nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2022‒12‒05
thirty papers chosen by

  1. The Individual-Team Discontinuity Effect on Institutional Choices: Experimental Evidence in Voluntary Public Goods Provision By Kenju Kamei; Katy Tabero
  2. Eliciting Preferences for Risk and Altruism: Experimental Evidence By Romain Gauriot; Stephanie A. Heger; Robert Slonim
  3. Motivated beliefs, social preferences, and limited liability in financial decision-making By Ahrens, Steffen; Bosch-Rosa, Ciril
  4. The economics of content moderation: Theory and experimental evidence from hate speech on Twitter By Jiménez-Durán, Rafael
  5. The Influence of Payment Method: Do Consumers Pay More with Mobile Payment? By Yizhao Jiang
  6. Recognizing Local Leaders as an Anti-Corruption Strategy: Experimental and Ethnographic Evidence from Uganda By Buntaine, Mark T; Bagabo, Alex; Bangerter, Tanner; Bukuluki, Paul; Daniels, Brigham
  7. Reputation vs Selection Effects in Markets with Informational Asymmetries By Theodore Alysandratos; Sotiris Georganas; Matthias Sutter
  8. Identity and Corruption: A Laboratory Experiment By Cubel, Maria; Papadopoulou, Anastasia; Sanchez-Pages, Santiago
  9. Disinformation for Hire: Examining the Production of False COVID-19 Information By Alain Cohn; Jan Stoop; Hatim A. Rahman
  10. Inequality and cooperation: meta-analytical evidence from Public Good Experiments. By Rémi Suchon; Vincent Théroude
  11. Father of the Bride, or Steel Magnolias? Targeting men, women or both to reduce child marriage By Rachel Cassidy; Anaya Dam; Wendy Janssens; Umair Kiani; Karlijn Morsink
  12. The Selection Effects of Part-Time Work: Experimental Evidence from a Large-Scale Recruitment Drive By Hyuncheol Bryant Kim; Hyunseob Kim; John Zhu
  13. Subjective Performance Evaluation, Influence Activities, and Bureaucratic Work Behavior: Evidence from China By Alain de Janvry; Guojun He; Elisabeth Sadoulet; Shaoda Wang; Qiong Zhang
  14. Race and Redistribution in the United States: An Experimental Analysis By Åkesson, Jesper; Hahn, Robert; Metcalfe, Robert; Rasooly, Itzhak
  15. The restart effect in social dilemmas shows humans are self-interested not altruistic By Burton-Chellew, Maxwell
  16. We Need to Talk about Mechanical Turk: What 22,989 Hypothesis Tests Tell us about 𝒑-Hacking and Publication Bias in Online Experiments By Brodeur, Abel; Cook, Nikolai; Heyes, Anthony
  17. How Communication Makes the Difference between a Cartel and Tacit Collusion: A Machine Learning Approach By Maximilian Andres; Lisa Bruttel; Jana Friedrichsen
  18. Disparities in financial literacy, pension planning, and saving behavior By Bucher-Koenen, Tabea; Hackethal, Andreas; Kasinger, Johannes; Laudenbach, Christine
  19. Comparing input interfaces to elicit belief distributions By Paolo Crosetto; Thomas de Haan
  20. Collective minimum contributions to counteract the ratchet effect in the voluntary provision of public goods By Marius Alt; Carlo Gallier; Martin Kesternich; Bodo Sturm
  21. Nonlinear Pricing Under Regulation: Comparing Cap Rules and Taxes in the Laboratory By Nuño Ledesma José G.; Wu Steven Y.; Balagtas Joseph V.
