John A List
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Last year 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 and update. In this document I update all figures and numbers to show the details for 2020. I also include the description from the 2019 paper.
John A List
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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 2021. I also include the description from the 2019 paper below.
John A List
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2022 Summary of Artefactual Experiments
Charles Bellemare, Sabine Kroger, Arthur van Soest
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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.
Luigi Butera, John A List
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Novel empirical insights by their very nature tend to be unanticipated, and in some cases at odds with the current state of knowledge on the topic. The mechanics of statistical inference suggest that such initial findings, even when robust and statistically significant within the study, should not appreciably move priors about the phenomenon under investigation. Yet, a few well-conceived independent replications dramatically improve the reliability of novel findings. Nevertheless, the incentives to replicate are seldom in place in the sciences, especially within the social sciences. We propose a simple incentive-compatible mechanism to promote replications, and use experimental economics to highlight our approach. We begin by reporting results from an experiment in which we investigate how cooperation in allocation games is affected by the presence of Knightian uncertainty (ambiguity), a pervasive and yet unexplored characteristic of most public goods. Unexpectedly, we find that adding uncertainty enhances cooperation. This surprising result serves as a test case for our mechanism: instead of sending this paper to a peer-reviewed journal, we make it available online as a working paper, but we commit never to submit it to a journal for publication. We instead offered co-authorship for a second, yet to be written, paper to other scholars willing to independently replicate our study. That second paper will reference this working paper, will include all replications, and will be submitted to a peer- reviewed journal for publication. Our mechanism allows mutually-beneficial gains from trade between the original investigators and other scholars, alleviates the publication bias problem that often surrounds novel experimental results, and accelerates the advancement of economic science by leveraging the mechanics of statistical inference.
Michael J. Seiler, Eric Walden
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This study examines strategic mortgage default on a neurological level. Specifically, we test two mainstream behavioral finance/economic theories: sunk cost fallacy and cognitive dissonance. Using fMRI technology, we identify a number of substrates within the brain that provide a neurobiological explanation for why some homeowners exercise their mortgage put option while others do not. We find that borrowers rationally do not suffer from the sunk cost fallacy as it relates to strategic default in that stye significantly prioritize their negative equity position over the amount of their initial down payment. We do, however, find neurological support that cognitive dissonance is relevant in homeowners' thought processes as they toil with the hesitancy brought on by the belief that strategic default is immortal against strong financial incentive to walk away from a substantially underwater mortgage.
Luigi Butera, Philip J Grossman, Daniel Houser, John A List, Marie-Claire Villeval
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Creation of empirical knowledge in economics has taken a dramatic turn in the past few decades. One feature of the new research landscape is the nature and extent to which scholars generate data. Today, in nearly every field the experimental approach plays an increasingly crucial role in testing theories and informing organizational decisions. Whereas there is much to appreciate about this revolution, recently a credibility crisis has taken hold across the social sciences, arguing that an important component of Fischer (1935)'s tripod has not been fully embraced: replication. Indeed, while the importance of replications is not debatable scientifically, current incentives are not sufficient to encourage replications from the individual researcher's perspective. We propose a novel mechanism that promotes replications by leveraging mutually beneficial gains between scholars and editors. We develop a model capturing the trade-offs involved in seeking independent replications before submission of a paper to journals. We showcase our method via an investigation of the effects of Knightian uncertainty on cooperation rates in public goods games, a pervasive and yet largely unexplored feature in the literature.
Hansika Kapoor, Savita Kulkarni, Anirudh Tagat
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This study aims to investigate intra-household bargaining outcomes elicited in an artefactual field experiment design where participants completed a purchase task of real commodities. Married couples separately expressed their initial preferences over commodities. The bargaining process in the experiment was exogenously introduced by sharing information about partners' preferences in the treatment group. We hypothesized that the spouse with weaker bargaining position at the household level would consider the information of their partner's preferences while making own consumption decisions more compared to their partner. Therefore, they may deviate from their own preferences when purchasing commodities. More than 230 married couples from two villages in the Tamil Nadu state of India participated in the experiment. It was observed that information about partners' spending preferences resulted in reduced final allocation for female participants. However, the deviation was not significantly different from the original intention to spend. Therefore, information about partners' preferences may not be an effective medium to elicit bargaining power in the context of jointly-consumed household commodities. Subgroup analyses were performed to identify any heterogeneous treatment effects.
Inkyoung Hur, Sung-Hee Kim, Anya Samek, Ji Soo Yi
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We investigate the effect of different interactive technologies on the decision-making process in an information search laboratory experiment. In our experiment, the participant makes a selection from a list of differently-valued objects with multiple attributes. We compare presenting information in static form to two methods of interactive presentation. In the first, the participant can manually sort objects by attribute, a capability similar to that found in spreadsheet software. In the second, we present an interactive visual tool that (1) automatically sorts all objects by attribute and (2) uses visual cues for comparisons. Manual sorting capability does not cause an improvement in decisions in this context. On the other hand, the visual tool increases the value of the objects selected by the participant and decreases time spent deliberating. We also find that our interactive presentations affect the decision-making process of participants by changing the number of intermediate options considered. Our results highlight the importance of investigating the effect of technology on information search, and suggest that appropriate interactive visual displays may improve search in practice.
Anya Samek
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Reputation systems provide decision support for e-commerce. A shortcoming of existing systems is that all transactions are rated equally, and the impact of reputation systems for differently valued goods is not well understood. In an experiment, we study a heterogeneous good market. We find that the reputation system increases surplus by increasing transactions in the high value good. Allowing for heterogeneous goods reduces information, as buyers cannot determine whether the seller previously transacted in low/high value goods. We test a new system, which displays reputation separately for each good. We provide evidence that this additional information is utilized in decisions.