nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2021‒01‒04
forty-one papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Lab-like Findings of Non-Lab Experiments: a Methodological Proposal and Validation By Irene Maria Buso; Daniela Di Cagno; Sofia De Caprariis; Lorenzo Ferrari; Vittorio Larocca; Luisa Lorè; Francesca Marazzi; Luca Panaccione; Lorenzo Spadoni
  2. Ethics of randomized field experiments: Evidence from a randomized survey experiment By Yokoo, Hide-Fumi
  3. Reacting to ambiguous messages: An experimental analysis By Kellner, Christian; Thordal-Le Quement, Mark; Riener, Gerhard
  4. Mediating Conflict in the Lab By Alessandra Casella; Evan Friedman; Manuel Perez Archila
  5. On complementary symmetry and reference dependence By Michał Lewandowski; Łukasz Woźny
  6. Gender, overconfidence, and optimal group composition for investment decisions By Baiba Renerte; Jan Hausfeld; Torsten Twardawski
  7. Decision-making within the household: The role of autonomy and differences in preferences By Alem, Yonas; Hassen, Sied; Köhlin, Gunnar
  8. Excited and aroused: The predictive importance of simple choice process metrics By Steffen Q. Mueller; Patrick Ring; Maria Fischer
  9. Information, get-out-the-vote messages, and peer influence: causal effects on political behavior in Mozambique By Matilde Grácio; Pedro C. Vicente
  10. Magnitude Effects and Utility Curvature in Inter-temporal Choice By Holden, Stein T.; Tilahun, Mesfin; Sommervoll, Dag Einar
  11. Time Preferences and Medication Adherence: A Field Experiment with Pregnant Women in South Africa By Christina Gravert; Kai Barron; Mette Trier Damgaard; Lisa Norrgren
  12. Ideological Motives and Group Decision-Making By Florian Engl
  13. Improving tax compliance without increasing revenue: Evidence from population-wide randomized controlled trials in Papua New Guinea By Christopher Hoy; Luke McKenzie; Mathias Sinning
  14. Fraud Deterrence Institutions Reduce Intrinsic Honesty By Fabio Galeotti; Valeria Maggian; Marie Claire Villeval
  15. How Parents' Skills Affect Their Time-Use with Children? Evidence from an RCT Experiment in Italy By Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Pronzato; Lucia Schiavon
  16. The Effect of Gender and Gender Pairing on Bargaining: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment By D'Exelle, Ben; Gutekunst, Christine; Riedl, Arno
  17. International Fiscal-financial Spillovers: The Effect of Fiscal Shocks on Cross-border Bank Lending By Karen Meng Li; Sang-Hyun Kim
  18. Self-selected intervals in psycho-physic experiments and the measurement of willingness to pay By Persichina, Marco; Kriström, Bengt
  19. Individual Incentives and Workers’ Contracts: Evidence from a Field Experiment By M. Ali Choudhary; Vasco J. Gabriel; Neil Rickman
  20. Spillovers and Long Run Effects of Messages on Tax Compliance: Experimental Evidence from Peru By Juan F. Castro; Daniel Velásquez; Arlette Beltrán; Gustavo Yamada
  21. Subsidizing Unit Donations: Matches, Rebates, and Discounts Compared By Diederich, Johannes; Eckel, Catherine C.; Epperson, Raphael; Goeschl, Timo; Grossman, Philip J.
  22. Product quality and third-party certification in potential lemons markets By Dong Yan; Christian A. Vossler; Scott M. Gilpatric
  23. Human Social Cycling Spectrum By Wang Zhijian; Yao Qingmei
  24. Distributive Preferences of Public Representatives: A Field-in-the-Lab Experiment By Laurent Denant-Boemont; Matthieu Leprince; Matthieu Pourieux
  25. Are Women Less Effective Leaders Than Men? Evidence from Experiments Using Coordination Games By Lea Heursen; Eva Ranehill; Roberto A. Weber
  26. Do recruiters select workers with different personality traits for different tasks? A discrete choice experiment By Wehner, Caroline; de Grip, Andries; Pfeifer, Harald
  27. Do recruiters select workers with different personality traits for different tasks? A discrete choice experiment By Wehner, Caroline; de Grip, Andries; Pfeifer, Harald
  28. Interregional Contact and National Identity By Manuel Bagues; Christopher Roth
  29. The Social Side of Early Human Capital Formation: Using a Field Experiment to Estimate the Causal Impact of Neighborhoods By John List; Fatemeh Momeni; Yves Zenou
  30. Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19 By Alex Bryson; Peter Dolton; J. James Reade; Dominik Schreyer; Carl Singleton
  31. You can win by losing! Using self-betting as a commitment device: Evidence from a weight loss program By Hirt-Schierbaum, Linda; Ivets, Maryna
  32. Improving compliance with COVID-19 guidance: a workplace field experiment. By Danae Arroyos-Calvera; Michalis Drouvelis; Johannes Lohse; Rebecca McDonald
  33. Curating Local Knowledge : Experimental Evidence from Small Retailers in Indonesia (Revision of DP 2019-015) By Dalton, Patricio; Rüschenpöhler, Julius; Uras, Burak; Zia, Bilal
  34. Designing Preference Voting By Philipp Harfst; Damien Bol; Jean-François Laslier
  35. The Intrinsic Value of Decision Rights: A Note on Team vs Individual Decision-Making By Justin Buffat; Matthias Praxmarer; Matthias Sutter
  36. Voting behavior in one-shot and iterative multiple referenda By Grandi, Umberto; Lang, Jérôme; Ozkes, Ali; Airiau, Stéphane
  37. Lohngerechtigkeit und Geschlechternormen: Erhalten Männer eine Heiratsprämie? By Ben Jann; Barbara Zimmermann; Andreas Diekmann
  38. A Field Evaluation of a Matching Mechanism: University Applicant Behaviour in Australia By Guillen, Pablo; Kesten, Onur; Kiefer, Alexander; Melatos, Mark
