nep-exp New Economics Papers
on Experimental Economics
Issue of 2024‒02‒26
28 papers chosen by

  1. The Tradeoffs of Transparency: Measuring Discrimination When Subjects Are Told They Are in an Experiment By Amanda Agan; Bo Cowgill; Laura Gee
  2. Online tutoring works: experimental evidence from a program with vulnerable children By Gortazar, Lucas; Hupkau, Claudia; Roldan-Mones, Antonio
  3. Nudging employees for greener mobility A field experiment By Ankinée KIRAKOZIAN; Raphaël CHIAPPINI; Nabila ARFAOUI
  4. Non-numerical and social anchoring in consumer-generated ratings By Yigit Oezcelik; Michel Tolksdorf
  5. Willingness to pay for a new mosquito-repellent ointment: Experimental evidence from Burkina Faso By Elodie Djemai; Yohan Renard
  6. The Impact of Climate Engagement: A Field Experiment By Florian Heeb; Julian F Kölbel
  7. Complexity and Hyperbolic Discounting By Benjamin Enke; Thomas Graeber; Ryan Oprea; Thomas W. Graeber
  8. Cash Transfers for Child Development: Experimental Evidence from India By Jeffrey Weaver; Sandip Sukhtankar; Paul Niehaus; Karthik Muralidharan
  9. Multiple crises in mind, biodiversity out of sight? Insights from a behavioral study in Germany By Gruener, Sven; Soliev, Ilkhom; Pirscher, Frauke
  10. Tax Framing in Matching and Rebate Subsidy By Seiyoun Kim; Vjollca Sadiraj; Yongsheng Xu
  12. Ends versus Means: Kantians, Utilitarians, and Moral Decision By Roland Bénabou; Armin Falk; Luca Henkel
  13. A Scalable Approach to High-Impact Tutoring for Young Readers: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial By Cortes, Kalena E.; Kortecamp, Karen; Loeb, Susanna; Robinson, Carly D.
  14. Does information about inequality and discrimination in early child care affect policy preferences? By Hermes, Henning; Lergetporer, Philipp; Mierisch, Fabian; Schwerdt, Guido; Wiederhold, Simon
  15. The impact of ethical feedback on moral emotions and managerial behavior: a labor market experiment By Alexia Gaudeul; Katharina Gangl; Oliver Kirchkamp; Louisa Kulke
  16. An Experimental Study of Decentralized Matching By Federico Echenique; Alejandro Robinson-Cort\'es; Leeat Yariv
  17. Algorithm Credulity: Human and Algorithmic Advice in Prediction Experiments By Mathieu Chevrier; Brice Corgnet; Eric Guerci; Julie Rosaz
  18. Ends versus Means: Kantians, Utilitarians, and Moral Decisions By Roland Bénabou; Armin Falk; Luca Henkel
  19. Digital Information Provision and Behavior Change: Lessons from Six Experiments in East Africa By Raissa Fabregas; Michael Kremer; Matthew Lowes; Robert On; Giulia Zane
  20. Overexertion of Effort Under Working Time Autonomy and Feedback Provision By Thomas Dohmen; Elena Shvartsman
  21. Automatability of Occupations, Workers’ Labor-Market Expectations, and Willingness to Train By Philipp Lergetporer; Katharina Wedel; Katharina Werner
  22. Beliefs about Inequality and the Nature of Support for Redistribution By Aljosha Henkel; Ernst Fehr; Julien Senn; Thomas Epper
  23. Beliefs about the Gender Pension Gap By Jana Schuetz
  24. Interpersonal Preferences and Team Performance: The Role of Liking in Complex Problem Solving By Timm Opitz
  25. Pay-as-they-get-in: attitudes towards migrants and pension systems By Boeri, Tito Michele; Gamalerio, Matteo; Morelli, Massimo; Negri, Margherita
  26. Identity and Economic Incentives By Kwabena Donkor; Lorenz Goette; Maximilian W. Müller; Eugen Dimant; Michael Kurschilgen
  27. Trust in the Fight Against Political Corruption: A Survey Experiment among Citizens and Experts By Benjamin Monnery; Alexandre Chirat
