nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2023‒02‒06
eighteen papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Betting on diversity: Occupational segregation and gender stereotypes By Fischbacher, Urs; Kübler, Dorothea; Stüber, Robert
  2. Confidence and college applications: Evidence from a randomized intervention By Hakimov, Rustamdjan; Schmacker, Renke; Terrier, Camille
  3. Portfolio instability and socially responsible investment:experiments with financial professionals and students By Olga Tatarnikova; Sebastien Duchene; Patrick Sentis; Marc Willinger
  4. Lying Aversion and Vague Communication: An Experimental Study By Keh-Kuan Sun; Stella Papadokonstantaki
  5. O desempenho financeiro das empresas e o desdobramento de ações – o caso das empresas do índice S&P500 By Maria Teresa Garcia; João Pedro Vargues Simões
  6. Measuring Inflation Expectations: How the Response Scale Shapes Density Forecasts By Becker, Christoph; Duersch, Peter; Eife, Thomas
  7. Behavioral forces driving information unraveling By Benndorf, Volker; Kübler, Dorothea; Normann, Hans-Theo
  8. Beliefs about social norms and (the polarization of) COVID-19 vaccination readiness By Silvia Angerer; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Thomas Rittmannsberger
  9. An Approach to Testing Reference Points By Alex Rees-Jones; Ao Wang
  10. Effects of an Online Self-Assessment Tool on Teachers' Digital Competencies By Abbiati, Giovanni; Azzolini, Davide; Balanskat, Anja; Engelhart, Katja; Piazzalunga, Daniela; Rettore, Enrico; Wastiau, Patricia
  11. Digital piracy is costly to creative economies across the world. Anti-piracy messages can cause people to pirate more rather than less, suggesting the presence of psychological reactance. Gender differences in message reactance and the moderating impact of attitudes have not been explored. In this paper, we examine whether messages based on real-world anti-piracy campaigns cause reactance and whether this effect is explained by gender and attitudes. An experiment compares two threatening and one prosocial message against a control group, with changes in piracy intention from past behaviour for digital TV/film analysed. The results suggest that the prosocial message is ineffective for both genders. However, the threatening messages have significantly opposing effects on men and women. One threatening message influences women to reduce their piracy intentions by over 50% and men to increase it by 18%. Gender effects are moderated by pre-existing attitudes, with men and women who report the most favourable attitudes towards piracy having the most polarised changes in piracy intentions. The results suggest that men and women process threatening messages differently and that the creative industries should take care when targeting their messages. By Kate Whitman; Zahra Murad; Joe Cox
  12. Man vs. Machine: Technological Promise and Political Limits of Automated Regulation Enforcement By Oliver Browne; Ludovica Gazze; Michael Greenstone; Olga Rostapshova
  13. Biased Memory and Perceptions of Self-Control By Afras Y. Sial; Justin R. Sydnor; Dmitry Taubinsky
  14. Willingness to Accept, Willingness to Pay, and Loss Aversion By Jonathan Chapman; Mark Dean; Pietro Ortoleva; Erik Snowberg; Colin Camerer
  15. Digital remote monitoring plus usual care versus usual care in patients treated with oral anticancer agents: the randomized phase 3 CAPRI trial By Olivier Mir; Marie Ferrua; Aude Fourcade; Delphine Mathivon; Adeline Duflot-Boukobza; Sarah Dumont; Eric Baudin; Suzette Delaloge; David Malka; Laurence Albiges; Patricia Pautier; Caroline Robert; David Planchard; Stéphane de Botton; Florian Scotté; François Lemare; May Abbas; Marilène Guillet; Vanessa Puglisi; Mario Di Palma; Etienne Minvielle
  16. How effective are covid-19 vaccine health messages in reducing vaccine skepticism? Heterogeneity in messages effectiveness by just world beliefs By Juliane Wiese; Nattavudh Powdthavee
  17. Water Treatment And Child Mortality: A Meta-Analysis And Cost-effectiveness Analysis By Michael Kremer; Stephen P. Luby; Ricardo Maertens; Brandon Tan; Witold Więcek
  18. Language Environment and Maternal Expectations: An Evaluation of the LENA Start Program By Flavio Cunha; Marsha Gerdes; Qinyou Hu; Snejana Nihtianova

  1. By: Fischbacher, Urs; Kübler, Dorothea; Stüber, Robert
    Abstract: Many occupations and industries are highly segregated with respect to gender. This segregation could be due to perceived job-specific productivity differences between men and women. It could also result from the belief that single-gender teams perform better. We investigate the two explanations in a lab experiment with students and in an online experiment with personnel managers. The subjects bet on the productivity of teams of different gender compositions in tasks that differ with respect to gender stereotypes. We obtain similar results in both samples. Women are picked more often for the stereotypically female task and men more often for the stereotypically male task. Subjects do not believe that homogeneous teams perform better but bet more on diverse teams, especially in the task with complementarities. Elicited expectations about the bets of others reveal that subjects expect the effect of the gender stereotypes of tasks but underestimate others' bets on diversity.
