nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2022‒10‒10
39 papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Experimental Insights on Anti-Social Behavior: Two Meta-Analyses By Alexandros Karakostas; Nhu Tran; Daniel John Zizzo
  2. Voluntary ’Donations’ versus Reward-Oriented ’Contributions’: Two Experiments on Framing in Funding Mechanisms By Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
  3. The impact of asset purchases in an experimental market with consumption smoothing motives By Jieyi Duan; Nobuyuki Hanaki
  4. Microequity and Mutuality: Experimental Evidence on Credit with Performance-Contingent Repayment By Francesco Cordaro; Marcel Fafchamps; Colin Mayer; Muhammad Meki; Simon Quinn; Kate Roll
  5. Aversion to Hiring Algorithms: Transparency, Gender Profiling, and Self-Confidence By Dargnies, Marie-Pierre; Hakimov, Rustamdjan; Kübler, Dorothea
  6. Self-Persuasion: Evidence from Field Experiments at International Debating Competitions By Schwardmann, Peter; Tripodi, Egon; van der Weele, Joël J.
  7. Charitable Giving by the Poor A Field Experiment in Kyrgyzstan By Adena, Maja; Hakimov, Rustamdjan; Huck, Steffen
  8. A Model United Nations Experiment on Climate Negotiations By Hofmann, Elisa; Kyriacou, Lucas; Schmidt, Klaus M.
  9. Switchback Experiments under Geometric Mixing By Yuchen Hu; Stefan Wager
  10. Revisiting the Effects of Group Identity and Information Diversity in a Leader-member Public Goods Experiment By Yuning Tang; Qinxin Guo; Junyi Shen
  11. Social Preferences and the Variability of Conditional Cooperation By Baader, Malte; Gächter, Simon; Lee, Kyeongtae; Sefton, Martin
  12. Measuring Price Risk Aversion through Indirect Utility Functions: A Laboratory Experiment By Ali Zeytoon-Nejad
  13. An assessment of physicians’ risk attitudes using laboratory and field data By Castro, M.F.;; Guccio, C.;; Romeo, D.;
  14. Experimenting with Purchase History Based Price Discrimination: a Comment By Tolksdorf, Michel
  15. Ignorance, Intention and Stochastic Outcomes By Friedrichsen, Jana; Momsen, Katharina; Piasenti, Stefano
  16. Price versus Commitment: Managing the Demand for Off-peak Train Tickets in a Field Experiment By Hintermann, Beat; Thommen, Christoph
  17. The Importance of Tutors’ Instructional Practices: Evidence from a Norwegian Field Experiment By Hans Bonesrønning; Jon Marius Vaag Iversen
  18. Income Tax Payers Are Not All the Same – A Behavioral Letter Experiment in Eswatini By Santoro, Fabrizio
  19. Spin Doctors: An Experiment on Vague Disclosure By Deversi, Marvin; Ispano, Alessandro; Schwardmann, Peter
  20. Income Contingency and the Electorate's Support for Tuition By Lergetporer, Philipp; Woessmann, Ludger
  21. The Social Tax: Redistributive Pressure and Labor Supply By Eliana Carranza; Aletheia Donald; Florian Grosset; Supreet Kaur
  22. Understanding Society Wave 14 Boost Trial: Experiments with methods of recruiting a probability online boost sample By Williams, Joel; Ward, Liz; Burton, Jonathan; Carpenter, Hannah; Cole, Kirsty; Hayward, Bruce; Nicolaas, Gerry; Parutis, Violetta; Seymour, Bronwyn; Thornton, Katie; Wood, Martin; Woodward, Laura
  23. Explicit and Implicit Belief-Based Gender Discrimination: A Hiring Experiment By Barron, Kai; Ditlmann, Ruth; Gehrig, Stefan; Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian
  24. Information Aggregation with Heterogeneous Traders By Cary Deck; Tae In Jun; Laura Razzolini; Tavoy Reid
  25. Personalized Fundraising: A Field Experiment on Threshold Matching of Donations By Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
  26. Quality Certificates Alleviate Consumer Aversion to Sponsored Search Advertising By Xiang Hui; Meng Liu
  27. Signaling Motives in Lying Games By Fries, Tilman
  28. Multiple Price Lists for Willingness to Pay Elicitation By Kelsey Jack; Kathryn McDermott; Anja Sautmann
  29. Focusing Climate Negotiations on a Uniform Common Commitment Can Promote Cooperation By Schmidt, Klaus M.; Ockenfels, Axel
  30. COVID-19 and Pro-Sociality: How Do Donors Respond to Local Pandemic Severity, Increased Salience, and Media Coverage? By Adena, Maja; Harke, Julian
