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Full-Text Articles in Other Economics

Co-Enforcement Of Common Pool Resources: Experimental Evidence From Turfs In Chile, Carlos A. Chávez, James J. Murphy, John K. Stranlund Aug 2019

Co-Enforcement Of Common Pool Resources: Experimental Evidence From Turfs In Chile, Carlos A. Chávez, James J. Murphy, John K. Stranlund

ESI Working Papers

This work presents the results of framed field experiments designed to study the co-enforcement of access to common pool resources. The experiments were conducted in the field with participants in the territorial use rights in fisheries (TURFs) management scheme that regulates access to nearshore fisheries along the coast of Chile. In the experiments, TURF members not only decided on harvest but also invested in monitoring to deter poaching by outsiders. Treatments varied whether the monitoring investment was an individual decision or determined by a group vote. Per-unit sanctions for poaching were exogenous as if provided by a government authority, and ...


Do Negative Random Shocks Affect Trust And Trustworthiness?, Hernán Bejerano, Joris Gillet, Ismael Rodriguez-Lara Oct 2018

Do Negative Random Shocks Affect Trust And Trustworthiness?, Hernán Bejerano, Joris Gillet, Ismael Rodriguez-Lara

ESI Publications

We report data from a variation of the trust game aimed at determining whether (and how) inequality and random shocks that affect wealth influence the levels of trust and trustworthiness. To tease apart the effect of the shock and the inequality, we compare behavior in a trust game where the inequality is initially given and one where it is the result of a random shock that reduces the second mover's endowment. We find that first‐movers send less to second‐movers but only when the inequality results from a random shock. As for the amount returned, second‐movers return ...


Experimental Evidence On The Cyclicality Of Investment, Cortney S. Rodet, Andrew Smyth Feb 2018

Experimental Evidence On The Cyclicality Of Investment, Cortney S. Rodet, Andrew Smyth

ESI Working Papers

We report laboratory experiments investigating the cyclicality of investment. In our setting, optimal investment is counter-cyclical because investment costs fall following market downturns. However, we do not observe counter-cyclical investment. Instead, heuristic investment models where firms invest a fixed percentage of their liquidity, or a fixed percentage of anticipated market demand, better fit our data on average than does optimal investment. We also report a control treatment without cost changes and a treatment with asymmetric investment liquidity. Both of these extensions support our main result.


The Welfare Effects Of Civil Forfeiture, Michael Preciado, Bart J. Wilson Sep 2017

The Welfare Effects Of Civil Forfeiture, Michael Preciado, Bart J. Wilson

ESI Publications

Using a laboratory experiment we explore competing claims on the welfare effects of civil forfeiture. Experiment participants are tasked with making trade-offs in allocating resources “to fight crime” with and without the ability to seize and forfeit assets. It is an open question whether the societal impact of reducing crime is greater in a world with or without civil forfeiture. Proponents of civil forfeiture argue that the ill-gotten gains of criminals can be used by law enforcement to further fight crime. Opponents claim that the confiscation of assets by law enforcement distorts the prioritization of cases by focusing attention, not ...


No Mere Tautology: The Division Of Labor Is Limited By The Division Of Labor, Andrew Smyth, Bart J. Wilson Sep 2017

No Mere Tautology: The Division Of Labor Is Limited By The Division Of Labor, Andrew Smyth, Bart J. Wilson

ESI Working Papers

We explore the intersection of growth theory and the theory of the firm with an experiment. Economic growth is possible in our experiment when agents specialize to exploit increasing returns. We find that low opportunity costs are sufficient for Marshallian internal economies, but that Marshallian external economies are slow to emerge in four probing treatment conditions. Transaction costs do not hamper external economies as we anticipated prior to collecting data. When external economies falter, it is because new ideas about the cost and value of more extensive specialization fail to emerge. Ideas are what make further divisions of the division ...


How Product Innovation Can Affect Price Collusion, Andrew Smyth Aug 2017

How Product Innovation Can Affect Price Collusion, Andrew Smyth

ESI Working Papers

Price conspiracies appear endemic in many markets. This paper conjectures that low expected returns from product innovation can affect price collusion in certain markets. This conjecture is tested—and supported—by both archival and experimental data. In particular, average market prices in low innovation experiments are significantly greater than those in high innovation, but otherwise identical experiments, because price collusion is more successful in the low innovation experiments.