  39. Consumer Surplus of Alternative Payment Methods: Paying Uber with Cash By Fernando E. Alvarez; David O. Argente
  40. Curating Local Knowledge : Experimental Evidence from Small Retailers in Indonesia (Revision of DP 2019-015) By Dalton, Patricio; Rüschenpöhler, Julius; Uras, Burak; Zia, Bilal
  41. 2020: A Summary of Artefactual Field Experiments on The Who's, What's, Where's, and When's By John List

  1. By: Irene Maria Buso; Daniela Di Cagno; Sofia De Caprariis; Lorenzo Ferrari; Vittorio Larocca; Luisa Lorè; Francesca Marazzi; Luca Panaccione; Lorenzo Spadoni
    Abstract: Like commerce and administrative work, based on physical interaction, also academic work had to be suspended or was at least troubled by serious difficulties caused by social distancing imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19. In particular, experimental game playing was fully hit by the recent pandemic. Although there has been a rise in internet experiments, corresponding data are problematic in various aspects related to experimental control and participants’ interaction. Are there chances to continue research via web-lab experiments but with lab-like findings? We present here a novel methodology to collect lab-like data online allowing for control of experimental subjects and with findings consistent with earlier laboratory research. Our protocol is based on an architecture of connected platforms allowing to preserve the main features of the physical lab. We present the results of an experiment run online following our protocol in Luiss CESARE Lab during the pandemic to discuss the validation of our methodology.
    Keywords: methodology, experiments, lab-like data, Covid-19.
    JEL: C81 C90
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Yokoo, Hide-Fumi
    Abstract: To conduct randomized field experiments while easing the disutility of subjects and the concerns of practitioners, I empirically study the ethical concerns held by potential subjects. Two types of online surveys are implemented, targeting approximately 2,000 respondents each. In the first survey, respondents are asked whether they recognize ethical issues in six existing experiments conducted by economists. Among these six experiments, an early childhood intervention is recognized as the most acceptable, while a charitable fund-raising experiment using lotteries is recognized as the least acceptable from an ethical perspective. To investigate methods to ease such ethical concerns, I conduct the second survey in which respondents are randomly assigned to four groups and shown different descriptions of the studies, which adopt different research designs. From this randomized survey, I find a nonsignificant impact of changing the research methodology from a randomized field experiment to an uncontrolled before-after study. Changing the topic of the study from charitable giving to other behaviors decreases respondents' unethical feelings. However, ethical concerns significantly increase when informed consent is not enough or when subjects are randomly sampled. These findings support a randomized experiment with agreed-upon participants, although it may limit the external validity of the experiment.
    Keywords: Ethical issues, Field experiments, Online surveys, Randomized controlled trials
    JEL: C93 D63 O22
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Kellner, Christian; Thordal-Le Quement, Mark; Riener, Gerhard
    Abstract: Ambiguous language is ubiquitous and often deliberate. Recent theoretical work (Beauchêne et al., 2019; Bose and Renou, 2014; Kellner and Le Quement, 2018) has shown how language ambiguation can improve outcomes by mitigating conflict of interest. Our experiment finds a significant effect of language ambiguation on subjects who are competent Bayesian updaters. For both ambiguity averse and neutral subjects within this population, one significant channel is behavioral in nature (anchoring). For ambiguity averse subjects, another channel of similar magnitude is hedging motivated by the desire to reduce ambiguity. This channel is absent in the case of ambiguity neutral subjects.
    Keywords: Ambiguity aversion,Communication,Persuasion,Laboratory experiment
    JEL: C91 D01 D81
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Alessandra Casella; Evan Friedman; Manuel Perez Archila
    Abstract: Mechanism design teaches us that a mediator can strictly improve the chances of peace between two opponents even when the mediator has no independent resources, is less informed than the two parties, and has no enforcement power. We test the theory in a lab experiment where two subjects negotiate how to share a resource; in case of conflict, the subjects' privately known strength determines their payoffs. The subjects send cheap talk messages about their strength to one another (in the treatment with direct communication) or to the mediator (in the mediation treatment), before making their demands or receiving the mediator's recommendations. We find that, in line with the theory, messages are significantly more sincere when sent to the mediator. However, contrary to the theory, peaceful resolution is not more frequent, even when the mediator is a computer implementing the optimal mediation program. While the theoretical result refers to the best (i.e. most peaceful) equilibrium under mediation, multiple equilibria exist, and the best equilibrium is particularly vulnerable to small deviations from full truthfulness. Subjects are not erratic and their deviations induce only small losses in payoffs, and yet they translate into significant increases in conflict.
