nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2022‒08‒15
38 papers chosen by

  1. A Two-Ball Esllberg Paradox: Experimental Evidence By Brian Jabarian; Simon Lazarus
  2. Testing the Hayek hypothesis: Recent theoretical and experimental evidence By Brian Albrecht; Omar Al-Ubaydli; Peter Boettke
  3. Behavioral Messages and Debt Repayment By Giorgia Barboni; Juan Camilo Cárdenas; Nicolás de Roux
  4. Norms as Obligations By Leonard Hoeft; Michael Kurschilgen; Wladislaw Mill; Simone Vannuccini
  5. The Behavioral Determinants of School Achievement: A Lab in the Field Experiment in Middle School By Etienne Dagorn; David Masclet; Thierry Penard
  6. Contact Interventions: A Meta-Analysis By Gwen-Jiro Clochard
  7. The impact of a carbon footprint label on food orders: A natural field experiment in a full-service restaurant By Casati, Mirta; Stranieri, Stefanella; Rommel, Jens; Medici, Riccardo; Soregaroli, Claudio
  8. Intertemporal Prosocial Choice: The Inconsistency Puzzle By Islam, Marco
  9. Do in-group biases lead to overconfidence in performance? Experimental evidence By Lia Q. Flores; Miguel A. Fonseca
  10. Seller Opportunism in Credence Good Markets – The Role of Market Conditions By Katharina Momsen; Markus Ohndorf
  11. Using experimental evidence to improve delegated enforcement By Fiala, Lenka; Husovec, Martin
  12. Effectiveness of farmer-led extension that combines demonstration plots and free trial packs: A field experiment in Tanzania By Maredia, Mywish K.; Farris, Jarrad G.; Mason, Nicole M.; Morgan, Stephen N.; Çakir, Metin
  13. Should we trust measures of trust? By Héloise Cloléry; Guillaume Hollard; Fabien Perez; Inès Picard
  14. More caseworkers shorten unemployment durations and save costs By René Böheim; Rainer Eppel; Helmut Mahringer
  15. Learning in Canonical Networks By Choi, S.; Goyal, S.; Moisan, F.; To, Y. Y. T.
  16. Working in the shadow: Survey techniques for measuring and explaining undeclared work By Burgstaller, Lilith; Feld, Lars P.; Pfeil, Katharina
  17. Can meaning make cents? Making the meaning of work salient for US manufacturing workers By Salamone, Alberto; Lordan, Grace
  18. You don't need an invoice, do you? An online experiment on collaborative tax evasion By Burgstaller, Lilith; Pfeil, Katharina
  19. Stifled by Stigma? Experimental Effects of Updating Husbands’ Beliefs on Participation in Women’s Household Work By Assefa, Thomas W.; Magnan, Nicholas; McCullough, Ellen; McGavock, Tamara
  20. Racial Discrimination and Housing Outcomes in the United States Rental Marke By Peter Christensen; Ignacio Sarmiento-Barbieri; Christopher Timmins
  21. Private Sector Promotion of Climate-Smart Technologies: Experimental Evidence from Nigeria By Bloem, Jeffrey R.; Liverpool-Tasie, Saweda; Adjognon, Serge G.; Dillon, Andrew
  22. Breaking Out Of The Poverty Trap By Ramla Zubair
  23. Willingness to pay for bundled agricultural insurance products – results from a discrete choice experiment in Bihar, India By Mitra, Archisman; Bouwer, Roy; Balasubramanya, Soumya; Taron, Avinandan
  24. Consumers Preferences for Eco-Labels and the Impact of Information: A Choice Experiment on Aquatic Food Products in China By Shi, Longzhong; Chen, Xuan; Qiu, Jingran; Li, Li
  25. Parental Investments and Intra-household Inequality in Child Human Capital: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment By Michele Giannola
  26. Does Date Label Matter for Aquacultural Food Product Waste? Evidence from a Best-Worst Discrete Choice Experiment By Nian, Yefan; Cruz, Julio C.; Asselt, Joanna Van; Gao, Zhifeng; Morgan, Stephen N.
