nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2023‒07‒10
28 papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Strategies in the repeated prisoner’s dilemma: A cluster analysis By Heller, Yuval; Tubul, Itay
  2. Testing Isomorphic Invariance Across Social Dilemma Games By Irene Maria Buso; Lorenzo Ferrari; Werner Güth; Luisa Lorè; Lorenzo Spadoni
  3. Financial literacy, experimental preference measures and field behavior – A randomized educational intervention By Matthias Sutter; Michael Weyland; Anna Untertrifaller; Manuel Froitzheim; Sebastian O. Schneider
  4. Does bargaining power impact the citizen's willingness to report corruption? An experimental study of harassment bribery. By Shcherbiak, Anna
  5. Coordination with Differential Time Preferences: Experimental Evidence By Marina Agranov; Jeongbin Kim; Leeat Yariv
  6. Statistical experiment design for animal research By Sorzano, Carlos Oscar S.
  7. Gender Identification and Stake Size Effects in the Impunity Game By Anabel Doñate-Buendía; Hernán Bejarano; Aurora García-Gallego
  8. The Lifecycle of Affirmative Action Policies and Its Effect on Effort and Sabotage Behavior By Subhasish M. Chowdhury; Anastasia Danilov; Martin G. Kocher
  9. Social Preferences: Fundamental Characteristics and Economic Consequences By Ernst Fehr; Gary Charness
  10. Risk, Reward and Uncertainty in Buyer-Seller Transactions By Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel; Sabine Kröger
  11. Strategic decisions and eye tracking data By Gelden, Victoria
  12. Communication and Hidden Action: A Credit Market Experiment By Martin Brown; Jan Schmitz; Christian Zehnder
  13. Judgments of research co-created by generative AI: experimental evidence By Pawe{\l} Niszczota; Paul Conway
  14. Bearing the burden – Implications of tax reporting institutions and image concerns on evasion and incidence By Kaisa Kotakorpi; Topi Miettinen; Satu Metsälampi
  15. Optimal design of experiments for hypothesis testing on ordered treatments via intersection-union tests By Duarte, Belmiro P.M.; Atkinson, Anthony C.; P. Singh, Satya; S. Reis, Marco
  16. What People Believe About Monetary Finance and What We Can(’t) Do About It: Evidence from a Large-Scale, Multi-Country Survey Experiment By Cars Hommes; Julien Pinter; Isabelle Salle
  17. Does Access to Citizenship Confer Socio-Economic Returns? Evidence from a Randomized Control Design By Hainmueller, Jens; Cascardi, Elisa; Hotard, Michael; Koslowski, Rey; Lawrence, Duncan; Yasenov, Vasil; Laitin, David D.
  18. Anti-social behaviour and economic decision-making: panel experimental evidence in the wake of COVID-19 By Lohmann, Paul M.; Gsottbauer, Elisabeth; You, Jing; Kontoleon, Andreas
  19. Which income comparisons matter to people, and how? Evidence from a large field experiment By Xiaogeng Xu; Satu Metsälampi; Michael Kirchler; Kaisa Kotakorpi; Peter Hans Matthews; Topi Miettinen
  20. Perceived Ability and School Choices: Experimental Evidence and Scale-up Effects By Bobba, Matteo; Frisancho, Veronica; Pariguana, Marco
  21. Identifying quantitative trait loci in experimental crosses By Broman, Karl W
  22. A Choice Experiment of Wyoming Residents’ Preferences Toward Water Resilience Improvement Programs By Van Sandt, Anders T.; Hansen, Kristiana M.; Ehmke, Mariah D.; Shinker, JJ; Paige, Ginger; Keller, Mary; Cooper, Kaatie; Landreville, Kristen Dawn
  23. Learning by searching: spatial mismatches and imperfect information in Southern labor markets By Banerjee, Abhijit; Sequeira, Sandra
  24. Enhancing Public Support for International Sanctions By Kantorowicz, Jaroslaw; Kantorowicz-Reznichenko, Elena
  25. A Guide to Conducting School Experiments: Expert Insights and Best Practices for Effective Implementation By Grosch, Kerstin; Haeckl, Simone; Rau, Holger; Preuss, Paul
  26. Using Limited Trial Evidence to Credibly Choose Treatment Dosage when Efficacy and Adverse Effects Weakly Increase with Dose By Charles F. Manski
  27. Robust inference for the treatment effect variance in experiments using machine learning By Alejandro Sanchez-Becerra
  28. The anatomy of competitiveness By Thomas Buser; Hessel Oosterbeek

  1. By: Heller, Yuval; Tubul, Itay
    Abstract: This study uses k-means clustering to analyze the strategic choices made by participants playing the infinitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma in laboratory experiments. We identify five distinct strategies that closely resemble well-known pure strategies: always defecting, suspicious tit-for-tat, grim, tit-for-tat, and always cooperating. Our analysis reveals moderate systematic deviations of the clustered strategies from their pure counterparts, and these deviations are important for capturing the experimental behavior. Additionally, we demonstrate that our approach significantly enhances the predictive power of previous analyses. Finally, we examine how the frequencies and payoffs of these clustered strategies vary based on the underlying game parameters.