    JEL: C78 C92 D74 D82 D86
    Date: 2020–11
  5. By: Michał Lewandowski; Łukasz Woźny
    Abstract: This paper reevaluates the complementary symmetry hypothesis and the supporting experimental evidence. Originally the hypothesis was stated for binary risky prospects. We generalize the hypothesis to arbitrary state-contingent real-valued acts, thus extending the domain from risk to uncertainty/ambiguity and allowing for multiple outcomes. Existing experiments tested the hypothesis using selling and buying prices and found systematic violations. We argue that in order to be consistent with the hypothesis one should replace selling with short-selling. We thus define a new elicitation task and run an experiment to test our conjecture. We replicate previously observed violations in the old setting and find strong support for the hypothesis in the new setting. In addition, our results shed new light on the validity of various reference point setting rules.
    Keywords: complementary symmetry; short selling price; buying price; reference dependence.
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Baiba Renerte; Jan Hausfeld; Torsten Twardawski
    Abstract: How to compose boards of directors for optimal investment decision making? Depending on the group composition, each member’s characteristics — like gender and motivated beliefs — can influence the final group decision, especially if the particular investment situation leaves room for decision biases. We design two types of investment situations in a laboratory experiment — one with fixed chances of success and one with performancedependent chances of success. Our design entails the board members’ perceived ability to “beat the odds” of the market and thus models real-life investment situations more accurately than standard lottery choices. We find support for mixed group composition in terms of both gender and overconfidence: Groups with more men and more overconfident group members overinvest when a possibility to “beat the odds” is present, while standard situations do not allow for such pronounced effects. We explore several channels for our results, including (i) risk perception, (ii) responsibi lity allocation and (iii) spillover effects from priming and communication.
    Keywords: motivated beliefs, overconfidence, gender differences, risky decisions, laboratory experiment, experimental finance
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Alem, Yonas; Hassen, Sied; Köhlin, Gunnar
    Abstract: We use a field experiment to identify how differences in preferences and autonomy in decision-making result in low willingness-to-pay (WTP) for technologies that can benefit all members of the household. We create income earning opportunities to empower households and elicit their WTP for fuel, time and indoor air pollution-reducing improved cookstoves through a real stove purchase experiment. The decision to buy the stove was randomly assigned to either wives, husbands or couples. Experimental results suggest that wives, who often are responsible for cooking and collecting fuelwood, are willing to pay 57% more than husbands, and 39% more than couples. Wives who earned their own income are willing to pay 67% more than husbands who earned their own income, and 45% more than couples. Results also show that women who have higher reported decision-making autonomy are willing to pay substantially more than those with lower decision-making autonomy. A follow up survey conducted 15 months after the stove purchase shows that neither the treatments nor decision-making autonomy have any effect on stove use. Our findings highlight the importance of considering division of labor, preference difference and decisionmaking autonomy within the household when promoting adoption of new household technologies, and that simple income earning opportunities enable poor women to make decisions that are in their best interest.
    Keywords: preference,decision-making autonomy,willingness-to-pay
    JEL: C78 C93 D13 O12 Q56
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Steffen Q. Mueller (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg); Patrick Ring (Social and Behavioral Approaches to Global Problems, Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Maria Fischer (Department of Psychology, Kiel University)
    Abstract: We conduct a lottery experiment to assess the predictive importance of simple choice process metrics (SCPMs) in forecasting risky 50/50 gambling decisions using different types of machine learning algorithms as well as traditional choice modeling approaches. The SCPMs are recorded during a fixed pre-decision phase and are derived from tracking subjects’ eye movements, pupil sizes, skin conductance, and cardiovascular and respiratory signals. Our study demonstrates that SCPMs provide relevant information for predicting gambling decisions, but we do not find forecasting accuracy to be substantially affected by adding SCPMs to standard choice data. Instead, our results show that forecasting accuracy highly depends on differences in subject-specific risk preferences and is largely driven by including information on lottery design variables. As a key result, we find evidence for dynamic changes in the predictive importance of psychophysiological responses that appear to be linked to habituation and resource-depletion effects. Subjects’ willingness to gamble and choice-revealing arousal signals both decrease as the experiment progresses. Moreover, our findings highlight the importance of accounting for previous lottery payoff characteristics when investigating the role of emotions and cognitive bias in repeated decision-making scenarios.
    Keywords: Repeated decision making, eye-tracking, psychophysiological responses, machine learning, forecasting
    JEL: C44 C45 C53 D81 D87 D91
    Date: 2020–12–16
  9. By: Matilde Grácio; Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: Political accountability requires informed voters and electoral participation. Both have been lagging in many developing countries like Mozambique. We designed and implemented a field experiment during the 2013 municipal elections in that country. We study the impact on political behavior of location-level distribution of a free newspaper and get-out-the-vote text messages aimed at mobilizing voters. As part of our design, we randomly assigned peers to experimental subjects in order to test for peer influence via text messages. Measurement of political outcomes comes from official electoral results at the level of the polling station, and from a range of behavioral and survey-based measures. We find that the distribution of the newspaper increased turnout and voting for the ruling party. The text messages led to higher political participation. When turning to influencing peers, we observe a clear role of male and older individuals, as well as complementarity with the distribution of newspapers.