  27. When Is Discrimination Unfair? By Peter J. Kuhn; Trevor T. Osaki
  28. Implications of halo effects in the U.S. alcohol market: An open-ended choice experiment with beer and hard seltzer By Staples, Aaron J.; Caputo, Vincenzina; Ellison, Brenna; Malone, Trey
  29. Does information help to overcome public resistance to carbon prices? Evidence from an information provision experiment By Fabienne Cantner; Geske Rolvering
  30. The Privacy Elasticity of Behavior: Conceptualization and Application By Inbal Dekel; Rachel Cummings; Ori Heffetz; Katrina Ligett
  31. The Quality of Financial Advice: What Influences Client Recommendations? By Philippe d'Astous; Irina Gemmo; Pierre-Carl Michaud
  32. STEM Summer Programs for Underrepresented Youth Increase STEM Degrees By Sarah R. Cohodes; Helen Ho; Silvia C. Robles
  33. Officer-Involved: The Media Language of Police Killings By Jonathan Moreno-Medina; Aurelie Ouss; Patrick Bayer; Bocar A. Ba
  34. A nation-wide experiment: fuel tax cuts and almost free public transport for three months in Germany -- Report 2 First wave results By Fabienne Cantner; Nico Nachtigall; Lisa S. Hamm; Andrea Cadavid Isaza; Lennart Adenaw; Allister Loder; Markus B. Siewert; Sebastian Goerg; Markus Lienkamp; Klaus Bogenberger
  35. Evidence Snapshot: Subsidized Employment and Transitional Jobs By Sam Elkin; Jillian Stein; Dana Rotz
  36. Do nudges increase consumer search and switching? Evidence from financial markets By Zita Vasas
  37. The Effectiveness of Digital Interventions on COVID-19 Attitudes and Beliefs By Susan Athey; Kristen Grabarz; Michael Luca; Nils Wernerfelt
  38. Exploring Intra-Household Information Sharing Using a Lab in the Field By Posey, Sean; Magnan, Nicholas; McCullough, Ellen; Opoku, Nelson; Abujaja, Afi

  1. By: Brian Jabarian; Simon Lazarus
    Abstract: We conduct an incentivized experiment on a nationally representative US sample (N=708) to test how people prefer to avoid ambiguity even when the ambiguity improves the probability of receiving a fixed price. We find that subjects prefer non-ambiguous acts to similar ambiguous acts, even when the ambiguous acts provide larger win probabilities. Furthermore, this preference for avoiding ambiguity is not entirely due to a lack of understanding, as subjects "correctly" select the act with a larger win probability when comparing two similar ambiguous acts. Traditional models of ambiguity aversion cannot explain such preferences.
    Date: 2022–06
  2. By: Brian Albrecht; Omar Al-Ubaydli; Peter Boettke
    Abstract: Economists well understand that the work of Friedrich Hayek contains important theoretical insights. It is less often acknowledged that his work contains testable predictions about the nature of market processes. Vernon Smith termed the most important one the 'Hayek hypothesis': that gains from trade can be realized in the presence of diffuse, decentralized information, and in the absence of price-taking behavior and centralized market direction. Vernon Smith tested this prediction by surveying data on laboratory experimental markets and found strong support. We extend Smith's work first by showing how subsequent theoretical advances provide a theoretical foundation for the Hayek Hypothesis. We then test the hypothesis using recent field experimental market data. Using field experiments allows us to test several other predictions from Hayek, such as that market experience increases the realized gains from trade. Generally speaking, we find support for Hayek's theories.
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Giorgia Barboni; Juan Camilo Cárdenas; Nicolás de Roux
    Abstract: We use a randomized experiment involving 7,029 late-paying clients of a large Colombian bank to compare the effects on loan delinquency of text messages that encourage repayment through different behavioral angles { increased attention, reciprocity, social norms, moral norms, and environmental and sustainability concerns. We find that receiving a behavioral message decreases borrowers' average likelihood to be late by 4%. The effects are more pronounced when messages leverage social norms. Heterogeneity analysis shows that our results are concentrated among late- paying borrowers with a good credit history. We also find evidence that customers who are late on unsecured loan products respond more to the messages. Our intervention provides novel evidence that behavioral messages are most effective when borrowers are marginally struggling to repay and have preferences to be on a good repayment track. In a second experiment pushing the same messages to 8,019 on-time borrowers, we find precisely estimated zero effects, suggesting that these types of messages may not be the right tool to prevent on-time borrowers from falling into loan delinquency.