Equilibrium Play In Voluntary Ultimatum Games: Beneficence Cannot Be Extorted, Vernon L. Smith, Bart J. Wilson Jul 2017

Equilibrium Play In Voluntary Ultimatum Games: Beneficence Cannot Be Extorted, Vernon L. Smith, Bart J. Wilson

ESI Working Papers

One robust result in experimental economics is the failure to observe equilibrium play in the ultimatum game. A heretofore unnoticed feature of the game is that neither player voluntarily chooses to play the game. Motivated by Adam Smith’s proposition that beneficence—like that of non‐ equilibrium play in the ultimatum game—cannot be extorted by force, we offer the responder the opportunity to opt out of the game for a mere $1 payoff for both players. We observe high rates of equilibrium play with highly unequal splits when responders choose to play such ultimatum games with both fixed and ...


Smile, Dictator, You’Re On Camera, Joy A. Buchanan, Matthew K. Mcmahon, Matthew Simpson, Bart J. Wilson Apr 2017

Smile, Dictator, You’Re On Camera, Joy A. Buchanan, Matthew K. Mcmahon, Matthew Simpson, Bart J. Wilson

ESI Publications

We investigate the degree to which people in a shopping mall express other-regarding behavior in the dictator game. Whereas many studies have attempted to increase the social distance between the dictator and experimenter and between the dictator and dictatee, we attempt to minimize that social distance between random strangers by video recording the decisions with the permission of the dictators to display their image on the Internet. Offers made by dictators are high relative to other experiments and a nontrivial number give the entire experimental windfall away, however a nontrivial number of people keep everything as well.


Indirect Reciprocity, Resource Sharing, And Environmental Risk: Evidence From Field Experiments In Siberia, E. Lance Howe, James J. Murphy, Drew Gerkey, Colin Thor West Jul 2016

Indirect Reciprocity, Resource Sharing, And Environmental Risk: Evidence From Field Experiments In Siberia, E. Lance Howe, James J. Murphy, Drew Gerkey, Colin Thor West

ESI Publications

Integrating information from existing research, qualitative ethnographic interviews, and participant observation, we designed a field experiment that introduces idiosyncratic environmental risk and a voluntary sharing decision into a standard public goods game. Conducted with subsistence resource users in rural villages on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Northeast Siberia, we find evidence consistent with a model of indirect reciprocity and local social norms of helping the needy. When participants are allowed to develop reputations in the experiments, as is the case in most small-scale societies, we find that sharing is increasingly directed toward individuals experiencing hardship, good reputations increase aid, and the ...


Multiple Openings And Competitiveness Of Forward Markets: Experimental Evidence, José Luis Ferreira, Praveen Kujal, Stephen Rassenti Jul 2016

Multiple Openings And Competitiveness Of Forward Markets: Experimental Evidence, José Luis Ferreira, Praveen Kujal, Stephen Rassenti

Economics Faculty Articles and Research

We test the competition enhancing effect of selling forward in experimental Cournot duopoly and quadropoly with multiple forward markets. We find that two forward periods yields competitive outcomes and that the results are very close to the predicted theoretical results for quantity setting duopolies and quadropolies. Our experiments lend strong support to the hypothesis that forward markets are competition enhancing. We then test a new market that allows for endogenously determined indefinitely many forward periods that only close when sellers coordinate on selling a zero amount in a forward market. We find that the outcomes under an endogenous close rule ...


Advancing The Understanding Of Behavior In Social-Ecological Systems: Results From Lab And Field Experiments, Marco A. Janssen, Therese Lindahl, James J. Murphy Jan 2015

Advancing The Understanding Of Behavior In Social-Ecological Systems: Results From Lab And Field Experiments, Marco A. Janssen, Therese Lindahl, James J. Murphy

ESI Publications

"Experiments have made important contributions to our understanding of human behavior, including behavior relevant for understanding social-ecological systems. When there is a conflict between individual and group interests in social-ecological systems, social dilemmas occur. From the many types of social-dilemma formulations that are used to study collective action, common-pool resource and public-good dilemmas are most relevant for social-ecological systems. Experimental studies of both common-pool resource and public-good dilemmas have shown that many predictions based on the conventional theory of collective action, which assumes rational, self-interested behavior, do not hold. More cooperation occurs than predicted (Ledyard 1995), “cheap talk” increases cooperation ...


