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Catherine C. Eckel, Haley Harwell and José Gabriel Castillo G.

This paper replicates four highly cited, classic lab experimental studies in the provision of public goods. The studies consider the impact of marginal per capita return…

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This paper replicates four highly cited, classic lab experimental studies in the provision of public goods. The studies consider the impact of marginal per capita return and group size; framing (as donating to or taking from the public good); the role of confusion in the public goods game; and the effectiveness of peer punishment. Considerable attention has focused recently on the problem of publication bias, selective reporting, and the importance of research transparency in social sciences. Replication is at the core of any scientific process and replication studies offer an opportunity to reevaluate, confirm or falsify previous findings. This paper illustrates the value of replication in experimental economics. The experiments were conducted as class projects for a PhD course in experimental economics, and follow exact instructions from the original studies and current standard protocols for lab experiments in economics. Most results show the same pattern as the original studies, but in all cases with smaller treatment effects and lower statistical significance, sometimes falling below accepted levels of significance. In addition, we document a “Texas effect,” with subjects consistently exhibiting higher levels of contributions and lower free-riding than in the original studies. This research offers new evidence on the attenuation effect in replications, well documented in other disciplines and from which experimental economics is not immune. It also opens the discussion over the influence of unobserved heterogeneity in institutional environments and subject pools that can affect lab results.

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Replication in Experimental Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-350-1

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Sheheryar Banuri and Catherine Eckel

Lab studies on culture and corruption have led to some puzzling, contradictory results. This chapter begins with a discussion of nonexperimental work in this area and…

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Lab studies on culture and corruption have led to some puzzling, contradictory results. This chapter begins with a discussion of nonexperimental work in this area and evaluates the experimental findings in the context of earlier research. We sketch out the channels through which culture interacts with corruption (i.e., through institutions and social norms) and argue that discrepancies in experimental results may be due to differences in design (including repetition or unobserved variation in beliefs) or due to differences in the response to punishment across societies. In addition to exploring design-based reasons for previous contradictory findings, avenues for future research include: behavioral responses to different types of externalities; replicating results in different countries; and utilizing the lab to formulate effective anticorruption measures.

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New Advances in Experimental Research on Corruption
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-785-7

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Catherine C. Eckel and Philip J. Grossman

An individual should be indifferent between a rebate subsidy of rate sr and a matching subsidy of rate sm=sr/(1-sr), and the total amount received by the charity should be…

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An individual should be indifferent between a rebate subsidy of rate sr and a matching subsidy of rate sm=sr/(1-sr), and the total amount received by the charity should be the same regardless of subsidy type. Recent laboratory and field experiments contradict these straightforward predictions of standard economic theory: subjects consistently make decisions that result in larger amounts going to the charity under a matching subsidy than under an equivalent rebate subsidy. This paper tests whether this result is due to rebate-aversion – a preference by donors for a match over a rebate subsidy. Consistent with theory, we find no significant preference for one or the other subsidy scheme. However, we do find that, as in previous studies, participants selecting the matching subsidy made decisions that resulted in approximately twice the donations of participants selecting the rebate subsidy donated.

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Experiments Investigating Fundraising and Charitable Contributors
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-301-3

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Catherine Eckel, Cathleen Johnson and Claude Montmarquette

We explore the predictive capacity of short-horizon time preference decisions for long-horizon investment decisions. We use experimental evidence from a sample of Canadian…

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We explore the predictive capacity of short-horizon time preference decisions for long-horizon investment decisions. We use experimental evidence from a sample of Canadian working poor. Each subject made a set of decisions trading off present and future amounts of money. Decisions involved both short and long time horizons, with stakes ranging up to 600 dollars. Short horizon preference decisions do well in predicting the long-horizon investment decisions. These short horizon questions are much less expensive to administer but yield much higher estimated discount rates. We find no evidence that the present-biased preference measures generated from the short-horizon time preference decisions indicate any bias in long-term investment decisions. We also show that individuals are heterogeneous with respect to discount rates generated by short-horizon time preference decisions and long-horizon time preference decisions.

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Field Experiments in Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-174-3

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Danila Serra and Leonard Wantchekon

In Chapter 2, Ananish Chaudhuri surveys the empirical evidence on the existence of gender differences in individuals’ propensity to engage in corruption. While the chapter…

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In Chapter 2, Ananish Chaudhuri surveys the empirical evidence on the existence of gender differences in individuals’ propensity to engage in corruption. While the chapter begins with a review of the findings generated by cross-country studies, the main focus of the discussion is in the insights provided by laboratory experiments specifically designed to test for gender differentials in corrupt transactions. According to the carefully conducted survey of the literature, the existing experimental evidence suggests that females are either equally or less willing to engage in corruption than males; there is very little evidence that women behave more corruptly than men. The author discusses possible reasons for gender differentials in corrupt behavior, such as risk aversion and preferences for reciprocation. Finally, Chaudhuri emphasizes that gender effects are more likely to be observed in studies conducted in developed countries and calls for further research to be conducted in developing countries, with the aim of shedding light on the relationships between gender differences in corrupt behavior and the cultural background of the experimental participants.

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New Advances in Experimental Research on Corruption
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-785-7

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Andrej Svorenčík

Economics laboratories have become the primary locations of experimental economics research by the 1990s. They were a result of a decade long development from ad hoc…

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Economics laboratories have become the primary locations of experimental economics research by the 1990s. They were a result of a decade long development from ad hoc opportune places to dedicated, purpose designed spaces. The distinctive feature of the economics laboratory and its key instrument became networked computers running custom-built software. However, the history of the economics laboratory is not just a history of evolving technology. I argue in this article that it is mainly a history of learning how to build an experimental economics community. Only a functioning community was able to change a physical place to a laboratory space. The distinction between place and space originates in the work of Michael de Certeau and I use it to analyze the evolution of economics laboratories. To this end, I analyze the case of Austin Hoggatt’s Management Science Laboratory at Berkeley in the 1960s as it illustrates the indispensability of creating a community centered on the laboratory. In contrast, the laboratories in Arizona and at Caltech since the 1980s, and in Amsterdam since the 1990s have become successful spaces, because, unlike Hoggatt, they focused equally on community building as on infrastructure and technology. This gave rise to social infrastructure and division of labor in the laboratory space.

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Including a Symposium on Mary Morgan: Curiosity, Imagination, and Surprise
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-423-7

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Including a Symposium on Mary Morgan: Curiosity, Imagination, and Surprise
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-423-7

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Experiments in Organizational Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-964-0

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Field Experiments in Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-174-3

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New Advances in Experimental Research on Corruption
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-785-7

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