    Keywords: Loan Delinquency, Behavioral Messages, Personal loans, Field Experiments
    JEL: G51 D91
    Date: 2022–07–06
  4. By: Leonard Hoeft (Humboldt University to Berlin); Michael Kurschilgen (Technical University of Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business); Wladislaw Mill (University of Mannheim); Simone Vannuccini (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Economists model legal compliance as the process of maximizing utility while weighing the consequences from norm violation against other (monetary and non-monetary) considerations. Legal philosophers, on the other hand, believe that norms provide exclusionary reasons, i.e. that people apply the norm precisely to make a choice without weighing up on other issues. We test and compare both models in a controlled online experiment. We conduct a modified dictator game with partially unknown yet ascertainable payoffs, and vary between treatments the presence and content of authoritative norms. Our experimental results show that – in the presence of a norm – participants follow norms without searching for information that they deem important in the absence of a norm. This pattern is independent of the specific content of the norm. Our results are consistent with the legal model of norm compliance.
    Keywords: Norms, Information, Authority, Willful Ignorance, Dictator Game, Legal Theory, Experiment
    JEL: C91 D63 D81 D83 K10
    Date: 2022–07
  5. By: Etienne Dagorn (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, IEDES; CNRS, CREM—UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes); David Masclet (Univ Rennes, France CNRS, CREM—UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes and Cirano, Canada); Thierry Penard (Univ Rennes, France CNRS, CREM—UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate how soft skills are related to educational achievement. We run a lab in the field experiment with pupils in Middle Schools to ask whether altruism, cooperation, willingness to compete and intrinsic motivation influence educational attainment. We find that willingness to compete is a strong predictor of individual educational achievement, while altruism is on the contrary negatively correlated with pupils’ success. Family background is a strong predictor of educational attainment. After controlling for individual and social preferences, we find that girls outperform boys.
    Keywords: lab-in-the-field experiment; education; soft skills; preferences; cooperation; competition; teenagers
    JEL: C70 A13 C92
    Date: 2022–03
  6. By: Gwen-Jiro Clochard (CREST, Ecole Polytechnique)
    Abstract: For decades, intergroup contact has been viewed as one of the main tools to reduce prejudice and improve intergroup relations. This paper reviews the experimental literature on the contact hypothesis. Based on an analysis of 62 measures from 37 papers, the conclusions are threefold. First, contact interventions are, on average, effective at reducing prejudice. Second, there exists a very large heterogeneity in the type of interventions labelled as contact. Third, characteristics of the experimental context, rather than the intervention itself, seem to matter for the efficacy of contact. Implications for the future of the contact literature are discussed.
    Keywords: contact hypothesis, meta-analysis, prejudice reduction, field experiments
    JEL: C93 C12 C83
    Date: 2022–07–12
  7. By: Casati, Mirta; Stranieri, Stefanella; Rommel, Jens; Medici, Riccardo; Soregaroli, Claudio
    Keywords: Research Methods/Statistical Methods, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2022–08
  8. By: Islam, Marco (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: How does delay in the realization of a prosocial decision affect prosocial choice? This paper first provides a meta-analysis that collects existing evidence on the temporal consistency of prosocial behavior. I show that the evidence on the delay effect on prosocial choice is contradicting but appears reconcilable by a moderating factor: repeated interaction. Motivated by this finding, I conduct an intertemporal donation experiment to closely investigate this moderation effect. I design an experiment that mimics a telephone fundraiser and vary both the timing of the donation (immediate vs. delayed) and the frequency of interaction (one-shot vs. repeated interaction). The results reveal that both under repeated and one-time interaction delayed donations increase relative to immediate donations but the increase is not statistically significant. This evidence suggests that repeated interaction (via telephone) does not provide the conditions for delay to increase prosocial behavior.
