nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2020‒02‒24
thirty-one papers chosen by

  1. Cooperation in a Fragmented Society: Experimental Evidence on Syrian Refugees and Natives in Lebanon By Drouvelis, Michalis; Malaeb, Bilal; Vlassopoulos, Michael; Wahba, Jackline
  2. Shopper’s behavioural responses to ‘front-of-pack’ nutrition logo formats: GDA Diet-Logo vs. 6 alternative Choice-Logos By Muller, L.; Ruffieux, B.
  3. The Effect of Financial Constraints on In-Group Bias: Evidence from Rice Farmers in Thailand By Boonmanunt, Suparee; Meier, Stephan
  4. When Too Good Is Too Much: Social Incentives and Job Selection By Reggiani, Tommaso G.; Rilke, Rainer Michael
  5. Good-Looking Prices By Bradley J. Ruffle; Arie Sherman; Zeev Shtudiner
  6. Should central banks communicate uncertainty in their projections? By Ryan Rholes; Luba Petersen
  7. Do people harness deliberate ignorance to avoid envy and its detrimental effects? By Lisa Bruttel; Werner Güth; Ralph Hertwig; Andreas Orland
  8. Adaptive Experimental Design for Efficient Treatment Effect Estimation: Randomized Allocation via Contextual Bandit Algorithm By Masahiro Kato; Takuya Ishihara; Junya Honda; Yusuke Narita
  9. Harnessing the Power of Social Incentives to Curb Shirking in Teams By Brice Corgnet; Brian Gunia; Roberto Hernán González
  10. Do women contribute more eort than men to a real public good? By Alger, Ingela; Juarez, Laura; Juarez-Torres, Miriam; Miquel-Florensa, Josepa
  11. A New Mechanism to Alleviate the Crises of Confidence in Science - With an Application to the Public Goods Game By Luigi Butera; Philip Grossman; Daniel Houser; John List; Marie-Claire Villeval
  12. ‘Two Gentlemen Sharing’: Rental Discrimination of Same-Sex Couples in Portugal By Gouveia, Filipe Rodrigues; Nilsson, Therese; Berggren, Niclas
  13. Information and Social Norms: Experimental Evidence on the Labor Market Aspirations of Saudi Women By Monira Essa Aloud; Sara Al-Rashood; Ina Ganguli; Basit Zafar
  14. Ask and You Shall Receive? Gender Differences in Regrades in College By Cher Hsuehhsiang Li; Basit Zafar
  15. Forecasting the Results of Experiments: Piloting an Elicitation Strategy By Stefano DellaVigna; Nicholas Otis; Eva Vivalt
  16. Group Incentives for the Public Good : A Field Experiment on Improving the Urban Environment By Newman,Carol Frances; Mitchell,Tara Lynn; Holmlund,Marcus Erik; Fernandez,Chloe Monica
  17. Dynamic effects of enforcement on cooperation By Roberto Galbiati; Emeric Henry; Nicolas Jacquemet
  18. “Us” and “Them”: Prosocial attitudes between refugees and host communities exposed to armed conflict: Experimental evidence from Northern Uganda By Adong, Annet; Kirui, Oliver Kiptoo; Achola, Jolly
  19. Metacognitive ability predicts learning cue-stimulus associations in the absence of external feedback By Marine Hainguerlot; Jean-Christophe Vergnaud; Vincent de Gardelle
  20. Learning to deal with repeated shocks under strategic complementarity: An experiment By Muhammed Bulutay; Camille Cornand; Adam Zylbersztejn
  21. Addressing High School Dropouts with a Scalable Intervention : The Case of PODER By Avitabile,Ciro; Cuevas,Janina; De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E.; Jamison,Julian C
  22. Leverage and Asset Prices: An Experiment. By Marco Cipriani; Ana Fostel; Daniel Houser
  23. After-School Tutoring, Household Substitution and Student Achievement: Experimental Evidence from Rural China By Jere R. Behrman; C. Simon Fan; Xiangdong Wei; Hongliang Zhang; Junsen Zhang
  24. Structuring communication effectively for environmental cooperation By Koessler, Ann-Kathrin; Ortiz-Riomalo, Juan Felipe; Janke, Mathias; Engel, Stefanie
  25. Working too much for too little: stochastic rewards cause work addiction By Brice Corgnet; Simon Gaechter; Roberto Hernán González
  26. The Jobs That Youth Want and the Support They Need to Get Them: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment in Kenya By Elzir Assy, Angela; Ribeiro, Tiago; Robalino, David A.; Rosati, Furio C.; Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura; Weber, Michael
  27. Experiments on Cognition, Communication, Coordination, and Cooperation in Relationships By Crawford, Vincent P
  28. Fairness through the Lens of Cooperative Game Theory: An Experimental Approach By Geoffroy de Clippel; Kareen Rozen
  29. Education and Conflict Evidence from a Policy Experiment in Indonesia By Dominic Rohner; Alessandro Saia
  30. Youth Employability and Peacebuilding in Post-conflict Côte d’Ivoire: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Assi JoseÌ Carlos Kimou; ZieÌ Ballo; Ismahel Abdoul Barry
