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

  1. Declaring income versus declaring taxes in tax compliance experiments: Does the design of laboratory experiments affect the results? By Stephan Muehlbacher; Andre Hartmann; Erich Kirchler; James Alm
  2. Is patience malleable via educational intervention? Evidence from field experiments By Kaiser, Tim; Menkhoff, Lukas; Oberrauch, Luis
  3. Costly Norm Enforcement through Sanctions and Rewards: An Experiment with Colombian Future Police Officers By Mantilla, Cesar; Gelvez Ferreira, Juan David Gelvez; Nieto, Maria Paula
  4. An Arab, an Asian, and a Black Guy Walk into a Job Interview: Ethnic Stigma in Hiring after Controlling for Social Class By Van Borm, Hannah; Lippens, Louis; Baert, Stijn
  5. The economic psychology of climate change: An experimental study on risk preferences and cooperation By Gruener, Sven
  6. Reputation vs Selection Effects in Markets With Informational Asymmetries By Alysandratos, Theodore; Georganas, Sotiris; Sutter, Matthias
  7. A Novel Experimental Test of Truthful Bidding in Second-Price Auctions with Real Objects By Rosato, Antonio; Tymula, Agnieszka
  8. Stability of the Representativeness Heuristic: Further Evidence from Choices Between Lottery Tickets By Michał Krawczyk; Joanna Rachubik
  9. Contextual Bandits in a Survey Experiment on Charitable Giving: Within-Experiment Outcomes versus Policy Learning By Susan Athey; Undral Byambadalai; Vitor Hadad; Sanath Kumar Krishnamurthy; Weiwen Leung; Joseph Jay Williams
  10. Motivated Belief Updating and Rationalization of Information By Drobner, Christoph; Goerg, Sebastian J.
  11. A Note on Motivated Cognition and Discriminatory Beliefs By Lasse S. Stötzer; Florian Zimmermann
  12. Empirical Evaluation of Broader Job Search Requirements for Unemployed Workers By van der Klaauw, Bas; Vethaak, Heike
  13. Revenue Drift, Incentives, and Effort Allocation in Social Enterprises By Vladasel, Theodor; Parker, Simon C.; Sloof, Randolph; van Praag, Mirjam C.
  14. Keep Calm and Carry On: The Short- vs. Long-Run Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on (Academic) Performance By Cassar, Lea; Fischer, Mira; Valero, Vanessa
  15. Incentivizing stated preference elicitation with choice-matching in the field By Ewa Zawojska; Michał Krawczyk
  16. A nation-wide experiment: fuel tax cuts and almost free public transport for three months in Germany -- Report 5 Insights into four months of mobility tracking By Lennart Adenaw; David Ziegler; Nico Nachtigall; Felix Gotzler; Allister Loder; Markus B. Siewert; Markus Lienkamp; Klaus Bogenberger
  17. Are we on the same page? The moderating role of value congruence in charismatic signaling-charismatic effects relationship By Wilms, Rafael; Dahan, Clara Seif el
  18. Insensitive Investors By Constantin Charles; Cary D. Frydman; Mete Kilic
  19. It Makes a Village: Allomaternal Care and Prosociality By Alessandra Cassar; Alejandrina Cristia; Pauline Grosjean; Sarah Walker
  20. Pension Reform Preferences in Germany: Does Information Matter? By Jana Schuetz; Silke Uebelmesser; Ronja Baginski; Carmela Aprea
  21. Statistical Discrimination Against Underrepresented Groups By Hagmann, David; Sajons, Gwendolin; Tinsley, Catherine
  22. Social Distancing and Risk Taking: Evidence from a Team Game Show By Jean-Marc Bourgeon; José De Sousa; Alexis Noir-Luhalwe
  23. (Dis)Trust in the Aftermath of Sexual Violence: Evidence from Sri Lanka By Alina Greiner; Maximilian Filsinger
  24. Preferences for Sin Taxes By Tobias König; Renke Schmacker

  1. By: Stephan Muehlbacher (Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences); Andre Hartmann (University of Vienna); Erich Kirchler (University of Vienna); James Alm (Tulane University)
    Abstract: Laboratory experiments are frequently criticised, in part because of the sensitivity of the results to specific features of the design. This paper addresses an important question regarding the key aspect of the experimental environment: How should the dependent variable – participants’ choices – be operationalised? For the specific context of laboratory research on income tax compliance, we compare the effects of the two most common operationalisation types: the declaration of gross income versus the declaration of tax payment. It is found that compliance is higher when participants indicate their tax payment than when they declare their income. It is also discovered that the effects of the three policy parameters of the economic model (tax rate, audit probability, and fine rate) are stronger when participants declare their taxes than when they declare their income. These results are relevant for interpreting prior and future experimental evidence on tax compliance and can explain some contradictory previous findings. More broadly, this study suggests that the results of laboratory experiments may depend on specific features of the experimental design, which proposes a strong need for more systematic methodological research.