  22. A Systematic Paradigm for Detecting, Surfacing, and Characterizing Heterogeneous Treatment Effects (HTE) By John Cai; Weinan Wang
  23. Violence and financial decisions: evidence from mobile money in Afghanistan By Blumenstock, Joshua; Callen, Mike; Ghani, Tarek; González, Roberto
  24. Fake News in Social Networks By Aymanns, Christoph; Foerster, Jakob; Georg, Co-Pierre; Weber, Matthias
  25. Farmers' risk preferences in eleven European farming systems: A multi-country replication of Bocquého et al. (2014) By Jens Rommel; Julian Sagebiel; Marieke Cornelia Baaken; Jesús Barreiro-Hurlé; Douadia Bougherara; Luigi Cembalo; Marija Cerjak; Tajana Čop; Mikołaj Czajkowski; María Espinosa-Goded; Julia Höhler; Laure Kuhfuss; Carl-Johan Lagerkvist; Margaux Lapierre; Marianne Lefebvre; Bettina Matzdorf; Edward Ott; Antonio Paparella; Erika Quendler; Macario Rodriguez-Entrena; Christoph Schulze; Tanja Šumrada; Annika Tensi; Sophie Thoyer; Marina Tomić Maksan; Riccardo Vecchio; Marc Willinger; Katarzyna Zagórska
  26. Using preference estimates to customize incentives: an application to Polio vaccination drives in Pakistan By Andreoni, James; Callen, Mike; Hussain, Karrar; Khan, Muhammad Yasir; Sprenger, Charles
  27. Why Public Employees Manipulate Performance Data: Prosocial Impact, Job Stress, and Red Tape By Kroll, Alexander; Vogel, Dominik
  28. To promote responsible trade through conceptual metaphors. Experimental result from fair trade offerings By Julien Bouille; Frédéric Basso; J. Troiville
  29. The smart green nudge: Reducing product returns through enriched digital footprints & causal machine learning By von Zahn, Moritz; Bauer, Kevin; Mihale-Wilson, Cristina; Jagow, Johanna; Speicher, Max; Hinz, Oliver
  30. Growth or Goods: Examining Tax Morale Among Property Owners in Lagos By Wilson, Nicole; Rosenzweig, Leah

  1. By: Kenju Kamei (Faculty of Economics, Keio University); Katy Tabero (Durham University Business School)
    Abstract: A laboratory experiment is used to show that teams as a decision-making unit behave more efficiently than individuals in an institutional setting. Subjects make voting choices over formal versus informal (peer to peer) sanctions in a finitely repeated public goods dilemma. When a formal sanction scheme is selected in their groups, teams vote for deterrent sanction rates much more frequently than individuals. When an informal sanction scheme is selected, teams inflict costly punishment more frequently on low contributors than individuals, thereby reducing the relative frequency of gmisdirected h punishment among teams. As such, teams sustain cooperation surprisingly better than individuals regardless of which scheme is enacted. These behavioral patterns are consistent with the idea of gtruth wins h which proposes that teams achieve better choices than individuals through deliberation and learning. The results underscore the effectiveness of having teams as a decision-making unit in organizations in combating a moral hazard problem, such as free riding.
    Keywords: institution;public goods;experiment;punishment;discontinuity effect
    JEL: C92 D72 H41
    Date: 2022–11–10
  2. By: Romain Gauriot; Stephanie A. Heger; Robert Slonim
    Abstract: We apply the basic lessons and insights learned in the elicitation and estimation of risk and time preferences literature to the literature on social preferences. Following Andersen et al. (2008), we design a laboratory experiment to jointly elicit risk preferences and preferences for altruism. Consistent with theory, we find that the standard simplifying assumptions about risk preferences lead to significantly biased estimates of altruism. This is particularly problematic when comparing altruism across relevant sub-groups, such as gender and wealth, leading to possibly erroneous conclusions about which is the more generous sex and the self-regarding rich.
    Keywords: altruism, risk aversion, experiment
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Ahrens, Steffen; Bosch-Rosa, Ciril
    Abstract: Using a new experimental design, we compare how subjects form beliefs in an investor-client setup under varying degrees of liability. Our results reflect the importance of social preferences when making investment decisions for others. We show that when investors have no liability, those with stronger social preferences are more optimistic about the probability that their investment results in a gain. In other words, we find that social preferences appear to be correlated with motivated beliefs. This finding suggests the existence of cognitive biases in financial decision-making and supports the recent literature on the formation of motivated beliefs under limited liability (Barberis, 2015; Bénabou and Tirole, 2016).