  31. Better Integration in the Labor Market by Responding to Work Motives: Lessons from a Field Experiment among Israeli Ultra-Religious Women By Shoshana Neuman; Yael Goldfarb

  1. By: Drouvelis, Michalis (University of Birmingham); Malaeb, Bilal (London School of Economics); Vlassopoulos, Michael (University of Southampton); Wahba, Jackline (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: Lebanon is the country with the highest density of refugees in the world, raising the question of whether the host and refugee populations can cooperate harmoniously. We conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment in Lebanon studying intra- and inter-group behavior of Syrian refugees and Lebanese nationals in a repeated public good game without and with punishment. We find that homogeneous groups, on average, contribute and punish significantly more than mixed groups. These patterns are driven by the Lebanese participants. Our findings suggest that it is equally important to provide adequate help to the host communities to alleviate any economic and social pressures.
    Keywords: refugees, public good game, cooperation, punishment
    JEL: D91 J5 F22
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Muller, L.; Ruffieux, B.
    Abstract: A Framed Field Experiment was implemented in France in order to compare the relative behavioural responses and then the induced nutritional effectiveness of seven front-of-pack logo formats: The Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA), and six ‘choice logos’ such as Green Keyhole or Traffic Lights. From a consumer point of view, while GDA requires a demanding global-diet heuristic, the choice logos require an easy product comparison heuristic. Our six ‘choice logos’ are different after 3 criteria: aggregate vs. analytical information, shelf vs. all products point of reference, multicolour logos vs. ‘only green’ logos. We measure the effect of each logo on the nutritional quality of actual consumers’ shopping baskets in a controlled experimental shop. We use a standard criterion aggregating the overall density of free sugar, saturated fatty acid and salt. We find that different logo formats generate different nutritional impacts. Some choice logos have better nutritional impacts than GDA. Aggregate and multicolour logos induce best responses. Shelf-referenced logos are not more efficient but they trigger very different behavioural trajectories than logos referenced on all-products.
    JEL: D12 D18 C91 C93
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Boonmanunt, Suparee (Mahidol University); Meier, Stephan (Columbia University)
    Abstract: In-group bias can be detrimental for communities and economic development. We study the causal effect of financial constraints on in-group bias in prosocial behaviors – cooperation, norm enforcement, and sharing – among low-income rice farmers in rural Thailand, who cultivate and harvest rice once a year. We use a between-subjects design – randomly assigning participants to experiments either before harvest (more financially constrained) or after harvest. Farmers interacted with either in-group or out-group partners at village level. We find that in-group bias in cooperation and norm enforcement exist only after harvest, that is, when people are less financially constrained.
    Keywords: cooperation, financial constraints, in-group bias, lab-in-the-field experiment, norm enforcement
    JEL: C93 D64 D91
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Reggiani, Tommaso G. (Cardiff University); Rilke, Rainer Michael (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of substitutability of social incentives on the labor supply of gigworkers (N=944) in a natural field experiment. In our treatments, we vary the proportion of the worker's wage that is donated to a social cause. Our experimental design allows us to observe the decision to accept a job (extensive margin) and different dimensions of productivity (intensive margin). The results show that when the worker has to donate small or moderate parts to a prosocial organization, labor supply on the extensive margin remains unaffected, but productivity on the intensive margin increases; when workers have to give larger portions of their wages, labor supply and productivity decrease. When workers have to donate parts of their wages to an antisocial cause, labor supply on the extensive and intensive margin is negatively affected. We discuss the implications of these results for the understanding of social incentives and corporate social responsibility on labor supply.
