Research Seminars

Research Seminar Series offers a unique opportunity for our Faculty to engage with leading international scholars. Distinguished researchers from the world's top universities are invited to present their latest research and engage in lively discussions on the latest trends and developments in various areas of economics. All seminars are conducted in English and are comprised of a 50-minute presentation followed by a 10-minute discussion session. These seminars are open to the public, and we warmly welcome spontaneous attendance. 

Coordinators: Martin Guzi, Štěpán Mikula, Matteo M. Marini and Luca Fumarco.

Upcoming seminars

Past events Show current

18 Apr

2024

“Who was a stranger remained one”: The effects of the forced displacement of ethnic Germans after WWII on their children

Kristin Kleinjans (California State University) ESF Room MT205 Personal website

At the end of World War II and as a result of it, an estimated 12 million ethnic Germans were forcibly and often violently displaced from areas in which most of them had lived for many generations. Between 8 and 10 million of them arrived within the new borders of Germany, among them many children. Only recently have economists started to investigate how their displacement affected local economies and the displaced themselves. Even less is known about how those who were displaced as children were affected, which is the subject of this research in progress. Preliminary results show that children who were displaced are more likely to have moved within the last 10 years in young adulthood, a finding that cannot be explained by educational choices, marriage behavior, or other observables. Fragmentary evidence shows that it may be related to growing up without family roots and in smaller social networks, which makes moving away less costly. If these findings hold up, they suggest that even in situations in which refugees and displaced are similar to the hosting population, mobility of offspring is higher and while it may lead to better employment opportunities is at least partially rooted in their social isolation.

 

17 Apr

2024

Quantinar: A Blockchain p2p Ecosystem for Scientific Research

Wolfgang Karl Härdle (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) ESF Room S306 Personal website

Living in the Information Age, the power of data and correct statistical analysis has never been more prevalent. Academics and practitioners require nowadays an accurate application of quantitative methods. Yet many branches are subject to a crisis of integrity, which is shown in an improper use of statistical models, $p$-hacking, HARKing, or failure to replicate results. We propose the use of a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) ecosystem based on a blockchain network, Quantinar (quantinar.com), to support quantitative analytics knowledge paired with code in the form of Quantlets (quantlet.com) or software snippets. The integration of blockchain technology makes Quantinar a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that ensures fully transparent and reproducible scientific research.

Paper available at SSRN: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4275797

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17 Apr

2024

Emoji Driven Crypto Assets Market Reactions

Xiaorui ZUO (Fudan University) ESF Room S306 Personal website

In the burgeoning realm of cryptocurrency, social media platforms like Twitter have become pivotal in influencing market trends and investor sentiments. In our study, we leverage GPT-4 and a fine-tuned transformer-based BERT model for a multimodal sentiment analysis, focusing on the impact of emoji sentiment on cryptocurrency markets. By translating emojis into quantifiable sentiment data, we correlate these insights with key market indicators like BTC Price and the VCRIX index. This approach informs the development of trading strategies aimed at utilizing social media sentiment to forecast market trends. Crucially, our findings suggest that strategies based on emoji sentiment can facilitate the avoidance of significant market downturns and contribute to the stabilization of returns. This research underscores the practical benefits of integrating advanced AI-driven analyses into financial strategies, offering a nuanced perspective on the interplay between digital communication and market dynamics in an academic context.

Paper available at SSRN: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4722627

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16 Apr

2024

Structural impacts on health across the life span

Emily Dore (Emory University) ESF Academic Club (HEPII) Personal website

In this talk, I will discuss how the life course perspective and social determinants of health framework guide my research agenda. While the relationship between childhood socioeconomic status and adult health has been well documented in the life course literature, fewer studies have explored how this relationship is shaped by political, institutional, and other macro-level factors within a social context. I will give an overview of two recent projects that explore this topic within the US context. The first examines how the relationship between childhood socioeconomic status and adult health varies by state, and what factors contribute to this variation. The second analyzes the long-term health effects of childhood exposure to a specific policy, the US national welfare policy, by exploiting state-level differences in welfare policy implementation.