    Keywords: Moral Hazard,Experiment,Motivated Beliefs,Social Preferences
    JEL: C91 D84 G11 G41
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Jiménez-Durán, Rafael
    Abstract: Social media platforms ban users and remove posts to moderate their content. This "speech policing" remains controversial because little is known about its consequences and the costs and benefits for different individuals. I conduct two pre-registered field experiments on Twitter to examine the effect of moderating hate speech on user behavior and welfare. Randomly reporting posts for violating the rules against hateful conduct increases the likelihood that Twitter removes them. Reporting does not affect the activity on the platform of the posts' authors or their likelihood of reposting hate, but it does increase the activity of those attacked by the posts. These results are consistent with a model in which content moderation is a quality decision for platforms that increases user engagement and hence advertising revenue. The second experiment shows that changing users' perceived content removal does not change their willingness to pause using social media, a measure of consumer surplus. My results imply that content moderation does not necessarily moderate users, but it can marginally increase advertising revenue. It can be consistent with both profit and welfare maximization as long as out-of-platform externalities are small.
    Keywords: social media,moderation,report,hate speech,experiment,welfare
    JEL: C93 D12 D85 D90 I31 J15 L82 L86 Z13
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Yizhao Jiang
    Abstract: The introduction of new payment methods has resulted in one of the most significant changes in the way we consume goods and services. In this paper, I present results of a field and a laboratory experiment designed to determine the effect of payment method (cash vs. mobile payment) on spending, and a meta-analysis of previous literature about payment method effect. In the field experiment, I collected cashier receipts from Chinese supermarkets. Compared to cash payment, mobile payments significantly increased the amount purchased and the average amount spent on each item. This effect was found to be particularly large for high price elasticity goods. In the laboratory experiment, participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups that varied with respect to the kind of payment and the kind of incentives, eliminating the potential endogeneity problem from the field experiment. I found that compared to cash, mobile payments lead to a significantly higher willingness to pay (WTP) for consumption. In contrast to others, I found that pain of paying does not moderate the payment method effect; however, other psychological factors were found to work as potential mechanisms for affecting WTP.
    Date: 2022–10
  6. By: Buntaine, Mark T; Bagabo, Alex; Bangerter, Tanner; Bukuluki, Paul; Daniels, Brigham
    Abstract: Conventional anti-corruption approaches focus on detecting and punishing the misuse of public office. Recognizing that these approaches are often ineffective in settings where social norms do not support reporting on and punishing corruption, we implemented a field experiment in Uganda that offered elected, local leaders the chance to earn positive, public recognition for overseeing development projects according to legal guidelines. We then conducted a second field experiment that informed other leaders and members of the public about the award winners. Offering leaders the chance to earn recognition did not improve the management of public projects or change leaders' norms about corruption. Informing other leaders and residents about the award winners also did not change behaviors or attitudes related to corruption. A paired ethnographic study shows that the possibility for recognition generated excitement, but was not able to overcome constraints on local leaders' ability to manage public projects. Our study provides some of the first experimental evidence about using non-financial incentives to improve the performance of public officials. The results imply that non-financial incentives are at best complementary to systemic changes in public financial management, particularly in settings with pervasive corruption and governance challenges.
    Date: 2022–10–14
  7. 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, and IZA Bonn)
    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
  8. By: Cubel, Maria; Papadopoulou, Anastasia; Sanchez-Pages, Santiago
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of identity in voters’ decision to retain corrupt politicians. We build up a model of electoral accountability with pure moral hazard and bring it to the lab. Politicians must decide whether to invest in a public project with uncertain returns or to keep the funds for themselves. Voters observe the outcome of the project but not the action of the politician; if the project is unsuccessful, they do not know whether it was because of bad luck or because the politician embezzled the funds. We run two treatments; a control treatment and a treatment where subjects are assigned an identity using the minimal group paradigm. Our main result is that, upon observing a failed project, voters approve politicians of their same identity group significantly more often than in the control and compared to politicians of a different group. This is partially driven by a belief on same-identity politicians being more honest. We also observe that subjects acting as politicians are much more honest than expected by the equilibrium prediction.
    Date: 2022–09–15
  9. By: Alain Cohn (University of Michigan); Jan Stoop (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Hatim A. Rahman (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: Misinformation is linked to increased social divisions and adverse health outcomes. While most research focuses on the spread of misinformation, we examine the production of misinformation intended to mislead (disinformation). Our field experiment (N=1,200) found, adjusting for circumstantial factors, 87% of workers in an online labor market completed a job requesting them to create a misleading COVID-19 graph. Viewing a disinformation graph from the experiment negatively affected people’s beliefs and behavioral responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased vaccine hesitancy. Using a “wisdom-of-crowds” approach, we highlight how online labor markets can introduce features that may reduce the production of disinformation.
