nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2022‒11‒28
39 papers chosen by

  1. Nudging the Nudger: A Field Experiment on the Effect of Performance Feedback to Service Agents on Increasing Organ Donor Registrations By Julian House; Nicola Lacetera; Mario Macis; Nina Mazar
  2. Financial Incentives and Performance: A Meta-Analysis of Economics Evidence By Cala, Petr; Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana; Matousek, Jindrich; Novak, Jiri
  3. Promises or Agreements? Moral commitments in bilateral communication By Giovanni Di Bartolomeo; Martin Dufwenberg; Stefano Papa; Francesco Passarelli
  4. Reputation vs Selection Effects in Markets with Informational Asymmetries By Theodore Alysandratos; Sotiris Georganas; Matthias Sutter
  5. Willingness to volunteer among remote workers is insensitive to the team size By Hillenbrand, Adrian; Werner, Tobias; Winter, Fabian
  6. Improving Workers’ Performance in Small Firms : A Randomized Experiment on Goal Setting in Ghana By Cettolin, Elena; Cole, Kym; Dalton, Patricio
  7. Motivate the crowd or crowd- them out? The impact of local government spending on the voluntary provision of a green public good By Bartels, Lara; Kesternich, Martin
  8. A systematic literature review of 10 years of behavioral research on health services By Finocchiaro Castro, Massimo; Guccio, Calogero; Romeo, Domenica
  9. Do Americans Favor Female or Male Politicians? Evidence from Experimental Elections By Poutvaara, Panu; Graefe, Andreas
  10. Teaching Norms: Direct Evidence of Parental Transmission By Thijs Brouwer; Fabio Galeotti; Marie Claire Villeval
  11. Discrimination Against Gay and Transgender People in Latin America: A Correspondence Study in the Rental Housing Market By Nicolás Abbate; Inés Berniell; Joaquín Coleff; Luis Laguinge; Margarita Machelett; Mariana Marchionni; Julián Pedrazzi; María Florencia Pinto
  12. Household disability and time preferences: Evidence from incentivized experiments in Vietnam By Ute Rink; Theresa Rollwage
  13. Do Pre-Registration and Pre-analysis Plans Reduce p-Hacking and Publication Bias? By Brodeur, Abel; Cook, Nikolai; Hartley, Jonathan; Heyes, Anthony
  14. The end of work is near, isn't it? Survey evidence on automation angst By Arntz, Melanie; Blesse, Sebastian; Doerrenberg, Philipp
  15. Empirical Evaluation of Broader Job Search Requirements for Unemployed Workers By Bas van der Klaauw; Heike Vethaak
  16. Competition, Information, and the Erosion of Morals By Julien Benistant; Fabio Galeotti; Marie Claire Villeval
  17. (In-)equality of Opportunity, Fairness, and Distributional Preferences By Dietmar Fehr; Daniel Müller; Marcel Preuss
  18. The impact on nudge acceptability judgements of framing and consultation of the targeted population By Ismaël Rafaï; Arthur Ribaillier; Dorian Jullien
  19. The fairness of inequality due to risk and effort choices By Maj-Britt Sterba
  20. Disparities in financial literacy, pension planning, and saving behavior By Bucher-Koenen, Tabea; Hackethal, Andreas; Kasinger, Johannes; Laudenbach, Christine
  21. When Information Conflicts with Obligations: the Role of Motivated Cognition By Ao Wang; Shaoda Wang; Xiaoyang Ye
  22. We Need to Talk about Mechanical Turk: What 22,989 Hypothesis Tests Tell Us about Publication Bias and p-Hacking in Online Experiments By Brodeur, Abel; Cook, Nikolai; Heyes, Anthony
  23. Judicial Decision-Making. A Survey of the Experimental Evidence By Christoph Engel
  24. An experimental investigation on the dark side of emotions and its aftereffects By Lisette Ibanez; Hayet Saadaoui
  25. Gender norms, violence and adolescent girls' trajectories: evidence from a field experiment in India By Alison Andrew; Sonya Krutikova; Gabriela Smarrelli; Hemlata Verma
  26. Motivated Skepticism By Jeanne Hagenbach; Charlotte Saucet
  27. Mental Health Literacy, Beliefs and Demand for Mental Health Support among University Students By Michelle Acampora; Francesco Capozza; Vahid Moghani
  28. Parental risk preferences, maternal bargaining power, and the educational progressions of children: Lab-in-the-field evidence from rural Côte d'Ivoire By Arnab K. Basu; Ralitza Dimova; Monnet Gbakou; Romane Viennet
  29. Cash Transfers and Voter Turnout By Alexander James; Nathaly Rivera; Brock Smith
  30. Oil Windfalls, Taxation, and Demand for Government Accountability By Alexander James; Dilek Uz
  31. The effect of test anxiety on high stakes exams By Emanuela Macrí; Giuseppe Migali
  32. How to sample and when to stop sampling: The generalized Wald problem and minimax policies By Karun Adusumilli
  33. Remote Work and Team Productivity By Dutcher, Glenn; Saral, Krista
  34. The role of information in collective decisions By Nicolás Figueroa; José-Alberto Guerra; Francisco Silva
  35. Improving Household Debt Management with Robo-Advice By Ida Chak; Karen Croxson; Francesco D’Acunto; Jonathan Reuter; Alberto G. Rossi; Jonathan M. Shaw
  36. The Impact of Joint versus Separate Prediction Mode on Forecasting Accuracy By Alex Imas; Minah H. Jung; Silvia Saccardo; Joachim Vosgerau