    Keywords: k-means clustering, machine-learning, memory, laboratory experiment, repeated games.
    JEL: C7 C91
    Date: 2023–05–25
  2. By: Irene Maria Buso (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Lorenzo Ferrari (Italian Competition Authority); Werner Güth (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods,); Luisa Lorè (Department of Economics, Universität Innsbruck); Lorenzo Spadoni (Department of Economics and Law, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio)
    Abstract: In this study, we test whether purely behavioral aspects affect voluntary cooperativeness in Prisoner’s Dilemma and Public Good Games, thereby questioning their isomorphic invariance. The experiment compares games whose identical payoffs are described as of the Prisoners’ Dilemma or as of linear Public Good. Social dilemma frames are compared between subjects whereas 2- or 3-person games are compared within subjects. We either confront participants with the 2-person before the 3-person game or in reverse order, always without feedback information between rounds. The analysis rejects isomorphic invariance and shows less average cooperativeness, especially more likely free riding, in the case of the Public Good type.
    Keywords: Social dilemma experiments, Isomorphic invariance, Public goods game, Prisoners’ dilemma game, Voluntary cooperation.
    JEL: C71 C92 D70 D90
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Michael Weyland (Ludwigsburg University of Education); Anna Untertrifaller (University of Cologne); Manuel Froitzheim (University of Siegen); Sebastian O. Schneider (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: We present the results of a randomized intervention to study how teaching financial literacy to 16-year old high-school students affects their behavior in risk and time preference tasks. Compared to two different control treatments, we find that teaching financial literacy makes subjects behave more patiently, more time-consistent, and more risk-averse. These effects persist for up to almost 5 years after our intervention. Behavior in the risk and time preference tasks is related to financial behavior outside the lab, in particular spending patterns. This shows that teaching financial literacy affects economic decision-making which in turn is important for field behavior.
    Keywords: Financial literacy, randomized intervention, risk preferences, time preferences, financial behavior, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D14 I21
    Date: 2023–04
  4. By: Shcherbiak, Anna
    Abstract: Using a lab-in-the-field experiment, I examine whether higher bargaining power increases citizens’ willingness to report instances of bribe solicitation. Previous research suggested that access to higher initial endowment reduces the relative cost of reporting, which, in turn, signals a threat of punishment to the corrupt officials deterring them from engagement. While I do not find evidence for the effectiveness of higher bargaining power in deterring bribes, there is a significant negative relationship between the citizen’s endowment level and their willingness to report. Results reveal that highly endowed individuals are less likely to spend their resources to exert bottom-up pressure on corrupt officials, thereby failing to hold them accountable.
    Date: 2022–05–31
  5. By: Marina Agranov; Jeongbin Kim; Leeat Yariv
    Abstract: The experimental literature on repeated games has largely focused on settings where players discount the future identically. In applications, however, interactions often occur between players whose time preferences differ. We study experimentally the effects of discounting differentials in infinitely repeated coordination games. In our data, differential discount factors play two roles. First, they provide a coordination anchor: more impatient players get higher payoffs first. Introducing even small discounting differentials reduces coordination failures significantly. Second, with pronounced discounting differentials, intertemporal trades are prevalent: impatient players get higher payoffs for an initial phase and patient players get higher payoffs in perpetuity afterward.
