nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2021‒06‒28
29 papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Institutions, opportunism and prosocial behavior: Some experimental evidence By Cabrales, Antonio; Clots-Figueras, Irma; Hernán-González, Roberto; Kujal, Praveen
  2. Group-identity and long-run cooperation: an experiment By Gabriele Camera; Lukas Hohl
  3. Do sentencing guidelines result in lower inter-judge disparity? Evidence from a framed field experiment. By Cécile Bourreau-Dubois; Myriam Doriat-Duban; Bruno Jeandidier; Jean-Claude Ray
  4. Blue Porches: Finding the Limits of External Validity of the Endowment Effect By Bryan, Gharad; Grant, Matthew; Haggag, Kareem; Karlan, Dean S.; Startz, Meredith; Udry, Christopher
  5. Non-monetary incentives for sustainable biomass harvest: An experimental approach. By May Attallah; Jens Abildtrup; Anne Stenger
  6. Comparing risk elicitation in lotteries with visual or contextual framing aids By Estepa-Mohedano, Lorenzo; Espinosa, Maria Paz
  7. Good deeds, business, and social responsibility in a market experiment By Mario Biggeri; Domenico Colucci; Nicola Doni; Vincenzo Valori
  8. The Psychosocial Value of Employment By Reshmaan N. Hussam; Erin M. Kelley; Gregory V. Lane; Fatima T. Zahra
  9. More Opportunity, More Cooperation? The Behavioral Effects of Birthright Citizenship on Immigrant Youth By Christina Felfe; Martin G. Kocher; Helmut Rainer; Judith Saurer; Thomas Siedler
  10. Inequality aversion with general payoff function By Daijiro Kawanaka
  11. Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Intergenerational Responsibility By Victor Klockmann; Alicia von Schenk; Marie Villeval
  12. Ostracism and Theft in Heterogeneous Groups By Alexandra Baier; Loukas Balafoutas; Tarek Jaber-Lopez
  13. Lords and Vassals: Power, Patronage, and the Emergence of Inequality By Akerlof, Robert; Li, Hongyi; Yeo, Jonathan
  14. How Lotteries in School Choice Help to Level the Playing Field By Author-Name: Christian Basteck; Author-Name: Bettina Klaus; Dorothea Kuebler
  15. Loss Aversion in Taste-Based Employee Discrimination: Evidence from a Choice Experiment By Lippens, Louis; Baert, Stijn; Derous, Eva
  16. Do People Respond to the Climate Impact of their Behavior? The Effect of Carbon Footprint Information on Grocery Purchases By Toke R. Fosgaard; Alice Pizzo; Sally Sadoff
  17. Can Information about Jobs Improve the Effectiveness of Vocational Training? Experimental Evidence from India By Chakravorty, Bhaskar; Arulampalam, Wiji; Imbert, Clement; Rathelot, Roland
  18. The credibility revolution in the empirical analysis of crime By Pinotti, Paolo
  19. Who Has the Time? Community College Students’ Time-Use Response to Financial Incentives By Lisa Barrow; Amanda McFarland; Cecilia Elena Rouse
  20. Culture, Immigration and Tax Compliance By Antoine Malézieux; Benno Torgler
  21. Driving a Hard Bargain is a Balancing Act: How social preferences constrain the negotiation process By Engler, Yola; Page, Lionel
  22. Deliberative forms of democracy and intergenerational sustainability dilemma By Pankaj Koirala; Raja Rajendra Timilsina; Koji Kotani
  23. How are social preferences of youth related to their motivation to invest in environmental conservation (local public goods)? By Holden, Stein T.; Tilahun, Mesfin
  24. Classical Theory of Competitive Market Price Formation By Sabiou M. Inoua; Vernon L. Smith
  25. A Local Community Course That Raises Wellbeing and Pro-sociality: Evidence from a Randomised Controlled Trial By Krekel, Christian; De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Fancourt, Daisy; Layard, Richard
  26. Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Diffused Pivotality By Victor Klockmann; Alicia von Schenk; Marie Villeval
  27. Why Making Promotion After a Burnout Is Like Boiling the Ocean By Sterkens, Philippe; Baert, Stijn; Rooman, Claudia; Derous, Eva
  28. Digital Addiction By Hunt Allcott; Matthew Gentzkow; Lena Song
  29. Can Competitiveness predict Education and Labor Market Outcomes? Evidence from Incentivized Choice and Survey Measures By Thomas Buser; Muriel Niederle; Hessel Oosterbeek

  1. By: Cabrales, Antonio; Clots-Figueras, Irma; Hernán-González, Roberto; Kujal, Praveen
    Abstract: Formal or informal institutions have long been adopted by societies to protect against opportunistic behavior. However, we know very little about how these institutions are chosen and their impact on behavior. We experimentally investigate the demand for different levels of institutions that provide low to high levels of insurance and its subsequent impact on prosocial behavior. We conduct a large-scale online experiment where we add the possibility of purchasing insurance to safeguard against low reciprocity to the standard trust game. We compare two different mechanisms, the private (purchase) and the social (voting) choice of institutions. Whether voted or purchased, we find that there is demand for institutions in low trustworthiness groups, while high trustworthiness groups always demand lower levels of institutions. Lower levels of institutions are demanded when those who can benefit from opportunistic behavior, i.e. low trustworthiness individuals, can also vote for them. Importantly, the presence of insurance crowds out civic spirit even when subjects can choose the no insurance option: trustworthiness when formal institutions are available is lower than in their absence.
