Sera Linardi, Tomomi Tanaka
Cited by*: 3 Downloads*: 7

This paper describes a randomized field experiment testing the impact of a savings competition on the behavior of working homeless individuals at a transitional shelter. When monetary prizes were offered for achieving the highest saving rates within a particular month, average savings increased by $80 (a 30% increase) while income and attendance at case management meetings remained unchanged. However, repeating the competition in the following month had no effect because responsive savers selected out of the shelter after the first month. In summary, while competition can increase savings in the short run, its effect may be limited to the intensive margin and may diminish with repetition. Combined with our findings that the strongest determinant of savings is income, it appear that for transitional populations on the economic margin, policies that provide opportunities to increase income may be a more effective first step than saving incentives.
Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Leigh Linden
Cited by*: 2 Downloads*: 54

This note presents the results obtained after the first year of a two-year randomized evaluation of a computer assisted learning (CAL) program in Vadodara, India. The CAL program, implemented by a NGO, took advantage of the donation of four computers to each municipal primary school in Vadodara by the state government. The program provided each child in the fourth standard with two hours of shared computer time in which students played educational games that reinforced mathematics competencies ranging from the standard 1 to the standard 3 level. We find the program to be quite effective. On average, it increased math scores by 0.37 standard deviations. The program effect is slightly higher at the bottom of the distribution but persists throughout the distribution. The program had no apparent spillover on language competencies.
Thomas S Dee
Cited by*: 5 Downloads*: 7

Wisconsin's influential Learnfare initiative is a conditional cash penalty program that sanctions a family's welfare grant when covered teens fail to meet school attendance targets. In the presence of reference-dependent preferences, Learnfare provides uniquely powerful financial incentives for student performance. However, a 10-county random-assignment evaluation suggested that Learnfare had no sustained effects on school enrollment and attendance. This study evaluates the data from this randomized field experiment. In Milwaukee County, the Learnfare procedures were poorly implemented and the random-assignment process failed to produce balanced baseline traits. However, in the nine remaining counties, Learnfare increased school enrollment by 3.7 percent (effect size = 0.08) and attendance by 4.5 percent (effect size = 0.10). The hypothesis of a common treatment effect sustained throughout the six-semester study period could not be rejected. These effects were larger among subgroups at risk for dropping out of school (e.g., baseline dropouts, those over age for grade). For example, these heterogeneous treatment effects imply that Learnfare closed the enrollment gap between baseline dropouts and school attendees by 41 percent. These results suggest that well-designed financial incentives can be an effective mechanism for improving the school persistence of at-risk students at scale.
John A List, Michael K Price
Cited by*: 15 Downloads*: 27

We explore collusion by using the tools of experimental economics in a naturally occurring marketplace. We report that competitive price theory adequately organizes data in multilateral decentralized bargaining markets without conspiratorial opportunities. When conspiratorial opportunities are allowed and contract prices are perfectly observed, prices (quantities) are considerably above (below) competitive levels. When sellers receive imperfect price signals, outcomes are intermediate to those of competitive markets and collusive markets with full information. Finally, experienced buyers serve as a catalyst to thwart attempts by sellers to engage in anticompetitive pricing: in periods where experienced agents transact in the market, average transaction prices are below those realized in periods where only inexperienced agents execute trades.
Yun Liu, Elvis Cheng Xu
Cited by*: Downloads*:

Previous research has addressed the effects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives on consumer purchase intention (CPI). However, most of the empirical evidence is based on the analysis of mature large-scale firms; much less examines the effects of CSR initiatives on CPI in entrepreneurial contexts. In this study, we address this gap by investigating whether entrepreneurial start-ups' declaration of CSR engagement affects consumers' purchasing intent. We assert that consumers may consider firms' CSR engagement as a signal for unobserved product quality. We exploit a vignette experimental approach to test our theoretical predictions. In our experiment, participants received online invitations to subscribe to an electronic catalog that advertised various products supplied by entrepreneurial start-ups. The invitations are of five types, some of which presenting different CSR-related information on the suppliers to the participants. Overall, we find that the displayed information on CSR engagement promotes participants' willingness to subscribe to the electronic catalog, indicating that consumers will increase their purchase intentions for ethically oriented suppliers. Moreover, we find that among all the initiatives, external CSR initiatives (social contribution and environmental responsibility) promote consumers' intentions to purchase most effectively. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to explore the effects of different CSR initiatives on entrepreneurial start-ups in entrepreneurship literature. We highlight the heterogeneous effects of CSR initiatives on CPI, contributing new insights to research on CSR and consumer behavior.
Jay R Corrigan, Matthew C Rousu
Cited by*: 3 Downloads*: 18

Policymakers are considering including stricter standards in international trade agreements. Using auctions to assess preferences, we find that the median consumer places no premium on fair trade foods produced under more stringent labor and environmental standards. This indicates that current trade policies may be preferable to U.S. consumers.
Omar Al-Ubaydli, John A List
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 60

A commonly held view is that laboratory experiments provide researchers with more "control" than natural field experiments, and that this advantage is to be balanced against the disadvantage that laboratory experiments are less generalizable. This paper presents a simple model that explores circumstances under which natural field experiments provide researchers with more control than laboratory experiments afford. This stems from the covertness of natural field experiments: laboratory experiments provide researchers with a high degree of control in the environment which participants agree to be experimental subjects. When participants systematically opt out of laboratory experiments, the researcher's ability to manipulate certain variables is limited. In contrast, natural field experiments bypass the participation decision altogether and allow for a potentially more diverse participant pool within the market of interest. We show one particular case where such selection is invaluable: when treatment effects interact with participant characteristics.
Maria Bigoni, Margherita Fort, Mattia Nardotto, Tommaso Reggiani
Cited by*: 1 Downloads*: 72

We assess the effect of two antithetic non-monetary incentive schemes based on grading rules on students' effort, using experimental data. We randomly assigned students to a tournament scheme that fosters competition between paired up students, a cooperative scheme that promotes information sharing and collaboration between students and a baseline treatment in which students can neither compete nor cooperate. In line with theoretical predictions, we find that competition induces higher effort with respect to cooperation, whereas cooperation does not increase effort with respect to the baseline treatment. Nonetheless, we find a strong gender effect since this result holds only for men while women do not react to this type of non-monetary incentives.
John A List, David Lucking-Reiley
Cited by*: 40 Downloads*: 5

No abstract available
Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans, John A List, David H Reiley
Cited by*: 1 Downloads*: 4

My coauthors and I reply to the comments of Daniel Levin on our paper "Demand Reduction in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment." In his comment, Levin presents new theory and proposes a new equilibrium to explain annomalies reported in our earlier sportscard auction, such as higher first-unit bids under the uniform-price institution. We evaluate his theory and equilibrium in the context of both uniform-price and Vickrey auctions and point out our concerns. Where possible, we attempt to test the predictions of his theory with our existing data.