nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2022‒05‒09
twenty-two papers chosen by

  1. Active Learning Improves Financial Education: Experimental Evidence from Uganda By Tim Kaiser; Lukas Menkhoff; Manuel Menkhoff
  2. Optimal and Fair Prizing in Sequential Round-Robin Tournaments: Experimental Evidence By Arne Lauber; Christoph March; Marco Sahm
  3. How Does Group-Decision Making Affect Subsequent Individual Behavior? By Philipp Dörrenberg; Christoph Feldhaus
  4. Pledges and how social influence shapes their effectiveness By Koessler, Ann Kathrin
  5. From Anti-Vax Intentions to Vaccination: Panel and Experimental Evidence from Nine Countries By Vincenzo Galasso; Vincent Pons; Paola Profeta; Michael Becher; Sylvain Brouard; Martial Foucault
  6. How Does the Vaccine Approval Procedure Affect Covid-19 Vaccination Intentions? By Silvia Angerer; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Thomas Rittmannsberger
  7. Building trust in rural producer organizations: results from a randomized controlled trial By Tanguy Bernard; Pia Naima DÄnzer; Markus Frölich; Andreas Landmann; Angelino Viceisza; Fleur Wouterse
  8. Political Support, Cognitive Dissonance and Political Preferences By Tanja Artiga González; Francesco Capozza; Georg D. Granic
  9. Can Meaning Make Cents? Making the Meaning of Work Salient for US Manufacturing Workers By Salamone, Alberto; Lordan, Grace
  10. Promoting Opportunity Demonstration: Description of Overpayments and Stakeholder Experiences By Monica Farid; Sarah Croake; Denise Hoffman; Paul Shattuck; Aleksandra Wec; David Wittenburg
  11. Coarse Personalization By Walter W. Zhang; Sanjog Misra
  12. Enhancing the Generalizability of Impact Studies in Education By Elizabeth Tipton; Robert B. Olsen
  13. Who Increases Emergency Department Use? New Insights from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment By Denteh, Augustine; Liebert, Helge
  14. Gender Differences in Competitiveness: The Role of Social Incentives By Michalis Drouvelis; Mary L. Rigdon
  15. Time inconsistency and overdraft use: Evidence from transaction data and behavioral measurement experiments By Gill, Andrej; Hett, Florian; Tischer, Johannes
  16. The Impact of a Home Visiting Program Enhanced to Address Repeat Adolescent Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Steps to Success By Dana Rotz; Menbere Shiferaw; Robert G. Wood
  17. Not-so-strategic voters. Evidence from an in situ experiment during the 2017 French presidential election By Antoinette Baujard; Isabelle Lebon
  18. Do Financial Incentives on High Parity Birth Affect Fertility? Evidence from the Order of Glorious Mother in Mongolia By Cheng-Tao Tang; Chun Yee Wong; Ayush Batzorig
  19. Time and Risk Preferences of Children Predict Health Behaviors but not BMI By Greta List; John List; Lina Ramirez; Anya Samek
  20. The Ellipse of Insignificance: a refined fragility index for ascertaining robustness of results in dichotomous outcome trials By Grimes, David Robert
  21. Living and perceiving a crisis: how the pandemic influenced Americans' preferences and beliefs By Guglielmo Briscese; Maddalena Grignani; Stephen Stapleton
  22. A Partial Identification Approach to Identifying the Determinants of Human Capital Accumulation: An Application to Teachers By Nirav Mehta

  1. By: Tim Kaiser; Lukas Menkhoff; Manuel Menkhoff
    Abstract: We conduct a randomized field experiment to study the effects of two financial education interventions offered to small-scale retailers in rural western Uganda. The treatments contrast “active learning” with traditional “lecturing” within standardized lesson-plans. After six months, active learning has a positive effect on savings and investment outcomes, in contrast to small or zero effects for lecturing. After four years, estimates come with substantial uncertainty but are generally larger for the active learning group, such as a 60 percent increase in investments. As an adverse outcome, reported late payment on loans increases by about 30 percent for both treatments. The findings suggest that teaching methods can play an important role in affecting how financial education programs impact financial behavior and outcomes.