    Keywords: Political behavior, information, peer influence, political economy, field experiment, Africa
    JEL: D72 O55
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Holden, Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Tilahun, Mesfin (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Sommervoll, Dag Einar (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: The appropriate way to empirically estimate time-dated utility and time preferences based on experimental data has been subject to controversy. Our study assesses whether within-subject magnitude treatments are more appropriately modeled through utility curvature, variable asset integration or as magnitude effects in the discounting function. We find that modeling magnitude effects through utility curvature at the same time as allowing for variable asset integration gives theoretically more consistent parameter ranges than including magnitude effects directly in the discounting function. Models with constant discount rates and limited and constant asset integration are rejected. More restricted but variable asset integration gives close to linear utility functions but such models are less robust than a matching fund model which gives a better fit and is robust and stable across multiple samples.
    Keywords: Discounting; Time-dated utility; Utility curvature; Asset integration; field experiment; Ethiopia
    JEL: C93 D91
    Date: 2020–12–21
  11. By: Christina Gravert (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Kai Barron (WZB Berlin); Mette Trier Damgaard (Department of Economics and Business Economics & TrygFonden’s Centre for Child Research, Aarhus University); Lisa Norrgren (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: The effectiveness of health recommendations and treatment plans depends on the extent to which individuals follow them. For the individual, medication adherence involves an inter-temporal trade-off between expected future health benefits and immediate effort costs. Therefore examining time preferences may help us to understand why some people fail to follow health recommendations and treatment plans. In this paper, we use a simple, real-effort task implemented via text message to elicit the time preferences of pregnant women in South Africa. We find evidence that high discounters are significantly less likely to report to adhere to the recommendation of taking daily iron supplements daily during pregnancy. There is some indication that time-inconsistency also negatively affects adherence. Together our results suggest that measuring time preferences could help predict medication adherence and thus be used to improve preventive health care measures.
    Keywords: time preferences, medication adherence, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D91 I12
    Date: 2020–12–14
  12. By: Florian Engl
    Abstract: This paper studies experimentally when and how ideological motives shape outcomes in group decision-making scenarios. Groups play a repeated coordination game in which they can agree on a payoff-dominant or a payoff-dominated but ideologically preferred outcome, or disagree and forego all payoffs. We find that groups which disagree initially are more likely to end up agreeing on the ideologically preferred outcome. We classify subjects into ideologically motivated and payoff motivated types and show that this effect stems from the two types’ differential reaction to disagreements. After disagreements, ideologically motivated types are more committed and steer the group towards their preferred outcome. Heterogeneous groups disagree more often and, thus, foster agreements on the ideologically motivated outcome. Our treatments show that, because of this mechanism, large groups are more likely to implement the ideologically preferred outcome than small groups. Furthermore, we show that individual ideological commitment is stronger when it targets the prevention of an outcome in conflict with the ideology than when it targets the implementation of an outcome aligned with the ideology. Theoretically, we study whether fixed or malleable ideological preferences can explain our results.
    Keywords: ideology, group decision-making, coordination, heterogeneous types
    JEL: C92 D01 D70 D91
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Christopher Hoy; Luke McKenzie; Mathias Sinning
    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 illustrate 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
  14. By: Fabio Galeotti (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE UMR 5824, 93 Chemin des Mouilles, F-69130, Ecully, France); Valeria Maggian (Cà Foscari University of Venice, Department of Economics. Cannaregio 873, Fondamenta San Giobbe, 30121 Venice, Italy); Marie Claire Villeval (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE UMR 5824, 93 Chemin des Mouilles, F-69130, Ecully, France; IZA, Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: Deterrence institutions are widely used in modern societies to discourage rule violations but whether they have an impact beyond their immediate scope of application is usually ignored. Using a quasi-experiment, we found evidence of spillover effects across contexts. We identified fraudsters and non-fraudsters on public transport who were or not exposed to ticket inspections by the transport company. We then measured the intrinsic honesty of the same persons in a new, unrelated context where they could misappropriate money. Instead of having an expected educative effect across contexts, the exposure to deterrence practices increased unethical behavior of fraudsters but also, strikingly, of non-fraudsters, especially when inspection teams were larger. Learning about the prevailing norm is the most likely channel of this spillover effect.
    Keywords: Deterrence Institutions, Intrinsic Honesty, Spillovers, Quasi-Experiment
    JEL: C93 K42 D02 D91
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Pronzato; Lucia Schiavon
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of parenting courses on fragile families’ time use with their children. Courses aimed at raising parental awareness of the importance of educational activities are offered in four Italian cities (Naples, Reggio Emilia, Teramo and Palermo) within the framework of the social program “FA.C.E. Farsi Comunità Educanti” and with the cooperation of the program “Con i Bambini”2. To conduct the impact evaluation3, we designed a randomized controlled trial involving random assignment of the families (mostly mothers). At the end of the intervention, we administered an assessment questionnaire both to the treatment group, which took the course, and to the control group, which did not. Comparing the outcomes, we find attending the course increased families’ awareness of the importance of educational activities for children, the frequency with which they read to the child, and their desire to spend more time with the child.
    Keywords: parenting use of time, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: J13 D10 I26
    Date: 2020
  16. By: D'Exelle, Ben; Gutekunst, Christine (School of Business and Economics); Riedl, Arno (RS: GSBE Theme Human Decisions and Policy Design, Microeconomics & Public Economics)
    Abstract: Men and women negotiate differently, which might create gender inequality in access to resources as well as efficiency losses due to disagreement. We study the role of gender and gender pairing in bilateral bargaining, using a lab-in-the-filed experiment in which pairs of participants bargain over the division of a fixed amount of resources. We vary the gender composition of the bargaining pairs as well as the disclosure of the participants’ identities. We find gender differences in earnings, agreement and demands, but only when the identities are disclosed. Women in same-gender pairs obtain higher earnings than men and women in mixed-gender pairs. This is the result of the lower likelihood of disagreement among women-only pairs. Women leave more on the bargaining table, conditional on their beliefs, which contributes to the lower disagreement and higher earnings among women-only pairs.