  37. The Impact of Large-Scale Social Media Advertising Campaigns on COVID-19 Vaccination: Evidence from Two Randomized Controlled Trials By Lisa Y. Ho; Emily Breza; Marcella Alsan; Abhijit Banerjee; Arun G. Chandrasekhar; Fatima Cody Stanford; Renato Fior; Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham; Kelly Holland; Emily Hoppe; Louis-Maël Jean; Lucy Ogbu-Nwobodo; Benjamin A. Olken; Carlos Torres; Pierre-Luc Vautrey; Erica Warner; Esther Duflo
  38. Eye-Tracking as a Method for Legal Research By Christoph Engel; Rima-Maria Rahal
  39. Stories, Statistics, and Memory By Thomas Graeber; Christopher Roth; Florian Zimmermann

  1. By: Julian House; Nicola Lacetera; Mario Macis; Nina Mazar
    Abstract: We conducted a randomized controlled trial involving nearly 700 customer-service representatives (CSRs) in a Canadian government service agency to study whether providing CSRs with performance feedback with or without peer comparison affected their subsequent organ donor registration rates. Despite having no tie to remuneration or promotion, the provision of individual performance feedback three times over one year resulted in a 25% increase in daily signups, compared to otherwise similar encouragement and reminders. Adding benchmark information that compared CSRs performance to average and top peer performance did not further enhance this effect. Registrations increased more among CSRs whose performance was already above average, and there was no negative effect on lower-performing CSRs. A post-intervention survey showed that CSRs found the information included in the treatments helpful and encouraging. However, performance feedback without benchmark information increased perceived pressure to perform.
    Keywords: prosocial behavior, motivation, public service, employee, intermediaries, field experiments, feedback, organ donation
    JEL: C93 D90 I10 J45 M50
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Cala, Petr; Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana; Matousek, Jindrich; Novak, Jiri
    Abstract: Standard economics models require that financial incentives improve performance, while leading theories in psychology allow for the opposite. Experimental results are mixed, and so far have not been corrected for publication bias and model uncertainty. We collect 1,568 economics estimates together with 46 factors capturing the context in which the estimates were obtained. We use novel nonlinear techniques to correct for publication bias and employ Bayesian model averaging to account for model uncertainty. The corrected estimates are zero or tiny across contexts of field experiments, including differences in performance measurement, task definition, reward size and framing, motivation beyond money, subject pool, and estimation technique. Laboratory experiments produce statistically significant estimates on average after correction for publication bias, but even there the effect is weak. Experimental economics evidence is inconsistent with standard economics models.
    Keywords: Incentives,experiments,meta-analysis,model uncertainty,publication bias
    JEL: C90 D91 M52
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Giovanni Di Bartolomeo; Martin Dufwenberg; Stefano Papa; Francesco Passarelli
    Abstract: Messages may trigger moral incentives to honor promises or agreements in a game with pre-play bilateral communication. We hypothesize that individuals’ inclination to keep a promise is highest if the counterpart requited the promise. We interpret this as an inclination to honor agreements. We report supporting results from an experiment.
    Keywords: Guilt aversion; promise-keeping; informal agreements
    JEL: A13 C91 D03 D64 D90
    Date: 2022–11
  4. By: Theodore Alysandratos (Heidelberg University); Sotiris Georganas (City-University of London); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck, IZA, and CESifo)
    Abstract: In markets with asymmetric information between sellers and buyers, feedback mechanisms are important to increase market efficiency and reduce the informational disadvantage of buyers. Feedback mechanisms might work because of self-selection of more trustworthy sellers into markets with such mechanisms or because of reputational concerns of sellers. In our field experiment, we can disentangle self-selection from reputation effects. Based on 476 taxi rides with four different types of taxis, we can show strong reputation effects on the prices and service quality of drivers, while there is practically no evidence of a self-selection effect. We discuss policy implications of our findings.
    Keywords: information asymmetries, reputation mechanisms, selection effects, credence goods, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D82
    Date: 2022–11–07
  5. By: Hillenbrand, Adrian; Werner, Tobias; Winter, Fabian
    Abstract: Volunteering is a widespread allocation mechanism in the workplace. It emerges naturally in software development or the generation of online knowledge platforms. Using a field experiment with more than 2000 workers, we study the effect of team size on volunteering in an online labor market. In contrast to our theoretical predictions and previous research, we find no effect of team size on volunteering although workers react to free riding incentives. We replicate the results and provide further robustness checks. Eliciting workers' beliefs about their co-workers' volunteering reveals conditional volunteering as the primary driver of our results.