    Keywords: financial behaviour, financial literacy, active learning, lecturing, training method, field experiment
    JEL: O16 I21 G53
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Arne Lauber; Christoph March; Marco Sahm
    Abstract: We report results from the first experimental study of round-robin tournaments. In our experiment, we investigate how the prize structure affects the intensity, fair-ness, and dynamic behavior in sequential round-robin tournaments with three players. We compare tournaments with a second prize equal to either 0%, 50%, or 100% of the first prize. While theory predicts the 50%-treatment to be most intense, we find that aggregate effort is highest in the 0%-treatment. In contrast, our evidence supports the predictions that the 50%-treatment is fairest (though not perfectly fair), whereas the late mover is advantaged in the 100%-treatment and disadvantaged in the 0%-treatment. Also in line with the theory, we identify a strategic (reverse) momentum: after winning the first match, a player increases (decreases) effort in the second match of the 0%-treatment (100%-treatment). Additional findings suggest that dynamic behavior is also subject to a psychological momentum.
    Keywords: sequential round-robin tournament, all-pay auction, fairness, intensity, strategic momentum, experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 D72 Z20
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Philipp Dörrenberg; Christoph Feldhaus
    Abstract: Do groups and individuals behave differently in dictator games with varying deservingness of the recipient? Does the involvement in group-decision making affect the decisions of group members in subsequent individual decisions? We address these questions using a controlled dictator-game experiment and find the following main results. First, groups and individuals are not different w.r.t. their dictator-game decisions and recipient deservingness does not have a different effect on groups than on individuals. Second, participants who were previously part of a group decision process are more generous in a subsequent individual-level decision than participants who previously made individual decisions. We exploit the chat protocols of group discussions to shed light on the mechanism behind this result. Consistent with moral balancing, we show that the effect of group-decision making on subsequent individual decisions is driven by subjects who intent to make good for the initial group decision.
    Keywords: group-decision making, dictator game, recipient deservingness, moral balancing
    JEL: C91 C92 D91
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Koessler, Ann Kathrin
    Abstract: Pledges are used to signal the intention to act in a socially desirable way. In this study, we examine what role social influence plays in the decision to pledge. In a laboratory experiment, subjects can make a pledge to contribute to a public good in the socially optimal way. Across treatment conditions, we vary the way in which the pledges are elicited. Hence, the degree of social influence on pledge-making is manipulated and its impact can be examined. We find that when individuals are aware that the majority of other subjects decided to pledge, they are likely to conform and also make the pledge. The emergence of such a critical mass can be stimulated by (institutional) design, namely by determining the elicitation order on the basis of previous behavior. Overall, this commitment nudge is effective. Both socially-oriented and previously not socially-oriented subjects modify their behavior after the pledge.
    Keywords: commitment; conformity; pledgeability; promise; public good; social dilemma; social influence
    JEL: A13 C71 C91 H41
    Date: 2022–06–01
  5. By: Vincenzo Galasso; Vincent Pons; Paola Profeta; Michael Becher; Sylvain Brouard; Martial Foucault
    Abstract: Millions of people refuse COVID-19 vaccination. Using original data from two surveys in nine OECD countries, we analyze the determinants of anti-vax intentions in December 2020 and show that half of the anti-vax individuals were vaccinated by summer 2021. Vaccinations were more likely among individuals aged 50+, exposed to COVID-19, compliant with public restrictions, more informed on traditional media, trusting scientists, and less concerned about vaccines’ side effects. We run a survey experiment with informational messages. In EU countries, a message about protecting health largely increases vaccinations, even among anti-vax individuals. In the U.K. and U.S., a message about protecting the economy generates similar effects. Our findings suggest that informational campaigns should adopt adequate narratives and address concerns about vaccines’ side effects.
    Keywords: Covid-19 vaccination, randomized experiment, information transmission
    JEL: I12 D83
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Silvia Angerer; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Thomas Rittmannsberger
    Abstract: Peoples’ willingness to vaccinate is critical to combating the COVID-19 pandemic. We devise a representative experiment to study how the design of the vaccine approval procedure affects public attitudes towards vaccination. Compared to an Emergency Use Authorization, choosing the more thorough Accelerated Authorization approval procedure increases vaccination intentions by 13 percentage points. Effects of increased duration of the approval procedure are positive and significant only for Emergency Use Authorization. Treatment effects are homogenous across population subgroups. Increased trust in the vaccine is the key mediator of treatment effects on vaccination intentions.
