nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2023‒11‒13
twelve papers chosen by

  1. How to Curb Over-The-Counter Sales of Antibiotics? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Ethiopia By Maria Vittoria Levati; Ivan Soraperra; Saba Yifredew
  2. Can Social Comparisons and Moral Appeals Induce a Modal Shift Towards Low-Emission Transport Modes? By Johannes Gessner; Wolfgang Habla; Ulrich J. Wagner
  3. Telementoring and Homeschooling during School Closures: A Randomized Experiment in Rural Bangladesh By Hassan, Hashibul; Islam, Asad; Siddique, Abu; Choon Wang, Liang
  4. Social Ties at Work and Effort Choice: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania By Martin Chegere; Paolo Falco; Andreas Menzel
  5. Using Milestones as a Source of Feedback in Teamwork: Insights from a Dynamic Voluntary Contribution Mechanism By Nisvan Erkal; Boon Han Koh; Nguyen Lam
  6. Unintended Consequences of Youth Entrepreneurship Programs: Experimental Evidence from Rwanda By Blimpo, Moussa; Pugatch, Todd
  7. Food vs. Food Stamps: Evidence from an At-Scale Experiment in Indonesia By Abhijit Banerjee; Rema Hanna; Benjamin A Olken; Elan Satriawan; Sudarno Sumarto
  8. Information Design in Cheap Talk By Qianjun Lyu; Wing Suen
  9. The Value of Consensus. An Experimental Analysis of Costly Deliberation. By Marcello Puca; Krista Jabs Saral; Simone M. Sepe
  10. Climate Change Risk, and Human Behavior: Theory and Evidence By Sanjit Dhami; Narges Hajimoladarvish; Pavan Mamidi
  11. Selection into Financial Education and Effects on Portfolio Choice By Irina Gemmo; Pierre-Carl Michaud; Olivia S. Mitchell
  12. Labor Market Impacts of Reducing Felony Convictions By Agan, Amanda; Garin, Andrew; Koustas, Dmitri; Mas, Alexandre; Yang, Crystal S.

  1. By: Maria Vittoria Levati (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Ivan Soraperra (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Saba Yifredew (Addis Ababa University)
    Abstract: In a randomized controlled trial among Addis Ababa's community pharmacies, we implement informational interventions to curb over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotic sales, which, especially in developing countries, contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Our results show that one-time letters to pharmacists and a poster placed within the pharmacy premises significantly reduce OTC antibiotic sales in the short-run, with the poster's effect persisting five months later. We observe no significant impact on antibiotic prices. These findings highlight the potential of targeted informational interventions to tackle OTC antibiotic dispensing and mitigate the growing AMR threat.
    Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance, OTC antibiotics, Field experiment, Community pharmacies, Simulated patients
    JEL: C93 I12 I18 C21
    Date: 2023–10
  2. By: Johannes Gessner; Wolfgang Habla; Ulrich J. Wagner
    Abstract: To reduce CO2 emissions, some companies have introduced mobility budgets that employees can spend on leisure and commuting trips, as an alternative to subsidized company cars. Given their novelty, little is known about how mobility budgets should be designed to encourage sustainable transportation choices. Since prices play a limited role in this subsidized setting, our study focuses on behavioral interventions. In a field experiment with 341 employees of a large German company, we test whether social comparisons, either in isolation or in combination with a climate-related moral appeal, can change the use of different means of transportation. We find strong evidence for a reduction in car-related mobility in response to the combined treatment, which is driven by changes in taxi and ride-sharing services. This is accompanied by substitution towards micromobility, i.e., transport modes such as shared e-scooters or bikes, but not towards public transport. We do not find robust evidence for effects of the social comparison alone. Furthermore, survey evidence suggests that effects may be driven by a climate-aware minority and that participants indeed felt a moral obligation to comply with the social norm. Our results demonstrate that small, norm-based nudges can change transportation behavior, albeit for a limited time.
    Keywords: mobility behavior, randomized experiment, nudging, descriptive norm, injunctive norm, social norms, moral appeal, habit formation
    JEL: C93 D04 D91 L91
  3. By: Hassan, Hashibul (Jagannath University); Islam, Asad (Monash University); Siddique, Abu (King's College London); Choon Wang, Liang (Monash University)
    Abstract: Using a randomized experiment in 200 Bangladeshi villages, we evaluate the impact of an over-the-phone learning support intervention (telementoring) among primary school children and their mothers during Covid-19 school closures. Post-intervention, treated children scored 35% higher on a standardized test, and the homeschooling involvement of treated mothers increased by 22 minutes per day (26%). We also found that the intervention forestalled treated children's learning losses. When we returned to the participants one year later, after schools briefly reopened, we found that the treatment effects had persisted. Academically weaker children benefited the most from the intervention that only cost USD 20 per child.