    JEL: C90 J16 O12
    Date: 2020–12–17
  17. By: Karen Meng Li (Yonsei Univ); Sang-Hyun Kim (Yonsei Univ)
    Abstract: This paper employs a field experiment to investigate in which information environment teambased incentives work better. The experiment was conducted in two spinning factories in Henan, China. We focus on workers who were doing the same individualistic task but still were paid according to team performances. For about three months, we have given three different types of performance feedback, baseline, intra-team, and inter-team feedbacks. We find that workers' productivity was highest with the intra-team feedback and lowest with the baseline feedback, which suggests that peer pressure and group status concern are of importance in making team incentives work.
    Keywords: Relative performance feedback, Peer pressure, Group identity, Field experiment
    JEL: C93 D91 M52
    Date: 2020–12
  18. By: Persichina, Marco (CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics); Kriström, Bengt (CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics)
    Abstract: Standard elicitation approaches used to obtain quantitative information typically assumes that individuals can provide a precise value. For unfamiliar (as as well as familiar) goods, this is a strong assumption. We suggest they use of self-selected intervals, in which the shortest possible interval is a point, i.e. the standard case. To explore this idea we use a state-of-the-art psychophysics lab experiment (N=60), in which five "focal" sound environments were randomly inserted into a set of 30 pairwise comparisons to elicit the subjective value of reducing ambient noise. We found that valuation uncertainty, measured as the length of a self-selected interval, is independent of the psychophysical conditions. The length of the interval is determined mainly by the subjective value of improving the environment, independent of the level of noise. These results, according to our review of the literature, are new. Interval elicitation enable individuals to provide reasonably consistent rankings of environmental improvements, even if individuals find it difficult to pin down a precise value. Thus, self-selected interval elicitation seems to have merit.
    Keywords: self-selected interval; willingness to pay; elicitation surveys; psychophysics stimuli; sound experiment
    JEL: C91 D61 D91 Q59
    Date: 2020–12–03
  19. By: M. Ali Choudhary (State Bank of Pakistan); Vasco J. Gabriel (University of Surrey and NIPE-UM); Neil Rickman (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: We present evidence on the operation of incentive pay from a field experiment in Pakistan, looking at piece rates and pay based on rank achieved in a tournament. Importantly, some workers are in contracts ‘tying’ them to the employer for several picking seasons; others are ‘untied’ in the sense of being employed for only the current season. We find that incentive pay (of either type) improves productivity by 30% on average, but that there are important differences across the types of workers: in particular, tournament incentives are less effective amongst the tied workers. We suggest that our main results have implications for tournament theory and the design of incentive pay schemes, particularly to the extent that they may discourage some workers and, thus, reduce incentives.
    JEL: D23 J23 J33 M52
    Date: 2020–10
  20. By: Juan F. Castro (Universidad del Pacífico); Daniel Velásquez (University of Michigan); Arlette Beltrán (Universidad del Pacífico); Gustavo Yamada (Universidad del Pacífico)
    Abstract: We carry out a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of three different types of messages sent to taxpayers on their compliance with the rental income tax (direct effect) and the spillovers produced on payments related to the capital gains and the self-employment income taxes. One message highlights detection, other appeals to social norms, and the third type appeals to altruism. This is the first study to evaluate if these messages can produce spillovers across taxes and to perform a long term follow-up. This is important to determine if the treatment increases tax revenues. We find that the message addressing detection produces a positive and permanent direct effect and a negative but transitory spillover on the other two taxes. Overall, it increases tax revenues by US$3.92 per dollar spent in the long run. The message appealing to social norms has no direct effect but produces a permanent negative spillover on the capital gains tax. Ignoring this spillover would have lead one to conclude that this message is innocuous when in fact produces a loss of US$ 5.20 per dollar spent in the long run. The message appealing to altruism produces a transitory negative e ect and no spillovers, and has no effect on tax revenues in the long run.
    Keywords: Social norms, Altruism, Tax evasion, Randomized controlled trial, Latin America
    JEL: D91 K42 H24 H26 H41
    Date: 2020–12
  21. By: Diederich, Johannes; Eckel, Catherine C.; Epperson, Raphael; Goeschl, Timo; Grossman, Philip J.
    Abstract: An influential result in the literature on charitable giving is that matching subsidies dominate rebate subsidies in raising funds. We investigate whether this result extends to ‘unit donation’ schemes, a popular alternative form of soliciting donations. There, the donors’ choices are about the number of units of a charitable good to fund at a given unit price, rather than the amount of money to give. Comparing matches and rebates as well as simple discounts on the unit price, we find no evidence of dominance in our online experiment: The three subsidy types are equally effective overall. At a more disaggregate level, rebates lead to a higher likelihood of giving while matching and discount subsidies lead to larger donations by donors. This suggests that charities using a unit donation scheme enjoy additional degrees of freedom in choosing a subsidy type. Rebates merit additional consideration if the primary goal is to attract donors.
