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  • 1
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2019-06-22
    Description: Social interactions pervade daily life and thereby create an abundance of social experiences. Such personal experiences likely shape what we believe and who we are. In this paper, we ask if and how personal experiences from social interactions determine individuals’ inclination to trust others? We implement an experimental environment that allows us to manipulate prior social experiences—either being paid or not being paid by a peer subject for a task—and afterwards measure participant’s willingness to trust others. We contrast this situation with a control condition where we keep all aspects of the prior experiences identical, except that we remove the social dimension. Our key finding is that after positive social experiences, subjects’ willingness to trust is substantially higher relative to subjects who made negative social experiences. No such effect is obtained in the control condition where we removed the social aspect of experiences. Findings from a difference-in-difference analysis confirm this pattern. Our results cannot be explained by rational learning, income effects, pay or social comparison related mood, disappointment aversion and expectations-based or social reference points. Delving into the underlying mechanisms, we provide evidence that non-standard belief patterns are an important driver of experience effects.
    Keywords: C91 ; D03 ; D81 ; ddc:330 ; determinants of trust ; experiences ; beliefs ; non-standard learning ; experiments
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    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: 2019-12-04
    Description: This paper experimentally studies the role of associative memory for belief formation. Real-world information signals are often embedded in memorable contexts. Thus, today’s news, and the contexts they are embedded in, may cue the selective retrieval of similar past news and hence contribute to the widely documented pattern of expectation overreaction. Based on a stylized version of models of associative memory in the literature, we develop a simple and tightly controlled experimental setup in which participants observe sequences of news about the stock market value of hypothetical companies. Here, identical types of news are associated with identical stories and images. In this setup, participants’ expectations strongly overreact to recent news. We successfully verify the model’s predictions about how the magnitude of overreaction should depend on the history of news. For example, once today’s news are associated with the stories and images of previous opposite news, expectations systematically underreact. By exogenously manipulating the scope for imperfect and associative recall in our setup, we further provide direct causal evidence for the role of memory in belief formation and overreaction. Finally, we use our experimental data to estimate the model parameters that govern the strength of imperfect and associative recall over different time horizons.
    Keywords: D01 ; ddc:330 ; beliefs ; expectations ; memory ; bounded rationality
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 3
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2019-12-04
    Description: Throughout the Western world, people’s policy preferences are correlated across domains in a strikingly similar fashion. Based on a simple model, we propose that what partly explains the particular internal structure of political ideology is heterogeneity in moral universalism: the extent to which an individual’s altruism and trust remain constant as social distance increases. In representative surveys with 15,000 respondents, we measure universalism using structured choice tasks. In the data, heterogeneity in universalism descriptively explains a substantial share of desired government spending levels for welfare, affirmative action, environmental protection, foreign aid, health care, military, border control, and law enforcement. Moreover, the canonical left-right divide on issues such as the military or redistribution reverses depending on whether participants evaluate more or less universalist versions of these policies. These patterns hold in the United States, Australia, Germany, France, and Sweden, but not outside the West. We confirm the idea of higher universalism among the Western political left by estimating the universalism of U.S. regions using large-scale donation data and linking this measure to local vote shares.
    Keywords: ddc:330
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 4
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    Frankfurt a. M.: Verein für Socialpolitik
    Publication Date: 2010-08-31
    Description: In a recent paper, Koszegi and Rabin (2009) make a novel prediction about people's attitudes towards noninstrumental information, i.e. information about fixed but unknown future outcomes. People prefer to get information clumped together rather than piecewise. We use a controlled lab experiment to examine this prediction. With three different experimental designs, we find no evidence in support of the model by Koszegi and Rabin.
