»ESI Lecture Series, sponsored by IFREE
+-2014-2015 Lecture Guests
Abstract: Employers posting a job opening in an online labor market were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups: a control group with no minimum wage or one of three active treatment groups with varying minimum wage levels. All levels of the minimum wage strongly increased the hourly wages of hired workers compared to hires in the control group. This increase in wages was due to both higher wage bids by workers and employer selection of more productive, more experienced— and hence higher wage—applicants. A sufficiently high minimum wage unambiguously reduced labor demand: for the highest minimum, demand was reduced on both the intensive and extensive margins. However, extensive margin effects for this group were quite small. For the medium and low levels of the minimum wage, a reduction was detected only on the intensive margin. The labor- labor substitution of more productive workers for less productive workers was pronounced and likely explains the intensive margin effects: by hiring more productive workers, employers’ projects were completed more quickly. Because of this hours reduction, the effect of the minimum wage on earnings was negligible—the wage increase and the hours decrease were offsetting.
April 8, 2015, Charles Noussair, Ph.D. - Emotional State and Market Behavior
Abstract: We consider the dynamic relationship between emotions and asset market activity. We create experimental asset markets with the structure first studied by Smith, Suchanek and Williams (1988), which is known to generate price bubbles and crashes. To track traders’ emotions in real time, we analyze participants' facial expressions with facereading software before and while the market is operating. We find that a positive emotional state predicts purchases and overpricing. Fear predicts low prices, price decreases, and selling. The experiments confirm the intuition that emotions and market dynamics are closely related.
Bio: Charles Noussair is the Arie Kapteyn Professor of Economics at Tilburg University. He holds a B.S. degree in economics and psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and M.S. and PhD degrees in social science from the California Institute of Technology. He has been on the faculty of Erasmus, Purdue, Emory and Tilburg Universities. He is currently co-editor in chief at Experimental Economics, and is on the editorial board of a number of other journals.
April 24, 2015, David Rojo Arjona, Ph.D. - Focal points in strategic interactions: theory and evidence
Abstract: Schelling (1960) introduces the idea that payoff irrelevant features in the primitives of the game can solve the multiplicity of equilibrium in coordination problems (focal points). In the first part of the seminar, we evaluate the individual consistency of the two main candidate explanations for focal points (level-k and team-reasoning) using a novel experimental design. In level-k, subjects best-respond to lower players that anchor their choices on salient strategies while team-reasoners play optimal team choices rather than individual choices. Our method robustly classifies up to 71% of our subjects; and identifies a majority as team reasoners (74%-81%) while the rest appear as consistent level-k reasoners (19%-26%). In the second part, we question the restriction of focality to coordination games on positive grounds and extend the evidence for the impact of focality on strategic choices to Blotto games (contests with several battlefields). The absence of a focal battlefield (i.e. battlefields are symmetric) results into equilibrium play. Breaking the symmetry between battlefields (making a battlefield to stand out because either a higher value or a different label) produces significant overbidding in the focal battlefield. Given the effect on equilibrium play in these contests, we suggest that focality should receive some consideration in anti-terrorism defense, network security and other applications of Blotto games.
Bio: David Rojo Arjona is a Lecturer at the University of Leicester. His research focuses on applying experimental methods to address foundational questions on decision theory and game theory. In particular, he tries to create falsifiable tests for behavioural theories, which are usually characterized by more degrees of freedom.
Feb. 20, 2015, Jim Murphy, Ph.D. - Using Targeted Messages to Get People to Pick, Click, Give: A Natural Field Experiment in the State of Alaska
Dec. 5, 2014, Gabriel Rossman, Ph.D. - Obfuscatory Relational Work and Disreputable Exchange - Watch lecture
May 12, 2014, Don Ross, Ph.D - Psychological versus economic models of bounded rationality - Watch lecture
Dec. 06, 2013, Jack Stecher, Ph.D. -Description and Experience Based Decision Making: An Experimental and Structural Estimation Approach to the Decision-Experience Gap
Feb. 22, 2013 Jordi Brandts Bernad, Ph.D. - Let’s talk: How communication affects contract design.
Nov. 9, 2012 Uri Gneezy, Ph.D. - Incentives and Behavior Change
Sept. 28, 2012 Charles Thomas, Ph.D. - An Alternating-Offers Model of Multilateral Negotiations - Watch lecture
Aug. 31, 2012 Yan Chen, Ph.D. - Crowdsourcing with All-pay Auctions: a Field Experiment on Taskcn - Watch lecture
Apr. 20, 2012 Shawn Kantor, Ph.D. - Do Research Universities Generate Local Economic Growth? - Watch lecture
Feb. 24, 2012 John Tooby, Ph.D. - The Welfare Tradeoff Architecture, Cooperation, and Social Emotions - For further reading please see: Formidability and the logic of human anger and The architecture of human kin detection. - Watch lecture
Nov. 11, 2011 Mark M. Bykowsky, Ph.D. - A Market-based Approach to Establishing Licensing Rules: Licensed Versus Unlicensed Use of Spectrum Federal Communications Commission - please watch this video before lecture - Watch lecture
Oct. 21, 2011 Parker Ballinger, Ph.D. - Individual versus Social Learning: The Importance of Demonstrability - Watch lecture
Apr. 8, 2011 Kevin McCabe, Ph.D. – Experiments on the role of third parties on redistribution decisions. For further reading please see: Shared Experience and Third-Party Decisions: A Laboratory Result, Legitimacy in the lab – The separate and joint effects of earned roles and earned endowments in third-party redistribution, Whose money is it anyway? Ingroups and distributive behavior. - Watch lecture
Apr. 1, 2011 Michael Gurven, Ph.D. - Experimental investigation of fairness and altruism norms in small-scale societies - Further reading: Culture sometimes matters: Intra-cultural variation in pro-social behavior among Tsimane Amerindians and Collective Action in Action: Prosocial Behavior in and out of the Laboratory - Watch lecture
Feb. 18, 2011 Catherine Eckel, Ph.D. - Giving to Government: Voluntary Taxation in the Lab - Watch lecture
Feb. 4, 2011 Peter Boettke, Ph.D. - Polycentrism and Gargantua: Which Model Best Provides Public Education? - Watch lecture
Oct. 5, 2010 Andreas Wilke, Ph.D. - Past and Present Environments: The Evolution of Decision Making
May 7, 2010 Jim Gentle, Ph.D. - The Contribution of Jumps to the Volatility of Asset Prices - Watch lecture
Apr. 9, 2010 Gregory Waymire, Ph.D. - Can Trust Be Sustained in an Uncertain World When Individuals Have Machiavellian Intelligence? - Watch lecture
Feb. 5, 2010 Kevin McCabe, Ph.D. - Watch lecture
Dec. 2, 2009 Jeffrey Tollaksen, Ph.D. - New Ideas About the Nature of Time - Watch lecture
Nov. 13, 2009 Sarah F. Brosnan, Ph.D. - An Evolutionary Perspective on the Perception and Utilization of Property . Watch lecture
Oct. 9, 2009 Monica Smith, Ph.D. - A cognitive History of Material Objects: The Archaeology of Possession, Inheritance, and Value . Watch lecture
May 20, 2009 Gerd Gigerenzer Ph.D. - Homo Heuristicus: Why Biased Minds Make Better Inferences. Watch lecture
Mar. 20, 2009 John Ledyard Ph.D. – Individual Evolutionary Learning, Other-regarding Preferences, and the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism. Watch lecture
Nov. 7, 2008 Larry Iannaccone Ph.D. - Looking Backward: A Cross-National Study of Religious Trends. Watch lecture
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