    Keywords: randomized experiment, primary education, school closure, COVID-19, homeschooling, telementoring, rural Bangladesh
    JEL: C93 I21 I24
    Date: 2023–10
  4. By: Martin Chegere; Paolo Falco; Andreas Menzel
    Abstract: Many firms hire workers via social networks. Whether workers who are socially connected to their employers exert more effort on the job is an unsettled debate. We address this question through a novel experiment with small-business owners in Tanzania. Participants are paired with a worker who conducts a real-effort task, and receive a payoff that depends on the worker’s effort. Some business owners are randomly paired with workers they are socially connected with, while others are paired with strangers. With a design that is sufficiently powered to detect economically meaningful effects, we find that being socially connected to one’s employer does not affect workers’ effort.
    Keywords: firms, hiring, productivity, social ties, kinship networks
    JEL: O17 M51 L2
    Date: 2023–09
  5. By: Nisvan Erkal (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne); Boon Han Koh (Department of Economics, University of Exeter); Nguyen Lam (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Many economic activities rely on teamwork where groups of individuals work together for a common goal by pooling their resources or skills. However, cooperation within teams can be challenging due to the social dilemma problem which arises when individual incentives interfere with operational effectiveness. We study teamwork in a dynamic public goods game setting where individuals make multiple contribution decisions to a team project and face strategic uncertainty about the behavior of their team members. We examine whether providing feedback about the team’s progress at regular intervals (time-based feedback) or based on the achievement of milestones (milestone-based feedback) is more beneficial for increasing aggregate contributions. Our results reveal that providing milestone-based feedback leads to a significant increase in aggregate team contributions as compared to time-based feedback. This impact is largely driven by conditional cooperators. Findings from a follow-up experiment reveal evidence of a goal effect, a signaling effect, and an information effect arising from the use of milestones on the behavior of conditional cooperators.
    Keywords: teamwork, public good provision, milestones, feedback, voluntary contribution mechanism
    JEL: C92 D83 D91 H41
    Date: 2023–09–12
  6. By: Blimpo, Moussa (University of Toronto); Pugatch, Todd (Oregon State University)
    Abstract: The persistently high employment share of the informal sector makes entrepreneurship a necessity for youth in many developing countries. We exploit exogenous variation in the implementation of Rwanda's entrepreneurship education reform in secondary schools to evaluate its effect on student economic outcomes up to three years after graduation. Using a randomized controlled trial, we evaluated a three-year intensive training for entrepreneurship teachers, finding pedagogical changes as intended and increased entrepreneurial activity among students. In this paper, we tracked students following graduation and found that increased entrepreneurship persisted one year later, in 2019. Students from treated schools were six percentage points more likely to be entrepreneurs, an increase of 19 percent over the control mean. However, gains in entrepreneurship faded after three years, in 2021. Employment was six percentage points lower in the treatment group. By some measures, income and profits were lower in the treatment group, with no robust differences in these outcomes overall. Lower incomes and profits were concentrated among marginal students induced into entrepreneurship by the program. Youth entrepreneurship programs may therefore steer some participants away from their comparative advantage. Nonetheless, the program increased university enrollment, suggesting the potential for higher long run returns.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship education, youth employment, secondary school, pedagogy, randomized controlled trials, Rwanda
    JEL: I25 I26 I28 J24 O12 O15
    Date: 2023–09
  7. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Rema Hanna; Benjamin A Olken; Elan Satriawan; Sudarno Sumarto
    Keywords: welfare, poverty, wellbeing development, growth development
  8. By: Qianjun Lyu; Wing Suen
    Abstract: An uninformed sender publicly commits to an informative experiment about an uncertain state, privately observes its outcome, and sends a cheap-talk message to a receiver. We provide an algorithm valid for arbitrary state-dependent preferences that will determine the sender’s optimal experiment and his equilibrium payoff under binary state space. We give sufficient conditions for information design to be valuable or not under different payoff structures. These conditions depend more on marginal incentives - how payoffs vary with the state - than on the alignment of sender’s and receiver’s rankings over actions within a state. The algorithm can be easily modified to study canonical cheap talk games with a perfectly informed sender.