    Keywords: charitable giving; unit donation; online field experiment; subsidies; framing; Framing-Effekt; Subvention
    Date: 2020–12–22
  22. By: Dong Yan (Department of Environment and Resource Economics, Renmin University of China, Beijing); Christian A. Vossler (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee); Scott M. Gilpatric (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee)
    Abstract: This paper examines a seller’s incentives for investing in product quality when buyers have incomplete information on quality, and either the seller or the buyer can purchase quality certification from a credible third party. When the seller invests in quality before the certifier sets a price, we find that both seller effort and social welfare are higher in a setting where certification is available to the buyer relative to one where it is available to the seller. When the certifier instead moves first in the game, buyer certification continues to incentivize relatively more seller effort, although social welfare is not necessarily higher. In a complementary lab experiment, we find empirical support for some basic implications of the theory: certification improves market outcomes relative to when certification is not available, decreasing the price of certification increases its uptake, and making the certification process error-prone decreases seller effort and social welfare. Comparisons of seller and buyer certification settings suggest that differences are smaller than predicted by theory, which may be explained by behavioral factors that motivate buyers to over- or under-utilize certification. Our results also suggest that seller certification is a more robust tool for improving market efficiency.
    Keywords: Market transparency, Certification, Information and product quality, Asymmetric information, Endogenous quality, Experiments
    JEL: C91 D82 D83 L15
    Date: 2020–12
  23. By: Wang Zhijian; Yao Qingmei
    Abstract: Nash equilibrium, its reality and accuracy, is firstly illustrated by the O'Neill (1987) game experiment. In this game experiments (O'Neill (1987), Binmore (2001) and Okano (2013)), we discover the fine structure in the human social cycling spectrum. With the eigencycle set from the eigenvectors in game dynamics equations, we can have the accuracy increased by an order of magnitude on the dynamics testing.
    Date: 2020–12
  24. By: Laurent Denant-Boemont (CREM CNRS, University Rennes 1); Matthieu Leprince (University of Western Brittany & AMURE CNRS); Matthieu Pourieux (CREM CNRS, University Rennes 1)
    Date: 2019–09
  25. By: Lea Heursen; Eva Ranehill; Roberto A. Weber
    Abstract: We study whether one reason behind female underrepresentation in leadership is that female leaders are less effective at coordinating action by followers. Two experiments using coordination games investigate whether female leaders are less successful than males in persuading followers to coordinate on efficient equilibria. Group performance hinges on higher-order beliefs about the leader’s capacity to convince followers to pursue desired actions, making beliefs that women are less effective leaders potentially self-confirming. We find no evidence that such bias impacts actual leadership performance, identifying a precisely-estimated null effect. We show that this absence of an effect is surprising given experts’ priors.
    Keywords: gender, coordination games, leadership, experiment
    JEL: D23 C72 C92 J10
    Date: 2020
  26. By: Wehner, Caroline; de Grip, Andries (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, RS: SBE - MACIMIDE, Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark); Pfeifer, Harald
    Abstract: This paper explores whether firms recruit workers with different personality traits for different tasks. For our analysis, we used data from a discrete choice experiment conducted among recruiters of 634 firms in Germany. Recruiters were asked to choose between job applicants who differed in seven aspects: professional competence, the ‘big five’ personality traits and the prospective wage level. We found that all personality traits affect the hiring probability of the job applicant; among them, conscientiousness and agreeableness have the strongest effects. However, recruiters’ preferences differed for different job tasks. For analytical tasks, recruiters prefer more open and conscientious applicants, whereas they favour more open, extraverted, and agreeable workers for interactive tasks.
    JEL: J23 D91 M51
    Date: 2020–12–17
  27. By: Wehner, Caroline; de Grip, Andries (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, RS: SBE - MACIMIDE, Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark); Pfeifer, Harald
    Abstract: This paper explores whether firms recruit workers with different personality traits for different tasks. For our analysis, we used data from a discrete choice experiment conducted among recruiters of 634 firms in Germany. Recruiters were asked to choose between job applicants who differed in seven aspects: professional competence, the ‘big five’ personality traits and the prospective wage level. We found that all personality traits affect the hiring probability of the job applicant; among them, conscientiousness and agreeableness have the strongest effects. However, recruiters’ preferences differed for different job tasks. For analytical tasks, recruiters prefer more open and conscientious applicants, whereas they favour more open, extraverted, and agreeable workers for interactive tasks.
    JEL: J23 D91 M51
    Date: 2020–12–21
  28. By: Manuel Bagues; Christopher Roth
    Abstract: We study the long-run effects of contact with individuals from other regions on beliefs, preferences and national identity. We combine a natural experiment, the random assignment of male conscripts to different locations throughout Spain, with tailored survey data. Being randomly assigned to complete military service outside of one’s region of residence fosters contact with conscripts from other regions, and increases sympathy towards people from the region of service, measured several decades later. We also observe an increase in identification with Spain for individuals originating from regions with peripheral nationalism. Our evidence suggests that intergroup exposure in early adulthood can have long-lasting effects on individual preferences and national identity.