    Keywords: Laboratory experiments; experimental design; tax compliance; tax rate; audit probability; fine rate
    JEL: B41 C90 C91 H26
    Date: 2022–11
  2. By: Kaiser, Tim; Menkhoff, Lukas; Oberrauch, Luis
    Abstract: We study the malleability of patience via educational interventions by aggregating evidence from earlier experiments in a meta-analysis and by conducting a field experiment. We find that the average effect of interventions on patience is positive but uncertain. The age of students explains a large share of between-study heterogeneity in treatment effects. Thus, we conduct a field experiment covering both youths and adults in Uganda. We find heterogenous effects by age: adults’ patience measured in incentivized tasks is unaffected by the intervention after 15 months follow-up, but we observe large effects on patience and estimated discount factors for youth.
    Keywords: Patience,time-preferences,malleability,field experiment,educational intervention
    JEL: C93 I21 D15
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Mantilla, Cesar; Gelvez Ferreira, Juan David Gelvez; Nieto, Maria Paula
    Abstract: The increasing lack of trust in the police around the globe reduces their indirect benefits, related to citizens' feelings of safety and beliefs that the police are "doing something'' to fight crime. We explore whether this generalized lack of trust among citizens correlates with their beliefs' accuracy regarding fairness norm enforcement in a lab-in-the-field experiment conducted with future police officers. Two hundred nine police students played a dictator-like game with costly third-party reallocation. Participants acting as a third party could use one-fourth of their endowment to either decrease (i.e., sanction) or increase (i.e., reward) the highest payoff among the two other players, the initial allocator and the transfer's recipient. We randomized whether a police student or a civilian was the recipient. Police students transfer roughly 40% of their endowment, regardless of the recipient's identity. They are likely to incur costly reallocations between 55 and 75 percent of the time, especially when initial allocations are more inegalitarian and the recipient is also a police student. Moreover, when police students interact only with in-group members, they are more likely to reward, whereas they are more likely to sanction if the transfer's recipient is a civilian. The subsequent prediction survey, conducted with over 200 civilians, reveals that respondents expected some in-group favoritism in the transfer and in the likelihood to reward. Although the probability of sanctioning was high, respondents overestimated the likelihood that police students engage in costly sanctions. Incentives and reporting a higher trust in the police are correlated with higher predictive accuracy.
    Date: 2022–08–31
  4. By: Van Borm, Hannah (Ghent University); Lippens, Louis (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    Abstract: Over the last decades, researchers have found compelling evidence of hiring discrimination toward ethnic minorities based on field experiments using fictitious job applications. Despite increasing efforts to discover why ethnic minorities experience hiring penalties, the academic world has not yet found a satisfying answer. With this study, we aim to close this gap in the literature by conducting a state-of-the-art scenario experiment with genuine American recruiters. In the experiment, we ask recruiters to assess fictitious job applicants of various race-ethnicities but consistent social class. The applicants are rated on 22 statements related to the dominant explanations for ethnic discrimination in hiring that the models of taste-based and statistical discrimination have offered. We find that different race-ethnicity groups are evaluated rather similarly, except for Asian Americans, who are perceived to have better intellectual abilities and organizational skills and to be more ambitious, motivated, efficient, and open. These results suggest that the hiring discrimination found in previous experimental research might be overestimated because part of the reported hiring penalty may be attributed to aspects other than race-ethnicity.
    Keywords: hiring, ethnic discrimination, statistical discrimination, social class, stigma
    JEL: J71 J15 J24
    Date: 2022–11
  5. By: Gruener, Sven
    Abstract: Climate change is one of the main challenges of our time. This paper examines how anticipated consequences of climate change influence individual and collective decision-making. Using a controlled information intervention experiment, we find that farmers in Germany – who are likely to be affected by climate change – increase their willingness to invest in risky assets but their cooperation behavior remains largely unaffected. In contrast to previous experiments on information provision, our results suggest that emotions cannot explain subjects’ behaviors. We argue that reminding of anticipated consequences of climate change can reactivate individuals’ memories that actions are necessary and, in turn, overcome inertia (JEL C91, C92, D01, D81, D91, H41, Q12, Q54).
