nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2020‒08‒24
38 papers chosen by

  1. Unequal Opportunities, Social Groups, and Redistribution By Rene Schwaiger; Jürgen Huber; Michael Kirchler; Daniel Kleinlercher; Utz Weitzel
  2. Crime-related Exposure to Violence and Social Preferences: Experimental Evidence from Bogotá By Bogliacino, Francesco; Gómez, Camilo Ernesto; Grimalda, Gianluca
  3. On the (ir)relevance of monetary incentives in risk preference elicitation experiments By Andrea Hackethal; Michael Kirchler; Christine Laudenbach; Michael Razen; Annika Weber
  4. Financial literacy, risk and time preferences - Results from a randomized educational intervention By Matthias Sutter; Michael Weyland; Anna Untertrifaller; Manuel Froitzheim
  5. Improving Tax Compliance without Increasing Revenue: Evidence from Population-Wide Randomized Controlled Trials in Papua New Guinea By Hoy, Christopher; McKenzie, Luke; Sinning, Mathias
  6. Unpacking moral wiggle room: Information preferences and not information itself predict generosity By Danae Arroyos-Calvera; Rebecca McDonald; Daniel Read; Bruce Rigal
  7. Cream skimming by health care providers and inequality in health care access: Evidence from a randomized field experiment By Werbeck, Anna; Wübker, Ansgar; Ziebarth, Nicolas R.
  8. Coordination problems triggered by sunspots in the laboratory By Siebert, Jan; Yang, Guanzhong
  9. Water the Flowers You Want to Grow? Evidence on Private Recognition and Donor Loyalty By Benjamin Bittschi; Nadja Dwenger; Johannes Rincke
  10. Endogenous Group Formation and its impact on Cooperation and Surplus Allocation - An Experimental Analysis By Di Guida, Sibilla; Han, The Anh; Kirchsteiger, Georg; Lenaerts, Tom; Zisis, Ioannis
  11. Majoritarian Bargaining over Budgetary Divisions and Policy By Andrzej Baranski; Nicholas Haas; Rebecca Morton
  12. Character or context: What explains behavioural dishonesty in low-income countries? By Ines A. Ferreira; Sam Jones; Jorge Mouco
  13. Reveal it or conceal it: On the value of second opinions in a low-entry-barriers credence goods market By Parampreet Christopher Bindra; Rudolf Kerschbamer; Daniel Neururer; Matthias Sutter
  14. Reciprocity and gift exchange in markets for credence goods By Serhiy Kandul; Bruno Lanz; Evert Reins
  15. Cooperation and the management of local common resources in remote rural communities: Evidence from Odisha, India By Ward, Patrick S.; Alvi, Muzna Fatima; Makhija, Simrin; Spielman, David J.
  16. The perils of democracy By Gregory de Angelo; Dimitri Dubois; Rustam Romaniuc
  17. Economic preferences across generations and family clusters: A large-scale experiment By Chowdhury, Shyamal; Sutter, Matthias; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  18. Peacekeeping and the Enforcement of Intergroup Cooperation, Evidence from Mali By William Nomikos
  19. Promoting Female Interest in Economics: Limits to Nudges By Pugatch, Todd; Schroeder, Elizabeth
  20. Gender-based wage discrimination and the backlash effect in recruitment and dismissal processes Experimental evidence from Slovakia By Adamus, Magdalena; Mikušková, Eva Ballová
  21. Does Party Competition Affect Political Activism? By Anselm Hager; Johannes Hermle; Lukas Hensel; Christopher Roth
  22. Short-term responses to nudge-based messages for preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection: Intention, behavior, and life satisfaction By Shusaku Sasaki; Hirofumi Kurokawa; Fumio Ohtake
  23. Discrimination, narratives and family history: An experiment with Jordanian host and Syrian refugee children By Kai Barron; Heike Harmgart; Steffen Huck; Sebastian Schneider; Matthias Sutter
  24. Can Training Enhance Adoption, Knowledge and Perception of Organic Farming Practices? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Indonesia By Grimm, Michael; Luck, Nathalie
  25. Rules and Commitment in Communication By Frechette, Guilaume; Lizzeri, Alessandro; Perego, Jacopo
  26. Observability, Social Proximity, and the Erosion of Norm Compliance By Cristina Bicchieri; Eugen Dimant; Simon Gächter; Daniele Nosenzo
  27. The impact of computer-assisted personal interviewing on survey duration, quality, and cost: Evidence from the Viet Nam Labor Force Survey By Rao, Lakshman Nagraj; Gentile, Elisabetta; Pipon, Dave; Roque, Jude David; Thuy, Vu Thi Thu
  28. Naivete and Sophistication in Initial and Repeated Play in Games By Garcia-Pola, Bernardo; Iriberri, Nagore
  29. Tackling youth unemployment: evidence from a labor market experiment in Uganda By Alfonsi, Livia; Bandiera, Oriana; Bassi, Vittorio; Burgess, Robin; Rasul, Imran; Sulaiman, Munshi; Vitali, Anna
  30. Job Search and Hiring with Two-Sided Limited Information about Workseekers'Skills By Carranza,Eliana; Garlick,Robert James; Orkin,Kate; Rankin,Neil Andrew
  31. The Persistence of the Criminal Justice Gender Gap: Evidence from 200 Years of Judicial Decisions By Bindler, Anna L; Hjalmarsson, Randi
  32. Which bills are lobbied? Predicting and interpreting lobbying activity in the US. By Ivan Slobozhan; Peter Ormosi; Rajesh Sharma
  33. The Effect of Dispatch Methods on a Recruiting Campaign for a Business Survey: Evidence from Germany By Przemyslaw Brandt; Katrin Demmelhuber; Klaus Wohlrabe
  34. Framing and signalling effects of taxes on sugary drinks: a discrete choice experiment among households in Great Britain By Cornelsen, Laura; Quaife, Matthew; Lagarde, Mylene; Smith, Richard D.