    Keywords: social incentives, labor supply, CSR, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D23 M52
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: Bradley J. Ruffle; Arie Sherman; Zeev Shtudiner
    Abstract: We design a field experiment to test for price discrimination at seemingly highly competitive Israeli produce markets. We trained 90 buyers and sent them to produce markets across Israel. After verifying a product’s posted price, they asked for a discount on a one-kilogram or one-unit purchase. Vendors employ third-degree price discrimination: women are offered larger and more frequent discounts than men, and the more attractive the female buyer, the larger and more frequent the discount offered. Male buyers do not benefit from this beauty discount. No other buyer characteristic is a significant predictor of the likelihood or size of a discount. To understand our findings, we provide a more nuanced view of these markets that includes search costs and considerable vendor price-setting discretion.
    Keywords: experimental economics; beauty; price discrimination; negotiation; price discounts; search costs
    JEL: C91 D01
    Date: 2020–02
  6. By: Ryan Rholes (Texas A&M University); Luba Petersen (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: This paper provides original empirical evidence on the emerging practice by central banks of communicating uncertainty in their inflation projections. We compare the effects of point and density projections in a learning-to-forecast laboratory experiment where participants' aggregated expectations about one- and two-period-ahead inflation influence macroeconomic dynamics. Precise point projections are more effective at managing inflation expectations. Point projections reduce disagreement and uncertainty while nudging participants to forecast rationally. Supplementing the point projection with a density forecast mutes many of these benefits. Relative to a point projection, density forecasts lead to larger forecast errors, greater uncertainty about own forecasts, and less credibility in the central bank's projections. We also explore expectation formation in individual-choice environments to understand the motives for responding to projections. Credibility in the projections is significantly lower when strategic considerations are absent, suggesting that projections are primarily effective as a coordination device. Overall, our results suggest that communicating uncertainty through density projections reduces the ecacy of inflation point projections.
    Keywords: expectations, monetary policy, inflation communication, credibility, laboratory experiment, experimental macroeconomics, uncertainty, strategic, coordination, group versus individual choice
    Date: 2020–01
  7. By: Lisa Bruttel (University of Potsdam, Germany); Werner Güth (Max Planck Institute for Collective Goods, Bonn, Germany); Ralph Hertwig (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany); Andreas Orland (University of Potsdam, Germany)
    Abstract: Envy is an unpleasant emotion. If individuals anticipate that comparing their payoff with the (potentially higher) payoff of others will make them envious, they may want to actively avoid information about other people’s payoffs. Given the opportunity to reduce another person’s payoff, an individual’s envy may trigger behavior that is detrimental to welfare. In this case, if individuals anticipate that they will react in a welfare-reducing way, they may also avoid information about other people’s payoffs from the outset. We investigated these two hypotheses using three experiments. We found that 13% of our potentially envious subjects avoided information when they did not have the opportunity to reduce another participant’s payoff. Psychological scales do not explain this behavior. We also found that voluntarily uninformed subjects did neither deduct less of the payoff nor less frequently than subjects who could not avoid the information.
    Keywords: envy, emotion regulation, deliberate ignorance, punishment, experiment
    JEL: C91 D23 D63 D83 D91
    Date: 2020–02
  8. By: Masahiro Kato; Takuya Ishihara; Junya Honda; Yusuke Narita
    Abstract: Many scientific experiments have an interest in the estimation of the average treatment effect (ATE), which is defined as the difference between the expected outcomes of two or more treatments. In this paper, we consider a situation called adaptive experimental design where research subjects sequentially visit a researcher, and the researcher assigns a treatment. For estimating the ATE efficiently, we consider changing the probability of assigning a treatment at a period by using past information obtained until the period. However, in this approach, it is difficult to apply the standard statistical method to construct an estimator because the observations are not independent and identically distributed. In this paper, to construct an efficient estimator, we overcome this conventional problem by using an algorithm of the multi-armed bandit problem and the theory of martingale. In the proposed method, we use the probability of assigning a treatment that minimizes the asymptotic variance of an estimator of the ATE. We also elucidate the theoretical properties of an estimator obtained from the proposed algorithm for both infinite and finite samples. Finally, we experimentally show that the proposed algorithm outperforms the standard RCT in some cases.