  28. Precautionary Debt Capacity By Aydin, Deniz; Kim, Olivia S.

  1. By: Amanda Agan; Bo Cowgill; Laura Gee
    Abstract: Correspondence audit studies have sent almost one-hundred-thousand resumes without informing subjects they are in a study - increasing realism, but without being fully transparent. We study the potential trade-offs of this lack of transparency by running a hiring field experiment with recruiters in a natural setting. One group of recruiters is told they are screening for an employer, and another is told they are part of an academic study. Job applicants' gender is randomly assigned. When subjects are told they are in an experiment, callback rates and willingness-to-pay for male candidates decline relative to female candidates (with no detectable change for female candidates). This suggests that telling subjects they are in an experiment would underestimate gender inequality.
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Gortazar, Lucas; Hupkau, Claudia; Roldan-Mones, Antonio
    Abstract: We provide evidence from a randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of a novel, 100-percent online math tutoring program, targeted at secondary school students from highly disadvantaged neighborhoods. The intensive, eight-week-long program was delivered by qualified math teachers in groups of two students during after-school hours. The intervention significantly increased standardized test scores (+0.26 SD) and end-of-year math grades (+0.48 SD), while reducing the probability of repeating the school year. The intervention also raised aspirations, as well as self-reported effort at school.
    Keywords: schools; online tutoring; mentoring; RCT; mathematics; child outcomes
    JEL: C93 I20 I28 H75
    Date: 2023–03–22
  3. By: Ankinée KIRAKOZIAN; Raphaël CHIAPPINI; Nabila ARFAOUI
    Abstract: The central issue of this paper is to understand how policy makers can design instruments to create incentives towards green mobility. With this in mind, we ran a field experiment in 89 French firms (both public and private organizations) over 54 weeks to investigate how nudges and financial incentives can decrease the use of polluting vehicles by employees during their commute to work each week. Based on data including 845 employees, our study highlights several results related to three important attributes of policy design: the type of instrument, the timing and the targeting. We find that individuals exposed to the nudges “Moral Appeal”, “Risk of Loss”, and a combination of these two, significantly decrease their use of polluting vehicles in their daily commute to work. We find no treatment effect, either for the other nudges or for the impact of financial incentives. Our findings also reveal a persistent effect in time of the three successful nudges on the transport behavior of employees. Using a causal forest method to evaluate the heterogeneous treatment effects of these three nudges, we demonstrate that distance from work and pro-environmental behavior are the strongest predictors of treatment effects. We find that the further the employees reside from their workplace, the lower the treatment effect estimates. It suggests that selective targeting can improve the efficiency of the nudging policy.
    Keywords: Nudge, field experiment, green mobility, transport mode.
    JEL: C93 D91 Q5 R4
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Yigit Oezcelik; Michel Tolksdorf
    Abstract: Inaccurate online ratings can be harmful to both consumers and firms. We perform an experiment to assess the effect of the anchoring bias on consumer ratings. Our rating task is a framed variation of the slider task. We diverge from the literature by implementing non-numerical (visual) anchors. We compare three anchoring conditions, with either high, low, or socially derived anchors present, against two control conditions – one without anchors and an unframed slider task. High and socially derived anchors lead to significant overrating compared to both control conditions. We find no difference between low anchors and the control condition without anchors, whereas both exhibit overrating compared with the unframed slider task. Participants place higher trust in socially derived anchors compared with high and low anchors. When there is a social context, the trust participants exhibit towards the socially derived anchors explains the anchoring bias.
