Cultural Resilience and Economic Recovery: Evidence from Hurricane Katrina
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper investigates the critical role of culture for economic recovery after natural disasters. Using Hurricane Katrina as our laboratory, we find a significant adverse treatment effect for plant-level productivity. However, local religious adherence and larger shares of ancestors with disaster experiences mutually mitigate this detrimental effect from the disaster. Religious adherence further dampens anxiety after Hurricane Katrina, which potentially spur economic recovery. We also detect this effect on the aggregate county level. More religious counties recover faster in terms of population, new establishments, and GDP.
Gender Stereotypes still in MIND: Information on Relative Performance and Competition Entry
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics,
By conducting a laboratory experiment, I test whether the gender tournament gap diminishes in its size after providing information on the relative performance of the two genders. Indeed, the gap shrinks sizeably, it even becomes statistically insignificant. Hence, individuals’ entry decisions seem to be driven not only by incorrect self-assessments in general but also by incorrect stereotypical beliefs about the genders’ average abilities. Overconfident men opt less often for the tournament and, thereby, increase their expected payoff. Overall efficiency, however, is not affected by the intervention.
Gift-exchange in Society and the Social Integration of Refugees: Evidence from a Field, a Laboratory, and a Survey Experiment
IWH Discussion Papers,
Refugee integration requires broad support from the host society, but only a minority of the host population is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behaviour, we examine the idea that the proportion of supporters will increase as a reciprocal response to refugees’ contributions to society through volunteering. Our nationwide survey experiment shows that citizens’ intentions to contribute time and money rise significantly when they learn about refugees’ pro-social activities. Importantly, this result holds for individuals who have not been in contact with refu-gees. We complement this investigation with experiments in the lab and the field that confirm our findings for actual behaviour.
Die Mär vom egoistischen Ökonomen – Wie Ökonomen auf Anreize reagieren
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Menschen, die über ökonomische Bildung verfügen, reagieren stärker auf wirtschaftliche Anreize. Entgegen der verbreiteten Annahme handeln Ökonomen jedoch nicht egoistischer als Nicht-Ökonomen, wenn es darum geht, gemeinsam ein öffentliches Gut zu finanzieren. Mit Hilfe eines Experiments, in dem die Teilnehmer echtes Geld gewinnen konnten, wird gezeigt, dass Ökonomen sich stärker an den vorliegenden Anreizstrukturen orientieren. Auf der einen Seite tragen Ökonomen am Anfang leicht höher zu dem öffentlichen Gut bei und fangen signifikant später an, von der sozial optimalen Strategie abzuweichen. Auf der anderen Seite leisten Ökonomen zum Ende des Experiments, wenn Trittbrettfahrerverhalten weniger Konsequenzen hat, deutlich geringere Beiträge als Nicht-Ökonomen. Im zweiten Teil des Experiments wird den Teilnehmenden die Möglichkeit gegeben, in eine Erleichterung der kooperativen Finanzierung des öffentlichen Guts zu investieren, wobei zwischen einem investitionsfreundlichen (Geld-zurück-Garantie) und einem weniger investitionsfreundlichen Szenario (keine Garantie) unterschieden wird. Das Experiment zeigt, dass die Probanden mit ökonomischer Ausbildung auf diesen kleinen Unterschied in den Anreizstrukturen stärker reagieren.
The Behavioral Impact of Non-Monetary Workplace Characteristics
Schriftenreihe innovative betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung und Praxis,
This book investigates the impact of non-monetary workplace characteristics ― i.e. employee voice, task characteristics, and the provision of information ― on workers’ individual decision making and workplace performance. Given the neoclassical assumption of purely self-interested and completely rational utility maximizing individuals, workplace characteristics should be of little interest as long as they are not directly related to payment issues, so that a worker’s utility maximizing effort choice given a fixed wage level remains unaffected. Recent empirical findings, however, suggest that the use of non-monetary incentives might even be the better option to increase work performance. Three out of the four experimental studies covered by this book extend the previous research by providing more reliable insights into field behavior than conventional laboratory experiments. Given e.g. the right to self-determine one’s wage, almost all participants in the laboratory opt for the highest possible wage. Within the context of an inventory taking with 140 assistants, we conducted a natural field experiment and show that most workers ask for rather moderate wages with women being particularly conservative in their demands. Notwithstanding, wage delegation causes workers’ performance to rise and, hence, stresses the relevance of voice at the workplace. Furthermore, we provide evidence that workers also care for the content and the meaningfulness of their tasks. Uselessly exerted effort, for instance, reduces work performance as regards a completely unrelated task in the future. Taken together, the field experimental evidence presented in this book indicates that if employees find a workplace which matches their preferences, it is quite likely to be a beneficial situation not only for the employee but also for the employer. Overall good working conditions can even help workers overlook unequal treatments within the workforce, at least in the short-run and as long as there is a plausible reason for it. An additional laboratory experiment, however, suggests that additional information, e.g. about potential coworkers, might be necessary to make reasonable decisions in accordance with individual preferences.
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19.03.2018 • 4/2018
Economists – and the others
People with a background in economics react more strongly to financial incentives – both positively and negatively, as Dmitri Bershadskyy of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association – found out. At the beginning of his laboratory experiment, economists were prepared to spend more money on a public good and keep to this social behaviour for a longer period than non-economists. However, towards the end of the experiment they were also the greatest free-riders.
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