11 Apr

2024

A nationwide “Mobility Guarantee”: willingness-to-pay and potential implications for car ownership

Stefanie Peer (Vienna University of Economics and Business) ESF Academic Club Personal website

This study investigates the potential impact of implementing a nationwide "Mobility Guarantee" (MG) in Austria on individuals' mode choice behavior and car ownership. Through a stated preference experiment involving 1200 respondents, consumer preferences regarding MG attributes were elicited and analyzed using discrete choice models. Key findings reveal significant interest among participants in purchasing the MG, with attributes such as price, temporal coverage, and waiting time for Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) services being crucial. Approximately 20% of respondents expressed willingness to give up one or more cars, particularly secondary or tertiary vehicles. Moreover, those intending to retain their cars anticipated a substantial reduction in yearly car distances. The study underscores the need for further exploration of economic impacts and policy implications associated with introducing MGs, providing valuable insights for future demand assessment and policy formulation in the realm of public transport and car ownership.

11 Apr

2024

Wheel of (mis)fortune: Why do Americans not know the cost of their care in advance?

Michal Horny (Emory University) ESF Academic Club (HEPII) Personal website

Unexpected medical bills and out-of-pocket medical costs top the list of American adults’ financial worries. Yet, meaningful price information has been difficult for consumers to obtain before receiving care despite the implementation of several health care price transparency regulations in recent years. In this talk, I will provide an overview of my research program in this area, discuss the main reasons for the difficult predictability of US patients’ out-of-pocket costs, and propose a policy solution to this market failure.

4 Apr

2024

Overeducation and Economic Mobility

Simen Markussen (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research) ESF Room MT205 Personal website

We assess the hypothesis that declining intergenerational economic mobility in Norway is attributable to a rising signaling value of education accompanied by more overeducation particularly among upperclass offspring. We identify five empirical facts that together point in this direction: • The educational earnings premium has risen, but only through the extensive (employment) margin. • The earnings premium has increased more when education is measured as years corresponding to completed degrees than when measured as time actually invested. • Both educational attainment and the labor market's skill-requirements (as predicted by the occupational distribution) have increased, but attainment has risen faster than requirements such that the incidence of overeducation has increased. • There is a steep positive social gradient in overeducation: Overeducation is more frequent and has risen faster among offspring in upper-class families. • There is a steep negative social gradient in non-employment: Non-employment is more frequent and has risen faster among offspring in lower-class families.

https://www.iza.org/publications/dp/16798/overeducation-and-economic-mobility

28 Mar

2024

Social Identity in Network Formation

Tom Lane (Newcastle University Business School) ESF Room MT205 Personal website

We use a lab experiment to study the dynamic evolution of economic networks in the context of fragmented social identity. We create societies in which members can initiate and delete links to others, and then earn payoffs from a public good game played within their network. We manipulate whether the society initially consists of segregated or integrated identity groups, and also vary whether societal mobility is high or low. Results show in-group favouritism in network formation. The effects of original network structure are long-lasting, with initially segregated societies permanently exhibiting more homophilic networks than initially integrated ones. Moreover, allowing greater social mobility results in networks becoming less rather than more integrated. This occurs in part because eviction from networks is based particularly on out-group hostility when societal mobility is high, while it is particularly based on punishing free riders when mobility is low.

21 Mar

2024

Discrimination in evaluation criteria: The role of beliefs versus outcomes

Boon Han Koh (University of Exeter Business School) ESF Room MT205 Personal website

Using incentivized experiments, we investigate whether different criteria are used in evaluating male and female leaders when outcomes are determined by unobservable choices and luck. Evaluators form beliefs about leaders’ choices and make discretionary payments. We find that while payments to male leaders are determined by both outcomes and evaluators’ beliefs, those to female leaders are determined by outcomes only. We label this new source of gender bias as the gender criteria gap. Our findings imply that high outcomes are necessary for women to get bonuses, but men can receive bonuses for low outcomes as long as evaluators hold them in high regard.

