"Interaction of reasoning ability and distributional preferences in a social dilemma" (with Alexander Vostroknutov). Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 2017.

In a within subjects design we evaluate distributional preferences and reasoning ability to explain choices in the Traveler's Dilemma. We recruit subjects from economics and non-economics majors to have a high variance of preferences and abilities. We find that economists follow the efficiency criterion while non-economists follow maximin. Economists also show a better reasoning ability. We, therefore, confirm the self-selection hypothesis of choosing a major. An equilibrium of an incomplete information version of the Traveler's Dilemma explains the behavior we observe. Subjects with low reasoning ability make choices away from equilibrium. Thus, (non)cooperative behavior might be misinterpreted if subjects’ reasoning ability is not taken into account.

Working Papers

"Social Preferences and the Variability of Conditional Cooperation" (with Simon Gächter, Kyeongtae Lee & Martin Sefton)

We experimentally examine how the incentive to defect in a social dilemma affects conditional cooperation. In our first study we conduct online experiments in which subjects play eight Sequential Prisoner’s Dilemma games with payoffs systematically varied across games. We find that few second movers are conditionally cooperative (i.e., cooperate if and only if the first mover cooperates) in all eight games. Instead, most second-movers change strategies between games. The rate of conditional cooperation is higher when the own gain from defecting is lower and when the loss imposed on the first mover from defecting is higher. This pattern is consistent with both social preference models and stochastic choice models. To explore which model explains our findings we employ a second study to jointly estimate noise and social preference parameters at the individual level. The majority of our subjects place significantly positive weight on others’ payoffs, supporting the underlying role of social preferences in conditional cooperation.

Work in Progress

Investigating Associative Thinking: A Network Exploration Task (with Urs Fischbacher, Chris Starmer & Fabio Tufano)

Working Paper in preparation

Testing a Condensed Methodology to Estimate Distributional Preferences (with Simon Gächter, Chris Starmer & Fabio Tufano)

Working Paper in preparation

Developing an Extended Version of the 'Inclusion of Others in Self' (IOS) Scale (with Simon Gächter, Chris Starmer & Fabio Tufano)

Working Paper in preparation

Altruism in Networks: A Field Experiment on Social Closeness, Preferences and Transfers (with Simon Gächter, Chris Starmer & Fabio Tufano)

Data collection complete (February - June 2022)

To hide or not to hide: How fear and futility affect the decision to report a mistake (with Sarah Bowen, Anna Hochleitner & Richard Mills)

Data collection complete (April - May 2022)

The Effect of Patents on Innovation, Efficiency and Specialisation (with Urs Fischbacher, Moritz Weik & Irenaeus Wolff)

Data collection in planning