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Experimental economics

2017

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Other Economics

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.