331 research outputs found

    On the Design of Peer Punishment Experiments

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    We discuss how technologies of peer punishment might bias the results that are observed in experiments. A crucial parameter is the “fine-to-fee” ratio, which describes by how much the punished subjects income is reduced relatively to the fee the punishing subject has to pay to inflict punishment. We show that a punishment technology commonly used in experiments embeds a variable fine-to-fee ratio and show that it confounds the empirical findings about why, whom, and how much subjects punish.sanctions, public goods, cooperation, experiments

    Does bounded rationality lead to individual heterogeneity? The impact of the experimentation process and of memory constraints

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    In this paper we explore the effect of bounded rationality on the convergence of individual behavior toward equilibrium. In the context of a Cournot game with a unique and symmetric Nash equilibrium, firms are modeled as adaptive economic agents through a genetic algorithm. Computational experiments show that (1) there is remarkable heterogeneity across identical but boundedly rational agents; (2) such individual heterogeneity is not simply a consequence of the random elements contained in the genetic algorithm; (3) the more rational agents are in terms of memory abilities and pre-play evaluation of strategies, the less heterogeneous they are in their actions. At the limit case of full rationality, the outcome converges to the standard result of uniform individual behavior.bounded rationality; genetic algorithms; individual heterogeneitybounded rationality; genetic algorithms; individual heterogeneity

    Can genetic algorithms explain experimental anomalies? An application to common property resources

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    It is common to find in experimental data persistent oscillations in the aggregate outcomes and high levels of heterogeneity in individual behavior. Furthermore, it is not unusual to find significant deviations from aggregate Nash equilibrium predictions. In this paper, we employ an evolutionary model with boundedly rational agents to explain these findings. We use data from common property resource experiments (Casari and Plott, 2003). Instead of positing individual-specific utility functions, we model decision makers as selfish and identical. Agent interaction is simulated using an individual learning genetic algorithm, where agents have constraints in their working memory, a limited ability to maximize, and experiment with new strategies. We show that the model replicates most of the patterns that can be found in common property resource experiments.Bounded rationality, Experiments, Common-pool resources, Genetic algorithms

    Group Cooperation Under Alternative Peer Punishment Technologies: An Experiment.

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    This paper experimentally studies peer punishment under three alternative technologies. We find that the choice of peer punishment technology has a substantial impact on group performance. First, under technology where at least two subjects in the group must agree before another group member can be punished, group cooperation and group net earnings are the highest. Second, outcomes are similar regardless of whether punishment choices are simultaneously or sequential. These results suggest that punishment is not perceived as a second-order public good but is instead an emotional reaction unresponsive to changes in the strategic environment.decentralized punishment ; public goods ; other-regarding preferences ; team production ; experiments

    How enforcement institutions affect markets

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    In an experiment we study market outcomes under alternative incentive structures for thirdparty enforcers. Our transactions resemble an anonymous credit market where lenders can give loans and borrowers can repay them. When borrowers default, judges are free to enforce repayment but are themselves paid differently in each of three treatments. First, paying judges according to lenders’ votes maximizes surplus and the equality of earnings. In contrast, paying judges according to borrowers’ votes triggers insufficient enforcement, destroying the market and producing the lowest surplus and the most unequal distribution of earnings. Lastly, judges paid the average earnings of borrowers and lenders achieve results close to those based on lender voting. We employ a steps-of-reasoning argument to interpret the performances of different institutions. When voting and enforcement rights are allocated to different classes of actors, the difficulty of their task changes, and arguably as a consequence they focus on high or low surplus equilibria.impersonal exchange ; third-party enforcement ; experiments ; steps of reasoning ; judges’ incentives ; repeated interaction

    Impatience, Anticipatory Feelings and Uncertainty: A Dynamic Experiment on Time Preferences

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    We study time preferences in a real-effort experiment with a one-month horizon. We report that two thirds of choices suggest negative time preferences. Moreover, choice reversal over time is common even if temptation plays no role. We propose and measure three distinct concepts of choice reversal over time to study time consistency. This evidence calls for an important role for anticipatory feelings and uncertainty in intertemporal behavior.negative time preferences, choice reversal, risk, time inconsistency, real-effort experiment

    How enforcement institutions affect markets

    Get PDF
    In an experiment we study market outcomes under alternative incentive structures for third-party enforcers. Our transactions resemble an anonymous credit market where lenders can give loans and borrowers can repay them. When borrowers default, judges are free to enforce repayment but are themselves paid differently in each of three treatments. First, paying judges according to lenders’ votes maximizes surplus and the equality of earnings. In contrast, paying judges according to borrowers’ votes triggers insufficient enforcement, destroying the market and producing the lowest surplus and the most unequal distribution of earnings. Lastly, judges paid the average earnings of borrowers and lenders achieve results close to those based on lender voting. We employ a steps-of-reasoning argument to interpret the performances of different institutions. When voting and enforcement rights are allocated to different classes of actors, the difficulty of their task changes, and arguably as a consequence they focus on high or low surplus equilibria.Impersonal exchange, third-party enforcement, experiments, steps of reasoning, judges’ incentives, repeated interaction

    How groups reach agreement in risky choices: an experiment

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    This paper studies how groups resolve disagreement when they must reach unanimity after submitting individual proposals and exchanging text-form messages via a chat window in lottery choice experiments. We find that the majority proposal does not always prevail. The minority proposal prevails sometimes, especially when it is closer to risk neutrality. About one third of the groups disagrees after communication and would have got zero payoffs if disagreement remains after two more attempts without communication. In these groups, extrovert subjects are more likely to lead the group outcome than confused or conscientious subjects. Overall group choices are more coherent and closer to risk neutrality than individualsÕ. Checking the recorded messages, we find that the chat activity is intense, growing with the level of disagreement and aims at finding consensus. The amount and timing of chat messages help us to predict which choice prevails in the group.Risk Attitude, Group Decision Making, Communication, Experiments

    Peer Punishment in Teams: Emotional or Strategic Choice?

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    Punishing the free-riders of a team can promote group efficiency but is costly for the punisher. For this reason, economists see punishment as a second-order public good. We show in an experiment that subjects do not value punishment for its deterrence but instead for the satisfaction of retaliating. Punishment choices are made with little strategic reasoning.experiments ; public goods ; informal punishment ; emotions ; legal systems

    Cooperation among strangers: an experiment with indefinite interaction

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    We study the emergence of norms of cooperation in experimental economies populated by strangers interacting indefinitely and lacking formal enforcement institutions. In all treatments the efficient outcome is sustainable as an equilibrium. We address the following questions: can these economies achieve full efficiency? Which institutions for monitoring and enforcement promote cooperation? Finally, what classes of strategies are employed to achieve high efficiency? We find that, first, cooperation can be sustained even in anonymous settings; second, some type of monitoring and punishment institutions significantly promote cooperation; and, third, subjects dislike indiscriminate strategies and prefer selective strategies.experiments, repeated games, cooperation, equilibrium selection, prisoners’ dilemma, random matching
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