348 research outputs found

    Anticipated verbal feedback induces altruistic behavior

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    A distinctive feature of humans compared to other species is the high rate of cooperation with non-kin. One explanation is that humans are motivated by concerns for social esteem. In this paper we experimentally investigate the impact of anticipated verbal feedback on altruistic behavior. We study pairwise interactions in which one subject, the “divider”, decides how to split a sum of money between herself and a recipient. Thereafter, the recipient can send an unrestricted anonymous message to the divider. The subjects’ relationship is anonymous and one-shot to rule out any reputation effects. Compared to a control treatment without feedback messages, donations increase substantially when recipients can communicate. With verbal feedback, the fraction of zero donations decreases from about 40% to about 20%, and there is a corresponding increase in the fraction of equal splits from about 30% to about 50%. Recipients who receive no money almost always express disapproval of the divider, sometimes strongly and in foul language. Following an equal split, almost all recipients praise the divider. The results suggest that anticipated verbal rewards and punishments play a role in promoting altruistic behavior among humans.Punishment; Approval; Disapproval; Dictator game; Altruism; Communication; Verbal feedback

    Generosity

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    We develop a simple model of generous behavior. It is based on the premise that some people are generous, but everyone wants to appear generous. Although non-monetary donations are always inefficient, our model predicts donors to favor non-monetary donations when the inefficiency is relatively small and when the recipient is sufficiently rich. The model helps to explain the prevalence of volunteering, the nature of Christmas gifts, and the taboo against paying cash in return for friendly favors. The model also explains why it is socially more acceptable to ask for favors than for money.Altruism; Non-monetary gifts; Volunteering

    Confidence Interval Estimation Tasks and the Economics of Overconfidence

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    Experiments in psychology, where subjects estimate confidence intervals to a series of factual questions, have shown that individuals report far too narrow intervals. This has been interpreted as evidence of overconfidence in the preciseness of knowledge, a potentially serious violation of the rationality assumption in economics. Following these results a growing literature in economics has incorporated overconfidence in models of, for instance, financial markets. In this paper we investigate the robustness of results from confidence interval estimation tasks with respect to a number of manipulations: frequency assessments, peer frequency assessments, iteration, and monetary incentives. Our results suggest that a large share of the overconfidence in interval estimation tasks is an artifact of the response format. Using frequencies and monetary incentives reduces the measured overconfidence in the confidence interval method by about 65%. The results are consistent with the notion that subjects have a deep aversion to setting broad confidence intervals, a reluctance that we attribute to a socially rational trade-off between informativeness and accuracy.overconfidence; uncertainty; monetary incentives; experiments

    Are boys discriminated in Swedish high schools?

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    Girls typically have higher grades than boys in school and recent research suggests that part of this gender difference may be due to discrimination of boys. We rigorously test this in a field experiment where a random sample of the same tests in the Swedish language is subject to blind and non-blind grading. The non-blind test score is on average 15 % lower for boys than for girls. Blind grading lowers the average grades with 13 %, indicating that personal ties and/or grade inflation are important in non-blind grading. But we find no evidence of discrimination against boys. The point estimate of the discrimination effect is close to zero with a 95 % confidence interval of ±4.5 % of the average non-blind grade.Discrimination; Field experiments; Grading; Education; Gender

    Time is not money

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    In an ultimatum bargaining experiment, we study how subjects bargain over the returns to their investments of money and time. The most notable finding is that a third of the subjects demand no compensation for their time investments, whereas almost all subjects demand compensation for equally costly monetary investments

    Do People Care about Social Context? Framing Effects in Dictator Games

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    Many previous experiments document that behavior in multi-person settings responds to the name of the game and the labeling of strategies. Usually these studies cannot tell whether frames affect preferences or beliefs. In this Dictator game study, we investigate whether social framing effects are also present when only one of the subjects makes a decision, in which case the frame may only affect preferences. We find that behavior is insensitive to social framing.beliefs; preferences; framing effects; altruism; cooperation

    The cost of lying

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    We experimentally investigate the effect of cheap talk in a bargaining game with one-sided asymmetric information. A seller has private information about his or her skill and is provided an opportunity to communicate this information to a buyer through a written message. Four different treatments are compared; one without communication, one with free-form communication, and two treatments with pre-specified communication in the form of promises of varying strength. Our results suggest that lying about private information is costly and that the cost of lying increases with the size of the lie and the strength of the promise. Freely formulated messages lead to the fewest lies and the most efficient outcomes.Deception; Communication; Lies; Promises; Experiments

    Standard gamble, time trade-off and rating scale: Experimental results on the ranking properties of QALYs

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    This paper compares the relative performance of quality adjusted life years (QALYs) based on quality weights elicited by rating scale (RS), time trade-off (TTO) and standard gamble (SG). The standard against which relative performance is assessed is individual preference elicited by direct ranking. The correlation between predicted and direct ranking is significantly higher for TTO-QALYs than for RS-QALYs and SG-QALYs. This holds both based on mean Spearman rank correlation coefficients calculated per individual and based on two social choice rules: the method of majority voting and the Borda rule. Undiscounted TTO-QALYs are more consistent with direct ranking than discounted TTO-QALY
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