too Pessimistic? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment that Causally Measures Neighbor Effects By List, John; Momeni, Fatemeh; Zenou, Yves
  17. Social Status and Risk-Taking in Investment Decisions By Florian Lindner; Michael Kirchler; Stephanie Rosenkranz; Utz Weitzel
  18. Discrimination in Hiring Based on Potential and Realized Fertility: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment By Sascha O. Becker; Ana Fernandes; Doris Weichselbaumer
  19. A Meritocratic Origin of Egalitarian Behavior By Cappelen, Alexander W.; Mollerstrom, Johanna; Reme, Bjørn-Atle; Tungodden, Bertil
  20. Under Pressure! Nudging Electricity Consumption within Firms: Feedback from a Field Experiment By Christophe Charlier; Gilles Guerassimoff; Ankinée Kirakozian; Sandrine Selosse
  21. Empirical Evidence on Repeated Sequential Games By Ghidoni, Riccardo; Suetens, Sigrid
  22. Can RCTs help improve the design of CAP By Luc Behaghel; Karen Macours; Julie Subervie
  23. Empirical bias and efficiency of alpha-auctions: experimental evidence By Alexander L. Brown; Rodrigo A. Velez
  24. Getting a Yes: An Experiment on the Power of Asking By Lisa Bruttel; Florian Stolley; Verena Utikal
  25. Normative Perception of Power Abuse By Leonard Hoeft; Wladislaw Mill; Alexander Vostroknutov
  26. Commitment lotteries promote physical activity among overweight adults : A cluster randomized trial By van der Swaluw, K.; Lambooij, M.S.; Mathijssen, J.J.P.; Schipper, M.; Zeelenberg, M.; Berkhout, S.; Polder, J.J.; Prast, H.M.
  27. Is there a loyalty-enhancing effect of retroactive price-reduction schemes? By Lisa Bruttel
  28. Emotional responses to behavioral economic incentives for health behavior change By van der Swaluw, K.; Lambooij, M.S.; Mathijssen, J.J.P.; Prast, H.M.; Zeelenberg, M.; Polder, J.J.
  29. The Devil is in the Details: Risk Preferences, Choice List Design, and Measurement Error By Holden , Stein T.; Tilahun , Mesfin
  30. Emotions and strategic interactions By Nguyen, Yen
  31. Who is willing to stay sick for the collective? – Individual characteristics, experience, and trust By Carlsson, Fredrik; Jacobsson, Gunnar; Jagers, Sverker C.; Lampi, Elina; Robertsson, Felicia; Rönnerstrand, Björn
  32. Referenda Under Oath By Nicolas Jacquemet; Alexander James; Stéphane Luchini; Jason Shogren
  33. Psychological Game Theory By Pierpaolo Battigalli; Martin Dufwenberg
  34. Why do (or don't) people carpool for long distance trips? A discrete choice experiment in France By Guillaume Monchambert
  35. Statistical reporting inconsistencies in experimental philosophy By Colombo, Matteo; Duev, Georgi; Nuijten, M.B.; Sprenger, Jan
  36. Traveler’s dilemma : how the value of the luggage influences behavior. By Gisèle Umbhauer

  1. By: Andraszewicz, Sandra; Wu, Ke; Sornette, Didier
    Abstract: A vast literature investigating behavioural underpinnings of financial bubbles and crashes relies on laboratory experiments. However, it is not yet clear how findings generated in a highly artificial environment relate to the human behaviour in the wild. It is of concern that the laboratory setting may create a confound variable that impacts the experimental results. To explore the similarities and differences between human behaviour in the laboratory environment and in a realistic natural setting, with the same type of participants, the authors translate a field study Sornette et al. (under review) with trading rounds each lasting six full days to a laboratory experiment lasting two hours. The laboratory experiment replicates the key findings from the field study but the authors observe substantial differences in the market dynamics between the two settings. The replication of the results in the two distinct settings indicates that relaxing some of the laboratory control does not corrupt the main findings, while at the same time it offers several advantages such as the possibility to increase the number of participants interacting with each other at the same time and the number of traded securities.
