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Full-Text Articles in Other Economics

Do Economic Inequalities Affect Long-Run Cooperation & Prosperity?, Gabriele Camera, Cary Deck, David Porter Apr 2019

Do Economic Inequalities Affect Long-Run Cooperation & Prosperity?, Gabriele Camera, Cary Deck, David Porter

ESI Working Papers

We explore if fairness and inequality motivations affect cooperation in indefinitely repeated games. Each round, we randomly divided experimental participants into donor-recipient pairs. Donors could make a gift to recipients, and ex-ante earnings are highest when all donors give. Roles were randomly reassigned every period, which induced inequality in ex-post earnings. Theoretically, income-maximizing players do not have to condition on this inequality because it is payoff-irrelevant. Empirically, payoff-irrelevant inequality affected participants’ ability to coordinate on efficient play: donors conditioned gifts on their own past roles and, with inequalities made visible, discriminated against those who were better off.


Reconsidering Rational Expectations And The Aggregation Of Diverse Information In Laboratory Security Markets, Brice Corgnet, Cary Deck, Mark Desantis, Kyle Hampton, Erik O. Kimbrough Apr 2019

Reconsidering Rational Expectations And The Aggregation Of Diverse Information In Laboratory Security Markets, Brice Corgnet, Cary Deck, Mark Desantis, Kyle Hampton, Erik O. Kimbrough

ESI Working Papers

The ability of markets to aggregate diverse information is a cornerstone of economics and finance, and empirical evidence for such aggregation has been demonstrated in previous laboratory experiments. Most notably Plott and Sunder (1988) find clear support for the rational expectations hypothesis in their Series B and C markets. However, recent studies have called into question the robustness of these findings. In this paper, we report the result of a direct replication of the key information aggregation results presented in Plott and Sunder. We do not find the same strong evidence in support of rational expectations that Plott and Sunder ...


Money Is More Than Memory, Maria Bigoni, Gabriele Camera, Marco Casari Dec 2018

Money Is More Than Memory, Maria Bigoni, Gabriele Camera, Marco Casari

ESI Working Papers

Impersonal exchange is the hallmark of an advanced society and money is one key institution that supports it. Economic theory regards money as a crude arrangement for monitoring counterparts’ past conduct. If so, then a public record of past actions—or memory—should supersede the function performed by money. This intriguing theoretical postulate remains untested. In an experiment, we show that the suggested functional equivalence between money and memory does not translate into an empirical equivalence: money removed the incentives to free ride, while memory did not. Monetary systems performed a richer set of functions than just revealing past behaviors.


The Supply Side Determinants Of Territory And Conflict, Jordan Adamson, Erik O. Kimbrough Oct 2018

The Supply Side Determinants Of Territory And Conflict, Jordan Adamson, Erik O. Kimbrough

ESI Working Papers

What determines the geographic extent of territory? We microfound and extend Boulding’s “Loss of Strength Gradient” to predict the extensive and intensive margins of conflict across space. We show how economies of scale in the production of violence and varying costs of projecting violence at a distance combine to affect the geographic distribution of conflict and territory. We test and probe the boundaries of this model in an experiment varying the fixed costs of conflict entry. As predicted, higher fixed costs increase the probability of exclusive territories; median behavior closely tracks equilibrium predictions in all treatments.


Impulsive Behavior In Competition: Testing Theories Of Overbidding In Rent-Seeking Contests, Roman M. Sheremeta Apr 2018

Impulsive Behavior In Competition: Testing Theories Of Overbidding In Rent-Seeking Contests, Roman M. Sheremeta

ESI Working Papers

Contests are commonly used in the workplace to motivate workers, determine promotion, and assign bonuses. Although contests can be very effective at eliciting high effort, they can also lead to inefficient effort expenditure (overbidding). Researchers have proposed various theories to explain overbidding in contents, including mistakes, systematic biases, the utility of winning, and relative payoff maximization. Using an eight-part experiment, we test and find significant support for the existing theories. Also, we discover some new explanations based on cognitive ability and impulsive behavior. Out of all explanations examined, we find that impulsivity is the most important factor explaining overbidding in ...