  35. How Altruistic Is Indirect Reciprocity? - Evidence from Gift-Exchange Games in the Lab By Johannes Becker; Daniel Hopp; Karolin Süß
  36. What Do Lost Wallets Tell Us about Survey Measures of Social Capital? By David Tannenbaum; Alain Cohn; Christian Lukas Zünd; Michel André Maréchal
  37. Trustworthiness in the Financial Industry By Andrej Gill; Matthias Heinz; einer Schumacher; Matthias Sutter
  38. RCTs to Scale: Comprehensive Evidence from Two Nudge Units By Stefano DellaVigna; Elizabeth Linos

  1. By: Rene Schwaiger; Jürgen Huber; Michael Kirchler; Daniel Kleinlercher; Utz Weitzel
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the role of unequal opportunities and social group membership in preferences for redistribution. We present results from a large-scale online experiment with more than 4,000 participants. The experiment features a real-effort task and a subsequent dictator game with native Germans and immigrants to Germany. We find that dictator transfers are higher under unequal opportunities than under equal opportunities in the real-effort task. Furthermore, different from native dictators, who transfer equal amounts to both groups, immigrant dictators transfer more to in-group than to out-group receivers under unequal opportunities. Finally, we show that political preferences partly explain transfer behavior.
    Keywords: online experiment, redistribution, fairness, migration
    JEL: C91 G11
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Bogliacino, Francesco (Universidad Nacional de Colombia); Gómez, Camilo Ernesto (Centro de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo); Grimalda, Gianluca
    Abstract: We study the effects of psychological trauma and negative economic shocks on pro-social behavior in victims of violence in Colombia’s capital. Trauma positively affects pro-sociality in a first experiment, with a (randomly administered) recall of fearful situations having differential effects on people highly or lowly exposed to violence. This effect replicates in a second experiment, where both trauma and economic shock are found to induce pro-social behavior. Participants significantly favor same-district residents in the first experiment but not in the second. We fail to find significant support for various mechanisms posited to mediate the effect of trauma on pro-sociality.
    Date: 2020–07–18
  3. By: Andrea Hackethal; Michael Kirchler; Christine Laudenbach; Michael Razen; Annika Weber
    Abstract: Incentivized experiments in which individuals receive monetary rewards according to the outcomes of their decisions are regarded as the gold standard for preference elicitation in experimental economics. These task-related real payments are considered necessary to reveal subjects' "true preferences". Using a systematic, large-sample approach with three subject pools of private investors, professional investors, and students, we test the effect of task-related monetary incentives on risk preferences elicited in four standard experimental tasks. We find no systematic differences in behavior between subjects in the incentivized and non-incentivized regimes. We discuss implications for academic research and for applications in the field.
    Keywords: Risk Preferences, Incentives, Experimental Economics, Risk Aversion
    JEL: C91 D01 D81
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Matthias Sutter; Michael Weyland; Anna Untertrifaller; Manuel Froitzheim
    Abstract: We present the results of a randomized intervention in schools to study how teaching financial literacy affects risk and time preferences of adolescents. Following ore than 600 adolescents, aged 16 years on average, over about half a year, we provide causal evidence that teaching financial literacy has significant short-term and longer-term effects on risk and time preferences. Compared to two different control treatments, we find that teaching financial literacy makes subjects more patient, less present-biased, and slightly more risk-averse. Our finding that the intervention changes economic preferences contributes to a better understanding of why financial literacy has been shown to correlate systematically with financial behavior in previous studies. We argue that the link between financial literacy and field behavior works through economic preferences. In our study, the latter are also related in a meaningful way to students' field behavior.
    Keywords: Financial literacy, randomized intervention, risk preferences, time preferences, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D14 I21
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Hoy, Christopher (Australian National University); McKenzie, Luke (Australian National University); Sinning, Mathias (Australian National University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of "nudges" on taxpayers with varying tax compliance histories in Papua New Guinea. We present the results from two population-wide randomized controlled trials in a setting that is characterized by low compliance rates and a lack of effective enforcement. We test the impact of text messages, flyers and emails that remind taxpayers of declaration due dates and provide information about the public benefits from paying tax. We find that the treatments increased the number of tax declarations filed without increasing the amount of tax paid because the taxpayers who responded to the nudges were largely exempt from paying tax. This result is consistent across tax types, communication channels and time periods. We also find that the treatments had no impact on previously non-filing taxpayers. Collectively, our results indicate that taxpayers who face the lowest cost from complying are most likely to respond to a nudge.
