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Experimental Economics

Class at Faculty of Social Sciences |


Course Introduction and Methodology   Social preferences and time discounting: introduction - 5 lectures

1. Introduction Dictator game, Ultimatum game Models of social preferences

2. Other standard social-dilemma task Trust game Prisoners' Dilemma game Public goods game (with and without punishment) Joy of Destruction game

3. Social motives in organizations Gift-exchange game External validity Reciprocity and inequality aversion on the labor market

4. Time discounting, limited self-control and demand for commitment Exponential discounting, present-biased preferences, naivite and sophistication Deadlines and demand for commitment Dealing with imperfect compliance Measuring inter-temporal preference and time inconsistent preferences     Selected topics on social behavior – 5 lectures

5. Formation of social preference: experiments with children Development of preferences and willingness to cooperate during childhood The role of parental socio-economic status Impacts of early childhood policies

6. Social norms (JC) Measurement of social norms Social norms and economic behavior Determinants and stability of social norms

7. Social pressure and pro-social behavior (JC) Approaches to study social influence: peer effects, information cascades Social influence in pro-social behavior Social image concerns

8. Self-image and self-signaling Salience of self Moral wiggle room Diffusion of responsibility

9. Decision-making in groups Rationality and cognitive sophistication Inter-personal behavior Exploring mechanisms why group are less pro-social: communication in groups, social image, self-image and diffusion of responsibility.   Psychology of poverty– 4 lectures

10. Psychology of poverty Behavioral sources of poverty: psychology of poverty Income and cognition Income and stress Effect of thinking about poverty-related problems, hunger, noise, excessive alcohol consumption Income and productivity

11. Selected issues in measurement Measuring cognition Measuring economic preferences in surveys Measuring sensitive behaviors

12. Effects of stress on decision-making (JC) Types of stress and stressors (TSST-G, Cold Pressor task) Effect of stress on prosocial behavior Effect of stress on risk preferences – issues to consider Effect of stress on the willingness to compete   Willingness to compete – 1 lecture

13. Willingness to compete (JC) Willingness to compete concept and external validity Willingness to compete across settings – nature or nurture Policy implications Measurement issues     Discrimination, Identity – 4 lectures

14. Discrimination: natural field experiments Theories: taste-based discrimination, statistical discrimination Using field experiments to measuring the extent of discrimination Attention discrimination: measuring decision-making process in the field Uncovering sources of statistical discrimination

15. Discrimination: lab experiments using lab experiments to separate taste-based and statistical discrimination triggers of discriminatory preferences: social context, scapegoating fighting discriminatory preferences: contact development of discrimination during childhood strategic responses to discrimination: name changing

16. Identity, Religion Identity: definition Priming techniques: crime, banking, religion Economic well-being and religious identity       Misperceptions and belief updating

17. Information provision and survey experiments   ·         Effects of information provision on belief updating ·         Advantages and disadvantages of survey experiments o   MTurk workers and representative samples o   Self-reported outcomes and behavioral measures o   Experimenter demand effects and obfuscation follow-up surveys o   Ensuring high-quality responses in online questionnaires (attention checks, survey consequentiality, etc.)   Methods, implementation

18. Selected aspects about transparency in experiments ·         Ethical review ·         Transparency and replications ·         Pre-analysis plans

19. How to program a lab experiment? (TM, if situation allows it will take place at LEE at the University of Economics) Laboratory experiments Design Challenges Programing in zTree     Additional topics if time allows

20. Legacies of violent conflicts Why war experience may change social behavior Evidence from surveys Evidence from experiments

21. Randomized control trials in development economics: what works? schooling: what is most efficient way to increase schooling? demand for health products: shall health products be subsidized? methodological aspects: balance checks, imperfect compliance two stage randomization: separating selection and behavioral effects of prices