nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2020‒02‒17
29 papers chosen by

  1. Using Survey Questions to Measure Preferences: Lessons from an Experimental Validation in Kenya By Michal Bauer; Julie Chytilova; Edward Miguel
  2. Preferences for observable information in a strategic setting: An experiment By Adam Zylbersztejn; Zakaria Babutsidze; Nobuyuki Hanaki
  3. When Do Teachers Respond to Student Feedback? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Buurman, Margaretha; Delfgaauw, Josse; Dur, Robert; Zoutenbier, Robin
  4. Experiment-as-Market: Incorporating Welfare into Randomized Controlled Trials By Yusuke Narita
  5. Does exposure to violence affect reciprocity? Experimental evidence from the West Bank By Elisa Cavatorta; Daniel John Zizzo; Yousef Daoud
  6. A New Approach for Quantifying the Costs of Utilizing Regional Trade Agreements By Kenta TANAKA; Yukihide KURAKAWA; Takunori ISHIHARA; Ken-ichi AKAO; Takanori IDA
  7. Leadership in a Public Goods Experiment with Permanent and Temporary Members By Angelova, Vera; Güth, Werner; Kocher, Martin G.
  8. Personalized fundraising: A field experiment on threshold matching of donations By Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
  9. Information defaults in repeated public good provision By Liu, Jia; Sonntag, Axel; Zizzo, Daniel John
  10. Quality provision in competitive health care markets: Individuals vs. teams By Han, Johann; Kairies-Schwarz, Nadja; Vomhof, Markus
  11. Personal Traits and Trading in an Experimental Asset Market By Tomas Miklanek; Miroslav Zajicek
  12. Gender, information and the efficiency of households' productive decisions: An experiment in rural Togo By Marie Christine Apedo-Amah; Habiba Djebbari; Roberta Ziparo
  13. Voluntary Disclosure of Information and Cooperation in Simultaneous-Move Economic Interactions By Kamei, Kenju
  14. Do women contribute more eort than men to a real public good? By Alger, Ingela; Juarez, Laura; Juarez-Torres, Miriam; Miquel-Florensa, Josepa
  15. Discrete Choice under Oaths By Nicolas Jacquemet; Stephane Luchini; Jason Shogren; Verity Watson
  16. Natural Experiments By Rocio Titiunik
  17. Dishonesty and Risk-Taking: Compliance Decisions of Individuals and Groups By Fochmann, Martin; Kocher, Martin G.; Müller, Nadja; Wolf, Nadja
  18. Gender Bias in SME Lending : Experimental Evidence from Turkey By Alibhai,Salman; Donald,Aletheia Amalia; Goldstein,Markus P.; Oguz,Alper Ahmet; Pankov,Alexander; Strobbe,Francesco
  19. How Do Households Allocate Risk? By Christoph Engel; Alexandra Fedorets; Olga Gorelkina
  20. A community based program promotes sanitation By María Laura Alzúa; Habiba Djebbari; Amy J. Pickering
  21. Up before Dawn : Experimental Evidence from a Cross-Border Trader Training at the Democratic Republic of Congo?Rwanda Border By Croke,Kevin; Garcia Mora,Maria Elena; Goldstein,Markus P.; Mensah,Edouard Romeo; O'Sullivan,Michael B.