    Keywords: marginal incentives, common interest, concave envelope, quasiconcave envelope, double randomization
    JEL: D82 D83
    Date: 2023–10
  9. By: Marcello Puca (Università di Bergamo, CSEF and Webster University Geneva); Krista Jabs Saral (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne, and Webster University Geneva); Simone M. Sepe (University of Arizona, Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, TSE, and ECGI)
    Abstract: Combining theory and experiments, we examine decision-making with endogenous deliberation across different voting rules: consensus and veto unanimity, and simple majority. Before voting, asymmetrically informed agents choose whether to engage in potentially costly communication to aggregate their private information. In line with existing studies, we find that free communication minimizes differences in decision-making across rules. In contrast, with costly communication, differences in decision-making re-emerge as the voting rules affect communication and private information aggregation. Consensus unanimity frequently outperforms the other rules because it induces more communication among agents. This work provides a new rationale for the legitimacy of the commonly used consensus unanimity voting rule in jury trials.
    Keywords: Group Decision-Making, Voting Rules, Endogenous Communication, Costly Communication, Experts, Juries, Economic Experiments.
    JEL: C7 D9
    Date: 2023–07–18
  10. By: Sanjit Dhami; Narges Hajimoladarvish; Pavan Mamidi
    Abstract: A group of decision makers simultaneously make contributions towards a green fund that reduces the future probability of a climate catastrophe. We derive the theoretical predictions of the effects on contributions arising from ‘behavioral parameters’ such as loss aversion and present-bias; ‘structural factors’ such as variation in the timing of uncertainty; the ‘demand for a commitment device’; and ‘institutional factors’ such as comparing voluntary contributions with mandatory tax financed contributions. We then run experiments to stringently, test our predictions. Loss aversion and present-bias reduce contributions; there is demand for the commitment technology; and voluntary contributions are higher relative to mandatory tax-financed contributions.
    Keywords: climate risk abatement, loss aversion, present-biased preferences, voluntary versus mandatory contribution mechanisms, commitment technology
    JEL: C92 D01 D02 D91
    Date: 2023
  11. By: Irina Gemmo; Pierre-Carl Michaud; Olivia S. Mitchell
    Abstract: To examine how financial education affects financial outcomes, one must evaluate whether and how sample selection may bias inferences regarding program impacts. Our incentivized experiment reveals how such selection influences estimated financial education effects. The more financially literate and those expecting higher gains pay more to purchase education, while those who consider themselves very financially literate pay less. Using portfolio allocation tasks, we show that the financial education increases portfolio efficiency and welfare by almost 20 and 3 percentage points, respectively. In our setting, selection does not greatly influence estimated program effects, comparing those participating and those who do not. Pour examiner comment l'éducation financière affecte les résultats financiers, il faut évaluer si et comment la sélection de l'échantillon peut fausser les résultats concernant l'impact du programme. Notre expérience incitative révèle comment une telle sélection influence les effets estimés de l'éducation financière. Les personnes les plus instruites sur le plan financier et celles qui s'attendent à des gains plus importants paient davantage pour acquérir une éducation, tandis que celles qui se considèrent comme très instruites sur le plan financier paient moins. En utilisant des tâches d'allocation de portefeuille, nous montrons que l'éducation financière augmente l'efficacité du portefeuille et le bien-être de près de 20 et 3 points de pourcentage, respectivement. Dans notre contexte, la sélection n'influence pas beaucoup les effets estimés du programme, en comparant les participants et les non-participants.
    Keywords: Financial Education, Financial Literacy, Portfolio Choice, Selection, Ãducation financière, littératie financière, choix du portefeuille, sélection
    JEL: G11 G41 G53
    Date: 2023–09–28
  12. By: Agan, Amanda (Rutgers University); Garin, Andrew (Carnegie Mellon University); Koustas, Dmitri (University of Chicago); Mas, Alexandre (UC Berkeley); Yang, Crystal S. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: We study the labor market impacts of retroactively reducing felonies to misdemeanors in San Joaquin County, CA, where criminal justice agencies implemented Proposition 47 reductions in a quasi-random order, without requiring input or action from affected individuals. Linking records of reductions to administrative tax data, we find employment benefits for individuals who (likely) requested their reduction, consistent with selection, but no benefits among the larger subset of individuals whose records were reduced proactively. A field experiment notifying a subset of individuals about their proactive reduction also shows null results, implying that lack of awareness is unlikely to explain our findings.
    Keywords: crime, labor markets
    JEL: J0 K0
    Date: 2023–10

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