    Date: 2022–08–29
  6. By: Alysandratos, Theodore (Heidelberg University); Georganas, Sotiris (Royal Holloway, University of London); Sutter, Matthias (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    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
  7. By: Rosato, Antonio; Tymula, Agnieszka
    Abstract: We present experimental evidence on bidding in second-price auctions with real objects. Our novel design, combining a second-price auction with an individual-specific binary choice task based on the outcome of the auction, allows us to directly identify over and under-bidding. We analyze bidding in real-object and induced-value auctions, and find significant deviations from truthful bidding in both. Overall, under-bidding is somewhat more prevalent than over-bidding; yet, the latter has a bigger magnitude, especially with induced values. At the individual level, we find no relation between the tendency to deviate from truthful bidding in induced-value vs. real-object auctions.
    Keywords: Second-price Auctions; Overbidding; Consumer Surplus.
    JEL: D44 D81 D91 D92
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Michał Krawczyk (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences); Joanna Rachubik (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences,)
    Abstract: The representativeness heuristic (RH) proposes that people expect even a small sample to have similar characteristics to its parent population. One domain in which it appears to operate is the preference for combinations of numbers on lottery tickets: most players seem to avoid very characteristic, “unrepresentative” combinations, e.g., only containing very low numbers. Likewise, many players may avoid betting on a recently drawn combination because it would seem particularly improbable to be drawn again. We confirm both of these tendencies in a lab experiment and corroborate their external validity in two field experiments. However, we only find a weak link between these two choices: the same people do not necessarily exhibit the two biases. In this sense, there is little consistent manifestation of the RH across different tasks at the individual level. Nevertheless, there are some links related to rationality across the two choices – people who are willing to forgo a monetary payment to get the preferred ticket in one task are also willing to do it in the other. We find such preferences to be related to the misperception of probabilities and providing intuitive, incorrect answers in the Cognitive Reflection Test.
    Keywords: Decision making under risk, Lottery choice, Perception of randomness, Number preferences in lotteries, Representativeness heuristic
    JEL: C93 D01 D81 D91
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Susan Athey; Undral Byambadalai; Vitor Hadad; Sanath Kumar Krishnamurthy; Weiwen Leung; Joseph Jay Williams
    Abstract: We design and implement an adaptive experiment (a ``contextual bandit'') to learn a targeted treatment assignment policy, where the goal is to use a participant's survey responses to determine which charity to expose them to in a donation solicitation. The design balances two competing objectives: optimizing the outcomes for the subjects in the experiment (``cumulative regret minimization'') and gathering data that will be most useful for policy learning, that is, for learning an assignment rule that will maximize welfare if used after the experiment (``simple regret minimization''). We evaluate alternative experimental designs by collecting pilot data and then conducting a simulation study. Next, we implement our selected algorithm. Finally, we perform a second simulation study anchored to the collected data that evaluates the benefits of the algorithm we chose. Our first result is that the value of a learned policy in this setting is higher when data is collected via a uniform randomization rather than collected adaptively using standard cumulative regret minimization or policy learning algorithms. We propose a simple heuristic for adaptive experimentation that improves upon uniform randomization from the perspective of policy learning at the expense of increasing cumulative regret relative to alternative bandit algorithms. The heuristic modifies an existing contextual bandit algorithm by (i) imposing a lower bound on assignment probabilities that decay slowly so that no arm is discarded too quickly, and (ii) after adaptively collecting data, restricting policy learning to select from arms where sufficient data has been gathered.
    Date: 2022–11
  10. By: Drobner, Christoph (Technical University of Munich); Goerg, Sebastian J. (Technische Universität München)
    Abstract: We study belief updating about relative performance in an ego-relevant task. Manipulating the perceived ego-relevance of the task, we show that subjects update their beliefs optimistically because they derive direct utility flows from holding positive beliefs. This finding provides a behavioral explanation why and how overconfidence can evolve in the presence of objective information. Moreover, we document that subjects, who received more bad signals, downplay the ego-relevance of the task. Taken together, these findings suggest that subjects use two alternative strategies to protect their ego when presented with objective information.