    Keywords: disinformation, field experiment, online labor markets, immoral work
    JEL: C93 D91 J22
    Date: 2022–11–20
  10. By: Rémi Suchon; Vincent Théroude
    Abstract: We build a dataset based on 23 experiments that introduce heterogeneous endowments into linear public good games. We use it to measure the effect of inequality on cooperation. This method allows an investigation of a large panel of inequality scenarios, with maximum representativeness in terms of the strength of inequality and design features. It offers the possibility to study the effect of the strength of inequality, a distinctive feature of our paper compared to the past experimental literature which has focused mainly on the existence of inequality. We also explore the contribution gaps between the relatively rich and relatively poor in heterogeneous groups. We discuss the interaction of time (dynamics) and punishment with inequality. We find that not only the presence, but also the strength of inequality has a negative impact on cooperation, but that the marginal effect becomes less negative as the level of inequality increases. We find that the rich contribute more than the poor in absolute amounts, while the poor contribute more as a proportion of their endowment. Both these gaps increase with the strength of inequality. Finally, punishment strongly attenuates the effect of inequality on aggregate cooperation, but has contrasted effects on the contribution gaps between the rich and the poor. There is no significant effect of inequality on the dynamics of contributions.
    Keywords: Public good game, cooperation, inequality, meta-analysis.
    JEL: C92 H41 D91
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Rachel Cassidy (World Bank); Anaya Dam (Utrecht University); Wendy Janssens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Umair Kiani (Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan); Karlijn Morsink (Utrecht University)
    Abstract: Interventions that aim to change outcomes for women and children typically target women. Yet in contexts where men are the dominant decision-makers, male preferences and beliefs may remain the binding constraint. We ask – when we target men, women or both, with the same intervention in the same context – how their information and beliefs about private and social returns, versus their power to change household outcomes, trade off. We conduct a cluster-randomized control trial of an edutainment intervention aimed at delaying marriage of adolescent children in rural Pakistan. Our treatment arms target men and boys, women and girls, or both. We find that targeting men, or both genders jointly, significantly reduces child marriage of girls in targeted households. Underlying this, we show that whenever men are treated, they focus on private returns to the household; whenever women are treated, they focus on both private and social returns; and only when both genders are treated jointly, does the focus on social returns also become salient to men
    Keywords: Targeting, Gender, Child Marriage, Edutainment, Field Experiment
    Date: 2022–11–21
  12. By: Hyuncheol Bryant Kim; Hyunseob Kim; John Zhu
    Abstract: We implement a field experiment to examine how part-time work attracts applicants with different quality and productivity levels than full-time work. In a large-scale recruitment drive for a data-entry position in Ethiopia, either a part-time or full-time job opportunity was randomly offered across villages. We find that the part-time work attracts a less qualified pool of applicants with a stronger preference for short work hours, who in turn exhibit lower productivity, all relative to the full-time work. Our preferred estimates show that this selection effect on productivity may explain up to half of the typical part-time wage penalty. A simple conceptual framework demonstrates that a lack of high quality potential applicants with a strong preference for short work hours could explain the experimental evidence. The results have implications for the selection effects of alternative work arrangements and for the gender pay gap.
    Keywords: part-time work; alternative work arrangements; self-selection bias; labor productivity; wage-hour relation
    JEL: J22 J24 O15 M51
    Date: 2022–10–25
  13. By: Alain de Janvry; Guojun He; Elisabeth Sadoulet; Shaoda Wang; Qiong Zhang
    Abstract: Subjective performance evaluation is widely used by firms and governments to provide work incentives. However, delegating evaluation power to local leadership could induce influence activities: employees might devote too much effort to impressing/pleasing their evaluator, relative to working toward the goals of the organization itself. We conduct a large-scale randomized field experiment among Chinese local civil servants to study the existence and implications of influence activities. We find that civil servants do engage in evaluator-specific influence to affect evaluation outcomes, partly in the form of reallocating work efforts toward job tasks that are more important and observable to the evaluator. Importantly, we show that introducing uncertainty about the evaluator’s identity discourages evaluator-specific influence activities and improves bureaucratic work performance.
