nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2022‒05‒16
eighteen papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. The Role of the End Time in Experimental Asset Markets By Anita Kopányi-Peuker; Matthias Weber
  2. Do sentencing guidelines result in lower inter-judge disparity ? Evidence from framed field experiment By Cécile Bourreau-Dubois; Myriam Doriat-Duban; Bruno Jeandidier; Jean Ray
  3. Inequality, Life Expectancy, and the Intragenerational Redistribution Puzzle - Some Experimental Evidence By Tim Krieger; Christine Meemann; Stefan Traub
  4. Are risk preferences consistent across elicitation procedures ? A field experiment in Congo Basin countries By Marielle Brunette; Jonas Ngouhouo-Poufoun
  5. Increasing the Demand for Workers with a Criminal Record By Zoe B. Cullen; Will S. Dobbie; Mitchell Hoffman
  6. Inference for Cluster Randomized Experiments with Non-ignorable Cluster Sizes By Federico Bugni; Ivan Canay; Azeem Shaikh; Max Tabord-Meehan
  7. Evaluating the Distributive Effects of a Development Intervention By Pushkar Maitra; Sandip Mitra; Dilip Mookherjee; Sujata Visaria
  8. The effect of range of outcomes and magnitude of rewards on lying behavior in anonymous dice-under-cup trials By Carlos Lourenco; Sandra Maximiano; Camilla Zallot
  9. Tutoring in (Online) Higher Education: Experimental Evidence By David Hardt; Markus Nagler; Johannes Rincke
  10. Income Contingency and the Electorate's Support for Tuition By Philipp Lergetporer; Ludger Woessmann
  11. The Power of Certainty: Experimental Evidence on the Effective Design of Free Tuition Programs By Elizabeth Burland; Susan Dynarski; Katherine Michelmore; Stephanie Owen; Shwetha Raghuraman
  12. Framed Field Experiments: 2021 Summary on By John List
  13. Who Increases Emergency Department Use? New Insights from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment By Augustine Denteh; Helge Liebert
  14. Is the Price Right? The Role of Morals, Ideology, and Tradeoff Thinking in Explaining Reactions to Price Surges By Elias, Julio; Lacetera, Nicola; Macis, Mario
  15. The Impact of Forced Migration on In-Group and Out-Group Social Capital By Anselm Hager; Justin Mattias Valasek; Justin Mattias Valasek
  16. Can a Website Bring Unemployment Down? Experimental Evidence from France By Aïcha Ben Dhia; Bruno Crépon; Esther Mbih; Louise Paul-Delvaux; Bertille Picard; Vincent Pons
  17. Can Leaders Persuade? Examining Movement in Immigration Beliefs By Hassan Afrouzi; Carolina Arteaga; Emily Weisburst
  18. Promoting Opportunity Demonstration: Trends in Treatment Group Outcomes and the COVID-19 Pandemic By David Mann; Isabel Musse

  1. By: Anita Kopányi-Peuker (Radboud University Nijmegen - Department of Economics); Matthias Weber (University of St. Gallen - School of Finance)
    Abstract: By now there are hundreds of scientific articles on experimental asset markets. Almost all of these experiments use a short and definite horizon. This may be one of the starkest differences to financial asset markets outside the laboratory, which usually have indefinite and comparatively long horizons. We analyze the role of the end time in an asset market experiment in which we vary the length of the horizon and whether the end time is definite or indefinite. We find recurring bubbles and similar price dynamics in all treatments (with moderately lower prices in the treatments with a long horizon).
    Keywords: Experimental finance; asset market experiments; time horizon; indefinite end time; bubbles
    JEL: C92 G40 G41 D90
    Date: 2022–04
  2. By: Cécile Bourreau-Dubois (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Myriam Doriat-Duban (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Bruno Jeandidier (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Jean Ray (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: We study decision-making of judges in an experimental settingresembling real world judicial decision making. We gave to 312 future judges 48 vignettes built from real datarelated to divorce cases involving children. We compare two different subject pools : judges who were asked to set child support awards with a guideline and judges who were asked to set child support awards without any guideline. We found that the introduction of a guideline contributes to reduce the disparity between judges (i.e. the variance for like cases is lower when the subjects have the opportunity to use the guideline) but this effect is not systematic, an increase in heterogeneity being observed for some specific cases.