14 Mar

2024

Health (expenditure) disparities: The firm contribution

Vahid Moghani (Erasmus University Rotterdam) ESF Academic Club (HEPII) Personal website

This study investigates the influence of firm-level factors on the health outcomes of individuals. The significant amount of time adults spend at work, traditionally viewed as a place for earning income, suggests a potential impact on health and healthcare behaviors. Despite this, there remains a notable gap in research exploring how firms might influence the health outcomes of employees. To address this gap, the study utilizes administrative data encompassing all full-time employees in the Netherlands from 2009 to 2015, linked with their respective employers and healthcare costs, amounting around 25 million individual-year observations. By examining employees who switch employers, referred to as ‘movers’, the research aims to disentangle the influence of firm-specific characteristics on health from the personal attributes of these employees. Using the two-way fixed effects model as per Abowd et al. (1999), and using leave-one-out estimator suggested by Kline et al. (2020) to account for the bias due to the limited mobility of workers across firms, the study decomposes variations in health expenditures into components attributable to firm-level characteristics, individual factors, and their covariance. A gender-stratified analysis is also integral to this research, recognizing the distinct health and workplace dynamics faced by male and female employees. The findings suggest that for male workers, characteristics specific to firms account for a modest yet notable portion of the variance in health expenditures, adjusting for age and education. For the female employees, the firm fixed effects can explain a smaller proportion of the variance. The study further reveals that changes in health expenditures due to firm movement significantly align with the health-expenditure differences of the original and destination coworkers when a workers moves.

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7 Mar

2024

The Experience of Social Risk

Christian Koenig-Kersting (University of Innsbruck) ESF Room MT205 Personal website

Experience of adverse events in the past is increasingly understood to matter for future behavior in ways that go beyond informational updating. This paper shows that such experience effects differ depending on whether the adverse event resulted from social or natural causes. We develop a novel experimental design that allows the experimenter to manipulate exclusively the source of risk that creates a subject’s experiential biography and to observe repeat choices at the individual level, all within the same stochastic environment. In this setting, we investigate whether the source, natural or social, that caused an adverse event in a past interaction makes a difference to how decisions about a future interaction are made. We generate our evidence by drawing upon a large sample of the US population (n=4,990) who participate in an online experiment. The evidence shows that experiencing an adverse outcome caused by another human (social risk) reduces future risk-taking, but experiencing the same outcome caused by nature (natural risk) does not, provided exposure to the social risk was intentional. The evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that adverse experiences with a social cause trigger amplified regret, driving subjects towards avoiding social risk in future decisions.

29 Feb

2024

Trust, Reciprocity and Menu-(in)dependence

Vittorio Pelligra (University of Cagliari) ESF Room MT205 Personal website

22 Feb

2024

Fertility Intentions under the Shock Conditions: the Case of Russian Exodus

Vladimir Kozlov (IOS Regensburg) ESF Room MT205 Personal website

The paper is devoted to the fertility intentions of the migrants from Russia belonging to the recent wave of so called ‘Exodus’ caused by Russia’s invasion in Ukraine in 2022 and its social impact on Russian society. The authors use the disruption hypothesis and predict the drop in the fertility intentions of new-wave Russian migrants in comparison with the oldwave Russian migrants and stayers, matching and controlling for their socio-economic status. Although the new-wave migrants are in the active reproductive age, partnered and in many cases childless, the authors find a strong intention to the fertility postponement and even cancellation among them. The research is based on two on-line surveys organized in April – October 2023 via online social media and by the snowball method. The first survey provided authors with empirical data on old-wave and new-wave migrants, the second one – on stayers, who have close socio-economic characteristics to the migrants. As a result not only the lower birth intentions of the new-wave migrants was observed, but the positive effect on fertility intentions of the subjective income and willingness to stay in the host country. Especially it is obvious for the countries beyond the EU (mainly for post-Soviet and the Balkan ones). On the other hand for the countries of EU (welfare states) the fertility intentions are the highest.