    Keywords: tax compliance, field experiments, behavioral economics
    JEL: C93 D91 H2 H20 O1 O17
    Date: 2020–06
  6. By: Danae Arroyos-Calvera (University of Birmingham); Rebecca McDonald (University of Birmingham); Daniel Read (University of Warwick); Bruce Rigal (St Mary's University)
    Abstract: It has been suggested that avoiding information provides people with moral wiggle room to behave less pro-socially. In a novel dictator game context we unpack the effect of moral wiggle room along two dimensions: whether information is hidden from the recipient or the dictator; and whether generosity is influenced by the information condition, or whether, instead, less generous types self-select into hidden information states. Participants (n=1,360) play a lottery dictator game with three treatments differing in who knows and does not know the endowment (the information state) and - importantly - whether the information state is exogenously or endogenously determined. We found that it was the information state dictators preferred, not the information state they eventually received, that could predict generosity. Dictators who preferred to hide information from the recipient were the least likely to make a generous transfer, and those who preferred to hide information from themselves were more likely to make a generous transfer.
    Keywords: Self-image; Social-image; Self-Selection; Moral Wiggle Room; Information.
    Date: 2020–08
  7. By: Werbeck, Anna; Wübker, Ansgar; Ziebarth, Nicolas R.
    Abstract: Using a randomized field experiment, we show that health care specialists cream-skim patients by their expected profitability. In the German two-tier system, outpatient reimbursement rates for both public and private insurance are centrally determined but are more than twice as high for the privately insured. In our field experiment, following a standardized protocol, the same hypothetical patient called 991 private practices in 36 German counties to schedule appointments for allergy tests, hearing tests and gastroscopies. Practices were 7% more likely to offer an appointment to the privately insured. Conditional on being offered an appointment, wait times for the publicly insured were twice as long than for the privately insured. Our findings show that structural differences in reimbursement rates lead to structural differences in health care access.
    Keywords: health care inequality,reimbursement rates,health care access,discrimination,cherry picking,gastroscopy,audiometry,allergy test,allergists,otorhinolaryngologist,gastroenterologist
    JEL: I14 I11 I18
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Siebert, Jan; Yang, Guanzhong
    Abstract: A sunspot variable is any random variable that is not related to fundamental factors of the economy but a potential coordination device. The coordination power of sunspots has been analysed in theory and in experiments. However, some have discussed whether sunspots, e.g., public announcements such as financial market ratings, can create coordination problems. That discussion reached a new peak during the European sovereign debt crisis. We ask: can a sunspot variable, in form of a random forecast, trigger coordination problems? To answer that, we use a repeated three-player stag hunt game with fixed groups. In our experiment, a sunspot variable points randomly at the risk-dominant or the payoff-dominant choice. We find out-of-equilibrium behaviour caused by the sunspot variable in the short run. In the long run, the sunspot variable can lead to coordination on payoff-dominated equilibria. Only if the sunspot variable points more often to the payoff-dominated alternative, some groups use the sunspot variable consistently as a coordination device.
    Keywords: sunspot,coordination,equilibrium selection,correlated equilibria,focal point
    JEL: C92 C72 D81 E40 J52
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Benjamin Bittschi; Nadja Dwenger; Johannes Rincke
    Abstract: We study donor loyalty in the context of church membership in Germany. Church members have to make substantial payments to their church but can opt out at any time. In a large-scale field experiment, we examine how private recognition for past payments affects church members’ loyalty. We find that recognizing past payments in a letter significantly reduces opt-outs. This effect is driven by members in the bottom quartile of baseline payments to the church. Consistent with optimization frictions prior to the experiment, we observe a spike in opt-outs immediately after treatment for particularly costly memberships.
    Keywords: private recognition, donor loyalty, charitable giving, field experiment, recurring donors
    JEL: D64 C93
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Di Guida, Sibilla (Department of Business and Economics); Han, The Anh (School of Computing); Kirchsteiger, Georg (ECARES); Lenaerts, Tom (Vrije Universiteit Brussel); Zisis, Ioannis (MLG)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how endogenous group formation combined with the possibility of repeated interaction impacts cooperation within groups and surplus distribution. We developed and tested experimentally a Surplus Allocation Game where cooperation of four agents is needed to produce surplus, but only two have the power to allocate it among the group members. Different matching procedures were used to test the impact of exogenous vs. endogenous group formation. Our results show that repeated interaction with the same partners (endogenous group formation) leads to a self-selection of agents into groups with different life-spans, whose duration is correlated with the behavior of both distributors and receivers. While behavior at the group level is diverse for surplus allocation and amount of cooperation, aggregate behavior is instead similar when groups are exogenously or endogenously formed. Our results cast doubts whether the possibility of repeated interaction can lead to cooperation and efficient outcomes when the ex-post bargaining power about the surplus distribution is very unequal. Rather, it seems to amplify differences in the cooperation and distribution behavior across groups.
    Keywords: Cooperation; surplus distribution; exogenous group formation; endogenous group formation
    JEL: C72 C92 D03
    Date: 2020–08–20
  11. By: Andrzej Baranski; Nicholas Haas; Rebecca Morton (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: We report the results of a field-in-the-lab experiment in which subjects bargain over a two-dimensional agenda: a donation to a political interest group and the division of a sum of money. We show that subjects sacrifice monetary gains to secure preferred policies and that behaviorally elicited preference intensity correlates with bargaining behavior. We find an ideological majority advantage and a status- quo premium. Minorities benefit most from negotiating on two dimensions because the budgetary division problem allows compromise. Finally, we show that induced preferences over artificial policies fail to capture the bargaining dynamics that arise when real ideological choices are involved.
    Date: 2020–07
  12. By: Ines A. Ferreira; Sam Jones; Jorge Mouco
    Abstract: We run a lab-in-the-field experiment with 1,060 university students in Mozambique to examine the correlates of behavioural dishonesty, distinguishing between intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Using an incentivized dice game, which yields direct estimates of the propensity to cheat, we find that the effects of demographic and personality traits (e.g., gender, work ethic) generally run in the opposite direction to previous studies.