  22. Protest voting in the laboratory By Philippos Louis; Orestis Troumpounis; Nikolaos Tsakas; Dimitrios Xefteris
  23. Protest voting in the laboratory By Philippos Louis; Orestis Troumpounis; Nikolaos Tsakas; Dimitrios Xefteris
  24. Uncovering Individualised Treatment Effect: Evidence from Educational Trials By Xiao, ZhiMin; Hauser, Oliver P; Kirkwood, Charlie; Jones, Benjamin; Li, Daniel Z.; Mo, Jingyuan; Higgins, Steve
  25. The Sophistication of Conditional Cooperators: Evidence From Public Goods Games. By Francesco Fallucchi; R. Andrew Luccasen III; Theodore L. Turocy
  26. Corelated beliefs: Predicting outcomes in 2X2 games By Timothy N. Cason; Tridib Sharma; Radovan Vadovic
  27. The Effect of Unfair Chances and Gender Discrimination on Labor Supply By Gagnon, Nickolas; Bosmans, Kristof; Riedl, Arno
  28. Hard to get: The scarcity of women and the competition for high-income men in urban China By Ong, David; Yang, Yu; Zhang, Junsen
  29. Prior Interaction, Identity and Coorperation in the Inter-Group Prisoner's Dilemma By Timothy N. Cason; Sau-Him Paul Lau; Vai-Lam Mui

  1. By: Michal Bauer; Julie Chytilova; Edward Miguel
    Abstract: Can a short survey instrument reliably measure a range of fundamental economic preferences across diverse settings? We focus on survey questions that systematically predict behavior in incentivized experimental tasks among German university students (Becker et al. 2016) and were implemented among representative samples across the globe (Falk et al. 2018). This paper presents results of an experimental validation conducted among low-income individuals in Nairobi, Kenya. We find that quantitative survey measures -- hypothetical versions of experimental tasks -- of time preference, attitude to risk and altruism are good predictors of choices in incentivized experiments, suggesting these measures are broadly experimentally valid. At the same time, we find that qualitative questions -- self-assessments -- do not correlate with the experimental measures of preferences in the Kenyan sample. Thus, caution is needed before treating self-assessments as proxies of preferences in new contexts.
    Keywords: preference measurement; experiment; survey; validation;
    JEL: C83 D90
    Date: 2020–01
  2. By: Adam Zylbersztejn (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); Zakaria Babutsidze (SKEMA Business School - SKEMA Business School, GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, OFCE - OFCE - Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Nobuyuki Hanaki (Osaka University [Osaka])
    Abstract: We experimentally investigate how much value people put in observable information about others in strategic interactions. The incentivized experimental task is to predict an unknown target player's trustworthiness in an earlier hidden action game. In Experiment 1, we vary the source of information about the target player (neutral picture, neutral video, video containing strategic content). The observed prediction accuracy rates then serve as an empirical measure of the objective value of information. In Experiment 2, we elicit the subjective value of information using the standard stated preferences method ("willingness to accept"). While the elicited subjective values are ranked in the same manner as the objective ones, subjects attach value to information which does not help predict target behavior, and exaggerate the value of helpful information.
    Keywords: Prediction,observable information,individual characteristics,stated preferences,willingness to accept,experiment
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Buurman, Margaretha (Free University Amsterdam); Delfgaauw, Josse (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Dur, Robert (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Zoutenbier, Robin (Ministry of Finance, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: We ran a field experiment at a large Dutch school for intermediate vocational education to examine whether the response of teachers to student feedback depends on the content of the feedback. Students evaluated all teachers, but only a randomly selected group of teachers received feedback. Additionally, we asked all teachers before as well as a year after the experiment to assess their own performance on the same items. We find a precisely estimated zero average treatment effect of receiving student feedback on student evaluation scores a year later. However, teachers whose self-assessment before the experiment is much more positive than their students' evaluations do improve significantly in response to receiving feedback. We also find that provision of feedback reduces the gap between teachers' self-assessment and students' assessment, but only to a limited extent. All of these results are driven by the female teachers in our sample; male teachers appear to be unresponsive to student feedback.
    Keywords: field experiment, feedback, teachers, student evaluations, self-assessment, gender differences
    JEL: C93 I2 M5
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Yusuke Narita (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) enroll hundreds of millions of subjects and involve many human lives. To improve subjects’ welfare, I propose a design of RCTs that I call Experiment-as-Market (EXAM). EXAM produces a Pareto efficient allocation of treatment assignment probabilities, is asymptotically incentive compatible for preference elicitation, and unbiasedly estimates any causal effect estimable with standard RCTs. I quantify these properties by applying EXAM to a water cleaning experiment in Kenya (Kremer et al., 2011). In this empirical setting, compared to standard RCTs, EXAM substantially improves subjects’ predicted well-being while reaching similar treatment effect estimates with similar precision.