15 Feb

2024

Do transparency policies work as expected? Evidence from the retail gasoline market

Ragip Kaan Erdemli (University of Barcelona) ESF Room MT205 Personal website

This paper examines how a consumer-side price transparency policy influences spatial competition among firms. For this purpose, I use data from the fuel retail market in the Sydney Metropolitan Area, Australia, where a transparency policy regarding fuel prices was implemented. To understand the implications of the policy on margins, I develop an empirical model of demand and supply. The main feature of the model is that it does not assume all consumers are fully informed, as traditional discrete-choice models do. Instead, it also accomodates consumers with limited information. The transparency policy operates through online information channels of the local government (its website and mobile application), and the data on the usage of these information channels is a key input to the model. Furthermore, by introducing multi-market contact into the model, I allow for heterogeneous coordination among the firms. Counterfactual analysis shows that as consumers become more informed, profit margins decline.

18 Jan

2024

Uncertainty shocks in currency unions

Johannes Pfeifer (Universität der Bundeswehr München) ESF Room S306 Personal website

Uncertainty shocks cause economic activity to contract and more so, if an effective lower bound on interest rates constrains monetary policy. In this paper, we investigate whether countries within currency unions are also particularly prone to suffer from the adverse effects of heightened uncertainty because they lack monetary independence. First, we estimate a Bayesian VAR on quarterly panel data for 16 Euro Area countries. We find that country-specific uncertainty shocks impact economic activity adversely. Second, we calibrate a DSGE model of a small open economy and show that it can account for the evidence. Finally, we show that currency union membership strongly reduces the effects of uncertainty shocks because it anchors long-run expectations of the price level and thus alleviates precautionary price setting in the face of increased uncertainty.

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14 Dec
2023

Product Ratings and Externalities

Thomas de Haan (University of Bergen) ESF Room P303 Personal website

We investigate how information regarding production externalities (e.g. ecolabels) can be presented to create market pressure on firms to reduce said externalitites. Specifically, we ask whether integrating information regarding externalities and consumer product ratings into one rating, can result in pressure to reduce externalities from all consumers, not just ‘green/activist’ consumers. Theoretically we show that an equilibrium exists where producers invest in both high product quality and low production externality. However, we show that with separate ratings, this equilibrium requires a high share of ’green’ consumers who only wish to purchase products with low production externalities, whereas with combined ratings it does not. Experimentally we confirm the prediction that both separate and combined ratings help overcome the product quality asymmetric information problem, and find investments in externality reduction were substantially higher in the combined rating treatment.

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7 Dec
2023

When Geography Shapes Preferences and Priorities: Redesigning Teacher Assignment in Italy

Mariagrazia Cavallo (University of Bristol) ESF Room P201

We investigate Italy's teacher assignment system, where teachers can rank geographical regions (municipalities, districts, or provinces), leading to ties in their rank order lists (ROLs). The geographical structure significantly influences teachers' priority rights at different schools as well. Analyzing administrative data, we identify systematic violations of teachers' priority rights, resulting from the way ties in teachers' ROLs are resolved—a mechanism initially introduced to mitigate efficiency losses from random tie-breaking. To address these issues, we propose a new assignment mechanism that completely respects priority rights and Pareto improves over random tie-breaking. Additionally, our mechanism is strategy-proof for the teachers, unlike the current mechanism. Using administrative data, we quantitatively evaluate the potential improvements in fairness and welfare that could arise from implementing our proposed mechanism.

