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  • 1
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    Bonn: Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
    Publication Date: 2019-09-04
    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 nonequilibrium 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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  • 2
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    Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
    Publication Date: 2018-11-15
    Description: This article examines whether social comparisons have behavioral effects on workers' performance when a firm can choose workers' wages or let them choose their own. Firms can delegate the wage decision to neither, one or both workers in the firm. We vary the information workers receive, finding that social comparisons concerning both wages and decision rights affect workers' performance. Moreover, the relative effect of discrimination in relation to decision rights is larger than in relation to wage. We find these treatment effects with both stated effort and a real-effort task, suggesting that both approaches may yield similar results.
    Keywords: C91 ; ddc:330 ; delegation ; gift-exchange ; 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: 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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  • 4
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    Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
    Publication Date: 2018-11-15
    Description: The 'ratchet effect' refers to a situation where a principal uses private information that is revealed by an agent's early actions to the agent's later disadvantage, in a context where binding multi-period contracts are not enforceable. In a simple, context-rich environment, we experimentally study the robustness of the ratchet effect to the introduction of ex post competition for principals or agents. While we do observe substantial and significant ratchet effects in the baseline (no competition) case of our model, we find that ratchet behavior is nearly eliminated by labor-market competition; interestingly this is true regardless of whether market conditions favor principals or agents.
    Keywords: C91 ; ddc:330 ; Ratchet effect ; competition ; experiment ; private information ; labor markets ; Agency Theory ; Asymmetrische Information ; Arbeitsmarkt ; Wettbewerb ; Test
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 5
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    Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
    Publication Date: 2018-11-15
    Description: In this paper, we investigate individuals' investment in status in an environment where no monetary return can possibly be derived from reaching a better relative position. We use a real-effort experiment in which we permit individuals to learn and potentially improve their status (rank). We find that people express both intrinsic motivation and a taste for status. Indeed, people increase their effort when they are simply informed about their relative performance, and people pay both to sabotage others' output and to artificially increase their own relative performance. In addition, stronger group identity favors positive rivalry and discourages sabotage among peers.
    Keywords: C91 ; C92 ; M54 ; D63 ; J28 ; J31 ; ddc:330 ; Status seeking ; rank ; competitive preferences ; experiment ; Sozialer Status ; Wettbewerb ; Präferenztheorie ; Leistungsmotivation ; Test
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 6
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    Unknown
    Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
    Publication Date: 2018-11-15
    Description: In this paper, we describe a series of laboratory experiments that implement specific examples of a more general network structure and we examine equilibrium selection. Specifically, actions are either strategic substitutes or strategic complements, and participants have either complete or incomplete information about the structure of a random network. Since economic environments typically have a considerable degree of complementarity or substitutability, this framework applies to a wide variety of settings. The degree of equilibrium play is striking, in particular with incomplete information. Behavior closely resembles the theoretical equilibrium whenever this is unique; when there are multiple equilibria, general features of networks, such as connectivity, clustering, and the degree of the players, help to predict informed behavior in the lab. People appear to be strongly attracted to maximizing aggregate payoffs (social efficiency), but there are forces that moderate this attraction: 1) people seem content with (in the aggregate) capturing only the lion's share of the efficient profits in exchange for reduced exposure to loss, and 2) uncertainty about the network structure makes it considerably more difficult to coordinate on a demanding, but efficient, equilibrium that is typically implemented with complete information.
    Keywords: C71 ; C91 ; D03 ; D85 ; ddc:330 ; random networks ; incomplete information ; connectivity ; clustering ; strategic substitutes ; strategic complements ; experiment
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 7
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    Unknown
    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
    Location Call Number Limitation Availability
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