    Keywords: Controlled experiment,Field experiment,Judicial sentencing,Child support
    Date: 2020–10–26
  3. By: Tim Krieger; Christine Meemann; Stefan Traub
    Abstract: In most OECD countries, pension reform policy has decreased the level of intragenerational redistribution over the last three decades, that is, redistribution among members of the same generation with high and low pension entitlements. This trend has occurred despite heterogeneity in life expectancy linked to socioeconomic status having a regressive impact on out-comes. This paper contributes to solving this puzzle by means of a controlled laboratory experiment. We study the causal relationship between inequality of entitlements, mortality risk, and the size of redistribution in a stylized social security system. We find that mortality risk, when negatively correlated with entitlements, significantly lowers subjects’ willingness to redistribute payoffs from high-entitlement to low-entitlement subjects. We explain this finding with efficiency preferences and an alienation effect. The alienation effect is the tendency to attach a lower social weight to the short-lived poor.
    Keywords: inequality, life expectancy, risk, redistribution, pension reform, efficiency preferences, alienation effect experiment
    JEL: D63 D81 H55 I14
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Marielle Brunette (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, Climate Economics Chair - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres); Jonas Ngouhouo-Poufoun (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research - CGIAR - Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research [CGIAR])
    Abstract: We compare individual risk preferences elicited through a classic Ordered Lottery Selection (OLS) procedure with five gambles, and an extended procedure composed of nine gambles. The research question is about the stability of the risk preferences across these two elicitation variants. We implemented a field experiment with 1002 rural households in the Congo Basin from December 2013 to July 2014. We show that 1/3 of the sample is extremely risk averse regardless of the procedure. We found inconsistencies in risk preferences elicited across procedures. Indeed, 45.71% are characterized by instability of preferences, either weak (34.53%) or strong (11.18%); 42.81% of the sample exhibits stable preferences and the remaining 11.48% of the sample-initially risk neutral in the classic procedure-is classified as risk loving in the extended procedure. Undereducation can be seen as the main driver of the strong instability since the incremental change brought about by the attainment of secondary school on the likelihood to remain stable is ten times greater than the other considered drivers.
    Keywords: Farmers,Preferences,Ordered lottery selection,Risk aversion,Field experiment
    Date: 2021–02–05
  5. By: Zoe B. Cullen; Will S. Dobbie; Mitchell Hoffman
    Abstract: State and local policies increasingly restrict employers’ access to criminal records, but without addressing the underlying reasons that employers may conduct criminal background checks. Employers may thus still want to ask about a job applicant’s criminal record later in the hiring process or make inaccurate judgments based on an applicant’s demographic characteristics. In this paper, we use a field experiment conducted in partnership with a nationwide staffing platform to test policies that more directly address the reasons that employers may conduct criminal background checks. The experiment asked hiring managers at nearly a thousand U.S. businesses to make incentive-compatible decisions under different randomized conditions. We find that 39% of businesses in our sample are willing to work with individuals with a criminal record at baseline, which rises to over 50% when businesses are offered crime and safety insurance, a single performance review, or a limited background check covering just the past year. Wage subsidies can achieve similar increases but at substantially higher cost. Based on our findings, the staffing platform relaxed the criminal background check requirement and offered crime and safety insurance to interested businesses.
    JEL: C93 J23 J24 M51
    Date: 2022–04
  6. By: Federico Bugni; Ivan Canay; Azeem Shaikh; Max Tabord-Meehan
    Abstract: This paper considers the problem of inference in cluster randomized experiments when cluster sizes are non-ignorable. Here, by a cluster randomized experiment, we mean one in which treatment is assigned at the level of the cluster; by non-ignorable cluster sizes we mean that "large" clusters and "small" clusters may be heterogeneous, and, in particular, the effects of the treatment may vary across clusters of differing sizes. In order to permit this sort of flexibility, we consider a sampling framework in which cluster sizes themselves are random. In this way, our analysis departs from earlier analyses of cluster randomized experiments in which cluster sizes are treated as non-random. We distinguish between two different parameters of interest: the equally-weighted cluster-level average treatment effect, and the size-weighted cluster-level average treatment effect. For each parameter, we provide methods for inference in an asymptotic framework where the number of clusters tends to infinity and treatment is assigned using simple random sampling. We additionally permit the experimenter to sample only a subset of the units within each cluster rather than the entire cluster and demonstrate the implications of such sampling for some commonly used estimators. A small simulation study shows the practical relevance of our theoretical results.