    Keywords: institutions; Insurance; Trust; trustworthiness; voting
    JEL: C92 D02 D64
    Date: 2020–05
  2. By: Gabriele Camera (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University and DSE, University of Bologna); Lukas Hohl (University of Basel)
    Abstract: We stress-test the limits of the power of group identity in the context of cooperation by constructing laboratory economies where participants confront an indefinitely repeated social dilemma as strangers. Group identity is artificially induced by ran-dom assignment to color-coded groups, and reinforced by an initial cooperation task played in-group and in fixed pairs. Subsequently subjects interact in-group and out-group in large economies, as strangers. Indefinite repetition guarantees full cooperation is an equilibrium. Decision-makers can discriminate based on group aÿliation, but cannot observe past behaviors. We find no evidence of group biases. This suggests that group e ects are less likely to emerge when players cannot easily observe and compare characteristics on which to base categorizations and behaviors.
    Keywords: large groups, indefinitely repeated game, social norms
    JEL: C70 C90 D03
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Cécile Bourreau-Dubois; Myriam Doriat-Duban; Bruno Jeandidier; Jean-Claude Ray
    Abstract: We study the decision-making of judges in an experimental setting resembling real world judicial decision-making. We gave 312 future judges 48 vignettes built from real data related to divorce cases involving children. We compared two different subject pools: judges who were asked to set child support awards with an advisory guideline and judges who were asked to set child support awards without any guidelines. We found that the introduction of such a guideline helps to reduce the disparity between judges (i.e., the variance in similar cases is lower when the subjects have the opportunity to use the guideline) but that this effect is not systematic, as an increase in heterogeneity was observed in some specific cases.
    Keywords: controlled experiment, field experiment, judicial sentencing, child support, guidelines.
    JEL: C81 H55 I38
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Bryan, Gharad; Grant, Matthew; Haggag, Kareem; Karlan, Dean S.; Startz, Meredith; Udry, Christopher
    Abstract: We test whether the endowment effect holds in an experiment conducted with children during Halloween trick-or-treating. We do not find evidence of the endowment effect in this context and experimental protocol.
    Keywords: endowment effect; External Validity; Halloween
    JEL: B4 D12 D81 H31
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: May Attallah; Jens Abildtrup; Anne Stenger
    Abstract: In this article, we use an experimental approach to test the effect of non-monetary incentives that can guide harvest professionals into adopting new sustainable harvesting practices. First, we test the effect of signing a declaration that commits wood buyers who voluntarily sign it to act in a sustainable manner. Second, we test the effect of priming by activating a concept of sustainability on subjects’ behaviour. Our results provide evidence that signing a declaration is more effective than priming in inducing subjects to act in a sustainable manner when personal and collective interests are not aligned and there are financial incentives to make decisions that are against environmental sustainability. From a public policy point of view, a declaration is an effective tool and easy to implement by institutions aiming at fostering pro-environmental behaviour.
    Keywords: Timber harvest; Laboratory experiment; Non-monetary incentives; Commitment; Priming.