    Keywords: laboratoy expriment,field experiment,experimental asset market,replication
    JEL: C90 D80
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Arnaud Tognetti (Karolinska Institutet [Stockholm], Institute for Advanced Study Toulouse); David Doat (ANTHROPO-LAB - Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Expérimentale - ICL - Institut Catholique de Lille - UCL - Université catholique de Lille); Dimitri Dubois (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier); Rustam Romaniuc (ANTHROPO-LAB - Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Expérimentale - ICL - Institut Catholique de Lille - UCL - Université catholique de Lille, LEM - Lille économie management - LEM - UMR 9221 - Université de Lille - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The empathy-altruism hypothesis postulates that the awareness of others' need, pain, or distress increases empathetic feelings, which in turn triggers cooperative behaviour. Although some evidence supports this hypothesis, previous studies were prone to the ‘experimenter demand effects' raising concerns about the interpretation of the results. To avoid this issue, we designed a laboratory experiment where we examined whether the presence of individuals with a genuine physical disability would increase group cooperation in a public goods game. By manipulating the group composition during a social dilemma, we created a more ecologically valid environment closer to real-life interactions. Our results showed that the presence of physically disabled individuals did not affect group cooperation. Specifically, their presence did not affect the contributions of their physically abled partners. The lack of a surge in cooperative behaviour questions the interpretation of previous studies and suggests that they may be explained by an experimenter demand effect. Alternatively, our results may also suggest that in the context of a social dilemma with real stakes, people with physical disabilities are not perceived as being in need or do not induce enough empathy to overweight the cost of cooperation and trigger cooperative behaviours.
    Keywords: cooperation,empathy-altruism hypothesis,public goods game,physically disabled individuals
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Kevin Grubiak (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: This paper reports an experiment designed to investigate the role of image concerns in promise keeping. The task employed allows to shed light on the relevance of both social -image and self -image concerns. Whereas in the former case, behavior is expected to depend on how others perceive a given action, in the latter case what matters is how actions reflect on a decision-maker’s self -perception. We observe strong evidence of social-image concerns in treatments which feature ex-ante opportunities for promise exchange. Ruling out alternative explanations, our results are consistent with subjects exhibiting an aversion to being perceived as a promise breaker by others. Surprisingly, subjects seem not to anticipate social-image concerns to be present in others. Our test of self-image concerns yields a null result: there is no evidence suggesting that subjects in our experiment engaged in self-deception to evade their promise-induced commitments. This resilience can be interpreted as corroborating evidence of the strength of promises. Our results shed light on the conditions under which promises can be expected to facilitate successful relationships based on trust.
    Keywords: Trust; Communication; Promises; Image Concerns; Beliefs
    JEL: C91 D03 D82 D83
    Date: 2019–05
  4. By: Morten Hedegaard; Rudolf Kerschbamer; Mueller Daniel; Jean-Robert Tyran
    Abstract: We use a large and heterogeneous sample of the Danish population to investigate the importance of distributional preferences for behavior in a public good game and a trust game. We find robust evidence for the significant explanatory power of distributional preferences. In fact, compared to twenty-one covariates, distributional preferences turn out to be the single most important predictor of behavior. Specifically, subjects who reveal benevolence in the domain of advantageous inequality contribute more to the public good and are more likely to pick the trustworthy action in the trust game than other subjects. Since the experiments were spread out more than one year, our results suggest that there is a component of distributional preferences that is stable across games and over time.
    Keywords: Distributional preferences, social preferences, Equality-Equivalence Test, representa- tive online experiment, trust game, public goods game, dictator game.
    JEL: C72 C91 D64
    Date: 2019–09
  5. By: Feldhaus, Christoph; Gleue, Marvin; Löschel, Andreas
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment with the visitors of the German Catholic Convention in Münster, Germany. We aim at investigating the effect of the announced attitude of a Catholic institution concerning climate protection efforts, of people's experimentally induced religiosity (using a priming intervention) and of the corresponding interaction on people's willingness to donate to a carbon-offsetting fund. Our results suggest that the supporting signal by the Catholic institution substantially increases donations by about 56 %. We observe neither a direct effect of the induced religiosity nor an interaction with the institution's signal. Our results thus indicate that religious authorities can promote sustainable behavior. As we observe no evidence that the signalmainly influences particularly religious people, we further conclude that religious institutions may serve as more general authorities when it comes to sustainable behavior rather than solely as leaders of those aiming to follow religious prescripts.
    Keywords: Sustainable behavior,Field experiment,Religiosity,Priming,Carbon offsets
    JEL: C93 D64 D91 Q56 Z12
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Bellemare, Charles; Sebald, A.; Suetens, Sigrid (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: We investigate whether the concept of guilt aversion in economics is related to the psychological characterization of the same phenomenon. For trust games and dictator games we report correlations between the guilt sensitivity measured within a framework of psychological games most common in economics and the guilt sensitivity measured using a questionnaire common in psychology (TOSCA-3). We find that the two measures correlate well and significantly in the two settings.