    Keywords: cheating, dice game, Behaviour, dishonest behaviour, Mozambique, Personality traits, temperature
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Parampreet Christopher Bindra (Department of Economics, University of Innsbruck); Rudolf Kerschbamer (Department of Economics, University of Innsbruck); Daniel Neururer (Department of Economics, University of Innsbruck); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research into Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Credence goods markets with their asymmetric information between buyers and sellers are prone to large inefficiencies. In theory, poorly informed consumers can protect themselves from maltreatment through sellers by asking for second opinions from other sellers. Yet, empirical evidence whether this is a successful strategy is scarce. Here we present a natural field experiment in the market for computer repairs. We find that revealing a second opinion from another expert to the seller does neither increase the rate of successful repairs nor decrease the average repair price. We assess under which conditions gathering a second opinion can be valuable.
    Keywords: Credence goods, expert services, second opinions, natural field experiment
    JEL: C93 D82
    Date: 2020–06
  14. By: Serhiy Kandul; Bruno Lanz; Evert Reins
    Abstract: We study the role of reciprocity in markets for credence goods where expert-sellers have more information about the severity of a problem faced by a consumer. We employ a standard experimental credence goods market to introduce the possibility for consumers to gift expert-sellers before they choose the quality of the service and charge a price, where the gift is either transferred unconditionally or conditionally on solving the problem. Our results show that both types of gift reduce the likelihood of undertreatment, whereas an unconditional gift also decreases overcharging and increases undercharging. However, while gifting tends to benefit consumers facing a severe problem, it is not sufficient to reduce market inefficiencies associated with asymmetric information.
    Keywords: Credence Goods; Gift Exchange; Lab Experiment; Asymmetric information.
    JEL: C91 D18 D82
    Date: 2020–07–31
  15. By: Ward, Patrick S.; Alvi, Muzna Fatima; Makhija, Simrin; Spielman, David J.
    Abstract: It is widely recognized that local management of common pool resources can be more efficient and more effective than private markets or top-down government management, especially in remote rural communities in which the institutions necessary for the enforcement of centrally-imposed regulations may be weak or prone to elite capture. In this paper, we explore the propensity for cooperation in the management of local common resources by introducing a variant of a public goods game among remote rural communities in the state of Odisha, in eastern India. We explore various patterns of cooperation, including free riding behavior, unconditional cooperation (altruism), and conditional cooperation, in which individuals' propensity toward cooperation is tied to their beliefs about the level of cooperation among their peers. We find that a significant portion of our sample fall into this latter category, but also that their expectations about the level of contributions among their peers is somewhat malleable, and beneficial activities from external actors such as NGOs can foster increased social cohesion which increases both the level of these expectations and the manner in which these expectations are translated into subsequent cooperative behavior. We also find that cooperation is somewhat fragile, with group heterogeneity and risk in the returns to cooperative behavior posing a threat to the stability of the cooperative system.
    Keywords: INDIA; SOUTH ASIA; ASIA; rural areas; resources; cooperation; nongovernmental organizations; risk; governance; local public goods; local common resources; experimental games; voluntary contribution mechanism
    Date: 2020
  16. By: Gregory de Angelo (Claremont Graduate University [Claremont, CA ]); Dimitri Dubois (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Rustam Romaniuc (LEM - Lille économie management - LEM - UMR 9221 - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In this work we examine a common social dilemma in experimental economics, the public goods game, to determine how voting impacts pro-social behavior. As noted in Markussen et al. (2014), a democratic dividend exists. Couching the public goods game in a phenomenon that is playing out in much of the world – drastic income inequality – we examine the decision of groups to share local public goods with groups that have, effectively, no endowment to contribute toward public nor private consumption. Our results show the perils of democracy in that subjects in the position to vote use their advantageous situation to reward the ingroups at the expense of the less endowed outgroup members.
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Chowdhury, Shyamal; Sutter, Matthias; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
    Abstract: Economic preferences are important for lifetime outcomes such as educational achievements, health status, or labor market success. We present a holistic view of how economic preferences are related within families. In an experiment with 544 families (and 1,999 individuals) from rural Bangladesh we find a large degree of intergenerational persistence of economic preferences. Both mothers’ and fathers’ risk, time and social preferences are significantly (and largely to the same degree) positively correlated with their children’s economic preferences, even when controlling for personality traits and socio-economic background data. We discuss possible transmission channels for these relationships within families and find indications that there is more than pure genetics at work. Moving beyond an individual level analysis, we are the first to classify a whole family into one of two clusters, with either relatively patient, risk-tolerant and pro-social members or relatively impatient, risk averse and spiteful members. Socio-economic background variables correlate with the cluster to which a family belongs to.
    Keywords: Economic preferences within families,intergenerational transmission of preferences,time preferences,risk preferences,social preferences,family clusters,socio-economic status,Bangladesh,experiment
    JEL: C90 D1 D90 D81 D64 J13 J24 J62
    Date: 2020
  18. By: William Nomikos (Washington University in St. Louis)
    Abstract: Despite the abundance of evidence that peacekeeping works, we know little about what actually makes peacekeepers effective. Recent work suggesting that local agendas are central to modern conflicts make this omission particularly problematic. The article demonstrates that the presence of peacekeepers makes individuals more optimistic about the risks of engagement and the likelihood that members of outgroups will reciprocate cooperation. I use data from a lab-in-the-field experiment conducted in Mali, a West African country with an active conflict managed by troops from France and the United Nations (UN), to show that UN peacekeepers increase the willingness of individuals to cooperate relative to control and French enforcers. Moreover, I find that UN peacekeepers are especially effective among those participants who hold other groups and institutions in low esteem as well as those who have more frequent contact with peacekeepers. Follow-up interviews and surveys suggest that perceptions of the UN as unbiased rather than other mechanisms account for its effectiveness.