Risky Business: An Analysis Of Teacher Risk Preferences, Daniel H. Bowen, Stuart Buck, Cary Deck, Jonathan N. Mills, James V. Shuls Jan 2015

Risky Business: An Analysis Of Teacher Risk Preferences, Daniel H. Bowen, Stuart Buck, Cary Deck, Jonathan N. Mills, James V. Shuls

ESI Publications

A range of proposals aim to reform teacher compensation, recruitment, and retention. Teachers have generally not embraced these policies. One potential explanation for their objections is that teachers are relatively risk averse. We examine this hypothesis using a risk-elicitation task common to experimental economics. By comparing preferences of new teachers with those entering other professions, we find that individuals choosing to teach are significantly more risk averse. This suggests that the teaching profession may attract individuals who are less amenable to certain reforms. Policy-makers should take into account teacher risk characteristics when considering reforms that may clash with preferences.


Further Towards A Theory Of The Emergence Of Property, Bart J. Wilson Jan 2015

Further Towards A Theory Of The Emergence Of Property, Bart J. Wilson

ESI Publications

This article explores the emergence of property as a moral convention. To understand this process I make use of several laboratory experiments on property in its nascence. These experiments illustrate how a rule of property arises from our knowledge of what is morally right, and not vice versa. I also argue that while the ultimate end of property is our interest in using things, the proximate end of property is not losing them, i.e., the end of a rule of property is to secure from morally unfounded harm.


Dynamic Optimization And Conformity In Health Behavior And Life Enjoyment Over The Life Cycle, Hernán D. Bejarano, Hillard Kaplan, Stephen Rassenti Jan 2015

Dynamic Optimization And Conformity In Health Behavior And Life Enjoyment Over The Life Cycle, Hernán D. Bejarano, Hillard Kaplan, Stephen Rassenti

ESI Publications

This article examines individual and social influences on investments in health and enjoyment from immediate consumption. Our lab experiment mimics the problem of health investment over a lifetime (Grossman, 1972a,b). Incentives to find the appropriate expenditures on life enjoyment and health are given by making in each period come period a function of previous health investments. In order to model social effects in the experiment, we randomly assigned individuals to chat/observation groups. Groups were permitted to freely chat between repeated lifetimes. Two treatments were employed: In the Independent-rewards treatment, an individual's rewards from investments in life enjoyment ...


The Effects Of Make And Take Fees In Experimental Markets, Vince Bourke, David Porter Jan 2015

The Effects Of Make And Take Fees In Experimental Markets, Vince Bourke, David Porter

ESI Working Papers

We conduct a series of experiments to examine the effects of the make and take fee structure currently used by equity exchanges in the U.S. We examine the effects of these fees on measures of market quality (allocative efficiency, trading volume, book depth, and the bid-ask spread). With the exception of increased book depth, we document no significant effects of make and take fees relative to a baseline case in which trading fees are assessed on both sides of a transaction.


Language And Cooperation In Hominin Scavenging, Bart J. Wilson, Samuel R. Harris Jan 2015

Language And Cooperation In Hominin Scavenging, Bart J. Wilson, Samuel R. Harris

ESI Working Papers

Bickerton (2009, 2014) hypothesizes that language emerged as the solution to a scavenging problem faced by proto‐humans. We design a virtual world to explore how people use words to persuade others to work together for a common end. By gradually reducing the vocabularies that the participants can use, we trace the process of solving the hominin scavenging problem. Our experiment changes the way we think about social dilemmas. Instead of asking how does a group overcome the selfinterest of its constituents, the question becomes, how do constituents persuade one another to work together for a common end that yields ...


