Articles

Neil Bendle, Philip Chen. Behavioural Economics for Kids

The aim of this book is to illustrate what we already know. People behave in predictable ways that don’t always reflect the ideal behaviour that social scientists like to theorize about. On the negative side sometimes our choices are short-sighted, incoherent, self-destructive or even malicious. On a more positive note, sometimes we are more sociable than might be predicted by a traditional economic view of decision making. Furthermore most of us seem to do a surprisingly good job of coping with ...

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Johannes Schwarze, Rainer Winkelmann. Happiness and altruism within the extended family

We propose a direct measure of altruism between parents and adult children, using survey data on happiness from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 2000-2004. The question of altruism within families has policy relevance, for example to understand whether public transfers crowd out private ones. Previous empirical evidence, based on observed transfer behavior, has failed to establish a clear consensus. Using various cross-section, panel data and instrumental variable estimators, we find...

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Christoph Brunner, Jacob K. Goeree, Charles A. Holt, John O. Ledyard. An Experimental Test of Flexible Combinatorial Spectrum Auction Formats

This paper reports laboratory experiments that evaluate the performance of a flexible package bidding format developed by the FCC, in comparison with other combinatorial formats. In general, the interest of policy makers in combinatorial auctions is justified by the laboratory data. When value complementarities are present, package bidding yields improved performance. We find clear differences among the combinatorial auction formats both in terms of efficiency and seller revenue, however. Notabl...

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Peter Egger, Mario Larch, Kevin E. Staub, Rainer Winkelmann. The Trade Effects of Endogenous Preferential Trade Agreements

The unprecedented surge of preferential trade liberalization since World War II spurred theoretical and empirical work on the matter alike. Theoretical research illustrated under which conditions preferential trade agreements (PTAs) induce welfare gains for participants.1 Econometric work confirmed that economic and political fundamentals determine preferential trade liberalization through PTA membership very much along the lines hypothesized by economic theory (see Scott L. Baier and Jeffrey H....

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Ernst Fehr, Holger Herz, Tom Wilkening. The Lure of Authority: Motivation and Incentive E

Authority and power permeate political, social, and economic life - yet there is limited empirical knowledge about the motivational origins and consequences of authority. Based on an experimental approach, Ernst Fehr's lecture will explore the psychological consequences of authority for important economic interactions. He will document the human desire to exercise authority, the motivation-enhancing effect of possessing authority and the detrimental motivational effects of a lack of authority. E...

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Ernst Fehr, Frédéric Schneider. Eyes are on us, but nobody cares: are eye cues relevant for strong reciprocity?

Strong reciprocity is characterized by the willingness to altruistically reward cooperative acts and to altruistically punish norm-violating, defecting behaviours. Recent evidence suggests that subtle reputation, cues, such as eyes staring at subjects during their choices, may enhance prosocial behaviour. Thus, in principle, strong reciprocity could also be affected by eye cues. We investigate the impact of eye cues on trustees’ altruistic behaviour in a trust game and find zero effect. Neither...

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