nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2020‒09‒28
33 papers chosen by

  1. Which green nudge helps to save energy? Experimental evidence By Christoph Buehren; Maria Daskalakis
  2. Gambling in Risk-Taking Contests: Experimental Evidence By Embrey, Matthew; Seel, Christian; Reiss, J. Philipp
  3. Higher Order Risk Preferences: New Experimental Measures, Determinants and Field Behavior By Schneider, Sebastian; Sutter, Matthias
  4. Curbing Carbon: An Experiment on Uncertainty and Information about CO2 emissions By Davide Pace; Joël van der Weele
  5. Collective Information Processing in Human Phase Separation By Bertrand Jayles; Ramon Escobedo; Roberto Pasqua; Christophe Zanon; Adrien Blanchet; Matthieu Roy; Gilles Trédan; Guy Théraulaz; Clément Sire
  6. Discontinuous and Continuous Stochastic Choice and Coordination in the Lab By Goryunov , Maxim; Rigos , Alexandros
  7. The Impact of Psychological Pressure and Psychological Traits on Performance – Experimental Evidence of Penalties in Handball By Christoph Buehren; Lisa Traeger
  8. Further from the truth: The impact of inperson, online, and mTurk on dishonest behavior By David L. Dickinson; David M. McEvoy
  9. Bribing to Queue-Jump: An experiment on cultural differences in bribing attitudes among Greeks and Germans By Drichoutis, Andreas C.; Grimm, Veronika; Karakostas, Alexandros
  10. Large Losses from Little Lies: Randomly Assigned Opportunity to Misrepresent Substantially Lowers Later Cooperation and Worsens Income Inequality By Drouvelis, Michalis; Gerson, Jennifer; Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Riyanto, Yohanes E.
  11. The Role of Beliefs in Long Sickness Absence: Experimental Evidence from a Psychological Intervention By Pons Rotger, Gabriel; Rosholm, Michael
  12. Do Learning Communities Increase First Year College Retention? Testing Sample Selection and External Validity of Randomized Control Trials By Tarek Azzam; Michael Bates; David Fairris
  13. Using a Satisficing Model of Experimenter Decision-Making to Guide Finite-Sample Inference for Compromised Experiments By Ganesh Karapakula; James J. Heckman
  14. Video Resumes and Job Search Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Bellemare, Charles; Goussé, Marion; Lacroix, Guy; Marchand, Steeve
  15. The Power to Protect: Household Bargaining and Female Condom Use By Rachel Cassidy; Marije Groot Bruinderink; Wendy Janssens; Karlijn Morsink
  16. Psychological Pressure and the Right to Determine the Moves in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment By Kassis, Mark; Schmidt, Sascha L.; Schreyer, Dominik; Sutter, Matthias
  17. Migration and Informal Insurance By Costas Meghir; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak; Ahmed Corina Mommaerts; Ahmed Melanie Morten
  18. Motivated Reasoning and Blame: Responses to Performance Framing and Outgroup Triggers during COVID-19 By Porumbescu, Gregory; Moynihan, Donald; Anastasopoulos, Jason; Olsen, Asmus Leth
  19. Agricultural Best Management Practices, A summary of adoption behaviour By Traxler, Emilia; Li, Tongzhe
  20. Some Children Left Behind: Variation in the Effects of an Educational Intervention By Buhl-Wiggers, Julie; Kerwin, Jason; Muñoz, Juan Sebastián; Smith, Jeffrey A.; Thornton, Rebecca L.