    Keywords: vaccination, Covid-19, approval procedure, experiment
    JEL: I12 I18 C93 D83
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Tanguy Bernard (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Pia Naima DÄnzer; Markus Frölich; Andreas Landmann; Angelino Viceisza; Fleur Wouterse
    Abstract: Trust is considered an important factor for successful collective action in groups of smallholder farmers. A prime example is collective commercialization of agricultural produce through producer organizations. While previous research has focused on trust as an exogenous determinant of participation in groups, this article tests whether trust within existing groups can be improved using a training program. We conduct a cluster-randomized controlled trial in rural Senegal to identify the effects of training members and/or leaders with respect to commercialization on intragroup trust. Our design allows identifying both direct treatment effects of having participated in the training and spillover effects on farmers who did not partake. Looking at different measures of trust in leaders' competence and motives and of trust in members, we find that participating in the training significantly enhances both trust in leaders and trust in members. For trust in leaders, we also find a strong spillover effect. Our findings suggest that relatively soft and noncostly interventions such as group training appear to positively affect trust within producer organizations.
    Keywords: rural producer organizations,Senegal,trust
    Date: 2021–09–10
  8. By: Tanja Artiga González; Francesco Capozza; Georg D. Granic
    Abstract: Voters often express support for a candidate whose policy platforms differ from their ideal policy preferences. We argue that under these circumstance acts of expressing support can causally change voters’ policy preferences. We conceptualize our arguments in a theoretical model of policy preference changes rooted in cognitive dissonance theory. A pre-registered, online experiment with 1,200 U.S. participants confirms our main hypotheses. As predicted by cognitive dissonance theory, voters align their policy preferences with those of the supported candidate. The more important the policy issue, the sharper the change in preferences. We also find that larger pre-support policy distance and higher effort in expressing support increases the magnitude of preference changes. Our results suggest that policy preferences can change mechanically after voters express support for a candidate.
    Keywords: political participation, political support, political preferences, cognitive dissonance, online experiment
    JEL: C91 D72 D91
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Salamone, Alberto (London School of Economics); Lordan, Grace (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We conducted a field experiment in a small electronics manufacturing firm in the US with the specific aim to improve minutes worked, punctuality, tardiness and safety checks. Our intervention was to put posters on the production floor on a random day, which made salient to the blue-collar employees the meaning and importance of their job, which comprised of routine repetitive tasks, in a before and after design. Overall, the intervention was a success with positive and significant effects consistently found for the outcomes both immediately after the experiment finished (+3 days) and also more than two weeks after (+15 days). Our study highlights it is possible to motivate blue collar manual workers intrinsically by drawing attention to the meaning of their work.
    Keywords: meaning, motivation, blue collar, manufacturing, field experiment
    JEL: J10
    Date: 2022–03
  10. By: Monica Farid; Sarah Croake; Denise Hoffman; Paul Shattuck; Aleksandra Wec; David Wittenburg
    Abstract: This brief examines how Promoting Opportunity Demonstration (POD) treatment and control group members experienced overpayments. POD is a randomized controlled trial that tests two versions of new SSDI work rules with a control group that is subject to current law rules.
    Keywords: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), demonstration project, overpayments, randomized controlled trial, impact analysis, process analysis
  11. By: Walter W. Zhang; Sanjog Misra
    Abstract: Advances in heterogeneous treatment effects estimation enable firms to personalize marketing mix elements and target individuals at an unmatched level of granularity, but feasibility constraints limit such personalization. In practice, firms choose which unique treatments to offer and which individuals to assign to each treatment to maximize profits, and we denote the firm's problem as the coarse personalization problem. We solve the coarse personalization problem using a two-step procedure that forms segmentation and targeting decisions in concert. First, the firm personalizes by estimating conditional average treatment effects. Second, the firm discretizes by utilizing treatment effects to choose which unique treatments to offer and who to assign to these treatments. The second step is the main contribution of our paper and is a novel application of optimal transport methods. We adapt Lloyd's Algorithm to computationally solve the second step. With data from a large-scale field experiment for promotions management, we find that our methodology outperforms classical marketing techniques that segment on consumer characteristics or preferences. Using our procedure, the firm recoups over 99.5% of its expected incremental profits under fully granular personalization while offering only five unique treatments. We conclude by discussing how coarse personalization arises in other marketing areas.