    Keywords: C91 ; D01 ; D80 ; ddc:330
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 5
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2019-12-04
    Description: This paper introduces a new set of simple experimentally-validated survey games to measure moral universalism: the extent to which people exhibit the same level of altruism and trust towards strangers as towards in-group members. In a representative sample of the U.S. population, an individual’s degree of universalism is largely a domain-general trait. Older people, men, whites, the rich, the rural, and the religious exhibit less universalist preferences and beliefs. Looking at economic behaviors and outcomes, universalists donate less money locally but more globally, are less likely to exhibit home bias in equity and educational investments, have fewer friends, and report being more lonely.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; moral universalism ; in-group bias
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 6
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    Karlsruhe: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Industrial Production (IIP)
    Publication Date: 2019-12-21
    Description: In this article, cross-border effects of different market design options are analyzed using Switzerland as a case study, which is strongly interconnected to larger neighboring markets. An investigation is conducted with an agentbased model where in one scenario all market designs are represented according to the current legislation, and in another, energy-only markets (EOM) are assumed in all considered countries. The results show that wholesale electricity prices are highly dependent on the chosen market design and in the annual average up to 27% higher in the EOM scenario. Due to expected larger interconnector capacities, this increase is evident in all simulated markets. Further, the results indicate that the planned market design changes in the neighboring countries decrease investments in Switzerland. However, generation adequacy is still guaranteed due to the high Swiss hydropower storage capacity. Our results suggest that, under the current circumstances, a domestic mechanism in Switzerland is not required.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; Capacity remuneration mechanisms ; Cross-border effects ; Electricity market coupling ; Generation adequacy ; Switzerland ; Agent-based modeling
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 7
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    Bonn: University of Bonn, Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE)
    Publication Date: 2019-01-25
    Description: Many information structures generate correlated rather than mutually independent signals, the news media being a prime example. This paper shows experimentally that in such context many people neglect these correlations in the updating process and treat correlated information as independent. In consequence, people’s beliefs are excessively sensitive to well-conncected information sources, implying a pattern of “overshooting” beliefs. Additionally, in an experimental asset market, correlation neglect not only drives overoptimism and overpessimism at the individual level, but also affects aggregate outcomes in a systematic manner. In particular, the excessive confidence swings caused by correlated signals give rise to predictable price bubbles and cashes. These findings are reminiscent of popular narratives according to which aggregate booms and busts might be driven by the spread of “stories”. Our results also lend direct support to recent models of boundedly rational social learning.
    Keywords: C91 ; D03 ; D83 ; D84 ; D40 ; ddc:330 ; Beliefs ; Correlation Neglect ; Experiments ; Markets ; Overshooting
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-05-09
    Description: Electricity markets are currently going through a phase of agitating transition, which is mainly characterized by an increasing share of fluctuating renewable energies. Among policy makers, this has led to growing concerns about generation adequacy and often to the introduction of different capacity remuneration mechanisms to generate less volatile sources of income for investors and, thereby, guaranteeing generation adequacy. However, these mechanisms entail new challenges regarding the best design to avoid any adverse effects. At the same time, it is disputed whether capacity remuneration mechanisms are indeed needed or whether an energy-only market is sufficient. Therefore, after discussing the peculiarities of the electricity markets, which are the starting point of the unique regulatory framework, an up-to-date overview of the debate on the need for capacity remuneration mechanisms is provided. In addition, the current status of capacity remuneration mechanisms in Europe is shown, and initial experience is presented. Furthermore, this article reflects the current state of research about capacity remuneration mechanisms in regards to, for example, cross-border effects, investment cycles or market power. In a conclusive summary, shortcomings of the existing research works and open questions that need to be addressed in future works are discussed.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; Electricity market ; Market design ; Generation adequacy
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 9
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    Kiel und Hamburg: ZBW - Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
    Publication Date: 2015-02-17
    Description: A frequent feature of information structures is that they generate signals which are not mutually independent, but rather rely on a common set of underlying information. Using a simple experimental design, we show that in such contexts many people neglect correlations in the updating process, leading to systematically "overshooting" beliefs. This finding lends direct support to recent models of boundedly rational learning in social networks. In an experimental market setting, correlation neglect not only drives overoptimism and overpessimism at the individual level, but also affects aggregate outcomes in a systematic manner. In particular, the excessive confidence swings produced by correlated information structures translate into predictable price bubbles and crashes. Finally, we show the robustness of correlation neglect in a naturally occurring informational environment, in which subjects predict GDP growth on the basis of real news reports.
    Keywords: D84 ; D03 ; D40 ; ddc:330
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2015-06-13
    Description: We conduct a large-scale field experiment in the German labor market to investigate how information provision affects job seekers' employment prospects and labor market outcomes. Individuals assigned to the treatment group of our experiment received a brochure that informed them about job search strategies and the consequences of unemployment, and motivated them to actively look for new employment. We study the causal impact of the brochure by comparing labor market outcomes of treated and untreated job seekers in administrative data containing comprehensive information on individuals' employment status and earnings. While our treatment yields overall positive effects, these tend to be concentrated among job seekers who are at risk of being unemployed for an extended period of time. Specifically, the treatment effects in our overall sample are moderately positive but mostly insignificant. At the same time, we do observe pronounced and statistically significant effects for individuals who exhibit an increased risk of long-term unemployment. For this group, the brochure increases employment and earnings in the year after the intervention by roughly 4%. Given the low cost of the intervention, our findings indicate that targeted information provision can be a highly effective policy tool in the labor market.
    Keywords: C93 ; D04 ; D83 ; J64 ; J68 ; ddc:330 ; job search ; information provision ; unemployment ; field experiment
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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