nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2021‒05‒03
sixty-nine papers chosen by

  1. Cooperation in a Company: A Large-Scale Experiment By Deversi, Marvin; Kocher, Martin G.; Schwieren, Christiane
  2. Inducing Cooperation with Emotion – Who Is Affected? By Gärtner, Manja; Tinghög, Gustav; Västfjäll, Daniel
  3. Bargaining and Time Preferences: An Experimental Study By Kim, Jeongbin; Lim, Wooyoung; Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian
  4. The E-Word – On the Public Acceptance of Experiments By Fischer, Mira; Grewenig, Elisabeth; Lergetporer, Philipp; Werner, Katharina
  5. An Adaptive Targeted Field Experiment: Job Search Assistance for Refugees in Jordan By Caria, Stefano; Gordon, Grant; Kasy, Maximilian; Quinn, Simon; Shami, Soha; Teytelboym, Alexander
  6. Decision Making under Uncertainty: An Experimental Study in Market Settings By Echenique, Federico; Imai, Taisuke; Saito, Kota
  7. Signalling in auctions: Experimental evidence By Bos, Olivier; Gomez-Martinez, Francisco; Onderstal, Sander; Truyts, Tom
  8. Ethnic disparity in altruism towards reforestation: A social preference experiment in Mindoro, Philippines By Imelda Revilla Molina; Katelyn Castillo; Klarizze Anne Martin Puzon
  9. Coordination under Loss Contracts By Ahrens, Steffen; Bitter, Lea; Bosch-Rosa, Ciril
  10. Does Relative Performance Information Lower Group Morale? By Heursen, Lea
  11. Two Field Experiments on Self-Selection, Collaboration Intensity, and Team Performance By Fischer, Mira; Rilke, Rainer Michael; Yurtoglu, B. Burcin
  12. Gender Mix and Team Performance: Differences between Exogenously and Endogenously Formed Teams By Ainhoa Aparicio Fenoll; Sarah Zaccagni
  13. Fair Procedures with Naive Agents: Who Wants the Boston Mechanism? By König, Tobias; Kübler, Dorothea; Mechtenberg, Lydia; Schmacker, Renke
  14. Leadership in a Public Goods Experiment with Permanent and Temporary Members By Angelova, Vera; Güth, Werner; Kocher, Martin G.
  15. Gender Norms and Labor-Supply Expectations: Experimental Evidence from Adolescents By Grewenig, Elisabeth; Lergetporer, Philipp; Werner, Katharina
  16. Student Performance and Loss Aversion By Karle, Heiko; Engelmann, Dirk; Peitz, Martin
  17. A survey on dynamic common pool resources : theory and experiment By Murielle Djiguemde
  18. Face Masks Increase Compliance with Physical Distancing Recommendations during the COVID-19 Pandemic By Seres, Gyula; Balleyer, Anna Helen; Cerutti, Nicola; Danilov, Anastasia; Friedrichsen, Jana; Liu, Yiming; Süer, Müge
  19. A survey on dynamic common pool resources : theory and experiment By Murielle Djiguemde
  20. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps: Identifying procedural preferences against helping others in the presence of moral hazard By Rostislav Staněk; Ondřej Krčál; Katarína Čellárová
  21. Vector and triangular representations of project estimation uncertainty: effect of gender on usability By Dorota Kuchta; Jerzy Grobelny; Rafal Michalski; Jan Schneider
  22. Behavior-Based Price Discrimination under Endogenous Privacy By Heiny, Friederike; Li, Tianchi; Tolksdorf, Michel
  23. Incentivizing last-resort social assistance clients: Evidence from a Finnish policy experiment By Palviainen Heikki
  24. The Impact of Presentation Format and Choice Architecture on Portfolio Allocations: Experimental Evidence By Sebastian Bachler; Felix Holzmeister; Michael Razen; Matthias Stefan
  25. Decision-Making Traits and States as Determinants of Risky Choices By Gärtner, Manja; Tinghög, Gustav; Västfjäll, Daniel
  26. The Team Allocator Game: Allocation Power in Public Goods Games By Alexandros Karakostas; Martin G. Kocher; Dominik Matzat; Holger A. Rau; Gerhard Riewe
  27. Incentive Schemes in Customer Rating Systems - Comparing the Effects of Unconditional and Conditional Rebates on Intrinsic Motivation By Dirk van Straaten
  28. Conditional cooperation: Type stability across games By Michael Eichenseer; Johannes Moser
  29. Keeping up with the Joneses: economic impacts of overconfidence in micro-entrepreneurs By Julia Seither
  30. Infrequent Identity Signals and Detection Risks in Audit Correspondence Studies By Catherine Balfe; Patrick Button; Mary Penn; David Schwegman
  31. Interference, Bias, and Variance in Two-Sided Marketplace Experimentation: Guidance for Platforms By Hannah Li; Geng Zhao; Ramesh Johari; Gabriel Y. Weintraub
  32. Risk-Taking under Limited Liability: Quantifying the Role of Motivated Beliefs By Bosch-Rosa, Ciril; Gietl, Daniel; Heinemann, Frank
  33. Fighting Fire with Fire - Overcoming Ambiguity Aversion by Introducing more Ambiguity By Dirk van Straaten; René Fahr
  34. The Causal Effect of Cultural Identity on Cooperation By Jeffrey V. Butler; Dietmar Fehr
  35. Complexity and Distributive Fairness Interact in Affecting Compliance Behavior By Bellemare, Charles; Deversi, Marvin; Englmaier, Florian
  36. Covid-19 Crisis Fuels Hostility against Foreigners By Bartoš, Vojtěch; Bauer, Michal; Cahlíková, Jana; Chytilová, Julie
  37. Anonymity and Self-Expression in Online Rating Systems - An Experimental Analysis By Britta Hoyer; Dirk van Straaten
  38. The Effect of Social Comparison on Debt Taking: Experimental Evidence By Grohmann, Antonia; Koch, Melanie
  39. Second-Chance Offers and Buyer Reputation: Theory and Evidence on Auctions with Default By Engelmann, Dirk; Frank, Jeff; Koch, Alexander K.; Valente, Marieta
  40. Mirror, mirror on the wall: Machine predictions and self-fulfilling prophecies By Bauer, Kevin; Gill, Andrej
  41. Optimal Targeting in Fundraising: A Machine-Learning Approach By Tobias Cagala; Ulrich Glogowsky; Johannes Rincke; Anthony Strittmatter
  42. Financial Education Affects Financial Knowledge and Downstream Behaviors By Kaiser, Tim; Lusardi, Annamaria; Menkhoff, Lukas; Urban, Carly
  43. Organizing for Entrepreneurship: Field-Experimental Evidence on the Performance Effects of Autonomy in Choosing Project Teams and Ideas By Boss, Viktoria; Ihl, Christoph; Dahlander, Linus; Jayaraman, Rajshri
  44. Hidden Markov models for visual processing of marketing leaflets By Jerzy Grobelny; Rafal Michalski
  45. Don’t Expect Too Much – High Income Expectations and Over-Indebtedness By Klühs, Theres; Koch, Melanie; Stein, Wiebke
  46. When Scale and Replication Work: Learning from Summer Youth Employment Experiments By Sara Heller
  47. Financial Education in Schools: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental Studies By Kaiser, Tim; Menkhoff, Lukas
  48. The Banker's Oath And Financial Advice By Utz Weitzel; Michael Kirchler
  49. Does the approval mechanism induce the effcient extraction in Common Pool Resource games? By Koffi Serge William Yao; Emmanuelle Lavaine; Marc Willinger
  50. Disguising Prejudice: Popular Rationales as Excuses for Intolerant Expression By Bursztyn, Leonardo; Haaland, Ingar; Rao, Aakaash; Roth, Christopher
  51. Testing Willingness to Pay Elicitation Mechanisms in the Field: Evidence from Uganda By Burchardi, Konrad; de Quidt, Jonathan; Gulesci, Selim; Lerva, Benedetta; Tripodi, Stefano
  52. School Choice and Loss Aversion By Meisner, Vincent; von Wangenheim, Jonas
  53. What is Risk to Managers? By Jeppe Christoffersen; Felix Holzmeister; Thomas Plenborg
  54. Are Strategies Anchored? By Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta; Seres, Gyula
  55. Do Legal Standards Affect Ethical Concerns of Consumers? By Danz, David; Engelmann, Dirk; Kübler, Dorothea
  56. Do Performance Ranks Increase Productivity? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Ashraf, Anik
  57. CATE meets ML: Conditional average treatment effect and machine learning By Jacob, Daniel
  58. Coupled Lotteries – A New Method to Analyze Inequality Aversion By Koch, Melanie; Menkhoff, Lukas; Schmidt, Ulrich
  59. Do monetary and non-monetary incentives influence environmental attitudes and behavior? Evidence from an experimental analysis By Darshana Rajapaksa; Robert Gifford; Benno Torgler; María A. García-Valiñas; Wasantha Athukorala; Shunsuke Managi; Clevo Wilson
  60. If it Looks like a Human and Speaks like a Human ... Dialogue and cooperation in human-robot interactions By Mario A. Maggioni; Domenico Rossignoli
  61. Is Mobile Money Changing Rural Africa? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Catia Batista; Pedro C. Vicente
  62. Your Place in the World - Relative Income and Global Inequality By Dietmar Fehr; Johanna Mollerstrom; Ricardo Perez-Truglia
  63. Malleability of Preferences for Honesty By Johannes Abeler; Armin Falk; Fabian Kosse
  64. Self-Assessment: The Role of the Social Environment By Falk, Armin; Kosse, Fabian; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah; Zimmermann, Florian
  65. Knowledge, Stigma, and HIV Testing: An Analysis of a Widespread HIV/AIDS Program By Dean Yang; James Allen IV; Arlete Mahumane; James Riddell IV; Hang Yu
  66. Leader Identity and Coordination By Bhalotra. Sonia; Clots-Figueras, Irma; Iyer, Lakshmi; Vecci, Joseph
  67. The Effects of Default Choice on Student Loan Borrowing: Experimental Evidence from a Public Research University By Dennis A. Kramer II; Christina J. Lamb; Lindsay C. Page
  68. Mathematics Camps: A Gift for Gifted Students By Ainhoa Aparicio Fenoll; Flavia Coda-Moscarola; Sarah Zaccagni
  69. Column versus tabular layout of paragraphs in message conveyance: visual processing study based on eye-tracking data By Rafal Michalski; Jerzy Grobelny; Anna Bezdzietna

  1. By: Deversi, Marvin (LMU Munich); Kocher, Martin G. (IHS & University of Vienna); Schwieren, Christiane (University of Heidelberg)
    Abstract: We analyze cooperation within a company setting in order to study the relationship between cooperative attitudes and financial as well as non-financial rewards. In total, 910 employees of a large software company participate in an incentivized online experiment. We observe high levels of cooperation and the typical conditional contribution patterns in a modified public goods game. When linking experiment and company record data, we observe that cooperative attitudes of employees do not pay off in terms of financial rewards within the company. Rather, cooperative employees receive non-financial benefits such as recognition or friendship as the main reward medium. In contrast to most studies in the experimental laboratory, sustained levels of cooperation in our company setting relate to non-financial values of cooperation rather than solely to financial incentives.