    Keywords: interregional contact, intergroup exposure, beliefs, preference formation, identity
    JEL: R23 D91 Z10
    Date: 2020
  29. By: John List; Fatemeh Momeni; Yves Zenou
    Abstract: The behavioral revolution within economics has been largely driven by psychological insights, with the sister sciences playing a lesser role. This study leverages insights from sociology to explore the role of neighborhoods on human capital formation at an early age. We do so by estimating the spillover effects from a large-scale early childhood intervention on the educational attainment of over 2000 disadvantaged children in the United States. We document large spillover effects on both treatment and control children who live near treated children. Interestingly, the spillover effects are localized, decreasing with the spatial distance to treated neighbors. Perhaps our most novel insight is the underlying mechanisms at work: the spillover effect on non-cognitive scores operate through the child's social network while parental investment is an important channel through which cognitive spillover effects operate. Overall, our results reveal the importance of public programs and neighborhoods on human capital formation at an early age, highlighting that human capital accumulation is fundamentally a social activity.
    Date: 2020
  30. By: Alex Bryson; Peter Dolton; J. James Reade; Dominik Schreyer; Carl Singleton
    Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has induced worldwide natural experiments on the effects of crowds. We exploit one of these experiments that took place over several countries in almost identical settings: professional football matches played behind closed doors within the 2019/20 league seasons. We find large and statistically significant effects on the number of yellow cards issued by referees. Without a crowd, fewer cards were awarded to the away teams, reducing home advantage. These results have implications for the influence of social pressure and crowds on the neutrality of decisions.
    Keywords: Attendance, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Home advantage, Natural Experiments, Referee Bias, Social Pressure
    JEL: C90 D91 L83 Z20
    Date: 2020–12
  31. By: Hirt-Schierbaum, Linda; Ivets, Maryna
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the influence of financial incentives on agents' commitment success who use a self-bet mechanism to overcome their self-control problems. We use results from the theoretical model developed in Hirt-Schierbaum and Ivets (2020) that allows for heuristic bias in agents' expectations of their future self-control costs and future payoffs, and test its conclusions with data from the online weight loss program DietBet. Our empirical results suggest that financial incentives incorporated into the self-bet mechanism encourage commitment and weight loss. More specifically, by placing higher wagers on themselves and participating in games with larger pots, agents can increase their chances of successful commitment and lose more weight. Additionally, we explore heterogeneity of the results by agents' type based on how accurately they predict their future self-control costs and future payoffs.
    Keywords: weight loss,financial incentive,self-bet,commitment device,self-control,heuristic bias,overconfidence,underconfidence,optimism,pessimism
    JEL: C93 D01 D84 D90 D91 I12
    Date: 2020
  32. By: Danae Arroyos-Calvera (University of Birmingham); Michalis Drouvelis (University of Birmingham); Johannes Lohse (University of Birmingham); Rebecca McDonald (University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: Compliance with COVID-19 measures in the workplace is a vital component of society’s strategy for mitigating the effects of the pandemic. We trial well-established behavioural interventions (social norms, pledging, messenger effects) in a field setting. We use daily reports of own and other’s behaviour to assess the effects of these interventions on compliance and supplement these subjective measures with objective data on hand sanitiser usage. The behavioural interventions tested have significant but quantitatively moderate effects on subjective compliance measures and minimal effects on sanitiser usage. We discuss the influence of ceiling effects caused by already high compliance levels as one limiting factor when attempting to influence behaviour in this context. Another important observation is that all effects of our interventions (where they exist) are short-term in nature and dissipate shortly after implementation. Our findings thus provide weak support for the hypothesis that interventions supported by a large body of behavioural work can help support compliance with infection prevention measures in the workplace.
    Keywords: Social norms, pledge, field experiment, COVID-19 pandemic, workplace safety
    JEL: C39 D91
    Date: 2020–12
  33. By: Dalton, Patricio (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Rüschenpöhler, Julius (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Uras, Burak (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Zia, Bilal
    Keywords: Business Growth; Efficiency Gains; Small-scale Enterprises; Peer Knowledge; Self- Learning; Social Learning
    Date: 2020
  34. By: Philipp Harfst (TUD - Technische Universität Dresden); Damien Bol (King‘s College London); Jean-François Laslier (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Electoral systems in which voters can cast preference votes for individual candidates within a party list are increasingly popular. To the best of our knowledge, there is no research on whether and how the scale used to evaluate candidates can affect electoral behavior and results. In this paper, we analyze data from an original voting experiment leveraging real-life political preferences and embedded in a nationally representative online survey in Austria. We show that the scale used by voters to evaluate candidates makes differences. For example, the possibility to give up to two points advantages male candidates because male voters are more likely to give 'zero points' to female candidates. Yet this pattern does not exist in the system in which voters can give positive and negative points because male voters seem reluctant to actively withdraw points from female candidates. We thus encourage constitution makers to think carefully about the design of preference voting.
    Keywords: Electoral system,Proportional representation,Preference voting,Approval voting,experiment,Austria
    Date: 2020
  35. By: Justin Buffat (University of Lausanne); Matthias Praxmarer (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: Team decision-making prevails in modern organizations. Teams often need to decide whether to delegate or make a decision themselves. Recent work has found that many individuals assign a significantly positive intrinsic value to having a decision right, which may distort the choice between delegating a decision or not. Here we examine experimentally whether teams are also prone to such distortions. While in the aggregate we find no differences between individuals and teams, we uncover an important heterogeneity within teams. Teams with a smooth decision making process have much lower intrinsic values of decision rights than individuals, often not even significantly different from zero. Yet, teams with conflicts in reaching a decision have very high intrinsic values of decision rights, thus distorting decisions. Hence, the team decision making process is of significant importance for the decision-making quality in organizations.