  21. Nudging for Tax Compliance: A Meta-Analysis By Armenak Antinyan; Zareh Asatryan
  22. Face-Saving Strategies Increase Self-Reported Non-Compliance with COVID-19 Preventive Measures: Experimental Evidence from 12 Countries By Daoust, Jean-François; Bélanger, Éric; Dassonneville, Ruth; Lachapelle, Erick; Nadeau, Richard; Becher, Michael; Brouard, Sylvain; Foucault, Martial; Hönnige, Christoph; Stegmueller, Daniel
  23. Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake through Effective Health Communication By Motta, Matthew; Sylvester, Steven; Callaghan, Timothy; Trujillo, Kristin Lunz
  24. Consumer Willingness to pay for Organic and Animal Welfare Product Attributes: Do Experimental Results Align with Market Data? By Lai, Yufeng; Yue, Chengyan
  25. Heard immunity: effective persuasion for a future COVID-19 vaccine By Duquette, Nicolas
  26. Long-Term Care Insurance : Information Frictions and Selection By Martin Boyer; Philippe de Donder; Claude Fluet; Marie-Louise Leroux; Pierre-Carl Michaud
  27. Trustworthiness in the Financial Industry By Gill, Andrej; Heinz, Matthias; Schumacher, Heiner; Sutter, Matthias
  28. Measuring Gender Attitudes Using List Experiments By Asadullah, Niaz; De Cao, Elisabetta; Khatoon, Fathema Zhura; Siddique, Zahra
  29. Informational Barriers to Market Access: Experimental Evidence from Liberian Firms By Jonas Hjort; Vinayak Iyer; Golvine De Rochambeau
  30. The links between intelligence, personality, and theory of mind in an adult sample By Svenson, Alexander; Guillen, Pablo
  31. The Effect of Gender-Targeted Transfers: Experimental Evidence From India By Almås, Ingvild; Somville, Vincent; Vandewalle, Lore
  32. Sustaining Cultural Diversity Through Cross-Cultural Competence By Bunce, John
  33. Does Importance Determine Beliefs in Organic Food Attributes? By Britwum, Kofi; Bernard, John C.; Albrecht, Sara

  1. By: Christoph Buehren (Clausthal University of Technology); Maria Daskalakis (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: Which behavioral interventions are more appropriate to induce energy saving: energy saving goals with or without monetary incentives, environmentally related information, social comparison, or a competition to save energy? We try to answer this question in a comprehensive study. First, we designed energy bills with different behavioral interventions. Second, we evaluated their appropriateness in an empirical survey with 457 participants. Third, we tested behavioral consequences in a “real effort†lab experiment with 550 subjects in 11 treatments and one baseline. Finally, we tested two interventions in a small field experiment with 36 test-households. Our results indicate that monetary incentives to save energy foster the intention to invest effort in energy saving but may backfire if real effort is required. Instead, self-set goals – without monetary incentives – and providing social comparison induced substantial effort in our lab experiment. Extending the social comparison to a competition – without monetary incentives – provided the best results. In our field experiment, however, we find no support that goals and social comparison change every-day behavior in energy consumption. Our study concludes with implications for practical policy design and possible future research.
    Keywords: Energy-saving; Goals; Social Comparison; Competition; Real effort experiment
    JEL: D03 D12 C91
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Embrey, Matthew; Seel, Christian (RS: GSBE Theme Conflict & Cooperation, Microeconomics & Public Economics); Reiss, J. Philipp
    Abstract: This paper experimentally investigates excessive risk taking in contest schemes by implementing a novel stopping task based on Seel and Strack (2013). In this stylized setting, managers with contest payoffs have an incentive to delay halting projects with a negative expectation, with the induced inefficiency being highest for a moderately negative drift. The experiment systematically varies the negative drift (between-subjects) and the payoff incentives (within-subject). We find evidence for excessive risk taking in all our treatment conditions, with the non-monotonicity at least as problematic as predicted. Contrary to the theoretical predictions, this aggregate pattern of behaviour is seen even without contest incentives. Further analysis suggests that many subjects display behaviour consistent with some intrinsic motivation for taking risk. This intrinsic motive and the strategic motive for excessive risk taking reinforce the non-monotonicity. The experiment uncovers a behavioural nuance where contest incentives crowd out an intrinsic inclination to gamble.
    JEL: C72 C92 D81
    Date: 2020–09–22
  3. By: Schneider, Sebastian (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Sutter, Matthias (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: We use a novel method to elicit and measure higher order risk preferences (prudence and temperance) in an experiment with 658 adolescents. In line with theoretical predictions, we find that higher order risk preferences particularly prudence are strongly related to adolescents' field behavior, including their financial decision making, eco-friendly behavior, and health status, including addictive behavior. Most importantly, we show that dropping prudence and temperance from the analysis of students' field behavior would yield largely misleading conclusions about the relation of risk aversion to these domains of field behavior. Thus our paper puts previous work that ignored higher order risk preferences into an encompassing perspective and claries which orders of risk preferences can help understand field behavior of adolescents.
    Keywords: higher order risk preferences, prudence, temperance, risk aversion, field behavior, adolescents, health, addictive behavior, smartphone addiction, experiment
    JEL: C93 D81 D91 J13
    Date: 2020–08
  4. By: Davide Pace (University of Amsterdam); Joël van der Weele (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We investigate how consumers respond to uncertainty about CO2 emission size. In an incentivized online experiment, participants can acquire a valuable good that emits an unknown amount of CO2. We find that beliefs about emission size are strongly predictive of purchases, even exceeding the effect of substantial changes in the price of the good. Moreover, information that makes beliefs more precise causes a 26% reduction in overall emissions, even though average beliefs are unchanged. The reduction occurs as the marginal willingness to pay for emission reduction declines with emission size, so people who are too optimistic about emissions are more responsive to information. We also test for the formation of self-serving beliefs. Contrary to theories of motivated reasoning, increasing the surplus from buying the product does not change patterns of attention or belief formation about emissions. Overall, the results suggest that information about CO2 impact can be an important policy lever, and that willingness-to-pay for emission reductions should take into account the size of emissions.