New Hampshire Effect: Behavior In Sequential And Simultaneous Multi-Battle Contests, Shakun D. Mago, Roman M. Sheremeta Dec 2017

New Hampshire Effect: Behavior In Sequential And Simultaneous Multi-Battle Contests, Shakun D. Mago, Roman M. Sheremeta

ESI Working Papers

Sequential multi-battle contests are predicted to induce lower expenditure than simultaneous contests. This prediction is a result of a “New Hampshire Effect” – a strategic advantage created by the winner of the first battle. Although our laboratory study provides evidence for the New Hampshire Effect, we find that sequential contests generate significantly higher (not lower) expenditure than simultaneous contests. This is mainly because in sequential contests, there is significant over-expenditure in all battles. We suggest sunk cost fallacy and utility of winning as two complementary explanations for this behavior and provide supporting evidence.


The Attack And Defense Of Weakest Link Networks, Dan Kovenock, Brian Roberson, Roman M. Sheremeta Aug 2017

The Attack And Defense Of Weakest Link Networks, Dan Kovenock, Brian Roberson, Roman M. Sheremeta

ESI Working Papers

We experimentally test the qualitatively different equilibrium predictions of two theoretical models of attack and defense of a weakest-link network of targets. In such a network, the attacker’s objective is to successfully attack at least one target and the defender’s objective is to defend all targets. The models differ in how the conflict at each target is modeled — specifically, the lottery and auction contest success functions (CSFs). Consistent with equilibrium in the auction CSF model, attackers utilize a stochastic “guerrilla-warfare” strategy, which involves randomly attacking at most one target with a random level of force. Inconsistent with equilibrium ...


Experimenting With Contests For Experimentation, Cary Deck, Erik O. Kimbrough Aug 2017

Experimenting With Contests For Experimentation, Cary Deck, Erik O. Kimbrough

ESI Publications

We report an experimental test of alternative rules in innovation contests when success may not be feasible and contestants may learn from each other. Following Halac, Kartik, and Liu (in press), the contest designer can vary the prize allocation rule from Winner‐Take‐All (WTA) in which the first successful innovator receives the entire prize to Shared in which all successful innovators during the contest duration share in the prize. The designer can also vary the information disclosure policy from Public in which at each period, all information about contestants' past successes and failures is publicly available, to Private, in ...


Informed Entry In Auctions, Diego Aycinena, Hernán Bejerano, Lucas Rentschler Jul 2017

Informed Entry In Auctions, Diego Aycinena, Hernán Bejerano, Lucas Rentschler

ESI Publications

We examine entry decisions in first-price and English clock auctions with participation costs. Potential bidders observe their value and report maximum willingness to pay (WTP) to participate. Entry occurs if revealed WTP (weakly) exceeds the randomly drawn participation cost. We find no difference in WTP between auction formats, although males have a higher WTP for first-price auctions. WTP is decreasing in the number of potential bidders, but this reduction is less than predicted and small in magnitude.


On The Robustness Of Higher Order Risk Preferences, Cary Deck, Harris Schlesinger Oct 2016

On The Robustness Of Higher Order Risk Preferences, Cary Deck, Harris Schlesinger

ESI Working Papers

Economists have begun to recognize the role that higher order risk preferences play in a variety of settings. As such, several experiments have documented the degree of prudence, temperance, and to a lesser extent, edginess and bentness that laboratory subjects exhibit. More recently, researchers have argued that higher order risk preferences generally conform to mixed risk averse and mixed risk loving patterns that arise from a preference for disaggregating or aggregating harms, respectively. This paper examines the robustness of this pattern in three ways. First, it attempts to directly replicate previous results with compound lotteries over monetary outcomes. Second, it ...