    Keywords: Anchoring, online ratings, laboratory experiment
    JEL: C91 D80 D91
    Date: 2023–12
  5. By: Elodie Djemai (PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa); Yohan Renard (Universite d’Orleans, Laboratoire d’Economie d’Orleans)
    Abstract: We use a randomized experiment to study how a subsidy for a mosquito-repellent ointment to protect from malaria affects uptake, usage, and future demand for the product in Burkina Faso. We randomly vary the subsidy level across enumeration areas and approximately 3, 100 households are randomly allocated to one of the three groups: 0%, 50% of 100% subsidy. Our main results are that subsidies strongly and significantly increase the likelihood of acquiring a jar of mosquito-repellent ointment, and of using it on a regular basis during the rainy season. We do not find any evidence supporting heterogeneous treatment effects based on household characteristics, nor on the use of preventive measures at baseline.
    Keywords: Malaria, Behavior, Technology adoption, Price, Africa, Burkina Faso
    JEL: I12 O33 H43
    Date: 2023–12
  6. By: Florian Heeb (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management); Julian F Kölbel (University of St. Gallen - School of Finance; MIT Sloan; Swiss Finance Institute)
    Abstract: We report results from a pre-registered field experiment about the impact of index provider engagement on corporate climate policy. A randomly chosen group of 300 out of 1227 international companies received a letter from an index provider, encouraging the company to commit to setting a science-based climate target to remain included in its climate transition benchmark indices. After one year, we observed a significant effect: 21.0% of treated companies have committed, vs. 15.7% in the control group. This suggests that engagement by financial institutions can affect corporate policies when a feasible request is combined with a credible threat of exit.
    Keywords: Shareholder Engagement, Field Experiment, Climate, ESG, Activism
    JEL: D22 D62 G23 G34 M14
    Date: 2024–01
  7. By: Benjamin Enke; Thomas Graeber; Ryan Oprea; Thomas W. Graeber
    Abstract: A large literature shows that people discount financial rewards hyperbolically instead of exponentially. While discounting of money has been questioned as a measure of time preferences, it continues to be highly relevant in empirical practice and predicts a wide range of real-world behaviors, creating a need to understand what generates the hyperbolic pattern. We provide evidence that hyperbolic discounting reflects mistakes that are driven by the complexity of evaluating delayed payoffs. In particular, we document that hyperbolicity (i) is strongly associated with choice inconsistency and cognitive uncertainty, (ii) increases in overt complexity manipulations and (iii) arises nearly identically in computationally similar tasks that involve no actual payoff delays. Our results suggest that even if people had exponential discount functions, complexity-driven mistakes would cause them to make hyperbolic choices. We examine which experimental techniques to estimate present bias are (not) confounded by complexity.
    Keywords: hyperbolic discounting, present bias, bounded rationality, cognitive uncertainty
    JEL: C91 D91 G00
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Jeffrey Weaver; Sandip Sukhtankar; Paul Niehaus; Karthik Muralidharan
    Abstract: Despite significant economic growth, child development outcomes in India remain poor. Using a large-scale experiment in which randomly-selected mothers receive cash transfers for the first two years of their child's life, we examine the relationship between income and child development in the Indian state of Jharkhand. Treated mothers and children experienced large increases in nutritional intake, including increases in caloric consumption of 9.6-15.5%. However, child anthropometric indicators improved only in areas with low rates of open defecation. These results suggest that poor sanitation is a key explanatory factor for the poor translation of increases in income into child growth in India.
    JEL: D13 I12 I15 I38 O15 Q53
    Date: 2024–01
  9. By: Gruener, Sven; Soliev, Ilkhom; Pirscher, Frauke
    Abstract: Biodiversity loss is one of the key challenges of our time. This paper explores how negative information due to other societal challenges influences attention toward biodiversity loss. With the help of an information provision experiment, we remind experimental participants recruited from the general population of Germany of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. We find less priority given to biodiversity loss after being reminded of these societal crises. However, this effect is both low in magnitude and not statistically significant at any conventional level. In contrast, personal importance of biodiversity to individuals is a much stronger behavioral predictor.