    JEL: C91 Q23 Q56
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Estepa-Mohedano, Lorenzo; Espinosa, Maria Paz
    Abstract: Eliciting risk preferences usually involves tasks that subjects may find complex, such as calculations of expected values and assessment of probabilities in multiple price lists (MPL). There is a serious concern that the decisions of the subjects may be driven by miscalculations or miscalibration of probabilities, rather than by their risk preferences. In this paper, we test whether introducing aids to the usual lottery choiceswould help to reduce the error rate and possibly change risk aversion elicitation. The experiment was run with subjectsfrom a rural area in Honduras. We compare the risk elicitation results of a multiple price list and two different treatments, one with visual aids (graphical representation of probabilities) and the other with contextual framing aids (bills to represent rewards and a distribution of ten beans between the two rewards to represent a lottery). Our results indicate that risk attitudes elicitation was affected with contextual framing aids, reducing risk aversion. For the treatment with visual aids we observe no effect.
    Keywords: risk elicitation, visual aids, contextual framing aids
    JEL: C93 D81
    Date: 2021–06–08
  7. By: Mario Biggeri; Domenico Colucci; Nicola Doni; Vincenzo Valori
    Abstract: We study how commitment of entrepreneurs to corporate social responsibility practices might effectively improve the social impact of market competition: to this end we devised a market experiment in which profit maximization and socially-concerned behavior were both potential goals of producers. Our subject pool included two distinct types of students having different prosocial attitudes. The two types adopted significantly different strategies in the treatment group, where producers could contribute to a positive externality, whereas they behaved similarly in the control group, where the only objective was profit maximization. Subjects who were ex-ante more prosocial chose to produce with more focus on the positive externality than their counterparts. However, they failed to actually deliver a larger social impact, since that also required winning a large enough market share. We conclude that producers often commit to social responsibility, even though well-meaning conducts do not necessarily beget equally good outcomes.
    Keywords: social responsibility, market experiment, charitable giving, vertical differentiation
    JEL: C92 D22 D40 D64
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Reshmaan N. Hussam; Erin M. Kelley; Gregory V. Lane; Fatima T. Zahra
    Abstract: In settings where an individual’s labor choices are constrained, the inability to work may generate psychosocial harm. This paper presents a causal estimate of the psychosocial value of employment in the Rohingya refugee camps of Bangladesh. We engage 745 individuals in a field experiment with three arms: (1) a control arm, (2) a weekly cash arm, and (3) a gainful employment arm, in which work is offered and individuals are paid weekly the approximate equivalent of that in the cash arm. We find that employment confers significant psychosocial benefits beyond the impacts of cash alone, with effects concentrated among males. The cash arm does not improve psychosocial wellbeing, despite the provision of cash at a weekly amount that is more than twice the amount held by recipients in savings at baseline. Consistent with these findings, we find that 66% of those in our work treatment are willing to forego cash payments to instead work for free. Our results have implications for social protection policies for the unemployed in low income countries and refugee populations globally.
    JEL: D91 I31 J22
    Date: 2021–06
  9. By: Christina Felfe (University of Würzburg, CESifo); Martin G. Kocher (University of Vienna, IHS Vienna, University of Gothenburg); Helmut Rainer (University of Munich, ifo Institute, CESifo); Judith Saurer (University of Würzburg); Thomas Siedler (University of Potsdam, DIW Berlin, IZA)
    Abstract: Inequality of opportunity, particularly when overlaid with socioeconomic, ethnic, or cultural differences, may limit the scope of cooperation between individuals. A central question, then, is how to overcome such obstacles to cooperation. We study this question in the context of Germany, by asking whether the propensity of immigrant youth to cooperate with native peers was affected by a major integration reform: the introduction of birthright citizenship. Our unique setup exploits data from a large-scale lab-in-the-field experiment in a quasi-experimental evaluation framework. We find that the policy caused male, but not female, immigrants to significantly increase their cooperativeness toward natives. We show that the increase in out-group cooperation among immigrant boys is an outcome of more trust rather than a reflection of stronger other- regarding preferences towards natives. In exploring factors that may explain these behavioral effects, we present evidence that the policy also led to a near-closure of the educational achievement gap between young immigrant men and their native peers. Our results highlight that, through integration interventions, governments can modify prosocial behavior in a way that generates higher levels of efficiency in the interaction between social groups.
