Loukas Balafoutas, Nikos Nikiforakis, Bettina Rockenbach
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: None

The degree of human cooperation among strangers is a major evolutionary puzzle. A prominent explanation is that cooperation maintained because many individuals have a predisposition to punish those violating group-beneficial norms. A critical condition for cooperation to evolve in evolutionary models is that punishment increases with the severity of the violation. Here we present evidence from a field experiment with real-life interactions that, unlike in lab experiments, altruistic punishment does not increase with the severity of the violation, regardless of whether it is direct (confronting a violator) or indirect (withholding help). We also document growing concerns for counter-punishment as the severity of the violation increases, indicating that the marginal cost of direct punishment increases with the severity of violations. The evidence suggests that altruistic punishment may not provide appropriate incentives to deter large violations. Our findings thus offer a rationale for the emergence of formal institutions for prompting large-scale cooperation among strangers.
Anne Alexander , Ralph d'Arge , John A List, Michael Margolis
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 6

The goal of this paper is to provide an investigation of several approaches to valuing ecosystem services and to contribute additional techniques which may be used in evaluating 'green' GDP accounts. Our estimates focus on the ecosystem as a productive economic input, not a stock which is depreciated or depleted over time; as such, it differs with other concepts more frequently employed in green GDP accounting. Most of our results are derived from the analytical fiction that a single owner of the biosphere establishes a market for all ecological resources. This monopolist then appropriates all rents from the human population. The maximum amount the monopolist charges is first assumed to be world gross product less the global human subsistence level. In addition, we examine the excess rents available in factor markets using the assumption of weak complementarity between factor inputs and ecosystem services. We also provide more conservative estimates of the value of ecosystem services by investigating the sustainable price the monopolist could charge the global population and by exploring the effects of compensating wage differentials and a non-monopolist owner of the ecosystem.
John A List, Daniel L Millimet
Cited by*: 3 Downloads*: 6

Devolution of tasks to local levels of government has recently become a popular agenda item within certain political factions in the US. While one expects the local policymaker to tailor policies to match the preferences of his constituents, critics of local policymaking claim that externalities are ignored and inefficiencies thus arise under local control of certain policies. A primary example concerns the control of pollution, which is known to have adverse effects on neighbouring jurisdictions. Whether localities actually 'race to the bottom' and enact lax environmental policies when given the chance remains an open issue. In this study, we make use of stochastic dominance tests to examine if President Reagan's policy of 'New Federalism' in the early 1980s induced states to lower environmental standards. Among the several environmental measures analysed, we do not find any evidence that the 'race to the bottom' materialized. Indeed, the evidence shows that even during these lean years of federal intervention several indicators of environmental quality at the state level continued to improve.
Gerald Pruckner, Rupert Sausgruber
Cited by*: 1 Downloads*: 48

A publisher uses an honor-system for selling a newspaper in the street. The customers make payments into a cash-box, but can also just take the paper without paying. Payments are not monitored and highly anonymous; hence customers exhibit trustworthiness if they pay for the paper. We run a natural field experiment to identify motives behind payments. The experiment reveals that trustworthiness is based on a social rather than a legal norm. Additional survey questions serve to identify individual-specific components of trustworthiness. We find effects of gender, age, family status, church attendance, measures of reciprocity, social connectedness, and social risk.
Nick Drydakis
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 12

A field experiment was contacted in order to unbiased test whether female ethnic minorities; Albanians, face housing discrimination by owners when they seek to rent a unit in Greece three years after the national adoption of the European anti-discrimination legislation. Replicated the commonest process to rent a unit in Greece; telephone contact, we investigated a big sample represented by 122 areas. Rationally classified them in three status groups, according to their average rent levels, we found that discrimination increased monotonically with areas' status. The estimated probability of Albanians to receive an invitation to investigate a unit was lower by 0.231 in low status areas, followed by 0.324 in medium status areas, and by 0.419 in high status areas than that of Greeks. Adjusted for intra-class correlation the estimated differentials were found to be statistically significant. Similarly, we estimated an insignificant rent penalty against Albanians of 0.010 in low status areas, and significant penalties of 0.015 in medium status areas and of 0.023 in high status areas against Albanians. Consequently, a taste and/or statistical discrimination implied against Albanian seekers. Interestingly, the study enabled to estimate further that good rental housings are in significant degree unavailable to Albanians restricted their freedom in selecting a place to live. Specifically, Albanian seekers faced significantly less probabilities to investigate newer, busheled and units placed in floor than Greeks. Whilst, Albanians in order to have access to good units they had to pay more than Greeks. Finally, we estimated that female owners practiced significantly more availability constraints to Albanians than male owners. The current research contributes to two areas that have attracted scarce research attention in Greece: the experimental investigation of housing discrimination and discrimination by ethnicity. The results of this study have implications for understanding some of the enduring patterns of ethnic discrimination in the housing market.
Peter A Riach, Judith Rich
Cited by*: 21 Downloads*: 27

Pairs of carefully-matched, written applications were made to advertised job vacancies in England to test for sexual discrimination in hiring. Two standard resumes were constructed for each occupation to control for all relevant supply-side variables, such as qualifications, experience and age. Consequently any differential response recorded can be attributed to demand-side discrimination. Statistically significant discrimination against men was found in the `female occupation' - secretary, and against women in the `male occupation' - engineer. Statistically significant, and unprecedented, discrimination against men was found in two `mixed occupations' - trainee chartered accountant and computer analyst programmer.
John A List, Mark Strazicich
Cited by*: 39 Downloads*: 22

Time paths of carbon dioxide emissions in twenty-one industrial countries are examined from 1960-1997 to test for stochastic and conditional convergence. Both panel unit root tests and cross-section regressions are performed. Overall, we find significant evidence that CO2 emissions have converged.
Marianne Bertrand, Sendhil Mullainathan
Cited by*: 20 Downloads*: 31

We perform a field experiment to measure racial discrimination in the labor market. We respond with fictitious resumes to help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers. To manipulate perception of race, each resume is assigned either a very African American sounding name or a very White sounding name. The results show significant discrimination against African-American names: White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. We also find that race affects the benefits of a better resume. For White names, a higher quality resume elicits 30 percent more callbacks whereas for African Americans, it elicits a far smaller increase. Applicants living in better neighborhoods receive more callbacks but, interestingly, this effect does not differ by race. The amount of discrimination is uniform across occupations and industries. Federal contractors and employers who list Equal Opportunity Employer' in their ad discriminate as much as other employers. We find little evidence that our results are driven by employers inferring something other than race, such as social class, from the names. These results suggest that racial discrimination is still a prominent feature of the labor market.
Simon Gachter, Henrik Orzen, Elke Renner, Chris Starmer
Cited by*: 0 Downloads*: 87

An extensive literature demonstrates the existence of framing effects in the laboratory and in questionnaire studies. This paper reports new evidence from a natural field experiment using a subject pool one might expect to be particularly resistant to such effects: experimental economists. We find that while the behaviour of junior experimental economists is affected by the description of the decision task they face, this is not the case for the more senior members of our subject pool.
Bruno S Frey, Stephan Meier
Cited by*: 57 Downloads*: 24

Most professional economists believe that economists in general are more selfish than other people and that this increased selfishness is due to economics education. This article offers empirical evidence against this widely held belief. Using a unique data set about giving behavior in connection with two social funds at the University of Zurich, it is shown that economics education does not make people act more selfishly. Rather, this natural experiment suggests that the particular behavior of economists can be explained by a selection effect.