    Date: 2022–04
  12. By: Elizabeth Tipton; Robert B. Olsen
    Abstract: This guide will help researchers design and implement impact studies in education so that the findings are more generalizable to the study's target population.
    Keywords: generalizability, generalization, study recruitment, sampling plan, target population, population frame, research methods, education research, external validity, impact evaluation, randomized controlled trial, RCT, quasi-experiment, standards for excellence in education research, SEER
  13. By: Denteh, Augustine (Georgia State University); Liebert, Helge (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We provide new insights regarding the finding that Medicaid increased emergency department (ED) use from the Oregon experiment. We find meaningful heterogeneous impacts of Medicaid on ED use using causal machine learning methods. The treatment effect distribution is widely dispersed, and the average effect is not representative of most individualized treatment effects. A small group—about 14% of participants—in the right tail of the distribution drives the overall effect. We identify priority groups with economically significant increases in ED usage based on demographics and prior utilization. Intensive margin effects are an important driver of increases in ED utilization.
    Keywords: Medicaid, ED use, effect heterogeneity, causal machine learning, optimal policy
    JEL: H75 I13 I38
    Date: 2022–03
  14. By: Michalis Drouvelis; Mary L. Rigdon
    Abstract: The provision of social incentives in the workplace, where performance benefits a charitable cause, has been frequently used in modern organizations. In this paper, we quantify the impact of social incentives on performance under two incentive schemes: piece rate and a winner-take-all tournament. We introduce social incentives by informing individuals that 50% of their performance earnings will be donated to a charity of their own choice. Our findings indicate that, in the presence of social incentives, women increase their performance by approximately 23% and 27% in the piece rate and tournament payment schemes, respectively. These effects are sizable and significant. Despite the fact that women also become more confident when social incentives are used, their willingness to compete is not affected due to their general lack of willingness to take financial risks.
    Keywords: social incentives, task performance, piece rate, tournament, competitiveness, gender differences
    JEL: C92 D64 J16 J20
    Date: 2022
  15. By: Gill, Andrej; Hett, Florian; Tischer, Johannes
    Abstract: Households regularly fail to make optimal financial decisions. But what are the underlying reasons for this? Using two conceptually distinct measures of time inconsistency based on bank account transaction data and behavioral measurement experiments, we show that the excessive use of bank account overdrafts is linked to time inconsistency. By contrast, there is no correlation between a survey-based measure of financial literacy and overdraft usage. Our results indicate that consumer education and information may not suffice to overcome mistakes in households' financial decision-making. Rather, behaviorally motivated interventions targeting specific biases in decision-making should also be considered as effective policy tools.
    Keywords: Household Finance,Paycheck Sensitivity,Fintech,Time Inconsistency,Time Preferences,Experiment,Behavioral Measurement
    JEL: D14 D90 G51 G53
    Date: 2022
  16. By: Dana Rotz; Menbere Shiferaw; Robert G. Wood
    Abstract: A small but growing body of evidence suggests individualized support services and improved access to contraception can promote healthy birth spacing among adolescent mothers.
    Keywords: home visiting program, adolescent pregnancy, randomized controlled trial, steps to success, family support
  17. By: Antoinette Baujard (UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne]); Isabelle Lebon (CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - UNIV-RENNES - Université de Rennes - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université)
    Abstract: An experiment carried out in situ during the 2017 French presidential election provides the natural conditions in which to disentangle the motivations of expressive voting and strategic voting as determinants of voters' choice. Under the two-round plurality rule, when voters vote for a single candidate in the first round, they may wish primarily to express which is their favorite candidate, or, rather, to influence the outcome of the second-round outcome by strategic voting. These two motives may coincide or conflict. We show that insincere strategic voting is relatively low in this context since it represents less than 7% of the votes cast. When the expressive and the strategic motives conflict with each other, i.e., where expression requires giving up any influence on the outcome of the election, we show that voters are twice as likely to eschew strategic voting as to vote strategically.