    Date: 2024–01–30
  10. By: Seiyoun Kim; Vjollca Sadiraj; Yongsheng Xu
    Abstract: We conduct a laboratory experiment to study individual decision on donating to a charity in response to changes in the tax rate and income in the presence of matching and two types of rebate subsidies: deterministic and stochastic. Private consumption is taxed, and contributions are subsidized in a way that preserves the relative price of giving across the fundraising mechanisms. We find that tax framing and rebate subsidy elicit less charitable contribution than neutral framing and matching subsidy; the negative effect on donation is smaller for stochastic than deterministic rebate subsidies. Data suggest that charitable giving is a normal good and that donations and private consumption are complements.
    Keywords: charitable giving, tax deduction, rebate subsidy, matching subsidy, experiments
    JEL: H41
    Date: 2024–02
  11. By: John List
    Abstract: In 2019, I put together a summary of data from my field experiments website that pertained to artefactual field experiments. Several people have asked me if I have an update. In this document I update all figures and numbers to show the details for the year 2023. I also include the description from the 2019 paper below. The definition of artefactual field experiments comes originally from Harrison and List (2004) and is advanced in List (2024).
    Date: 2024
  12. By: Roland Bénabou; Armin Falk; Luca Henkel
    Abstract: Choosing what is morally right can be based on the consequences (ends) resulting from the decision – the Consequentialist view – or on the conformity of the means involved with some overarching notion of duty – the Deontological view. Using a series of experiments, we investigate the overall prevalence and the consistency of consequentialist and deontological decision-making, when these two moral principles come into conflict. Our design includes a real-stakes version of the classical trolley dilemma, four novel games that induce ends-versus-means tradeoffs, and a rule-following task. These six main games are supplemented with six classical self-versus-other choice tasks, allowing us to relate consequential/deontological behavior to standard measures of prosociality. Across the six main games, we find a sizeable prevalence (20 to 44%) of nonconsequentialist choices by subjects, but no evidence of stable individual preference types across situations. In particular, trolley behavior predicts no other ends-versus-means choices. Instead, which moral principle prevails appears to be context-dependent. In contrast, we find a substantial level of consistency across self-versus-other decisions, but individuals’ degree of prosociality is unrelated to how they choose in ends-versus-means tradeoffs
    Keywords: morality, deontological, consequentialist, Kantian, ends-versus-means, trolley dilemma, prosocial, altruism, social preferences
    JEL: C91 D01 D64
    Date: 2024–01
  13. By: Cortes, Kalena E. (Texas A&M University); Kortecamp, Karen (George Washington University); Loeb, Susanna (Stanford University); Robinson, Carly D. (Stanford University)
    Abstract: This paper presents the results from a randomized controlled trial of Chapter One, an early elementary reading tutoring program that embeds part-time tutors into the classroom to provide short bursts of 1:1 instruction. Eligible kindergarten students were randomly assigned to receive supplementary tutoring during the 2021-22 school year (N=818). The study occurred in a large Southeastern district serving predominantly Black and Hispanic students. Students assigned to the program were over two times more likely to reach the program's target reading level by the end of kindergarten (70% vs. 32%). The results were largely homogenous across student populations and extended to district-administered assessments. These findings provide promising evidence of an affordable and sustainable approach for delivering personalized reading tutoring at scale.
    Keywords: high-impact tutoring, literacy gains, randomized control trial
    JEL: I20 I21 I24 I26
    Date: 2024–01
  14. By: Hermes, Henning; Lergetporer, Philipp; Mierisch, Fabian; Schwerdt, Guido; Wiederhold, Simon
    Abstract: We investigate public preferences for equity-enhancing policies in access to early child care, using a survey experiment with a representative sample of the German population (n ≈ 4, 800). We observe strong misperceptions about migrant-native inequalities in early child care that vary by respondents' age and right-wing voting preferences. Randomly providing information about the actual extent of inequalities has a nuanced impact on the support for equity-enhancing policy reforms: it increases support for respondents who initially underestimated these inequalities, and tends to decrease support for those who initially overestimated them. This asymmetric effect leads to a more consensual policy view, substantially decreasing the polarization in policy support between under- and overestimators. Our results suggest that correcting misperceptions can align public policy preferences, potentially leading to less polarized debates about how to address inequalities and discrimination.