    Keywords: volunteering,"volunteer's dilemma",remote work,team size
    JEL: C72 C93 H41 J4
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Cettolin, Elena (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Cole, Kym; Dalton, Patricio (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Bartels, Lara; Kesternich, Martin
    Abstract: Cities are increasingly hold accountable for climate action. By demonstrating their proenvironmentality through own climate-related activities, they not at least aspire to encourage individual climate protection efforts. Based on standard economic theory there is little reason to assume that this is a promising strategy. Financed by taxpayers' money, cities' contributions are considered as substitutes that crowd-out private contributions to the same public good. Inspired by research on providing information on reference group behavior, we challenge this argument and conduct a framed-field experiment to analyze the impact of reference group information on the voluntary provision of a green public good. We investigate whether information on previous contributions by fellow citizens or the city affect individual contributions. We do not find statistical evidence that city-level information crowds-out additional individual contributions. A reference to fellow citizens significantly increases the share of contributors as it attracts subjects that are not per-se pro-environmentally oriented.
    Keywords: Voluntary provision of environmental public goods,Social Norms,Crowding-out,Willingness to pay,Framed-field experiment
    JEL: C93 C83 D9 H41 Q54
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Finocchiaro Castro, Massimo; Guccio, Calogero; Romeo, Domenica
    Abstract: Behavioral economics is, nowadays, a well-established approach to investigate agents’ actions under economic incentives. In the last decade, a fast-growing number of studies have focused on the application of behavioral to health policy issues. The results of that stream of literature have been intriguing and strongly policy-oriented. However, those findings are scattered between different health-related topics, making difficult to grasp the overall state-of-the-art. Hence, to make the main contributions understandable at a glance, we conduct a systematic literature review of laboratory experiments on the supply of health services. Of the 1,084 articles retrieved from 2011, 36 articles published in peer review journals have met our inclusion criteria. For them, we describe the different experimental settings, and we classify them according to the main area of interest. Finally, we provide some insights for future research in the field.
    Keywords: laboratory experiments,health services,supply,systematic literature review,physicians’ behavior,payment systems,health policy
    JEL: C91 C92 I11
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Poutvaara, Panu; Graefe, Andreas
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Thijs Brouwer (Department of economics, Tilburg University - Tilburg University [Netherlands]); Fabio Galeotti (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We examine the educative role played by parents in social norm transmission. Using a field experiment, we study whether parents enforce and comply more with norms when their children are present compared to when they are not. We compare similar parents when or after they bring or pick up their children at school. We find that parents accompanying children, in contrast to parents alone, are more likely to punish norm violators and to provide help to strangers when there is no violation. They also tend to substitute more direct punishment with withholding help as a means of indirect punishment.
    Keywords: Field Experiment,Social Norms,Transmission,Parenting,Norm Enforcement.
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Nicolás Abbate (CEDLAS & IIE-UNLP); Inés Berniell (CEDLAS - IIE-UNLP); Joaquín Coleff (CEDLAS - IIE-UNLP); Luis Laguinge (CEDLAS - IIE-UNLP & CONICET); Margarita Machelett (Banco de España); Mariana Marchionni (CEDLAS - IIE-UNLP & CONICET); Julián Pedrazzi (CEDLAS - IIE-UNLP & CONICET); María Florencia Pinto (CEDLAS - IIE-UNLP)
    Abstract: We assess the extent of discrimination against gay and transgender individuals in the rental housing markets of four Latin American countries. We conducted a large-scale field experiment building on the correspondence study methodology to examine interactions between property managers and fictitious couples engaged in searches in a major online rental housing platform. We find evidence of discriminatory behavior against heterosexual couples where the female partner is a transgender women (trans couples): they receive 19% fewer responses, 27% fewer positive responses, and 23% fewer invitations to showings than heterosexual couples. However, we find no evidence of discrimination against gay male couples. We also assess whether the evidence is consistent with taste-based discrimination or statistical discrimination models by comparing response rates when couples signal a high socioeconomic status (high SES). While we find no significant effect of the signal on call-back rates or the type of response for high-SES heterosexual or gay male couples, trans couples benefit when they signal a high SES. Their call-back, positive-response, and invitation rates increase by 25%, 36% and 29%, respectively. These results suggest the presence of discrimination against trans couples in the Latin American online rental housing market, which seems consistent with statistical discrimination. Moreover, we find no evidence of heterosexual couples being favoured over gay male couples, nor evidence of statistical discrimination for gay male or heterosexual couples.