    Keywords: cooperation; social dilemma; field experiment; company;
    JEL: C93 D23 H41 J31 J32 M52
    Date: 2020–03–30
  2. By: Gärtner, Manja (DIW Berlin); Tinghög, Gustav (Linköping University); Västfjäll, Daniel (Linköping University)
    Abstract: We study the effects of dual processing differences that arise from the state level (through experimental manipulation of the decision mode), the trait level (using individual difference measures of the decision mode), and their interaction on cooperative behavior. In a survey experiment with a representative sample of the Swedish population (N = 1,828), we elicited the individuals’ primary decision mode and experimentally varied whether individuals could rely on their preferred mode or were induced to rely either on emotion or reason. Cooperation was measured across a series of commonly used and incentivized games (prisoner’s dilemma game, public goods game, trust game, dictator game). At the state level, our results show that average cooperation rates increased when emotions were induced rather than reason. At the trait level, our results show that individual decision modes and cooperation rates were not correlated when subjects could rely on their primary mode, but traits interacted with our processing manipulation: Experimentally inducing emotions increased cooperation among individuals who otherwise rely primarily on reason, but not among individuals who already rely primarily on emotion. These findings suggest that individuals integrate their traits with emotion-based states by substituting their trait rather than enhancing it. Thus, who is affected by emotions in their decision to cooperate crucially depends on state-trait interactions at the point of decision.
    Keywords: cooperation; intuition; emotion; reason; experiment;
    JEL: C71 C91 D91
    Date: 2020–04–06
  3. By: Kim, Jeongbin (National University of Singapore); Lim, Wooyoung (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: We generalize the Rubinstein (1982) bargaining model by disentangling payoff delay from bargaining delay. We show that our extension is isomorphic to generalized discounting with dynamic consistency and characterize the unique equilibrium. Using a novel experimental design to control for various confounds, we then test comparative statics predictions with respect to time discounting. All bargaining takes place within a single experimental session, so bargaining delay is negligible and dynamic consistency holds by design, while payoff delay per disagreement round is significant and randomized transparently at the individual level (week/month, with/without front-end delay). In contrast to prior experiments, we obtain strong behavioral support for the basic predictions that hold regardless of the details of discounting. Testing differential predictions of different forms of discounting, we strongly reject exponential discounting in favor of present-biased discounting.
    Keywords: alternating-offers bargaining; time preferences; present bias; laboratory experiments;
    JEL: C78 C91 D03
    Date: 2020–08–14
  4. By: Fischer, Mira (WZB Berlin); Grewenig, Elisabeth (ifo Institute); Lergetporer, Philipp (ifo Institute); Werner, Katharina (ifo Institute)
    Abstract: Randomized experiments are often viewed as the “gold standard” of scientific evidence but people’s scepticism towards experiments has compromised their viability in the past. We study preferences for experimental policy evaluations in a representative survey in Germany (N>1,900). We find that a majority of 75% supports the idea of small-scale evaluations of policies before enacting them at a large scale. Experimentally varying whether the evaluations are explicitly described as “experiments” has a precisely estimated overall zero effect on public support. Our results indicate political leeway for experimental policy evaluation, a practice that is still uncommon in Germany.
    Keywords: experiment aversion; policy experimentation; education;
    JEL: I28 H40 C93
    Date: 2019–12–16
  5. By: Caria, Stefano (University of Warwick and CAGE); Gordon, Grant (International Rescue Committee); Kasy, Maximilian (University of Oxford); Quinn, Simon (University of Oxford); Shami, Soha (Danish Refugee Council); Teytelboym, Alexander (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: We introduce an adaptive targeted treatment assignment methodology for field experiments. Our Tempered Thompson Algorithm balances the goals of maximizing the precision of treatment effect estimates and maximizing the welfare of experimental participants. A hierarchical Bayesian model allows us to adaptively target treatments. We implement our methodology in Jordan, testing policies to help Syrian refugees and local jobseekers to find work. The immediate employment impacts of a small cash grant, information and psychological support are small, but targeting raises employment by 1 percentage-point (20%). After four months, cash has a sizable effect on employment and earnings of Syrians.
    Keywords: JEL Classification: C93, J6, O15
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Echenique, Federico (California Institute of Technology); Imai, Taisuke (LMU Munich); Saito, Kota (California Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: We design and implement a novel experimental test of subjective expected utility theory and its generalizations. Our experiments are implemented in the laboratory with a student population, and pushed out through a large-scale panel to a general sample of the US population. We find that a majority of subjects’ choices are consistent with maximization of some utility function, but not with subjective utility theory. The theory is tested by gauging how subjects respond to price changes. A majority of subjects respond to price changes in the direction predicted by the theory, but not to a degree that makes them fully consistent with subjective expected utility. Surprisingly, maxmin expected utility adds no explanatory power to subjective expected utility. Our findings remain the same regardless of whether we look at laboratory data or the panel survey, even though the two subject populations are very different. The degree of violations of subjective expected utility theory is not affected by age nor cognitive ability, but it is correlated with financial literacy.
    Keywords: uncertainty; subjective expected utility; maxmin expected utility; revealed preference;
    JEL: D01 D81 D90
    Date: 2019–11–07
  7. By: Bos, Olivier; Gomez-Martinez, Francisco; Onderstal, Sander; Truyts, Tom
    Abstract: We study the relative performance of the first-price sealed-bid auction, the second-price sealed-bid auction, and the all-pay sealed-bid auction in a laboratory experiment where bidders can signal information through their bidding behaviour to an outside observer. We consider two different information settings: the auctioneer reveals either the identity of the winning bidder only, or she also reveals the bidders' payments to an outside observer. We find that the all-pay sealed-bid auction in which the bidders' payments are revealed outperforms the other mechanisms in terms of revenue, while this mechanism underperforms in terms of efficiency relative to the winner-pay auctions.
    Keywords: Auctions,Signalling,Experiments
    JEL: C92 D44 D82
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Imelda Revilla Molina; Katelyn Castillo; Klarizze Anne Martin Puzon
    Abstract: This paper presents a framed field experiment on ecological altruism in Mindoro, Philippines. Behavioural differences between ethnic groups in Mindoro?the Tagalogs and the Mangyans?were investigated. We designed a two-part donation task (i.e. dictator game) where the recipient of the donation was a local reforestation project. There were two treatments: participants played either the giving game (GG) or the taking game (TG).
    Keywords: Field experiment, Forests and forestry, Altruism, Behaviour, Ethnicity, Ethnic group
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Ahrens, Steffen (TU Berlin); Bitter, Lea (TU Berlin); Bosch-Rosa, Ciril (TU Berlin)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the effects that loss contracts—prepayments that can be clawbacked later—have on group coordination when there is strategic uncertainty. We compare the choices made by experimental subjects in a minimum effort game. In control sessions, incentives are formulated as a classic gain contract, while in treatment sessions, incentives are framed as an isomorphic loss contract. Our results show that loss contracts reduce the minimum efforts of groups and worsen coordination between group members, both leading to lower payoffs. However, these results depend strongly on the group’s gender composition; groups with a larger proportion of women are better at coordinating and exert more effort.
    Keywords: strategic uncertainty; loss aversion; coordination; contract design; framing; experiment;
    JEL: C91 D84 G11 G41
    Date: 2020–09–07
  10. By: Heursen, Lea (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: In many organizations, productivity relies not just on individual effort but also on group morale, that is, the willingness of co-workers to help each other perform better at work. Relative performance evaluations (RPE) are known to increase individual work morale but may negatively affect group morale because they create a sense of competition among members of a reference group. In a novel experiment, I vary whether or not members of a reference group obtain relative performance information on a task that is relevant for their social image or self-image, a general knowledge test. I measure how this affects the subsequent willingness to help the productivity of others by sharing knowledge with them at a personal cost. I find that RPE cause members of a reference group to compete as intensely as under relative pay, compared to a baseline with no relative performance information and fixed piece-rates. It also increases the perceived social distance between them. Yet, I show that even after a performance competition, individuals are willing to help the productivity of others in the group. These findings advance our understanding of how relative concerns among co-workers affect the way they work together.