    Keywords: Research Ethics, Clinical Trial, Social Experiment, A/B Test, Market Design, Causal Inference, Development Economics, Spring Protection, Discrete Choice
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Elisa Cavatorta (Department of Political Economy, King's College London, United Kingdom); Daniel John Zizzo (School of Economics, University of Queensland); Yousef Daoud (Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and Birzeit University)
    Abstract: This paper studies how reciprocity is affected by exposure to political violence in early age. We combine a research design that isolates the exogenous exposure to violence with a lab-in-the-field experiment to study how reciprocity in the forms of conditional cooperation and vindictive behavior in adolescents varies as a result of exposure to violence. We focus on young Palestinians in the West Bank region of the Palestinian territories. We find that exposure to violence affects reciprocity of Palestinian adolescents: those more exposed to violence engage in more reciprocal behavior in both the domain of cooperation and that of aggression. Part of the effect is explained by changes in the beliefs about their peers' behavior.
    Keywords: reciprocity; cooperation; conflict; violence; Palestine.
    JEL: C72 C91 D91 I25
    Date: 2020–01–10
  6. By: Kenta TANAKA; Yukihide KURAKAWA; Takunori ISHIHARA; Ken-ichi AKAO; Takanori IDA
    Abstract: Social comparison, such as information on other consumer’s energy usage, can achieve equal or higher performance, compared with economic incentives. However, previous studies do not adequately reveal the informational content for social comparison that can encourage electricity conservation. This study investigates the effects of different social comparisons via a laboratory experiment. We set up a hypothetical situation of electricity use in a laboratory. Although many previous studies employing laboratory experiments invite residents as the subject of the experiments, the subject’s economic situation does not reflect the initial setting of the laboratory experiments. In our experiment, we set up the initial set of experiments based on each subject’s actual electricity usage in daily life. Therefore, our experiments approximate real behavior better than previous studies. The results show that any information about other consumers’ electricity usage increases the electricity conservation behavior of almost all the subjects. Thus, our results show that voluntary conservation by the social comparison scheme can improve the total welfare of the society. However, the results also demonstrate the importance of considering the psychological effect of social comparison.
    Keywords: Electricity Conservation, Behavioral economics, Laboratory Experiment, Social Comparison
    Date: 2020–02
  7. By: Angelova, Vera (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany); Güth, Werner (Max-Planck-Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, Germany); Kocher, Martin G. (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, University of Vienna, Austria and University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
    Abstract: We experimentally analyze leading by example in a public goods game with two permanent and two temporary group members. Our results show that leadership when permanent and temporary members interact leads to lower contributions than interaction without leadership.
    Keywords: Cooperation; leadership; social dilemma; public goods provision; experiment
    JEL: C91 D03 D64
    Date: 2019–11
  8. By: Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
    Abstract: We study a form of threshold matching where donations above a certain threshold are topped up with a fixed amount. We show theoretically that threshold matching can induce crowding in if appropriately personalized. In a field experiment, we explore how thresholds should be chosen depending on past donations. The optimal choice of thresholds is rather bold, approximately 60-75% above past donations. Additionally, we explore how thresholds should be set for new donors as a function of their personal characteristics and demonstrate the benefits of personalization as opposed to setting general thresholds applying to all recipients of a fundraising call.
    Keywords: charitable giving,field experiments,matching donations,personalization
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Liu, Jia; Sonntag, Axel (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria); Zizzo, Daniel John (University of Queensland, Australia)
    Abstract: We present an experiment that models a repeated public good provision setting where the policy maker or manager does not have perfect control over information flows. Rather, information seeking can be affected by changing the information default as well as the price of information. The default is one either with or without information about others’ contributions, and having information comes with a positive, zero or negative financial incentive. When information comes without a financial incentive or even is financially beneficial, almost all subjects choose to have the information, but around a third have the information even when this is costly. Moreover, a default of not having information about the others’ contributions leads to a slower unravelling of cooperation, independent of the financial incentives of having information. This slower unravelling is explained by the beliefs about others’ contributions in these treatments. A secondary informational default effect appears to take place. When the default is no information, subjects do not seek information more often but, conditional on financial incentives, they tend to believe that more other subjects seek information.