    Keywords: CO2 emissions, sustainable consumption, economic experiments
    JEL: Q54 C91 D81
    Date: 2020–09–15
  5. By: Bertrand Jayles (PhyStat - Physique Statistique des Systèmes Complexes (LPT) - LPT - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique - IRSAMC - Institut de Recherche sur les Systèmes Atomiques et Moléculaires Complexes - INSA Toulouse - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - Toulouse - INSA - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Ramon Escobedo (CRCA - Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ISCT - Institut des sciences du cerveau de Toulouse. - UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - CHU Toulouse [Toulouse] - INSERM - Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - CBI - Centre de Biologie Intégrative - UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Roberto Pasqua (LAAS-TSF - Équipe Tolérance aux fautes et Sûreté de Fonctionnement informatique - LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes - Toulouse INP - Institut National Polytechnique (Toulouse) - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - INSA Toulouse - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - Toulouse - INSA - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès); Christophe Zanon (LAAS-IDEA - Service Informatique : Développement, Exploitation et Assistance - LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes - Toulouse INP - Institut National Polytechnique (Toulouse) - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - INSA Toulouse - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - Toulouse - INSA - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès); Adrien Blanchet (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Matthieu Roy (LAAS-TSF - Équipe Tolérance aux fautes et Sûreté de Fonctionnement informatique - LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes - Toulouse INP - Institut National Polytechnique (Toulouse) - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - INSA Toulouse - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - Toulouse - INSA - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès); Gilles Trédan (LAAS-TSF - Équipe Tolérance aux fautes et Sûreté de Fonctionnement informatique - LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes - Toulouse INP - Institut National Polytechnique (Toulouse) - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - INSA Toulouse - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - Toulouse - INSA - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès); Guy Théraulaz (IAST - Institute for Advanced Studies in Toulouse); Clément Sire (PhyStat - Physique Statistique des Systèmes Complexes (LPT) - LPT - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique - IRSAMC - Institut de Recherche sur les Systèmes Atomiques et Moléculaires Complexes - INSA Toulouse - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - Toulouse - INSA - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Social media filters combined with recommender systems can lead to the emergence of filter bubbles and polarized groups. In addition, segregation processes of human groups in certain social contexts have been shown to share some similarities with phase separation phenomena in physics. Here, we study the impact of information filtering on collective segregation behavior. We report a series of experiments where groups of 22 subjects have to perform a collective segregation task that mimics the tendency of individuals to bond with other similar individuals. More precisely, the participants are each assigned a color (red or blue) unknown to them, and have to regroup with other subjects sharing the same color. To assist them, they are equipped with an artificial sensory device capable of detecting the majority color in their ``environment'' (defined as their k nearest neighbors, unbeknownst to them), for which we control the perception range, k=1,3,5,7,9,11,13. We study the separation dynamics (emergence of unicolor groups) and the properties of the final state, and show that the value of k controls the quality of the segregation, although the subjects are totally unaware of the precise definition of the ``environment''. We also find that there is a perception range k=7 above which the ability of the group to segregate does not improve. We introduce a model that precisely describes the random motion of a group of pedestrians in a confined space, and which faithfully reproduces and allows to interpret the results of the segregation experiments. Finally, we discuss the strong and precise analogy between our experiment and the phase separation of two immiscible materials at very low temperature.
    Date: 2020–09
  6. By: Goryunov , Maxim (Nazarbayev University); Rigos , Alexandros (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Coordination games have multiple equilibria under complete information. However, recent theoretical advances show that if players are uncertain but can acquire information about a payoff-relevant state of the world, the number of equilibria depends on whether they can implement strategies (stochastic choice rules) discontinuous in the state. We experimentally test these results in a two-player investment game. Through a minimal visual variation in the design (our treatment) we prompt participants to play strategies whereby their probability to invest is either continuous or discontinuous in the payoff-relevant state. When participants use continuous strategies, average behavior is consistent with play in the risk-dominant equilibrium, the unique theoretical prediction. When they use discontinuous strategies—in¬¬ which case there are multiple equilibria—average behavior is closer to the payoff-dominant equilibrium strategy. Additionally, we extend the theory to heterogeneous populations: the set of equilibria monotonically decreases in the proportion of players who use continuous strategies.