    Keywords: guilt sensitivity; psychological game theory; TOSCA; laboratory experiment; guilt aversion
    JEL: A13 C91
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Lisa Bruttel (University of Potsdam); Lisa Juri Nithammer (University of Potsdam); Florian Stolley (University of Potsdam)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of the commonly used phrase “thanks in advance” on compliance with a small request. In a controlled laboratory experiment we ask participants to give a detailed answer to an open question. The treatment variable is whether or not they see the phrase “thanks in advance.” Our participants react to the treatment by exerting less effort in answering the request even though they perceive the phrase as polite.
    Keywords: labor compliance behavior, gratitude, reciprocity, experiment
    JEL: C91 D64 D91
    Date: 2019–05
  8. By: Fortuna Casoria (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France); Alice Ciccone (Institute of Transport Economics, Oslo, Norvège)
    Abstract: We investigate whether upfront investments increase cooperation in settings with no enforcement mechanism, where cooperation is not easily sustained voluntarily. Such investments are a cost that individuals incur before deciding whether to cooperate and increase cooperation payoff. We find that cooperation rarely emerges in treatments without investments, while both endogenous and exogenous investments boost overall cooperation levels. For low endogenous investments, cooperation is lower than when the same investments are exogenous. For high investments, cooperation is not significantly different between endogenous and exogenous conditions. This supports low investments being interpreted as a signal of unwillingness to cooperate, triggering non-cooperative choices.
    Keywords: KeyCooperation, Upfront investments, Prisoners' dilemma, Experiment
    JEL: C7 C72 C73 C9 C91
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Fortuna Casoria (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Alice Ciccone (Institute of Transport Economics - Institute of Transport Economics)
    Abstract: We investigate whether upfront investments increase cooperation in settings with no enforcement mechanism, where cooperation is not easily sustained voluntarily. Such investments are a cost that individuals incur before deciding whether to cooperate and increase cooperation payoff. We find that cooperation rarely emerges in treatments without investments, while both endogenous and exogenous investments boost overall cooperation levels. For low endogenous investments, cooperation is lower than when the same investments are exogenous. For high investments, cooperation is not significantly different between endogenous and exogenous conditions. This supports low investments being interpreted as a signal of unwillingness to cooperate, triggering non-cooperative choices.
    Keywords: Prisoners' dilemma,Experiment,Cooperation,Upfront investments
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Sornette, Didier; Andraszewicz, Sandra; Wu, Ke; Murphy, Ryan O.; Rindler, Philipp; Sanadgol, Dorsa
    Abstract: To study coordination in complex social systems such as financial markets, the authors introduce a new prediction market set -up that accounts for fundamental uncertainty. Nonetheless, the market is designed so that its total value is known, and thus its rationality can be evaluated. In two experiments, the authors observe that quick consensus emerges early yielding pronounced mispricing, which however do not show the standard "bubble -and -crash". The set -up is implemented within the xYotta collaborative platform ( xYotta's functionality offers a large number of extensions of various comple xity such as running several parallel markets with the same or different users, as well as collaborative project development in which projects undergo the equivalent of an IPO (initial public offering) and whose subsequent trading matches the role of financial markets in determining value. xYotta is thus offered to researchers as an open source software for the broad investigation of complex systems with human participants.
    Keywords: experimental asset market,predicion market,uncertainty,experimental economics
    JEL: C90 D80
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Ioana Bejan (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Carsten Lynge Jensen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Laura M. Andersen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Lars Gårn Hansen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: In theory real time pricing ensures more efficient electricity markets than time of use pricing. However, people are prone to habits and regularity, so real time pricing may impose a greater cost of reacting on consumers. In a randomized field experiment we compared the cost of reacting to incentives under these two pricing regimes. We utilized smart-metered hourly power consumption to unobtrusively measure treatment effects. We found that real time pricing reduces consumer surplus from reacting to incentives by half, compared to reacting under a corresponding time of use pricing regime. This suggests a substantial economic value to households of the regularity and predictability provided by time of use pricing.
    Keywords: real time electricity pricing, time of use electricity pricing, field experiment, household cost of reacting
    JEL: L51 L94 C93 Q41
    Date: 2019–05
  12. By: Fernanda L. Lopez de Leon; Markus Bindemann
    Abstract: The 2016 EU referendum result -the so-called Brexit vote-was widely perceived as a statement against immigration. We conducted a field-experiment to test whether the Brexit vote triggered anti-social attitudes. In a computerized quiz, our (non-deceptive) intervention randomized the information of whether the local majority voted to Leave or to Remain in the EU. We find that such information in support of Brexit increased negative attitudes towards immigrants. Moreover, the impactful treatments inhibited (rather than reinforced) individuals' pre-existing views to conform to the vote of the majority. Our findings provide insight into the effects of referenda results in changing individuals' attitudes.