    Keywords: Gender segregation, hiring decisions, teams, discrimination, stereotypes
    JEL: C91 D9 J16
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Hakimov, Rustamdjan; Schmacker, Renke; Terrier, Camille
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role self-confidence plays in college applications. Using incentivized experiments, we measure the self-confidence of more than 2, 000 students applying to colleges in France. This data reveals that the best female and low-SES students significantly underestimate their rank in the grade distribution compared to male and high-SES students. By matching our survey data with administrative data on real college applications and admissions, we show that miscalibrated confidence affects college choice on top of grades. We then estimate the impact of a randomized intervention that corrects students' under- and overconfidence by informing them of their real rank in the grade distribution. The treatment reduces the impact of under- and overconfidence for college applications, to the point where only grades but not miscalibrated confidence predict the application behavior of treated students. Providing feedback also makes the best students, who were initially underconfident, apply to more ambitious programs with stronger effects for female and low-SES students.
    Keywords: matching mechanism, confidence, information treatment, survey experiment
    JEL: I24 J24 D91 C90
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Olga Tatarnikova (ESSCA Research Lab - ESSCA - Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d'Angers , 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); Sebastien Duchene (Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School); Patrick Sentis (MRM - Montpellier Research in Management - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School - UM - Université de Montpellier); Marc Willinger (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)
    Abstract: Efficiency of SRI portfolios is commonly assessed based on an inconclusive risk-return ratio. Wepropose to approach the efficiency of portfolios with the notion of instability. Unstable portfolios arecharacterized by higher transaction costs and human resources costs that justify search for more stableportfolios. We examine the instability of SRI portfolios from the perspective of behavioral finance. Basedon data from incentivized experiments with 153 financial professionals and 233 students, we compare abaseline treatment to a ranking treatment in which participants received feedback regarding their aver-age investment in SRI assets. We found that SRI portfolios had significantly lower instability: portfolioswith a majority of SRI shares exhibited less instability in both treatments compared to conventionalportfolios. Moreover, in the ranking treatment subjects invested more in SRI assets than in the baseline.In addition, the experiment revealed the convergence of professionals' and students' behavioral patterns.
    Keywords: behavioral finance, experimental economics, financial asset markets, portfolio instability, socially responsible investment
    Date: 2022–12–21
  4. By: Keh-Kuan Sun; Stella Papadokonstantaki
    Abstract: An agent may strategically employ a vague message to mislead an audience's belief about the state of the world, but this may cause the agent to feel guilt or negatively impact how the audience perceives the agent. Using a novel experimental design that allows participants to be vague while at the same time isolating the internal cost of lying from the social identity cost of appearing dishonest, we explore the extent to which these two types of lying costs affect communication. We find that participants exploit vagueness to be consistent with the truth, while at the same time leveraging the imprecision to their own benefit. More participants use vague messages in treatments where concern with social identity is relevant. In addition, we find that social identity concerns substantially affect the length and patterns of vague messages used across the treatments.