    JEL: C93 J15 R23 R3
    Date: 2022–11
  12. By: Ute Rink; Theresa Rollwage
    Abstract: This paper investigates individual time preferences between individuals living in a disability household and those who live in a non-disability household in Vietnam. Using randomized primes together with experimental tasks to elicit time preferences, our empirical results show that individuals living in a disability household are (i) more likely to be present biased, and (ii) more patient. The effects are even more pronounced when the disability happened recently (within the last 8 years). These findings show causal evidence that time preferences differ among more vulnerable groups of society and may be one cause for their often observed adverse socioeconomic conditions.
    Keywords: Impact; Disability, Time preferences, Priming, Vietnam
    JEL: D01 D91 I14
    Date: 2022–09
  13. By: Brodeur, Abel; Cook, Nikolai; Hartley, Jonathan; Heyes, Anthony
    Abstract: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are increasingly prominent in economics, with pre-registration and pre-analysis plans (PAPs) promoted as important in ensuring the credibility of findings. We investigate whether these tools reduce the extent of p-hacking and publication bias by collecting and studying the universe of test statistics, 15,992 in total, from RCTs published in 15 leading economics journals from 2018 through 2021. In our primary analysis, we find no meaningful difference in the distribution of test statistics from pre-registered studies, compared to their non-pre-registered counterparts. However, pre-registered studies that have a complete PAP are significantly less p-hacked. These results point to the importance of PAPs, rather than pre-registration in itself, in ensuring credibility.
    Date: 2022–08–11
  14. By: Arntz, Melanie; Blesse, Sebastian; Doerrenberg, Philipp
    Abstract: We study the extent of automation angst and its role for policy preferences, labor market choices and real donation decisions using a customized survey in Germany and the US. We first document that a majority perceives automation as a major threat to overall employment and as a cause of rising inequality, whereas less than a third is concerned about their own labor-market prospects. We find evidence that automation angst is strongly associated with people's trust in governments and general political beliefs, especially in the US. At the same time, automation angst is associated with preferences for more policy interventions and also relates to stated and actual behavior. Using randomized survey experiments, we find that scientific information about zero net employment effects of automation, on average, reduce related concerns. Yet, treatment responses are multidimensional and depend on prior beliefs about the future or work. This translates into heterogeneous and sometimes even opposing effects on policy preferences and individual behavior.
    Keywords: Automation Angst,Labor Market Concerns,Policy Preferences,Survey (Experiment)
    JEL: C91 D83 J23 O33
    Date: 2022
  15. By: Bas van der Klaauw (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Heike Vethaak (Leiden University)
    Abstract: This paper analyses data from a large-scale field experiment where unemployed workers were randomly assigned to an additional caseworker meeting with the purpose to impose a broader job search strategy. We find that the meeting significantly increases job finding and is cost effective. However, caseworkers differ substantially in the rate at which they impose broader job search. We exploit this heterogeneity in caseworker stringency and the random assignment of unemployed workers to caseworkers within local offices to evaluate the broader search requirement. Our results show that imposing the broader search requirements reduces job finding. We argue that restricting the job search opportunities forces unemployed workers to search sub-optimally which negatively affects labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: Unemployment, broader job search, caseworker stringency, caseworker meetings, field experiment
    JEL: J22 J64 J65 J68 C93
    Date: 2022–11–13
  16. By: Julien Benistant; Fabio Galeotti (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We study the impact of competition on morals using a dynamic variant of the die-under-the-cup task. Players can repeatedly misreport the outputs of consecutive die rolls to earn more money, either under an individual piece-rate pay scheme or in a two-player tournament. In this dynamic setting, we disentangle the effect of the incentive scheme and the effect of information provision about one's relative performance, by comparing settings with continuous vs. final ex post feedback on the counterpart's reported outcome. We find that individuals lie more under competitive rather than non-competitive incentive schemes, but only if both players can cheat in the tournament. Continuous feedback on the counterpart's reports does not increase cheating in the tournament, while it does under the piece-rate scheme. These findings shed light on the effects that different competition and information policies have on morals in occupational settings.
    Keywords: Dishonesty,feedback,peer effects,competitive incentives,experiment
    Date: 2022
  17. By: Dietmar Fehr; Daniel Müller; Marcel Preuss
    Abstract: This paper examines how perceived importance of family background affect distributional pref-erences using two large-scale survey experiments. In the first experiment, we randomly inform respondents about the relationship between parental income and economic success later in life, which renders their perceptions of equality of opportunity more pessimistic. However, this changes neither revealed distributional preferences nor pro-social behavior toward the rich and poor. The second experiment shows that respondents do not account for parental influence on economic success when making (re-)distribution decisions, suggesting that people view parental influence as a legitimate reason to justify some inequality. This can explain why distributional preferences are immune to changes in perceptions of equality of opportunity.