    Keywords: intertemporal choice; prosocial behavior; charitable giving; repeated interaction
    JEL: C91 D64 D90
    Date: 2022–07–25
  9. By: Lia Q. Flores (School of Economics and Management, University of Porto); Miguel A. Fonseca (University of Exeter and NIPE, Universidade do Minho)
    Abstract: Is the phenomenon of people overestimating their skill relative to their peers (overplacement) exacerbated by group affiliation? Social identity theory predicts people evaluate in-group members more positively than out-group members, and we hypothesized that this differential treatment may result in greater overplacement when interacting with an out-group member. We tested this hypothesis with 301 US voters affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic party in the run-up to the 2020 Presidential election, a time when political identities were salient and highly polarized. We found there is a higher tendency for overplacement when faced with an out-group opponent than with an in-group opponent. Decomposition analysis suggests this difference is due to underestimating the opponent, as opposed to overestimating one's own performance to a higher degree. Moreover, any tendency to incur in overplacement is mitigated when faced with an opponent with the same political identity relative to one with a neutral one. Group affiliation biases initial priors, and that effect is unchanged when participants are asked to update their beliefs.
    Keywords: Overconfidence; Belief updating; Motivated beliefs; Overplacement; Social identity; Political affiliation; Competition
    JEL: E62 I31 I38 O30
    Date: 2022–07
  10. By: Katharina Momsen; Markus Ohndorf
    Abstract: We report the results of an experiment to systematically investigate the influence of different settings in credence good markets on opportunism in the sellers’ decisions. We find that, as predicted by a cognitive dissonance model, the specific choice of the design features might be less innocuous than generally presumed: sellers’ decisions made under a direct sales regime are significantly more opportunistic than purchase recommendations. Furthermore, average choices are more opportunistic when a costless diagnosis is required to assess the buyer’s needs — sellers exploit moral wiggle room by avoiding information. Yet, this effect is only present for purchase recommendations, not direct sales. Both of these effects significantly affect market efficiency. Generally, the parametrization of the decision problem has a strong influence on opportunism, as predicted. Here, we find that sellers tend to overtreat and buyers self-select into overtreatment.
    Keywords: information avoidance, credence goods, moral wiggle room, norm activation model, online experiment
    JEL: C90 D47 D82 D91 L15
    Date: 2022–10
  11. By: Fiala, Lenka; Husovec, Martin
    Abstract: Digital content today is governed by online providers like Facebook or YouTube. Increasingly, these providers are expected to enforce the law by removing illegal content, such as copyright infringement or hate speech. Typically, once they are notified of its existence, they have to assess it and, if infringing, remove it. Otherwise, they face liability. This system of content moderation is a form of delegation of the state’s tasks to private parties. In literature, it is empirically established that some schemes of delegated enforcement can trigger substantial false positives, mostly due to over-compliance by providers and under-assertion of rights by affected content creators. This results in a phenomenon known as over-blocking: collateral removal of lawful content. We conduct a laboratory experiment to test a possible solution to this issue, as proposed by Husovec (2016). Our results show that an external dispute resolution mechanism subject to a particular fee structure can significantly reduce over-compliance by providers and improve the accuracy of their decisions, largely thanks to the content creators taking initiative. It does so by re-calibrating the typical asymmetry of incentives under the delegated enforcement schemes. The principles behind the solution have the potential to improve also other schemes of delegated enforcement where providers have weak incentives to properly execute delegated tasks in the public interest.
    Keywords: lab experiment; notice and takedown; online enforcement; copyright; content moderation; alternative dispute resolution; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Elsevier deal
    JEL: C91 D02 K42
    Date: 2022–09–01
  12. By: Maredia, Mywish K.; Farris, Jarrad G.; Mason, Nicole M.; Morgan, Stephen N.; Çakir, Metin
    Keywords: International Development, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development
    Date: 2022–08
  13. By: Héloise Cloléry (CREST-Ecole polytechnique, IP Paris); Guillaume Hollard (CREST-Ecole polytechnique, IP Paris and CNRS); Fabien Perez (CREST-Ensae, IP Paris); Inès Picard (CREST-Genes, IP Paris)
    Abstract: Trust is an important economic variable that may however be subject to measurement error, leading to econometric issues such as attenuation bias or spurious correlations. We use a test/retest protocol to assess the measurement error in the two main tasks that are used to elicit trust, namely survey questions and experimental games. We find that trust measures based on the trust game entail substantial measurement error (with up to 15% of noise), while there is virtually no noise in stated trust measures. Given the specificity of our subject pool (students in a top Engineering school) and the short period of time between the test and the retest, we consider these percentages of noise as lower bounds. We also provide a sub-group analysis based on measures of cognitive ability and effort. We find substantial heterogeneity across sub-groups in trust-game behavior, but none for the survey questions. We finally discuss which measure of trust should be used, and the estimation strategies that can be applied to limit the effect of measurement error.