    Date: 2020–02
  9. By: Brice Corgnet (Univ Lyon, emlyon business school, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France); Brian Gunia (Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University, 100 International Drive Baltimore, MD 21202, USA); Roberto Hernán González (CEREN EA 7477, Burgundy School of Business, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France)
    Abstract: We study several solutions to shirking in teams that trigger social incentives by reshaping the workplace social context. Using an experimental design, we manipulate social pressure at work by varying the type of workplace monitoring and the extent to which employees engage in social interaction. This design allows us to assess the effectiveness as well as the popularity of each solution. Despite similar effectiveness in boosting productivity across solutions, only organizational systems involving social interaction (via chat) were at least as popular as a baseline treatment. This suggests that any solution based on promoting social interaction is more likely to be embraced by workers than monitoring systems alone.
    Keywords: Social Incentives, Social Pressure, Moral Hazard in Teams, Laboratory Experiments
    JEL: C92 D23 D91 M54
    Date: 2020
  10. 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
  11. By: Luigi Butera; Philip Grossman; Daniel Houser; John List; Marie-Claire Villeval
    Abstract: Creation of empirical knowledge in economics has taken a dramatic turn in the past few decades. One feature of the new research landscape is the nature and extent to which scholars generate data. Today, in nearly every field the experimental approach plays an increasingly crucial role in testing theories and informing organizational decisions. Whereas there is much to appreciate about this revolution, recently a credibility crisis has taken hold across the social sciences, arguing that an important component of Fischer (1935)'s tripod has not been fully embraced: replication. Indeed, while the importance of replications is not debatable scientifically, current incentives are not sufficient to encourage replications from the individual researcher's perspective. We propose a novel mechanism that promotes replications by leveraging mutually beneficial gains between scholars and editors. We develop a model capturing the trade-offs involved in seeking independent replications before submission of a paper to journals. We showcase our method via an investigation of the effects of Knightian uncertainty on cooperation rates in public goods games, a pervasive and yet largely unexplored feature in the literature.
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Gouveia, Filipe Rodrigues (Department of Economics, Lund University); Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: We measure and analyze discriminatory behavior against same-sex couples trying to rent an apartment in Portugal. This is the first correspondence field experiment investigating discrimination against this minority group in Portugal, adding to a literature using this method to ascertain discriminatory behavior in the housing market. In our experiment, four type of applicants varying in gender (male and female) and modality (same and opposite sex) reply to Internet ads to express interest in renting an apartment in the metropolitan areas of Porto and Lisbon. All applicant couples are presented as married, stable and professional. The main finding is that male same-sex couples face significant discrimination: The probability of getting a positive reply is 7–8 percentage points, or 26 percent, lower for them compared to opposite-sex couples. The effect is even more negative in parishes where the population is older, and discrimination increases in magnitude over the rental value and the square meter price of apartments. However, and perhaps surprisingly, the risk of discrimination decreases with religiosity (up to a point) and the distance to the metropolitan center (up to a point). The results for female same-sex couples also show a sizable negative effect, with a 3 percentage-point, or 10 percent, lower probability of a positive response compared to opposite-sex couples, even though this difference is less precisely estimated. The present study extends the literature to a southern European setting and validates previous research documenting worse treatment of same-sex couples in the housing market. Interestingly, in spite of less positive attitudes to same-sex couples among the Portuguese public, the level of discrimination is comparable to that found in Sweden and lower than on the Irish short-term rental market. This arguably illustrates that attitudes and discriminatory behavior need not be closely aligned.
    Keywords: Same-sex couples; Discrimination; Portugal; Field experiment; LGBT; Housing
    JEL: C93 D91 J15 R30
    Date: 2020–02–14
  13. By: Monira Essa Aloud; Sara Al-Rashood; Ina Ganguli; Basit Zafar
    Abstract: How important are social constraints and information gaps in explaining the low rates of female labor force participation (FLFP) in conservative societies that are undergoing social change? To answer this question, we conducted a field experiment embedded in a survey of female university students at a large public university in Saudi Arabia. We randomly provided one subset of individuals with information on the labor market and aspirations of their female peers (T1), while another subset was provided with this information along with a prime that made the role of parents and family more salient (T2). We find that expectations of working among those in the Control group are quite high, yet students underestimate the expected labor force attachment of their female peers. We show that information matters: relative to the Control group, expectations about own labor force participation are significantly higher in the T1 group. We find little evidence that dissemination of information is counteracted by local gender norms: impacts for the T2 group are significant and often larger than those for T1 group. However, T2 leads to higher expectations of working in Education - a sector that is socially more acceptable for women.