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30 Nov
2023

Individual attitudes and market dynamics towards imprecision

Christoph Huber (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business) P201 Personal website

We analyze the impact of individual attitudes on market dynamics in a laboratory experiment with 320 participants under risk and imprecision, where imprecision is modelled in either probabilities, outcome realizations, or a combination of both. In two stages, we first elicit individual reservation prices for risky and imprecise lotteries and then analyze price dynamics in a continuous double auction environment with risky and imprecise fundamentals. Our results underpin the importance of whether imprecision is modelled in probabilities or outcomes on the individual level: On average, we find imprecision-in-outcomes seeking, but neutrality towards imprecision in probabilities, the combination of probabilities and outcomes, and risk. In markets, however, individual attitudes are overridden by market dynamics as past price developments are the main predictor for current realized prices. We find no significant differences between treatments with respect to market variables such as trading volume, volatility, and the dispersion of final asset holdings. Yet, at the market closing, we observe significant overpricing in the risk condition, as well as underpricing in conditions with imprecision in probabilities (supporting ambiguity aversion) and the combination of imprecise probabilities and outcomes, respectively.

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23 Nov
2023

A Play and Learn O'Clock? On Time-use Among Children in Tanzania

Nita Handastya (University of Siena) ESF Room P303 Personal website

This study examines how children spend their time differently across four categories of activities: chores, care, learning, and leisure. In particular, I am interested in the difference that between the decision to perform the activities and the hours they dedicate among boys and girls. The data used in this study is taken from the Tanzanian Integrated Labor Force (ILFS) survey, specifically the Time-Use module. The choice of country in particular is an attempt to describe the dynamic of time-use within a household in one of the developing countries, specifically from Sub-Saharan Africa. To estimate the probability of performing the role and time spent on each category, I use Cragg’s double hurdle model to handle the zero-inflated nature of the dependent variable. This study contributes to the understanding of gender gap issues in time use among children.

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3 Nov
2023

Corporate Long-termism: Looking Toward an (Un)certain Future

Tuugi Chuluun (Loyola University Maryland) ESF Room S310 Personal website

Do investors benefit when managers have a long-term perspective? The conventional narrative suggests that they do. This paper exploits the characteristics of language used in annual reports and offers a nuanced answer. Motivated by real option theory, our results indicate that long-term orientation tilts investment policy towards intangible assets that increase the firm’s valuable real options that are associated with greater idiosyncratic volatility, is associated with higher equity and debt value, and generally increases firm value when uncertain sentiment is high. These associations either disappear, or change sign, when uncertain sentiment is low. Overall, consistent with the implications of real option theory, our findings suggest that corporate long-termism is value-enhancing only when accompanied by high uncertainty.

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2 Nov
2023

Vendula Stepanikova: Education and Inequities in Social Health Protection Programs: Evidence from Pakistan

Vendula Stepanikova (University of Erlangen–Nuremberg) ESF Room P303 Personal website

This paper investigates the role of education as a possible barrier to the utilization of social protection programs. We focus on a large-scale free health insurance innovation in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. We are able to combine household panel data including detailed health information as well as household census data with administrative data on insurance enrollment and utilization. We show descriptively as well as controlling for temporal and spatial differences in the enrolment campaign, that education positively correlates with the utilization of the scheme, and that this correlation exists for both male and female education. Moreover, we exploit data on public school construction and use the establishment of girl schools as an instrument for local female education for causal inference. We find that female education significantly increases health insurance utilization on the individual as well as household level. The results suggest that this pro-poor social health protection program entails implicit barriers, making it less egalitarian than possibly intended.

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26 Oct
2023

Pollution abatement and lobbying in a Cournot Game. An agent-based modelling approach

Marco Catola (Maastricht University) ESF Room P303 Personal website

The application of Agent-Based Modelling to Game Theory allows us to benefit from the strengths of both approaches, and to enrich the study of games when solutions are difficult to elicit analytically. Using an agent-based approach to sequential games, however, poses some issues that result in a few applications of this type. We contribute to this aspect by applying the agent-based approach to a lobbying game involving environmental regulation and firms’ choice of abatement. We simulate this game and test the robustness of its game-theoretical prediction against the results obtained. We find that while theoretical predictions are generally consistent with the simulated results, this novel approach highlights a few differences. First, the market converges to a green state for a larger number of cases with respect to theoretical predictions. Second, simulations show that it is possible for this market to converge to a polluting state in the very long run. This result is not envisaged by theoretical predictions. Sensitivity experiments on the main model parameters confirm the robustness of our findings.