    Keywords: relative performance information; rank feedback; social incentives; on-the-job help; group productivity; social and self-image; experiment;
    JEL: D23 C92 J24 D91
    Date: 2019–12–12
  11. By: Fischer, Mira (WZB Berlin); Rilke, Rainer Michael (WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management); Yurtoglu, B. Burcin (WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management)
    Abstract: We analyze how the team formation process influences the ability composition and performance of teams, showing how self-selection and random assignment affect team performance for different tasks in two natural field experiments. We identify the collaboration intensity of the task as the key driver of the effect of self-selection on team performance. We find that when the task requires low collaborative efforts, the team performance of self-selected teams is significantly inferior to that of randomly assigned teams. When the task involves more collaborative efforts, self-selected teams tend to outperform randomly assigned teams. We observe assortative matching in self-selected teams, with subjects more likely to match with those of similar ability and the same gender.
    Keywords: team performance; self-selection; field experiment; education;
    JEL: I21 M54 C93
    Date: 2020–05–04
  12. By: Ainhoa Aparicio Fenoll; Sarah Zaccagni
    Abstract: We conduct a randomized controlled trial to study the effect of gender composition of teams on performance, self-concept, working style, and individual satisfaction in endogenously and exogenously formed teams. We randomly divide a sample of high school students into two groups: we assign students in one group to teams of varying gender composition using random assignment and we allow the students in the other group to form teams freely. We find that students form disproportionately more male-predominant teams that those that would be formed under random assignment and that students in endogenously-formed gender-biased teams prefer even more gender-biased teams ex-post. Our results also show that female-predominant teams under-perform other types of teams but these differences disappear when teams are endogenously-formed.
    Keywords: team composition, gender, team formation, team dynamics, team performance, field experiment, decision-making.
    JEL: J16 I21 I24
    Date: 2021
  13. By: König, Tobias (Linnaeus University); Kübler, Dorothea (TU Berlin and WZB Berlin); Mechtenberg, Lydia (University Hamburg); Schmacker, Renke (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: We study preferences over procedures in the presence of naive agents. We employ a school choice setting following Pathak and Sönmez (2008) who show that sophisticated agents are better off under the Boston mechanism than under a strategy-proof mechanism if some agents are sincere. We use lab experiments to study the preferences of subjects for the Boston mechanism or the assortative matching. We compare the preferences of stakeholders who know their own role with agents behind the veil of ignorance and spectators. As predicted, stakeholders vote for the Boston mechanism if it maximizes their payoffs and vote for the assortative matching otherwise. This is in line with the model of Pathak and Sönmez (2008). Subjects behind the veil of ignorance mainly choose the Boston mechanism when the priority at schools is determined randomly. In a second experiment with priorities based on performance in a real-effort task, spectators whose payoff does not depend on the choice of the mechanism are split in their vote for the Boston mechanism and the assortative matching. According to the spectators’ statements in the post-experimental questionnaire, the main reason for preferring the Boston mechanism is that playing the game well deserves a higher payoff. These findings provide a novel explanation for the widespread use of the Boston mechanism.
    Keywords: matching markets; school choice; voting; Boston mechanism; naive agents; stable assortative matching ;
    JEL: D47 C92 I24 D72
    Date: 2019–12–18
  14. By: Angelova, Vera (TU Berlin); Güth, Werner (MPI for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Kocher, Martin G. (University of Vienna)
    Abstract: We experimentally analyze leading by example in a public goods game with two permanent and two temporary group members. Our results show that leadership when permanent and temporary members interact leads to lower contributions than interaction without leadership.
    Keywords: cooperation; leadership; social dilemma; public goods provision; experiment;
    JEL: C91 D03 D64
    Date: 2019–11–27
  15. By: Grewenig, Elisabeth (ifo Institute); Lergetporer, Philipp (ifo Institute); Werner, Katharina (ifo Institute)
    Abstract: Gender gaps in labor-market outcomes often emerge with the arrival of the first child. We investigate a causal link between gender norms and labor-supply expectations within a survey experiment among 2,000 German adolescents. Using a hypothetical scenario, we document that the majority of girls expects to work 20 hours or less per week when having a young child, and expects from their partner to work 30 hours or more. Randomized treatments that highlight the existing traditional norm towards mothers significantly reduce girls’ self-expected labor supply and thereby increase the expected gender difference in labor supply between their partners and themselves (the expected within-family gender gap). Treatment effects persist in a follow-up survey two weeks later, and extend to incentivized outcomes. In a second experiment, we highlight another, more gender-egalitarian, norm towards shared household responsibilities and show that this attenuates the expected within-family gender gap. Our results suggest that social norms play an important role in shaping gender gaps in labor-market outcomes around child birth.
    Keywords: gender norms; female labor supply; survey experiment;
    JEL: J16 J22 C93 D83
    Date: 2020–10–26
  16. By: Karle, Heiko (Frankfurt School of Finance & Management); Engelmann, Dirk (HU Berlin); Peitz, Martin (University of Mannheim)
    Abstract: In this paper, we match data on student performance in a multiple-choice exam with data on student risk preferences that are extracted from a classroom experiment. We find that more-loss-averse students leave more questions unanswered and perform worse in the multiple-choice exam when giving an incorrect answer is penalized compared to not answering. We provide evidence that loss aversion parameters extracted from lottery choices in a controlled experiment have predictive power in a field environment of decision making under uncertainty. Furthermore, the degree of loss aversion appears to be persistent over time, as the experiment was conducted three months prior to the exam. We also find important differences across genders; they are partly explained by differences in loss aversion.
    Keywords: loss aversion; decision making under uncertainty; multiple choice;
    JEL: C91 D01 D11 D83
    Date: 2019–09–16
  17. By: Murielle Djiguemde (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UMR 5211 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: This paper provides a survey on the literature using dynamic games to analyse the decision-making processes of common pool resources (CPRs) users. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the application of dynamic games in laboratory experiments. In this way, we focus on articles presenting both a theoretical model with laboratory experiments, by making a distinction between discrete time and continuous time. Therefore, we put a particular attention to subjects' classication according to their observed behavior, the dierent channels by which cooperation can occur and the econometric tools used to analyse experimental data.
    Keywords: Experimental Economics,Dynamic games,Common Pool Resources,Experimetrics.,Experimetrics
    Date: 2021–04–07
  18. By: Seres, Gyula (HU Berlin); Balleyer, Anna Helen (University of Groningen); Cerutti, Nicola (Berlin School of Economics and Law); Danilov, Anastasia (HU Berlin); Friedrichsen, Jana (DIW and HU Berlin); Liu, Yiming (HU and WZB Berlin); Süer, Müge (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: Governments across the world have implemented restrictive policies to slow the spread of COVID-19. Recommended face mask use has been a controversially discussed policy, among others, due to potential adverse effects on physical distancing. Using a randomized field experiment (N=300), we show that individuals keep a significantly larger distance from someone wearing a face mask than from an unmasked person. According to an additional survey experiment (N=456), masked individuals are not perceived as being more infectious than unmasked ones, but they are believed to prefer more distancing. This result suggests that, in times where mask use is voluntary, wearing a mask serves as a social signal for a preferred greater distance that is respected by others. Our findings provide strong evidence against the claim that mask use creates a false sense of security that would negatively affect physical distancing.
    Keywords: COVID-19; health policy; compliance; face masks; risk compensation; field experiment;
    JEL: C93 I12
    Date: 2020–08–14
  19. By: Murielle Djiguemde (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UMR 5211 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: This paper provides a survey on the literature using dynamic games to analyse the decision-making processes of common pool resources (CPRs) users. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the application of dynamic games in laboratory experiments. In this way, we focus on articles presenting both a theoretical model with laboratory experiments, by making a distinction between discrete time and continuous time. Therefore, we put a particular attention to subjects' classication according to their observed behavior, the dierent channels by which cooperation can occur and the econometric tools used to analyse experimental data.
    Keywords: Experimental Economics,Dynamic games,Common Pool Resources,Experimetrics.,Experimetrics
    Date: 2021–04–07
  20. By: Rostislav Staněk (Department of Economics, Masaryk University, Czech Republic); Ondřej Krčál (Department of Economics, Masaryk University, Czech Republic); Katarína Čellárová (Department of Economics, Masaryk University, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Governments and organizations often implement policies designed to help people in case of an undesirable event. Such policies can make the society better off, but they may also create moral hazard. We use a laboratory experiment to examine two questions. First, can discretionary decisions to provide assistance overcome the problem of moral hazard and lead to higher efficiency? Second, if so, will people prefer this discretionary procedure to the strict liability policy in which no assistance is provided? We find that the assistance is more ecient than the strict liability procedure. However, people still prefer the strict liability regime rather than assistance provision. We conduct additional treatments that show that this e ect is not driven by the presence of the human discretion, nor by risk, loss or inequality aversion. This suggests that when moral hazard is a concern people have procedural preferences in favor of the strict liability regime.