    JEL: D73 M12
    Date: 2022–11
  14. By: Åkesson, Jesper; Hahn, Robert; Metcalfe, Robert; Rasooly, Itzhak
    Abstract: Scholars have suggested that White American support for welfare is related to beliefs about the racial composition of welfare recipients. While a host of observational studies lend credence to this view, it has not yet been tested using the tools of randomized inference. In this study, we do this by conducting two incentive-compatible experiments (n = 9,775) in which different participants are randomly given different signals about the share of welfare recipients who identify as Black and White. Our analysis yields four main findings. First, 86% of respondents greatly overestimate the share of welfare recipients who are Black, with the average respondent overestimating this by almost a factor of two. Second, White support for welfare is inversely related to the proportion of welfare recipients who are Black—a causal claim that we establish using treatment assignment as an instrument for beliefs about the racial composition of welfare recipients. Third, just making White participants think about the racial composition of welfare recipients reduces their support for welfare. Fourth, providing White respondents with accurate information about the racial composition of welfare recipients (relative to not receiving any information) does not significantly influence their support for welfare.
    Date: 2022–09–06
  15. By: Burton-Chellew, Maxwell
    Abstract: Do economic games show evidence of altruistic or self-interested motivations in humans? A huge body of empirical work has found contrasting results. While participants routinely make costly decisions that help strangers, consistent with an evolutionary novel form of altruism, participants also typically learn to pay fewer costs with experience, consistent with self-interested individuals adapting to an unfamiliar environment. Key to resolving this debate is explaining the famous ‘restart effect’, a puzzling enigma whereby failing cooperation in experiments can be briefly rescued by a surprise restart. Here we show that this canonical result, which is often assumed to be evidence of altruism, can be entirely removed, replaced, or even reversed depending on experimental design. Specifically, the restart effect (1) disappears when reputational benefits to cooperation are fully removed, consistent with strategically motivated, self-interested, cooperation; (2) can be replaced by an irrational restart that benefits no-one if individuals are grouped with computers, consistent with confusion; and (3) can even be reversed, so that contributions gradually increase rather than decrease towards the end of the game, if the contributions of the computerized groupmates are programmed accordingly. These results show that the restart effect is driven by a mixture of self-interested and irrational beliefs about the game’s payoffs and not altruism. Consequently, our results suggest that economic games have often been measuring self-interested but confused behaviours and reject the idea that conventional theories of evolution cannot explain the results of economic games.
    Date: 2022–06–12
  16. By: Brodeur, Abel; Cook, Nikolai; Heyes, Anthony
    Abstract: Amazon's 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 erodes 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.
    Keywords: online crowd-sourcing platforms,Amazon Mechanical Turk,p-hacking,publication bias,statistical power,research credibility
    JEL: B41 C13 C40 C90
    Date: 2022
  17. By: Maximilian Andres; Lisa Bruttel; Jana Friedrichsen
    Abstract: This paper sheds new light on the role of communication for cartel formation. Using machine learning to evaluate free-form chat communication among firms in a laboratory experiment, we identify typical communication patterns for both explicit cartel formation and indirect attempts to collude tacitly. We document that firms are less likely to communicate explicitly about price fixing and more likely to use indirect messages when sanctioning institutions are present. This effect of sanctions on communication reinforces the direct cartel-deterring effect of sanctions as collusion is more difficult to reach and sustain without an explicit agreement. Indirect messages have no, or even a negative, effect on prices.
