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Experimental Economics

Verena Kurz, Andreas Orland, Kinga Posadzy
We investigate in a laboratory experiment whether procedural fairness concerns affect how well individuals are able to solve a coordination problem in a two-player Volunteer's Dilemma. Subjects receive external action recommendations, either to volunteer or to abstain from it, in order to facilitate coordination and improve efficiency. We manipulate the fairness of the recommendation procedure by varying the probabilities of receiving the disadvantageous recommendation to volunteer between players. We find evidence that while recommendations improve overall efficiency regardless of their implications for expected payoffs, there are behavioural asymmetries depending on the recommendation: advantageous recommendations are followed less frequently than disadvantageous ones and beliefs about others' actions are more pessimistic in the treatment with recommendations inducing unequal expected payoffs...
2018: Experimental Economics
Timo Heinrich, Thomas Mayrhofer
We study prudence and temperance (next to risk aversion) in social settings. Previous experimental studies have shown that these higher-order risk preferences affect the choices of individuals deciding privately on lotteries that only affect their own payoff. Yet, many risky and financially relevant decisions are made in the social settings of households or organizations. We elicit higher-order risk preferences of individuals and systematically vary how an individual's decision is made (alone or while communicating with a partner) and who is affected by the decision (only the individual or the partner as well)...
2018: Experimental Economics
Leonidas Spiliopoulos, Andreas Ortmann
For decisions in the wild, time is of the essence. Available decision time is often cut short through natural or artificial constraints, or is impinged upon by the opportunity cost of time. Experimental economists have only recently begun to conduct experiments with time constraints and to analyze response time (RT) data, in contrast to experimental psychologists. RT analysis has proven valuable for the identification of individual and strategic decision processes including identification of social preferences in the latter case, model comparison/selection, and the investigation of heuristics that combine speed and performance by exploiting environmental regularities...
2018: Experimental Economics
Aurélien Baillon, Harris Schlesinger, Gijs van de Kuilen
We report the results from an experiment designed to measure attitudes towards ambiguity beyond ambiguity aversion. In particular, we implement recently-proposed model-free preference conditions of ambiguity prudence and ambiguity temperance. Ambiguity prudence has been shown to play an important role in precautionary behavior and the mere presence of ambiguity averse agents in markets. We observe that the majority of individuals' decisions are consistent with ambiguity aversion, ambiguity prudence and ambiguity temperance...
2018: Experimental Economics
Michael Kirchler, Stefan Palan
Reciprocation of monetary gifts is well-understood in economics. In contrast, there is little research on reciprocal behavior following immaterial gifts like compliments. We narrow this gap and investigate how employees reciprocate after receiving immaterial gifts and material gifts over time. We purchase (1) ice cream from fast food restaurants, and (2) durum doner, a common lunch snack, from independent vendors. Prior to the food's preparation, we either compliment or tip the salesperson. We find that salespersons reciprocate compliments with higher product weight than in a control treatment...
2018: Experimental Economics
Antonio A Arechar, Simon Gächter, Lucas Molleman
Online labor markets provide new opportunities for behavioral research, but conducting economic experiments online raises important methodological challenges. This particularly holds for interactive designs. In this paper, we provide a methodological discussion of the similarities and differences between interactive experiments conducted in the laboratory and online. To this end, we conduct a repeated public goods experiment with and without punishment using samples from the laboratory and the online platform Amazon Mechanical Turk...
2018: Experimental Economics
Lina Koppel, David Andersson, India Morrison, Kinga Posadzy, Daniel Västfjäll, Gustav Tinghög
Pain is a highly salient and attention-demanding experience that motivates people to act. We investigated the effect of pain on decision making by delivering acute thermal pain to participants' forearm while they made risky and intertemporal choices involving money. Participants (n = 107) were more risk seeking under pain than in a no-pain control condition when decisions involved gains but not when they involved equivalent losses. Pain also resulted in greater preference for immediate (smaller) over future (larger) monetary rewards...
2017: Experimental Economics
Esther Blanco, Tobias Haller, James M Walker
Using an appropriation game setting, we examine individual responses to changes in a groups' vulnerability to a probabilistic loss ( L ) of a public good. The probabilistic loss parameter entails losing 10, 50 or 90% of the value of the public good that is maintained through cooperation, where the likelihood of the loss decreases in total group cooperation. By design, the expected marginal net benefits to an individual and the expected harm to others depends endogenously on the individuals' expectations of group cooperation and exogenously on the magnitude of the loss parameter...
2017: Experimental Economics
Lenka Fiala, Sigrid Suetens
We use data from experiments on finitely repeated dilemma games with fixed matching to investigate the effect of different types of information on cooperation. The data come from 71 studies using the voluntary contributions paradigm, covering 122 data points, and from 18 studies on decision-making in oligopoly, covering another 50 data points. We find similar effects in the two sets of experimental games. We find that transparency about what everyone in a group earns reduces contributions to the public good, as well as the degree of collusion in oligopoly markets...