    Keywords: Mali, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, ethnic conflict, intergroup cooperation, international enforcement
    JEL: C72 C91 C93 D74 D91 F51 F53 F54 O55
    Date: 2020–08
  19. By: Pugatch, Todd; Schroeder, Elizabeth
    Abstract: Why is the proportion of women who study Economics so low? This study assesses whether students respond to messages about majoring in Economics, and whether this response varies by student gender. We conducted an experiment among more than 2,000 students enrolled in Economics Principles courses, with interventions proceeding in two phases. In the first phase, randomly assigned students received a message with basic information about the Economics major, or the basic message combined with an emphasis on the rewarding careers or financial returns associated with the major. A control group received no such messages. In the second phase, all students receiving a grade of B- or better received a message after the course ended encouraging them to major in Economics. For a randomly chosen subset of these students, the message also encouraged them to persist in Economics even if their grade was disappointing. The basic message increased the proportion of male students majoring in Economics by 2 percentage points, equivalent to the control mean. We find no significant effects for female students. Extrapolating to the full sample, the basic message would nearly double the male/female ratio among Economics majors. Our results suggest the limits of light-touch interventions to promote diversity in Economics.
    Keywords: college major choice,gender gap in Economics,higher education,nudges,randomized control trial
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2020
  20. By: Adamus, Magdalena (Slovak Academy of Sciences); Mikušková, Eva Ballová
    Abstract: A sample of 155 HR managers participated in an experimental vignette study. In Task 1, they evaluated three CV resumes in terms of the applicants’ competence, hireability, likeability and wage proposal of three applicants applying for a regional sales manager post. Half of the sample received CVs presented as females’ and half as males’, otherwise the CVs were identical. Generally, male and female applicants were evaluated similarly in terms of competence and hireability. Average and worst male applicants were evaluated as less likeable than identical females. However, wages offered to female applicants were significantly lower than those offered to male applicants. We were unable to identify moderators of the phenomenon other than female HR managers driving the effect. In Task 2, participants were showed a set of vignettes presenting six employees (3 men and 3 women) preselected to be dismissed due to the economic crisis. Apart from basic demographics, the employees were described in terms of age, years in the company and frequency of absences. Again, we switched employees’ gender for half of the sample. We have found that HR managers are more likely to dismiss male employees and that they are particularly unforgiving to male workers with frequent absences.
    Date: 2020–07–14
  21. By: Anselm Hager; Johannes Hermle; Lukas Hensel; Christopher Roth
    Abstract: Does party competition affect political activism? This paper studies the decision of party supporters to join political campaigns. We present a framework that incorporates supporters’ instrumental and expressive motives and illustrates that party competition can either increase or decrease party activism. To distinguish between these competing predictions, we implemented a field experiment with a European party during a national election. In a seemingly unrelated party survey, we randomly assigned 1,417 party supporters to true information that the canvassing activity of the main competitor party was exceptionally high. Using unobtrusive, real-time data on party supporters’ canvassing behavior, we find that treated respondents are 30 percent less likely to go canvassing. To investigate the causal mechanism, we leverage additional survey evidence collected two months after the campaign. Consistent with affective accounts of political activism, we show that increased competition lowered party supporters’ political self-efficacy, which plausibly led them to remain inactive.
    Keywords: party activism, electoral competition, field experiment, campaigns
    Date: 2020
  22. By: Shusaku Sasaki (Corresponding author; Faculty of Economics, Tohoku Gakuin University); Hirofumi Kurokawa (School of Economics and Management, University of Hyogo); Fumio Ohtake (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: To control and slow down the spread of COVID-19, policymakers and practitioners are employing messages with elements and wording based on nudges to encourage people fs voluntary behaviors of contact avoidance and infection prevention. However, although existing studies have found that nudge-based messages strengthen their intention to take the behaviors, it is not known whether the messages really promote their actual performance. In the end of April 2020, we conducted a survey experiment on a nationwide sample of Japan through the internet, where we randomly provided to them one of five different nudge-based messages and a message without nudges, and subsequently ascertained their intention to take the contact avoidance and infection prevention behaviors. In the beginning of the following month, May, we further conducted a follow-up survey to determine their actual behavioral changes. The empirical analysis with 5,225 respondents found that only the gAltruistic Message h emphasizing that their behavioral adherence would protect the lives of people close to them reinforced their intentions and also could promote some actual behaviors. However, the similar behavioral changes were not observed for the messages which contained an altruistic element but emphasized it in a loss-frame, or described it as protecting both of their own and others f lives. The message emphasizing only their own benefit were found to have the adverse effect of impeding their intention and behavior. Further analysis revealed that even the gain-framed gAltruistic Message h with the promotional consequences had side effects of deteriorating the quality of sleep and diet and life satisfaction. When employing nudge-based messages as a countermeasure for COVID-19, the policymakers and practitioners need to carefully scrutinize the elements and wording of the messages while considering their potential adverse effects and side effects.