    JEL: D80 D83 J10 J20 Z10
    Date: 2020–01
  14. By: Cher Hsuehhsiang Li; Basit Zafar
    Abstract: Using administrative data from a large 4-year public university, we show that male students are 18.6 percent more likely than female students to receive favorable grade changes initiated by instructors. These gender differences cannot be explained by observable characteristics of the students, instructors, and the classes. To understand the mechanisms underlying these gendered outcomes, we conduct surveys of students and instructors, which reveal that regrade requests are prevalent, and that male students are more likely than female students to ask for regrades on the intensive margin. Finally, we corroborate the gender differences in regrade requests in an incentivized controlled experiment where participants receive noisy signals of their performance, and where they can ask for regrades: we find that males have a higher willingness to pay (WTP) to ask for regrades. Because students' payoff depends on their final grade and the cost of regrades, male students' higher propensity to ask for regrades makes them financially better off only when the cost is low. Males are more likely than females to become financially worse off when the regrade cost is high. Almost half of the gender difference in the WTP is due to gender differences in confidence, uncertainty in beliefs about ability, and the Big Five personality traits.
    JEL: C40 C91 J01 J16
    Date: 2020–01
  15. By: Stefano DellaVigna; Nicholas Otis; Eva Vivalt
    Abstract: Forecasts of experimental results can clarify the interpretation of research results, mitigate publication bias, and improve experimental designs. We collect forecasts of the results of three Registered Reports preliminarily accepted to the Journal of Development Economics, randomly varying four features: (1) small versus large reference values; (2) whether predictions are in raw units or standard deviations; (3) text-entry versus slider responses; and (4) small versus large slider bounds. Forecasts are generally robust to elicitation features, though wider slider bounds are associated with higher forecasts throughout the forecast distribution. We make preliminary recommendations on how many forecasts should be gathered.
    JEL: O1 O17
    Date: 2020–01
  16. By: Newman,Carol Frances; Mitchell,Tara Lynn; Holmlund,Marcus Erik; Fernandez,Chloe Monica
    Abstract: How to maintain communal spaces is an important concern in many developing countries, particularly in urban environments. But what strategies can communities use to overcome the public goods problems involved in maintaining their local environment? This paper investigates whether changing the incentives for a subset of the community to contribute to the public good can lead to a shift to a more efficient equilibrium for the community as a whole. The analysis uses a randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of a program called"Operation Clean Neighborhood,"which targets established community-based organizations and encourages them, through social recognition and low-value, in-kind incentives, to work toward keeping their neighborhoods clean, with the ultimate goal of reducing flooding in these areas. The findings show that, after one year, the intervention was effective in engaging communities and improving the cleanliness of the neighborhood. There is also evidence that this leads to reduced levels of flooding. The analysis uncovers important differences in the effectiveness of the program between areas that have had increased investment in drainage infrastructure and those that have not. It also addresses the issue of spillovers, an important consideration in densely populated urban centers.
    Date: 2019–12–17
  17. By: Roberto Galbiati (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Emeric Henry (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); 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)
    Abstract: In situations where social payoffs are not aligned with private incentives, enforcement with fines can be a way to sustain cooperation. In this paper we show, by the means of a lab experiment , that past fines can have an effect on current behavior even when no longer in force. We document two mechanisms: a) past fines affect directly individuals' future propensity to cooperate; b) when fines for non cooperation are in place in the past, individuals experience higher levels of cooperation from partners and, consistent with indirect reciprocity motives, are in turn nicer towards others once these fines have been removed. This second mechanism is empirically prevalent and, in contrast with the first, induces a snowball effect of past enforcement. Our results can inform the design of costly enforcement policies.
    Keywords: experiments,Laws,social values,cooperation,learning,spillovers,persistence of institutions,repeated games
    Date: 2018–12
  18. By: Adong, Annet; Kirui, Oliver Kiptoo; Achola, Jolly
    Abstract: We examine prosocial attitudes between refugees and host communities exposed to armed conflict and living in close proximity in Northern Uganda. By conducting trust and dictator games in the field, we test if there are in-group preferences or parochialism regarding trust, trustworthiness and altruism and whether parochial tendencies change with remoteness. We find that refugees show out-group preferences for reciprocating trust and altruism with increasing remoteness from district headquarters while members of the host communities show parochial preferences for trust although this changes with increasing remoteness. Refugees also do not perceive that their partners might expect them to discriminate along social identities of being refugee or host while hosts believe that their partners expect them to show parochial preferences. We conclude that refugees do not consider the social differentiation of “us refugees” and “them host” in their interactions as much as hosts do particularly in areas remote from urban areas which offer opportunities for increased interactions. The results are crucial to the policy arena in humanitarian contexts where concerns for the assistance of the vulnerable displaced people are high.
