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  • 1
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2018-11-19
    Description: We study experimentally how the ability to communicate affects the frequency and effectiveness of flexible and inflexible contracts in a bilateral trade context where sellers can adjust trade quality after observing a post-contractual cost shock and a discretionary buyer transfer. In the absence of communication, we find that rigid contracts are more frequent and lead to higher earnings for both buyer and seller. By contrast, in the presence of communication, flexible contracts are much more frequent and considerably more productive, both for buyers and sellers. Also, both buyer and seller earn considerably more from flexible with communication than rigid without communication. Our results show quite strongly that communication, a normal feature in contracting, can remove the potential cost of flexibility (disagreements caused by conflicting perceptions). We offer an explanation based on social norms.
    Keywords: C91 ; ddc:330 ; contract design ; communication ; experiments ; Vertrag ; Kommunikation ; Test
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 2
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2016-05-23
    Description: We test experimentally an explanation of over and under confidence as motivated by (perhaps unconscious) strategic concerns, and find compelling evidence supporting this hypothesis in the behavior of participants who send and respond to others' statements of confidence about how well they have scored on an IQ test. In two-player tournaments where the highest score wins, one is likely to enter at equilibrium when he knows that his stated confidence is higher than the other player's, but very unlikely when the reverse is true. Consistent with this behavior, stated confidence by males is inflated when deterrence is strategically optimal and is instead deflated by males and females when hustling (encouraging entry) is strategically optimal. This behavior is consistent with the equilibrium of the corresponding signaling game. Based on the theory of salient perturbations, we propose a strategic foundation of overconfidence. Since overconfident statements are used in familiar situations in which it is strategically effective, it may also occur in the absence of strategic benefits, provided the environment is similar.
    Keywords: A12 ; C91 ; D03 ; D82 ; ddc:330 ; self-confidence ; overconfidence ; salient perturbations ; analogies ; strategic deterrence ; unconscious behavior ; self-deception ; hustling ; experiment
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 3
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2019-08-22
    Description: The effectiveness of social interaction depends strongly on an ability to coordinate actions efficiently. In large networks, such coordination may be very difficult to achieve and may depend on the communication technology and the network structure. We examine how pre-play communication and clustering within networks affect coordination in a challenging experimental game on eight-person networks. Free-form chat is enormously effective in achieving the non-equilibrium efficient outcome in our game, but restricted communication (where subjects can only indicate their intended action) is almost entirely ineffective. We can rationalize this result with a novel model about the credibility of cheap-talk messages. This credibility is much larger with freeform message communication than with restricted communication. We are the first to model this credibility and show, both theoretically and experimentally, an interaction effect of network structure and communication technologies. We also provide a model of message diffusion, which indeed predicts that diffusion will be more rapid without clustering and is consistent with our data.
    Keywords: C71 ; C91 ; D03 ; D85 ; ddc:330 ; networks ; clustering ; communication ; credibility ; cheap talk ; experiment
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 4
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2020-04-30
    Description: We conduct a survey and incentivized lab-in-the-field experimental tasks in Tirana, Albania. While the original purpose of our study was to examine whether and how deep parameters such as time and risk preferences affect the intention to migrate, our study was transformed into a natural experiment owing to two large earthquakes that shook the Tirana area during our data-collection period. These events provide us with a rare opportunity to gather evidence (including a pre-earthquake control) on the effect of natural disasters on time and risk preferences. We find unambiguous effects towards more risk aversion and impatience for affected individuals. Moreover, as it turns out, the second earthquake amplified the effect of the first one, suggesting that experiences cumulate in their influence on these preferences.
    Keywords: B49 ; C90 ; D91 ; F22 ; ddc:330 ; time preferences ; risk preferences ; natural disaster ; Albania ; migration
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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