  31. Paying for Open Access By Stich, Lucas; Spann, Martin; Schmidt, Klaus M.
  32. The economic and health impacts of contact tracing and quarantine programs By Darija Barak; Edoardo Gallo; Alastair Langtry
  33. Anchored Strategic Reasoning By Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta; Seres, Gyula
  34. Cognitive Imprecision and Stake-Dependent Risk Attitudes By Mel Win Khaw; Ziang Li; Michael Woodford
  35. United We Stand: On the Benefits of Coordinated Punishment By Vicente Calabuig; Natalia Jimenez; Gonzalo Olcina; Ismael Rodriguez-Lara
  36. Replication and Adaptation of Incentivized Peer Outreach: From Tuberculosis in India to COVID-19 in Zambia By Alfredo Burlando; Pradeep Chintagunta; Jessica Goldberg; Melissa Graboyes; Peter Hangoma; Dean Karlan; Mario Macis; Silvia Prina
  37. Comparative Regression Discontinuity and Regression Discontinuity as Alternatives to Randomized Controlled Trials for Estimating Average Treatment Effects By Duncan Chaplin; Charles Tilley; Denise Hoffman; John T. Jones
  38. The Human Perils of Scaling Smart Technologies: Evidence from Field Experiments By Alec Brandon; Christopher Clapp; John List; Robert Metcalfe; Michael Price
  39. How Trump triumphed: Multi-candidate primaries with buffoons By Castanheira, Micael; Huck, Steffen; Leutgeb, Johannes; Schotter, Andrew

  1. By: Alexandros Karakostas (School of Economics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia); Nhu Tran (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne, Australia); Daniel John Zizzo (School of Economics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
    Abstract: We conduct two meta-analyses on antisocial behavior in experimental settings in which such behavior is not rationally motivated by pecuniary incentives. We investigate the impact of its potential determinants. The first meta-analysis employs aggregate data across experimental settings from 93 published and unpublished studies (22,200 participants), using laboratory, field and online experiments carried out since 2000. We find that antisocial payoff destruction varies depending on the experimental setting, being highest in vendetta games and possibly lowest in social dilemma games. There is significant heterogeneity across the studies, including within game classes, making inference difficult. The second meta-analysis includes only money burning experiments (for which we have the largest number of observations: 46 studies and around 15,000 participants). It finds evidence of negative discrimination against outsiders, of exogenously disadvantaged subjects destroying more often, and of more antisocial behavior in one-shot interactions. The strategy method biases antisocial behavior upwards. We do not generally find publication bias, either in aggregate or in relation to money burning experiments. Field studies display more antisocial behavior than laboratory experiments. Taken together, our results point to the value of more laboratory experiments that systematically build on paradigmatic experimental designs to enable comparability and the identification of key economic drivers of antisocial behavior.
    Keywords: Antisocial Behavior, Meta-Analysis, Money Burning Games, Experiments
    JEL: C72 C91 C93 D91
    Date: 2022–09
  2. By: Adena, Maja (WZB Berlin); Huck, Steffen (WZB Berlin and UCL)
    Abstract: In an artefactual field experiment, we implemented a crowdfunding campaign for an institute’s summer party and compared donation and contribution framings. We found that the use of the word ‘donation’ generated higher revenue than the use of ‘contribution’. While the individuals receiving the donation framing gave substantially larger amounts, those receiving the contribution framing responded more strongly to reward thresholds and suggestions. An additional survey experiment on MTurk indicated that the term ‘donation’ triggers more positive emotional responses and that emotions are highly correlated with giving. It appears that making a donation is perceived as a more voluntary act and is thus more successful at generating warm glow than making a contribution. We surmise that this extends to other funding mechanisms.
    Keywords: crowdfunding; field experiment; framing;
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2022–05–05
  3. By: Jieyi Duan; Nobuyuki Hanaki
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of preannounced market intervention on an asset price as well as participants' welfare in an experimental framework where participants have consumption smoothing motives to trade the asset. The results show that, on one hand, the preannounced intervention results in significantly larger overpricing of the asset relative to the rational expectations equilibrium level in periods prior to the intervention compared with the treatment without it. The participants' welfare, measured by the discounted sum of the payoffs at the beginning of the experiment, on the other hand, are not significantly worsened by the intervention.
    Date: 2021–11
  4. By: Francesco Cordaro; Marcel Fafchamps; Colin Mayer; Muhammad Meki; Simon Quinn; Kate Roll
    Abstract: We conduct the first field experiment of a performance-contingent microfinance contract. A large food multinational wishes to help micro-distributors in its supply chain with the financing of a productive asset. Working with the firm in Kenya, we compare asset financing under a traditional debt contract to three alternatives: (i) a novel equity-like financing contract, (ii) a hybrid debt-equity contract, and (iii) an index-insurance financing contract. Experimental results reveal large positive impacts from the contractual innovations. These findings demonstrate the economic appeal of microfinance contracts that leverage improved observability of performance to achieve a greater sharing of risk and reward.
    JEL: D25 G41 O12
    Date: 2022–09
  5. By: Dargnies, Marie-Pierre (University of Paris Dauphine and PSL); Hakimov, Rustamdjan (University of Lausanne and WZB Berlin); Kübler, Dorothea (WZB Berlin and TU Berlin)
    Abstract: We run an online experiment to study the origins of algorithm aversion. Participants are either in the role of workers or of managers. Workers perform three real-effort tasks: task 1, task 2, and the job task which is a combination of tasks 1 and 2. They choose whether the hiring decision between themselves and another worker is made either by a participant in the role of a manager or by an algorithm. In a second set of experiments, managers choose whether they want to delegate their hiring decisions to the algorithm. In the baseline treatments, we observe that workers choose the manager more often than the algorithm, and managers also prefer to make the hiring decisions themselves rather than delegate them to the algorithm. When the algorithm does not use workers' gender to predict their job task performance and workers know this, they choose the algorithm more often. Providing details on how the algorithm works does not increase the preference for the algorithm, neither for workers nor for managers. Providing feedback to managers about their performance in hiring the best workers increases their preference for the algorithm, as managers are, on average, overconfident.