    Keywords: Coordination; Global games; Information acquisition; Continuous stochastic choice; Visual information; Experiment; Perception
    JEL: C72 C92 D83
    Date: 2020–08–31
  7. By: Christoph Buehren (Clausthal University of Technology); Lisa Traeger (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: Our handball penalty field experiment analyses the influence of psychological traits and pressure on individual performance in sequential tournaments. We use a short ABBA-sequence with four throws for each subject and observe an average score rate of 60% in our sample of amateur league players. On game level, we find a weak and insignificant first-mover advantage that becomes stronger and significant if we control for psychological traits and pressure. On shot level, we also find no significant first-mover advantage on average. However, confident individuals have a higher scoring rate in the role of player A and less confident individuals in the role of player B. Moreover, ceteris paribus, player A scores more goals than player B under tournament incentives. Whereas self-esteem increases the probability to throw a goal in our experiment, risk-taking reduces it.
    Date: 2020
  8. By: David L. Dickinson; David M. McEvoy
    Abstract: Recent policies require some interactions previously conducted in close social proximity (e.g., school, workplace) to take place remotely, which motivates our investigation of how in-person versus online environments impact honesty. We modify a well-known coin-flip task and examine the influence of going from the physical laboratory environment, to online with identifiable participants (same lab subject pool), to online with anonymous participants using mTurk. Surprisingly, while a simple move from in-lab to online (using the same subject pool) appears to increase “fake effort” – those who likely never flip the coin - it does not predict more dishonest behavior when there is a monetary incentive to cheat. The most socially distant and anonymous participants (mTurk) are more likely to be deemed cheaters in our analysis—these individuals report coin flip outcomes consistent with cheating for monetary gain. Implications of our findings indicate the greatest risk of potentially costly dishonest behavior results when anonymity, not just social distance, is high. Key Words: Social distance, cheating, coin flip, anonymity, behavioral economics, experiment
    JEL: C91 D90
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Drichoutis, Andreas C.; Grimm, Veronika; Karakostas, Alexandros
    Abstract: We study the role of culture on bribing attitudes in a new dynamic bribery game, where the purpose of bribing is to receive a service earlier by bribing to queue-jump. Our queue-jumping game allows us to distinguish between two classes of bribes: (i) queue-jumping bribes, which aim to increase the briber's expected earnings by jumping the queue, and (ii) counter bribes, which aim to maintain the briber's expected earnings by upholding the current order in the queue. In a laboratory experiment, comprised of four treatments that differ in the number of Greeks and Germans in each group, we analyze both cross-cultural and inter-cultural differences in bribing attitudes. In our cross-cultural treatments, we find that Greeks tend to bribe more often than Germans, but only in the early periods of the game. As time progresses, the Germans quickly catch-up, bribing as often as the Greeks. However, the observed differences in bribe rates in the early periods of the game are driven by queue-jumping bribes rather than counter-bribes. As the ratio of counter-bribes to queue-jumping bribes is significantly lower among Greeks relative to Germans, bribing to queue-jump is more profitable in the Greek groups. In our inter-cultural treatments, we find that minorities, irrespective of nationality, bribe less, despite there are no prospects for monetary or reputational gains. We interpret this result as evidence of outgroup favoritism by minority groups.
    Keywords: Antisocial Behavior; Corruption; Cross-Country Experiment; Inter-country Experiment; Social Norms
    JEL: C73 C91 C92 D62 D73 H49 Z10
    Date: 2020–09–09
  10. By: Drouvelis, Michalis (University of Birmingham); Gerson, Jennifer (University of London); Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick); Riyanto, Yohanes E. (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
    Abstract: Social media has made anonymized behavior online a prevalent part of many people's daily interactions. The implications of this new ability to hide one's identity information remain imperfectly understood. Might it be corrosive to human cooperation? This paper investigates the possibility that a small deceptive act of misrepresenting some information about one's real identity to others – a social media-related behavior commonly known as 'catfishing' – increases the likelihood that the individual will go on to behave uncooperatively in an otherwise anonymous prisoner's dilemma game. In our intention-to-treat analysis, we demonstrated that randomly allowing people to misrepresent their gender identity information reduced the aggregate cooperation level by approximately 12-13 percentage points. Not only that the average catfisher was substantially more likely to go on to defect than participants in the control and the true gender groups, those who were paired with a potential catfisher also defected significantly more often as well. Participants also suffered a significant financial loss from having been randomly matched with a catfisher; 64% of those who played against someone who chose to misrepresent information about their gender received a payoff of zero from the prisoner's dilemma game. Our results suggest that even small short-term opportunities to misrepresent one's identity to others can potentially be extremely harmful to later human cooperation and the economic well-being of the victims.