    Keywords: Strict liability, Assistance, Procedural preferences, Experiment, Moral hazard
    JEL: C91 D90
    Date: 2021–04
  21. By: Dorota Kuchta; Jerzy Grobelny; Rafal Michalski; Jan Schneider
    Abstract: The paper proposes a new visualisation in the form of vectors of not-fully-known quantitative features. The proposal is put in the context of project defining and planning and the importance of visualisation for decision making. The new approach is empirically compared with the already known visualisation utilizing membership functions of triangular fuzzy numbers. The designed and conducted experiment was aimed at evaluating the usability of the new approach according to ISO 9241-11. Overall 76 subjects performed 72 experimental conditions designed to assess the effectiveness of uncertainty conveyance. Efficiency and satisfaction were examined by participants subjective assessment of appropriate statements. The experiment results show that the proposed visualisation may constitute a significant alternative to the known, triangle-based visualisation. The paper emphasizes potential advantages for the proposed representation for project management and in other areas.
    Keywords: fuzzy number visualisation; fuzzy number vector representation; visual processing; project uncertainty; usability
    JEL: C00 D01 D03 D20 D29 D81 D83 D87 L00 L11 L15 L86 M15 O22
    Date: 2021
  22. By: Heiny, Friederike (HU Berlin); Li, Tianchi (HU Berlin); Tolksdorf, Michel (TU Berlin)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes consumers’ privacy choice concerning their private data and firms’ ensuing pricing strategy. The General Data Protection Regulation passed by the European Union in May 2018 allows consumers to decide whether to reveal private information in the form of cookies to an online seller. By incorporating this endogenous decision into a duopoly model with behavior-based pricing, we find two contrasting equilibria. Under revelation to both firms, consumers disclose their information. Under revelation to only one firm, consumers hide their information. Based on the model, we design a laboratory experiment. We find that there is a large share of consumers who reveal their private data. Particularly, less privacy-concerned subjects and subjects in the setting where only one firm receives information are more likely to reveal information.
    Keywords: behavior-based pricing; privacy; laboratory experiment;
    JEL: C91 D11 D43 L13
    Date: 2020–01–20
  23. By: Palviainen Heikki (Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University)
    Abstract: In 2002, the Finnish government introduced an earnings disregard experiment aimed at improving the incentives of low-income individuals who receive last-resort social as- sistance. The aim of the experiment was to reduce unemployment by providing social assistance clients better incentives to receive at least temporary or part-time work. This paper evaluates the employment effects of the experiment using a quasi-experimental design. The experiment allowed for some social assistance client groups to earn a small temporary income to supplement their disposable income. There are small positive ef- fects on earnings for women and single-person households.
    Keywords: Difference-in-differences, making work pay, earnings disregard, welfare
    JEL: C93 H53 I38 J68
    Date: 2021–04
  24. By: Sebastian Bachler; Felix Holzmeister; Michael Razen; Matthias Stefan
    Abstract: The question of optimal presentation format and choice architecture for investment decisions has gained momentum among researchers, policy makers, and practitioners alike. Motivated by the question how to provide information to investors in a way to improve financial decision-making, we conduct an investment experiment. We implement a 2x2 factorial design to test the effect of presentation format (graphical vs. tabular) and choice architecture/complexity (asset selection vs. predefined portfolios) on decision-making quality. Overall, our results suggest a differential effect of presentation format and choice architecture: Firstly, we find that the graphical presentation format lowers decision-making quality when the environment is more complex (asset selection). Secondly, within graphical presentation, decision quality is higher when the choice architecture is simplified (predefined portfolios). In addition, we find that a simplified choice architecture leads to higher risk-adjusted returns and reduces the relevance of fluid intelligence and numeracy for decision-making quality.
    Keywords: Investment Decision, Presentation Format, Choice Architecture, Decision-Making Quality, Experimental Finance
    JEL: G11 G41 G50
    Date: 2021
  25. By: Gärtner, Manja (DIW Berlin); Tinghög, Gustav (Linköping University); Västfjäll, Daniel (Linköping University)
    Abstract: We test the effects of dual processing differences in both individual traits and decision states on risk taking. In an experiment with a large representative sample (N = 1,832), we vary whether risky choices are induced to be based on either emotion or reason, while simultaneously measuring individual decision-making traits. Our results show that decision-making traits are strong and robust determinants of risk taking: a more intuitive trait is associated with more risk taking, while a more deliberative trait is associated with less risk taking. Experimentally induced states, on the other hand, have no effect on risk taking. A test of state-trait interactions shows that the association between an intuitive trait and risk taking becomes weaker in the emotion-inducing state and in the loss domain. In contrast, the association between a deliberative trait and risk taking is stable across states. These findings highlight the importance of considering state-trait interactions when using dual processing theories to predict individual differences in risk taking.
    Keywords: risk preferences; intuition; emotion; reason; experiment;
    JEL: C91 D81 D91
    Date: 2019–10–23
  26. By: Alexandros Karakostas; Martin G. Kocher; Dominik Matzat; Holger A. Rau; Gerhard Riewe
    Abstract: We analyze linear, weakest-link and best-shot public goods games in which a distinguished team member, the team allocator, has property rights over the benefits from the public good and can distribute them among team members. These team allocator games are intended to capture natural asymmetries in hierarchical teams facing social dilemmas, such as those that exist in work teams. Our results show that the introduction of a team allocator leads to pronounced cooperation in both linear and best-shot public-good games, while it has no effect in the weakest-link public good. The team allocator uses her allocation power to distribute benefits from the public good in a way that motivates people to contribute. Re-allocating team payoffs allows the team allocator to reward cooperating team members and to sanction non-cooperating members at no efficiency losses from explicit sanctioning costs. As a result, team profits are higher in the linear team allocator game but not in the best-shot case, where the lack of coordination leads to a welfare decrease for the remaining team members.
    Keywords: public goods provision, experiment, institutions, cooperation, allocation power, teams
    JEL: C72 C91 C92
    Date: 2021
  27. By: Dirk van Straaten (Paderborn University)
    Abstract: The success of e-commerce is strongly affected by customer review systems, since they are the most important trust-building device in online shopping. However, participation in these systems is biased as certain customer groups do not provide insights from their experience with the purchased goods. This study aims to stimulate the participation in customer review systems by implementing financial incentives. By conducting an economic laboratory experiment, subjects are treated with different types of incentives, namely unconditional rebates (i.e., gifts) or conditional rebates (i.e., rebates in return) for providing customer reviews. Through this process, providing gifts triggers reciprocity and rebates in return rather address economic motives for providing reviews. Finding no evidence for peer reciprocity, we identify seller reciprocity, economic incentives, and altruism as the drivers for providing customer reviews. In particular, we find that conditional rebates strongly increase the quantity of customer ratings but crowd out ratings that are motivated by altruism. In comparison, unconditional rebates result in a lower increase of customer ratings but show the advantage of not crowding out intrinsically motivated customer ratings.
    Keywords: Customer Rating, Altruism, Reciprocity, Incentives, Crowding out
    JEL: C91 D82 L81 L86
    Date: 2021–04
  28. By: Michael Eichenseer; Johannes Moser
    Abstract: In this paper, we use an experimental setup to classify cooperation types using a sequential prisoner’s dilemma and a one shot sequential public goods game. In these two games, we examine the within subject stability of cooperation preferences. Our results suggest that subjects classified as conditional cooperators in the prisoner’s dilemma match others’ contributions in the public goods game to a significantly larger degree compared to other types, which indicates a substantial consistency. Regarding discrete behavioral types, we find that the prisoner’s dilemma performs well in identifying conditional cooperators while it is only an imperfect tool for identifying selfish types in the public goods game.
    Keywords: conditional cooperation, public goods game, sequential prisoner’s dilemma, discrete behavioral types
    JEL: C72 C91 H41
    Date: 2019–06
  29. By: Julia Seither
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of incorrect beliefs over relative firm performance on micro-firm outputs through a randomized field experiment in Mozambique. At baseline, 76% of firm owners in the bottom of the distribution are overconfident about their firm’s performance. The estimates reveal that correcting these beliefs through a simple, easily scalable information experiment closes the performance gap between treated firms in the bottom of the distribution at baseline and average and top firms by almost 43%. Moreover, the treatment increases the time a firm owner allocates to her business, improves strategic cooperation with the most important business partners, and affects the pricing strategy of treated firm owners. My results suggest that incorrect beliefs about relative performance are a binding constraint to firm growth that have large implications for managerial behavior and firm outcomes.
    JEL: D22 D91 O12
    Date: 2021
  30. By: Catherine Balfe; Patrick Button; Mary Penn; David Schwegman
    Abstract: Audit correspondence studies are field experiments that test for discriminatory behavior in active markets. Researchers measure discrimination by comparing how responsive individuals ("audited units") are to correspondences from different types of people. This paper elaborates on the tradeoffs researchers face between sending audited units only one correspondence and sending them multiple correspondences, especially when including less common identity signals in the correspondences. We argue that when researchers use audit correspondence studies to measure discrimination against individuals that infrequently interact with audited units, they raise the risk that these audited units become aware they are being studied or otherwise act differently. We present the result of an audit correspondence study that demonstrates how this detection can occur when researchers send more than one correspondence from an uncommon minority group. We show how this detection leads to attenuated (downwardly biased) estimates of discrimination.
