Department of Economics
Iowa State University
460A Heady Hall
Ames, IA 50011
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2011||Managing Self-Confidence: Theory and Experimental Evidence|
with Markus M. Mobius, Muriel Niederle, Paul Niehaus: w17014
Evidence from social psychology suggests that agents process information about their own ability in a biased manner. This evidence has motivated exciting research in behavioral economics, but has also garnered critics who point out that it is potentially consistent with standard Bayesian updating. We implement a direct experimental test. We study a large sample of 656 undergraduate students, tracking the evolution of their beliefs about their own relative performance on an IQ test as they receive noisy feedback from a known data-generating process. Our design lets us repeatedly measure the complete relevant belief distribution incentive-compatibly. We find that subjects (1) place approximately full weight on their priors, but (2) are asymmetric, over-weighting positive feedback relative to...
|May 2007||Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks: How Much is A Friend Worth?|
with Stephen Leider, Markus M. Möbius, Quoc-Anh Do: w13135
We conduct field experiments in a large real-world social network to examine why decision makers treat friends more generously than strangers. Subjects are asked to divide surplus between themselves and named partners at various social distances, where only one of the decisions is implemented. In order to separate altruistic and future interaction motives, we implement an anonymous treatment where neither player is told at the end of the experiment which decision was selected for payment and a non-anonymous treatment where both players are told. Moreover, we include both games where transfers increase and decrease social surplus to distinguish between different future interaction channels including signaling one's generosity and enforced reciprocity, where the decision maker treats the par...
Published: The Quarterly Journal of Economics (2009) 124 (4): 1815-1851. doi: 10.1162/qjec.2009.124.4.1815