    Keywords: distributional preferences, inequality of opportunity, social mobility, survey experiment
    JEL: C93 D31 H23 H24 H41
    Date: 2022
  18. By: Ismaël Rafaï (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (1965 - 2019) - COMUE UCA - COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015-2019) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur); Arthur Ribaillier (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (1965 - 2019) - COMUE UCA - COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015-2019) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur); Dorian Jullien (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The aim of this article is to better understand how judgements about nudge acceptability are formed and whether they can be manipulated. We conducted a randomized experiment with N = 171 participants to test whether acceptability judgements could be (1) more favourable when the decision to implement the nudges was made following a consultation with the targeted population and (2) influenced by the joint framing of the nudge's purpose and effectiveness (in terms of an increase in desirable behaviour versus decrease in undesirable behaviour). We tested these hypotheses on various nudge scenarios and obtained mixed results that do not clearly support our hypotheses for all nudge scenarios. A surprising result that calls for further work is that by mentioning that a nudge had been implemented through a consultation with the targeted population its acceptability could be lowered.
    Keywords: behavioural public policies,nudges,acceptability,framing,consultation
    Date: 2022
  19. By: Maj-Britt Sterba (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Three determining factors for economic inequality are self-chosen effort, self-chosen risk, and external circumstances. The fairness people assign to inequalities due to effort and external circumstances is widely studied. Insights on the fairness of inequalities due to self-chosen effort and self-chosen risk, however, are lacking. I study a novel experimental setting where inequality is due to a choice over effort-provision and a choice over risk-taking. While the resulting inequality is mostly seen as fair, around 10% of third-party redistribution decisions are in line with a fairness norm that only considers the choice over effort.
    Keywords: Inequality, Fairness, Risk-taking
    JEL: C91 D63 D91
    Date: 2022–06–07
  20. By: Bucher-Koenen, Tabea; Hackethal, Andreas; Kasinger, Johannes; Laudenbach, Christine
    Abstract: Financial literacy affects wealth accumulation, and pension planning plays a key role in this relationship. In a large field experiment, we employ a digital pension aggregation tool to confront a treatment group with a simplified overview of their current pension claims across all pillars of the pension system. We combine survey and administrative bank data to measure the effects on actual saving behavior. Access to the tool decreases pension uncertainty for treated individuals. Average savings increase|especially for the financially less literate. We conclude that simplification of pension information can potentially reduce disparities in pension planning and savings behavior.
    Keywords: saving behavior,retirement planning,digital planning tool
    JEL: D14 G11 G51 G53
    Date: 2022
  21. By: Ao Wang; Shaoda Wang; Xiaoyang Ye
    Abstract: We experimentally test how psychological motivations can impact the processing of purely objective information. We first document that, when the high-stakes College Entrance Exam is held in the month of Ramadan, Chinese Muslim students perform significantly worse. When asked about the impact of fasting, they severely underestimate the cost of taking the exam during Ramadan, even when presented with direct empirical evidence. In the experiment, we randomly offer students reading materials in which well-respected Muslim clerics explain that it is permissible to postpone the fast until after the exam. Consistent with an interpretation of motivated cognition, students who receive the material distort the statistics about the fasting cost significantly less, and become more accepting of delaying the fast for the exam.
    JEL: D91 I21 Z12
    Date: 2022–10
  22. By: Brodeur, Abel; Cook, Nikolai; Heyes, Anthony
    Abstract: Amazon Mechanical Turk is a very widely-used tool in business and economics research, but how trustworthy are results from well-published studies that use it? Analyzing the universe of hypotheses tested on the platform and published in leading journals between 2010 and 2020 we find evidence of widespread p-hacking, publication bias and over-reliance on results from plausibly under-powered studies. Even ignoring questions arising from the characteristics and behaviors of study recruits, the conduct of the research community itself erode substantially the credibility of these studies' conclusions. The extent of the problems vary across the business, economics, management and marketing research fields (with marketing especially afflicted). The problems are not getting better over time and are much more prevalent than in a comparison set of non-online experiments. We explore correlates of increased credibility.
    Date: 2022–08–11
  23. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Judges are human beings. Is their behavior therefore subject to the same effects that psy-chology and behavioral economics have documented for convenience samples, like uni-versity students? Does that fact that they decide on behalf of third parties moderate their behavior? In which ways does the need matter to find a solution when the evidence is in-conclusive and contested? How do the multiple institutional safeguards resulting from procedural law, and the ways how the parties use it, affect judicial decision-making? Many of these questions have been put to the experimental test. The paper provides a systemat-ic overview of the rich evidence, points out gaps that still exist, and discusses methodo-logical challenges.
    Keywords: judicial decision-making, bias, heuristic, attitudinal model, ambiguity, parallel constraint satisfaction, public perception
    JEL: K10 K13 K14
    Date: 2022–08–24
  24. By: Lisette Ibanez (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - UM - Université de Montpellier); Hayet Saadaoui (Université de Sousse)
    Abstract: The economic literature is so far overwhelmingly dedicated to the effect of incidental emotions on virtuous behavior. However, it is not so explicit for destructive behavior and the way it evolves with emotional states. To fill this gap, we explore how incidental emotions impact antisocial behavior in a laboratory experiment. As our vehicle of research, we used the open treatment of the joy-of-destruction mini-game. In addition to that, we elicited players' first and second-order beliefs via an incentivized questionnaire. We find that destructive behavior is driven by two motives: spite (Machiavellian traits) and preemptive retaliation (Expected destruction by partners). Emotional states do not impact destructive behavior directly. However, positive emotions brighten the expectations of other player beliefs on his partner's destruction, and indirectly reduces the willingness to destroy partner's money.