    Date: 2019–04
  13. By: Chen, Daniel; Hopfensitz, Astrid; van Leeuwen, Boris (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); van de Ven, J. (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: The emotion that someone expresses has consequences for how that person is treated. We study whether people display emotions strategically. In two laboratory experiments, participants play task delegation games in which managers assign a task to one of two workers. When assigning the task, managers see pictures of the workers and we vary whether getting the task is desirable or not. We find that workers strategically adapt their emotional expressions to the incentives they face, and that it indeed pays off to do so. Yet, workers do not exploit the full potential of the strategic display of emotions.
    Keywords: emotions; expressions; communication; experiment; incentives
    JEL: D91 C91 D83
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Wiborg, Vegard Sjurseike (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Brekke, Kjell Arne (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Nyborg, Karine (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: If individual abilities are imperfectly observable, statistical discrimination may affect hiring decisions. In our lab experiment, pairs of subjects solve simple mathematical problems. Subjects then hire others to perform similar tasks. Before choosing whom to hire, they receive information about the past scores of pairs, not of individuals. We vary the observability of individuals’ abilities by ordering pair members either according to performance, or alphabetically by nickname. We find no evidence of gender discrimination in either treatment, however, possibly indicating that gender stereotypes are of limited importance in the context of our study.
    Keywords: Discrimination; Collaboration; Alphabetic; Gender
    JEL: A13 C91 D83 J71
    Date: 2019–05–03
  15. By: Rudolf Kerschbamer (University of Innsbruck); Daniel Neururer (University of Innsbruck); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: Credence goods markets are characterized by pronounced informational asymmetries between consumers and expert sellers. As a consequence, consumers are often exploited and market efficiency is threatened. However, in the digital age, it has become easy and cheap for consumers to self-diagnose their needs using specialized webpages or to access other consumers’ reviews on social media platforms in search for trustworthy sellers. We present a natural field experiment that examines the causal effect of information acquisition from new media on the level of sellers’ price charges for computer repairs. We find that even a correct self-diagnosis of a consumer about the appropriate repair does not reduce prices, and that an incorrect diagnosis more than doubles them. Internet ratings of repair shops are a good predictor of prices. However, the predictive valued of reviews depends on whether they are judged as reliable or not. For reviews recommended by the platform Yelp we find that good ratings are associated with lower prices and bad ratings with higher prices, while non-recommended reviews have a clearly misleading effect, because non-recommended positive ratings increase the price.
    Keywords: credence goods, fraud, information acquisition, internet, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D82
    Date: 2019–03
  16. By: List, John; Momeni, Fatemeh; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We estimate the direct and spillover effects of a large-scale early childhood intervention on the educational attainment of over 2,000 disadvantaged children in the United States. We show that failing to account for spillover effects results in a severe underestimation of the impact. The intervention induced positive direct effects on test scores of children assigned to the treatment groups. We document large spillover effects on both treatment and control children who live near treated children. On average, spillover effects increase a child's non-cognitive (cognitive) scores by about 1.2 (0.6 to 0.7) standard deviations. The spillover effects are localized, decreasing with the spatial distance to treated neighbors. Our evidence suggests the spillover effect on non-cognitive scores are likely to operate through the child's social network. Alternatively, parental investment is an important channel through which cognitive spillover effects operate. We view our results as speaking to several literatures, perhaps most importantly the role of public programs and neighborhoods on human capital formation at an early age.
    Keywords: early education; field experiment; neighborhood; non-cognitive skills; spillover effects
    JEL: C93 I21 R1
    Date: 2019–05
  17. By: Florian Lindner (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Michael Kirchler (University of Innsbruck); Stephanie Rosenkranz (Utrecht University School of Economics); Utz Weitzel (Radboud University)
    Abstract: A pervasive feature in the finance industry is relative performance, which can include extrinsic (money), intrinsic (self-image), and reputational (status) motives. In this paper, we model a portfolio decision with two assets and investigate how reputational motives (i.e., the public announcement of the winners or losers) influence risk-taking in investment decisions vis-a-vis intrinsic motives. We test our hypotheses experimentally with 864 students and 330 financial professionals. We find that reputational motives play a minor role among financial professionals, as the risk-taking of underperformers is already increased due to intrinsic motives. Student behavior, however, is mainly driven by reputational motives with risk-taking levels that come close to those of professionals when winners or losers are announced publicly. This indicates that professionals show higher levels of intrinsic (self-image) incentives to outperform others compared to non-professionals (students), but a similar behavior can be sparked among the latter by adding reputational incentives.