    Keywords: child care, policy support, information, inequality, discrimination, survey experiment
    JEL: I24 J18 J13 D83 C99
    Date: 2024
  15. By: Alexia Gaudeul (Competence Centre for Behavioural Insights, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.); Katharina Gangl (Behavioural Economics Research Group, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria.); Oliver Kirchkamp (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany.); Louisa Kulke (Department of Developmental Psychology with Educational Psychology, Universität Bremen, Germany.)
    Abstract: We investigate the influence of ethical feedback on decision-makers’ behavior, focusing on the role of emotions in mediating this relationship. We examine how emotions generated by ethical feedback impact subsequent decisions in a laboratory setting with incentivized tasks. We distinguish between the direct informational impact of feedback and its indirect impact mediated by emotions. This research is pioneering in linking emotions to ethical decisions in a controlled environment. The findings reveal that ethical feedback positively affects ethical behavior in an artificial labor market, whereby decision-makers set higher wages when they expect to receive ethical feedback. Surprisingly however, public feedback has a less positive effect than private feedback. We confirm that emotions mediate some of the impact of feedback on wages. We find that deciders adjust wages downward when good feedback generated positive emotions, while we expected that they would aim for maintenance of such positive emotions by maintaining wages. We discuss the need for robustness tests for theories of emotions as drivers of behavior and underscore the importance of examining deciders’ intentions and their interpretations of public and private feedback.
    Keywords: Ethical feedback, incentives, emotions
    JEL: C92 D91 D23
    Date: 2024–01–30
  16. By: Federico Echenique; Alejandro Robinson-Cort\'es; Leeat Yariv
    Abstract: We present an experimental study of decentralized two-sided matching markets with no transfers. Experimental participants are informed of everyone's preferences and can make arbitrary non-binding match offers that get finalized when a period of market inactivity has elapsed. Several insights emerge. First, stable outcomes are prevalent. Second, while centralized clearinghouses commonly aim at implementing extremal stable matchings, our decentralized markets most frequently culminate in the median stable matching. Third, preferences' cardinal representations impact the stable partners participants match with. Last, the dynamics underlying our results exhibit strategic sophistication, with agents successfully avoiding cycles of blocking pairs.
    Date: 2024–01
  17. By: Mathieu Chevrier (Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, GREDEG, France); Brice Corgnet (Emlyon Business School, GATE UMR 5824, France); Eric Guerci (Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, GREDEG, France); Julie Rosaz (CEREN EA 7477, Burgundy School of Business, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France)
    Abstract: This study examines algorithm credulity by which people rely on faulty algorithmic advice without critical evaluation. Using a prediction task comparing human and algorithm advisors, we find that participants are more likely to follow the same deficient advice when issued by an algorithm than by a human. We show that algorithm credulity reduces expected earnings by 13%. To explain this finding, we propose the Algo-Intelligibility-Credulity Model, which posits that people are more likely to perceive as intelligible an unpredictable and deficient piece of advice when produced by an algorithm than by a human. These results imply that humans might be particularly susceptible to the influence of malicious algorithmic advice, potentially due to limitations in our evolved epistemic vigilance when applied to interactions with automated agents.