    Date: 2022
  25. By: Alison Andrew; Sonya Krutikova; Gabriela Smarrelli; Hemlata Verma
    Abstract: Striking gender gaps persist in fundamental aspects of human welfare. In India, the setting of this paper, these gaps are particularly large. Interventions often target adolescent girls with the aim of empowering them to make choices that go against the status quo - to remain in school longer or marry later, for example. This approach may inadvertently expose girls, who are often marginalized within their communities, to new risks if it encourages them to violate prevailing gender norms. In this study, we design an experiment to compare the effectiveness of targeting only adolescent girls with an approach that additionally engages with the enforcers of gender norms in the wider community. We find that both arms of the trial led to a reduction in school dropout and early marriage. We see large improvements in girls' mental health but only in the arm which engages with the wider community. Improvements in mental health can be explained by community engagement causing gender norms to become more progressive and causing a reduction in the severity of sanctions that girls face for breaking norms. Both adolescent girls and their mothers perceived these shifts in norms and sanctions. Our results demonstrate that in settings where unequal outcomes are sustained through restrictive gender norms, change in the attitudes and behavior of the enforcers of these norms is critical for achieving meaningful improvements in womens well-being.
    Date: 2022–09–08
  26. By: Jeanne Hagenbach (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Charlotte Saucet (UP1 UFR02 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - École d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: We experimentally study how individuals read strategically-transmitted information when they have preferences over what they will learn. Subjects play disclosure games in which Receivers should interpret messages skeptically. We vary whether the state that Senders communicate about is ego-relevant or neutral for Receivers, and whether skeptical beliefs are aligned or not with what Receivers prefer believing. Skepticism is lower when skeptical beliefs are self-threatening than in neutral settings. When skeptical beliefs are self-serving, skepticism is not enhanced compared to neutral settings. These results demonstrate that individuals' exercise of skepticism depends on the conclusions of skeptical inferences.
    Keywords: Disclosure games,Hard information,Unraveling result,Skepticism,Motivated beliefs
    Date: 2022–07–15
  27. By: Michelle Acampora (University of Zurich); Francesco Capozza (Erasmus University of Rotterdam); Vahid Moghani (Erasmus University of Rotterdam)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of a mental health literacy intervention on the demand for mental health support among university students. We run a field experiment with 2,978 university students from one of the largest Dutch universities. The literacy intervention provides information on the benefits of care-seeking and its potential returns in terms of academic performance. The intervention increases the willingness-to-pay for a mental health app among male respondents. Moreover, the information increases (decreases) the demand for information about coaching (psychological) services. We document that this substitution is concentrated among students with low to moderate anxiety/depressive symptoms, while the students with severe symptoms increase their demand for coaching without reducing their demand for psychological services. An increased perceived effectiveness of low-intensity therapy is likely to be the mechanisms. In a follow-up survey three weeks later, we find that the treated female respondents have improved their mental health. Finally, a model of mental health investment decisions in the presence of (self-)image concerns rationalizes the results.
    Keywords: Mental Health Literacy, Demand for Mental Health Support, Beliefs, Stigma, Survey Experiment
    JEL: C93 D83 D91 I12 I31
    Date: 2022–11–13
  28. By: Arnab K. Basu; Ralitza Dimova; Monnet Gbakou; Romane Viennet
    Abstract: We analyse the effect of parental risk preferences and a novel measure of maternal bargaining power over educational expenses—elicited via lab-in-the-field experiments in rural Côte d'Ivoire—on the educational progression of boys and girls. Data from 135 couples and their children show that the father's risk aversion is negatively associated with school attendance for boys and lowers the likelihood of transition from no schooling to primary schooling for both boys and girls.
    Keywords: Risk attitudes, Female bargaining power, Education, Côte d'Ivoire, Schooling, Risk
    Date: 2022
  29. By: Alexander James (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage); Nathaly Rivera (Department of Economics, University of Chile); Brock Smith (Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State University)
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of cash transfers on voter turnout, leveraging a large-scale natural experiment, the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) program, which provides residents with a check of varying size one month before election day. We find that transfers cause people to vote, especially in gubernatorial elections in which a 10% increase in cash ($180) causes a 1.4 percentage point increase in turnout. Effects are concentrated among racial minorities, theÊyoung, and poor. There is little evidence that transfers reduce logistical costs of voting, but rather operate by reducing voter apathy among the low-income electorate.