    Keywords: Information defaults, public good, value of information
    JEL: C91 D83 H41
    Date: 2020–01
  10. By: Han, Johann; Kairies-Schwarz, Nadja; Vomhof, Markus
    Abstract: We investigate the quality provision behavior and its implications for the occurrence of collusion in competitive health care markets where providers are assumed to be altruistic towards patients. For this, we employ a laboratory experiment with a health care market framing where subjects decide on the quality levels for one of three competing hospitals respectively. We vary whether quality decisions within hospitals are made by individuals or teams. Realized monetary patient benefits go to real patients outside the lab. We find that degrees of cooperation quickly converge towards negative values implying absence of collusion and patient centered quality choices. Moreover, hospitals treat qualities as strategic complements and adjust their quality choice in the same direction as their competitors. The response magnitude for team markets is weaker. This is driven by the non-cooperative, or altruistic teams which tend to set qualities strategically independent.
    Keywords: quality competition,health care markets,team decisions,altruism,laboratory experiment
    JEL: C92 D03 D43 D64 I11 L13
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Tomas Miklanek; Miroslav Zajicek
    Abstract: We study the relationship between personal traits and trading outcomes in continuous double auction asset markets. There are mixed theoretical predictions about this relationship followed by similarly mixed empirical evidence. We examine the correlation of cognitive skills, willingness to speculate, risk attitude, willingness to compete, and overconfidence with trading activity in a very simple experimental market with one asset and no uncertainty about the fundamental value. We build on a market setting very close to the canonical one of Smith, Suchanek and Williams (1988) with a constant fundamental value. We conclude that willingness to speculate is the main driver of trading activity. Willingness to speculate and cognitive skills are the only significant predictors for achieved profits from trading. Our experimental results could provide a benchmark for trading activity outcomes in more complicated, real world asset market environments.
    Keywords: experimental economics; asset market; trading activity; personal traits;
    JEL: C91 D91 D53
    Date: 2020–01
  12. By: Marie Christine Apedo-Amah (Stanford University, SIEPR); Habiba Djebbari (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Roberta Ziparo (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: We explore how the capacity of farm households to reach efficiency and share information on production is related to their consumption decision-making process. West African farm households often cultivate several plots, and there is extensive evidence of allocative inefficiencies (Udry, 1996). We design an experiment with Togolese cotton producers, contextualized as an input allocation game, and build a model based on its findings. We further test the model's predictions using our lab-in-the-field data. The cotton producers are found to allocate too few inputs to their wife's plot, failing to maximize household aggregate profits. They do transfer more inputs to their wife's plot when the returns from that plot are increased. Yet, when we experimentally manipulate information on these returns, informational frictions on average do not impact decisions. We attribute these experimental findings to the role that conflict in consumption plays in creating production inefficiencies. The model predicts that both efficiency loss and responses to asymmetric information are heterogenous. Moreover, we show that spouses are unable to communicate on the returns effectively and cannot avoid extra losses, though the damaging effects of private information vanish if information is verifiable ex post. We present evidence consistent with these predictions.