    Keywords: cooperation, misrepresentation, social media, social dilemma, experiment
    JEL: C92 D91
    Date: 2020–08
  11. By: Pons Rotger, Gabriel (VIVE - The Danish Centre for Applied Social Science); Rosholm, Michael (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: This paper makes use of the randomized allocation of workers on sick leave in Denmark into self-management support, to examine the role of beliefs about control for prolonged absenteeism due to illness. Our results demonstrate that the ability of the intervention to lead sick-listed workers toward resuming employment crucially depends on workers' control beliefs. The intervention increases the perception of control among control pessimists and substantially accelerates the decision to return to work. Furthermore, we identify a group of control-optimist workers for whom "learning" about control beliefs is self-defeating, and leads them toward reduced capacity in terms of return-to-work performance.
    Keywords: sickness insurance, personality traits, randomized control trial, machine learning
    JEL: J21 C93 D91
    Date: 2020–08
  12. By: Tarek Azzam; Michael Bates (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside); David Fairris
    Abstract: Voluntary selection into experimental samples is ubiquitous and may lead researchers to question the external validity of experimental findings. We introduce tests for sample selection on unobserved variables to discern the generalizability of randomized control trials. We estimate the impact of a learning community on first-year college retention using an RCT, and employ our tests in this setting. Intent-to-treat and local-average-treatment-effect estimates reveal no discernable programmatic effects. Our tests reveal that the experimental sample is positively selected on unobserved characteristics suggesting limited external validity. Finally, we compare observational and experimental estimates, considering the internal and external validity of both approaches to reflect on within-study comparisons themselves.
    Date: 2020–02
  13. By: Ganesh Karapakula (Yale University); James J. Heckman (The University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper presents a simple decision-theoretic economic approach for analyzing social experiments with compromised random assignment protocols that are only partially documented. We model administratively constrained experimenters who satisfice in seeking covariate balance. We develop design-based small-sample hypothesis tests that use worst-case (least favorable) randomization null distributions. Our approach accommodates a variety of compromised experiments, including imperfectly documented re-randomization designs. To make our analysis concrete, we focus much of our discussion on the influential Perry Preschool Project. We reexamine previous estimates of program effectiveness using our methods. The choice of how to model reassignment vitally affects inference.
    Keywords: randomized controlled trial, randomization tests, worst-case inference, least favorable null distributions, partial identification, small-sample hypothesis testing
    JEL: C10 C40 I21
    Date: 2020–08
  14. By: Bellemare, Charles (Université Laval); Goussé, Marion (Université Laval); Lacroix, Guy (Université Laval); Marchand, Steeve (Université Laval)
    Abstract: We evaluate the efficiency of video resumes using a large scale field experiment. We randomly sent applications to 2021 private firms posting vacancies across the province of Québec (Canada). A subset of these applications included a link inviting firms to view a video resume. We find that video resumes increase callback rates by more than 10 percentage points. We also evaluate the service for individuals with acute visible disabilities (wheelchair users). Although our results support the presence of discrimination in the labor market, we show that they benefit from video resumes as much as applicants without a disability.
    Keywords: video resume, job search, disabilities, discrimination
    JEL: J71 J68
    Date: 2020–09
  15. By: Rachel Cassidy (World Bank); Marije Groot Bruinderink (University of Amsterdam); Wendy Janssens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Karlijn Morsink (Utrecht University)
    Abstract: Women may face systematically greater benefits than men from adopting certain technologies. Yet women often hold lower bargaining power, meaning that men's preferences may constrain household adoption when decisions are joint. When low female bargaining power constrains adoption of the first-best technology, introducing a version of the technology that is second-best in terms of cost or effectiveness, but more acceptable to men, may increase adoption and welfare. This paper contributes the first explicit model and test of the trade-offs when introducing a second-best technology in such a setting. We conduct a field experiment introducing female condoms (which are less effective and more expensive than male condoms, but often preferred by men) in an area with high HIV prevalence. We observe an increase in the likelihood that women have sex and find strongest adoption of female condoms among women with lower bargaining power, who were previously having unprotected sex.
    JEL: C78 O33 C93 J16 I12
    Date: 2020–09–15
  16. By: Kassis, Mark (WHU Vallendar); Schmidt, Sascha L. (WHU Vallendar); Schreyer, Dominik (WHU Vallendar); Sutter, Matthias (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: In this paper, we show that the right to determine the sequence of moves in a dynamic team tournament improves the chances of winning the contest. Because studying dynamic team tournaments – like R&D races – with interim feedback is difficult with company data, we examine decisions of highly paid professionals in soccer penalty shootouts and show that teams whose captains can decide about the shooting sequence are more likely to win the shootout. So, managerial decisions matter for outcomes of dynamic tournaments and we discuss potential reasons for this finding.