    Keywords: cartel, collusion, communication, machine learning, experiment
    JEL: C92 D43 L41
    Date: 2022
  18. 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
  19. By: Paolo Crosetto (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Thomas de Haan
    Abstract: We develop an intuitive, Click-and-Drag interface to elicit continuous belief distributions of any shape. We test this interface against the state of the art in the experimental literature-a text-based interface and multiple sliders-and in the online forecasting industry-a distribution-manipulation interface similar to the one used at Metaculus, a crowd-forecasting website. By means of a pre-registered experiment on Amazon Mechanical Turk we collect quantitative data on the convergence speed and accuracy of reported beliefs in a series of induced-value scenarios varying by granularity, shape, and time constraints. We also collect subjective data on ease of use, frustration and understanding. Results show that the click-and-drag interface outperforms all others by accuracy and speed, and is self-reported as being more intuitive and less frustrating than other interfaces, confirming our pre-registered hypothesis. Besides pre-registration, we report that the click-and-drag interface generates the least drop-out rate from the task, and scores best in a sentiment analysis of an open-ended general question. Further, we use the interfaces to collect homegrown beliefs on temperature in New York City in 2022 and 2042. On average, all subjects overshoot the real temperature for 2022 by about 2°F, and all anticipate further global warming in the order of 2.3°F; these forecasts are by and large not impacted by the interface used to elicit them. We provide a free and open source, ready to use oTree and Qualtrics plugin of our click-and-drag and all other tested interfaces available at
    Keywords: Belief elicitation,Forecasting,Scoring rules,interfaces
    Date: 2022–10–16
  20. By: Marius Alt (European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy); Carlo Gallier (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy); Martin Kesternich (ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, the University of Kassel, Germany); Bodo Sturm (ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, Germany)
    Abstract: We experimentally test a theoretically promising amendment to the ratchet-up mechanism of the Paris Agreement. The ratchet-up mechanism prescribes that parties’ commitments to the global response to climate change cannot decrease over time and our results confirm that its effect is detrimental. We design a public goods game to study whether an amendment to the mechanism that stipulates all agents to contribute at least a collective minimum to the public good which is based on the principle of the lowest common denominator promotes cooperation. We find that binding collective minimum contributions improve the effectiveness of the ratchet-up mechanism. Non-binding minimum contributions, in contrast, do not foster cooperation. Our data reveal conditional cooperative dynamics to explain the difference. If other participants contribute less than the collective minimum contributions, even initially cooperative participants start to negatively reciprocate such a form of non-compliance by contributing less.
    Keywords: Islam, Gender Equality, Ramadan, Social Norms, Illegal Behavior.
    JEL: C72 C92 H41
    Date: 2022–11
  21. By: Nuño Ledesma José G.; Wu Steven Y.; Balagtas Joseph V.
    Abstract: We report an experiment contrasting the impacts of a tax and a cap rule in a single-product market with two privately-informed buyers. We discuss the effects on choice set and consumer surplus. The policy environment varies across treatments. With regulations, we aim to halve the size of the unregulated large option. Compared to the regulation-free baseline, sellers facing a cap attempt to serve the buyers separately with similar frequency. With a tax, subjects are less likely to offer menus with two alternatives. We find that consumer surplus remains unaffected under a cap rule, while buyers with high appreciation for the product see their surplus diminished by the tax. These results have implications for policy making in the food retail industry and others where authorities aim to regulate consumption while protecting consumer surplus.
    Keywords: Experiment;Non linear pricing;portion cap rule;quantity restriction;tax
    JEL: C9 D82 L51
    Date: 2022–10
  22. By: John Cai; Weinan Wang
    Abstract: To effectively optimize and personalize treatments, it is necessary to investigate the heterogeneity of treatment effects. With the wide range of users being treated over many online controlled experiments, the typical approach of manually investigating each dimension of heterogeneity becomes overly cumbersome and prone to subjective human biases. We need an efficient way to search through thousands of experiments with hundreds of target covariates and hundreds of breakdown dimensions. In this paper, we propose a systematic paradigm for detecting, surfacing and characterizing heterogeneous treatment effects. First, we detect if treatment effect variation is present in an experiment, prior to specifying any breakdowns. Second, we surface the most relevant dimensions for heterogeneity. Finally, we characterize the heterogeneity beyond just the conditional average treatment effects (CATE) by studying the conditional distributions of the estimated individual treatment effects. We show the effectiveness of our methods using simulated data and empirical studies.
    Date: 2022–11
  23. By: Blumenstock, Joshua; Callen, Mike; Ghani, Tarek; González, Roberto
    Abstract: We provide evidence that violence reduces the adoption and use of mobile money in three separate empirical settings in Afghanistan. First, we spatially merge nationwide administrative data on 96,000 violent events with the universe of mobile money transactions and find that users exposed to nearby violence reduce their mobile money account balances and conduct fewer transactions. Second, using high-frequency panel survey data from a field experiment, we find that subjects expecting violence are half as likely to respond to a randomized mobile money supply shock as those not expecting violence. Finally, analyzing financial survey data from nineteen of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, we find that individuals expecting violence hold more cash. Collectively, our evidence suggests that violence can impede the growth of formal financial systems.
