home           cv           research           teaching



Publications:

Third-party Manipulation of Conflict: An Experiment (with Umberto Garfagnini) Experimental Economics, Volume 21, Issue 1, March 2018, 27-49

Forward Induction: Thinking and Behavior (with Aldo Rustichini) Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 128, August 2016, 195-208.

Working Papers:

Communication and Behavior in Organizations: An Experiment (with Umberto Garfagnini). Conditionally Accepted, Quantitative Economics.

Abstract:We design a laboratory experiment to study behavior in a multidivisional organization facing a trade-off between coordinating its decisions across the divisions and meeting division-specific needs that are known only to the division managers. The managers communicate their private information through cheap talk. While the results show close to optimal communication, we also find systematic deviations from optimal behavior in how the communicated information is used. Specifically, subjects' decisions show worse than predicted adaptation to the needs of the divisions in decentralized organizations and worse than predicted coordination in centralized organizations. We show that the observed deviations disappear when uncertainty about the divisions' local needs is removed and discuss the possible underlying mechanisms.

Delayed Review in Repeated Relationships Reject and Resubmit, Games and Economic Behavior

Abstract:Many theoretical results rely on delayed review of imperfect information for sustaining cooperative outcomes. This paper uses a laboratory experiment designed around a repeated prisoner's dilemma with imperfect monitoring to study what effect delay has on cooperation in practice. Information was received in every period of the game in one treatment and every other period of the game in another. While the parameters were chosen so that equilibrium welfare is higher with delay, the welfare levels in the two treatments were similar. Moreover, subjects were less likely to cooperate with than without delay in additional treatments where the game was played against a computer with an equilibrium trigger strategy. The results suggest that the cooperating-enhancing effect of exogenous delay of information may be smaller than predicted for two reasons: endogenous leniency in subjects' punishment strategies and an element of randomness in behavior.

On Myopic Loss Aversion Update: 5/16/2018

Abstract: It has been widely documented in laboratory experiments that subjects act more risk-averse when they make their decisions frequently (e.g., one as opposed to several decisions at a time), a phenomenon dubbed ``myopic loss aversion'' by Benartzi and Thaler (1995). The present paper shows that this standard pattern of behavior can be reversed with a simple change in the experimental design. The results cannot be explained by mental accounting or loss aversion but are consistent with the simple hypothesis that behavior is less random when the stakes are higher.

Cooperative Institutions (with David Rahman) Update: 8/13/2014

Abstract: This paper provides the first systematic experimental analysis of delay, communication and reaction lags in a repeated prisoner's dilemma with frequent actions and imperfect monitoring. We independently manipulate delay of information and the ability of subjects to engage in limited communication and find that subjects earn significantly more without delay, a result that cannot be explained by standard repeated games models. We also find that communication always improves welfare and that average payoffs in one of our treatments (with communication and no delay) are significantly greater than the upper bound on public Nash equilibrium payoffs. We explore the possibility that this is driven by bounded rationality in the form of reaction lags and find that slowing down the experiment has no significant effect on behavior.