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19 Oct
2023

Drug Copayments, Child Outcomes, and Intra-family Spillovers

Jakub Červený (Institute for Health Care Analyses) ESF Room P302b Personal website

Reducing out-of-pocket costs of medication has been shown to lead to higher use initiation rates in childhood. Less is known, however, about the potentially asymmetric effects of increases in such costs, resulting from a loss in insurance coverage. This paper looks at the expiration of prescription drug copay waivers for children in Slovakia to investigate changes in pharmaceutical use resulting from increasing out-of-pocket costs. Leveraging age thresholds for copay waivers, this paper uses event study analyses to show that increases in out-of-pocket costs reduce prescription drug use, as well as average spending. Using a dataset capturing the universe of prescriptions filled between 2016–2018, we are further able to understand these effects among both chronic and non-chronic users. We trace the effects of these changes in prescription drug use to down-stream health consequences for children, as measured by GP visits and hospitalizations. Linking these data to social security records, we are further able to understand spillovers onto parental health and employment.

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18 Oct
2023

Trading Social Status for Genetics in Marriage Markets: Evidence From Great Britain and Norway

David Hugh-Jones (University of East Anglia) ESF Room S306 Personal website

Under social-genetic assortative mating (SGAM), socio-economic status (SES) and genetically inherited traits are both assets in marriage markets, become associated in spouse pairs, and are passed together to future generations. This gives a new explanation for persistent intergenerational inequality and observed genetic differences between rich and poor. We model SGAM and test for it in large surveys in two countries. Spouses of earlier-born siblings have genetics predicting more education. This effect is mediated by individuals' own education and income. Thus, shocks to SES are reflected in the DNA of subsequent generations. Under SGAM, genetic variation is endogenous to economic institutions.

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12 Oct
2023

The impact of high temperatures on performance in work-related activities

Matteo Picchio (Politecnico di Ancona) ESF Room P102 Personal website

High temperatures can have a negative effect on work-related activities. Labor productivity may go down because mental health or physical health is worse when it is too warm. Workers may experience difficulties concentrating when it is hot or they have to reduce effort in order to cope with heat. We investigate how temperature affects performance of male professional tennis players. We use data about outdoor singles matches from 2003 until 2021. Our identification strategy relies on the plausible exogeneity of short-term daily temperature variations in a given tournament from the average temperature over the same tournament. We find that performance significantly decreases with ambient temperature. The magnitude of the temperature effect is age-specific and skill-specific. Older and less-skilled players suffer more from high temperatures than younger and more skilled players do. The effect of temperature on performance is smaller when there is more at stake. Our findings also suggest that there is adaptation to high temperatures: the effects are smaller if the heat lasts for several days.

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3 Oct
2023

Parental Allowance Increase and Labor Supply: Evidence from a Czech Reform

Filip Pertold (CERGE-EI) ESF Room P302b Personal website

We study the effect of a CZK 80,000 (36%) increase in parental allowance, a universal basic income-type benefit, on the labor supply of parents of young children in the Czech Republic. Drawing a parental allowance does not preclude labor market activity, which allows us to study the income effect. The reform led to a 6 percentage point (15%) decrease in labor market participation of mothers of young children. The effect is particularly strong among mothers with only one child (10 p.p., 28%) and among university-educated mothers (16 p.p., 36%). We observe a virtually identical reduction in hours worked. We found no effect on the labor supply of fathers of young children.

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25 Sep
2023

Does health affect attitudes towards immigration?

Artjoms Ivlevs (Bristol Business School) ESF Room 301 Personal website

This paper examines whether people’s health affects their attitudes towards immigration. I first discuss various mechanisms through which health might affects attitudes towards immigration, including competition for scarce resources, channels related to subjective wellbeing, and behavioural immune system response. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1999-2020) and the European Social Survey (2002-2021), I find that poorer subjective health, as well as longstanding physical and mental health conditions, are strong predictors of anti-immigration sentiment. To understand what is driving these results, I explore the interplay between health and 1) individual perceptions of immigrants’ use of public services, 2) subjective wellbeing, and 3) COVID-19 related variables, including testing positive, as well as identify health conditions and wellbeing dimensions that are most strongly correlated with the anti-immigration sentiment. Overall, this study reveals physical and mental health as important determinants of attitudes toward immigration and highlights an overlooked dimension of the growing migration-wellbeing literature.