    JEL: C93 D90 J15 K37
    Date: 2021–06
  10. By: Daijiro Kawanaka (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: In the existing axiomatic models of inequity aversion, players have linear payoff functions, so they can predict that a dictator chooses only a completely selfish or completely fair offer in dictator games. However, experimental literature documents that a significantly amount of dictators offers 20-30% of the total pie to the passive opponent. This note, in contrast, axiomatizes inequity averse representation with general payoff function, so that we can explain such interior choices.
    Keywords: Inequality aversion under risk, Maxmin expected utility, Social preferences
    JEL: C72 D71 D81
    Date: 2021–06
  11. By: Victor Klockmann (Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Max Planck Institute for Human Development - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft); Alicia von Schenk (Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Max Planck Institute for Human Development - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft); Marie Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics)
    Abstract: Humans shape the behavior of artificially intelligent algorithms. One mechanism is the training these systems receive through the passive observation of human behavior and the data we constantly generate. In a laboratory experiment with a sequence of dictator games, we let participants' choices train an algorithm. Thereby, they create an externality on future decision making of an intelligent system that affects future participants. We test how information on training artificial intelligence affects the prosociality and selfishness of human behavior. We find that making individuals aware of the consequences of their training on the well-being of future generations changes behavior, but only when individuals bear the risk of being harmed themselves by future algorithmic choices. Only in that case, the externality of artificially intelligence training induces a significantly higher share of egalitarian decisions in the present.
    Keywords: Artificial Intelligence,Morality,Prosociality,Generations,Externalities
    Date: 2021
  12. By: Alexandra Baier; Loukas Balafoutas; Tarek Jaber-Lopez
    Abstract: Ostracism, or exclusion by peers, has been practiced since ancient times as a severe form of punishment against transgressors of laws or social norms. The purpose of this paper is to offer a comprehensive analysis on how ostracism affects behavior and the functioning of a social group. We present data from a laboratory experiment, in which participants face a social dilemma on how to allocate limited resources between a productive activity and theft, and are given the opportunity to exclude members of their group by means of majority voting. Our main treatment features an environment with heterogeneity in productivity within groups, thus creating inequalities in economic opportunities and income. We find that exclusion is an effective form of punishment and decreases theft by excluded members once they are re-admitted into the group. However, it also leads to some retaliation by low-productivity members. A particularly worrisome aspect of exclusion is that punished group members are stigmatized and have a higher probability of facing exclusion again. We discuss implications of our findings for penal systems and their capacity to rehabilitate prisoners.
    Keywords: ostracism, social dilemma, theft, rehabilitation, heterogeneous groups
    JEL: C91 C92 K42
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Akerlof, Robert; Li, Hongyi; Yeo, Jonathan
    Abstract: This paper uses a laboratory experiment to study competitions for power-and the role of patronage in such competitions. We construct and analyze a new game-the "chicken-and-egg game"-in which chickens correspond to positions of power and eggs are the game's currency. We find that power tends to accumulate, through a "power begets power" dynamic, in the hands of "lords." Other subjects behave like their vassals in the sense that they take lords' handouts rather than compete against them. We observe substantial wealth inequality as well as power inequality. There are also striking gender differences in outcomes-particularly in rates of lordship. In a second treatment, where we eliminate patronage by knocking out the ability to transfer eggs, inequality is vastly reduced and the "power begets power" dynamic disappears.
    Keywords: gender differences; inequality; institutions; patronage; Power
    JEL: D02 D31 D72 J16 O10
    Date: 2020–05
  14. By: Author-Name: Christian Basteck; Author-Name: Bettina Klaus; Dorothea Kuebler
    Abstract: School authorities in the UK and the US advocate the use of lotteries to desegregate schools. We study a school choice mechanism employed in Berlin where a lottery quota is embedded in the immediate acceptance (IA) mechanism, and compare it to the deferred acceptance mechanism (DA) with a lottery quota. In both mechanisms, some seats are allocated based on academic achievement (e.g., grades),while seats in the lottery quota are allocated randomly. We find that,in theory,a lottery quota strengthens truth-telling in DA by eliminating non-truth-telling equilibria. Furthermore, the equilibrium outcome is stable for DA with a lottery but not for IA with a lottery. These predictions are borne out in the experiment. Moreover, the lottery quota leads to more diverse school populations in the experiment, as predicted. Students with the lowest grades profit more from the introduction of the lottery under IA than under DA.