    Keywords: Trust; Trust Game; Measurement Error; ORIV.
    JEL: C18 C26 C91 D91
    Date: 2022–07–08
  14. By: René Böheim; Rainer Eppel (WIFO); Helmut Mahringer (WIFO)
    Abstract: In a randomized controlled trial in Austria, lower caseloads in public employment offices led to more meetings of the unemployed with their caseworkers, more job offers, more program assignments, and more sanctions for noncompliance with job search requirements. More intensive counseling led to shorter unemployment episodes due to faster job entry, but also to more exits from the labor force in the two years following treatment. We find effects for different subgroups of unemployed. We find no effects on wages. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that lower caseloads not only shorten the duration of unemployment but are also cost-effective.
    Keywords: Active labor market policy; Public Employment Services; caseworkers; counseling; job placement; field experiment
    JEL: J64 J68
    Date: 2022–06
  15. By: Choi, S.; Goyal, S.; Moisan, F.; To, Y. Y. T.
    Abstract: Subjects observe a private signal and then make an initial guess; they observe their neighbors’ guesses and guess again, and so forth. We study learning dynamics in three networks: Erdös-Rényi, Stochastic Block (reflecting homophily) and Royal Family (that accommodates both highly connected celebrities and local intearctions). We find that the Royal Family network is more likely to sustain incorrect consensus and that the Stochastic Block network is more likely to persist with diverse beliefs. These aggregate patterns are consistent with individuals following DeGroot updating rule.
    Keywords: consensus, experimental social science, social learning, social networks
    JEL: C91 C92 D83 D85
    Date: 2022–06–01
  16. By: Burgstaller, Lilith; Feld, Lars P.; Pfeil, Katharina
    Abstract: Little is known about the size and determinants of undeclared work. While approaches to measure the shadow economy have been extensively discussed, conventional surveys dominate research on undeclared work. We review and extend this literature by first referring to the most recent survey data on undeclared work in Germany and, second, by discussing four experimental survey techniques as well as their few applications to questions of undeclared work. We argue that the randomized response technique and list experiments would validate and improve prevalence estimates of undeclared work, whereas careful design of information provision experiments and discrete choice experiments would fill the gap on determinants that causally affect decisions to supply and demand undeclared work.
    Keywords: Undeclared Work,Experimental Survey,Survey Data
    JEL: H26 E26 O17 D91
    Date: 2022
  17. By: Salamone, Alberto; Lordan, Grace
    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.
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2022–07–08
  18. By: Burgstaller, Lilith; Pfeil, Katharina
    Abstract: Collaborative evasion of taxes and social security fees is prevalent in household services, when a household hires a service provider and no third party is involved. However, evidence on the determinants of collaborative tax evasion in general and the household context in particular is lacking. This paper examines two coordination mechanisms of collaborative tax evasion: A partner's signaled intention and information about majority's evasion behavior (empirical evasion expectation). We implement an interactive tax evasion game in an online labor market (MTurk) with 560 participants. Our findings show that priming with an empirical evasion expectation increases the fraction of evaded transactions by 20 percentage points. Our treatment manipulation of intention signals does not render a significant effect on evasion. However, when willingness to evade is signaled first in the chat, the probability of evasion increases by 45 percentage points.