    Keywords: experimental finance, behavioral economics, investment game, rank incentives, social status, reputational motives
    JEL: G02 G11 D03 C93
    Date: 2019–05
  18. By: Sascha O. Becker; Ana Fernandes; Doris Weichselbaumer
    Abstract: Due to conventional gender norms, women are more likely to be in charge of childcare than men. From an employer’s perspective, in their fertile age they are also at “risk” of pregnancy. Both factors potentially affect hiring practices of firms. We conduct a largescale correspondence test in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, sending out approx. 9,000 job applications, varying job candidate’s personal characteristics such as marital status and age of children. We find evidence that, for part-time jobs, married women with older kids, who likely finished their childbearing cycle and have more projectable childcare chores than women with very young kids, are at a significant advantage vis-àvis other groups of women. At the same time, married, but childless applicants, who have a higher likelihood to become pregnant, are at a disadvantage compared to single, but childless applicants to part-time jobs. Such effects are not present for full-time jobs, presumably, because by applying to these in contrast to part-time jobs, women signal that they have arranged for external childcare.
    Keywords: Fertility; Discrimination; Experimental economics
    JEL: C93 J16 J71
    Date: 2019–04
  19. By: Cappelen, Alexander W. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Mollerstrom, Johanna; Reme, Bjørn-Atle; Tungodden, Bertil (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: The meritocratic fairness ideal implies that inequalities in earnings are regarded as fair only when they reflect differences in performance. Consequently, implementation of the meritocratic fairness ideal requires complete information about individual performances, but in practice, such information is often not available. We study redistributive behavior in the common, but previously understudied, situation where there is uncertainty about whether inequality is reflecting performance or luck. We show theoretically that meritocrats in such situations can become very egalitarian in their behavior, and that the degree to which this happens depends on how they trade off the probability of making mistakes and the size of mistakes that they risk making when redistributing under uncertainty. Our laboratory experiments show, in line with our model, that uncertainty about the source of inequality provides a strong egalitarian pull on the behavior of meritocrats. In addition, the external validity of our framework, and the results from the laboratory, are supported in two general population surveys conducted in the United States and Norway.
    Keywords: inequality; fairness; redistribution; responsibility; performance; luck; experiment; survey.
    JEL: C91 D63 D81 H23
    Date: 2019–04–29
  20. By: Christophe Charlier (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Gilles Guerassimoff (MINES ParisTech; PSL Research University; Center for Applied Mathematics); Ankinée Kirakozian (Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France; IDP; GREDEG CNRS); Sandrine Selosse (MINES ParisTech; PSL Research University; Center for Applied Mathematics)
    Abstract: Controlling energy consumption is a serious environmental issue due to global warming and pollution. Public policies are developed in this context. One such policy is the nudge, a form of policy aimed at changing individual behaviors without using financial incentives nor orders, for example by providing information to individuals so as to conduct behaviors in the direction desired by the policymaker. Interestingly "private nudges" can be imagined for companies. Many economists and psychologists have studied the impact of nudges on households' pro-environmental behaviors. Yet, studies focusing on nudging employees' energy use are rare. The objective of our paper is precisely to explore this issue from an empirical point of view with the help of a field experiment. Using a difference-in-difference methodology, the effects of three nudges on employees' energy conservation are tested. The first nudge, "moral appeal", stresses the responsible use of energy regarding environmental stakes. The second one, "social comparison", informs employees on the energy consumption of other firms participating in the experiment. Finally, the third nudge, "stickers", alerts employees about good energy conservation practices. The field experiment was conducted at 47 French companies's sites. Our results stress the complementarity of these nudges. When implemented alone, the three nudges have no significant effects on energy consumption. However, when the moral appeal and social comparison nudges are combined with the stickers one, they become effective.
    Keywords: Energy demand management, Private nudges, Peer pressure, Field experiment
    JEL: C93 D04 D91 Q41
    Date: 2019–05
  21. By: Ghidoni, Riccardo (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Suetens, Sigrid (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: Sequentiality of moves in an infinitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma does not change the conditions under which mutual cooperation can be supported in equilibrium as compared to simultaneous decision-making. The nature of the interaction is different, however, given that the second mover in a sequential-move game does not face strategic uncertainty in the stage game. We study in an experiment whether sequentiality has an effect on cooperation rates. We find that with intermediate incentives to cooperate, sequentiality increases cooperation rates by around 40 percentage points after learning, whereas with very low or high incentives to cooperate, cooperation rates are respectively very low or high in both settings.