    Keywords: dynamic tournament, sports professionals, psychological pressure, value of decision rights, penalty shoot-outs, behavioral economics
    JEL: C93 D00 D81 D91 Z20
    Date: 2020–08
  17. By: Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University, NBER, IZA, CEPR, and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Ahmed Corina Mommaerts (University of Wisconsin – Madison); Ahmed Melanie Morten (Stanford University and NBER)
    Abstract: Do new migration opportunities for rural households change the nature and extent of informal risk sharing? We experimentally document that randomly offering poor rural households subsidies to migrate leads to a 40% improvement in risk sharing in their villages. Our model of endogenous migration and risk sharing shows that risky and temporary migration opportunities can induce an improvement in risk sharing enabling pro?table migration. Accounting for improved risk sharing, the migration experiment increased welfare by 12.9%. However, permanent declines in migration costs improve outside options for households and can lead to reductions in risk sharing. The short-run experimental results for migration subsidies can differ from the longer-run impacts of a policy that permanently subsidizes migration.
    Keywords: Informal Insurance, Migration, Bangladesh, RCT
    JEL: D12 D91 D52 O12 R23
    Date: 2019–07
  18. By: Porumbescu, Gregory; Moynihan, Donald; Anastasopoulos, Jason; Olsen, Asmus Leth
    Abstract: To manage citizen evaluations of government performance, public officials use blame avoidance strategies when communicating performance information. We examine two prominent presentational strategies: scapegoating and spinning, while testing how public responses vary depending on whether they are ideologically aligned with the public official. We examine these relationships in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the Trump administration sought to shift blame by scapegoating outgroups (by using the term “Chinese virus”), and framing performance information on COVID-19 testing in positive terms. Using a novel pre-registered survey experiment that incorporates open and close-ended items, we offer three main findings. First, there is clear evidence of motivated reasoning: conservatives rate the performance of the Trump administration more positively and are more apt to blame prominent Democrats, Chinese residents and the Chinese Government. Second, performance information framing was found to impact blame attribution among conservatives, but only for open-ended responses. Third, while exposure to the term “Chinese virus” increased blame assigned to Chinese residents among all participants, conservatives exposed to the term appeared to blame President Trump more, suggesting repeated use of divisive blame shifting strategies may alienate even supporters.
    Date: 2020–09–08
  19. By: Traxler, Emilia; Li, Tongzhe
    Abstract: Best management practices (BMPs) are a valuable approach towards improving agricultural sustainability by encouraging producers to conserve soil and water resources and mitigate the release of pollutants without sacrificing productivity. The behavioural factors that influence producer decision-making are an important aspect of understanding BMP adoption with the study of experimental and behavioural economics. This summary examines multiple publications from 1982 to 2020 establishing a broad overview of the current research in the BMP adoption literature. The focus is to highlight relevant economic theories and methods used to study producer decision-making and establish behavioural interventions that can help improve the adoption of BMPs. The summary covers major themes in the existing literature, identifying the similarities and differences in three major agricultural sectors including livestock production, crop production, and aquaculture. A review of the literature reveals both consistent and inconsistent findings that have various policy implications and opportunities for future research.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2020–08–20
  20. By: Buhl-Wiggers, Julie (Copenhagen Business School); Kerwin, Jason (University of Minnesota); Muñoz, Juan Sebastián (IÉSEG School of Management); Smith, Jeffrey A. (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Thornton, Rebecca L. (University of Illinois)
    Abstract: We document substantial variation in the effects of a highly-effective literacy program in northern Uganda. The program increases test scores by 1.4 SDs on average, but standard statistical bounds show that the impact standard deviation exceeds 1.0 SD. This implies that the variation in effects across our students is wider than the spread of mean effects across all randomized evaluations of developing country education interventions in the literature. This very effective program does indeed leave some students behind. At the same time, we do not learn much from our analyses that attempt to determine which students benefit more or less from the program. We reject rank preservation, and the weaker assumption of stochastic increasingness leaves wide bounds on quantile-specific average treatment effects. Neither conventional nor machine-learning approaches to estimating systematic heterogeneity capture more than a small fraction of the variation in impacts given our available candidate moderators.
    Keywords: essential heterogeneity, heterogeneous treatment effects, education
    JEL: I25 I26
    Date: 2020–08
  21. By: Armenak Antinyan; Zareh Asatryan
    Abstract: Tax compliance nudges are used increasingly by governments because of their perceived cost-effectiveness in raising tax revenue. We collect about a thousand treatment effect estimates from 45 randomized controlled trials, and synthesize this rapidly growing literature using meta-analytical methods. We show that interventions pointing to elements of individual tax morale are on average ineffective in curbing tax evasion (when evaluated against a control group of taxpayers receiving neutral communication). In contrast, deterrence nudges - interventions emphasizing traditional determinants of compliance such as audit probabilities and penalty rates - increase compliance. However, their effects are modest in magnitude increasing the probability of compliance by 1.5-2.5 percentage points more than non-deterrence nudges. Our additional results suggest that nudges i) work better on sub-samples of late payers and when delivered in-person, ii) are less effective in the long-run and in lower-income countries, and iii) are somewhat inflated by selective reporting of results.