    Keywords: violence; financial development; mobile money
    JEL: O17 O33 D14
    Date: 2022
  24. By: Aymanns, Christoph; Foerster, Jakob; Georg, Co-Pierre; Weber, Matthias (University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: We propose multi-agent reinforcement learning as a new method for modeling fake news in social networks. This method allows us to model human behavior in social networks both in unaccustomed populations and in populations that have adapted to the presence of fake news. In particular the latter is challenging for existing methods. We find that a fake-news attack is more effective if it targets highly connected people and people with weaker private information. Attacks are more effective when the disinformation is spread across several agents than when the disinformation is concentrated with more intensity on fewer agents. Furthermore, fake news spread less well in balanced networks than in clustered networks. We test a part of these findings in a human-subject experiment. The experimental evidence provides support for the predictions from the model. This suggests that our model is suitable to analyze the spread of fake news in social networks.
    Date: 2022–07–21
  25. By: Jens Rommel (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences); Julian Sagebiel (German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig); Marieke Cornelia Baaken (Department of Environmental Politics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ); Jesús Barreiro-Hurlé (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)); Douadia Bougherara (CEE-M, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INRAE, Institut Agro); Luigi Cembalo (Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II); Marija Cerjak (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb); Tajana Čop (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb); Mikołaj Czajkowski (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences); María Espinosa-Goded (Department of Economic Analysis and Political Economy, Faculty of Economics and Business Sciences, University of Sevilla); Julia Höhler (Business Economics Group, Wageningen University & Research); Laure Kuhfuss (Social Economic and Geographical Sciences Department, the James Hutton Institute); Carl-Johan Lagerkvist (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences); Margaux Lapierre (CEE-M, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INRAE, Institut Agro); Marianne Lefebvre (GRANEM n° 7456, Université d’Angers); Bettina Matzdorf (Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg and Institute of Environmental Planning, Leibniz University of Hannover); Edward Ott (Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)); Antonio Paparella (Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II); Erika Quendler (Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research); Macario Rodriguez-Entrena (WEARE - Water, Environmental, and Agricultural Resources Economics Research Group, Universidad de Córdoba); Christoph Schulze (Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)); Tanja Šumrada (Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana); Annika Tensi (Business Economics Group, Wageningen University & Research); Sophie Thoyer (CEE-M, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INRAE, Institut Agro); Marina Tomić Maksan (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb); Riccardo Vecchio (Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II); Marc Willinger (CEE-M, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INRAE, Institut Agro); Katarzyna Zagórska (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences)
    Abstract: We replicate Bocquého et al. (2014), who used multiple price lists to investigate risk preferences of 107 French farmers. We collect new data from 1,430 participants in eleven European farming systems. In agreement with the original study, farmers’ risk preferences are best described by Cumulative Prospect Theory. Structural model estimates show that farmers in the new samples are, on average, less loss averse and more susceptible to probability distortion than in the original study. Explorative analyses indicate differences between estimation approaches, as well as heterogeneity between and within samples. We discuss challenges in replications of economic experiments with farmers across farming contexts.
    Keywords: Risk Attitudes, Agriculture, Cumulative Prospect Theory, Expected Utility Theory, Artefactual Field Experiment
    JEL: D81 D90 Q12
    Date: 2022
  26. By: Andreoni, James; Callen, Mike; Hussain, Karrar; Khan, Muhammad Yasir; Sprenger, Charles
    Abstract: We use estimates of time preferences to customize incentives for polio vaccinators in Lahore, Pakistan. We measure time preferences using intertemporal allocations of effort, and use these estimates to construct individually-tailored incentives. We evaluate the effect of matching contract terms to discounting parameters in a subsequent experiment with the same vaccinators. Our tailored policy is compared to alternatives that either rely on atheoretic reduced-form relationships for policy guidance or apply the same policy to all individuals. We find that contracts tailored to individual discounting outperform this range of policy alternatives.
    Keywords: structural estimation; out-of-sample prediction; discounting; present bias
    JEL: D10 D30
    Date: 2022
  27. By: Kroll, Alexander; Vogel, Dominik (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: While research on the dysfunctional uses of performance data is growing, we are still in search of theories that go beyond system-specific explanations and address data manipulation behavior at the level of the employee. In this article, we conceptualize different gaming responses to performance systems and test a model of performance cheating that emphasizes the critical role of employees’ prosocial impact, their job stress, and organizations’ red tape. We screen through a sample of almost 10,000 potential subjects and identify 964 public employees who work with performance data. Conducting a list experiment, a technique known to yield unbiased ratings of sensitive behaviors, we find that all three factors tend to reinforce performance cheating among public employees. The article contributes to the extension of causal chains in performance gaming theory via the inclusion of factors that have proven to be influential in behavioral research.