    Keywords: farm households, household production and intra-household allocation, non-cooperative game theory, asymmetric and private information, lab-in-the-field experiment
    JEL: Q12 C72 D13 D82 C91 C93
    Date: 2020–01
  13. By: Kamei, Kenju
    Abstract: This paper experimentally studies individuals’ voluntary disclosure of past behaviors and its effects in a finitely repeated two-player public goods game. The experiment data found that voluntary information disclosure strengthens cooperation under certain conditions, although a non-negligible fraction of individuals do not disclose information about the past and proceed to behave opportunistically. On closer inspection, the data revealed that the material incentives of disclosure acts differ according to the matching protocol. Specifically, disclosers receive higher payoffs than non-disclosers if the disclosers are assured to be matched with like-minded disclosers; conversely, disclosers are vulnerable to exploitation by others under random matching. These results suggest that mandatory disclosure helps enhance economic efficiency if individuals’ hiding and uncooperative behaviors are liable to precipitate a collapse in the community norms.
    Keywords: experiment, information disclosure, cooperation, dilemma, repeated games, reputation
    JEL: C72 C92 H41
    Date: 2020–01–03
  14. By: Alger, Ingela; Juarez, Laura; Juarez-Torres, Miriam; Miquel-Florensa, Josepa
    Abstract: We present evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment, conducted in eight small, rural villages in Mexico, in which subjects choose to exert real effort to fund real health centers in their own and other localities. We find that women are more willing than men to exert effort to fund the health center in another locality, relative to the one in their locality. This gender gap is mostly due to women who have some trust in the way the government spends taxes, and to women who benefit from a government program that targets women and fosters health care use. Our results also suggest that women might be aware of their higher willingness to exert effort for a public good that does not benefit them directly, compared to men, because they seem to reduce their individual effort the more female their environment is.
    JEL: H41 C91 O12
    Date: 2020–01
  15. By: Nicolas Jacquemet (PSE - Paris School of Economics, UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Stephane Luchini (Aix-Marseille School of Economics [Aix-Marseille Université] - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Centre de la Vieille Charité [Aix-Marseille Université]); Jason Shogren (UW - University of Wyoming); Verity Watson (Health Economics Research Unit - University of Aberdeen)
    Abstract: Using discrete choices to elicit preferences is a major tool to help guide public policy. Although Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) remains by far the most popular mechanism used to elicit preferences, its reliability still is questionable. Using an induced value experimental design, we show that standard benchmarks achieve no more than 56% (hypothetical answers with no monetary incentives) to 60% (real monetary incentives) of payoff maximizing choices. Herein we demonstrate that having respondents sign a the truth-telling oath reduces non-payoff maximizing choices by nearly 50% relative to these benchmarks. The explicit and voluntary commitment to honesty improved decisions. Further, we show that it is the explicit commitment to honesty induced by the truth-telling oath improves choices, not just any oath mechanism, i.e., an oath to task or to duty did not improve choices.
    Keywords: Discrete Choice Experiments,Stated Preferences,Oath,Truth-telling,External validity,Welfare
    Date: 2019–05
  16. By: Rocio Titiunik
    Abstract: The term natural experiment is used inconsistently. In one interpretation, it refers to an experiment where a treatment is randomly assigned by someone other than the researcher. In another interpretation, it refers to a study in which there is no controlled random assignment, but treatment is assigned by some external factor in a way that loosely resembles a randomized experiment---often described as an "as if random" assignment. In yet another interpretation, it refers to any non-randomized study that compares a treatment to a control group, without any specific requirements on how the treatment is assigned. I introduce an alternative definition that seeks to clarify the integral features of natural experiments and at the same time distinguish them from randomized controlled experiments. I define a natural experiment as a research study where the treatment assignment mechanism (i) is neither designed nor implemented by the researcher, (ii) is unknown to the researcher, and (iii) is probabilistic by virtue of depending on an external factor. The main message of this definition is that the difference between a randomized controlled experiment and a natural experiment is not a matter of degree, but of essence, and thus conceptualizing a natural experiment as a research design akin to a randomized experiment is neither rigorous nor a useful guide to empirical analysis. Using my alternative definition, I discuss how a natural experiment differs from a traditional observational study, and offer practical recommendations for researchers who wish to use natural experiments to study causal effects.