    Date: 2022–09–09
  6. By: Schwardmann, Peter (Carnegie Mellon University); Tripodi, Egon (University of Essex and JILAEE); van der Weele, Joël J. (University of Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute)
    Abstract: Laboratory evidence shows that when people have to argue for a given position, they persuade themselves about the position’s factual and moral superiority. Such self-persuasion limits the potential of communication to resolve conflict and reduce polarization. We test for this phenomenon in a field setting, at international debating competitions that randomly assign experienced and motivated debaters to argue one side of a topical motion. We find self-persuasion in factual beliefs and confidence in one’s position. Effect sizes are smaller than in the laboratory, but robust to a one-hour exchange of arguments and a ten-fold increase in incentives for accuracy.
    JEL: C93 D72 D83 D91
    Date: 2021–12–01
  7. By: Adena, Maja (WZB Berlin); Hakimov, Rustamdjan (University of Lausanne and WZB Berlin); Huck, Steffen (WZB Berlin and UCL)
    Abstract: In a large-scale natural field experiment, we partnered with a micro-lending company in Kyrgyzstan that asked over 180,000 of its clients for donations to social projects as a form of corporate philanthropy. In a 2x2 design, we explored two main (pre-registered) hypotheses about giving by the poor. First, based on a conjecture that poor are more price sensitive than the rich and in contrast to previous studies, we hypothesize that matching incentives induce crowding in of out- of-pocket donations. Second, we hypothesize that our population cares about their proximity to the charitable project. We find evidence in favor of the former hypothesis but not the latter. Previous studies of charitable giving focus on middle- or high-income earners in Western countries, neglecting the poor, although the lowest income groups are often shown to contribute substantial shares of their income to charitable causes. Our results challenge the evidence in the extant literature but are in line with our theoretical model. The implications for fundraising managers are that the optimal design of fundraising campaigns crucially depends on the targeted groups, and that donation matching is successful in stimulating participation in poorer populations.
    Keywords: charitable giving; field experiments; matching donations;
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2022–07–07
  8. By: Hofmann, Elisa (University of Jena); Kyriacou, Lucas (University of Bern); Schmidt, Klaus M. (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: Weitzman (2014) proposed that focusing international climate negotiations on a uniform carbon price is more effective than Paris style negotiations in achieving ambitious climate action. We put this hypothesis to an experimental test by simulating international negotiations on climate change in collaboration with Model United Nations associations. This novel experimental format combines some of the advantages of lab and field experiments. Our results show that negotiating a common commitment on a uniform carbon price yields significantly higher emissions reductions, more participation, and more equal contributions than individual commitments to a non-binding common goal à la Paris.
    Keywords: climate negotiations; negotiation design; model United Nations; uniform carbon price;
    JEL: C81 C93 F51 H87 Q54
    Date: 2021–01–04
  9. By: Yuchen Hu; Stefan Wager
    Abstract: The switchback is an experimental design that measures treatment effects by repeatedly turning an intervention on and off for a whole system. Switchback experiments are a robust way to overcome cross-unit spillover effects; however, they are vulnerable to bias from temporal carryovers. In this paper, we consider properties of switchback experiments in Markovian systems that mix at a geometric rate. We find that, in this setting, standard switchback designs suffer considerably from carryover bias: Their estimation error decays as $T^{-1/3}$ in terms of the experiment horizon $T$, whereas in the absence of carryovers a faster rate of $T^{-1/2}$ would have been possible. We also show, however, that judicious use of burn-in periods can considerably improve the situation, and enables errors that decay as $\log(T)^{1/2}T^{-1/2}$. Our formal results are mirrored in an empirical evaluation.
    Date: 2022–08
  10. By: Yuning Tang (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University, JAPAN); Qinxin Guo (School of International Economics and Trade, Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance, CHINA); Junyi Shen (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University, JAPAN)
    Abstract: We investigate the willingness to cooperate between leaders and members in a repeated public goods experiment, when there is group identity and information diversity between them. The participants who play the role of leader, first decide their contributions to the team project. Subsequently, members also decide their contributions. The results indicate that having the same group identity as the leader has a positive effect on members' intention to fully cooperate with the leader Additionally, in the case of being in the same group, disclosing information only to members may increase cooperation. Finally, cooperative behavior between members is closely related to the identity of the leader and information diversity.