    Keywords: motivated beliefs, optimistic belief updating, overconfidence, direct belief utility, Bayes' rule, ex-post rationalization
    JEL: C91 D83 D84
    Date: 2022–10
  11. By: Lasse S. Stötzer; Florian Zimmermann
    Abstract: In this note, we provide evidence that motivated reasoning can be a source of discriminatory beliefs. We employ a representative survey experiment where we exogenously manipulate the presence of a need for justification of anti-social behavior towards an out-group. We provide causal evidence that survey participants devalue members of an out-group to justify taking away money from the group. Our results speak to a long-standing debate on the causes of racism and discrimination and suggest an important role of motivated cognition.
    Keywords: discrimination, stereotypes, racism, motivated reasoning, beliefs
    JEL: D01
    Date: 2022
  12. By: van der Klaauw, Bas (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Vethaak, Heike (University of Leiden)
    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. By: Vladasel, Theodor (Pompeu Fabra University); Parker, Simon C. (Western University, Canada); Sloof, Randolph (University of Amsterdam); van Praag, Mirjam C. (Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: Revenue drift, where insufficient attention is given to economic, relative to social, goals, threatens social enterprise performance and survival. We argue that financial incentives can address this problem by redirecting employee attention to commercial tasks and attracting workers less inclined to fixate on social tasks. In an online experiment with varying incentive levels, monetary rewards succeed in directing worker effort to commercial tasks; high-powered incentives attract less prosocial employees, but low-powered incentives do not alter workforce composition. Social enterprises combining monetary rewards with a social mission not only attract more workers, but are also able to guard against revenue drift.
    Keywords: incentives, multitasking, experiment, social enterprise, prosociality
    JEL: D22 J33 L21 L31
    Date: 2022–11
  14. By: Cassar, Lea (University of Regensburg); Fischer, Mira (WZB - Social Science Research Center Berlin); Valero, Vanessa (Loughborough University)
    Abstract: Mindfulness-based meditation practices are becoming increasingly popular in Western societies, including in the business world and in education. While the scientific literature has largely documented the benefits of mindfulness meditation for mental health, little is still known about potential spillovers of these practices on other important life outcomes, such as performance. We address this question through a field experiment in an educational setting. We study the causal impact of mindfulness meditation on academic performance through a randomized evaluation of a well-known 8-week mindfulness meditation training delivered to university students on campus. As expected, the intervention improves students' mental health and non-cognitive skills. However, it takes time before students' performance can benefit from mindfulness meditation: we find that, if anything, the intervention marginally decreases average grades in the short run, i.e., during the exam period right after the end of the intervention, whereas it significantly increases academic performance, by about 0.4 standard deviations, in the long run (ca. 6 months after the end of intervention). We investigate the underlying mechanisms and discuss the implications of our results.
    Keywords: performance, mental health, education, meditation, field experiment
    JEL: I21 C93 I12 I31
    Date: 2022–11
  15. By: Ewa Zawojska (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences); Michał Krawczyk (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences)
    Abstract: Stated preferences should ideally be elicited in ways providing respondents with economic incentives to report them truthfully—that is, in incentive-compatible conditions. This study aims at testing empirically a novel theoretical approach, which allows for incentive-compatible elicitation of preferences. Choice-matching, proposed by Cvitanić et al. (2019), is applied here to elicit stated preferences towards a public good. While the approach has been originally designed for incentivizing responses to a multiple choice question, we illustrate its possible application to an open-ended question. We conduct an online experiment mirroring a standard stated preference survey as used for valuation of public goods. Two versions of the survey questionnaire are implemented: one employing the incentive-compatible choice-matching approach and another representing a common non-incentivized setting. We find that the open-ended willingness-to-pay values are statistically significantly higher when stated under choice-matching than when expressed in the non-incentivized conditions.