    Keywords: Algorithm credulity, algorithmic advice, intelligibility, trust, laboratory experiments
    JEL: C92 D91
    Date: 2024–02
  18. By: Roland Bénabou; Armin Falk; Luca Henkel
    Abstract: Choosing what is morally right can be based on the consequences (ends) resulting from the decision – the Consequentialist view – or on the conformity of the means involved with some overarching notion of duty – the Deontological view. Using a series of experiments, we investigate the overall prevalence and the consistency of consequentialist and deontological decision-making, when these two moral principles come into conflict. Our design includes a real-stakes version of the classical trolley dilemma, four novel games that induce ends-versus-means tradeoffs, and a rule-following task. These six main games are supplemented with six classical self-versus-other choice tasks, allowing us to relate consequential/deontological behavior to standard measures of prosociality. Across the six main games, we find a sizeable prevalence (20 to 44%) of nonconsequentialist choices by subjects, but no evidence of stable individual preference types across situations. In particular, trolley behavior predicts no other ends-versus-means choices. Instead, which moral principle prevails appears to be context-dependent. In contrast, we find a substantial level of consistency across self-versus-other decisions, but individuals’ degree of prosociality is unrelated to how they choose in ends-versus-means tradeoffs.
    JEL: C91 D01 D64
    Date: 2024–01
  19. By: Raissa Fabregas; Michael Kremer; Matthew Lowes; Robert On; Giulia Zane
    Abstract: Mobile phone-based informational programs are widely used worldwide, though there is little consensus on how effective they are at changing behavior. We present causal evidence on the effects of six agricultural information programs delivered through text messages in Kenya and Rwanda. The programs shared similar objectives but were implemented by three different organizations and varied in content, design, and target population. With administrative outcome data for tens of thousands of farmers across all experiments, we are sufficiently powered to detect small effects in real input purchase choices. Combining the results of all experiments through a meta-analysis, we find that the odds ratio for following the recommendations is 1.22 (95% CI: 1.16, 1.29). We cannot reject that impacts are similar across experiments and for two different agricultural inputs. There is little evidence of message fatigue, but the effects diminish over time. Providing more granular information, supplementing the texts with in-person calls, or varying the messages’ framing did not significantly increase impacts, but message repetition had modest positive effects. While the overall effect sizes are small, the low cost of text messages can make these programs cost-effective.
    JEL: Q0
    Date: 2024–01
  20. By: Thomas Dohmen; Elena Shvartsman
    Abstract: Working time autonomy is often accompanied by output-based incentives to counterbalance the loss of monitoring that comes with granting autonomy. However, in such settings, overprovision of effort could arise if workers are uncertain whether their performance suffices to secure the output-based rewards. Perfor-mance feedback can reduce or eliminate such uncertainty. We develop an exper-iment to show that overprovision of costly effort is more likely to occur in work environments with working time autonomy in the absence of feedback. A key fea-ture of our design is that it allows for a clean measurement of effort overprovision by keeping performance per unit of time fixed, which we achieve by calibrating subjects’ productivity on a real effort task ex ante. This novel design can serve as a workhorse for various experiments as it allows for exogenous variation of perfor-mance certainty (i.e., by providing feedback), working time autonomy, productivity, effort costs, and the general incentive structure. We find that subjects provide significantly more costly effort beyond a level necessary to meet their performance targets in the presence of uncertainty, i.e., the absence of feedback, which suggests that feedback shields workers from overprovision of costly effort.
    Keywords: working time autonomy, performance uncertainty, feedback provision, incentives, effort, subjective stress
    JEL: C91 D90 I10 J81
    Date: 2023–03
  21. By: Philipp Lergetporer; Katharina Wedel; Katharina Werner
    Abstract: We study how beliefs about the automatability of workers’ occupation affect labor-market expectations and willingness to participate in further training. In our representative online survey, respondents on average underestimate the automation risk of their occupation, especially those in high-automatability occupations. Randomized information about their occupations’ automatability increases respondents’ concerns about their professional future, and expectations about future changes in their work environment. The information also increases willingness to participate in further training, especially among respondents in highly automatable occupation (+five percentage points). This uptick substantially narrows the gap in willingness to train between those in high- and low-automatability occupations.