    Keywords: cooperation; infinitely repeated games; sequential prisoner's dilemma; strategic uncertainty; experiment
    JEL: C70 C90 D70
    Date: 2019
  22. By: Luc Behaghel (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Karen Macours (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Julie Subervie (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier)
    Abstract: We illustrate how randomized controlled trials (RCTs) could be used as a learning tool to shed light on various aspects of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). RCTs are quasi-absent from the CAP evaluation toolbox, despite their frequent use to evaluate other European Union policies, or agricultural policies in developing countries. We draw upon existing debates on the role of RCTs in policy-making to derive a list of points of attention. We then consider four specific examples of evaluation questions for the CAP, and based on examples drawn from agricultural and social policies in developing and developed countries, argue that the RCT toolbox has the potential to significantly add to existing approaches to evaluating and designing components of the CAP.
    Keywords: field experiments,Common agricultural policy,Impact evaluation,Policy design,Field experiments JEL codes: C93,Q18
    Date: 2018–06–20
  23. By: Alexander L. Brown; Rodrigo A. Velez
    Abstract: We experimentally evaluate the comparative performance of the winner-bid, average-bid, and loser-bid auctions for the dissolution of a partnership. The recently introduced empirical equilibrium analysis of Velez and Brown (2019) reveals that as long as behavior satisfies weak payoff monotonicity, winner-bid and loser-bid auctions necessarily exhibit a form of bias when empirical distributions of play approximate best responses. We find support for both weak payoff monotonicity and the form of bias predicted by the theory for these two auctions. Consistently with the theory, the average-bid auction does not exhibit this form of bias. It has lower efficiency that the winner-bid auction, however.
    Date: 2019–05
  24. By: Lisa Bruttel (University of Potsdam); Florian Stolley (University of Potsdam); Verena Utikal (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
    Abstract: This paper studies how the request for a favor has to be devised in order to maximize its chance of success. We present results from a mini-dictator game, in which the recipient can send a free-form text message to the dictator before the latter decides. We find that putting effort into the message, writing in a humorous way and mentioning reasons why the money is needed pays off. Additionally, we find differences in the behavior of male and female dictators. Only men react positively to efficiency arguments, while only women react to messages that emphasize the dictator’s power and responsibility.
    Keywords: dictator game, communication, inequality, text analysis, experiment
    JEL: C91 D63 D64 D83
    Date: 2019–05
  25. By: Leonard Hoeft (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Wladislaw Mill (University of Mannheim); Alexander Vostroknutov (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: We study how the powerful perceive power abuse, and how negative experience related to it influences the appropriateness judgments of the powerless. We create an environment conducive to unfair exploitation in a repeated Public Goods game where one player (punisher) is given a further ability to costlessly subtract money from others (victims). Punishers who abuse their power rationalize their behavior by believing that free-riding, while forcing others to contribute, is not inappropriate. More importantly, victims of such abuse also start to believe that punishers’ free-riding and punishment are justifiable. Our findings demonstrate the capacity of humans to exculpate abusive behavior.
    Keywords: power abuse, norms, public goods, punishment
    JEL: C91 C92 K42 H41 D73
    Date: 2019–03
  26. By: van der Swaluw, K. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Lambooij, M.S.; Mathijssen, J.J.P. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Schipper, M.; Zeelenberg, M. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Berkhout, S.; Polder, J.J. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Prast, H.M. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: Background: The World Health Organization has identified physical inactivity as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. People often intend to engage in physical activity on a regular basis, but have trouble doing so. To realize their health goals, people can voluntarily accept deadlines with consequences that restrict undesired future behaviors (i.e., commitment devices). Purpose: We examined if lottery-based deadlines that leverage regret aversion would help overweight individuals in attaining their goal of attending their gym twice per week. At each deadline a lottery winner was drawn from all participants. The winners were only eligible for their prize if they attained their gym-attendance goals. Importantly, nonattending lottery winners were informed about their forgone prize. The promise of this counterfactual feedback was designed to evoke anticipated regret and emphasize the deadlines. Methods: Six corporate gyms with a total of 163 overweight participants were randomized to one of three arms. We compared (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 lotteries. Results: After 13 weeks, participants in the lottery arms attained their attendance goals more often than participants in the control arm. After 26 weeks, we observe a decline in goal attainment in the short-term lottery arm and the highest goal attainment in the long-term lottery arm. Conclusions: With novel applications, the current research adds to a growing body of research that demonstrates the effectiveness of commitment devices in closing the gap between health goals and behavior.