    Keywords: Infectious diseases, nudge, behavioral economics, altruism, physical distance
    JEL: C93 D01 D91 I12
  23. By: Kai Barron (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin); Heike Harmgart (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London); Steffen Huck (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin); Sebastian Schneider (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: We measure the prevalence of discrimination between Jordanian host and Syrian refugee children attending school in Jordan. Using a simple sharing experiment, we find only little discrimination. Among the Jordanian children, however, we see that those who descended from Palestinian refugees do not discriminate at all, suggesting that a family history of refugee status can generate solidarity with new refugees. We also find that parents’ narratives about the refugee crisis are correlated with the degree of discrimination, suggesting that discriminatory preferences are being transmitted through parental attitudes.
    Keywords: Discrimination, refugees, children, experiment, integration
    JEL: C91 D90 J15 C93 J13
    Date: 2020–06
  24. By: Grimm, Michael (University of Passau); Luck, Nathalie (University of Passau)
    Abstract: In many parts of the world, several decades of intensively applying Green Revolution technologies came at environmental costs, i.e. degraded water and soil quality as well as a loss of biodiversity. This has led to an increased interest in alternative farming systems such as organic farming, which is commonly perceived as more sustainable. Despite many initiatives to promote organic farming, it remains a marginal activity in many countries. Widespread uptake of organic farming requires a better understanding of the drivers for and barriers to its adoption. Previous studies highlighted information as an important driver of agricultural technology adoption. Yet, despite the variety of programs studied, little is known about the role of removing information constraints in the context of organic farming. In this paper, we focus on the role of information provision and training as one driver for the adoption of organic farming practices in Indonesia. We use a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to identify the impact of a three-day hands-on training in organic farming on smallholder farmers' adoption and knowledge of such practices as well as on their perception towards organic farming. We find that the training intervention had a positive and statistically significant effect on the use of organic inputs. We further find positive and statistically significant treatment effects with respect to knowledge about and perception of organic farming. Overall, our findings suggest that intense training is a promising instrument to increase the uptake of organic farming.
    Keywords: organic farming, technology adoption, RCT, Indonesia
    JEL: C93 O12 O33 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2020–06
  25. By: Frechette, Guilaume; Lizzeri, Alessandro; Perego, Jacopo
    Abstract: We investigate models of cheap talk, information disclosure, and Bayesian persuasion, in a unified experimental framework. Our umbrella design permits the analysis of models that share the same structure regarding preferences and information, but differ in two dimensions: the rules governing communication, which determine whether information is verifiable; and the sender's commitment power, which determines the extent to which she can commit to her communication strategy. Commitment is predicted to have contrasting effects on information transmission, depending on whether information is verifiable. Our design exploits these variations to explicitly test for the role of rules and commitment in communication. Our experiments provide general support for the strategic rationale behind the role of commitment and, more specifically, for the Bayesian persuasion model of Kamenica 2011. At the same time, we document significant quantitative deviations. Most notably, we find that rules matter in ways that are entirely unpredicted by the theory, suggesting a novel policy role for information verifiability.
    Date: 2019–10
  26. By: Cristina Bicchieri (University of Pennsylvania, Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics); Eugen Dimant (University of Pennsylvania, Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics; CESifo, Munich; IZA, Bonn); Simon Gächter (University of Nottingham); Daniele Nosenzo (University of Nottingham, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER))
    Abstract: We study how an individual's compliance with social norms is influenced by other actors' norm compliance. In a repeated non-strategic Take-or-Give donation experiment we show that giving is considered socially appropriate while taking is sociallyinappropriate.Observing norm violations erodesanindividual'sownnormcompliance.Weshowthatthe erosion of norm compliance is led by a change in norm-related beliefs.This change has a major effect on individuals who initially obey the norm,driving them to non-compliance, whereas initially non-compliant individuals do not change their taking behavior.Erosion is halted when individuals have even minimal social proximity to those they observe: individuals now also pay attention to norm followers.
    Keywords: Norm Compliance, Social Norms, Social Proximity
    JEL: C92 D64 D9
    Date: 2020–06
  27. By: Rao, Lakshman Nagraj; Gentile, Elisabetta; Pipon, Dave; Roque, Jude David; Thuy, Vu Thi Thu
    Abstract: We use a randomized field experiment to estimate the effect of computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) on interview duration, number of errors, respondent perceptions, and cost. During Quarter 3 of the 2017 Labor Force Survey data collection for Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 15 households were randomly selected and interviewed using pencil-and-paper interviewing (PAPI), while another 15 households were randomly selected and interviewed using CAPI within each of a total of 180 sample enumeration areas. On average, CAPI interviews lasted 9.4 minutes less and had 0.8 less errors per questionnaire relative to PAPI. Respondents were more likely to perceive interview duration as long or very long when the enumerator was female or educated to college level or above, which is contrary to our experimental findings. Finally, the break-even number of interviews that make CAPI cost-effective is 1,769, which is lower than prior estimates and reflects the rapidly decreasing cost of technology.
    Keywords: computer-assisted personal interviewing,data quality,randomized experiment,survey,labor statistics
    JEL: C81 J21
    Date: 2020
  28. By: Garcia-Pola, Bernardo; Iriberri, Nagore
    Abstract: Naive, non-equilibrium, behavioral rules, compared to more sophisticated equilibrium theory, are often better in describing individuals' initial play in games. Additionally, in repeated play in games, when individuals have the oppor- tunity to learn about their opponents' past behavior, learning models of different sophistication levels are successful in explaining how individuals modify their behavior in response to feedback. How do subjects following different behavioral rules in initial play modify their behavior after learning about past behavior? This study links both initial and repeated play in games, analyzing elicited behavior in 3x3 normal-form games using a within-subject laboratory design. We classify individuals into different behavioral rules in both initial and repeated play and test whether and/or how naivete and sophistication in initial play correlates with naivete and sophistication in repeated play. We find no evidence for a correlation between naivete and sophistication in initial and repeated play.
