384 research outputs found

    On Negative Time Preference

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    Survey data show that subjects positively discount both gains and losses but discount gains more heavily than losses. This holds for monetary and non-monetary outcomes

    An experiment on experimental instructions

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    In this paper we treat instructions as an experimental variable. Using a public good game, we study how the instructions' format affects the participants' understanding of the experiment, their speed of play and their experimental behavior. We show that longer instructions do not significantly improve the subjects' understanding of the experiment; on-screen instructions shorten average decision times with respect to on-paper instructions, and requiring forced inputs reduces waiting times, in particular for the slowest subjects. Consistent with cognitive load theory, we find that short, on-screen instructions which require forced inputs improve on subjects' comprehension and familiarity with the experimental task, and they contribute to reduce both decision and waiting times without affecting the overall pattern of contributions.

    Regulating Environmental Externalities through Public Firms: A Differential Game

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    We investigate the possibility of using public firms to regulate polluting emissions in a Cournot oligopoly where production takes place at constant returns to scale and entails a negative environmental externality. We model the problem as a differential game and investigate (i) the Cournot-Nash game among profit-seeking firms; (ii) the Markov Perfect Nash equilibrium under social planning, where the industry output is entirely controlled by a benevolent planner aiming at the maximisation of social welfare; and (iii) the Markov Perfect Nash equilibrium in a mixed setup where at least one firm is public, while the others remain profit-seeking agents. Our analysis identifies the conditions whereby having a mixed market as a regulatory instrument suffices to drive the industry to the same output, externality and social welfare as under planning, both along the optimal path and in steady state.