    JEL: C73 C92 D15 D25
    Date: 2023–05
  6. By: Sorzano, Carlos Oscar S.
    Abstract: When we do a scientific experiment, from the statistical point of view, we can distinguish two important periods: before doing the experiment and after having done the experiment. After the experiment, we will be faced with a collection of numbers stemming from the measurements. Our goal, in a biomedical scientific context, will be to show that a drug is effective against a given disease, that a cell type is involved in some physiological process, that a gene is overexpressed under some condition, that a new vaccine is effective to protect the population, ... Statistical tools, most prominently statistical inference, will be used to discriminate the underlying signal we are interested in from the noise coming from measurement errors and biological variability. Whether we find or not the sought effect depends on three things: 1) there is really some biological effect (e.g., the drug is really effective); 2) how much noise there is in our measurements; and 3) how much evidence we have collected to show that there is really some effect, that is, how many times we have observed this difference. From the statistical point of view, we cannot act on Point 1. But we can act on Points 2 and 3 before doing the experiment, we do not need to wait for the experiment to be done to perform a "post-mortem" analysis. Point 2 is addressed by statistical experimental design. This technique tries to arrange the experiment in such a way that we can identify the different sources of variation and determine which part of the variability observed in the measurements comes from our treatment (drug, vaccine, gene, or cell type of interest), the signal, and which part comes from other sources such as sex, age, health condition, the experimenter doing the experiment, etc. The part of variation that we cannot explain will be the noise. We will declare that there is a biological difference if the signal is well (significantly) above the level of noise. By far, the most known experimental design in biomedical sciences is the comparison of the results from a control and a treated group. However, this is not the only one and many other designs can be conceived so that the amount of noise is minimized. Point 3 is addressed by the sample size calculation. That is, how many times we repeat the experiment to determine if there is a biological effect or not. The more we measure, the surer we are about our decision (we see some effect or we do not see any effect). Hypothesis testing is a way to automate this decision in a quantitative way. Of course, we can take wrong decisions: deciding that there is an effect when there is none (false positive) or deciding that there is no effect when there is (false negative). The probability of these two types of mistakes can be controlled at will by simply choosing an appropriate sample size. Points 2 and 3 assume that the experiment is well conducted and that the observed differences are only caused by the variable of interest (treatment, cell type, gene, ...). If there are other uncontrolled variables affecting our results (e.g., males respond to the treatment, but females do not) and these variables are not explicitly taken into account in the experimental design, then we will have biased results. That is, the observed differences are not caused by the treatment, but by something else that we do not know, making us believe that there is a true biological effect. The presence of bias ruins our experiment as we are fooled by data whose true differences are caused by uncontrolled variables. The main three tools to fight bias are blocking (we identify possible variables that might affect or not the results), blinding (to prevent possible biases from the researcher), and randomization (we randomize the samples in such a way that any possible affecting variable that has not been blocked equally affects all samples so that its effects are randomly distributed among the experimental groups). This book addresses the statistical tools needed to tackle Points 2 and 3 as well as avoiding bias. That is, all the steps before doing the experiment. The book does not address data analysis (after having done the experiment). However, we will see that we cannot design our experiment if we do not know how the data going out from it will be analyzed. In this regard, the past and the future of the experiment are tightly linked.
    Date: 2023–06–02
  7. By: Anabel Doñate-Buendía (Universitat Jaume I); Hernán Bejarano (Centro de Investigación y Docencias Económicas); Aurora García-Gallego (Universitat Jaume I)
    Abstract: In the impunity game, a proposer offers a division of money and a responder decides whether to accept or reject the offer. If the offer is accepted, the proposer and the responder receive the amount specified in the proposal. If the offer is rejected, the responder earns nothing and the proposer keeps the money he designated for himself. Thus, the theoretical prediction of this game states that the responder should accept any offer. An experiment is designed aiming at analysing both players’ behaviour in the impunity game when subjects are aware of the gender of their partner. Additionally, we examine the effect of different stake sizes. An online experiment with eight different treatments is implemented, with a total number of 1, 210 observations. The main findings are that proposers give to responders an important (around 35%) share on average, and that both the stake size and gender identification influence their decisions. Moreover, responders’ rejection patterns follow the game theoretical prediction, although the hypothesis that knowing your counterpart sex/gender affects responders’ behaviour cannot be rejected. Finally, subjects’ behaviour in this game is found to be determined by their personality and psychopathy traits, as well as by their emotional intelligence level. Other sociodemographic characteristics like place of birth or their employment status are found to also influence their decisions.