    Date: 2022–04
  7. By: Pushkar Maitra (Department of Economics, Monash University); Sandip Mitra (Sampling and Official Statistics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute); Dilip Mookherjee (Department of Economics, Boston University); Sujata Visaria (Department of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: Most analyses of randomized controlled trials of development interventions estimate an average treatment effect. However, the aggregate impact on welfare also depends on distributional effects. We propose a simple approach to evaluate efficiency-equity trade-offs, that follow the utilitarian tradition of Atkinson (1970). The method does not impose additional assumptions or data requirements beyond those needed to estimate the average treatment effect. We illustrate the approach using data from a credit delivery experiment we implemented in West Bengal, India.
    Keywords: Distributive Impacts, Program Evaluation, Agricultural Finance
    JEL: D82 O16 C93 H21
    Date: 2021–04
  8. By: Carlos Lourenco; Sandra Maximiano; Camilla Zallot
    Abstract: We examine the effect of changing the structure of the lying opportunity by conducting a laboratory experiment. In particular, we vary the range of possible false outcomes and the magnitude of rewards. We apply the dice-under-cup paradigm which uses anonymous dice rolls to record actual lying behavior by comparing the distribution of participants stated outcomes to the expected statistical distribution of dice roll outcomes. We find that although some small changes in lying behavior can be achieved with an increase in the possible range of outcomes and by exponentially increasing rewards, lying behavior is generally robust to changes in the lying opportunity structure. Our study concludes that lying behavior seems to be driven by the aim to achieve a certain payoff regardless of conditions.
    Keywords: dice-under; cup experiment; lying behavior; moral preferences JEL Classification: C92, D03.
    Date: 2022–03
  9. By: David Hardt; Markus Nagler; Johannes Rincke
    Abstract: Demand for personalized online tutoring in higher education is growing but there is little research on its effectiveness. We conducted an RCT offering remote peer tutoring in micro- and macroeconomics at a German university teaching online due to the Covid-pandemic. Treated students met in small groups, in alternating weeks with and without a more senior student tutor. The treatment improved study behavior and increased contact to other students. Tutored students achieved around 30% more credits and a one grade level better GPA across treated subjects. Our findings suggest that the program reduced outcome inequality. We find no impacts on mental health.
    Keywords: tutoring, higher education, online teaching, Covid, mental health
    JEL: I20 I23 I24 I10
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Philipp Lergetporer; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: We show that the electorate’s preferences for using tuition to finance higher education strongly depend on the design of the payment scheme. In representative surveys of the German electorate (N>18,000), experimentally replacing regular upfront by deferred income-contingent payments increases public support for tuition by 18 percentage points. The treatment turns a plurality opposed to tuition into a strong majority of 62 percent in favor. Additional experiments reveal that the treatment effect similarly shows when framed as loan repayments, when answers carry political consequences, and in a survey of adolescents. Reduced fairness concerns and improved student situations act as strong mediators.
    Keywords: tuition, higher education finance, income-contingent loans, voting
    JEL: H52 I22 D72
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Elizabeth Burland; Susan Dynarski; Katherine Michelmore; Stephanie Owen; Shwetha Raghuraman
    Abstract: Proposed "free college" policies vary widely in design. The simplest approach sets tuition to zero for everyone. More targeted approaches limit free tuition to those who successfully demonstrate need through an application process. We experimentally test the effects of these two models on the schooling decisions of low-income students. An unconditional free tuition offer from a large public university substantially increases application and enrollment rates. A free tuition offer contingent on proof of need has a much smaller effect on application and none on enrollment. The results suggest students place a high value on financial certainty when making schooling decisions.