Multi-Battle Contests: An Experimental Study, Shakun D. Mago, Roman M. Sheremeta Sep 2016

Multi-Battle Contests: An Experimental Study, Shakun D. Mago, Roman M. Sheremeta

ESI Working Papers

We examine behavior of subjects in simultaneous and sequential multi-battle contests, where each individual battle is modeled as an all-pay auction with complete information. In simultaneous best-of-three contests, subjects are predicted to make positive bids in all three battles, but we find that subjects often make positive bids in only two battles. In sequential contests, theory predicts sizable bids in the first battle and no bids in the subsequent battles. Contrary to this prediction, subjects significantly underbid in the first battle and overbid in subsequent battles. Consequently, instead of always ending in the second battle, contests often proceeds to the ...


Impulsive Behavior In Competition: Testing Theories Of Overbidding In Rent-Seeking Contests, Roman M. Sheremeta Sep 2016

Impulsive Behavior In Competition: Testing Theories Of Overbidding In Rent-Seeking Contests, Roman M. Sheremeta

ESI Working Papers

Researchers have proposed various theories to explain overbidding in rent-seeking contents, including mistakes, systematic biases, the utility of winning, and relative payoff maximization. Through an eight-part experiment, we test and find significant support for the existing theories. Also, we discover some new explanations based on cognitive ability and impulsive behavior. Out of all explanations examined, we find that impulsivity is the most important factor explaining overbidding in contests.


Do Economic Inequalities Affect Long-Run Cooperation?, Gabriele Camera, Cary Deck, David Porter Aug 2016

Do Economic Inequalities Affect Long-Run Cooperation?, Gabriele Camera, Cary Deck, David Porter

ESI Working Papers

Does inequality affect a group’s cohesion and ability to prosper? Participants in laboratory economies played an indefinite sequence of helping games in random, anonymous pairs. A coin flip determined donor and recipient roles in each pair. This random shock ensured equality of opportunity but not of results, because earnings depended on realized shocks. We manipulated the ability to condition choices on this uncontrollable inequality source. In all treatments, uncertain ending supports multiple Pareto-ranked equilibria, including full cooperation. Theoretically, inequalities do not alter the incentives’ structure. Empirically, inequality disclosures altered conduct, weakened norms of mutual support and reduced efficiency.


The Impact Of Taxes And Wasteful Government Spending On Giving, Roman M. Sheremeta, Neslihan Uler Jan 2016

The Impact Of Taxes And Wasteful Government Spending On Giving, Roman M. Sheremeta, Neslihan Uler

ESI Working Papers

We examine the impact of taxes and wasteful government spending on charitable giving. In our model, the government collects a flat-rate tax on income net of donations and wastes part of the tax revenue before redistribution. The model provides theoretical predictions which we test in a framed field experiment. The results of the experiment show that the tax rate has a weak and insignificant effect on giving. The degree of waste, however, has a large, negative and significant effect on giving, with the relationship moderated by the curvature in the utility function.


Money And The Scale Of Cooperation, Maria Bigoni, Gabriele Camera, Marco Casari Dec 2015

Money And The Scale Of Cooperation, Maria Bigoni, Gabriele Camera, Marco Casari

ESI Working Papers

This study reveals the existence of a causal link between the availability of money and an expanded scale of interaction. We constructed an experiment where participants chose the group size, either a low-value partnership or a high-value group of strangers, and then faced an intertemporal cooperative task. Theoretically, a monetary system was inessential to achieve cooperation. Empirically, without a working monetary system, participants were reluctant to expand the scale of interaction; and when they did, they ended up destroying surplus compared to partnerships, because cooperation collapsed in large groups. This economic failure was reversed only when participants managed to concurrently ...