    Keywords: Decision rights, intrinsic value, team decision making, experiment
    JEL: C92 D23 D80
    Date: 2020–12
  36. By: Grandi, Umberto; Lang, Jérôme; Ozkes, Ali (WU Vienna); Airiau, Stéphane
    Abstract: We consider a set of voters making a collective decision via simultaneous vote on two binary issues. Voters' preferences are captured by payoffs assigned to combinations of outcomes for each issue and they can be nonseparable: a voter's preference over an issue might be dependent on the other issue. When the collective decision in this context is reached by voting on both issues at the same time, multiple election paradoxes may arise, as studied extensively in the theoretical literature. In this paper we pursue an experimental approach and investigate the impact of iterative voting, in which groups deliberate by repeating the voting process until a final outcome is reached. Our results from experiments run in the lab show that voters tend to have an optimistic rather than a pessimistic behaviour when casting a vote on a non-separable issue and that iterated voting may in fact improve the social outcome. We provide the first comprehensive empirical analysis of individual and collective behavior in the multiple referendum setting.
    Date: 2020–12–15
  37. By: Ben Jann; Barbara Zimmermann; Andreas Diekmann
    Abstract: Der geschlechtsspezifische Lohnunterschied hat sich in der Schweiz ebenso wie in Deutschland in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten zwar leicht verringert, die Lücke ist aber immer noch beträchtlich und lässt sich nur zum Teil durch produktivitätsrelevante Faktoren erklären. Um zu untersuchen, ob sich ein entsprechender "gender wage gap" auch darin wiederfindet, welche Löhne als gerecht angesehen werden, haben wir im Rahmen von Schweizer Bevölkerungsumfragen drei randomisierte Vignettenexperimente durchgeführt. Im Unterschied zu den meisten anderen Experimenten wurde den Befragten nur jeweils eine Vignette vorgelegt, um Einflüsse sozialer Wünschbarkeit zu vermindern. Das erste Experiment belegt eine geschlechtsspezifische Doppelmoral bei der Einkommensbewertung: Bei Männern wurde ein gegebenes Einkommen eher als zu gering beurteilt als bei Frauen. Der Befund konnte in einem zweiten Experiment mit ähnlichem Design jedoch nicht repliziert werden, wobei ein zentraler Unterschied zwischen den beiden Experimenten in dem in den Vignetten beschriebenen Haushaltskontext lag. In einem dritten Experiment haben wir deshalb den Einfluss der familiären Situation systematisch untersucht. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass nur bei verheirateten Personen ein Unterschied zwischen Frauen und Männern gemacht wird, nicht jedoch bei Singles. Im Einklang mit dem Stereotyp des männlichen Haupternährers zeigt sich ein ausgeprägter Effekt einer "Heiratsprämie". Verheirateten Männern wird in der Wahrnehmung der Bevölkerung bei sonst gleichen Merkmalen ein höherer Lohn zugestanden als verheirateten Frauen.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, just gender pay gap, marriage premium, gender roles, factorial survey, vignette experiment, survey experiment
    JEL: J31 J16 D63 C99
    Date: 2020–12–30
  38. By: Guillen, Pablo; Kesten, Onur; Kiefer, Alexander; Melatos, Mark
    Abstract: The majority of undergraduate university applications in the state of New South Wales – Australia’s largest state – are processed by a clearinghouse, the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Applicants submit an ordered list of degree preferences to UAC which applies a matching algorithm to allocate university places to eligible applicants. The algorithm incorporates the possibility of a type of “early action” through which applicants receive guaranteed enrolments. Applicants receive advice on how to construct their degree preference list from multiple sources (including individual universities). This advice is often confusing, inconsistent with official UAC advice or simply misleading. To evaluate the policy implications of this design choice, we run a large sample (832 observations) experiment with experienced participants in a choice environment that mimics the UAC application process and in which truth telling is a dominant strategy. We vary the advice received across treatments: no advice, UAC advice only, (inaccurate) university advice only, and both UAC and university advice together. Overall, 75.5% of participants fail to use the dominant strategy. High rates of applicant manipulation persist even when applicants are provided with accurate UAC advice. We find that students who attend non-selective government schools are more prone to use strictly dominated strategies than those who attend academically selective government schools and private schools.
    Date: 2020–12
  39. By: Fernando E. Alvarez; David O. Argente
    Abstract: We estimate the private benefits for Uber riders from using alternative payment methods. We focus on Mexico where riders have the option to use cash or credit cards to pay for rides. We use three field experiments involving approximately 400,000 riders to estimate the loss of private benefits for riders if a ban on cash payments is implemented. We find that Uber riders, using cash as means of payment either sometimes or exclusively, suffer an average loss of approximately 50% of their expenditures on trips paid in cash before the ban.
    JEL: E4 E5
    Date: 2020–11
  40. By: Dalton, Patricio (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Rüschenpöhler, Julius (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Uras, Burak (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Zia, Bilal
    Date: 2020
  41. By: John List
    Abstract: Last year I put together a summary of data from my field experiments website that pertained to artefactual field experiments. Several people have asked me if I have and update. In this document I update all figures and numbers to show the details for 2020. I also include the description from the 2019 paper.
    Date: 2020

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