    Keywords: tax compliance, randomized control trials, nudging, tax morale, meta-analysis
    JEL: C93 D91 H26
    Date: 2020
  22. By: Daoust, Jean-François; Bélanger, Éric (McGill University); Dassonneville, Ruth; Lachapelle, Erick; Nadeau, Richard; Becher, Michael; Brouard, Sylvain; Foucault, Martial; Hönnige, Christoph; Stegmueller, Daniel
    Abstract: Studies of citizens’ compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures routinely rely on survey data. While essential, public health restrictions provide clear signals of what is socially desirable in this context, creating a potential source of response bias in self-reported measures of compliance. In this research, we examine whether the results of a face-saving-strategy that was recently proposed by Daoust et al. (2020) to loosen this constraint are generalizable across twelve countries, and whether the treatment effect varies across subgroups. Our findings show that the face-saving strategy is a very useful tool in every country included, increasing respondents’ proclivity to report non-compliance by 9 to 16 percentage points. This effect holds for different subgroups based on gender, age and education. We conclude that the inclusion of this strategy should be the new standard for survey research that aims to provide crucial data on the current pandemic.
    Date: 2020–09–08
  23. By: Motta, Matthew; Sylvester, Steven; Callaghan, Timothy; Trujillo, Kristin Lunz
    Abstract: Context: Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic will require millions of Americans to vaccinate against the virus. Unfortunately, previous research suggests that many Americans plan to refuse a vaccine; thereby jeopardizing collective immunity. We investigate the effectiveness of three different health communication frames hypothesized to increase vaccine intention; emphasizing either (1) personal health risks, (2) economic costs, or (3) collective public health consequences of not vaccinating. Methods: In a large (N = 7,064) and demographically representative survey experiment, we randomly assigned respondents to read pro-vaccine communication materials featuring one of the frames listed above. We also randomly varied the message source (ordinary people vs. medical experts) and availability of information designed the “pre-bunk” concerns about expedited clinical trial safety. Findings: We find that messages emphasizing the personal health risks and collective health consequences of not vaccinating significantly increase Americans’ intentions to vaccinate. These effects are similar in magnitude irrespective of message source, and the inclusion of pre-bunking information. Surprisingly, economic cost frames have no discernible effect on vaccine intention. Conclusions: Health communicators hoping to encourage vaccination may be effective by appealing to the use personal and collective health risks of not vaccinating.
    Date: 2020–09–08
  24. By: Lai, Yufeng; Yue, Chengyan
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Demand and Price Analysis, Research Methods/Statistical Methods
    Date: 2020–07
  25. By: Duquette, Nicolas
    Abstract: A survey experiment exposes treatment groups to four messages supporting future vaccination against COVID-19. These treatments emphasize either the risks of the virus or the safety of vaccination, to the respondent personally or to others. For a nationally representative sample, self-reported intent to vaccinate is not significantly different from the control for any message. However, there is a substantial divergence between white non-Hispanic respondents, whose response to all four treatments is close to zero, and non-white or His- panic respondents, whose intention to vaccinate is over 50% higher in response to a message emphasizing prosociality and the safety of others.
    Date: 2020–09–09
  26. By: Martin Boyer (HEC Montréal - HEC Montréal); Philippe de Donder (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Claude Fluet (ULaval - Université Laval [Québec]); Marie-Louise Leroux (UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal = University of Québec in Montréal); Pierre-Carl Michaud (HEC Montréal - HEC Montréal)
    Abstract: This paper conducts a stated-choice experiment where respondents are asked to rate various insurance products aimed to protect against nancial risks associated with long-term care needs. Using exogenous variation in prices from the survey design and individual cost estimates, these stated-choice probabilities are used to predict market equilibrium for long-term care insurance. Our results are twofold. First, information frictions are pervasive. Second, measuring the welfare losses associated with frictions in a framework that also allows for selection, it is found that information frictions reduce equilibrium take-up and lead to large welfare losses while selection plays little role.