    Keywords: Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2020–02–17
  19. By: Marine Hainguerlot (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jean-Christophe Vergnaud (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Vincent de Gardelle (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Learning how certain cues in our environment predict specific states of nature is an essential ability for survival. However learning typically requires external feedback, which is not always available in everyday life. One potential substitute for external feedback could be to use the confidence we have in our decisions. Under this hypothesis, if no external feedback is available, then the agents' ability to learn about predictive cues should increase with the quality of their confidence judgments (i.e. metacognitive efficiency). We tested and confirmed this novel prediction in an experimental study using a perceptual decision task. We evaluated in separate sessions the metacognitive abilities of participants (N = 65) and their abilities to learn about predictive cues. As predicted, participants with greater metacognitive abilities learned more about the cues. Knowledge of the cues improved accuracy in the perceptual task. Our results provide strong evidence that confidence plays an active role in improving learning and performance.
    Date: 2018–12
  20. By: Muhammed Bulutay (TUB - Technische Universität Berlin); Camille Cornand (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); 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)
    Abstract: Experimental evidence shows that the rational expectations hypothesis fails to characterize the path to equilibrium after an exogenous shock when actions are strategic complements. Under identical shocks, however, repetition allows adaptive learning, so that inertia in adjustment should fade away with experience. If this finding proves to be robust, inertia in adjustment may be irrelevant among experienced agents. The conjecture in the literature is that inertia would still persist, perhaps indefinitely, in the presence of real-world complications such as nonidentical shocks. Herein, we empirically test the conjecture that the inertia in adjustment is more persistent if the shocks are nonidentical. For both identical and nonidentical shocks, we find persistent inertia and similar patterns of adjustment that can be explained by backward-looking expectation rules. A reformulation of naïve expectations with similarity-based learning approach is found to have a higher predictive power than rational and trend-following rules.
    Keywords: Strategic complementarities,expectations,adjustment speed,similarity-based learning,guessing games,heuristics switching
    Date: 2020
  21. By: Avitabile,Ciro; Cuevas,Janina; De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E.; Jamison,Julian C
    Abstract: Working with the Mexican Ministry of Education, this study piloted a scalable program to reduce high school dropout rates by focusing on socio-emotional skill development and mathematics tutoring. The intervention was evaluated through a randomized field experiment with more than 5,000 youths at 20 upper secondary schools in Mexico City. An intention-to-treat analysis finds some evidence that exposure to the Opportunities and Development to Avoid Risks Program increases socio-emotional skills, but no evidence that it improves math outcomes or future attendance. Likely explanations for these null results include low take-up and other process factors, which are document qualitatively, as well as heterogeneous treatment effects. In particular, an inverse-probability-weighted matching model is suggestive of an effect whereby some students participate actively in the program and drop out of school less often, while other students choose not to participate when given the option and actually drop out more as a result.
    Date: 2019–12–17
  22. By: Marco Cipriani; Ana Fostel; Daniel Houser
    Abstract: We develop a model of leverage that is amenable to laboratory implementation and gather experimental data. We compare two identical economies: in one economy, agents cannot borrow; in the other, they can leverage a risky asset to issue debt. Leverage increases asset prices in the laboratory. This increase is significant and quantitatively close to what theory predicts. Moreover, also as theory suggests, leverage allows gains from trade to be realized in the laboratory. Finally, the mechanism generating the price increase in the lab is due to the asset role as collateral, and different from what we would observe with a simple credit line or bigger cash endowments.