    JEL: C93 J15 J16 J71 K42 Z13
    Date: 2021–04
  31. By: Hannah Li; Geng Zhao; Ramesh Johari; Gabriel Y. Weintraub
    Abstract: Two-sided marketplace platforms often run experiments to test the effect of an intervention before launching it platform-wide. A typical approach is to randomize individuals into the treatment group, which receives the intervention, and the control group, which does not. The platform then compares the performance in the two groups to estimate the effect if the intervention were launched to everyone. We focus on two common experiment types, where the platform randomizes individuals either on the supply side or on the demand side. The resulting estimates of the treatment effect in these experiments are typically biased: because individuals in the market compete with each other, individuals in the treatment group affect those in the control group and vice versa, creating interference. We develop a simple tractable market model to study bias and variance in these experiments with interference. We focus on two choices available to the platform: (1) Which side of the platform should it randomize on (supply or demand)? (2) What proportion of individuals should be allocated to treatment? We find that both choices affect the bias and variance of the resulting estimators but in different ways. The bias-optimal choice of experiment type depends on the relative amounts of supply and demand in the market, and we discuss how a platform can use market data to select the experiment type. Importantly, we find in many circumstances, choosing the bias-optimal experiment type has little effect on variance. On the other hand, the choice of treatment proportion can induce a bias-variance tradeoff, where the bias-minimizing proportion increases variance. We discuss how a platform can navigate this tradeoff and best choose the treatment proportion, using a combination of modeling as well as contextual knowledge about the market, the risk of the intervention, and reasonable effect sizes of the intervention.
    Date: 2021–04
  32. By: Bosch-Rosa, Ciril (TU Berlin); Gietl, Daniel (LMU Munich); Heinemann, Frank (TU Berlin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether limited liability affects risk-taking through motivated beliefs. To do so, we run a within-subject experiment in which subjects invest in a risky asset under full or limited liability. In both cases, before the investment is made, subjects observe a noisy signal that indicates whether the investment will succeed or fail. They then state the likelihood of the investment's success and decide how much to invest. Our results show a strong effect of limited liability on both the investment decision and the formation of motivated beliefs. Compared to subjects under full liability, subjects under limited liability not only invest larger amounts but are also significantly more optimistic about the success of their investments. Finally, we show that more than one-third of the increase in investment under limited liability can be explained through motivated beliefs.
    Keywords: limited liability; motivated beliefs; experiment ;
    JEL: C91 D84 G11 G41
    Date: 2019–12–09
  33. By: Dirk van Straaten (Paderborn University); René Fahr (Paderborn University)
    Abstract: Ambiguity aversion guides decision makers to choose a risky rather than an ambiguous prospect, a pattern that is not always beneficial. For example, even nowadays, private pensions often build on savings accounts, which are risky prospects with known probabilities, instead of stocks as the former ensure safe returns with fixed interest rates. In comparison, expected returns of stocks, which are ambiguous prospects with unknown probabilities, are significantly higher. This study aims at facilitating a better understanding of ambiguity aversion and suggests measures to improve decision-making. In our experiment, subjects are confronted with either decisions under risk or decisions under ambiguity. Controlling for risk attitudes, we estimate category weights in both domains and find significant differences, which indicate the present of ambiguity aversion. Contrary to our predictions on the amplifying effect of multiple sources of ambiguity, we find that category weights of ambiguity and risk converge each other when a second source of ambiguity is implemented. That is, we point out another option to deal with ambiguity when people have to choose between risky and ambiguous prospects. Instead of minimizing ambiguity, the introduction of a second source of ambiguity might help to compare alternatives with less biases through ambiguity aversion.
    Keywords: Unknown source credibility, Risk, Ambiguity aversion, Uncertainty, Customer ratings
    JEL: C91 D01 D81
    Date: 2021–04
  34. By: Jeffrey V. Butler; Dietmar Fehr
    Abstract: The impact of culture on non-kin cooperation has been singled out as critical for economic activity. However, causal evidence of culture’s influence on cooperation remains scant. In this paper we provide such evidence, focusing on two key components of culture: preferences and beliefs. Adopting the view that culture is one aspect of an individual’s multi-faceted self-concept (identity) we conduct an experiment with foreign- and US-born Chinese immigrants at a large US public university. In a two-by-two design, we exogenously vary: i) the salience of participants’ American or Chinese cultural identities; and ii) the capacity for culture to affect beliefs by randomly providing previous-session cooperation-rate information. Comparing behavior across cultures and information conditions, our results suggest a prominent role for both preferences and beliefs. In particular, we find that culture’s effects through beliefs are as important as its effects through preferences.
    Keywords: culture, identity, beliefs, preference, experiment
    JEL: C91 D01 O10 P16 Z10
    Date: 2021
  35. By: Bellemare, Charles (Université Laval); Deversi, Marvin (LMU Munich); Englmaier, Florian (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: Filing income tax returns or insurance claims often requires that individuals comply with complex rules to meet their obligations. We present evidence from a laboratory tax experiment suggesting that the effects of complexity on compliance are intrinsically linked to distributive fairness. We find that compliance remains largely unaffected by complexity when income taxes are distributed to a morally justified charity. Conversely, complexity significantly amplifies non-compliance when income taxes appear wasted as they are distributed to a morally dubious charity. Our data further suggest that this non-compliance pattern is facilitated through the ambiguity that evolves from mostly unstrategic filing mistakes.
    Keywords: complexity; compliance; distributive fairness; experiment;
    JEL: C91 D01 D91 H26
    Date: 2019–10–16
  36. By: Bartoš, Vojtěch (LMU Munich); Bauer, Michal (CERGE-EI Prague); Cahlíková, Jana (MPI for Tax Law and Public Finance Munich); Chytilová, Julie (CERGE-EI Prague)
    Abstract: Intergroup conflicts represent one of the most pressing problems facing human society. Sudden spikes in aggressive behavior, including pogroms, often take place during periods of economic hardship or health pandemics, but little is known about the underlying mechanism behind such change in behavior. Many scholars attribute it to scapegoating, a psychological need to redirect anger and to blame an out-group for hardship and problems beyond one's own control. However, causal evidence of whether hardship triggers out-group hostility has been lacking. Here we test this idea in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on the common concern that it may foster nationalistic sentiments and racism. Using a controlled money-burning task, we elicited hostile behavior among a nationally representative sample (n = 2,186) in a Central European country, at a time when the entire population was under lockdown and border closure. We find that exogenously elevating salience of thoughts related to Covid-19 pandemic magnifies hostility and discrimination against foreigners, especially from Asia. This behavioral response is large in magnitude and holds across various demographic sub-groups. For policy, the results underscore the importance of not inflaming racist sentiments and suggest that efforts to recover international trade and cooperation will need to address both social and economic damage.
    Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; scapegoating; hostility; inter-group conflict; discrimination; experiment;
    JEL: C90 D01 D63 D91 J15
    Date: 2020–05–14
  37. By: Britta Hoyer (Paderborn University); Dirk van Straaten (Paderborn University)
    Abstract: Customer reviews are a fundamental part of online markets to establish trust between customers and sellers. Sharing experiences about products and services, however, is accompanied with the (sometimes involuntary) sharing of personal information. This is in conflict with growing concerns of data security calling for more privacy in online settings. Anonymous reputation systems could be one instrument to ensure more privacy in such markets. However, the impact of anonymity on the propensity to leave reviews is unclear. In this experimental study we therefore analyze whether the degree of anonymity of customers affects their propensity to leave reviews in an online market. We find that the amount of ratings drops significantly when subjects are anonymous pointing to self-expression as a driver of customer reviews. Moreover, we find that altruistic subjects are not affected by the introduction of anonymity and, hence, provide significantly more reviews compared to non-altruists under anonymity. When we remove the veil of anonymity, this difference between altruists and non-altruists disappears and, overall, market outcomes increase.
    Keywords: Customer Rating, Altruism, Public Good, Anonymity, Reputation
    JEL: C91 D64 H41 L86
    Date: 2021–04
  38. By: Grohmann, Antonia (DIW Berlin); Koch, Melanie (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: A number of studies show that there is a link between social comparison and high levels of household debt. However, the exact mechanisms behind this link are not yet well understood. In this paper, we perform a lab experiment designed to study the effects of social image concerns and peer information on consumption choices that can be financed through debt taking. We find that having to announce one's consumption decision publicly leads to leaving money on the table, which is the opposite of what we expected. Being informed about other participants' choices leads to conformity in choices between participants.
    Keywords: household finance; lab experiment; social comparison; peer effects;
    JEL: D14 D12 D91
    Date: 2019–12–19
  39. By: Engelmann, Dirk (HU Berlin); Frank, Jeff (Royal Holloway, University of London); Koch, Alexander K. (Aarhus University); Valente, Marieta (University of Minho)
    Abstract: Winners in online auctions frequently fail to complete purchases. Major auction platforms therefore allow “second-chance” offers, where the runner-up bidder pays his own bid price, and they let sellers leave negative feedback on buyers who default. We show theoretically that (i) all else equal, the availability of second-chance offers reduces bids; (ii) sellers have no incentive to exclude bidders, even if they are nearly certain to default; (iii) buyer reputation systems reward bidders with a reputation for defaulting, counter to the idea of deterring such behavior. Our auction experiments support these predictions and provide insights on their practical relevance.
    Keywords: auctions; default; reputation; second-chance offers;
    JEL: D44 C91 L14 D83
    Date: 2020–04–21
  40. By: Bauer, Kevin; Gill, Andrej
    Abstract: We show that disclosing machine predictions to affected parties can trigger self-fulfilling prophecies. In an investment game, we experimentally vary investors' and recipients' access to a machine prediction about recipients' likelihood to pay back an investment. Recipients who privately learn about an incorrect machine prediction alter their behavior in the direction of the prediction. Furthermore, when recipients learn that an investor has disregarded a machine prediction of no-repayment, this further lowers the repayment amount. We interpret these findings as evidence that transparency regarding machine predictions can alter recipients' beliefs about what kind of person they are and what investors expect of them. Our results indicate that providing increased access to machine predictions as an isolated measure to alleviate accountability concerns may have unintended negative consequences for organizations by possibly changing customer behavior.