Asymmetric And Endogenous Within-Group Communication In Competitive Coordination Games, Timothy N. Cason, Roman Sheremeta, Jingjing Zhang Jan 2015

Asymmetric And Endogenous Within-Group Communication In Competitive Coordination Games, Timothy N. Cason, Roman Sheremeta, Jingjing Zhang

ESI Working Papers

Within-group communication in competitive coordination games has been shown to increase competition between groups and lower efficiency. This study further explores potentially harmful effects of communication, by addressing the questions of (i) asymmetric communication and (ii) the endogenous emergence of communication. Our theoretical analysis provides testable hypotheses regarding the effect of communication on competitive behavior and efficiency. We test these predictions using a laboratory experiment. The experiment shows that although asymmetric communication is not as harmful as symmetric communication, it leads to more aggressive competition and lower efficiency relative to the case when neither group can communicate. Moreover, groups vote ...


Competition Between And Within Universities: Theoretical And Experimental Investigation Of Group Identity And The Desire To Win, Zhuoqiong Charlie Chen, David Ong, Roman M. Sheremeta Jan 2015

Competition Between And Within Universities: Theoretical And Experimental Investigation Of Group Identity And The Desire To Win, Zhuoqiong Charlie Chen, David Ong, Roman M. Sheremeta

ESI Working Papers

We study how salient group identity, created through competition between students from different universities, as well as differences in the value of winning impact competitive behavior. Our experiment employs a simple all-pay auction within and between two university subject pools. We find that when competing against their peers, students within the lower tier university bid more aggressively than students within the top-tier university. Also, students from the lower tier university, in particular women, bid more aggressively when competing against students from the top-tier university. These findings, interpreted through a theoretical model incorporating both group identity and differential value of winning ...


Selective Recognition: How To Recognize Donors To Increase Charitable Giving, Anya Samek, Roman Sheremeta Jan 2015

Selective Recognition: How To Recognize Donors To Increase Charitable Giving, Anya Samek, Roman Sheremeta

ESI Working Papers

Recognizing donors by revealing their identities is important for increasing charitable giving. We conducted a field experiment to examine how different recognition methods impact giving, and found that all forms of recognition that we examined had a positive impact on increasing donations, whereby recognizing only highest donors (positive recognition) and recognizing only lowest donors (negative recognition) had the most pronounced effect. We argue that selective recognition (both positive and negative) creates tournament-like incentives. Recognizing the highest donors activates the desire to seek a positive prize of prestige, thus increasing the proportion of donors who contribute large amounts. Recognizing the lowest ...


Double Bubbles In Assets Markets With Multiple Generations, Cary Deck, David Porter, Vernon L. Smith Jan 2014

Double Bubbles In Assets Markets With Multiple Generations, Cary Deck, David Porter, Vernon L. Smith

ESI Publications

We construct an asset market in a finite horizon overlapping-generations environment. Subjects are tested for comprehension of their fundamental value exchange environment and then reminded during each of 25 periods of the environment's declining new value. We observe price bubbles forming when new generations enter the market with additional liquidity and bursting as old generations exit the market and withdrawing cash. The entry and exit of traders in the market creates an M shaped double bubble price path over the life of the traded asset. This finding is significant in documenting that bubbles can reoccur within one extended trading ...


Money Is More Than Memory, Maria Bigoni, Gabriele Camera, Marco Casari Jan 2014

Money Is More Than Memory, Maria Bigoni, Gabriele Camera, Marco Casari

ESI Working Papers

Impersonal exchange is the hallmark of an advanced society. One key institution for impersonal exchange is money, which economic theory considers just a primitive arrangement for monitoring past conduct in society. If so, then a public record of past actions—or memory—supersedes the function performed by money. This intriguing theoretical postulate remains untested. In an experiment, we show that the suggested functional equality between money and memory does not translate into an empirical equivalence. Monetary systems perform a richer set of functions than just revealing past behaviors, which proves to be crucial in promoting large-scale cooperation.