    Keywords: Leadership; Beliefs; Group identity; Information diversity; Public goods experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 D63
    Date: 2022–09
  11. By: Baader, Malte (University of Zurich); Gächter, Simon (University of Nottingham); Lee, Kyeongtae (Bank of Korea); Sefton, Martin (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We experimentally examine how the incentive to defect in a social dilemma affects conditional cooperation. In our first study we conduct online experiments in which subjects play eight Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma games with payoffs systematically varied across games. We find that few second movers are conditionally cooperative (i.e., cooperate if and only if the first mover cooperates) in all eight games. Instead, most second-movers change strategies between games. The rate of conditional cooperation is higher when the own gain from defecting is lower and when the loss imposed on the first mover from defecting is higher. This pattern is consistent with both social preference models and stochastic choice models. To explore which model explains our findings we employ a second study to jointly estimate noise and social preference parameters at the individual level. The majority of our subjects place significantly positive weight on others' payoffs, supporting the underlying role of social preferences in conditional cooperation.
    Keywords: Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma, conditional cooperation, social preferences
    JEL: A13 C91
    Date: 2022–08
  12. By: Ali Zeytoon-Nejad
    Abstract: The present paper introduces a theoretical framework through which the degree of risk aversion with respect to uncertain prices can be measured through the context of the indirect utility function (IUF) using a lab experiment. First, the paper introduces the main elements of the duality theory (DT) in economics. Next, it proposes the context of IUFs as a suitable framework for measuring price risk aversion through varying prices as opposed to varying payoffs, which has been common practice in the mainstream of experimental economics. Indeed, the DT in modern microeconomics indicates that the direct utility function (DUF) and the IUF are dual to each other, implicitly suggesting that the degree of risk aversion (or risk seeking) that a given rational subject exhibits in the context of the DUF must be equivalent to the degree of risk aversion (or risk seeking) elicited through the context of the IUF. This paper tests the accuracy of this theoretical prediction through a lab experiment using a series of relevant statistical tests. This study uses the multiple price list (MPL) method, which has been one of the most popular sets of elicitation procedures in experimental economics to study risk preferences in the experimental laboratory using non-interactive settings. The key findings of this study indicate that price risk aversion (PrRA) is statistically significantly greater than payoff risk aversion (PaRA). Additionally, it is shown that the risk preferences elicited under the expected utility theory (EUT) are somewhat subject to context. Other findings imply that the risk premium (RP), as a measure of willingness to pay for insuring an uncertain situation, is statistically significantly greater for stochastic prices compared to that for stochastic payoffs. These results are robust across different MPL designs and various statistical tests that are utilized.
    Date: 2022–09
  13. By: Castro, M.F.;; Guccio, C.;; Romeo, D.;
    Abstract: By employing a large sample of both laboratory and field data, we investigate whether attitudes towards risk significantly vary between physicians, medical students and non-medical students. Also, we look for differences in risk propensity between laboratory and artefactual field experimental sessions and control for individuals’ characteristics that may affect risk attitude. Results show significant variation in risk attitude, regardless of the estimation technique employed (linear regression, interval regression and maximum likelihood estimation), suggesting constant relative risk aversion (CRRA) as a supported representation of risk preferences. Finally, data consistently show that physicians are more risk-seeking in the monetary domain than other subject groups.
    Keywords: risk aversion; field experiments; laboratory experiment; physicians’ behaviour;
    JEL: I1 C81 C93 D81
    Date: 2022–09
  14. By: Tolksdorf, Michel (TU Berlin)
    Abstract: Brokesova, Deck and Peliova [Int. J. Ind. Organ. 37 (2014) 229-237] have shown that comparative static results from two-period behavior-based pricing models hold in laboratory experiments, but they observed significant differences from point predictions. We report findings in conformity with these point predictions throughout a uniform pricing benchmark, a replication of Brokesova, Deck and Peliova’s behavior-based pricing treatment and a follow-up experiment. Reference dependence seems to shift participants’ second-period pricing behavior upwards. A post hoc analysis shows that considering myopic consumers instead of strategic consumers explains a downward shift of first-period prices and rationalizes the findings of Brokesova, Deck and Peliova. Volatile price levels affect price-based welfare measures such as sellers’ profits and customers’ total costs. We show that transport costs serve as a robust welfare measure, alleviating the impact of distorted prices. These findings are relevant for the design of experiments and when assessing the efficiency of experimental markets.
    Keywords: behaviour-based price discrimination; pricing experiment;
    JEL: D43 L13
    Date: 2022–01–14
  15. By: Friedrichsen, Jana (FU Berlin, HU Berlin, DIW and WZB); Momsen, Katharina (University of Innsbruck); Piasenti, Stefano (HU Berlin and DIW)
    Abstract: In sequential interactions, both the agent’s intention and the outcome of his choice may influence the principal’s action. While outcomes are typically observable, intentions are more likely to be hidden, leaving potential wiggle room for the principal when deciding on a reciprocating action. We employ a controlled experiment to investigate how intentions and outcome affect the principal’s actions and whether principals use hidden information as an excuse to behave more selfishly. We find that principals react mainly to the intention of the agent. When intentions are not revealed by default, principals tend to select into information based on their inclination to behave more prosocially. While information avoidance is frequent and selfishness is higher with hidden information, we do not find evidence of a strategic exploitation of moral wiggle room.