    Keywords: algorithmic transparency,algorithmic decision support,human-machine interaction
    JEL: C91 D80 D91 O33
    Date: 2021
  41. By: Tobias Cagala; Ulrich Glogowsky; Johannes Rincke; Anthony Strittmatter
    Abstract: Ineffective fundraising lowers the resources charities can use for goods provision. We combine a field experiment and a causal machine-learning approach to increase a charity’s fundraising effectiveness. The approach optimally targets fundraising to individuals whose expected donations exceed solicitation costs. Among past donors, optimal targeting substantially increases donations (net of fundraising costs) relative to bench-marks that target everybody or no one. Instead, individuals who were previously asked but never donated should not be targeted. Further, the charity requires only publicly available geospatial information to realize the gains from targeting. We conclude that charities not engaging in optimal targeting waste resources.
    Keywords: fundraising, charitable giving, gift exchange, targeting, optimal policy learning, individualized treatment rules
    JEL: C93 D64 H41 L31 C21
    Date: 2021
  42. By: Kaiser, Tim (University of Koblenz-Landau & DIW Berlin); Lusardi, Annamaria (George Washington University); Menkhoff, Lukas (HU & DIW Berlin); Urban, Carly (Montana State University)
    Abstract: We study the rapidly growing literature on the causal effects of financial education programs in a meta-analysis of 76 randomized experiments with a total sample size of over 160,000 individuals. The evidence shows that financial education programs have, on average, positive causal treatment effects on financial knowledge and downstream financial behaviors. Treatment effects are economically meaningful in size, similar to those realized by educational interventions in other domains and are at least three times as large as the average effect documented in earlier work. These results are robust to the method used, restricting the sample to papers published in top economics journals, including only studies with adequate power, and accounting for publication selection bias in the literature. We conclude with a discussion of the cost-effectiveness of financial education interventions.
    Keywords: financial education; financial literacy; financial behavior; RCT; meta-analysis;
    JEL: D14 G53 I21
    Date: 2020–04–29
  43. By: Boss, Viktoria (TUHH); Ihl, Christoph (TUHH); Dahlander, Linus (ESMT Berlin); Jayaraman, Rajshri (ESMT Berlin and University of Toronto)
    Abstract: Organizations constantly strive to unleash their entrepreneurial potential to keep up with market and technology changes. To this end, they engage employees in practices like corporate crowdsourcing, incubators, accelerators or hackathons. These organizational practices emulate independent “green-field” entrepreneurship by relinquishing hierarchical control and granting employees autonomy in the choices of how to conduct work. We aim to shed light on two such choices that are fundamental in differentiating hierarchical from entrepreneurial modes of organizing work: (1) choosing projects ideas to work on and (2) choosing project teams to work with. Both of these choices are typically pre-determined in hierarchies and self-determined in entrepreneurship. We run a field experiment in an entrepreneurship course carefully designed to disentangle the separate and joint effects of granting autonomy in both choosing teams and choosing ideas compared to a pre-determined base case. Our results show that high autonomy in choosing implies a trade-off between personal satisfaction and objective performance. Self-determined choices along both dimensions promote subjective well-being in a complementary way, but their joint performance impact is diminishing. After ruling out alternative explanations related to differing project qualities and homophilic team choices, the detrimental performance impact of too much choice seems to be related to the implied cognitive burden and overconfidence.
    Keywords: teams; ideation; entrepreneurial performance; field experiment;
    JEL: L23 L26 M5
    Date: 2019–11–29
  44. By: Jerzy Grobelny; Rafal Michalski
    Abstract: The study shows the application of hidden Markov models (HMMs) for the analysis of eye ball movement fixations. The registered visual activity con-cerns pairwise comparisons of simple advertisement leaflets, differed in their layout orientation and captions’ styles. A simulation experiment was conducted to specify the most appropriate HMMs in terms of information criteria. Six best models were discussed in detail. The identified hidden states together with transition and emission probabilities were the basis of subjects’ visual behavior hypothetical interpretations.
    Keywords: eye tracking; cognitive modeling; visual presentation; digital signage; advertisement; human factors; ergonomics
    JEL: D01 D03 D40 D81 D83 D87 D91 L15 L81 L82 L86 M31 M37
    Date: 2021
  45. By: Klühs, Theres (Leibniz University of Hannover); Koch, Melanie (DIW Berlin); Stein, Wiebke (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: Household indebtedness is rising worldwide. This study investigates one possible driver of this increase that is rooted in the theory of permanent income: high income expectations. We collect data from an emerging country, Thailand, as (over-) indebtedness in markets with incomplete financial infrastructure and social security can be devastating. Furthermore, our sample of rural households is exposed to a high degree of uncertainty, which makes expectation formation prone to behavioral biases. We implement a new measure for high income expectations and show that it is strongly and robustly related to both objective and subjectively felt over-indebtedness. Controlling for various household characteristics, unexpected shocks, and other possible confounding factors reduces the concern about reverse causality. In an additional lab-in-the-field experiment, we explicitly find that overconfidence, a specific form of biased expectation, is related to overborrowing.
    Keywords: household debt; lab-in-the-field experiment; emerging markets;
    JEL: D14 D84 D91
    Date: 2019–11–20
  46. By: Sara Heller
    Abstract: Because successful human capital interventions often fail to scale or replicate, public investment decisions require understanding how program size, context, and implementation shape program effects. This paper uses two new randomized controlled trials of summer youth employment programs in Chicago and Philadelphia to demonstrate how multiple experiments can help explain replicability and inform the expansion of promising approaches. Even when these programs grow or change models across contexts, participation consistently reduces criminal justice involvement. It may also decrease the need for child protective services and behavioral health treatment. Experimental variation in program model and local provider generates no detectable heterogeneity, suggesting that effects replicate partly because variability in implementation does not matter. There is, however, individual-level heterogeneity that explains differences in effect magnitudes across populations and informs optimal targeting; youth at higher risk of socially costly outcomes experience larger benefits. Identifying more interventions that combine this pattern of treatment heterogeneity with robust replicability could aid efforts to reduce social inequality efficiently.
    JEL: I38 J08 K42
    Date: 2021–04
  47. By: Kaiser, Tim (University of Koblenz-Landau & DIW Berlin); Menkhoff, Lukas (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: We study the literature on school financial education programs for children and youth via a quantitative meta-analysis of 37 (quasi-) experiments. We find that financial education treatments have, on average, sizeable impacts on financial knowledge (+0.33 SD), similar to educational interventions in other domains. Additionally, we document smaller effects on financial behaviors among students (+0.07 SD). When restricting the sample to 18 randomized experiments average effect sizes are estimated to be about 0.15 SD units on financial knowledge and 0.07 SD units on financial behaviors. These results are robust irrespective of the meta-analytic method used and when accounting for publication bias. Subgroup analyses show the beneficial effect of more intensive treatments, albeit with decreasing marginal returns.
    Keywords: financial education; financial literacy; financial behavior; meta-analysis ;
    JEL: I21 A21 D14
    Date: 2019–09–30
  48. By: Utz Weitzel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Michael Kirchler (University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: Financial misbehavior is widespread and costly. The Dutch government legally requires every employee in the financial sector to take a Hippocratic oath, the so-called ``banker's oath.'' We investigate whether moral nudges that directly and indirectly remind financial advisers of their oath affect their service. In a large-scale audit study, professional auditors confronted 201 Dutch financial advisers with a conflict of interest. We find that when auditors apply a moral nudge, referring to the banker's oath, advisers are less likely to prioritize bank's interests. In additional prediction tasks, we find that Dutch regulators expect stronger effects of the oath than observed.
    Keywords: experimental finance, audit study, banker’s oath, moral nudges, financial advice
    JEL: C92 D84 G02 G14
    Date: 2021–04–26
  49. By: Koffi Serge William Yao (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UMR 5211 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Emmanuelle Lavaine (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UMR 5211 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Marc Willinger (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UMR 5211 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Masuda et al. (2014) showed that the minimum approval mechanism (AM) implements the effcient level of public good theoretically and experimentally in a linear public good game. We extent this result to a two-players common pool resource (CPR) game. The AM adds a second stage into the extraction game. In the fi rst stage, each group member proposes his level of extraction. In the second stage, the proposed extractions and associated payoffs are displayed and each player is asked to approve or to disapprove both proposed extractions. If both players approve, the proposals are implemented. Otherwise, a uniform level of extraction, the disapproval benchmark (DB), is imposed onto each player. We consider three different DBs: the minimum proposal (MIN), the maximum proposal (MAX) and the Nash extraction level (NASH). We derive theoretical predictions for each DB following backward elimination of weakly dominated strategies (BEWDS). We fi rst underline the strength of the AM, by showing that the MIN implements the optimum theoretically and experimentally. The sub-games predicted under the NASH are Pareto improving with respect to the Nash equilibrium. The MAX leads, either to Pareto improving outcomes with respect to the free access extractions, or to a Pareto degradation. Our experimental results show that the MAX and the NASH reduce the level of over-extraction of the CPR. The MAX leads above all to larger reductions of (proposed and realized) extractions than the NASH.