People Do Not Discount Heavily In Strategic Settings, But They Believe Others Do, Cary Deck, Salar Jahedi Jan 2014

People Do Not Discount Heavily In Strategic Settings, But They Believe Others Do, Cary Deck, Salar Jahedi

ESI Working Papers

Several studies have shown that people greatly discount future bene ts and costs. However, most of the direct laboratory evidence of this phenomenon has focused on individual choice experiments. This paper investigates the degree to which the timing of payments a ects behavior in four commonly studies strategic settings: a Prisoner's Dilemma game, a Stag-Hunt game, a First Price Auction and a Second Price Auction. In all four settings, a two week delay in payo s has a comparable e ect to a 20% reduc- tion in current payo s. A follow-up study suggests that it is an individual ...


Single- And Double-Elimination All-Pay Tournaments, Cary Deck, Erik O. Kimbrough Jan 2014

Single- And Double-Elimination All-Pay Tournaments, Cary Deck, Erik O. Kimbrough

ESI Working Papers

Tournaments consisting of iterative matches are a common mechanism for determining how to allocate a prize. While participants are focused on their own outcomes, tournament organizers often have objectives such as maximizing the total investment or effort by the participants over the course of the tournament. For this reason it is important for organizers to understand the behavioral as well as the theoretical properties of different tournament structures. Given that laboratory experiments have consistently found high levels of overbidding in contests, one might suspect that double-elimination tournaments would generate substantially more total investment than single-elimination tournaments despite the two types ...


When Parity Promotes Peace: Resolving Conflict Between Asymmetric Agents, Erik O. Kimbrough, Roman M. Sheremeta, Timothy W. Shields Jan 2013

When Parity Promotes Peace: Resolving Conflict Between Asymmetric Agents, Erik O. Kimbrough, Roman M. Sheremeta, Timothy W. Shields

ESI Working Papers

Due to the high costs of conflict both in theory and practice, we examine and experimentally test the conditions under which conflict between asymmetric agents can be resolved. We model conflict as a two-agent rent-seeking contest for an indivisible prize. Before conflict arises, both agents may agree to allocate the prize by fair coin flip to avoid the costs of conflict. The model predicts that “parity promotes peace”: in the pure-strategy equilibrium, agents with relatively symmetric conflict capabilities agree to resolve the conflict by using a random device; however, with sufficiently asymmetric capabilities, conflicts are unavoidable because the stronger agent ...


Commitment Problems In Conflict Resolution, Erik O. Kimbrough, Jared Rubin, Roman M. Sheremeta, Timothy W. Shields Jan 2013

Commitment Problems In Conflict Resolution, Erik O. Kimbrough, Jared Rubin, Roman M. Sheremeta, Timothy W. Shields

ESI Working Papers

Commitment problems are inherent to non-binding conflict resolution mechanisms, since an unsatisfied party can ignore the resolution and initiate conflict. We provide experimental evidence suggesting that even in the absence of binding contractual agreements individuals often avoid conflict by committing to the outcome of a conflict resolution mechanism. Commitment problems are mitigated to a greater extent for groups who opt-in to the conflict resolution mechanism, but only when opting-in is costly. Although conflict rates are higher when opting-in is costly than when it is free or exogenously imposed, commitment problems are greatly reduced amongst those groups who choose to opt-in.


Building And Rebuilding Trust With Promises And Apologies, Eric Schniter, Roman M. Sheremeta, Daniel Sznycer Jan 2012

Building And Rebuilding Trust With Promises And Apologies, Eric Schniter, Roman M. Sheremeta, Daniel Sznycer

ESI Working Papers

Using trust games, we study how promises and messages are used to build new trust where it did not previously exist and to rebuild damaged trust. In these games, trustees made non-binding promises of investment-contingent returns, then investors decided whether to invest, and finally trustees decided how much to return. After an unexpected second game was announced, but before it commenced, trustees could send a one-way message. This design allowed us to observe the endogenous emergence and natural distribution of trust-relevant behaviors and focus on naturally occurring remedial strategies used by promise-breakers and distrusted trustees, their effects on investors, and ...