    Keywords: Voter Turnout, Civic Engagement, Cash Transfers, Natural-Field Experiment, Democratic Institutions
    JEL: D72 H31 H70 I38
    Date: 2022–10
  30. By: Alexander James (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage); Dilek Uz (Department of Economics, University of Nevada Reno)
    Abstract: What determines demand for government accountability? According to the theory of the rentier state, taxation engages an otherwise acquiescent electorate and increases demand for public transparency, accountability, and fiscal efficiency. This paper tests this theory using an online survey-experiment administered in the United States in which subjects are randomly assigned to one of five informational treatments describing the waste or embezzlement of income or oil-tax revenue. We then assess subject demand for accountability. Several insights emerge. First, intentions matter; embezzlement is punished more severely than incompetence. Second, income-tax embezzlement is punished more severely than oil-tax embezzlement, but only among high-income earners. Third, there is weak evidence that patronage (in the form of an oil-financed tax cut) reduces demand for accountability. Considered jointly, these results suggest an interesting Catch-22 in which a lack of taxation causes government waste and corruption, which is often then used to justify opposition to taxation.
    Keywords: Rentier States, Public Finance, Voter Apathy, Political Resource Curse, Survey Experiment
    JEL: Q38 Q32 D72 H71
    Date: 2022–10
  31. By: Emanuela Macrí; Giuseppe Migali
    Abstract: We run a randomized control trial in an Italian university to study the effect of test anxiety on a high stakes exam. We separate students in two groups and we expose them to two random treatments, silence and music, that influence their level of pre-test anxiety. We measure the variation of test anxiety by observing the difference in individual biomarkers collected before and after the treatments. We find that a reduction in the mean arterial pressure and systolic pressure improve females test scores, and the effect is much stronger if the treatment is silence. For males we do not find any significant effect. Hence, we conclude that test anxiety may help to explain gender differentials in performance.
    Keywords: Test anxiety, biomarkers, RCT, high stakes exam, gender difference
    JEL: I19 I20 I21
    Date: 2022
  32. By: Karun Adusumilli
    Abstract: Acquiring information is expensive. Experimenters need to carefully choose how many units of each treatment to sample and when to stop sampling. In this paper, we study sequential experiments where sampling is costly and a decision-maker aims to determine the best treatment for full scale implementation by (1) adaptively allocating units to two possible treatments, and (2) stopping the experiment when the expected welfare (inclusive of sampling costs) from implementing the chosen treatment is maximized. Working under the diffusion limit, we describe the optimal policies under the minimax regret criterion. We show that under small cost asymptotics, the same policies are also optimal under parametric and non-parametric distributions of outcomes. The minimax optimal sampling rule is just the Neyman allocation; it is independent of sampling costs and does not adapt to previous outcomes. The decision-maker stops sampling when the average difference between the treatment outcomes, multiplied by the number of observations collected until that point, exceeds a specific threshold. We also suggest methods for inference on the treatment effects using the knowledge of stopping times.
    Date: 2022–10
  33. By: Dutcher, Glenn; Saral, Krista
    Abstract: Remote work policies remain controversial mainly because of productivity concerns. The existing literature highlights how the remote setting affects individual productivity yet little is known about how the remote setting affects work in teams - where productivity losses are potentially higher given the additional role of beliefs over partner productivity. Our study closes this gap by examining the effort of individuals randomly assigned to work in either a remote or office setting with partners who are remote and office based. We find that remote workers contribute more effort to the team than office workers, with no differences based on the location of their partners. Office workers incorrectly believe their remote teammates' contributions will be lower and respond by contributing less effort to the team when paired with remote partners versus office partners. Hence, productivity issues in remote teams are driven by the biased beliefs of office workers rather than true productivity differences, which suggests that managerial policies should focus on correcting these incorrect beliefs rather than limiting remote work.
    Keywords: Telecommuting, Remote Work, Team Production, Productivity, Economic Experiments
    JEL: C7 C9 J0
    Date: 2022–11–02
  34. By: Nicolás Figueroa; José-Alberto Guerra; Francisco Silva
    Abstract: In this paper, we study collective information acquisition in groups that make decisions using majority rule. We argue both theoretically and experimentally that the median voter theorem does not apply; in general, the level of information acquired by the group is not equal to the level of information a median voter would like to acquire individually, despite agents having single peaked preferences over information. We find t hat g roups o veracquire o r underacquire information relative to what would have been predicted by the median voter theorem depending on the levels of disagreemnent among the group members both before and after information is acquired. We also discuss the impact of the failure of the median voter theorem on efficiency.