    Keywords: In Situ Experiment,Strategy vs. Expression dilemma,Expression of preferences,Voting behavior,Strategic behavior,Two-round plurality vote
    Date: 2022–02
  18. By: Cheng-Tao Tang (IUJ Research Institutey, International University of University); Chun Yee Wong (IUJ Research Institutey, International University of University); Ayush Batzorig
    Abstract: This paper exploits the change in award criteria of a pronatalist program in the Mongolia that offers financial transfers to women achieving fertility goals at high parity birth. We implement a quasi-experiment strategy by forming treatment and control groups defined by time and child parity. We found positive effect of the program on fertility, and the fertility response is diminishing when the high fertility goal jumps from a lower one to a higher one. An extension of Barro–Becker fertility model with the inclusion of social norm can support our empirical finding.
    Keywords: Fertility, Pro-natalist program; Social norm; Difference-in-differences; Mongolia
    JEL: J13 J18 H31 P23
    Date: 2022–04
  19. By: Greta List; John List; Lina Ramirez; Anya Samek
    Abstract: We conduct experiments with 720 children ages 9-11 to evaluate the relationship of time and risk preferences with health. Children who are more patient report consuming fewer unhealthy calories and spending less time on sedentary activities such as video games. Children who are more risk seeking report engaging in more exercise and more screen time. However, time and risk preferences are not predictive of body mass index (BMI). Moreover, some of the negative health behaviors, such as screen time, are associated with lower - rather than higher - BMI.
    Date: 2022
  20. By: Grimes, David Robert
    Abstract: There is increasing awareness throughout biomedical science that many results do not withstand the trials of repeat investigation. The growing abundance of medical literature has only increased the urgent need for tools to gauge the robustness and trustworthiness of published science. Dichotomous outcome designs are vital in randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, and observational data for ascertaining differences between experimental and control arms. It has however been shown with tools like the fragility index (FI) that many ostensibly impactful results fail to materialise when even small numbers of patients in either the control or experimental arms are recoded from event to non-event. Critics of this metric counter that there is no objective means to determine a meaningful FI. As currently used, FI is not multi-dimensional and is computationally expensive. In this work a conceptually similar geometrical approach is introduced, the ellipse of insignificance (EOI). This method yields precise deterministic values for the degree of manipulation or miscoding that can be tolerated simultaneously in both control and experimental arms, allowing for the derivation of objective measures of experimental robustness. More than this, the tool is intimately connected with sensitivity and specificity of the event / non-event tests, and is readily combined with knowledge of test parameters to reject unsound results. The method is outlined here, with illustrative clinical examples.
    Date: 2022–03–28
  21. By: Guglielmo Briscese; Maddalena Grignani; Stephen Stapleton
    Abstract: Crises can cause important societal changes by shifting citizens' preferences and beliefs, but how such change happens remains an open question. Following a representative sample of Americans in a longitudinal multi-wave survey throughout 2020, we find that citizens reduced trust in public institutions and became more supportive of government spending after being directly impacted by the crisis, such as when they lost a sizeable portion of their income or knew someone hospitalized with the virus. These shifts occurred very rapidly, sometimes in a matter of weeks, and persisted over time. We also record an increase in the partisan gap on the same outcomes, which can be largely explained by misperceptions about the crisis inflated by the consumption of partisan leaning news. In an experiment, we expose respondents to the same source of information and find that it successfully recalibrates perceptions, with persistent effects. We complement our analysis by employing machine learning to estimate heterogeneous treatment effects, and show that our findings are robust to several specifications and estimation strategies. In sum, both lived experiences and media inflated misperceptions can alter citizens' beliefs rapidly during a crisis.
    Date: 2022–02
  22. By: Nirav Mehta (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: This paper views teacher quality through the human capital perspective. Teacher quality exhibits substantial growth over teachers’ careers, but why it improves is not well understood. I use a human capital production function nesting On-the-Job-Training (OJT) and Learning-by-Doing (LBD) and experimental variation from Glewwe et al. (2010), a teacher incentive pay experiment in Kenya, to discern the presence and relative importance of these forces. The identified set for the OJT and LBD components has a closed-form solution, which depends on experimentally estimated average treatment effects. The results provide evidence of an LBD component, as well as an informative upper bound on the OJT component.
    Date: 2022

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