    Keywords: adaptive and sophisticated learning; initial play; level-k thinking; mixture-of-types estimation; Naivete; repeated play; Sophistication
    JEL: C70 C91 C92
    Date: 2019–10
  29. By: Alfonsi, Livia; Bandiera, Oriana; Bassi, Vittorio; Burgess, Robin; Rasul, Imran; Sulaiman, Munshi; Vitali, Anna
    Abstract: We design a labor market experiment to compare demand- and supply-side policies to tackle youth unemployment, a key issue in low-income countries. The experiment tracks 1700 workers and 1500 firms over four years to compare the effect of offering workers either vocational training (VT) or firm-provided training (FT) for six months in a common setting where youth unemployment is above 60%. Relative to control workers we find that averaged over three post-intervention years, FT and VT workers: (i) enjoy large and similar upticks in sector-specific skills, (ii) significantly improve their employment rates, and, (iii) experience marked improvements in an index of labor market outcomes. These averages, however, mask differences in dynamics: FT gains materialize quickly but fade over time, while VT gains emerge slowly but are long-lasting, leading VT worker employment and earning profiles to rise above those of FT workers. Estimating a job ladder model of worker search reveals the key reason for this: VT workers receive significantly higher rates of job offers when unemployed thus hastening their movement back into work. This likely stems from the fact that the skills of VT workers are certified and therefore can be demonstrated to potential employers. Tackling youth unemployment by skilling youth using vocational training pre-labor market entry, therefore appears to be more effective than incentivizing firms through wage subsidies to hire and train young labor market entrants.
    JEL: R14 J01 N0
    Date: 2020
  30. By: Carranza,Eliana; Garlick,Robert James; Orkin,Kate; Rankin,Neil Andrew
    Abstract: This paper presents field experimental evidence that limited information about workseekers'skills distorts both firm and workseeker behavior. Assessing workseekers'skills, giving workseekers their assessment results, and helping them to credibly share the results with firms increases workseekers'employment and earnings. It also aligns their beliefs and search strategies more closely with their skills. Giving assessment results only to workseekers has similar effects on beliefs and search, but smaller effects on employment and earnings. Giving assessment results only to firms increases callbacks. These patterns are consistent with two-sided information frictions, a new finding that can inform the design of information-provision mechanisms.
    Keywords: Rural Labor Markets,Labor Markets,Educational Sciences,Employment and Unemployment
    Date: 2020–07–30
  31. By: Bindler, Anna L; Hjalmarsson, Randi
    Abstract: We document persistent gender gaps favoring females in jury convictions and judge sentences in nearly 200 years of London trials, which are unexplained by case characteristics. We find that three sharp changes in punishment severity locally affected the size and nature of the gaps, but were generally not strong enough to offset their persistence. These local effects suggest a mechanism of taste-based discrimination (paternalism) where the all-male judiciary protected females from the harshest available punishment.
    Keywords: crime; discrimination; Gender; Gender Gap; History; sentencing; verdict
    JEL: J16 K14 K40 N33
    Date: 2019–10
  32. By: Ivan Slobozhan (Institute of Computer Science, University of Tartu); Peter Ormosi (Centre for Competition Policy and Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia); Rajesh Sharma (Institute of Computer Science, University of Tartu)
    Abstract: Using lobbying data from, we offer several experiments applying machine learning techniques to predict if a piece of legislation (US bill) has been subjected to lobbying activities or not. We also investigate the influence of the intensity of the lobbying activity on how discernible a lobbied bill is from one that was not subject to lobbying. We compare the performance of a number of different models (logistic regression, random forest, CNN and LSTM) and text embedding representations (BOW, TF-IDF, GloVe, Law2Vec). We report results of above 0.85% ROC AUC scores, and 78% accuracy. Model performance significantly improves (95% ROC AUC, and 88% accuracy) when bills with higher lobbying intensity are looked at. We also propose a method that could be used for unlabelled data. Through this we show that there is a considerably large number of previously unlabelled US bills where our predictions suggest that some lobbying activity took place. We believe our method could potentially contribute to the enforcement of the US Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) by indicating the bills that were likely to have been affected by lobbying but were not led as such.
    Keywords: lobbying; rent seeking; text classification; US bills
    Date: 2020–01–01
  33. By: Przemyslaw Brandt; Katrin Demmelhuber; Klaus Wohlrabe
    Abstract: The ifo Institute for Economic Research has been conducting the ifo business survey since its foundation in 1949. To ensure stability of participation rates, regular sample recruitment is indispensable. Does the dispatch method matter for response rates of a recruiting campaign? To answer this question, we conducted a controlled experiment involving invitation letters sent out to over 8,000 German industrial firms in May 2019. Our results show that standard mailing significantly increases the response rate compared to “Dialogpost” (bulk mail). From a cost perspective, costs for standard mailing outweigh this effect.