    Date: 2021–02–21
  28. By: Julien Bouille (LIRIS - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de recherche en innovations sociétales - UR2 - Université de Rennes 2 - UNIV-RENNES - Université de Rennes); Frédéric Basso (LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); J. Troiville (CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - UNIV-RENNES - Université de Rennes - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The present research introduces the strengths of conceptual metaphors (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980) to promote responsible trade products and services as well as their stakeholders and underpinning fundamental principles. We suggest that the use of conceptual metaphors tends to foster the consumer appropriation of its various related societal issues. We then report the results of an experiment testing the impact of conceptual metaphors on consumers' attitudes towards fair trade. The results show that some of these metaphors positively influence the perceived societal importance of fair trade and the willingness to pay for a fairly traded product. The findings of this study on metaphors are discussed from theoretical and managerial standpoints, and more specifically for socially conscious stakeholders involved in various linguistic and marketing contexts.
    Abstract: Cette recherche suggère que les métaphores conceptuelles aident à la valorisation du commerce responsable. Les résultats d'une expérimentation testant l'impact de métaphores conceptuelles sur les attitudes des consommateurs vis-à-vis du commerce équitable sont rapportés. Ils montrent que certaines métaphores exercent une influence sur l'importance sociétale perçue du commerce équitable et la disposition à payer. Ces enseignements sont discutés aux plans théorique et managérial pour les acteurs des filières responsables opérant dans des contextes marketing variés.
    Keywords: conceptual metaphors,responsible trade and consumption,fair trade,cognitive linguistics,experimental design,métaphores conceptuelles,commerce et consommation responsables,commerce équitable,linguistique cognitive,expérimentation
    Date: 2021
  29. By: von Zahn, Moritz; Bauer, Kevin; Mihale-Wilson, Cristina; Jagow, Johanna; Speicher, Max; Hinz, Oliver
    Abstract: With free delivery of products virtually being a standard in E-commerce, product returns pose a major challenge for online retailers and society. For retailers, product returns involve significant transportation, labor, disposal, and administrative costs. From a societal perspective, product returns contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and packaging disposal and are often a waste of natural resources. Therefore, reducing product returns has become a key challenge. This paper develops and validates a novel smart green nudging approach to tackle the problem of product returns during customers' online shopping processes. We combine a green nudge with a novel data enrichment strategy and a modern causal machine learning method. We first run a large-scale randomized field experiment in the online shop of a German fashion retailer to test the efficacy of a novel green nudge. Subsequently, we fuse the data from about 50,000 customers with publicly-available aggregate data to create what we call enriched digital footprints and train a causal machine learning system capable of optimizing the administration of the green nudge. We report two main findings: First, our field study shows that the large-scale deployment of a simple, low-cost green nudge can significantly reduce product returns while increasing retailer profits. Second, we show how a causal machine learning system trained on the enriched digital footprint can amplify the effectiveness of the green nudge by "smartly" administering it only to certain types of customers. Overall, this paper demonstrates how combining a low-cost marketing instrument, a privacy-preserving data enrichment strategy, and a causal machine learning method can create a win-win situation from both an environmental and economic perspective by simultaneously reducing product returns and increasing retailers' profits.
    Keywords: Product returns,Green Nudging,Causal Machine Learning,Enriched Digital Footprint
    Date: 2022
  30. By: Wilson, Nicole; Rosenzweig, Leah
    Abstract: What motivates property owners to pay taxes in places where state enforcement is weak? Using an online experiment among property owners in Lagos, Nigeria, we evaluate the extent to which different appeals increase respondents’ tax morale, their willingness to pay taxes if there is no enforcement, and attitudes about government enforcement of tax collection. Respondents were randomly assigned to read either a vignette emphasising the role of property tax revenue in contributing to economic growth and increased property values, or one highlighting that tax revenue is used for public goods and services benefiting all residents. The growth message made respondents significantly more favourable towards enforcement of tax collection, but there was no difference in willingness to pay between the two treatment conditions. We also look at heterogeneity across class identification and attitudes toward redistribution, and find that support for a more equal society reduces the advantage of the growth appeal.
    Keywords: Governance,
    Date: 2022

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