    Date: 2020–02
  17. By: Fochmann, Martin (Freie Universität Berlin and University of Cologne); Kocher, Martin G. (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, University of Vienna, and University of Gothenburg); Müller, Nadja (University of Cologne); Wolf, Nadja (University of Hannover)
    Abstract: Unethical behavior in organizations is usually associated with the risk of negative consequences for the organization and for the involved managers if being detected. The existing experimental literature in economics has so far mainly focused on the analysis of unethical behavior in environments that involve no fines or similar monetary consequences. In the current paper, we use a tax compliance framework to study (un-)ethical behavior of individuals and small groups. Our results show that groups are clearly less compliant than individuals. The risk of being detected is the most important aspect in the group communication process when deciding on compliance.
    Keywords: Dishonesty, lying, compliance, risk-taking, group decisions, communication, norms, experiment
    JEL: C91 C92 D03 H26
    Date: 2019–08
  18. By: Alibhai,Salman; Donald,Aletheia Amalia; Goldstein,Markus P.; Oguz,Alper Ahmet; Pankov,Alexander; Strobbe,Francesco
    Abstract: Gender disparities in small and medium-size enterprise lending exist around the world and impede the growth of millions of women-led firms. This paper examines a potential driver of these disparities: gender-biased loan officers. Officer bias is measured through a novel loan application experiment conducted with 77 loan officers in Turkish banks. The analysis finds that 35 percent of the loan officers are biased against female applicants, with women receiving loan amounts $14,000 lower on average compared with men. Experience in the banking sector can attenuate this bias, with each year of experience reducing gender biased loan allocations by 6 percent. The results suggest that loan officers may use gender bias as a heuristic device given limited information and risk aversion. Helping newly recruited and lesser experienced loan officers to better discern loan application quality may thus improve financing of business loans to women and reduce gender gaps in entrepreneurship.
    Date: 2019–12–30
  19. By: Christoph Engel; Alexandra Fedorets; Olga Gorelkina
    Abstract: Individuals often have to decide to which degree of risk they want to expose others, or how much risk to accept if their choice has an externality on third parties. One typical application is a household. We run an experiment in the German Socio-Economic Panel with two members from 494 households. Participants have a good estimate of each other’s risk preferences, even if not explicitly informed. They do not simply match this preference when deciding on behalf of the other household member, but shy away from exposing others to risk. We model the situation, and we find four distinct types of individuals, and two distinct types of households.
    Keywords: risk preference, household, reticence to expose others to risk, tradeoff between individual and foreign risk preference
    JEL: C45 D13 D81 D91
    Date: 2018–11
  20. By: María Laura Alzúa (CEDLAS-FCE-Universidad Nacional de la Plata – Conicet, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina); Habiba Djebbari (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Amy J. Pickering (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA)
    Abstract: Basic sanitation facilities are still lacking in large parts of the developing world, engendering serious environmental health risks. Interventions commonly deliver in-kind or cash subsidies to promote private toilet ownership. In this paper, we assess an intervention that provides information and behavioral incentives to encourage villagers in rural Mali to build and use basic latrines. Using an experimental research design and carefully measured indicators of use, we find a sizeable impact from this intervention: latrine ownership and use almost doubled in intervention villages, and open defecation was reduced by half. Our results partially attribute these effects to increased knowledge about cheap and locally available sanitation solutions. They are also associated with shifts in the social norm governing sanitation. Taken together, our findings, unlike previous evidence from other contexts, suggest that a progressive approach that starts with ending open defecation and targets whole communities at a time can help meet the new Sustainable Development Goal of ending open defecation.