    Keywords: information avoidance; dictator game; moral wiggle room; intentions; reciprocity;
    JEL: D91 C91
    Date: 2022–06–21
  16. By: Hintermann, Beat (University of Basel); Thommen, Christoph
    Abstract: Using data from a field experiment, we provide estimates for the own-price elasticity of train travel in Switzerland. Our estimates are based on exogenous changes to the level of discounts for long-distance trains and thus avoid the usual endogeneity problem between demand-dependent discounts. Besides the price, we also vary the length of the pre-sale period during the experiment, which allows us to recover the relative effectiveness of pricing and timing measures. We compute own-price elasticities of around -0.7. Extending the pre-sale deadline by one hour leads to an increase in the pre-sale of discount tickets by 2.1%, which is equivalent to a price decrease by 3.1%. Reducing the price by 10% causes customers to purchase the discount ticket 7 hours earlier. Our results help design measures for peak-shifting in transport at least societal cost.
    Keywords: Field Experiments, Public Transport Systems, Train, Dynamic Pricing, Switzerland
    JEL: L92 R41 L11 C93
    Date: 2022–07–15
  17. By: Hans Bonesrønning (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Jon Marius Vaag Iversen (NTNU Social Research)
    Abstract: We use high quality black box data from a large Norwegian field experiment, where students in the early grades in turn were pulled out of their regular classes and offered mathematics instruction in small homogenous groups, to investigate how the tutors adapted their instruction to the size and the average performance level of the groups. Using within-tutor variation, we find that tutors tailored their instruction to the average pretest scores in the small groups and offered individualized instruction, especially to low achievers. We also find that the instructional practices varied substantially between the tutors, from teacher-directed to student-oriented practices. We show that the largest achievement gains were associated with a subgroup of tutors who spent much instructional time with evasive students in the low achievers’ small groups (“inclusive individualization†). Finally, we show that the treatment effects were significantly larger in schools where the tutors practiced individualized and inclusive instruction for low achievers, compared to schools where the tutors had chosen student-centered practices and paid little attention to evasive students.Creation-Date: 2022-2-11
    Keywords: tutoring, tracking, instructional practices, mathematics
    Date: 2022–09–26
  18. By: Santoro, Fabrizio
    Abstract: Very little is known about why taxpayers in sub-Saharan Africa pay their taxes. This article reports results from a nationwide randomized controlled trial in Eswatini, nudging more than 20,000 income tax payers with behaviorally-informed mailings, building on deterrence, facilitation, and trust paradigms. This study is the first to target three different categories of taxpayers at the same time – non-filers, nil-filers and active filers, and targets both companies and individual taxpayers. Most of the literature focuses on active filers. The results show that nudging is very effective with non-filers, especially when controlling for actual collection of the letter – any mailing increases the probability of filing by 1.7 percentage points (p.p.), or 20 percent of the control group mean. Deterrence is particularly effective for non-filing companies – increasing filing by 3.9 p.p., whereas individuals react more to an instructional nudge. Conversely, nil-filers do not respond to a nudge. A trust-based mailing had the opposite of the intended effect with active taxpayers, but they are less likely to nil-file when nudged.
    Keywords: Finance,
    Date: 2022
  19. By: Deversi, Marvin (LMU Munich); Ispano, Alessandro (CY Cergy Paris Université, CNRS and THEMA); Schwardmann, Peter (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: Unfavorable news are often delivered under the disguise of vagueness. Our theory-driven laboratory experiment investigates this strategic use of vagueness in voluntary disclosure and asks whether there is scope for policy to improve information transmission. We find that vagueness is profitably deployed by senders to fool those receivers that lack strategic sophistication. Imposing precise disclosure leads to more easily interpretable messages, but results in fewer sender types disclosing at all. Since non-disclosure also systematically misleads naive receivers, the welfare implications of imposing precision are not obvious. However, our model and experiment show that information transmission and the welfare of naive receivers are improved by policies that impose precision. Our results speak to the rules governing firms’ disclosure of quality-relevant information, the disclosure of research findings, and testimonies in a court of law.
    Keywords: communication; naïveté; flexibility; regulation;
    JEL: D82 D83 C72 C92 L15 D04
    Date: 2021–12–01
  20. By: Lergetporer, Philipp (TU Munich and ifo Institute); Woessmann, Ludger (LMU Munich and ifo Institute)
    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: 2022–01–18
  21. By: Eliana Carranza; Aletheia Donald; Florian Grosset; Supreet Kaur
    Abstract: In low-income communities, pressure to share income with others may disincentivize work, distorting labor supply. We document that across countries, social groups that undertake more interpersonal transfers work fewer hours. Using a field experiment, we enable piece-rate factory workers in Côte d’Ivoire to shield income using blocked savings accounts over 3-9 months. Workers may only deposit earnings increases, relative to baseline, mitigating income effects on labor supply. We vary whether the offered account is private or known to the worker’s network, altering the likelihood of transfer requests against saved income. When accounts are private, take-up is substantively higher (60% vs. 14%). Offering private accounts sharply increases labor supply—raising work attendance by 10% and earnings by 11%. Outgoing transfers do not decline, indicating no loss in redistribution. Our estimates imply a 9-14% social tax rate. The welfare benefits of informal redistribution may come at a cost, depressing labor supply and productivity.
