Gerhard Klimeck, Anya Samek
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 8

We conducted an experiment with 30,000 users of a virtual nanotechnology facility, nanoHUB.org. 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.
Greer K Gosnell, John A List, Robert D Metcalfe
Cited by*: 8 Downloads*: 42

Understanding motivations in the workplace remains of utmost import as economies around the world rely on increases in labor productivity to foster sustainable economic growth. This study makes use of a unique opportunity to "look under the hood" of an organization that critically relies on worker effort and performance. By partnering with Virgin Atlantic Airways on a field experiment that includes over 40,000 unique flights covering an eight-month period, we explore how information and incentives affect captains' performance. Making use of more than 110,000 captain-level observations, we find that our set of treatments-which include performance information, personal targets, and prosocial incentives-induces captains to improve efficiency in all three key flight areas: pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight. We estimate that our treatments saved between 266,000-704,000 kg of fuel for the airline over the eight-month experimental period. These savings led to between 838,000-2.22 million kg of CO2 abated at a marginal abatement cost of negative $250 per ton of CO2 (i.e. a $250 savings per ton abated) over the eight-month experimental period. Methodologically, our approach highlights the potential usefulness of moving beyond an experimental design that focuses on short-run substitution effects, and it also suggests a new way to combat firm-level externalities: target workers rather than the firm as a whole.
Adriaan R Soetevent
Cited by*: 63 Downloads*: 51

The role of anonymity in giving is examined in a field experiment performed in thirty Dutch churches. For a period of 29 weeks, the means by which offerings are gathered is determined by chance, prescribing for each offering the use of either 'closed' collection bags or open collection baskets. When using baskets, attendants' contributions can be identified by their direct neighbors, and attendants can observe the total amount given by the people who preceded them. Initially, contributions to the services' second offerings increase by 10% when baskets are used, whereas no effect is found for first offerings. The positive effect of using baskets peters out over the experimental period. Additional data on the coins collected show that in both offerings, people switch to giving larger coins when baskets are used.
Anne M Farrell, Susan D Krische, Karen L Sedatole
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 4

Complementing proprietary archival data with an experiment, we examine employees' subjective valuations of their employee stock options and explore a stock option education program as a mechanism for influencing those valuations. We argue that the conflicting evidence on employee subjective valuations in prior studies can be attributed in part to knowledge differences. Our archival and experimental results show most employees value their options lower than the corresponding Black-Scholes cost. We find that a stock option education program that provides descriptive information about the Black-Scholes option pricing model and quantitative information about option values using that model increases not only employees' subjective valuations but also their self-reported loyalty and motivation. We complement our primary results with analyses of the cross-sectional determinants of subjective valuations, the differential effects on valuations of different components of the education program, and the heuristics used to formulate subjective valuations.
Maria De Paola, Francesca Gioia, Vincenzo Scoppa
Cited by*: 7 Downloads*: 12

We conducted a field experiment involving 720 Italian undergraduate students to investigate the existence of gender differences in performance in competitive settings and whether performance is affected by one's opponent gender. The experimental design was aimed at disentangling gender differences in taste for competition from other differences in psychological attitudes, such as self-confidence and risk aversion. Students were invited to undertake a midterm exam under a tournament scheme having as a prize some bonus points to add to the final grade. Students competed in pairs of equal predicted ability but different gender composition. We find that females are as likely as males to take part in the competition and to obtain a good performance. The gender of one's competitor does not play any role in shaping students' behavior. Men and women perform similarly both in the competitive and in the non-competitive environment.
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.
Peter Bohm
Cited by*: 1 Downloads*: 13

No abstract available
John Horowitz, John A List, Kenneth E McConnell
Cited by*: 2 Downloads*: 14

The notion of diminishing marginal value had a profound impact on the development of neoclassical theory. Early neoclassical scholars had difficulty convincing contemporaries of the new paradigm's value until political economists used the critical assumption of diminishing marginal value to link utility and demand. While diminishing marginal value remains a key component of modern economic intuition, there is little direct verification of this behavioral property. This paper reports experiments on a myriad of subject pools to examine behavior in both price and exchange settings. We report results from nearly 900 subjects across 19 treatments and find strong evidence of diminishing marginal value.
Peter Bohm
Cited by*: 3 Downloads*: 16

The robust laboratory evidence of preference reversal for lotteries has been interpreted as a threat to the general vailidity of standard theories of decision-making under uncertainty. This evidence is obtained from laboratory, that is, not real-world, lotteries with subjects who have not sought to make decisions among such lotteries. Here, the prevalence of preference reversal is studied in a field experiment with used cars, that is, a case of real-world non-trivial, non-lottery - but still payoff-uncertain - choice objects, and with subjects who registered as potential buyers of such cars. No sign of preference reversal was observed.
John A List, David Lucking-Reiley
Cited by*: 12 Downloads*: 9

Whether rationality of economic behavior increases with expected payoffs and decreases with the cognitive cost it takes to formulate an optimal strategy remains an open question. We explore these issues with field data, using individual bids from sealed-bid auctions in which we sold nearly $10,000 worth of sportscards. Our results indicate that stakes do indeed matter, as high-priced ($70) cards produced more of the theoretically predicted strategic behavior than did lower-priced ($3) cards. We find additional evidence consistent with the importance of cognitive costs, as subjects more experienced with sportscard auctions exhibited a greater tendency to behave strategically than did less experienced bidders.