    Date: 2023–01
  5. By: Maria Teresa Garcia; João Pedro Vargues Simões
    Abstract: We examine the effect of changing the structure of the lying opportunity by conducting a laboratory experiment. In particular, we vary the range of possible false outcomes and the magnitude of rewards. We apply the dice-under-cup paradigm which uses anonymous dice rolls to record actual lying behavior by comparing the distribution of participants’ stated outcomes to the expected statistical distribution of dice roll outcomes. We find that although some small changes in lying behavior can be achieved with an increase in the possible range of outcomes and by exponentially increasing rewards, lying behavior is generally robust to changes in the lying opportunity structure. Our study concludes that lying behavior seems to be driven by the aim to achieve a certain payoff regardless of conditions
    Keywords: dice-under cup experiment, lying behavior, moral preferences JEL Classification: C92, D03
    Date: 2023–03
  6. By: Becker, Christoph; Duersch, Peter; Eife, Thomas
    Abstract: In density forecasts, respondents are asked to assign probabilities to pre-specified ranges of inflation. We show in two large-scale experiments that responses vary when we modify the response scale. Asking an identical question with modified response scales induces different answers: Shifting, compressing or expanding the scale leads to shifted, compressed and expanded forecasts. Mean forecast, uncertainty, and disagreement can change by several percentage points. We discuss implications for survey design and how central banks can adjust the response scales during times of high inflation.
    Keywords: density forecast; Inflation; Experiment
    Date: 2023–01–13
  7. By: Benndorf, Volker; Kübler, Dorothea; Normann, Hans-Theo
    Abstract: Information unraveling is an elegant theoretical argument suggesting that private information may be fully and voluntarily surrendered. The experimental literature has, however, failed to provide evidence of complete unraveling and has suggested senders' limited depth of reasoning as one behavioral explanation. In our novel design, decisionmaking is essentially sequential, which removes the requirements on subjects' reasoning and should enable subjects to play the standard Nash equilibrium with full revelation. However, our design also facilitates coordination on equilibria with partial unraveling which exist with other-regarding preferences. Our data confirm that the new design is successful in that it avoids miscoordination entirely. Roughly half of the groups fully unravel whereas other groups exhibit monotonic outcomes with partial unraveling. Altogether, we find more information unraveling with the new design, but there is clear evidence that other-regarding preferences do play a role in impeding unraveling.
    Keywords: data protection, inequality aversion, information revelation, level-k reasoning
    JEL: C72 C90 C91
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Silvia Angerer (UMIT - Private University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol); Daniela Glätzle-Rützler (University of Innsbruck); Philipp Lergetporer (Technical University of Munich and CESifo); Thomas Rittmannsberger (University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: Social norms affect a wide range of behaviors in society. We conducted a representative experiment to study how beliefs about the existing social norm regarding COVID-19 vaccination affect vaccination readiness. Beliefs about the norm are on average downward biased, and widely dispersed. Randomly providing information about the existing descriptive norm succeeds in correcting biased beliefs, thereby reducing belief dispersion. The information has no effect on vaccination readiness on average, which is due to opposite effects among women (positive) and men (negative). Fundamental differences in how women and men process the same information are likely the cause for these contrasting information effects. Control-group vaccination intentions are lower among women than men, so the information reduces polarization by gender. Additionally, the information reduces gendered polarization in policy preferences related to COVID-19 vaccination.
    Keywords: social norms, vaccination, COVID-19
    JEL: C93 D90 I12
    Date: 2023–01
  9. By: Alex Rees-Jones; Ao Wang
    Abstract: We present a general approach to experimentally testing candidate reference points. This approach builds from Prospect Theory’s prediction that an increase in payoffs is perfectly offset by an equivalent increase in the reference point. Violation of this prediction can be tested with modifications to existing econometric techniques in experiments of a particular design. The resulting approach to testing theories of the reference point is minimally parametric, robust to broad classes of heterogeneity, yet still implementable in comparatively small sample sizes. We demonstrate the application of this approach in an experiment that tests the role of salience in setting reference points.
    JEL: C14 D9
    Date: 2022–12
  10. By: Abbiati, Giovanni (University of Brescia); Azzolini, Davide (FBK-IRVAPP); Balanskat, Anja (European Schoolnet); Engelhart, Katja (European Schoolnet); Piazzalunga, Daniela (University of Trento); Rettore, Enrico (University of Padova); Wastiau, Patricia (European Schoolnet)
    Abstract: We evaluate the effects of an online self-assessment tool on teachers' competencies and beliefs about ICT in education. The causal impact of the tool is evaluated through a randomized encouragement design, involving 7, 391 lower secondary teachers across 11 European countries. Short-run impact estimates show that the use of the tool led teachers to critically revise their technology-enhanced teaching competencies (-0.14 standard deviations) and their beliefs about ICT in education (-0.35 s.d.), while there is no impact on their probability of taking specific training. The effects are concentrated among teachers in the top-end tail of the distribution of pre-treatment outcomes. We provide suggestive evidence that the feedback score provided by the tool triggered such results by providing a negative information shock.