    JEL: H0 J0 O1 O4 O55
    Date: 2022–09
  22. By: Williams, Joel; Ward, Liz; Burton, Jonathan; Carpenter, Hannah; Cole, Kirsty; Hayward, Bruce; Nicolaas, Gerry; Parutis, Violetta; Seymour, Bronwyn; Thornton, Katie; Wood, Martin; Woodward, Laura
    Abstract: This paper summarizes experiments carried out as part of a pilot survey that was designed to pre-test different protocols for recruiting a probability-based sample of households via a web survey. The pilot was conducted in October 2021 with an issued sample of 17,304 UK addresses. The pilot included six experiments testing different fieldwork protocols designed to increase response rates. Only two of the six treatments had an appreciable impact: variations in the contact sequence (inclusion of a pre-notification letter and/or an additional (third) reminder) and the offer of an early bird bonus incentive of £10 over a base £20, instead of a uniform £30.Â
    Date: 2022–09–20
  23. By: Barron, Kai (WZB Berlin); Ditlmann, Ruth (Hertie School Berlin); Gehrig, Stefan (WZB Berlin); Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: Understanding discrimination is key for designing policy interventions that promote equality in society. Economists have studied the topic intensively, typically taxonomizing discrimination as either taste-based or (accurate) statistical discrimination. To reveal the limitations of this taxonomy and enrich it psychologically, we design a hiring experiment that rules out both of these sources of discrimination with respect to gender. Yet, we still detect substantial discrimination against women. We provide evidence of two forms of discrimination, explicit and implicit belief-based discrimination. Both rely on statistically inaccurate beliefs but differ in how clearly they reveal that the choice was based on gender. Our analysis highlights the central role played by contextual features of the choice setting in determining whether and how discrimination will manifest. We conclude by discussing how policy makers may design effective regulation to address the specific forms of discrimination identified in our experiment.
    Keywords: discrimination; hiring decisions; gender; beliefs; experiment;
    JEL: D90 J71 D83
    Date: 2022–04–25
  24. By: Cary Deck (Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies, University of Alabama and Economic Science Institute, Chapman University); Tae In Jun (Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies, University of Alabama); Laura Razzolini (Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies, University of Alabama); Tavoy Reid (Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies, University of Alabama)
    Abstract: The efficient market hypothesis predicts that asset prices reflect all available information. A seminal experiment reported that contingent claim markets could yield market outcomes consistent with information aggregation when traders hold heterogeneous state-contingent values. However, a recent experiment found the rational expectation model outperformed the prior information and maxi-min models in contingent claim markets when traders hold homogeneous values despite the no trade equilibrium in that setting. But that same study failed to replicate the original result calling into question when, if ever, prices reliably reflect the aggregate information of traders with heterogeneous values. In this paper, we show contingent claim markets can robustly yield prices consistent with the efficient market hypothesis when traders hold heterogeneous values in certain circumstances. The key distinction between our environment and that of the previous studies is that we consider trader values that are correlated and not too dissimilar.
    Keywords: Information Aggregation, Rational Expectations, Laboratory Experiments
    JEL: C9 D8 G1
    Date: 2022
  25. By: Adena, Maja (WZB Berlin); Huck, Steffen (WZB Berlin and UCL)
    Abstract: We study a form of threshold matching in fundraising where donations above a certain threshold are topped up with a fixed amount. We show theoretically that threshold matching can induce crowding in if appropriately personalized. In a field experiment, we explore how thresholds should be chosen depending on past donations. The optimal choice of thresholds is rather bold, approximately 75% above past donations. Additionally, we explore how thresholds should be set for new donors as a function of their personal characteristics and demonstrate the benefits of personalization as opposed to setting a general threshold that applies to all recipients of a fundraising call.
    Keywords: charitable giving; field experiments; matching donations; personalization;
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2022–05–12
  26. By: Xiang Hui; Meng Liu
    Abstract: We study consumer response towards sponsored search advertising and how to improve advertising performance on a large e-commerce platform. Our research design is based on a field experiment which randomizes the salience of ad disclosure to consumers, and a natural experiment which eradicates a listing-level quality certificate for all listings because of a system glitch. Results suggest that consumers dislike search advertising in our setting, but quality certificates mitigate this aversion and increase advertising sales.
    Keywords: sponsored search advertising, quality certificates, e-commerce
    Date: 2022
  27. By: Fries, Tilman (WZB Berlin)
    Abstract: This paper studies the implications of agents signaling their moral type in a lying game. In the theoretical analysis, a signaling motive emerges where agents dislike being suspected of lying and where some types of liars are more stigmatized than others. The equilibrium prediction of the model can explain experimental data from previous studies, in particular on partial lying, where some agents dishonestly report a non payo
    Keywords: lying; image concerns; honesty; experiment;
    JEL: C91 D82 D90
    Date: 2021–01–14
  28. By: Kelsey Jack; Kathryn McDermott; Anja Sautmann
    Abstract: Multiple price lists are a convenient tool to elicit willingness to pay (WTP) in surveys and experiments, but choice patterns such as “multiple switching” and “never switching” indicate high error rates. Existing measurement approaches often do not provide accurate standard errors and cannot correct for bias due to framing and order effects. We propose to combine a randomization approach with a random-effects latent utility model to detect bias and account for error. Data from a choice experiment in South Africa shows that significant order effects exist which, if uncorrected, would lead to distorted conclusions about subjects’ preferences. We provide templates to create a multiple price list survey instrument in SurveyCTO and analyze the resulting data using our proposed methods.