    Keywords: School choice, immediate acceptance mechanism, deferred acceptance, mechanism, lotteries, experiment, market design
    JEL: C78 C91 D47 D82 I24
    Date: 2021–06
  15. By: Lippens, Louis (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University); Derous, Eva (Ghent University)
    Abstract: Using a choice experiment, we test whether taste-based employee discrimination against ethnic minorities is susceptible to loss aversion. In line with empirical evidence from previous research, our results indicate that introducing a hypothetical wage penalty for discriminatory choice behaviour lowers discrimination and that higher penalties have a greater effect. Most notably, we find that the propensity to discriminate is significantly lower when this penalty is loss-framed rather than gain-framed. From a policy perspective, it could therefore be more effective to financially penalise taste-based discriminators than to incentivise them not to discriminate.
    Keywords: taste-based discrimination, employee discrimination, loss aversion, ethnicity
    JEL: J70 J24 J60 C92
    Date: 2021–06
  16. By: Toke R. Fosgaard (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Alice Pizzo (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Sally Sadoff (Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego)
    Abstract: Food production is a primary contributor to climate change with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions varying widely across food groups. In a randomized experiment, we examine the impact of providing individualized information on the GHG emissions of grocery purchases via a smartphone app, compared to providing information on spending. Carbon footprint information decreases GHG emissions from groceries by an estimated 27% in the first month of treatment, with an estimated 45% reduction in emissions from beef, the highest emissions food group. Treatment effects fade in the longer-run along with app engagement. However, we find evidence of persistent effects among those who remain engaged with the app. Our results suggest that individualized carbon footprint information can reduce the climate impact of food consumption but requires sustained engagement.
    Keywords: Field Experiment, Pro-environmental Behavior, Carbon Footprint, Food Consumption, Consumer Behavior
    JEL: C93 D11 D91 Q5
    Date: 2021–06
  17. By: Chakravorty, Bhaskar (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Arulampalam, Wiji (University of Warwick); Imbert, Clement (University of Warwick); Rathelot, Roland (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Using a randomised experiment, we show that providing better information about prospective jobs to vocational trainees can improve their placement outcomes. The study setting is the vocational training programme DDU-GKY in India. We find that including in the training two information sessions about placement opportunities make trainees 17% more likely to stay in the jobs in which they are placed. We argue that this effect is likely driven by improved selection into training. As a result of the intervention, trainees that are over-optimistic about placement jobs are more likely to drop out before placement.
    Keywords: vocational training, on-the-job-training, dropout, rural development, skills, job placement
    JEL: J24 J61 M53
    Date: 2021–05
  18. By: Pinotti, Paolo
    Abstract: I review recent developments in the economic analysis of crime, focusing in particular on organized crime and corruption. I first discuss the main challenges to the empirical identification of causal relationships -- namely, measurement error due to endogenous reporting of crime and the fact that randomized controlled trials are rarely an option when studying crime. I then discuss recent advancements made possible by the combination of detailed micro-data and quasi-experimental methods.
    Keywords: Economics of crime; identification; Measurement error; Quasi-experiments
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2020–06
  19. By: Lisa Barrow; Amanda McFarland; Cecilia Elena Rouse
    Abstract: We evaluate the effect of performance-based scholarship programs for postsecondary students on student time use and effort and whether these effects are different for students we hypothesize may be more or less responsive to incentives. To do so, we administered a time-use survey as part of a randomized experiment in which community college students in New York City were randomly assigned to be eligible for a performance-based scholarship or to a control group that was only eligible for the standard financial aid. This paper contributes to the literature by attempting to get inside the “black box” of how students respond to a monetary incentive to improve their educational attainment. We find that students eligible for a scholarship devoted more time to educational activities, increased the quality of effort toward and engagement with their studies, and allocated less time to leisure. Additional analyses suggest that students who were plausibly more myopic—place less weight on future benefits—were more responsive to the incentives, but we find no evidence that students who are arguably more time constrained were less responsive to the incentives.
    Keywords: higher education; educational investment; time use; incentives; financial aid
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2020–01–17
  20. By: Antoine Malézieux; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Although understanding how multiculturalism shapes society is imperative in today's globalized world, insights on certain behavior domains remain limited, including those on tax compliance among domestic versus foreign taxpayers. Our meta-study of laboratory tax experiments analyzes over 50,000 tax declaration decisions by almost 5,000 subjects entailing 95 nationalities. Not only do immigrant participants exhibit signicantly less tax compliance than natives even with controls for numerous covariates, but tax compliance correlates positively with tax morale, which in turn also interacts signicantly with immigration status. Few variablesmainly linked to politicsinuenced the gap of compliance between natives and immigrants.