    Keywords: ICT, technology-enhanced teaching, self-assessed competencies, experimental design, teaching practices
    JEL: I21 C93
    Date: 2023–01
  11. By: Kate Whitman (University of Portsmouth); Zahra Murad (University of Portsmouth); Joe Cox (University of Portsmouth)
    Keywords: Piracy; Reactance; Persuasive Messages; TV/Film; Gender
    Date: 2023–01–26
  12. By: Oliver Browne; Ludovica Gazze; Michael Greenstone; Olga Rostapshova
    Abstract: New technologies allow perfect detection of environmental violations at near-zero marginal cost, but take-up is low. We conducted a field experiment to evaluate enforcement of water conservation rules with smart meters in Fresno, CA. Households were randomly assigned combinations of enforcement method (automated or in-person inspections) and fines. Automated enforcement increased households’ punishment rates from 0.1 to 14%, decreased summer water use by 3%, and reduced violations by 17%, while higher fine levels had little effect. However, automated enforcement also increased customer complaints by 1, 102%, ultimately causing its cancellation and highlighting that political considerations limit technological solutions to enforcement challenges.
    JEL: K42 Q25
    Date: 2023–01
  13. By: Afras Y. Sial; Justin R. Sydnor; Dmitry Taubinsky
    Abstract: Using data from a field experiment on exercise, we analyze the relationship between imperfect memory and people's awareness of their limited self-control. We find that people overestimate past gym attendance, and that larger overestimation of past attendance is associated with (i) more overestimation of future attendance, (ii) a lower willingness to pay to motivate higher future gym attendance, and (iii) a smaller gap between goal and forecasted attendance. We organize these facts with a structural model of quasi-hyperbolic discounting and naivete, estimating that people with more biased memories are more naive about their time inconsistency, but not more time-inconsistent.
    JEL: D9 I12
    Date: 2023–01
  14. By: Jonathan Chapman; Mark Dean; Pietro Ortoleva; Erik Snowberg; Colin Camerer
    Abstract: We use four incentivized representative surveys to study the endowment effect for lotteries in 4, 000 U.S. adults. We replicate the standard finding of an endowment effect—the divergence between Willingness to Accept (WTA) and Willingness to Pay (WTP), but document three new findings. First, we find little evidence that the endowment effect is related to loss aversion for risky prospects, counter to predictions of popular theories in economics. Second, WTA and WTP not only diverge, but are, at best, weakly correlated. Third, WTA and WTP strongly relate to other aspects of risk preferences. The structure of these behaviors points to different theories of the endowment effect.
    JEL: C90 D81 D91
    Date: 2023–01
  15. By: Olivier Mir (DIOPP - Département interdisciplinaire d’organisation des parcours patients - IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Marie Ferrua (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Aude Fourcade (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Delphine Mathivon (DIOPP - Département interdisciplinaire d’organisation des parcours patients - IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Adeline Duflot-Boukobza (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Sarah Dumont (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Eric Baudin (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Suzette Delaloge (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); David Malka (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Laurence Albiges (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Patricia Pautier (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Caroline Robert (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); David Planchard (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Stéphane de Botton (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Florian Scotté (DIOPP - Département interdisciplinaire d’organisation des parcours patients - IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); François Lemare (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); May Abbas (DIOPP - Département interdisciplinaire d’organisation des parcours patients - IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Marilène Guillet (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Vanessa Puglisi (DIOPP - Département interdisciplinaire d’organisation des parcours patients - IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Mario Di Palma (DIOPP - Département interdisciplinaire d’organisation des parcours patients - IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Etienne Minvielle (DIOPP - Département interdisciplinaire d’organisation des parcours patients - IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy, i3-CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion i3 - X - École polytechnique - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Strategies that individualize the care of cancer patients receiving oral anticancer agents offer opportunities to improve treatment adherence and patient care. However, the impact of digital remote monitoring systems in this setting has not been evaluated. Here, we report the results of a phase 3 trial (CAPRI, NCT02828462) to assess the impact of a nurse navigator-led program on treatment delivery for patients with metastatic cancer. Patients receiving approved oral anticancer agents were randomized (1:1) to an intervention combining a nurse navigator-led follow-up system and a web portal–smartphone application on top of usual care, or to usual symptom monitoring at the discretion of the treating oncologist, for a duration of 6 months. The primary objective included optimization of the treatment dose. Secondary objectives were grade ≥3 toxicities, patient experience, rates and duration of hospitalization, response and survival, and quality of life. In 559 evaluable patients the relative dose intensity was higher in the experimental arm (93.4% versus 89.4%, P = 0.04). The intervention improved the patient experience (Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care score, 2.94 versus 2.67, P = 0.01), reduced the days of hospitalization (2.82 versus 4.44 days, P = 0.02), and decreased treatment-related grade ≥3 toxicities (27.6% versus 36.9%, P = 0.02). These findings show that patient-centered care through remote monitoring of symptoms and treatment may improve patient outcomes and experience.