    Date: 2021–04–14
  50. By: Bursztyn, Leonardo (University of Chicago and NBER); Haaland, Ingar (University of Bergen and CESifo); Rao, Aakaash (Harvard University); Roth, Christopher (University of Warwick, briq, CESifo, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: We study how popular rationales enable public anti-minority actions. Rationales to oppose minorities genuinely persuade some people. But they also provide “excuses†that may reduce the stigma associated with anti-minority expression, thereby increasing anti-minority behavior. In a first experiment, participants learn that a previous respondent authorized a donation to an anti-immigrant organization and then make an inference about the respondent’s underlying motivations. Participants informed that their matched respondent learned about a study claiming that immigrants increase crime rates before authorizing the donation see the respondent as less intolerant. In a second experiment, participants learn about that same study and then choose whether to authorize a public donation to the anti-immigrant organization. Participants informed that their exposure to the rationale will be publicly observable are substantially more likely to make the donation than participants who are informed that their exposure will remain private. A final experiment shows that people are more willing to post anti-immigrant content on social media when they can use an anti-immigrant video clip from Fox News as an excuse. Our findings suggest that prominent public figures can lower the social cost of intolerant expression by popularizing rationales, increasing anti-minority expression.
    Keywords: Social image; xenophobia; propaganda; political attitudes JEL Classification: D83, D91, P16, J15
    Date: 2021
  51. By: Burchardi, Konrad (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, BREAD, CEPR, CESifo, ThReD); de Quidt, Jonathan (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, CAGE, CEPR, CESifo, ThReD); Gulesci, Selim (Trinity College, Dublin, BREAD, CEPR, EUDN, J-PAL, LEAP); Lerva, Benedetta (Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets, Stockholm); Tripodi, Stefano (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: Researchers frequently use variants of the Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) mechanism to elicit willingness to pay (WTP). These variants involve numerous incentive-irrelevant design choices, some of which carry advantages for implementation but may deteriorate participant comprehension or trust in the mechanism, which are well-known problems with the BDM. We highlight three such features and test them in the field in rural Uganda, a relevant population for many recent applications. Comprehension is very high, and 86 percent of participants bid optimally for an induced-value voucher, with little variation across treatments. This gives confidence for similar applications, and suggests the comprehension-expediency trade-off is mild.
    Keywords: JEL Classification: C90, C93, D44, O12
    Date: 2021
  52. By: Meisner, Vincent (TU Berlin); von Wangenheim, Jonas (FU Berlin)
    Abstract: Extensive evidence suggests that participants in the direct student-proposing deferred-acceptance mechanism (DSPDA) play dominated strategies. In particular, students with low priority tend to misrepresent their preferences for popular schools. To explain the observed data, we introduce expectationbased loss aversion into a school-choice setting and characterize choiceacclimating personal equilibria in DSPDA. Truthful equilibria can fail to exist, and DSPDA might implement unstable and more inefficient allocations in both small and large markets. Specifically, it discriminates against students who are more loss averse or less overconfident than their peers, and amplifies already existing (or perceived) discrimination. To level the playing field, we propose serial dictatorship mechanisms as a strategyproof and stable alternative that is robust to these biases.
    Keywords: market design; matching; school choice; reference-dependent preferences; loss aversion; deferred acceptance;
    JEL: C78 D78 D82 D81 D91
    Date: 2019–12–05
  53. By: Jeppe Christoffersen; Felix Holzmeister; Thomas Plenborg
    Abstract: We systematically examine which characteristics of a business opportunity – such as the likelihoods of potential gains and losses – affect managers' perception of risk and attractiveness. In an online experiment with a sample of 4,287 managers from small- and medium-sized enterprises in Denmark, we present participants with a hypothetical investment prospect in a business context, and elicit their perception of risk associated with the project and their perception of the investment's attractiveness. The experimental data is merged with a set of background variables on the company, which allows controlling for firm-specific effects. We find that risk perception is driven by the likeli hood and the return associated with the worst-case scenario as well as the size of the required investment. Managers' perception of attractiveness is affected not only by the worst-case scenario but also by the characteristics of the base-case and the best-case outcomes. Furthermore, we provide evidence that managers' perception of the project's attractiveness is significantly affected by their individual-level risk preferences and the interaction effect with risk perception. This implies that not only the characteristics of the different scenarios but also individuals' risk preferences play an important role when assessing the attractiveness of a business opportunity.
    Keywords: risk perception, risk preferences, attractiveness of investment project, business opportunity
    JEL: D81 D91 M10
    Date: 2021
  54. By: Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta (TU Berlin); Seres, Gyula (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: Anchoring is one of the most studied and robust behavioral biases, but there is little knowledge about its persistence in strategic settings. This article studies the role of anchoring bias in private-value auctions. We test experimentally two different anchor types. The announcement of a random group identification number but also of an upper bid limit in the first-price sealed-bid auction result in higher bids. We show that such behavior can be explained as a rational response to biased beliefs. In Dutch auctions, the effect of a starting price, is negative. We demonstrate that the long-established ranking that the Dutch auction generates lower revenue than the first-price sealed-bid auction crucially depends on the size of the anchor.
    Keywords: anchoring bias; games; incomplete information; auctions;
    JEL: D44 D91 C72 C91
    Date: 2019–12–11
  55. By: Danz, David (University of Pittsburgh & WZB Berlin); Engelmann, Dirk (HU Berlin); Kübler, Dorothea (WZB Berlin & TU Berlin)
    Abstract: To address the impact of regulation on ethical concerns of consumers, we study the example of minimum wages. In our experimental market, consumers have monopsony power, firms set prices and wages, and workers are passive recipients of a wage payment. We find that the majority of consumers occasionally deviate from their self-interest and that markets with such consumers exhibit substantially higher wages. Consumers implement fair allocations using two distinct strategies: they split their demand equally between firms, or they buy all units from the firm with the higher price and higher wage. The two strategies can be captured by maximin preferences and indirect reciprocity in Charness and Rabin’s (2002) reciprocal fairness model. Introducing a minimum wage in a market raises average wages despite its significant crowding out effects on consumers’ fairness concerns. Abolishing a minimum wage crowds in consumer fairness concerns, but crowding in is not sufficient to avoid overall negative effects on workers’ wages.
    Keywords: fairness; consumer behavior; minimum wage; crowding out; experimental economics;
    JEL: C72 C92 D83 D84
    Date: 2020–04–06
  56. By: Ashraf, Anik (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: Can a firm increase its workers' eff ort by introducing competition through performance-based ranking? On one hand such ranking can increase eff ort because of individuals' desire for status from high ranks, but on the other, it can demotivate them or make them wary of outperforming peers. This paper disentangles the e ffects of demotivation, social conformity, and status associated with ranking through a randomized experiment at a Bangladeshi sweater factory. Treated workers receive monthly information on their relative performance either in private or in public. Both a simple theoretical framework and empirical evidence from the field show that workers' intrinsic desire to be good at work induces privately ranked workers to increase eff ort upon receiving positive feedback, but they get demotivated and decrease e ffort upon receiving negative feedback. Public ranking lead to lower net eff ort relative to private ranking because of a strong preference not to outperform friends. The negative e ffects from demotivation and social conformity may explain why the existing literature finds mixed evidence of impact of ranking workers.
    Keywords: peer effects; productivity; rank incentives;
    JEL: D23 J53 O15
    Date: 2019–11–04
  57. By: Jacob, Daniel
    Abstract: For treatment effects - one of the core issues in modern econometric analysis - prediction and estimation are flip-sides of the same coin. As it turns out, machine learning methods are the tool for generalized prediction models. Combined with econometric theory allows us to estimate not only the average but a personalized treatment effect - the conditional average treatment effect (CATE). In this tutorial, we give an overview of novel methods, explain them in detail, and apply them via Quantlets in real data applications. We study the effect that microcredit availability has on the amount of money borrowed and if the 401(k) pension plan eligibility has an impact on net financial assets, as two empirical examples. The presented toolbox of methods contains metalearners, like the Doubly-Robust, the R-, T- and X-learner, and methods that are specially designed to estimate the CATE like the causal BART and the generalized random forest. In both, the microcredit and the 401(k) example, we find a positive treatment effect for all observations but diverse evidence of treatment effect heterogeneity. An additional simulation study, where the true treatment effect is known, allows us to compare the different methods and to observe patterns and similarities.
    Keywords: Causal Inference,CATE,Machine Learning,Tutorial
    JEL: C00
    Date: 2021
  58. By: Koch, Melanie (DIW Berlin); Menkhoff, Lukas (HU and DIW Berlin); Schmidt, Ulrich (University of Kiel and ifW Kiel)
    Abstract: We develop and implement a new measure for inequality aversion: two peers are endowed with identical binary lotteries and the only choice they make is whether they want to play out the lotteries independently or with perfect positive correlation (coupling). Coupling has no other effect than preventing outcome inequality. We implement the method in a survey in rural Thailand as well as a supplemental sample in a lab in Germany. As theoretically expected, coupling is related to being more risk averse, to having social status concerns, and to relying more often on formal and informal insurance. However, coupling is not related to giving in the dictator game.