    Keywords: Collaborative Tax Evasion,Compliance,Social Norm,Intention,Online Experiment
    JEL: H26 E26 O17 D91
    Date: 2022
  19. By: Assefa, Thomas W.; Magnan, Nicholas; McCullough, Ellen; McGavock, Tamara
    Keywords: International Development, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Consumer/Household Economics
    Date: 2022–08
  20. By: Peter Christensen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Ignacio Sarmiento-Barbieri (University of Los Andes); Christopher Timmins (Duke University)
    Abstract: We report evidence on discriminatory behavior from the largest correspondence study conducted to date in the rental housing market. Using more than 25,000 interactions with rental property managers across the 50 largest U.S. cities, the study reveals that African American and Hispanic/LatinX renters continue to face discriminatory constraints in the majority of U.S. cities although there are important regional differences. Stronger discriminatory constraints on renters of color (particularly African Americans) are also associated with higher levels of residential segregation and larger gaps in intergenerational income mobility. Using matched evidence on the actual rental outcomes at the properties in our experiment, we show that correspondence study measurements of discrimination do indeed predict actual outcomes.
    Date: 2022–06
  21. By: Bloem, Jeffrey R.; Liverpool-Tasie, Saweda; Adjognon, Serge G.; Dillon, Andrew
    Keywords: International Development, Agribusiness, Research Methods/Statistical Methods
    Date: 2022–08
  22. By: Ramla Zubair (Research Assistant, PIDE)
    Abstract: Abhijit Banerjee is an Indian-American Economist and a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Banerjee shared the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”. They often worked with each other, focused on relatively small and specific problems that contributed to poverty, and identified the best solutions through carefully designed field experiments, which they conducted in several low- and middle-income countries for more than two decades.
    Keywords: Breaking out, Poverty Trap,
    Date: 2021
  23. By: Mitra, Archisman; Bouwer, Roy; Balasubramanya, Soumya; Taron, Avinandan
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy, Research Methods/Statistical Methods
    Date: 2022–08
  24. By: Shi, Longzhong; Chen, Xuan; Qiu, Jingran; Li, Li
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Marketing, Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2022–08
  25. By: Michele Giannola (University of Naples Federico II and CSEF.)
    Abstract: Intra-household inequality explains up to 50 percent of the cross-sectional variation in child human capital in the developing world. I study the role played by parents’ educational investment to explain this inequality and its determinants. To mitigate the identification problem posed by observational data, I design a lab-in-the-field experiment with poor parents in India. I develop new theory-driven survey measures based on hypothetical scenarios that allow me to separately identify parental beliefs about the human capital production function and their preferences for inequality in children’s outcomes, as well as study the role of household resources. I find that parents are driven by efficiency considerations rather than inequality concerns over children’s final outcomes. Because they perceive investments and baseline ability to be complements in the production function, they invest more in higher-achieving children. Resources are important, as constrained parents select more unequal allocations. I then show that primitive parameters identified in the experiment are predictive of actual investment behaviour. The results indicate that families act as a reinforcing agent, magnifying ability-based educational inequalities between children.
    Date: 2022–07–19
  26. By: Nian, Yefan; Cruz, Julio C.; Asselt, Joanna Van; Gao, Zhifeng; Morgan, Stephen N.
    Keywords: Marketing, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Consumer/Household Economics
    Date: 2022–08
  27. By: Peter J. Kuhn; Trevor T. Osaki
    Abstract: Using a vignette-based survey experiment on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, we measure how people’s assessments of the fairness of race-based hiring decisions vary with the motivation and circumstances surrounding the discriminatory act and the races of the parties involved. Regardless of their political leaning, our subjects do not distinguish between taste-based and statistical discrimination, but they react in very similar ways to other aspects of the act, such as the quality of information on which statistical discrimination is based. Compared to conservatives, moderates and liberals are much less accepting of discriminatory actions, and consider the discriminatee’s race when making their fairness assessments. We describe four simple models of fairness –utilitarianism, race-blind rules (RBRs), racial in-group bias, and belief-based utilitarianism (BBU)-- and show that the latter two are inconsistent with major patterns in our data. Instead, we argue that a two-group model in which conservatives care only about race-blind rules (RBRs), while moderates and liberals care about both RBRs and utilitarian ethics can account for the main patterns we see.