    Keywords: impunity game; experiment; gender identification; stake size
    JEL: C90 C88 D63 D64 D91
    Date: 2023–06
  8. By: Subhasish M. Chowdhury (University of Sheffield); Anastasia Danilov (HU Berlin); Martin G. Kocher (University of Vienna, University of Gothenburg, CESifo Munich)
    Abstract: A main goal of affirmative action (AA) policies is to enable disadvantaged groups to compete with their privileged counterparts. Existing theoretical and empirical research documents that incorporating AA can result in both more egalitarian outcomes and higher exerted efforts. However, the direct behavioral effects of the introduction and removal of such policies are still under-researched. It is also unclear how specific AA policy instruments, for instance, head-start for a disadvantaged group or handicap for the privileged group, affect behavior. We examine these questions in a laboratory experiment in which individuals participate in a real-effort tournament and can sabotage each other. We find that AA does not necessarily result in higher effort. High performers that already experienced an existing AA-free tournament reduce their effort levels after the introduction of the AA policy. Additionally, we observe less sabotage under AA when the tournament started directly with the AA regime. The removal of AA policies, however, significantly intensifies sabotage. Finally, there are no overall systematic differences between handicap and head-start in terms of effort provision or sabotaging behavior.
    Keywords: affirmative action; sabotage; experiment; tournament; handicap; head-start;
    JEL: C72 C91 D63 D72
    Date: 2023–06–14
  9. By: Ernst Fehr; Gary Charness
    Abstract: We review the vast literature on social preferences by assessing what is known about their fundamental properties, their distribution in the broader population, and their consequences for important economic and political behaviors. We provide, in particular, an overview of the empirically identified characteristics of distributional preferences and how they are affected by merit, luck, and risk considerations as well as by concerns for equality of opportunity. In addition, we identify what is known about belief-dependent social preferences such as reciprocity and guilt aversion. The evidence indicates that the big majority of individuals have some sort of social preference while purely self-interested subjects are a minority. Our review also shows how the findings from laboratory experiments involving social preferences provide a deeper understanding of important field phenomena such as the consequences of wage inequality on work morale, employees’ resistance to wage cuts, individuals’ self-selection into occupations and sectors that are more or less prone to morally problematic behaviors, as well as issues of distributive politics. However, although a lot has been learned in recent decades about social preferences, there are still many important, unresolved, yet exciting, questions waiting to be tackled.
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel; Sabine Kröger
    Abstract: – The Seller’s View on Combining Posted Prices and Auctions – In Buy-It-Now auctions, sellers can post a take-it-or-leave-it price offer prior to an auction. While the literature almost exclusively looks at buyers in such combined mechanisms, the current paper summarizes results from the sellers’ point of view. Buy-It-Now auctions are complex mechanisms and therefore quite challenging for sellers. The paper discusses the seller’s curse, a bias that sellers might fall prey to in such combined mechanisms, and how experience counterbalances this bias. Furthermore, the paper explores the role of information and bargaining power on behavior and profit prospects in Buy-It-Now auctions. – The Seller’s View on Combining Posted Prices and Auctions – Dans les enchères de type "Achat immédiat", les vendeurs peuvent publier une offre de prix à prendre ou à laisser avant l'enchère. Alors que la littérature s'intéresse presque exclusivement aux acheteurs dans ces mécanismes combinés, le présent document résume les résultats du point de vue des vendeurs. Les enchères de type "Achat immédiat" sont des mécanismes complexes et posent un grand défi pour les vendeurs. Dans l'article, nous traitons de la malédiction du vendeur, un biais dont les vendeurs peuvent être victimes dans ces mécanismes combinés. Nous présenterons également comment l'expérience que les vendeurs ont avec le mécanisme contrebalance ce biais. En outre, nous explorons le rôle de l'information et du pouvoir de négociation sur le comportement des vendeurs et leurs perspectives de profit dans les enchères de type "Achat immédiat".
