Douglas V DeJong, Robert Forsythe, Wilfred C Uecker
Cited by*: 13 Downloads*: 12

Using the data from sealed offer laboratory markets, we compare the price and quality choices of student subjects with those of businessmen subjects. The businessmen subjects were public accounting firm partners and corporate financial officers. This is of interest since the financial officer-auditor relationship is one particular application of the elementary principal-agent model which the laboratory environment was designed to test. Using several different performance measures we are unable to reject the null hypothesis that the average performance of the two subject pools were the same. However, the market using businessmen subjects generally exhibited greater variance than the market using students.
Cannon Koo, John A List, Michael Margolis, Jason F Shogren
Cited by*: 31 Downloads*: 9

Second-price auctions are designed to induce people to reveal their private preferences for a good. Laboratory evidence suggests that while these auctions do a reasonable job on aggregate, they fall short at the individual level, especially for bidders who are off-margin of the market-clearing price. Herein we introduce and explore whether a random nth-price auction can engage all bidders to bid sincerely. Our results first show that the random nth-price auction can induce sincere bidding in theory and practice. We then compare the random nth-price to the second-price auction. We find that the second-price auction works better on-margin, and the random nth-price auction works better off-margin.
John A List, Charles F Mason
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 20

Are individuals expected utility maximizers? This question represents much more than academic curiosity. In a normative sense, at stake are the fundamental underpinnings of the bulk of the last half-century's models of choice under uncertainty. From a positive perspective, the ubiquitous use of benefit-cost analysis across government agencies renders the expected utility maximization paradigm literally the only game in town. In this study, we advance the literature by exploring CEO's preferences over small probability, high loss lotteries. Using undergraduate students as our experimental control group, we find that both our CEO and student subject pools exhibit frequent and large departures from expected utility theory. In addition, as the extreme payoffs become more likely CEOs exhibit greater aversion to risk. Our results suggest that use of the expected utility paradigm in decision making substantially underestimates society's willingness to pay to reduce risk in small probability, high loss events.
Jayson L Lusk, Ted C Schroeder
Cited by*: 125 Downloads*: 80

This study compares hypothetical and nonhypothetical responses to choice experiment questions. We test for hypothetical bias in a choice experiment involving beef ribeye steaks with differing quality attributes. In general, hypothetical responses predicted higher probabilities of purchasing beef steaks than nonhypothetical resposnes. Thus, hypothetical choices overestimate total willingness-to-pay for beef steaks. However, marginal willingness-to-pay for a change in steak quality is, in general, not statistically different across hypothetical and actual payment settings.
Richard O Biel, David N Laband
Cited by*: 17 Downloads*: 71

There is considerable professional disagreement among economists about whether economists are less cooperative than non-economists. It has been argued that once an individual has been schooled in the self-interest model of individual human behavior (s)he exhibits more selfish behavior than other, ostensibly similar individuals who have not been taught to fully appreciate Homo economicus. Heretofore, the empirical debate has centered around classroom experiments designed to compare the "honesty" of undergraduate economics majors versus non economics majors. However, methodological problems have plagued these studies, leaving both sides at an impasse. We offer unique and compelling real-world evidence that suggests economists are no less cooperative than non-economists. Indeed, after comparing the incidence of "cheating" on their Association dues, we find that professional economists are significantly more honest/cooperative than professional political scientists, and especially, professional sociologists.
David J Cooper
Cited by*: 6 Downloads*: 13

This paper studies experiments set in a corporate environment where a manager attempts to overcome a history of coordination failure by employees using either financial incentives or communication. I compare the choices of subject managers drawn from a standard undergraduate population with subject managers drawn from the executive MBA (EMBA) program at Case?s Weatherhead School of Management. The EMBA subjects are a group of experienced, successful managers; all of the EMBA subjects have at least ten years of work experience, including at least five years in a supervisory role, and have average annual earnings in excess of $120,000. The EMBA subject managers are able to overcome a history of coordination failure significantly faster than the undergraduate subject managers. This superior performance is driven neither by differences in the financial incentives offered to the employees nor by use of an inherently different communications strategy. Instead, EMBA subject managers are significantly more likely to use the same "good" communication strategy as is identified for undergraduate subject managers through systematic coding of managers messages to employees.
Joseph Henrich, Richard McElreath
Cited by*: 32 Downloads*: 33

Evidence shows that real-effort investments can affect bilateral bargaining outcomes. This paper investigates whether similar investments can inhibit equilibrium convergence of experimental markets. In one treatment, sellers' relative effort affects the allocation of production costs, but a random productivity shock ensures that the allocation is not necessarily equitable. In another treatment, sellers' effort increases the buyers' valuation of a good. We find that effort investments have a short-lived impact on trading behavior when sellers' effort benefits buyers, but no effect when effort determines cost allocation. Efficiency rates are high and do not differ across treatments.
Andreas Leibbrandt
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 5

This paper combines experimental with field data from professional sellers to study whether social preferences are related to performance in natural markets. The data show that sellers who are more pro-social in a laboratory experiment are also more successful in natural markets: they achieve higher prices, have superior trade relations and better abilities to signal trustworthiness to buyers. These findings suggest that social preferences play a significant role for outcomes in natural markets.
Omar Al-Ubaydli, Jason Chien-Yu, John A List
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The "voltage effect" is defined as the tendency for a program's efficacy to change when it is scaled up, which in most cases results in the absolute size of a program's treatment effects to diminish when the program is scaled. Understanding the scaling problem and taking steps to diminish voltage drops are important because if left unaddressed, the scaling problem can weaken the public's faith in science, and it can lead to a misallocation of public resources. There exists a growing literature illustrating the prevalence of the scaling problem, explaining its causes, and proposing countermeasures. This paper adds to the literature by providing a simple model of the scaling problem that is consistent with rational expectations by the key stakeholders. Our model highlights that asymmetric information is a key contributor to the voltage effect.
Michael S Haigh, John A List
Cited by*: 10 Downloads*: 15

We compare behavior across students and professional traders from the Chicago Board of Trade in a classic Allais paradox experiment. Our experiment tests whether independence, a necessary condition in expected utility theory, is systematically violated. We find that both students and professionals exhibit some behavior consistent with the Allais paradox, but the data pattern does suggest that the trader population falls prey to the Allais paradox less frequently than the student population.