    Keywords: automation, further training, labor-market expectations, survey experiment, information
    JEL: J24 O33 I29 D83
    Date: 2023
  22. By: Aljosha Henkel (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Leonhardstrasse 21, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland); Ernst Fehr (Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Blümlisalpstrasse 10, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland); Julien Senn (Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Blümlisalpstrasse 10, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland); Thomas Epper (IESEG School of Management, University of Lille, CNRS, UMR 9221 - LEM - Lille Economie Management, F-59000 Lille, France)
    Abstract: Do beliefs about inequality depend on distributive preferences? What is the joint role of preferences and beliefs about inequality for support for redistribution? We study these questions in a staggered experiment with a representative sample of the Swiss population conducted in the context of a vote on a highly redistributive policy proposal. Our sample comprises a majority of inequality averse subjects, a sizeable group of altruistic subjects, and a minority of predominantly selfish subjects. Irrespective of preference types, individuals vastly overestimate the extent of income inequality. An information intervention successfully corrects these large misperceptions for all types, but essentially does not affect aggregate support for redistribution. These results hide, however, important heterogeneity because the effects of beliefs about inequality for demand for redistribution are preference-dependent: only affluent inequality averse individuals, but not the selfish and altruistic ones, significantly reduce their support for redistribution. These findings cast a new light on the seemingly puzzling result that, in the aggregate, large changes in beliefs about inequality often do not translate into changes in demand for redistribution.
    Keywords: Social Preferences, Beliefs about Inequality, Preferences for Redistribution, Information, Inequality Aversion
    JEL: D31 D72 H23 H24
    Date: 2024–01
  23. By: Jana Schuetz (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)
    Abstract: I conduct an online survey of 3, 000 respondents in the United States to examine individuals’ beliefs about the gender pension gap. By including an information provision experiment in which treated respondents are informed about the size of the gender pension gap, I examine whether receiving this information causally affects respondents’ perceptions of the fairness and drivers of the gender pension gap and their support for policies aimed at reducing it. I find that most respondents underestimate the gender pension gap and that treated respondents are less likely to perceive the gender pension gap as fair. In addition, treated respondents perceive the unequal distribution of care work and gender differences in wages as more important drivers of the gap, and their demand for remedial policies such as targeted financial education increases significantly. In terms of heterogeneity, I find that female respondents are generally less affected by the treatment than male respondents when asked about their policy views, although the treatment affects male and female respondents’ beliefs and perceptions about the gender pension gap similarly.
    Keywords: gender pension gap, survey experiment, information provision, pension reform preferences
    JEL: J26 J16 H55 C90
    Date: 2024–01–31
  24. By: Timm Opitz (MPI-IC)
    Abstract: Organizations increasingly rely on teams to solve complex problems. The ability of teams to work well together is critical to their success. I experimentally test whether team performance is affected by whether team members like each other. I find that teams in which partners like each other do not outperform teams in which partners dislike each other. However, teams in which one partner likes the other more than the other perform best. The performance differences result directly from changes in collaborative behavior when learning the team partner's interpersonal preferences, not indirectly from interacting with different individuals. Participants do not anticipate this pattern and expect to be most successful in a team where partners like each other. This provides insights into how teams should be optimally composed, when self-selection may be detrimental to performance, and what information about others' interpersonal preferences should be revealed.
    Keywords: interpersonal preferences; teamwork; liking; complex problem solving; non-routine tasks;
    JEL: C92 D23 D83 D91
    Date: 2024–02–09
  25. By: Boeri, Tito Michele; Gamalerio, Matteo; Morelli, Massimo; Negri, Margherita
    Abstract: We study whether a better knowledge of the functioning of pay-as-you-go pension systems and recent demographic trends in the hosting country affects natives' attitudes towards immigration. In two online experiments in Italy and Spain, we randomly treated participants with a video explaining how, in pay-as-you-go pension systems, the payment of current pensions depends on the contributions paid by current workers. The video also explains that the ratio between the number of pensioners and the number of workers in their countries will grow substantially in the future. We find that the treatment improves participants' knowledge about how a pay-as-you-go system works and the future demographic trends in their country. However, we find that only treated participants who support non-populist parties display more positive attitudes towards migrants, even though the treatment increases knowledge of pension systems and demographic trends for all participants.