    Date: 2018
  27. By: Lisa Bruttel (University of Potsdam)
    Abstract: This paper presents an experiment on the effect of retroactive price-reduction schemes on buyers’ repeated purchase decisions. Such schemes promise buyers a reduced price for all units that are bought in a certain time frame if the total quantity that is purchased passes a given threshold. This study finds a loyalty-enhancing effect of retroactive price-reduction schemes only if the buyers ex-ante expected that entering into the scheme would maximize their monetary gain, but later learn that they should leave the scheme. Furthermore, the effect crucially hinges on the framing of the price reduction.
    Keywords: rebate and discount, buyer behavior, risk aversion, loss aversion, regulation of dominant firms, experiment
    JEL: C91 D03 D81 L42
    Date: 2019–05
  28. By: van der Swaluw, K. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Lambooij, M.S.; Mathijssen, J.J.P. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Prast, H.M. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Zeelenberg, M. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Polder, J.J. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    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.
    Date: 2018
  29. By: Holden , Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Tilahun , Mesfin (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: We use a field experiment to estimate the risk preferences of 945 youth and young adult members of 116 rural business groups organized as primary cooperatives in a semi-arid risky environment in northern Ethiopia. Multiple Choice Lists with binary choices between risky prospects and varying safe amounts are used to identify the certainty equivalent for each risky prospect. Rank Dependent Utility Models with alternatively Wilcox’ (2011) Contextual Utility or Busemeyer and Townsend (1992, 1993) Decision Field Theory heteroskedastic error specifications are used to estimate risk preference parameters and parametrized model noise. The study aims to a) assess potential biases associated with Choice List design; b) assess a time-saving elicitation method; c) inspect the predictive power of the predicted risk preference parameters for respondents’ investment, income and endowment variables; d) assess how the predictive power is associated with model noise and the addition of two low probability high outcome risky prospects that may help to capture utility curvature more accurately. Substantial risk parameter sensitivity to Choice List design was detected. The rapid elicitation method appears attractive as it facilitates use of a larger number of Choice Lists with variable attributes although it is sensitive to bias due to random error associated with randomized starting points. The addition of the two Choice Lists with low probability high outcomes substantially enhanced the explanatory power of the predicted risk preference parameters and resulted in substantially higher estimates of the utility curvature parameter.
    Keywords: Risk preferences; rank dependent utility; probability weighting; measurement error; predictive power; field experiment; Ethiopia
    JEL: C90 C93 D14 D81 D90
    Date: 2019–05–01
  30. By: Nguyen, Yen (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: This thesis consists of three chapters. My central interest is to study the interaction between emotions and decision making, using affective computing technologies for emotion induction, measurement and analysis. The first chapter evaluates the effect of induced emotional states on risk tolerance. The second chapter explores the causal relationship between specific emotional states and cooperation, by assessing whether specific incidental emotions induce greater or less cooperation in a social dilemma environment. The final chapter considers whether the asymmetric availability of emotion data in a canonical bargaining situation between a buyer and a seller yields an advantage for the person who holds the data.
    Date: 2019
  31. By: Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Jacobsson, Gunnar (Center for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Jagers, Sverker C. (Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Lampi, Elina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Robertsson, Felicia (Center for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Rönnerstrand, Björn (Center for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the collective action dilemma of antibiotic resistance. Despite the collective threat posed by antibiotic resistance, there are limited incentives for individuals to consider the contribution of their decisions to use antibiotics to the spread of resistance. Drawing on a novel survey of Swedish citizens (n=1,906), we study factors linked to i) willingness to accept a physician’s decision not to prescribe antibiotics and ii) willingness to limit personal use of antibiotics voluntary. In our study, 53 percent of the respondents stated that they would be willing to accept the physician’s decision despite disagreeing with it, and trust in the healthcare sector is significantly associated with acceptance. When it comes to people’s willingness to voluntarily abstain from using antibiotics, a majority stated that they are willing or very willing not to take antibiotics. The variation in willingness is best explained by concerns about antibiotic resistance and experience of antibiotic therapy, especially if a respondent has been denied antibiotics. Generalized trust seems to be unrelated to willingness to abstain, but the perception that other people limit their personal use of antibiotics is linked to respondents’ own willingness to do so. Few of the individual characteristics can explain the variation in that decision.