    Keywords: asymmetric information, laboratory experiment, field experiment, auction, BIN-auction, Buy-It-Now auction, BIN-price, Buy-It-Now price, combined mechanism, information asymétrique, expérience en laboratoire, expérience sur le terrain, enchère, enchère BIN, enchère Buy-It-Now, prix BIN, prix Buy-It-Now, mécanisme combiné, enchère de type "Achat immédiat", prix "Achat immédiat"
    JEL: C72 C91 D44 D82 L1
    Date: 2023–06–09
  11. By: Gelden, Victoria
    Abstract: Recently, there has been a growing interest in the use of eye gaze. through a well-established gaze tracking method in psychology. The study of economic decision making. The purpose is to find Behavioral insights that are not basedly available Based only on observed choice data. At the same time, the opposite with expensive and complex procedures such as fMRI; Eye-tracking allows subjects to be tested under certain conditions. Standard tests showed similar conditions. Behavioral experiments.
    Date: 2023–05–24
  12. By: Martin Brown (Study Center Gerzensee, University of St. Gallen); Jan Schmitz (Radboud University); Christian Zehnder (University of Lausanne)
    Abstract: We study the impact of pre-contractual communication on market outcomes when economic relationships are subject to hidden action. Our experiment is framed in a credit market context and borrowers (second movers) can communicate with lenders (first movers) prior to entering the credit relationship. Communication reduces moral hazard (strategic default) and increases trust (credit provision) in an environment where opportunistic behavior by borrowers is revealed ex-post to lenders. By contrast, in an environment where strategic defaults are hidden behind a veil of uncertainty, we find a substantially weaker impact of communication. Borrowers are more likely to renege on repayment promises when they can hide opportunistic behavior from lenders. As a consequence, lenders extend less credit to borrowers who promise to repay. Hidden action undermines the positive e ect of communication on market outcomes. Our findings have implications for the design of contracts and how to structure relationships with a risk of hidden action: for precontractual communication to unfold its full potential it needs to go hand-in-hand with post-contractual monitoring.
    Date: 2023–06
  13. By: Pawe{\l} Niszczota; Paul Conway
    Abstract: The introduction of ChatGPT has fuelled a public debate on the use of generative AI (large language models; LLMs), including its use by researchers. In the current work, we test whether delegating parts of the research process to LLMs leads people to distrust and devalue researchers and scientific output. Participants (N=402) considered a researcher who delegates elements of the research process to a PhD student or LLM, and rated (1) moral acceptability, (2) trust in the scientist to oversee future projects, and (3) the accuracy and quality of the output. People judged delegating to an LLM as less acceptable than delegating to a human (d = -0.78). Delegation to an LLM also decreased trust to oversee future research projects (d = -0.80), and people thought the results would be less accurate and of lower quality (d = -0.85). We discuss how this devaluation might transfer into the underreporting of generative AI use.
    Date: 2023–05
  14. By: Kaisa Kotakorpi (Finnish Centre of Excellence in Tax Systems Research (FIT), Tampere University and VATT Institute for Economic Research; Hanken School of Economics and Helsinki GSE); Topi Miettinen (Hanken School of Economics and Helsinki GSE); Satu Metsälampi (University of Turku)
    Abstract: We investigate effects of tax reporting institutions on evasion and incidence using an experimental double auction market setting. We find that 28% of the sellers are truthful when only sellers report, but that 88% and 64% of them are truthful under costless and costly third-party reporting by buyers, respectively. Reporting behavior therefore responds to the intensity of deterrence. However, we find that prices do not fully reflect the lower taxes of the evaders. Thus, when sellers can unilaterally evade taxes, tax incidence deviates from the prediction of the standard model, and there is deadweight loss even if tax revenue is low. Pricing, incidence, and reporting patterns in all treatments can be explained by a model of lying costs with image concerns that give rise to a motivation to appear honest.
