Charles Bellemare, Sabine Kroger, Arthur van Soest
Cited by*: 3 Downloads*: 9

We combine the choice data of proposers and responders in the ultimatum game, their expectations elicited in the form of subjective probability questions, and the choice data of proposers (dictators) in a dictator game to estimate a structural model of decision making under uncertainty. We use a large and representative sample of subjects drawn from the Dutch population. Our results indicate that there is considerable heterogeneity in preferences for equity in the population. Changes in preferences have an important impact on decisions of dictators in the dictator game and responders in the ultimatum game, but a smaller impact on decisions of proposers in the ultimatum game, a result due to proposers subjective expectations about responders decisions. The model which uses subjective data on expectations has better predictive power and lower noise level than a model which assumes that players have rational expectations.
Lorenz Goette, Alois Stutzer, Michael Zehnder
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 34

In this paper, we propose a decision framework where people are individually asked to either actively consent or dissent to some pro-social behavior. We hypothesize that confronting individuals with the choice of engaging in a specific pro-social behavior contributes to the formation of issue-specific altruistic preferences while simultaneously involving a commitment. The hypothesis is tested in a large-scale field experiment on blood donation. We find that this "active-decision" intervention substantially increases the stated willingness to donate blood, as well as the actual donation behavior of people who have not fully formed preferences beforehand.
Luis Cabral, Lingfang Li
Cited by*: 1 Downloads*: 41

We run a series of controlled field experiments on eBay where buyers are re-warded for providing feedback. Our results provide little support for the hypothesis of buyer's rational economic behavior: the likelihood of feedback barely increases as we increase feedback rebate values; also, the speed of feedback, bid levels and the number of bids are all insensitive to rebate values. By contrast, we find evidence consistent with reciprocal buyer behavior. Lower trans-action quality leads to a higher probability of negative feedback as well as a speeding up of such negative feedback. However, when transaction quality is low (as measured by slow shipping), offering a rebate significantly decreases the likelihood of negative feedback. All in all, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that buyers reciprocate the seller's "good deeds" (feedback rebate, high transaction quality) with more frequent and more favorable feedback. As a result, sellers can "buy" feedback, but such feedback is likely to be biased.
John A List, Anya Samek
Cited by*: 2 Downloads*: 14

Almost a third of US children ages 2-19 are deemed overweight or obese, and part of the problem is the habitual decision to consume high calorie, low nutrient foods. We propose that the school lunchroom provides a 'teachable moment' to engage children in making healthful choices. We conduct a field experiment with over 1,500 participants in grades K-8 and evaluate the impact of small non-monetary incentives on the selection of milk in the school lunchroom. At baseline, only 16% of children select white milk relative to 84% choosing chocolate milk. We find a significant effect of incentives, which increase white milk selection by 2.5 times, to 40%. One concern with incentives is that they may decrease intrinsic motivation to eat healthy, called 'crowd-out of intrinsic motivation.' However, we do not find evidence of 'crowd-out'; rather, we see some suggestive evidence of the positive habit forming effect of incentives.
Gerhard Klimeck, Anya Samek
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 8

We conducted an experiment with 30,000 users of a virtual nanotechnology facility, We investigate the effect of virtual points and message framing on user participation in a survey. In one treatment, users receive points for completing the survey. In another treatment, users are exposed to a visual observation cue. We vary the social message, either emphasizing the private benefit to the user or the social benefit to the community of participation. Participation rates are increased through virtual points and for users receiving the private benefit messaging. The observation cue doesn't have an effect.
Uri Gneezy, Aldo Rustichini
Cited by*: 287 Downloads*: 81

The deterrence hypothesis predicts that the introduction of a penalty that leaves everything else unchanged will reduce the occurrence of the behavior subject to the fine. We present the result of a field study in a group of day-care centers that contradicts this prediction. Parents used to arrive late to collect their children, forcing a teacher to stay after closing time. We introduced a monetary fine for late-coming parents. As a result, the number of late-coming parents increased significantly. After the fine was removed no reduction occurred. We argue that penalties are usually introduced into an incomplete contract, social or private. They may change the information that agents have, and therefore the effect on behavior may be opposite of that expected. If this is true, the deterrence hypothesis loses its predictive strength, since the clause "everything else is left unchanged" might be hard to satisfy.
Andreas Lange, John A List, Michael K Price
Cited by*: 3 Downloads*: 7

The tontine, which is an interesting mixture of group annuity, group life insurance, and lottery, has a peculiar place in economic history. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it played a major role in raising funds to finance public goods in Europe, but today it is rarely encountered outside of a dusty footnote in actuarial course notes or as a means to thicken the plot of a murder mystery. This study provides a formal model of individual contribution decisions under a modern variant of the historical tontine mechanism that is easily implemented by private charities. Our model incorporates desirable properties of the historical tontine to develop a mechanism to fund the private provision of a public good. The tontine-like mechanism we derive is predicted to outperform not only the voluntary contribution mechanism but also another widely used mechanism: charitable lotteries. Our experimental test of the instrument provides some evidence of the beneficial effects associated with implementing tontine-like schemes. We find that the mechanism has particular power in cases where agents are risk-averse or in situations where substantial asymmetries characterize individual preferences for the public good.
Michael E Levine, Charles R Plott
Cited by*: 11 Downloads*: 32

No abstract available
Todd Cherry, John A List
Cited by*: 7 Downloads*: 3

This paper uses county-level panel data to test the appropriateness of the 'one size fits all' reduced-form regression approach commonly used when estimating the economic model of crime. Empirical results provide initial evidence that previous studies, which restrict deterrent effects to have identical impacts across crime types, may be presenting statistically biased results.
Tova Levin, Steven D Levitt, John A List
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 37

The wealthiest 10% of donors now give 90% of charitable dollars in the U.S., but little is known about what motivates them. This study uses a natural field experiment, tracking over five thousand high capacity donors, to lend preliminary insights into the world of high capacity givers. On some dimensions, high capacity donors mirror modal donors: there is persistence in giving patterns, signals of program quality influence giving, and the price of giving is not unduly important. Unlike typical small donors, the givers in our data respond only on the intensive margin, and often with a longer time lag. Our study highlights the value to practitioners of partnering with academics, as our intervention has generated $30 million in incremental donations to the University.