    Keywords: Long-term care insurance,adverse selection,stated-preference,health,insurance
    Date: 2020–08
  27. By: Gill, Andrej (University of Mainz); Heinz, Matthias (University of Cologne); Schumacher, Heiner (KU Leuven); Sutter, Matthias (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    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, financial industry, selection, social preferences, experiment
    JEL: C91 G20 M51
    Date: 2020–08
  28. By: Asadullah, Niaz (University of Malaya); De Cao, Elisabetta (London School of Economics); Khatoon, Fathema Zhura (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC)); Siddique, Zahra (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: We elicit adolescent girl's attitudes towards intimate partner violence and child marriage using purposefully collected data from rural Bangladesh. Alongside direct survey questions, we conduct list experiments to elicit true preferences for intimate partner violence and marriage before age eighteen. Responses to direct survey questions suggest that very few adolescent girls in the study accept the practise of intimate partner violence or child marriage (5% and 2%). However, our list experiments reveal significantly higher support for both intimate partner violence and child marriage (at 30% and 24%). We further investigate how numerous variables relate to preferences for egalitarian gender norms in rural Bangladesh.
    Keywords: list experiment, indirect response survey methods, intimate partner violence, child marriage, Bangladesh
    JEL: I15 O10 C13 C83
    Date: 2020–09
  29. By: Jonas Hjort (Columbia University); Vinayak Iyer (Columbia University); Golvine De Rochambeau (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Evidence suggests that firms in poor countries stagnate because they cannot access growth-conducive markets. We hypothesize that overlooked heterogeneity in marketing ability distorts market access. To investigate, we gave a random subset of Liberian firms vouchers for a week-long program that teaches how to sell to corporations, governments, and other large buyers. Firms that participate win about three times as many contracts, but only firms with access to the Internet benefit. We use a simple model and variation in online and offline demand to show evidence that this is because ICT dampens traditional information frictions, but not marketing barriers.
    Date: 2020–07
  30. By: Svenson, Alexander; Guillen, Pablo
    Abstract: The Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET; Baron-Cohen, Jolliffe, Mortimore, & Robertson, 1997; Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Hill, Raste, & Plumb, 2001) is a commonly used test of theory of mind (ToM). Our aim was to explore intelligence and personality variables that may predict performance on the RMET. Towards this aim, 402 Australian university students were recruited for laboratory sessions where the RMET was administered along with measures of verbal and non-verbal intelligence, and measures of the Five Factor Model of personality (FFM) or Big Five. The perspective that the processes underlying RMET performance are fully implicit, and independent of other abilities or traits, was not supported by our findings. Instead, linear regression models (evaluated at a 5% significance level or lower) revealed that RMET scores were predicted by verbal reasoning ability, particularly vocabulary subtests. Moreover, the Extraversion and Conscientiousness factors had quadratic relationships with RMET scores; Agreeableness, Emotional stability, and Openness factors were positively associated with RMET scores; and Self-monitoring was negatively associated with RMET scores. Our results help address inconsistencies in the literature to date by highlighting the intertwined nature of social cognition with verbal intelligence and personality.
    Keywords: theory of mind, intelligence, personality
    Date: 2020–09
  31. By: Almås, Ingvild (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Somville, Vincent (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Vandewalle, Lore (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: Women are the primary recipients of many welfare programs around the world. Despite frequent claims that targeting women induces beneficial consumption shifting and gender equality, the empirical evidence on the effect of targeting is relatively scarce. We report on a highly powered intervention that randomly allocates weekly transfers to a man or woman within the household. We use detailed financial diaries to look at the impact of the recipient's gender on expenditure, income, saving, nutrition and measures of decision-making. Our results show little evidence for consumption shifting at the household level but indicate that targeted transfers empower female recipients.
    Keywords: Households; Consumption; Development; Gender Inequality
    JEL: D13 I14 O10
    Date: 2020–09–04
  32. By: Bunce, John
    Abstract: In much contemporary political discourse, valued cultural characteristics are threatened by interaction with culturally-distinct others, such as immigrants or a hegemonic majority. Such interaction often fosters cross-cultural competence (CCC), the ability to interact successfully across cultural boundaries. However most theories of cultural dynamics ignore CCC, making cultural diversity incompatible with mutually-beneficial inter-group interaction, and contributing to fears of cultural loss. Here, new theory, incorporating competing developmental paths to CCC and group identity valuation, illuminates how a common strategy of disempowered minorities can counter-intuitively sustain cultural diversity: Given strong group identity, minorities in a structurally-unequal, integrative society can maintain their distinctive cultural norms by learning those of the majority. Simple field methods in an Amazonian population demonstrate how to assess such strategies' effectiveness given predicted dynamics.
    Date: 2020–09–06
  33. By: Britwum, Kofi; Bernard, John C.; Albrecht, Sara
    Keywords: Marketing, Research Methods/Statistical Methods, Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2020–07

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.