    Keywords: sanitation, behavioral change, community-based intervention, social norm
    Date: 2020–01
  21. By: Croke,Kevin; Garcia Mora,Maria Elena; Goldstein,Markus P.; Mensah,Edouard Romeo; O'Sullivan,Michael B.
    Abstract: Small-scale cross-border trade provides opportunities for economic gains in many developing countries. Yet cross-border traders -- many of whom are women -- face harassment and corruption, which can undermine these potential gains. This paper presents evidence from a randomized controlled trial of a training intervention that provided access to information on procedures, tariffs, and rights to small-scale traders to facilitate border crossings, lower corruption, and reduce gender-based violence along the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)?Rwanda border. The training reduces bribe payment by 5 percentage points in the full sample and by 27.5 percentage points on average among compliers. The training also reduces the incidence of gender-based violence by 5.4 percentage points (30.5 percentage points among compliers). The paper assesses competing explanations for the impacts using a game-theoretic model based on Hirschman's Exit, Voice, and Loyalty framework. The effects are achieved through early border crossings at unofficial hours (exit) instead of traders'use of voice mechanisms or reduced rent-seeking from border officials. These results highlight the need to improve governance and establish clear cross-border trade regulations, particularly on the DRC side of the border.
    Date: 2020–01–27
  22. By: Philippos Louis; Orestis Troumpounis; Nikolaos Tsakas; Dimitrios Xefteris
    Abstract: Formal analysis predicts that the likelihood of an electoral accident depends on the preference intensity for a successful protest, but not on the protest's popularity: an increase in protest's popularity is fully offset by a reduction in the individual probability of casting a protest vote. By conducting the first laboratory experiment on protest voting, we find strong evidence in favor of the first prediction and qualified support for the latter. While the offset effect is present, it is not as strong as the theory predicts: protest candidates gain both by fanaticising existing protesters and by expanding the protest's popular base.
    Keywords: protest voting, electoral accident, coordination, laboratory experiment
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2020
  23. By: Philippos Louis (Department of Economics, University of Cyprus); Orestis Troumpounis (DSEA, University of Padova and LUMS, University of Lancaster); Nikolaos Tsakas (Department of Economics, University of Cyprus); Dimitrios Xefteris (Department of Economics, University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: Formal analysis predicts that the likelihood of an electoral accident depends on the preference intensity for a successful protest, but not on the protest's popularity: an increase in protest's popularity is fully offset by a reduction in the individual probability of casting a protest vote. By conducting the first laboratory experiment on protest voting, we find strong evidence in favor of the first prediction and qualified support for the latter. While the offset effect is present, it is not as strong as the theory predicts: protest candidates gain both by fanaticising existing protesters and by expanding the protest's popular base.
    Keywords: protest voting, electoral accident, coordination, laboratory experiment
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2020–02
  24. By: Xiao, ZhiMin (University of Exeter); Hauser, Oliver P (University of Exeter); Kirkwood, Charlie; Jones, Benjamin; Li, Daniel Z.; Mo, Jingyuan; Higgins, Steve
    Abstract: The use of large-scale Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) are fast becoming "the gold standard" of testing the causal effects of policy, social, and educational interventions. RCTs are typically evaluated — and ultimately judged — by the economic, educational, and statistical significance of the Average Treatment Effect (ATE) in the study sample. However, many interventions have heterogeneous treatment effects (HTEs) across different individuals, not captured by the ATE. One option to identify HTEs is to conduct subgroup analyses, such as focusing on low-income Free School Meal pupils as required for projects funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in England. These subgroup analyses, as we demonstrate in 48 EEF-funded RCTs involving over 200,000 students, are usually not standardised across studies and offer flexible degrees of freedom to researchers, potentially leading to mixed results. Here, we develop and deploy a machine-learning and regression-based framework for systematic estimation of Individualised Treatment Effects, which can show where a seemingly ineffective and uninformative intervention worked, for whom, and by how much. Our findings have implications for policy-makers in education, public health, and other government services.
    Date: 2020–01–21
  25. By: Francesco Fallucchi (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)); R. Andrew Luccasen III (Mississippi University for Women); Theodore L. Turocy (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: Experiments which elicit preferences for conditional cooperation in public goods games with linear payoffs find that about one-quarter of people approximately match the average contributions of others. To identify from among possible explanations proposed for this strong form of conditional cooperation, we extend the elicitation method of Fischbacher et al. (2001) and study voluntary contributions games with a broader range of economic and strategic incentives. We find that most strong conditional cooperators are sophisticated in responding to these incentives, by matching contributions only when doing so leads to an overall welfare improvement. Our data favour an account of conditional cooperation based on social norm compliance, and are not consistent with accounts in which these people are motivated by inequity aversion or warm-glow giving, or are confused about the economic incentives presented by the elicitation mechanism.