    Keywords: contingent valuation, choice-matching, incentive compatibility, open-ended elicitation, stated preferences
    JEL: D61 D82 H43 Q51
    Date: 2022
  16. By: Lennart Adenaw; David Ziegler; Nico Nachtigall; Felix Gotzler; Allister Loder; Markus B. Siewert; Markus Lienkamp; Klaus Bogenberger
    Abstract: In spring 2022, the German federal government agreed on a set of measures that aim at reducing households' financial burden resulting from a recent price increase, especially in energy and mobility. These measures include among others, a nation-wide public transport ticket for 9 EUR per month and a fuel tax cut that reduces fuel prices by more than 15%. In transportation research this is an almost unprecedented behavioral experiment. It allows to study not only behavioral responses in mode choice and induced demand but also to assess the effectiveness of transport policy instruments. We observe this natural experiment with a three-wave survey and an app-based travel diary on a sample of hundreds of participants as well as an analysis of traffic counts. In this fifth report, we present first analyses of the recorded tracking data. 910 participants completed the tracking until September, 30th. First, an overview over the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants within our tracking sample is given. We observe an adequate representation of female and male participants, a slight over-representation of young participants, and an income distribution similar to the one known from the "Mobilit\"at in Deutschland" survey. Most participants of the tracking study live in Munich, Germany. General transportation statistics are derived from the data for all phases of the natural experiment - prior, during, and after the 9 EUR-Ticket - to assess potential changes in the participants' travel behavior on an aggregated level. A significant impact of the 9 EUR-Ticket on modal shares can be seen. An analysis of the participants' mobility behavior considering trip purposes, age, and income sheds light on how the 9 EUR-Ticket impacts different social groups and activities. We find that age, income, and trip purpose significantly influence the impact of the 9 EUR-Ticket on the observed modal split.
    Date: 2022–11
  17. By: Wilms, Rafael; Dahan, Clara Seif el
    Abstract: The self-concept and signaling theories of charisma posit that charismatic signals do not universally affect all followers, but only those who have (partially) congruent values with their leaders. This represents a central assumption in charisma theory and our study tests it–to the best of our knowledge–for the first time. We investigate the effect of leader charisma on follower perceived leader charisma, prototypicality, and effectiveness and whether leader-follower value congruence moderates these relationships. In this pre-registered experiment, we manipulated leader charisma, using video recorded speeches (charismatic vs. neutral) about a foodbank and measured value congruence via questionnaire (i.e., altruism and helping others attitude; the higher the scores imply stronger value congruence with the leader’s mission (i.e., the food bank)). Our pre-registered study showed that charismatic signaling fosters perceived leader charisma, prototypicality, and effectiveness. Helping others attitudes moderated the relationship for perceived leader charisma and effectiveness, but not for prototypicality. Altruism did not moderate any of the relationship. Theoretical and practical implications, and limitations are discussed.
    Date: 2022–09–22
  18. By: Constantin Charles; Cary D. Frydman; Mete Kilic
    Abstract: We show theoretically that the weak transmission of beliefs to actions induces a strong bias in basic asset pricing tests. In particular, expected returns can appear to decline in risk when investors weakly transmit their payoff expectations into willingness to pay. We experimentally test this prediction and find that subjects exhibit an extremely weak transmission of beliefs to actions, which generates a negative risk-return relation. We argue that the weak transmission is due to cognitive noise and demonstrate that cognitive noise causally affects the risk-return relation. Our results highlight the importance of incorporating weak transmission into belief-based asset pricing models.
    Keywords: investor behavior, cognitive noise, portfolio choice
    Date: 2022
  19. By: Alessandra Cassar (University of San Francisco, Chapman University and CEGA); Alejandrina Cristia (Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, ENS, EHESS, CNRS, PSL University); Pauline Grosjean (Department of Economics, UNSW and CEPR); Sarah Walker (Department of Economics, UNSW)
    Abstract: A recent hypothesis suggests that an impetus for human cooperation could have emerged from the needs of mothers to elicit and sustain help from others, i.e. allomaternal care, for the purpose of bringing offspring to maturity. We design a novel economic experiment to elucidate the relationship between allomaternal care and cooperative behavior among a random sample of 820 adults and 200 children in the Solomon Islands. Our results show that allomaternal care, especially by non-kin, nurtures adult reciprocity and altruism, and impersonal prosociality among mothers. We also document socio-cognitive benefits to children from child care by non-kin, based on daylong vocalizations analyzed using a multilingually-trained neural network. Further analysis utilizing cross-cultural ethnographic data shows a positive relationship between allomaternal care and societal orientation toward trust. Altogether, our findings suggest an important role for allomaternal care - especially by non-kin - in supporting societal cooperation. Classification JEL: I15, O15, Z13
    Keywords: Allomaternal care, Altruism, Child vocalizations, Dictator game, Reciprocity
    Date: 2022–11
  20. By: Jana Schuetz; Silke Uebelmesser; Ronja Baginski; Carmela Aprea
    Abstract: Demographic change has an impact on pay-as-you-go pension systems. To maintain their financial sustainability, reforms are necessary, but often lack public support. Based on representative survey data from Germany, we conduct a survey experiment which allows investigating whether salience of or information about demographic change enhances preferences towards reforms in general as well as towards specific reform measures. We find that salience and information provision significantly increase the perceived reform necessity. Furthermore, salience increases preferences for an increase of the retirement age over other reform measures, while information provision reduces preferences for tax subsidies. In addition, we highlight the impact of prior beliefs on the treatment effects. As the salience and the information treatments barely differ, we conclude that it is not the information about the demographic change, which matters. Rather, being made aware of the challenges of the pension system impacts reform preferences.