    JEL: C91 C93 D46 O12 Q51
    Date: 2022–09
  29. By: Schmidt, Klaus M. (LMU Munich); Ockenfels, Axel (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: International cooperation on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, disarmament, or free trade needs to be negotiated. The success of such negotiations depends on how they are designed. In the context of international climate change policy, it has been proposed [e.g., Weitzman J of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (2014)] that shifting the negotiation focus to a uniform common commitment (such as a uniform minimum carbon price) would lead to more ambitious cooperation. Yet, a proof-of-concept for this important claim is lacking. Based on game theoretical analyses, we present experimental evidence that strongly supports this conjecture. In our study, human subjects negotiate contributions to a public good. Subjects differ in their benefits and costs of cooperation. Participation in the negotiations and all commitments are voluntary. We consider treatments in which agreements are enforceable, and treatments in which they have to be self-enforcing. In both situations, negotiating a uniform common commitment is more successful in promoting cooperation than negotiating individual commitments (as in the Paris agreement) and complex common commitments that tailor the commitment to the specific situation of each party (as attempted with the Kyoto protocol). Furthermore, as suggested by our model, a uniform common commitment benefits most from being enforced.
    Keywords: cooperation; negotiation design; common commitment; reciprocity; climate policy;
    Date: 2021–01–04
  30. By: Adena, Maja (WZB Berlin); Harke, Julian (WZB Berlin)
    Abstract: Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected pro-sociality among individuals? After the onset of the pandemic, many charitable appeals were updated to include a reference to COVID-19. Did donors increase their giving in response to such changes? In order to answer these questions, we conducted a real-donation online experiment with more than 4,200 participants from 149 local areas in England and over 21 weeks. First, we varied the fundraising appeal to either include or exclude a reference to COVID-19. We found that including the reference to COVID-19 in the appeal increased donations. Second, in a natural experiment- like approach, we studied how the relative local severity of the pandemic and media coverage about local COVID-19 severity affected giving in our experiment. We found that both higher local severity and more related articles increased giving of participants in the respective areas. This holds for different specifications, including specifications with location fixed effects, time fixed effects, a broad set of individual characteristics to account for a potentially changing composition of the sample over time and to account for health- and work-related experiences with and expectations regarding the pandemic. While negative experiences with COVID-19 correlate negatively with giving, both approaches led us to conclude that the pure effect of increased salience of the pandemic on pro-sociality is positive. Despite the shift in public attention toward the domestic fight against the pandemic and away from developing countries’ challenges, we found that preferences did not shift toward giving more to a national project and less to developing countries.
    Keywords: COVID-19; charitable giving; online experiments; natural experiments;
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2022–02–18
  31. By: Stich, Lucas (LMU Munich); Spann, Martin (LMU Munich); Schmidt, Klaus M. (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: Open access (OA) publishing upends the traditional business model in scientific publishing by requiring authors instead of readers to pay for the publishing-related costs. In this paper, we aim to elicit the willingness to pay (WTP) of authors for open access publishing. We conduct two separate field studies with different methodological approaches in different scientific disciplines (economics and medicine). First, a choice-based conjoint (CBC) analysis measures stated preferences of 243 economists in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland regarding their valuations of open access publishing in the “Top 5” economics journals. Second, a field experiment at four different open access medical journals elicits authors’ self-determined (“Pay-What-You-Want”) payments for open access publications. The results provide a plausible range of authors’ valuations, given that the first study rather provides an upper bound and the second study a lower bound of authors’ willingness to pay for open access publishing.
    Keywords: open access; willingness to pay; choice-based conjoint analysis; pay-what-you-want; field experiment;
    JEL: D12 M31 L11 L82
    Date: 2021–01–19
  32. By: Darija Barak; Edoardo Gallo; Alastair Langtry
    Abstract: Contact tracing and quarantine programs have been one of the leading Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions against COVID-19. Some governments have relied on mandatory programs, whereas others embrace a voluntary approach. However, there is limited evidence on the relative effectiveness of these different approaches. In an interactive online experiment conducted on 731 subjects representative of the adult US population in terms of sex and region of residence, we find there is a clear ranking. A fully mandatory program is better than an optional one, and an optional system is better than no intervention at all. The ranking is driven by reductions in infections, while economic activity stays unchanged. We also find that political conservatives have higher infections and levels of economic activity, and they are less likely to participate in the contact tracing program.
    Date: 2022–09
  33. By: Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta (TU Berlin); Seres, Gyula (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: Anchoring is a robust behavioral phenomenon modeled predominantly as a bias in individual judgment. We propose a game-theoretic model that considers players’ beliefs about others’ behavior as a mediator for the effect of the anchor on a player’s choice. The results establish that anchoring in strategic interactions reported in the literature can be rationalized by anchored beliefs about the opponents’ intentions. Notwithstanding, we also demonstrate that a player might adjust away from rather than toward the anchor in games where choices are strategic substitutes.