    Keywords: public goods, conditional cooperation, sophistication, experiment.
    JEL: C72 D62 D71 H41
    Date: 2020–02
  26. By: Timothy N. Cason; Tridib Sharma; Radovan Vadovic
    Abstract: Studies of strategic sophistication in experimental normal formgames commonly assume that subjects’ beliefs are consistent with independent choice.
    Date: 2019–12
  27. By: Gagnon, Nickolas (Maastricht University); Bosmans, Kristof (Maastricht University); Riedl, Arno (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Labor market opportunities and wages may be unfair for various reasons, and how workers respond to different types of unfairness can have major economic consequences. Using an online labor platform, where workers engage in an individual task for a piece-rate wage, we investigate the causal effect of neutral and gender-discriminatory unfair chances on labor supply. We randomize workers into treatments where we control relative pay and chances to receive a low or a high wage. Chances can be fair, unfair based on an unspecified source, or unfair based on gender discrimination. Unequal pay reduces labor supply of low-wage workers, irrespective of whether the low wage is the result of fair or unfair chances. Importantly, the source of unfair chances matters. When a low wage is the result of gender-discriminatory chances, workers matched with a high-wage worker substantially reduce their labor supply compared to the case of equal low wages (–22%). This decrease is twice as large as those induced by low wages due to fair chances or unfair chances coming from an unspecified source. In addition, exploratory analysis suggests that in response to unequal pay, low-wage male workers reduce labor supply irrespective of the source of inequality, whereas low-wage female workers reduce labor supply only if unequal pay is due to gender-discriminatory chances. Our results concerning gender discrimination indicate a new reason for the lower labor supply of women, which is a prominent explanation for the gender gap in earnings.
    Keywords: labor supply, wage inequality, procedural fairness, gender discrimination
    JEL: D90 E24 J22 J31 J71 M5
    Date: 2020–01
  28. By: Ong, David; Yang, Yu; Zhang, Junsen
    Abstract: Reports of the difficulties of elite women in finding suitable mates have been increasing despite the growing availability and value of men in China. We rationalize this “leftover women” phenomenon within the directed/competitive search framework, which uniquely allows for equilibrium crowding out. Within this framework, we show that the leftover women phenomenon can be the result of women’s aversion to men who have a lower income than themselves (hereafter, ALM) and the long-predicted complementarity between women’s non-market traits (in particular, beauty) and male earnings. For high-income (h-)women, even when high-income (H-)men are more plentiful and richer, the direct effect of the greater number of desirable men can be overwhelmed by the indirect effect of competitive ‘entry’ by low-income (l-)women, particularly, the beautiful. We test for these competitive search effects using online dating field experimental, Census, and household survey data. Consistent with the competitive entry of l-women, when sex ratio and H-men’s income increase, the search intensity of beautiful l-women for H-men increases. In response to this competitive entry, plain h-women, who are constrained by their ALM to search predominantly for H-men, also increase the search intensity. However, only their marriage probability decreases. Our evidence is consistent with intra-female competitive search for spouses who can cover the labor market opportunity cost of marriage and childbirth, which increases with a woman’s income.
    Keywords: directed search, marriage, sex ratio, online dating, aversion to lower income men, beauty
    JEL: C93 J01 J12
    Date: 2020
  29. By: Timothy N. Cason; Sau-Him Paul Lau; Vai-Lam Mui
    Abstract: This paper studies theoretically and experimentally how success in prior interaction affects cooperation in the one-shot inter-group prisoner’s dilemma (IPD).
    JEL: C72 C92 D02
    Date: 2019–12

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.