Bruno Ferman

Sao Paulo School of Economics, FGV
Rua Itapeva n 474
Sao Paulo, Brazil, 01332-000


NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2017Status Goods: Experimental Evidence from Platinum Credit Cards
with Leonardo Bursztyn, Stefano Fiorin, Martin Kanz, Gautam Rao: w23414
This paper provides novel field-experimental evidence on status goods. We work with an Indonesian bank that markets platinum credit cards to high-income customers. In a first experiment, we show that demand for the platinum card greatly exceeds demand for a nondescript control product with identical benefits, suggesting demand for the pure status aspect of the card. Transaction data reveal that platinum cards are more likely to be used in social contexts, implying social image motivations. Combining price variation with information on the use of the card sheds light on the magnitude of the demand for social status. In a second experiment, we provide evidence of positional externalities from the consumption of these status goods. The final experiment shows that increasing self-esteem causa...
May 2014Identifying Ideology: Experimental Evidence on Anti-Americanism in Pakistan
with Leonardo Bursztyn, Michael Callen, Saad Gulzar, Ali Hasanain, Noam Yuchtman: w20153
Identifying the role of intrinsic, ideological motivation in political behavior is confounded by agents' consequential aims and social concerns. We present results from two experiments that implement a methodology isolating Pakistani men's intrinsic motives for expressing anti-American ideology, in a context with clearly-specified financial costs, but minimal consequential or social considerations. Over one-quarter of subjects forgo around one-fifth of a day's wage to avoid anonymously checking a box indicating gratitude toward the U.S. government, thus revealing anti-Americanism. We find that ideological expression responds to financial and social incentives, and that measured ideology predicts membership in a major anti-American political party.
July 2012Understanding Peer Effects in Financial Decisions: Evidence from a Field Experiment
with Leonardo Bursztyn, Florian Ederer, Noam Yuchtman: w18241
Using a high-stakes field experiment conducted with a financial brokerage, we implement a novel design to separately identify two channels of social influence in financial decisions, both widely studied theoretically. When someone purchases an asset, his peers may also want to purchase it, both because they learn from his choice ("social learning") and because his possession of the asset directly affects others' utility of owning the same asset ("social utility"). We find that both channels have statistically and economically significant effects on investment decisions. These results can help shed light on the mechanisms underlying herding behavior in financial markets.

Published: “Understanding Mechanisms Underlying Peer Effects: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Financial Decisions” (with Florian Ederer, Bruno Ferman, and Noam Yuchtman) Econometrica, 82(4): 1273-1301 (2014)

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