Sharing As Risk Pooling In A Social Dilemma Experiment, Todd L. Cherry, E. Lance Howe, James J. Murphy Jan 2015

Sharing As Risk Pooling In A Social Dilemma Experiment, Todd L. Cherry, E. Lance Howe, James J. Murphy

ESI Working Papers

In rural economies with missing or incomplete markets, idiosyncratic risk is frequently pooled through informal networks. Idiosyncratic shocks, however, are not limited to private goods but can also restrict an individual from partaking in or benefiting from a collective activity. In these situations, a group must decide whether to provide insurance to the affected member. In this paper, we describe results of a laboratory experiment designed to test whether a simple sharing institution can sustain risk pooling in a social dilemma with idiosyncratic risk. We test whether risk can be pooled without a commitment device and, separately, whether effective risk ...


Cost Share Adjustment Processes For Cooperative Group Decisions About Shared Goods: A Design Approach, Edna T. Loehman, Richard Kiser, Stephen Rassenti Sep 2014

Cost Share Adjustment Processes For Cooperative Group Decisions About Shared Goods: A Design Approach, Edna T. Loehman, Richard Kiser, Stephen Rassenti

Economics Faculty Articles and Research

For group decision about shared goods, the nature of the shared good and how its cost is to be shared among group members must be determined. Complexity arises from heterogeneity in preferences and endowments and nonlinear cost. To facilitate group decision, this paper proposes special type of group decision support system, a cost share adjustment process (CSAP), in which cost shares are adjusted iteratively via algorithmic rules until unanimity is reached, ideally producing a socially optimal, cost feasible, and fair outcome. In contrast to public good literature, our designs apply for situations of nonlinear cost, with economies of scale and ...


The Costs Of Conflict, Adam Smith Jan 2014

The Costs Of Conflict, Adam Smith

Economics Department Faculty Publications & Research

Violent conflict destroys resources. It generates "destruction costs." These costs have an important effect on individuals’ decisions to cooperate or conflict. We develop two models of conflict: one in which conflict’s destruction costs are independent of individuals’ investments in "arms"—the tools of conflict—and another in which conflict’s destruction costs depend on those investments. Our models demonstrate that when conflict’s destruction costs are arms-dependent, conflict is more costly, making cooperation more likely. We test this prediction with a laboratory experiment in which subjects first choose how heavily to invest in arms and then choose whether to ...


Accounting Standards And Financial Market Stability: An Experimental Examination, Shengle Lin, Glenn Pfeiffer, David Porter Jan 2014

Accounting Standards And Financial Market Stability: An Experimental Examination, Shengle Lin, Glenn Pfeiffer, David Porter

ESI Working Papers

We examine the effect on asset mispricing of different accounting methods in an experimental asset market characterized by bubbles and crashes. In particular, we study three alternative asset value reporting treatments: (1) Fair Value (also known as Mark-to-Market – M2M), (2) Historical Cost (HC) and (3) Marked to Fundamental Value (M2F). In addition, each of these treatments is replicated in two different financial leverage conditions. In the first condition (No Loan) traders must purchase assets from their available cash balances without the option of borrowing. In the second condition, (Loan), traders are given the option of taking out loans based on ...


Violence, Access, And Competition In The Market For Protection, Adam Smith Jan 2013

Violence, Access, And Competition In The Market For Protection, Adam Smith

Economics Department Faculty Publications & Research

We conduct a laboratory experiment to examine the performance of a market for protection. As the central feature of our treatment comparisons, we vary the access that “peasants” have to violence-empowered “elites”. The focus of the experiment is to observe how elites price and operate their protective services to peasants, and to observe the degree to which elites engage in wealth-destroying violence in competition amongst each other for wealth generating peasants. We find that greater access to peasants strikingly increases violence among the elites, but with limited access the elites markedly extract more tribute from the peasants. Our findings are ...


Experimental Evidence On The Properties Of The California’S Cap And Trade Price Containment Reserve, Rachel Bodsky, Domenic Donato, Kevin James, David Porter Jan 2012

Experimental Evidence On The Properties Of The California’S Cap And Trade Price Containment Reserve, Rachel Bodsky, Domenic Donato, Kevin James, David Porter

ESI Working Papers

We report on a series of experiments to examine the properties of California’s Reserve Sale allocation mechanism to be implemented as part of the forthcoming cap and trade program and compare it with an alternative reserve sale mechanism. The proposed reserve sale mechanism allows covered entities to purchase allowances after the primary auction sale at fixed prices. If demand for units is greater the amount supplied in the reserve sale, a Proportional Rationing rule is used to distribute allowances based on submitted request for units. This rule is contrasted with to an alternative rule, Equal Rationing in which allowances ...