    Keywords: Tax evasion; Immigration; Meta-analysis
    JEL: C9 H0 H3
    Date: 2021–06
  21. By: Engler, Yola; Page, Lionel
    Abstract: We investigate the haggling process in bargaining. Using an experimental bargaining game, we find that a first offer has a significant impact on the bargaining outcome even if it is costless to reject. First offers convey information on the player’s reservation value induced by his social preferences. They are most often accepted when they are not above the equal split. However, offers which request much more than the equal split induce punishing counteroffers. The bargaining outcome is therefore critically influenced by the balance of toughness and kindness signaled through the offers made in the haggling phase.
    Date: 2021–06–08
  22. By: Pankaj Koirala (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Raja Rajendra Timilsina (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Koji Kotani (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)
    Abstract: Intergenerational sustainability (IS) has emerged as the most serious social problem reflecting climate change and accumulation of public debt in modern democratic societies, undermining the potential interests and concerns of future generations. However, little is known about whether or not deliberative forms of democracy with majority voting helps support at maintaining IS by representing future generations’ potential interests and concerns. We institute intergenerational sustainability dilemma game (ISDG) with three forms of decision-making models with majority voting and examine how they maintain IS in laboratory experiments. In ISDG, a sequence of six generations is prepared where each generation consisting of three subjects is asked to choose either maintaining IS (sustainable option) or maximizing their own generation’s payoff by irreversibly costing the subsequent generations (unsustainable option) with anonymous voting systems: (1) majority voting (MV), (2) deliberative majority voting (DMV) and (3) majority voting with deliberative accountability (MVDA). In MV and DMV, generations vote for their choices without and with deliberation, respectively. In MVDA, generations are asked to be possibly accountable for their choices to the subsequent generations during deliberation, and then vote. Our analysis shows that decision-making models with only majority voting generally does not address IS, while DMV and MVDA treatments induce more and much more generations to choose a sustainable option than MV, respectively. Overall, the results demonstrate that deliberation and accountability along with majority voting shall be necessary in models of decision making at resolving IS problems and representing future generations’ potential interests and concerns.
    Keywords: democracy, decision-making, majority voting, deliberation, intergenerational accountability
    Date: 2021–06
  23. By: Holden, Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Tilahun, Mesfin (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: We have used simple incentivized social preference experiments for a sample of 2427 resource-poor rural youth that have formed natural-resource based youth business groups in their home communities. The experiments were combined with questions investigating their attitudes towards environmental conservation and willingness to contribute to conservation of local natural resources related to a compulsory labor contribution program. The paper investigates whether and how the revealed social preferences are associated with the attitudes towards environmental conservation and explores the spatial heterogeneity of conservation attitudes. It tests whether youth with altruistic and egalitarian social preferences are associated with stronger motivations for contributing to the compulsory conservation program than youth with selfish and spiteful preferences. Our study finds evidence in support of this hypothesis. We also find evidence of substantial spatial variation in the attitudes towards the environmental conservation program and much of this heterogeneity seems to be determined at the community (tabia) level which is the lowest administrative level and the level at which the compulsory conservation program is organized. In general, we find strong support for the compulsory conservation work program among the youth. 97% of the youth agree or strongly agree that the program is very important to protect the natural resource base and secure the future livelihoods in their community. On average the subjects were willing to contribute 19.4 days/year free labor to the program, which was close to the current requirement of 20 days/year.
    Keywords: Social preferences; incentivized experiments; attitudes towards conservation; compulsory public works; local public goods; natural resource conservation; Tigray
    JEL: D64 D91 H23 H26 Q56
    Date: 2021–06–20
  24. By: Sabiou M. Inoua (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University); Vernon L. Smith (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)
    Keywords: Microeconomic Theory, Experimental Economics, Methodology of Economics, Information Aggregation
    Date: 2021
  25. By: Krekel, Christian (London School of Economics); De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel (University of Oxford); Fancourt, Daisy (University College London); Layard, Richard (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Despite a wealth of research on its correlates, relatively little is known about how to effectively raise wellbeing in local communities by means of intervention. Can we teach people to live happier lives, cost-effectively and at scale? We conducted a randomised controlled trial of a scalable social-psychological intervention rooted in self-determination theory and aimed at raising the wellbeing and pro-sociality of the general adult population. The manualised course ("Exploring What Matters") is run by non-expert volunteers (laypeople) in their local communities and to date has been conducted in more than 26 countries around the world. We found that it has strong, positive causal effects on participants' subjective wellbeing and pro-sociality (compassion and social trust) while lowering measures of mental ill health. The impacts of the course are sustained for at least two months post-treatment. We compare treatment to other wellbeing interventions and discuss limitations and implications for intervention design, as well as implications for the use of wellbeing as an outcome for public policy more generally.