    Keywords: Tax Evasion, Tax Incidence, Third-Party Reporting, Double Auction, Social image, Experiment
    JEL: H21 H22 H26 D40 D44 D91
    Date: 2022–11
  15. By: Duarte, Belmiro P.M.; Atkinson, Anthony C.; P. Singh, Satya; S. Reis, Marco
    Abstract: We find experimental plans for hypothesis testing when a prior ordering of experimental groups or treatments is expected. Despite the practical interest of the topic, namely in dose finding, algorithms for systematically calculating good plans are still elusive. Here, we consider the Intersection-Union principle for constructing optimal experimental designs for testing hypotheses about ordered treatments. We propose an optimization-based formulation to handle the problem when the power of the test is to be maximized. This formulation yields a complex objective function which we handle with a surrogate-based optimizer. The algorithm proposed is demonstrated for several ordering relations. The relationship between designs maximizing power for the Intersection-Union Test (IUT) and optimality criteria used for linear regression models is analyzed; we demonstrate that IUT-based designs are well approximated by C–optimal designs and maximum entropy sampling designs while DA-optimal designs are equivalent to balanced designs. Theoretical and numerical results supporting these relations are presented.
    Keywords: optimal design of experiments; hypothesis testing; ordered treatments; surrogate optimization; power function; alphabetic optimality
    JEL: C1
    Date: 2023–04–01
  16. By: Cars Hommes; Julien Pinter; Isabelle Salle
    Abstract: We conduct an experiment within a large-scale household survey on public finance in France, the Netherlands and Italy. We elicit prior beliefs via open-ended questions and introduce a measure of macroeconomic policy literacy. An educational blog post from a central bank (CB) that opposes monetary-financed policies preceded by a short video on public finance can induce less support for monetary-financed proposals and more support for fiscal discipline and CB independence, no matter the respondent’s level of literacy. However, prior beliefs matter, and contradictory information may be polarizing. Information affects the respondents’ views by shifting their inflation and tax expectations associated to these policies.
    Keywords: Central bank research; Fiscal policy; Monetary policy
    JEL: E70 E60 E62 E58 G53 H31 C83
    Date: 2023–06
  17. By: Hainmueller, Jens (Stanford University); Cascardi, Elisa (Stanford University); Hotard, Michael (Stanford University); Koslowski, Rey (University at Albany); Lawrence, Duncan (Stanford University); Yasenov, Vasil (Stanford University); Laitin, David D. (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Based on observational studies, conventional wisdom suggests that citizenship carries economic benefits. We leverage a randomized experiment from New York where low-income registrants who wanted to become citizens entered a lottery to receive fee vouchers to naturalize. Voucher recipients were about 36 p.p. more likely to naturalize. Yet, we find no discernible effects of access to citizenship on several economic outcomes, including income, credit scores, access to credit, financial distress, and employment. Leveraging a multi-dimensional immigrant integration index, we similarly find no measurable effects on non-economic integration. However, we do find that citizenship reduces fears of deportation. Explaining our divergence from past studies, our results also reveal evidence of positive selection into citizenship, suggesting that observational studies of citizenship are susceptible to selection bias.
    Keywords: citizenship, naturalization, immigrant integration
    JEL: G51 J15 J31
    Date: 2023–05
  18. By: Lohmann, Paul M.; Gsottbauer, Elisabeth; You, Jing; Kontoleon, Andreas
    Abstract: We systematically examine the acute impact of exposure to a public health crisis on anti-social behaviour and economic decision-making using unique experimental panel data from China, collected just before the outbreak of COVID-19 and immediately after the first wave was overcome. Exploiting plausibly exogenous geographical variation in virus exposure coupled with a dataset of longitudinal experiments, we show that participants who were more intensely exposed to the virus outbreak became more anti-social than those with lower exposure, while other aspects of economic and social preferences remain largely stable. The finding is robust to multiple hypothesis testing and a similar, yet less pronounced pattern emerges when using alternative measures of virus exposure, reflecting societal concern and sentiment, constructed using social media data. The anti-social response is particularly pronounced for individuals who experienced an increase in depression or negative affect, which highlights the important role of psychological health as a potential mechanism through which the virus outbreak affected behaviour.