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19 Sep
2023

Can a single model account for both risky choices and inter-temporal choices? Testing the assumptions underlying models of risky intertemporal choice: A conceptual replication

Andreas Ortmann (UNSW SYDNEY) ESF Room S311 Personal website

Luckman et al. (2018) experimentally tested the conjecture that a single model of risky intertemporal choice can account for both risky and intertemporal choices, and under the conditions of their experiment, found evidence supporting it. Given the existing literature, that is a remarkable result which warrants (conceptual) replication. A key reason to be sceptical about the result is that Luckman et al. (2018), following a well-established tradition in psychology, had first-year psychology students participate that were rewarded with non-monetary course credits (see also Luckman et al. 2020), casting shadows of doubt on whether their participants were properly incentivised. Proper incentivization is a long-standing bone of contention among experimentally working economists and psychologists and it is widely accepted among economists that the elicitation of risk preferences and time preferences is very much a function of the way that experimenters incentivize choices. Another reason to be sceptical is that the experiment was not properly powered up; hence the no-difference results reported by the authors might be spurious. In our conceptual replication, we find significant differences between the risky and intertemporal choices at both the group and individual level. We find further that there is no significant difference between choices made by participants that are paid a flat incentive and participants that are paid under the random incentive scheme, at the group level. We find that order effects matter for intertemporal choices, but not for risky choices. At the individual level, we find evidence in favour of the model that assumes a common value function, but separate choice functions. This result is robust across the incentive systems, and order of presentation, but sensitive to different prior distributions. Other semi-nested models are sensitive to the different orders of presentation as well as incentive systems.

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8 Jun
2023

The Streetlight Effect in Data-Driven Exploration

Johannes Hoelzemann (University of Vienna) ESF Room S310 Personal website

We consider settings such as innovation-oriented R&D where agents must explore across different projects with varying but uncertain payoffs. How does providing partial data on project payoffs affect individual performance and social welfare? While data can typically reduce uncertainty and improve welfare, we present a simple theoretical framework where data provision can decrease group and individual payoffs. In particular, we predict that when data shines a light on sufficiently attractive (but not optimal) projects, it can crowd-out exploration activity, lowering individual and group payoffs as compared to the case where no data is provided. We test our theory in an online lab experiment where we show that data provision on the true value of one project can hurt individual payoffs by 12% and reduce the group's likelihood of discovering the optimal outcome by 48%. Our results provide a theoretical and empirical foundation outlining the conditions under which the streetlight effect emerges, where data leads agents to look under the lamppost rather than engage in individually and socially beneficial exploration.

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23 May
2023

An Experiment on Gender Representation in Majoritarian Bargaining

James Tremewan (IESEG School of Management) ESF Room S311 Personal website

Women are underrepresented in business, academic, and political decision-making bodies across the world. To investigate the causal effect of gender representation on multilateral negotiations, we experimentally manipulate the composition of triads in a majoritarian, divide-the-dollar game. We document a robust gender gap in earnings, driven largely by the exclusion of women from alliances rather than differential shares within alliances. Experiments with different subject pools show that distinct bargaining dynamics can underlie the same inequitable outcomes: While gender-biased outcomes can be caused by outright discrimination, they can also be driven by more complex dynamics related to differences in bargaining strategies. We identify two fundamental gender differences in bargaining dynamics. First, men are more likely to make opening offers and enjoy a payoff advantage for doing so, yet women that propose first do not and may even suffer backlash. Second, mixed-gender alliances are less stable when the excluded party is male rather than female. These findings show that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the gender gap we uncovered and highlight the importance of studying bargaining dynamics in detail.

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