2017: Experimental Economics
Anujit Chakraborty, Evan M Calford, Guidon Fenig, Yoram Halevy
We evaluate data on choices made from convex time budgets (CTB) in Andreoni and Sprenger (Am Econ Rev 102(7):3333-3356, 2012a) and Augenblick et al. (Q J Econ 130(3):1067-1115, 2015), two influential studies that proposed and applied this experimental technique. We use the weak axiom of revealed preference (WARP) to test for external consistency relative to pairwise choice, and demand, wealth and impatience monotonicity to test for internal consistency. We find that choices made by subjects in the original Andreoni and Sprenger (Am Econ Rev 102(7):3333-3356, 2012a) paper violate WARP frequently; violations of all three internal measures of monotonicity are concentrated in subjects who take advantage of the novel feature of CTB by making interior choices...
2017: Experimental Economics
Thomas Buser, Anna Dreber, Johanna Mollerstrom
Individual willingness to enter competitive environments predicts career choices and labor market outcomes. Meanwhile, many people experience competitive contexts as stressful. We use two laboratory experiments to investigate whether factors related to stress can help explain individual differences in tournament entry. Experiment 1 studies whether stress responses (measured as salivary cortisol) to taking part in a mandatory tournament predict individual willingness to participate in a voluntary tournament...
2017: Experimental Economics
Jingnan Chen, Daniel Houser
We design a laboratory experiment to examine predictions of trustworthiness in a novel three-person trust game. We investigate whether and why observers of the game can predict the trustworthiness of hand-written communications. Observers report their perception of the trustworthiness of messages, and make predictions about the senders' behavior. Using observers' decisions, we are able to classify messages as "promises" or "empty talk." Drawing from substantial previous research, we hypothesize that certain factors influence whether a sender is likely to honor a message and/or whether an observer perceives the message as likely to behonored: the mention of money; the use of encompassing words; and message length...
2017: Experimental Economics
Francesca Gioia
This paper investigates whether and to what extent group identity plays a role in peer effects on risk behaviour. We run a laboratory experiment in which different levels of group identity are induced through different matching protocols (random or based on individual painting preferences) and the possibility to interact with group members via an online chat in a group task. Risk behaviour is measured by using the Bomb Risk Elicitation Task and peer influence is introduced by giving subjects feedback regarding group members' previous decisions...
2017: Experimental Economics
Michèle Belot, Jeroen van de Ven
We provide experimental evidence on the ability to detect deceit in a buyer-seller game with asymmetric information. Sellers have private information about the value of a good and sometimes have incentives to mislead buyers. We examine if buyers can spot deception in face-to-face encounters. We vary whether buyers can interrogate the seller and the contextual richness. The buyers' prediction accuracy is above chance, and is substantial for confident buyers. There is no evidence that the option to interrogate is important and only weak support that contextual richness matters...
2017: Experimental Economics
Jordi Brandts, Christina Rott, Carles Solà
We conduct a laboratory experiment to study how, after a history of decay, cooperation in a repeated voluntary contribution game can be revived in an enduring way. Simply starting the repeated game over-a simple fresh start-leads to an initial increase of cooperation, but to a subsequent new decay. Motivated by cooperation decay in organizations we study the potential of three interventions of triggering higher and sustained cooperation, which take place at the same time as a restart. Surprisingly, we find that the detailed explanation of the causes of the decay in cooperation of Fischbacher and Gächter (Am Econ Rev 100:541-556, 2010) combined with an advice on how to prevent decay do not have an effect beyond that of just starting over...
2016: Experimental Economics
Simon Gächter, Lingbo Huang, Martin Sefton
We introduce the "ball-catching task", a novel computerized task, which combines a tangible action ("catching balls") with induced material cost of effort. The central feature of the ball-catching task is that it allows researchers to manipulate the cost of effort function as well as the production function, which permits quantitative predictions on effort provision. In an experiment with piece-rate incentives we find that the comparative static and the point predictions on effort provision are remarkably accurate...
2016: Experimental Economics
Marcelo Tyszler, Arthur Schram
We theoretically and experimentally study voter behavior in a setting characterized by plurality rule and mandatory voting. Voters choose from three options. We are interested in the occurrence of strategic voting in an environment where Condorcet cycles may occur and focus on how information about the preference distribution affects strategic behavior. We also vary the relative importance of the second preferred option. Quantal response equilibrium analysis is used to analyze the game and derive predictions...
2016: Experimental Economics
Theo Offerman, Asa B Palley
Strictly proper scoring rules are designed to truthfully elicit subjective probabilistic beliefs from risk neutral agents. Previous experimental studies have identified two problems with this method: (i) risk aversion causes agents to bias their reports toward the probability of [Formula: see text], and (ii) for moderate beliefs agents simply report [Formula: see text]. Applying a prospect theory model of risk preferences, we show that loss aversion can explain both of these behavioral phenomena. Using the insights of this model, we develop a simple off-the-shelf probability assessment mechanism that encourages loss-averse agents to report true beliefs...
2016: Experimental Economics
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