    JEL: J71
    Date: 2022–07
  28. By: Staples, Aaron J.; Caputo, Vincenzina; Ellison, Brenna; Malone, Trey
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
    Date: 2022–08
  29. By: Fabienne Cantner; Geske Rolvering
    Abstract: To study how different economic information affect people’s perceptions and attitudes towards carbon prices, we conduct an online survey experiment in a representative sample of the German voting population. We find that providing information about the efficiency of carbon prices as well as on international emission levels and carbon price initiatives changes people’s perceptions and their support. Information about the possibility and benefits of revenue recycling, however, only affect the views of very specific subgroups of the population, such as individuals with low income or high trust in the government. Moreover, we find that none of the information affects the perceptions and support of climate change skeptics.
    Keywords: climate change, climate policies, carbon pricing, information, survey experiment
    JEL: D72 D83 D91 H23 Q58
    Date: 2022–07
  30. By: Inbal Dekel; Rachel Cummings; Ori Heffetz; Katrina Ligett
    Abstract: We propose and initiate the study of privacy elasticity—the responsiveness of economic variables to small changes in the level of privacy given to participants in an economic system. Individuals rarely experience either full privacy or a complete lack of privacy; we propose to use differential privacy—a computer-science theory increasingly adopted by industry and government—as a standardized means of quantifying continuous privacy changes. The resulting privacy measure implies a privacy-elasticity notion that is portable and comparable across contexts. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by estimating the privacy elasticity of public-good contributions in a lab experiment.
    JEL: C91 D82 Z00
    Date: 2022–07
  31. By: Philippe d'Astous; Irina Gemmo; Pierre-Carl Michaud
    Abstract: In this paper, we conduct an experiment with a large sample of financial planner professionals in Canada to elicit factors which may influence client recommendations. Using repeated client vignettes, we find that recommendations are often in-line with what one would expect from economic theory. In particular, advice is sensitive in expected ways to relative costs and benefits of particular options. In some domains, we find evidence that planners are more likely to recommend products they own themselves, their spouse owns, or they are licensed to sell. In the investment domain, we also find that planners are more likely to recommend products that clients inquire about even when this type of solicitation is randomized across clients and options. Finally, we find that planners are systematically sensitive to the gender of the client even when gender is uninformative regarding which recommendation to make.
    JEL: G51 G52 G53
    Date: 2022–07
  32. By: Sarah R. Cohodes; Helen Ho; Silvia C. Robles
    Abstract: The federal government and many individual organizations have invested in programs to support diversity in the STEM pipeline, including STEM summer programs for high school students, but there is little rigorous evidence of their efficacy. We fielded a randomized controlled trial to study a suite of such programs targeted to underrepresented high school students at an elite, technical institution. The STEM summer programs differ in their length (one week, six weeks, or six months) and modality (on-site or online). Students offered seats in the STEM summer programs are more likely to enroll in, persist through, and graduate from college, with gains in institutional quality coming from both the host institution and other elite universities. The programs also increase the likelihood that students graduate with a degree in a STEM field, with the most intensive program increasing four-year graduation with a STEM degree attainment by 33 percent. The shift to STEM degrees increases potential earnings by 2 to 6 percent. Program-induced gains in college quality fully account for the gains in graduation, but gains in STEM degree attainment are larger than predicted based on institutional differences.
    JEL: I21 I24 J15 J16
    Date: 2022–07
  33. By: Jonathan Moreno-Medina; Aurelie Ouss; Patrick Bayer; Bocar A. Ba
    Abstract: This paper studies the language used in television news broadcasts to describe police killings in the United States from 2013-19. We begin by documenting that the media is significantly more likely to use several language structures - e.g., passive voice, nominalization, intransitive verbs - that obfuscate responsibility for police killings compared to civilian homicides. We next use an online experiment to test whether these language differences matter. Participants are less likely to hold a police officer morally responsible for a killing and to demand penalties after reading a story that uses obfuscatory language. In the experiment, the language used in the story matters more when the decedent is not reported to be armed, prompting a final research question: is media obfuscation more common in high leverage circumstances, when the public might be more inclined to judge the police harshly? Returning to the news data, we find that news broadcasts are indeed especially likely to use obfuscatory language structures when the decedent was unarmed or when body camera video is available. Through this important case study, our paper highlights the importance of incorporating the semantic structure of language, in addition to the amount and slant of coverage, in analyses of how the media shapes perceptions.