Group Cooperation Under Uncertainty, Min Gong, Joanne Baron, Howard Kunreuther Dec 2009

Group Cooperation Under Uncertainty, Min Gong, Joanne Baron, Howard Kunreuther

Operations, Information and Decisions Papers

Previous research has shown an ‘interindividual-intergroup discontinuity effect’: intergroup interactions generally lead to less cooperative outcomes than interindividual interactions. We replicate the discontinuity effect in the deterministic prisoner’s dilemma, but find that groups are more cooperative than individuals in a stochastic version of the game. Three major factors that underlie the usual discontinuity effect are reduced in the stochastic environment: greed, fear, and persuasion power. Two group mechanisms are proposed to explain the reversed discontinuity effect: the motivation to avoid guilt and blame when making decisions that affect others’ welfare, and the social pressure to conform to certain norms ...


Go West Young Man: Self-Selection And Endogenous Property Rights, Taylor Jaworski, Bart J. Wilson Jan 2009

Go West Young Man: Self-Selection And Endogenous Property Rights, Taylor Jaworski, Bart J. Wilson

ESI Working Papers

If, as Hume argues, property is a self-referring custom of a group of people, then property rights depend on how that group forms and orders itself. In this paper we investigate how people construct a convention for property in an experiment in which groups of self-selected individuals can migrate between three geographically separate regions. We find that the absence of property rights clearly decreases wealth in our environment and that interest in establishing property rights is a key determinant of the decision to migrate to a new region. Theft is nearly eliminated among migrants, resulting in strong growth, and non-migrants ...


High Stakes Behavior With Low Payoffs: Inducing Preferences With Holt-Laury Gambles, John Dickhaut, Daniel Houser, Jason A. Aimone, Dorina Tila, Cathleen Johnson Jan 2008

High Stakes Behavior With Low Payoffs: Inducing Preferences With Holt-Laury Gambles, John Dickhaut, Daniel Houser, Jason A. Aimone, Dorina Tila, Cathleen Johnson

ESI Working Papers

A continuing goal of experiments is to understand risky decisions when the decisions are important. Often a decision’s importance is related to the magnitude of the associated monetary stake. Khaneman and Tversky (1979) argue that risky decisions in high stakes environments can be informed using questionnaires with hypothetical choices (since subjects have no incentive to answer questions falsely.) However, results reported by Holt and Laury (2002, henceforth HL), as well as replications by Harrison (2005) suggest that decisions in “high” monetary payoff environments are not well-predicted by questionnaire responses. Thus, a potential implication of the HL results is that ...


Can Manipulators Mislead Prediction Market Observers?, Ryan Oprea, David Porter, Chris Hibbert, Robin Hanson, Dorina Tila Jan 2008

Can Manipulators Mislead Prediction Market Observers?, Ryan Oprea, David Porter, Chris Hibbert, Robin Hanson, Dorina Tila

ESI Working Papers

We study experimental markets where privately informed traders exchange simple assets, and where uninformed third parties are asked to forecast the values of these assets, guided only by market prices. Although prices only partially aggregate information, they signicantly improve the forecasts of third parties. In a second treatment, a portion of traders are given preferences over the forecasts made by observers. Although we find evidence that these traders attempt to manipulate prices in order to influence the beliefs of observers, we find no evidence that observers make less accurate forecasts as a result.


Reciprocity, Matching And Conditional Cooperation In Two Public Goods Games, Rachel Croson, Enrique Fatas, Tibor Neugebauer Apr 2005

Reciprocity, Matching And Conditional Cooperation In Two Public Goods Games, Rachel Croson, Enrique Fatas, Tibor Neugebauer

Operations, Information and Decisions Papers

Experimental and empirical evidence identifies social preferences and proposes competing models of such preferences. We find that participants match the contributions of others in the voluntary contribution mechanism (VCM). We also examine a game with different equilibria, the weakest link mechanism (WLM). Here, in contrast, participants match the minimum contribution of others.