    Keywords: pension reform preference, survey experiment, demographic change, information provision
    JEL: H55 J26 C90
    Date: 2022
  21. By: Hagmann, David (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Sajons, Gwendolin; Tinsley, Catherine
    Abstract: When employers make hiring decisions, they have to predict a job candidate's performance on the basis of observable attributes. Demographic characteristics, such as gender and race, affect these assessments even when they are not predictive of performance. In this paper, we propose that a simple cognitive mechanism can lead people to form false beliefs about performance differences after receiving true information. Specifically, we suggest that people who learn about the demographic characteristics of top performers fail to adjust for the prevalence of people with those demographics in the pool from which the top performers emerge. This process systematically generates statistical discrimination against minority groups. Across two preregistered experiments in which participants make incentivized hiring decisions, we find that people who receive demographic information about the top performers fail to adjust for the demographic composition of the pool they receive information about. Study 1 (n = 3,002) uses a pool composition unbalanced toward male workers, reflective of some high-profile industries. Receiving information about the top performers' gender leads participants to infer gender differences where none exist. Study 2 (n = 2,000) shows the effect also occurs in a sample representative of the US population, where there are inherently fewer Black or Asian than White candidates. Here, participants infer performance differences across race that are opposite to actual performance differences.
    Date: 2022–07–01
  22. By: Jean-Marc Bourgeon; José De Sousa; Alexis Noir-Luhalwe
    Abstract: We examine the risky choices of pairs of contestants in a popular radio game show in France. At one point during the COVID-19 pandemic the show, held in person, had to switch to an all-remote format. We find that such an exogenous change in social context affected risk-taking behavior. Remotely, pairs take far fewer risks when the stakes are high than in the flesh. This behavioral difference is consistent with prosocial behavior theories, which argue that the nature of social interactions influences risky choices. Our results suggest that working from home may reduce participation in profitable but risky team projects.
    Keywords: COVID-19, social distancing, social pressure, decision making, risk
    JEL: C93 D81 D91
    Date: 2022
  23. By: Alina Greiner (University of Konstanz); Maximilian Filsinger (University of Bern)
    Abstract: Does exposure to sexual violence during conflict affect ethnic group trust post-war? Despite the prevalence of sexual violence, we know surprisingly little about its social consequences. Furthermore, quantitative research has so far mostly turned a blind eye on the gendered impact of sexual violence. We address this gap by investigating ethnic in- and out-group trust among Tamil women and men in post-war Sri Lanka. Combining survey data of the Tamil population with a list experiment on wartime sexual violence, we find that female victims of sexual violence have higher levels of trust in the ethnic out-group, whereas men’s out-group trust decreases. Possible explanations are that both the context of sexual violence and coping strategies differ by gender. Interestingly, the experience of sexual violence significantly erodes both men’s and women’s trust in the ethnic in-group which points to an aspect of post-war recovery often overlooked: rebuilding trust within ethnic communities.
    Keywords: ethnic group trust; post-war reconciliation; wartime sexual violence; list experiment
    Date: 2022–11
  24. By: Tobias König; Renke Schmacker
    Abstract: Sin taxes have become a widely suggested policy instrument to discourage the consumption of goods deemed harmful to individuals and society. Using surveys and experiments on a representative sample of the US population, we provide evidence on how individuals think and reason about such corrective policies. We reveal that preferences for taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are driven by normative considerations, including efficiency-related ideas and distributional concerns. In contrast, self-interested motives play only a minor role. Among the efficiency arguments, people place relatively large weight on externality correction, and motives to correct health cost misperceptions matter more than motives to correct a lack of self-control. However, anti-paternalistic attitudes and regressivity concerns are also prevalent, which helps to explain why the majority of respondents oppose SSB taxes, even though they agree that behavioral biases and externalities are relevant. Preferences for SSB taxes turn out to be malleable. Explaining to individuals the idea behind corrective taxation yields significant increases in the support for SSB taxes and the general openness to paternalistic intervention.
    Keywords: sin tax, internality, externality, soda tax, self-control
    JEL: H23 I18 D12 D78
    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.