    Keywords: anchoring bias; auctions; games; incomplete information; strategy;
    JEL: D01 D91 C72
    Date: 2022–01–25
  34. By: Mel Win Khaw; Ziang Li; Michael Woodford
    Abstract: In an experiment that elicits subjects' willingness to pay (WTP) for the outcome of a lottery, we confirm the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes described by Kahneman and Tversky. In addition, we document a systematic effect of stake sizes on the magnitude and sign of the relative risk premium, holding fixed both the probability that a lottery pays off and the sign of its payoff (gain vs. loss). We further show that in our data, there is a log-linear relationship between the monetary payoff of the lottery and WTP, conditional on the probability of the payoff and its sign. We account quantitatively for this relationship, and the way in which it varies with both the probability and sign of the lottery payoff, in a model in which all departures from risk-neutral bidding are attributed to an optimal adaptation of bidding behavior to the presence of cognitive noise. Moreover, the cognitive noise required by our hypothesis is consistent with patterns of bias and variability in judgments about numerical magnitudes and probabilities that have been observed in other contexts.
    JEL: C91 D03 D81 D87
    Date: 2022–09
  35. By: Vicente Calabuig (University of Valencia); Natalia Jimenez (Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Gonzalo Olcina (University of Valencia); Ismael Rodriguez-Lara (Universidad de Granada and Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)
    Abstract: Coordinated punishment occurs when punishment decisions are complements; i.e., this punishment device requires a specific number of punishers to be effective; otherwise, no damage will be inflicted on the target. While societies often rely on this punishment device, its benefits are unclear compared with uncoordinated punishment, where punishment decisions are substitutes. We argue that coordinated punishment can prevent the free-riding of punishers and show, both theoretically and experimentally, that this may be beneficial for cooperation in a team investment game, compared with uncoordinated punishment.
    Keywords: Team investment game, coordinated punishment, uncoordinated punishment, freeriding, cooperation
    JEL: C9 D02 D03 D69 J01
    Date: 2022
  36. By: Alfredo Burlando; Pradeep Chintagunta; Jessica Goldberg; Melissa Graboyes; Peter Hangoma; Dean Karlan; Mario Macis; Silvia Prina
    Abstract: We replicate the test of a theoretical framework put forward and tested by Goldberg et al. (2022) on financial incentives to send peers information about health behaviors. The study we replicate validated the theory in the context of tuberculosis testing in India. We adapt the intervention to preventative COVID-19-related behaviors in Zambia. Similar to the India study, individuals respond favorably to the suggestion to pass messages to peers; however, unlike in India, financial incentives neither generate further passing of messages nor cause changes in health behaviors. We discuss the contextual differences that may explain why key results failed to replicate.
    JEL: H0 I0 O10
    Date: 2022–09
  37. By: Duncan Chaplin; Charles Tilley; Denise Hoffman; John T. Jones
    Abstract: In this paper we use data from an evaluation of the Benefit Offset National Demonstration to evaluate the efficacy of using comparative regression discontinuity and regression discontinuity relative to a randomized controlled trial.
    Keywords: Regression Discontinuity, Comparative Regression Discontinuity, Within-Study Comparisons, Benefit Offset National Demonstration, BOND, Disability, Randomized Control Trial
  38. By: Alec Brandon; Christopher Clapp; John List; Robert Metcalfe; Michael Price
    Abstract: Smart-home technologies have been heralded as an important way to increase energy conservation. While in vitro engineering estimates provide broad optimism, little has been done to explore whether such estimates scale beyond the lab. We estimate the causal impact of smart thermostats on energy use via two novel framed field experiments in which a random subset of treated households have a smart thermostat installed in their home. Examining 18 months of associated high-frequency data on household energy consumption, yielding more than 16 million hourly electricity and daily natural gas observations, we find little evidence that smart thermostats have a statistically or economically significant effect on energy use. We explore potential mechanisms using almost four million observations of system events including human interactions with their smart thermostat. Results indicate that user behavior dampens energy savings and explains the discrepancy between estimates from engineering models, which assume a perfectly compliant subject, and actual households, who are occupied by users acting in accord with behavioral economists' conjectures. In this manner, our data document a keen threat to the scalability of new user-based technologies.
    Date: 2022
  39. By: Castanheira, Micael; Huck, Steffen; Leutgeb, Johannes; Schotter, Andrew
    Abstract: While people on all sides of the political spectrum were amazed that Donald Trump won the Republican nomination this paper demonstrates that Trump's victory was not a crazy event but rather the equilibrium outcome of a multi-candidate race where one candidate, the buffoon, is viewed as likely to self-destruct and hence unworthy of attack. We model such primaries as a truel (a three-way duel), solve for its equilibrium, and test its implications in a laboratory experiment. We find that people recognize a buffoon when they see one and aim their attacks elsewhere with the unfortunate consequence that the buffoon has an enhanced probability of winning. This result is strongest amongst those subjects who demonstrate an ability to best respond suggesting that our results would only be stronger when the game is played by experts and for higher stakes.
    Keywords: truel,political primaries,Trump
    JEL: C72 C92 D72 D74
    Date: 2022

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