    JEL: A10 C90 D52 D53 G10
    Date: 2020–01
  23. By: Jere R. Behrman (University of Pennsylvania); C. Simon Fan (Lingnan University); Xiangdong Wei (Lingnan University); Hongliang Zhang (Hong Kong Baptist University); Junsen Zhang (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: Worldwide children’s access to after-school learning activities is highly depen-dent on family backgrounds. Concern over the implications of such activities for child development and educational inequality has led to a global rise of public provision of after-school learning support. However little is known about inter-actions of public after-school activities and household investments in children’s learning. This paper contributes to the literature on the e?ects of public inputs on household inputs and student achievement in after-school settings. We build a model that integrates public and private inputs to produce student achievement through two competing mechanisms – diminishing returns to total inputs and complementarity between public and private inputs. When diminishing returns dominate complementarity, the model predicts the substitution away of private inputs due to increases in public inputs for all households, although the extent of crowding-out is smaller and therefore the test score gains are larger for children from disadvantaged family backgrounds facing higher costs of private inputs. We implement a randomized controlled after-school tutoring experiment in rural China where many children are left-behind by both parents and cared for by grandparents. During the program, tutees living with parents reported large and significant reductions in the amount of tutoring received at home, whereas tutees living apart from both parents reported much smaller, and often insignificant, re-ductions. We find that tutees’ math scores improved significantly, and more for children living without parents, although there is no evidence for improvement in tutees’ endline reading scores.Length: 50 pages
    Keywords: inequality of educational opportunity; after-school tutoring; home tutoring
    JEL: F63 I24 I25
    Date: 2020–01–20
  24. By: Koessler, Ann-Kathrin; Ortiz-Riomalo, Juan Felipe; Janke, Mathias; Engel, Stefanie
    Abstract: Many environmental problems represent social dilemma situations where individually rational behaviour leads to collectively suboptimal outcomes. Communication has been found to alleviate the dilemma and stimulate cooperation in these situations. Yet, the knowledge of what type of information needs to be shared to ensure the beneficial effect is still incomplete. Previous research relies on ex post methods, i.e. after conducting an experiment researchers analyse what information was shared during the communication phase. By nature, this ex post categorization is endogenous. In this study, we aim to identify the elements of effective communication ex ante and evaluate their impact in a more controlled way. Based on the findings of previous studies, we identify four cooperation-enhancing elements of communication: (i) problem awareness, (ii) identification of strategies, (iii) agreement, and (iv) ratification. In a laboratory experiment with 560 participants, we implement interventions representing these components and contrast the resulting levels of cooperation with the outcomes under free (unstructured) or no communication. We find that the intervention facilitating agreement on a common strategy (combination of (ii) and (iii)) is particularly powerful in boosting cooperation. And if this is combined with interventions promoting problem awareness and ratification, similar cooperation levels as in settings with free-form communication can be reached. Our results are relevant not only from an analytical perspective, but also provide insights for effectively structuring communication in participatory processes aimed at improving environmental outcomes.
    Keywords: social dilemma,communication,public good,cooperation,participatory processes,resource management,deliberation
    JEL: C71 C92 H41 Q48 Q59
    Date: 2020
  25. By: Brice Corgnet (Univ Lyon, emlyon business school, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France); Simon Gaechter (Nottingham University, UK); Roberto Hernán González (CEREN EA 7477, Burgundy School of Business, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France)
    Abstract: People are generally assumed to shy away from activities generating stochastic rewards, thus re-quiring extra compensation for handling any additional risk. In contrast with this view, neurosci-ence research with animals has shown that stochastic rewards may act as a powerful motivator. Applying these ideas to the study of work addiction in humans, and using a new experimental paradigm, we demonstrate how stochastic rewards may lead people to continue working on a repetitive and effortful task even after monetary compensation becomes saliently negligible. In line with our hypotheses, we show that persistence on the work task is especially pronounced when the entropy of stochastic rewards is high, which is also when the work task generates more stress to participants. We discuss the economic and managerial implications of our findings.
    Keywords: Incentives, Work Addiction, Occupational Health, Experiments
    JEL: C92 D87 D91 M54
    Date: 2020
  26. By: Elzir Assy, Angela (World Bank); Ribeiro, Tiago (World Bank); Robalino, David A. (World Bank); Rosati, Furio C. (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura (World Bank); Weber, Michael (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper presents the main results of three Discrete Choice Experiments designed to estimate youth preferences for different jobs attributes, and their willingness to pay for support services to access wage or self-employment. The experiments took place in urban areas in Kenya. We find that youth, in general, prefer to work in jobs that have the attributes of formal employment regardless of the tasks involved. Thus, they value earning stability, access to social insurance (in particular health insurance), and adequate working conditions. They do not have well defined preferences though between analytical vs. manual repetitive tasks or tasks that involve interpersonal/organizational skills or creativity. The main services youth demand to facilitate access to wage employment include jobs search assistance and training on soft-skills, followed by OJT and wage subsidies; they are not interested in technical training. For self-employment, they mainly seek support accessing credit, inputs and equipment, and insurance. Their willingness to pay for these services is modest relative to the average per capita cost of ALMPs, but it represents a substantial share of the payments made to youth and employers who participate in these programs.