    Keywords: information provision; experiment; immigration; pay-as-you-go pension systems; population ageing; populism
    JEL: C90 D83 H55 J15 F22
    Date: 2023–03–16
  26. By: Kwabena Donkor; Lorenz Goette; Maximilian W. Müller; Eugen Dimant; Michael Kurschilgen
    Abstract: This paper examines how beliefs and preferences drive identity-conforming consumption or investments. We introduce a theory that explains how identity distorts individuals’ beliefs about potential outcomes and imposes psychic costs on benefiting from identity-incongruent sources. We substantiate our theoretical foundation through two lab-infield experiments on soccer betting in Kenya and the UK, where participants either had established affiliations with the teams involved or assumed a neutral stance. The results indicate that soccer fans have overoptimistic beliefs about match outcomes that align with their identity and bet significantly higher amounts on those than on outcomes of comparable games where they are neutral. After accounting for individuals’ beliefs and risk preferences, our structural estimates reveal that participants undervalue gains from identity-incongruent assets by 9% to 27%. Our counterfactual simulations imply that identity-specific beliefs account for 30% to 44% of the investment differences between neutral observers and supporters, with the remainder being due to identity preferences.
    Keywords: identity, investments, beliefs
    JEL: D91 G41 Z10
    Date: 2023
  27. By: Benjamin Monnery (EconomiX (UMR 7235), UPL, Université Paris Nanterre, CNRS, 200 avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre cedex, France); Alexandre Chirat (EconomiX (UMR 7235), UPL, Université Paris Nanterre, CNRS, 200 avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre cedex, France)
    Abstract: Western democracies experienced in recent decades a transformation of the relationship between citizens and their representatives towards greater accountability and transparency. These demands led to the emergence of new regulations and anti-corruption institutions. However, it often remains unknown whether such institutions are able to secure public trust and legitimacy in order to fulfill their mission effectively. The paper investigates this question by focusing on France, which quickly became a leader in the fight against corruption after the launch in 2013 of the High Authority for the Transparency in Public Life (HATVP). We run a survey experiment among 3, 000 citizens and 33 experts to collect their prior beliefs about political corruption, and then evaluate the impact of granting basic information on citizens’ perceptions about the effectiveness and legitimacy of the French anti-corruption agency. First, results show a large divide between the average citizen and the more optimistic experts about the dynamics of political integrity. Second, citizens have heterogeneous beliefs and those most distrustful are not only more likely to vote for populist candidates or abstain but are also the least informed about the anti-corruption agency. Third, the information provision experiment has meaningful and positive impacts on citizens’ perceptions of the HATVP, political transparency, and representative democracy. The beneficial effects are as large or even larger among the most distrustful and ill-informed citizens, and can close part of the gap with the assessments made by experts.
    Keywords: Political corruption; Political trust; Anti-corruption agency; Integrity; Populism; survey experiment
    JEL: C99 D72 M48 P37
    Date: 2024–02
  28. By: Aydin, Deniz; Kim, Olivia S.
    Abstract: Firms with ample financial slack are unconstrained... or are they? In a field experiment that randomly expands debt capacity on business credit lines, treated small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) draw down 35 cents on the dollar of expanded debt capacity in the short-run and 55 cents in the long-run despite having debt levels far below their borrowing limit before the intervention. SMEs direct new borrowing to financing investment gradually over time and do not exhibit a measurable impact on delinquencies. Heterogeneity analysis by the risk of being at the credit line limit supports the SME motive to preserve financial flexibility.
    Keywords: field experiment, RCT, finance, investment, debt structure
    Date: 2024

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.