    Keywords: collective learning, median voter theorem, laboratory experiment
    JEL: D71 D83 C92
    Date: 2022–09–30
  35. By: Ida Chak; Karen Croxson; Francesco D’Acunto; Jonathan Reuter; Alberto G. Rossi; Jonathan M. Shaw
    Abstract: Poor debt-management skills lower financial security and wealth accumulation. Because optimal solutions to credit repayment problems depend on neither risk preferences nor beliefs, loan repayment is a prime application for robo-advising. Vulnerable households, though, tend to distrust new technologies and override suggestions that do not align with ingrained heuristics, such as matching the minimum payment on a credit card balance. Lower adoption rates by these groups might increase rather than reduce wealth inequalities. To assess these trade-offs, we design and implement an RCT in which robo-advice for borrower repayment decisions is offered to a set of representative UK consumers. The availability of free robo-advice significantly improves average loan repayment choices. When their willingness to pay is elicited, many subjects report values larger than the monetary benefits of the tool, perhaps due to lower cognitive and psychological costs decision-makers face when making assisted choices. Non-adopters and overriders report lower trust in algorithms at the end of the experiment. We find no evidence of learning from robo-advice, which barely improves subsequent unassisted choices, even when paired with explicit tips. In fact, robo-advice usage crowds out learning-by-doing, which is highest for those who make all choices unassisted.
    JEL: D14 D91 G51 G53
    Date: 2022–11
  36. By: Alex Imas; Minah H. Jung; Silvia Saccardo; Joachim Vosgerau
    Abstract: Forecasters predicting how people change their behavior in response to a treatment or intervention often consider a set of alternatives. In contrast, those who are treated are typically exposed to only one of the treatment alternatives. For example, managers selecting a wage schedule consider a set of alternative wages while employees are hired at a given rate. We show that forecasts made in joint-prediction mode—which considers a set of alternatives—generate predictions that expect substantially larger behavioral responses than those made in separate-prediction mode—which considers the response to only one treatment realization in isolation. Results show the latter to be more accurate in matching people’s actual responses to interventions and treatment changes. We present applications to managerial decision-making and forecasting of scientific results.
    JEL: D0 D9 D90
    Date: 2022–10
  37. By: Lisa Y. Ho; Emily Breza; Marcella Alsan; Abhijit Banerjee; Arun G. Chandrasekhar; Fatima Cody Stanford; Renato Fior; Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham; Kelly Holland; Emily Hoppe; Louis-Maël Jean; Lucy Ogbu-Nwobodo; Benjamin A. Olken; Carlos Torres; Pierre-Luc Vautrey; Erica Warner; Esther Duflo
    Abstract: COVID-19 vaccines are widely available in wealthy countries, yet many people remain unvaccinated. Understanding the effectiveness -- or lack thereof -- of popular vaccination campaign strategies is therefore critical. In this paper, we report results from two studies that tested strategies central to current vaccination outreach: (1) direct communication by health professionals addressing questions about vaccination and (2) efforts to motivate individuals to promote vaccination within their social networks. Near the peak of the Omicron wave, doctor- and nurse-produced videos were disseminated to 17.8 million Facebook users in the US and 11.5 million in France. In both countries, we cannot reject the null of no effect of any of the interventions on any of the outcome variables (first doses - US and France, second doses and boosters - US). We can reject very small effects on first doses during the interventions in both countries (0.16pp - US, 0.021pp - France). In contrast with similar campaigns earlier in the pandemic to encourage health-preserving behaviors, messaging at this stage of the pandemic -- whether aimed at the unvaccinated or those tasked with encouraging others -- did not change vaccination decisions.
    JEL: C93 D83 I12 L86 O33
    Date: 2022–11
  38. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Rima-Maria Rahal (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Legal research is a repeat offender – in the best sense of the term – when it comes to making use of empirical and experimental methods borrowed from other disciplines. We anticipate that the field’s response to developments in eye-tracking research will be no different. Our aim is to aid legal researchers in the uptake of eye-tracking as a method to address questions related to cognitive processes involved in matters of law abidance, legal intervention, and the generation of new legal rules. We discuss methodological challenges of empiri-cally studying thinking and reasoning as the mechanisms underlying behavior, and introduce eye-tracking as our method of choice for obtaining high-resolution traces of visual attention. We delineate advantages and challenges of this methodological approach, and outline which concepts legal researchers can hope to measure with a toy example. We conclude by outlining some of the various research avenues in legal research for which we predict a benefit from adopting eye-tracking to their methodological toolbox.
    Keywords: methods, eye-tracking, cognition, process tracing
    Date: 2022–11–02
  39. By: Thomas Graeber (Harvard Business School); Christopher Roth (University of Cologne and ECONtribute); Florian Zimmermann (University of Bonn and briq)
    Abstract: For most decisions, we rely on information encountered over the course of days, months or years. We consume this information in various forms, including abstract summaries of multiple data points – statistics – and contextualized anecdotes about individual instances – stories. This paper proposes that we do not always have access to the full wealth of our accumulated information, and that the information type –story versus statistic – is a central determinant of selective memory. In controlled experiments we show that the effect of information on beliefs decays rapidly and exhibits a pronounced story-statistic gap: the average impact of stories on beliefs fades by 33% over the course of a day, but by 73% for statistics. Consistent with a model of similarity and interference in memory, prompting contextual associations with statistics improves recall. A series of mechanism experiments highlights that the lower similarity of stories to interfering information is the key driving force be-hind the story-statistic gap.
    Keywords: Memory; Belief Formation; Stories; Narratives; Statistical Information
    Date: 2022–11

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.