    Keywords: business survey, recruitment, response rate, postage, bulk mail, envelope
    JEL: C83 C93
    Date: 2020
  34. By: Cornelsen, Laura; Quaife, Matthew; Lagarde, Mylene; Smith, Richard D.
    Abstract: Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are in place in many countries to combat obesity with emerging evidence that these are effective in reducing purchases of SSBs. In this study, we tested whether signalling and framing the price increase from an SSB tax explicitly as a health-related, earmarked measure reduces the demand for SSBs more than an equivalent price increase. We measured the demand for non-alcoholic beverages with a discrete choice experiment (DCE) administered online to a randomly selected group of n = 603 households with children in Great Britain (GB) who regularly purchase SSBs. We find a suggestive evidence that a price increase leads to a larger reduction in the probability of choosing SSBs when it is signalled as a tax and framed as a health-related and earmarked policy. Respondents who did not support a tax on SSBs, who were also more likely to choose SSBs in the first place, were on average more responsive to a price increase framed as an earmarked tax than those who supported the tax. The predictive validity of the DCE, to capture preferences for beverages, was confirmed using actual purchase data. The findings imply that a well-signalled and earmarked tax on SSBs could improve its effectiveness at reducing the demand.
    Keywords: demand analysis; discrete choice experiment; framing and signalling; sugar-sweetened beverage tax; United Kingdom; MR/L012324/1; MR/P021999/1; 1+3 Economic and Social Research Council studentship
    JEL: E6
    Date: 2020–07–07
  35. By: Johannes Becker; Daniel Hopp; Karolin Süß
    Abstract: Indirect reciprocity is defined as a specific kind of behavior: An agent rewards or penalizes another agent for having behaved kindly or unkindly toward a third party. This paper analyzes the question of what drives indirect reciprocity: Does the agent reward or penalize because she (altruistically) cares for the third party? Or does she take the other agent’s behavior as a signal of how the latter would treat her if they met? In order to measure the relative importance of the altruism motive versus the signaling motive, we consider a gift-exchange game with three players: an employer pays wages to a worker and a coworker, before the worker (but not the coworker) may reciprocate by exerting effort. We offer a theoretical framework to analyze both motives for indirect reciprocity and run a series of lab experiments. The treatments manipulate the worker’s information on wages. We find that, if only the coworker’s wage is observable, the worker’s effort increases in the coworker’s wage. In contrast, if the worker can observe her own wage, the coworker’s wage does not affect worker effort at all. We interpret this as support for the signaling motive: Indirect reciprocity is rather a byproduct of direct reciprocity than an act of altruism.
    Keywords: gift-exchange, indirect reciprocity, signaling
    JEL: A13 C92 D91 J31
    Date: 2020
  36. By: David Tannenbaum; Alain Cohn; Christian Lukas Zünd; Michel André Maréchal
    Abstract: We validate survey measures of social capital with a new data set that examines whether citizens report a lost wallet to its owner. Using data from more than 17,000 lost wallets across 40 countries, we find that survey measures of social capital - especially questions concerning generalized trust or generalized morality - are strongly and significantly correlated with country-level differences in wallet reporting rates. A second finding is that lost wallet reporting rates predict unique variation in economic development and government effectiveness not captured by existing measures, suggesting this data set also holds promise as a useful indicator of social capital.
    Keywords: social capital, trust, honesty, field experiment, surveys
    JEL: C93 C83 Z10 O10
    Date: 2020
  37. By: Andrej Gill; Matthias Heinz; einer Schumacher; Matthias Sutter
    Abstract: The financial industry has been struggling with widespread misconduct and public mistrust. Here we argue that the lack of trust into the financial industry may stem from the selection of subjects with little, if any, trustworthiness into the financial industry. We identify the social preferences of business and economics students, and follow up on their first job placements. We find that during college, students who want to start their career in the financial industry are substantially less trustworthy. Most importantly, actual job placements several years later confirm this association. The job market in the financial industry does not screen out less trustworthy subjects. If anything the opposite seems to be the case: Even among students who are highly motivated to work in finance after graduation, those who actually start their career in finance are significantly less trustworthy than those who work elsewhere.
    Keywords: Trustworthiness in the Financial Industry
    JEL: C91 G20 M51
    Date: 2020
  38. By: Stefano DellaVigna; Elizabeth Linos
    Abstract: Nudge interventions have quickly expanded from academic studies to larger implementation in so-called Nudge Units in governments. This provides an opportunity to compare interventions in research studies, versus at scale. We assemble a unique data set of 126 RCTs covering over 23 million individuals, including all trials run by two of the largest Nudge Units in the United States. We compare these trials to a sample of nudge trials published in academic journals from two recent meta-analyses. In papers published in academic journals, the average impact of a nudge is very large – an 8.7 percentage point take-up effect, a 33.5% increase over the average control. In the Nudge Unit trials, the average impact is still sizable and highly statistically significant, but smaller at 1.4 percentage points, an 8.1% increase. We consider five potential channels for this gap: statistical power, selective publication, academic involvement, differences in trial features and in nudge features. Publication bias in the academic journals, exacerbated by low statistical power, can account for the full difference in effect sizes. Academic involvement does not account for the difference. Different features of the nudges, such as in-person versus letter-based communication, likely reflecting institutional constraints, can partially explain the different effect sizes. We conjecture that larger sample sizes and institutional constraints, which play an important role in our setting, are relevant in other at-scale implementations. Finally, we compare these results to the predictions of academics and practitioners. Most forecasters overestimate the impact for the Nudge Unit interventions, though nudge practitioners are almost perfectly calibrated.
    JEL: D9 H53 I38
    Date: 2020–07

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