    JEL: I0 I21 I22 I24 I28
    Date: 2022–03
  12. By: John List
    Abstract: In 2019 I put together a summary of data from my field experiments website that pertained to framed field experiments. Several people have asked me if I have update. In this document I update all figures and numbers to show the details for 2021. I also include the description from the 2019 paper below.
    Date: 2022
  13. By: Augustine Denteh; Helge Liebert
    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
  14. By: Elias, Julio (Universidad del CEMA); Lacetera, Nicola (University of Toronto); Macis, Mario (Johns Hopkins University)
    Abstract: Price surges often generate social disapproval and requests for regulation and price controls, but these interventions may cause inefficiencies and shortages. To study how individuals perceive and reason about sudden price increases for different products under different policy regimes, we conduct a survey experiment with Canadian and U.S. residents. Econometric and textual analyses indicate that prices are not seen just as signals of scarcity; they cause widespread opposition and strong and polarized moral reactions. However, acceptance of unregulated prices is higher when potential economic tradeoffs between unregulated and controlled prices are salient and when higher production costs contribute to the price increases. The salience of tradeoffs also reduces the polarization of moral judgments between supporters and opponents of unregulated pricing. In part, the acceptance of free price adjustments is driven by people's overall attitudes about the function of markets and the government in society. These findings are corroborated by a donation experiment, and they suggest that awareness of the causes and potential consequences of price increases may induce less extreme views about the role of market institutions in governing the economy.
    Keywords: price surges, price controls, preferences, morality, tradeoffs
    JEL: C91 D63 D91 I11
    Date: 2022–04
  15. By: Anselm Hager; Justin Mattias Valasek; Justin Mattias Valasek
    Abstract: In this paper, we study how forced migration impacts the in-group and out-group social capital of Syrian refugees and the host population in Northern Lebanon by administering a novel survey experiment in which we manipulate the salience of the migration experience (for refugees) and the refugee crisis (for the host population). Additionally, we study the social spillovers to Palestinians, an established refugee population in Lebanon. We find that the impact of forced migration is largely restricted to the Syrian refugee-Lebanese host population channel, and that it increases the relative disparity between in-group and out-group social capital. This may cause refugees to favor in-group interactions and therefore forgo more economically advantageous interactions with out-group members.
    Keywords: refugees, migration, social capital, experiment, ethnicity
    JEL: C90 J15 D91
    Date: 2022
  16. By: Aïcha Ben Dhia; Bruno Crépon; Esther Mbih; Louise Paul-Delvaux; Bertille Picard; Vincent Pons
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of an online platform giving job seekers tips to improve their search and recommendations of new occupations and locations to target, based on their personal data and labor market data. Our experiment used an encouragement design and was conducted in collaboration with the French public employment agency. It includes 212,277 individuals. We find modest effects on search methods: the users of the platform adopt some of its tips and they are more likely to use resources provided by public employment services. However, following individual trajectories for 18 months after the intervention, we do not observe any impact on time spent looking for a job, search scope (occupational or geographical), or self-reported well-being. Most importantly, we do not find any effect on any employment outcome, whether in the short or medium run. We conclude that the enthusiasm around the potential for job-search assistance platforms to help reduce unemployment should be toned down.
    JEL: D83 D84 J22 J24 J62 J64
    Date: 2022–04
  17. By: Hassan Afrouzi; Carolina Arteaga; Emily Weisburst
    Abstract: Can political leaders change constituents’ beliefs? If so, is it rhetoric, identity, or the interaction of the two that matters? We construct a large-scale experiment where participants are exposed to anti-immigrant and pro-immigrant speeches from both Presidents Obama and Trump. We benchmark these treatments to versions recorded by an actor to control for speech messages. Our findings show that both leader messages and sources matter. Holding messages fixed, leaders persuade when participants hear unanticipated messages from sources perceived as reliable, consistent with a Bayesian framework. This evidence supports the hypothesis that individuals will “follow their leader” to new policy positions.
    Keywords: leaders, political beliefs, partisan identity, polarization, immigration
    JEL: D83 C90
    Date: 2022
  18. By: David Mann; Isabel Musse
    Abstract: This brief describes trends in outcomes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic for treatment group members of the Promoting Opportunity Demonstration (POD). 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, benefit offset, unemployment, COVID-19, pandemic

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