    Keywords: collective action; antibiotics use; antibiotic resistance; willingness to abstain
    JEL: D90 I12
    Date: 2019–05
  32. By: Nicolas Jacquemet (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Alexander James (University of Oxford [Oxford]); Stéphane Luchini (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales); Jason Shogren (Departement of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming - UW - University of Wyoming)
    Abstract: Herein we explore whether a solemn oath can eliminate hypothetical bias in a voting referenda, a popular elicitation mechanism promoted in non-market valuation exercises for its incentive compatibility properties. First, we reject the null hypothesis that a hypothetical bias does not exist. Second, we observe that people who sign an oath are significantly less likely to vote for the public good in a hypothetical referenda. We complement this evidence with a self-reported measure of honesty which confirms that the oath increases truthfulness in answers. This result opens interesting avenues for improving the elicitation of preferences in the lab and beyond.
    Keywords: Hypothetical bias,Oath,Dichotomous Choice Mechanism,Preference revelation
    Date: 2017–07
  33. By: Pierpaolo Battigalli; Martin Dufwenberg
    Abstract: The mathematical framework of psychological game theory is useful for describing many forms of motivation where preferences depend directly on own or othersbeliefs. It allows for incorporation of emotions, reciprocity, image concerns, and self-esteem in economic analysis. We explain how and why, discussing basic theory, a variety of sentiments, experiments, and applied work. Keywords: psychological game theory; belief-dependent motivation; reciprocity; emotions; image concerns; self-esteem JEL codes: C72; D91
    Date: 2019
  34. By: Guillaume Monchambert (LAET - Laboratoire Aménagement Économie Transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2, Université de Lyon)
    Abstract: Long-distance carpooling is an emerging mode in France and Europe, but little is known about monetary values of this mode attributes in transport economics. We conducted a discrete choice experiment to identify and measure the values of attributes of long-distance transport modes for a trip as a driver and as a passenger, with a special focus on carpooling. Around 1.700 French individuals have been surveyed. We use discrete mixed logit models to estimate the probability of mode choice. We find that the value of travel time for a driver who carpools is on average 13% higher than the value of travel time when driving alone in his/her car. The average value of travel time for a carpool trip as passenger is around 26 euros per hour, 60% higher than for a train trip and 20% higher than for a bus trip. Moreover, our study confirms a strong preference for driving solo over taking carpoolers in one's car. We also show that individuals traveling as carpool passenger incur a "discomfort" cost of on average 4.5 euros per extra passenger in the same vehicle. Finally, we identify robust socioeconomic effects affecting the probability of carpooling, especially gender effects. When they drive a car, females are less likely to carpool than male, but they prefer to carpool two passengers over only one passenger. JEL Codes: R41; C35
    Keywords: Value of time,Long-distance,Carpooling,Discrete choice experiment
    Date: 2019–05–06
  35. By: Colombo, Matteo (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Duev, Georgi (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Nuijten, M.B. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Sprenger, Jan (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: Experimental philosophy (x-phi) is a young field of research in the intersection of philosophy and psychology. It aims to make progress on philosophical questions by using experimental methods traditionally associated with the psychological and behavioral sciences, such as null hypothesis significance testing (NHST). Motivated by recent discussions about a methodological crisis in the behavioral sciences, questions have been raised about the methodological standards of x-phi. Here, we focus on one aspect of this question, namely the rate of inconsistencies in statistical reporting. Previous research has examined the extent to which published articles in psychology and other behavioral sciences present statistical inconsistencies in reporting the results of NHST. In this study, we used the R package statcheck to detect statistical inconsistencies in x-phi, and compared rates of inconsistencies in psychology and philosophy. We found that rates of inconsistencies in x-phi are lower than in the psychological and behavioral sciences. From the point of view of statistical reporting consistency, x-phi seems to do no worse, and perhaps even better, than psychological science.
    Date: 2018
  36. By: Gisèle Umbhauer
    Abstract: We go into classroom experiments on the Traveler’ Dilemma in order to show the impact of the common knowledge of the value of the luggage. This value becomes a focal point that canalizes the behavior of the students. This leads us to commenting on the impact of such focal points both on the reasoning of the players and on the structure of the game. We construct a new game which models this impact and we study its Nash equilibrium.
    Keywords: traveler’s dilemma, Nash equilibrium, focal point, classroom experiment, fairness, honesty..
    JEL: C72
    Date: 2019

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