    Keywords: inequality aversion; correlated risk; social status concerns;
    JEL: D63 D91 D81
    Date: 2019–09–18
  59. By: Darshana Rajapaksa (University of Sri Jayewardenepura); Robert Gifford (UVIC - University of Victoria [Canada]); Benno Torgler (Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) - Partenaires INRAE); María A. García-Valiñas (University of Oviedo - University of Oviedo); Wasantha Athukorala (University of Peradeniya); Shunsuke Managi (Kyushu Universitydisabled, Fukuoka, Japan); Clevo Wilson (Queensland University of Technologydisabled)
    Abstract: There is a wide array of empirical work on the use of monetary and non-monetary measures to manage residential water consumption. However, there has been little focus on exploring the ability to change human attitudes and behavior through offering consumers sustainable resource management. This research helps bridge this gap, through an experimental trial in Brisbane, Australia. Choices of different monetary and non-monetary incentives for managing water demand are offered to survey participants. A structural behavioral model is then developed to identify direct and indirect impacts of attitudes and behavior and which can be compared between separate groups drawn from the survey's participants. Our results suggest that both monetary and non-monetary incentives offered to households significantly reduce water consumption, which is especially so for those holding pro-environmental attitudes/behavior. Importantly, the impact is higher for non-monetary incentives. The results therefore provide valuable insight for the development of long-term sustainable resource management policies.
    Keywords: pro-environmental behavior,environmental attitudes,water consumption
    Date: 2019–10
  60. By: Mario A. Maggioni; Domenico Rossignoli
    Abstract: The paper presents the results of a behavioral experiment conducted between February 2020 and March 2021 at Universit\`a Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan Campus in which students were matched to either a human or a humanoid robotic partner to play an iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. The results of a Logit estimation procedure show that subjects are more likely to cooperate with human rather robotic partners; that are more likely to cooperate after receiving a dialogic verbal reaction following the realization of a sub-obtimal social outcome; that the effect of the verbal reaction is independent on the nature of the partner. Our findings provide new evidence on the effect of verbal communication in strategic frameworks. Results are robust to the exclusion of students of Economics related subjects, to the inclusion of a set of psychological and behavioral controls, to the way subjects perceive robots' behavior and to potential gender biases in human-human interactions.
    Date: 2021–04
  61. By: Catia Batista (Nova School of Business and Economics, CReAM, IZA and NOVAFRICA); Pedro C. Vicente (Nova School of Business and Economics, BREAD, and NOVAFRICA)
    Abstract: Rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa are typically underserved by financial services. We measure the economic impact of introducing mobile money for the first time in rural villages of Mozambique using a randomized control trial. This intervention led to consumption smoothing through increased transfers as a response to both geo-referenced village-level floods and household-level idiosyncratic shocks. Importantly, we find that the availability of mobile money increased migration out of rural areas, where we observe lower agricultural activity and investment. Our work illustrates how financial inclusion can accelerate African urbanization and structural change while improving welfare in rural areas.
    Keywords: mobile money, migration, remittances, technology adoption, insurance, consumption smoothing, investment, savings, Mozambique, Africa.
    JEL: O12 O15 O16 O33 G20 R23
    Date: 2021–04
  62. By: Dietmar Fehr; Johanna Mollerstrom; Ricardo Perez-Truglia
    Abstract: There is abundant evidence on individual preferences for policies that reduce national inequality, but only little evidence on preferences for policies addressing global inequality. To investigate the latter, we conduct a two-year, face-to-face survey experiment on a representative sample of Germans. We measure how individuals form perceptions of their ranks in the national and global income distributions, and how those perceptions relate to their national and global policy preferences. We find that Germans systematically underestimate their true place in the world’s income distribution, but that correcting those misperceptions does not affect their support for policies related to global inequality.
    Keywords: (global) inequality, redistribution, survey, experiment
    JEL: C83 C91 D63 D72 H23 H24
    Date: 2021
  63. By: Johannes Abeler; Armin Falk; Fabian Kosse
    Abstract: Reporting private information is a key part of economic decision making. A recent literature has found that many people have a preference for honest reporting, contrary to usual economic assumptions. In this paper, we investigate whether preferences for honesty are malleable and what determines them. We experimentally measure preferences for honesty in a sample of children. As our main result, we provide causal evidence on the effect of the social environment by randomly enrolling children in a year-long mentoring programme. We find that, about four years after the end of the programme, mentored children are significantly more honest.
    Keywords: honesty, lying, truth-telling, formation of preferences, experiments with children
    JEL: C90 D90 D64 D82 H26 J13
    Date: 2021
  64. By: Falk, Armin (University of Bonn); Kosse, Fabian (LMU Munich); Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah (University of Düsseldorf); Zimmermann, Florian (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This study presents descriptive and causal evidence on the role of the social environment in shaping the accuracy of self-assessment. We introduce a novel incentivized measurement tool to measure the accuracy of self-assessment among children and use this tool to show that children from high socioeconomic status (SES) families are more accurate in their self-assessment, compared to children from low SES families. To move beyond correlational evidence, we then exploit the exogenous variation of participation in a mentoring program designed to enrich the social environment of children. We document that the mentoring program has a causal positive effect on the accuracy of children's self-assessment. Finally, we show that the mentoring program is most effective for children whose parents provide few social and interactive activities for their children.
    Keywords: Self-Assessment; Beliefs; Experiments; Randomized Intervention; Children;
    JEL: D03 C21 C91 I24
    Date: 2020–05–29
  65. By: Dean Yang; James Allen IV; Arlete Mahumane; James Riddell IV; Hang Yu
    Abstract: Using randomized methodologies, we study a common community HIV/AIDS program that seeks to promote HIV testing by improving knowledge and reducing stigmatizing attitudes. Contrary to expectations, the program has a substantial negative effect on HIV testing rates. We provide evidence of likely mechanisms behind the program's negative effect: it inadvertently increased misinformation about HIV, and worsened HIV-related stigmatizing attitudes. Subsequent household-level randomized treatments providing correct information and addressing stigma concerns counteract the program's negative effect on HIV testing. These findings highlight the importance of improving knowledge and alleviating stigma concerns when promoting HIV testing.
    JEL: D10 D80 I12
    Date: 2021–04
  66. By: Bhalotra. Sonia (University of Essex & University of Warwick); Clots-Figueras, Irma (University of Kent); Iyer, Lakshmi (University of Notre Dame); Vecci, Joseph (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: This paper examines policy effectiveness as a function of leader identity. We experimentally vary leader religious identity in a coordination game implemented in India, and focus upon citizen reactions to leader identity, controlling for leader actions. We find that minority leaders improve coordination, while majority leaders do not. Alternative treatment arms reveal that affirmative action for minorities reverses this result, while intergroup contact improves the effectiveness of leaders of both identities. We also find that minority leaders are less effective in towns with a history of intergroup conflict. Our results demonstrate that leader and policy effectiveness depend upon citizen reactions, conditioned by social identity and past conflict.
    Keywords: Leader identity ; religion ; coordination failure ; affirmative action ; intergroup contact ; conflict ; India JEL Classification: P16 ; D70, D91, J7
    Date: 2021
  67. By: Dennis A. Kramer II; Christina J. Lamb; Lindsay C. Page
    Abstract: We explore the role of defaults and choice architecture on student loan decision-making, experimentally testing the impact pre-populating either decline or accept decisions compared to an active choice, no pre-population, decision. We demonstrate that the default choice presented does influence student loan borrowing decisions. Specifically, compared to active choice, students presented within a pre-populated decline decision were almost five percent less likely to accept all packaged loans and borrowed between 4.6 and 4.8 percent less in federal educational loans. The reductions in borrowing appears to be concentrated within unsubsidized loans with those assigned to the opt-in condition borrowing 8.3 percent less in unsubsidized loans. These changes in borrowing did not induce substitution towards private or Parent PLUS loans nor did they negatively impact enrollment, academic performance, or on-campus work outcomes in the same academic year.
    JEL: I22 I23
    Date: 2021–04
  68. By: Ainhoa Aparicio Fenoll; Flavia Coda-Moscarola; Sarah Zaccagni
    Abstract: We evaluate the short run impact of a mathematics camp for gifted high school students. During the camp, students work in teams, trying to solve advanced mathematical problems with the help of manipulatives. We randomize participation in the camp and test the effects of such participation on problem-solving skills, self-concept, and career intentions. Results show that participants improve their problem-solving skills, especially in questions that require the use of logic. We also find positive effects on students’ self-concept: students declare to be less neurotic and more extrovert. Gifted students with relatively lower school math scores benefit more from the program. Finally, participating in the mathematics camp makes students more willing to go to university.
    Keywords: randomized control trial, mathematics, extra-curricular courses, gifted students, talented students.
    JEL: D04 I21 I26 I28
    Date: 2021
  69. By: Rafal Michalski; Jerzy Grobelny; Anna Bezdzietna
    Abstract: Human visual activity has been investigated by researchers from various scientific fields for many years. It has been shown many times that eye-tracking studies can be helpful in objectively evaluating usability of interacting systems. The present paper study extends this direction of research by examining visual scan characteristics registered while performing search tasks in mock-up web pages. For this purpose, four different, simple web pages were prepared. They differed by two factors specified on two levels: the background and text color combination (black text on white background and the other way round) and the text layout (one or two columns). Male participants performed 16 experimental tasks on each web page variant. A stationary, infrared eye-tracking system was employed to gather visual activity data of subjects placed in an isolated room with Venetian mirror. The data were further examined qualitatively by analyzing heat maps, and quantitatively by applying three- and two-ways ANOVAs for fixation durations, saccades’ durations and amplitudes. The results showed the combined, interactive impact of the analyzed factors on information is searched characteristics. They also suggest the most efficient combination of factors: white background and two-column layout of paragraphs. The presented findings are valuable for designers of information such as web pages or visual marketing messages.
    Keywords: visual activity; message effectiveness; digital presentation; marketing
    JEL: D01 D03 D40 D81 D83 D87 D91 L15 L81 L82 L86 M31 M37
    Date: 2020

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