    Keywords: youth employment, ALMP, discrete choice experiment
    JEL: J2 J6
    Date: 2019–12
  27. By: Crawford, Vincent P
    Keywords: Basic Behavioral and Social Science, Behavioral and Social Science, 1.1 Normal biological development and functioning, Mental Health
    Date: 2019–08–02
  28. By: Geoffroy de Clippel; Kareen Rozen
    Abstract: We experimentally investigate how impartial observers allocate money to agents whose complementarity and substitutability determine the surplus each group can achieve. Analyzing the data through the lens of axioms and solutions from cooperative-game theory, a oneparameter model (mixing equal split and Shapley value) arises as a parsimonious description of the data. Three treatments establish the robustness of this qualitative conclusion, while also illustrating how context may impact the parameter estimate.
    Date: 2020
  29. By: Dominic Rohner (Department of Economics, University of Lausanne and CEPR); Alessandro Saia (Department of Economics, University of Lausanne)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of school construction on the likelihood of conflict, drawing on a policy experiment in Indonesia, and collecting our own novel dataset on political violence for 289 districts in Indonesia over the period 1955-1994. We find that education has a strong, robust and quantitatively sizeable conflict-reducing impact. It is shown that the channels of transmission are both related to economic factors as well as to an increase in inter-religious trust and tolerance. Interestingly, while societal mechanisms are found to have an immediate impact, economic channels only gain importance after some years. We also show that school construction results in a shift away from violent means of expression (armed conflict) towards non-violent ones (peaceful protests).
    Keywords: Education, Conflict, Civil War, Fighting, Schools, Returns to Education, Polarization, Protest JEL Classification: C23, D74, H52, I20, N45
    Date: 2019–05
  30. By: Assi JoseÌ Carlos Kimou (UniversiteÌ FeÌ lix-Houphouët-Boigny); ZieÌ Ballo (UniversiteÌ FeÌ lix-Houphouët-Boigny); Ismahel Abdoul Barry (UniversiteÌ FeÌ lix-Houphouët-Boigny)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of alternative economic opportunities for the youth in consolidating positive peace. Using data from randomized control trial from a cash-for-work program for unskilled youngsters, with no opportunities in the labor market, we capture the causal effect of employment on social cohesion and trust in institutions in post-conflict Côte d'Ivoire. We estimate the short term and midterm impacts of the program from a sample of 4,160 youngsters randomly drawn including 3,125 beneficiaries and 1,035 in the control group in 16 municipalities nationwide. We also include in the analysis the prediction of youth behavior in favor of peace conditional to their participation in the program by running a LASSO model. In the short term, participation in the program decreases the odds to trust out-community youth by 29% and the odds to trust colleagues by 16%. In the long term, having a paid-job significantly increases the likelihood to attend community meeting by 20%, trust in family members by 17% and trust in colleagues by 25%. Further, participation in the program is found to significantly predict behavior to peace. Lastly, while training in entrepreneurship negatively predict social cohesion, training in paid-job positively predict attitude to peace.
    Keywords: Refugees, Randomized control trial, peacebuilding, youth employment, Côte d'Ivoire JEL Classification:
    Date: 2019–05
  31. By: Shoshana Neuman; Yael Goldfarb
    Abstract: Low employability among specific populations (e.g., religious/traditional women, the elderly, disabled workers, immigrants) has unfavorable consequences on the: unemployed individual, society, and the state economy. The latter include: poverty, a heavy toll on welfare budgets, diminished growth, and an increase in the "dependency ratio". We suggest a rather novel policy (borrowed from the field of Career Psychology) that could lead to successful integration into the labor market of low-employability populations: the design of tailor-made training programs that respond to work motives; coupled with a working environment that caters to special needs/ restrictions; and complemented with counseling and monitoring. The suggested strategy was illustrated and investigated using a case study of Israeli ultra-religious women, who exhibit lower employment rates than other Israeli women. The motives behind their occupational choices were explored based on data collected by a field experiment. Factor Analysis was then employed to sort out the motives behind their occupational choices, and regression analysis was used to associate job satisfaction with work motivation. Policy implications were suggested based on the findings. There is already some evidence on the successful outcomes of the proposed strategy.
    Keywords: low-employability; ultra-Orthodox/religious (Haredi); Israel; occupation; motives; job satisfaction; old-age dependency-ratio
    JEL: D13 D91 I38 J08 J24 Z12
    Date: 2020–02–13

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.