    JEL: K14 K42 L82
    Date: 2022–07
  34. By: Fabienne Cantner; Nico Nachtigall; Lisa S. Hamm; Andrea Cadavid Isaza; Lennart Adenaw; Allister Loder; Markus B. Siewert; Sebastian Goerg; Markus Lienkamp; Klaus Bogenberger
    Abstract: In spring 2022, the German federal government agreed on a set of measures that aim at reducing households' financial burden resulting from a recent price increase, especially in energy and mobility. These measures include among others, a nation-wide public transport ticket for 9 EUR per month and a fuel tax cut that reduces fuel prices by more than 15%. In transportation research this is an almost unprecedented behavioral experiment. It allows to study not only behavioral responses in mode choice and induced demand but also to assess the effectiveness of transport policy instruments. We observe this natural experiment with a three-wave survey and an app-based travel diary on a sample of hundreds of participants as well as an analysis of traffic counts. In this second report, we update the information on study participation, provide first insights on the smartphone app usage as well as insights on the first wave results, particularly on the 9 EUR-ticket purchase intention.
    Date: 2022–06
  35. By: Sam Elkin; Jillian Stein; Dana Rotz
    Abstract: This evidence snapshot describes the effectiveness of programs that were identified by the Pathways Clearinghouse as using subsidized employment or transitional jobs as their primary service.
    Keywords: Pathways Clearinghouse, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF, welfare, social work, employment, earnings, public benefits, low-income, research, evidence-based, education, interventions, services, randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental design, systematic review, employment and training, transitional jobs, subsidized employment
  36. By: Zita Vasas (Centre for Competition Policy and Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: As nudge interventions have become more popular, academic research is developing that aims to assess to what extent and under what circumstances these interventions are effective. My paper contributes to this stream of research in a specific context: collating and synthesising evidence on the effectiveness of nudge interventions that aim to increase consumer search and switching in retail financial markets. Following a systematic search strategy, I identified 33 papers containing relevant research, including qualitative studies, online laboratory experiments, field experiments and ex post data analyses, covering a wide range of retail financial products and a number of different types of nudges. The review of these papers results in two main contributions. First, it demonstrates that different study designs serve different purposes in evidence accumulation. In particular, qualitative studies and online lab experiments should not be used to ascertain the magnitude of the intervention’s impact. Second, based on over 400 estimates from the quantitative analyses in these papers, it establishes that the currently available evidence shows that nudges increase consumer search and switching in retail financial markets by 2-3 percentage points on average. The most effective interventions appear to be the ones that make the consumer’s life easier by taking some of the administrative burden over, and the ones that make a relatively major change in the structure of the decision-making environment. Disclosures, reminders, simplifications and informational nudges tend to have a smaller impact. In other words, nudges that change the choice architecture more profoundly have a higher impact on search and switching than nudges that only provide, simplify or highlight information. Overall, while nudge interventions may be efficient on a cost-benefit basis and can lead to large increase in relative terms (e.g. doubling switching rates from 1% to 2%), regulators cannot expect them to alter consumer behaviour to the extent that it would lead to a significant change in the competitive landscape.
    Keywords: Consumers, switching, financial markets
    Date: 2022–07–08
  37. By: Susan Athey; Kristen Grabarz; Michael Luca; Nils Wernerfelt
    Abstract: During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, a common strategy for public health organizations around the world has been to launch interventions via advertising campaigns on social media. Despite this ubiquity, little has been known about their average effectiveness. We conduct a large-scale program evaluation of campaigns from 174 public health organizations on Facebook and Instagram that collectively reached 2.1 billion individuals and cost around \$40 million. We report the results of 819 randomized experiments that measured the impact of these campaigns across standardized, survey-based outcomes. We find on average these campaigns are effective at influencing self-reported beliefs, shifting opinions close to 1% at baseline with a cost per influenced person of about \$3.41. There is further evidence that campaigns are especially effective at influencing users' knowledge of how to get vaccines. Our results represent, to the best of our knowledge, the largest set of online public health interventions analyzed to date.
    Date: 2022–06
  38. By: Posey, Sean; Magnan, Nicholas; McCullough, Ellen; Opoku, Nelson; Abujaja, Afi
    Keywords: International Development, Research Methods/Statistical Methods, Teaching, Communication, and Extension
    Date: 2022–08

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.