    Keywords: anti-social behaviour; coronavirus; natural experiment; panel data; risk preferences; social media data; time preferences; Covid-19
    JEL: C93 D64 D81 D91 I18
    Date: 2023–02–01
  19. By: Xiaogeng Xu (Hanken School of Economics, and Helsinki GSE); Satu Metsälampi (University of Turku); Michael Kirchler (University of Innsbruck); Kaisa Kotakorpi (Tampere University, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Tax Systems Research); Peter Hans Matthews (Middlebury College, Aalto School of Business, and Helsinki GSE); Topi Miettinen (Hanken School of Economics, and Helsinki GSE)
    Abstract: Received wisdom holds that income rank matters for life satisfaction. In much of the literature, however, income comparisons are limited to the national pop- ulation and evidence is correlational. In this paper, we investigate differences in the causal effects of rank information across reference groups. In a represen- tative sample of mid-career Finns, we randomize individuals to receive personal rank information about educational, municipal, occupational, or age reference groups, and compare the effects, for a set of alternative welfare measures, to the standard national reference group and to a control group that receives no information. We also characterize the accuracy of rank beliefs across groups. Our data, which integrates experimental and register data, finds that rank in- formation causes differences in satisfaction with disposable income, perceived fairness of own income, and wage satisfaction, but not life satisfaction. We also find substantial variation in the effects across reference groups, with those for the national reference group both weak and insignificant.
    Keywords: Relative position, individual welfare, fairness, comparison group, information provision
    JEL: D63 D8 D91 I31
    Date: 2023–05
  20. By: Bobba, Matteo (Toulouse School of Economics); Frisancho, Veronica (Inter-American Development Bank); Pariguana, Marco (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: This paper studies an information intervention designed and implemented in the context of a school assignment mechanism in Mexico City. We find that providing students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds with feedback about their academic performance contributes to placing applicants in schools that better fit their skills, allowing them to graduate on time from high school at a higher rate. We also quantify the effect of a counterfactual and yet feasible implementation of the information intervention at a much larger scale. Simulation results demonstrate substantial heterogeneity in the demandside responses, which trigger sorting and displacement patterns within the assignment mechanism. The equilibrium effects of the intervention may possibly hinder the subsequent academic trajectories of high-achieving and socio-economically disadvantaged students.
    Keywords: subjective expectations, information provision, school choice, upper-secondary education, scaling up experiments, spillover and equilibrium effects
    JEL: D83 I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2023–05
  21. By: Broman, Karl W (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
    Abstract: Identifying the genetic loci responsible for variation in traits which are quantitative in nature (such as the yield from an agricultural crop or the number of abdominal bristles on a fruit fly) is a problem of great importance to biologists. The number and effects of such loci help us to understand the biochemical basis of these traits, and of their evolution in populations over time. Moreover, knowledge of these loci may aid in designing selection experiments to improve the traits. We focus on data from a large experimental cross. The usual methods for analyzing such data use multiple tests of hypotheses. We feel the problem is best viewed as one of model selection. After a brief review of the major methods in this area, we discuss the use of model selection to identify quantitative trait loci. Forward selection using a BIC-type criterion is found to perform quite well. Simulation studies are used to compare the performance of the major approaches. In addition, we present the analysis of data from a real experiment.
    Date: 2023–06–06
  22. By: Van Sandt, Anders T.; Hansen, Kristiana M.; Ehmke, Mariah D.; Shinker, JJ; Paige, Ginger; Keller, Mary; Cooper, Kaatie; Landreville, Kristen Dawn
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, Research Methods/Statistical Methods
    Date: 2023
  23. By: Banerjee, Abhijit; Sequeira, Sandra
    Abstract: Youth unemployment remains extremely high throughout the developing world, at times coexisting with unmet demand for labor and high job turnover. We examine one possible explanation for this: spatial mismatches between jobs and job-seekers combined with high search costs can lead young job-seekers to have overly optimistic beliefs about their employment prospects. As a result, job-seekers under-search but also hold out for better jobs. Through a field experiment we find that reducing search costs through transport subsidies leads job-seekers to search more intensively and to adjust their beliefs in line with their search experience. When jobs fail to materialize immediately, job-seekers who believed that dropping CVs at prospective employers in the city centre was an effective search strategy become more impatient, they lower their reservation wage and they settle for low-paying jobs closer to home. This does not increase their likelihood of being employed, since nearby jobs are also scarce. These findings underscore both the importance and the complexity of the interaction between search costs and beliefs, and how they can lead to spatial and occupational mistargeting in the job search.