Transparency, Efficiency And The Distribution Of Economic Welfare In Pass-Through Investment Trust Games, Thomas A. Rietz, Roman M. Sheremeta, Timothy W. Shields, Vernon Smith Jan 2011

Transparency, Efficiency And The Distribution Of Economic Welfare In Pass-Through Investment Trust Games, Thomas A. Rietz, Roman M. Sheremeta, Timothy W. Shields, Vernon Smith

ESI Working Papers

We design an experiment to examine welfare and behavior in a multi-level trust game representing a pass through investment in an intermediated market. In a repeated game, an Investor invests via an Intermediary who lends to a Borrower. A pre-experiment one-shot version of the game serves as a baseline and to type each subject. We alter the transparency of exchanges between non-adjacent parties. We find transparency of the exchanges between the investor and intermediary does not significantly affect welfare. However, transparency regarding exchanges between the intermediary and borrower promotes trust on the part of the investor, increasing welfare. Further, this ...


Price Increasing Competition? Experimental Evidence, Cary Deck, Jingping Gu Jan 2010

Price Increasing Competition? Experimental Evidence, Cary Deck, Jingping Gu

ESI Working Papers

Economic intuition suggests that increased competition generates lower prices. However, recent theoretical work shows that a monopolist may charge a lower price than a firm facing a competitor selling a differentiated product. The direction of the price change when competition is introduced is dependent upon the joint distribution of buyer values for the two products. We explore this relationship using controlled laboratory experiments. Our results indicate that the distribution of buyer values does affect prices in a manner consistent with the theoretical predictions, although price increasing competition is rare due in part to overly intense competition regardless of the distribution ...


Fight Or Flight? Defending Against Sequential Attacks In The Game Of Siege, Cary Deck, Roman M. Sheremeta Jan 2010

Fight Or Flight? Defending Against Sequential Attacks In The Game Of Siege, Cary Deck, Roman M. Sheremeta

ESI Working Papers

This paper examines theory and behavior in a two-player game of siege, sequential attack and defense. The attacker’s objective is to successfully win at least one battle while the defender’s objective is to win every battle. Theoretically, the defender either folds immediately or, if his valuation is sufficiently high and the number of battles is sufficiently small, then he has a constant incentive to fight in each battle. Attackers respond to defense with diminishing assaults over time. Consistent with theoretical predictions, our experimental results indicate that the probability of successful defense increases in the defenders valuation and it ...


The Attack And Defense Of Weakest-Link Networks, Dan Kovenock, Brian Roberson, Roman M. Sheremeta Jan 2010

The Attack And Defense Of Weakest-Link Networks, Dan Kovenock, Brian Roberson, Roman M. Sheremeta

ESI Working Papers

This paper experimentally examines behavior in a two-player game of attack and defense of a weakest-link network of targets, in which the attacker‟s objective is to successfully attack at least one target and the defender‟s objective is diametrically opposed. We apply two benchmark contest success functions (CSFs): the auction CSF and the lottery CSF. Consistent with the theoretical prediction, under the auction CSF, attackers utilize a stochastic “guerilla warfare” strategy — in which a single random target is attacked — more than 80% of the time. Under the lottery CSF, attackers utilize the stochastic guerilla warfare strategy almost 45% of ...


What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence From The Field, Maria Alejandra Vélez, John K. Stranlund, James J. Murphy Jan 2005

What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence From The Field, Maria Alejandra Vélez, John K. Stranlund, James J. Murphy

PERI Working Papers

This paper develops and tests several models of pure Nash strategies of individuals who extract from a common pool resource when they are motivated by a combination of self-interest and other motivations such as altruism, reciprocity, inequity aversion and conformism. We test whether an econometric summary of subjects’ strategies is consistent with one of these motivations using data from a series of common pool resource experiments conducted in three regions of Colombia. As expected, average extraction levels are less than that predicted by a model of pure self-interest, but are nevertheless sub-optimal. Moreover, we find that a model of conformism ...