    Date: 2022
  16. By: Juliane Wiese; Nattavudh Powdthavee
    Abstract: To end the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers have relied on various public health messages to boost vaccine take-up rates amongst people across wide political spectra, backgrounds, and worldviews. However, much less is understood about whether these messages affect different people in the same way. One source of heterogeneity is the belief in a just world (BJW), which is the belief that in general, good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people. This study investigates the effectiveness of two common messages of the COVID-19 pandemic: vaccinate to protect yourself and vaccinate to protect others in your community. We then examine whether BJW moderates the effectiveness of these messages. We hypothesize that just-world believers react negatively to the prosocial pro-vaccine message, as it charges individuals with the responsibility to care for others around them. Using an unvaccinated sample of UK residents before vaccines were made widely available (N=526), we demonstrate that the individual-focused message significantly reduces overall vaccine skepticism, and that this effect is more robust for individuals with a low BJW, whereas the community-focused message does not. Our findings highlight the importance of individual differences in the reception of public health messages to reduce COVID-19 vaccine skepticism.
    Date: 2023–01
  17. By: Michael Kremer; Stephen P. Luby; Ricardo Maertens; Brandon Tan; Witold Więcek
    Abstract: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of water treatment are typically powered to detect effects on caregiver-reported diarrhea but not child mortality, as detecting mortality effects requires prohibitively large sample sizes. Consequently, water treatment is seldom included in lists of cost-effective, evidence-backed child health interventions which are prioritized in health funding decisions. To increase statistical power, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. We replicated search and selection criteria from previous meta-analyses of RCTs aimed at improving water quality to prevent diarrhea in low- or middle-income countries which included children under 5 years old. We identified 52 RCTs and then obtained child mortality data from each study for which these data were collected and available, contacting authors of the study where necessary; this resulted in 15 studies.Frequentist and Bayesian methods were used to estimate the effect of water treatment on child mortality among included studies. We estimated a mean cross-study reduction in the odds of all-cause under-5 mortality of about 30% (Peto odds ratio, OR, 0.72; 95% CI 0.55 to 0.92; Bayes OR 0.70; 95% CrI 0.49 to 0.93). The results were qualitatively similar under alternative modeling and data inclusion choices. Taking into account heterogeneity across studies, the expected reduction in a new implementation is 25%. We used the results to examine the cost-effectiveness of investing in water treatment for point-of-collection chlorine dispensers or a large-scale program providing coupons for free chlorine solution. We estimate a cost per expected DALY averted due to water treatment of around USD 40 for both, accounting for delivery costs. This is approximately 45 times lower than the widely used threshold of 1x GDP per capita per DALY averted.
    JEL: I1
    Date: 2023–01
  18. By: Flavio Cunha; Marsha Gerdes; Qinyou Hu; Snejana Nihtianova
    Abstract: Research documents that parental beliefs influence early investments in children, which, in turn, determine early human capital and, eventually, other skills children acquire in later stages of the lifecycle, such as literacy. Our paper reports the results of an experimental evaluation of the LENA Start Program, a group- and center-based parenting program that teaches the science of early language development, models verbal interaction behaviors with children, and provides objective feedback to improve the early language environment. The intervention changes parental beliefs and impacts the quantity and quality of parental linguistic input.
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2023–01

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