    Keywords: labor markets; transport costs; search costs; transport subsidies; Elsevier deal
    JEL: J1 R14 J01
    Date: 2023–09–01
  24. By: Kantorowicz, Jaroslaw; Kantorowicz-Reznichenko, Elena (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: International sanctions are commonly used when military intervention is particularly undesirable. The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine increased the saliency of sanctions, as well as their high domestic costs for the sender states. Democratic states require public support to sustain long and costly sanctions. Yet empirical research on public perception and support for sanctions is scarce. We conduct two experimental studies on quota-representative samples in Poland and Germany using the context of the sanctions on Russia. The first study uses a novel conjoint experiment with the goal to examine how features of a sanctioning regime shape public support for sanctions. As expected, support increases with a decrease in domestic costs and increases in costs imposed on the target state. In addition, aid programs, which can mitigate domestic costs, and beneficial policy alternatives (e.g., developing sustainable energy to replace Russian oil) can enhance support. Furthermore, public support for sanctions requires larger sanctioning countries’ coalitions. In the second—information experiment—study, we find that people overestimate the sanctions’ costs for their country and that correcting this perception through the provision of estimated costs increases reported support. Yet, contrasting sanctions costs with other costs has no additional effect.
    Date: 2023–06–02
  25. By: Grosch, Kerstin (VU Vienna); Haeckl, Simone (University of Stavanger); Rau, Holger (University of Duisburg-Essen); Preuss, Paul (University of Gottingen)
    Abstract: This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the distinct characteristics of school experi- ments conducted with children in preschools and schools. We investigate and describe the essential considerations involved in designing and implementing such experiments, drawing insights from a survey conducted with senior researchers. Moreover, the guide summarizes nine key lessons learned from the experiences of these researchers. The paper also presents the opinions of inexperienced researchers in school experiments (juniors) on crucial aspects of successful school experiments, which differ from the opinions of the experienced senior researchers. As a result, this guide serves as a valuable resource for junior researchers embarking on their initial school experiments. By promoting the adoption of best practices endorsed by senior researchers, it strengthens the validity and reliability of school experiments.
    Keywords: school experiments; guide; internal validity; survey
    JEL: B41 C93 I20
    Date: 2023–06–12
  26. By: Charles F. Manski
    Abstract: In medical treatment and elsewhere, it has become standard to base treatment intensity (dosage) on evidence in randomized trials. Yet it has been rare to study how outcomes vary with dosage. In trials to obtain drug approval, the norm has been to specify some dose of a new drug and compare it with an established therapy or placebo. Design-based trial analysis views each trial arm as qualitatively different, but it may be highly credible to assume that efficacy and adverse effects (AEs) weakly increase with dosage. Optimization of patient care requires joint attention to both, as well as to treatment cost. This paper develops methodology to credibly use limited trial evidence to choose dosage when efficacy and AEs weakly increase with dose. I suppose that dosage is an integer choice t in (0, 1, . . . , T), T being a specified maximum dose. I study dosage choice when trial evidence on outcomes is available for only K dose levels, where K
    Date: 2023–05
  27. By: Alejandro Sanchez-Becerra
    Abstract: Experimenters often collect baseline data to study heterogeneity. I propose the first valid confidence intervals for the VCATE, the treatment effect variance explained by observables. Conventional approaches yield incorrect coverage when the VCATE is zero. As a result, practitioners could be prone to detect heterogeneity even when none exists. The reason why coverage worsens at the boundary is that all efficient estimators have a locally-degenerate influence function and may not be asymptotically normal. I solve the problem for a broad class of multistep estimators with a predictive first stage. My confidence intervals account for higher-order terms in the limiting distribution and are fast to compute. I also find new connections between the VCATE and the problem of deciding whom to treat. The gains of targeting treatment are (sharply) bounded by half the square root of the VCATE. Finally, I document excellent performance in simulation and reanalyze an experiment from Malawi.
    Date: 2023–06
  28. By: Thomas Buser (University of Amsterdam); Hessel Oosterbeek (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: A large empirical literature in behavioral economics investigates heterogeneity across individuals and groups in preferences for competition. In this study, we provide a more detailed view on competitiveness by differentiating between four different motivations for entering competitions – enjoyment of competition, desire to win, competition for personal development, and general challenge seeking. We investigate which of these dimensions are picked up by traditional measures of competitiveness; how they predict individual and gender differences in career outcomes including income, holding a leadership position, and entrepreneurship; how they predict wellbeing; and how they relate to other personality traits, skills, and preferences.
    Keywords: competitiveness, personality traits, labor market outcomes, leadership, gender
    JEL: C92 D91 J24

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