    Keywords: wellbeing, pro-social behaviour, communities, intervention, RCT
    JEL: C93 I12 I31
    Date: 2021–06
  26. By: Victor Klockmann (Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Max Planck Institute for Human Development - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft); Alicia von Schenk (Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Max Planck Institute for Human Development - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft); Marie Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics)
    Abstract: With Big Data, decisions made by machine learning algorithms depend on training data generated by many individuals. In an experiment, we identify the effect of varying individual responsibility for moral choices of an artificially intelligent algorithm. Across treatments, we manipulated the sources of training data and thus the impact of each individual's decisions on the algorithm. Reducing or diffusing pivotality for algorithmic choices increased the share of selfish decisions. Once the generated training data exclusively affected others' payoffs, individuals opted for more egalitarian payoff allocations. These results suggest that Big Data offers a "moral wiggle room" for selfish behavior.
    Keywords: Artificial Intelligence,Pivotality,Ethics,Externalities,Experiment
    Date: 2021
  27. By: Sterkens, Philippe; Baert, Stijn; Rooman, Claudia; Derous, Eva
    Abstract: Recent studies have explored hiring discrimination as an obstacle to former burnout patients. Many workers, however, return to the same employer, where they face an even more severe aftermath of burnout syndrome: promotion discrimination. To our knowledge, we are the first to directly address this issue in research. More specifically, we conducted a vignette experiment with 406 genuine managers, testing the potential of the main burnout stigma theoretically described in the literature as potential mediators of promotion discrimination. Estimates reveal that compared to employees without an employment interruption, former burnout patients have no less than a 34.4% lower probability of receiving a promotion. Moreover, these employees are perceived as having low (1) leadership, (2) learning capacity, (3) motivation, (4) autonomy and (5) stress tolerance, as well as being (6) less capable of taking on an exemplary role, (7) having worse current and (8) future health, (9) collaborating with them is regarded more negatively, and (10) managers perceive them as having fewer options to leave the organisation if denied a promotion. Four of these perceptions, namely lower leadership capacities, stress tolerance, abilities to take on an exemplary role and chances of finding another job explain almost half the burnout effect on promotion probabilities.
    Keywords: promotion,burnout,statistical discrimination,taste-based discrimination,invisibility hypothesis
    JEL: J71 I14 C83 C91
    Date: 2021
  28. By: Hunt Allcott; Matthew Gentzkow; Lena Song
    Abstract: Many have argued that digital technologies such as smartphones and social media are addictive. We develop an economic model of digital addiction and estimate it using a randomized experiment. Temporary incentives to reduce social media use have persistent effects, suggesting social media are habit forming. Allowing people to set limits on their future screen time substantially reduces use, suggesting self-control problems. Additional evidence suggests people are inattentive to habit formation and partially unaware of self-control problems. Looking at these facts through the lens of our model suggests that self-control problems cause 31 percent of social media use.
    JEL: D12 D61 D90 D91 I31 L86 O33
    Date: 2021–06
  29. By: Thomas Buser; Muriel Niederle; Hessel Oosterbeek
    Abstract: We assess the predictive power of two measures of competitiveness for education and labor market outcomes using a large, representative survey panel. The first is incentivized and is an online adaptation of the laboratory-based Niederle-Vesterlund measure. The second is an unincentivized survey question eliciting general competitiveness on an 11-point scale. Both measures are strong and consistent predictors of income, occupation, completed level of education and field of study. The predictive power of the new unincentivized measure for these outcomes is robust to controlling for other traits, including risk attitudes, confidence and the Big Five personality traits. For most outcomes, the predictive power of competitiveness exceeds that of the other traits. Gender differences in competitiveness can explain 5-10 percent of the observed gender differences in education and labor market outcomes.
    JEL: C9 I20 J16 J24
    Date: 2021–06

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