Zoom link: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/2229159993

Title:  Shaking Things Up: On the Stability of Risk and Time Preferences

Abstract

We conduct a survey and incentivized lab-in-the-field experimental tasks in Tirana, Albania. Our study was transformed from a migration study into a natural experiment by two large earthquakes that shook the Tirana area during our data collection period. These events provided a rare opportunity to gather evidence (including a pre-earthquake control) on the effect of natural disasters on time and risk preferences. We find unambiguous effects towards more risk aversion and impatience for affected individuals. Moreover, as it turns out, the second earthquake amplified the effect of the first one, suggesting that experiences cumulate in their influence on these preferences.

Title:  What is Deception in Experimental Economics? A Survey

 Abstract:

It is almost a religion in experimental economics that deception is bad. But precisely what constitutes deception is unclear. This issue is a thorny one and is a major methodological concern for experiments both in the lab and in the field. While there is a consensus view that deliberate and explicit lies are not permitted, there are quite a few “gray areas” with respect to practices that omit information or are misleading without an explicit lie being told. In this paper, we report the results of a large (788 respondents) survey of experimental economists concerning various specific gray areas. First, perhaps surprisingly, we find that there is a great degree of heterogeneity in the responses. Second, there is a considerable difference in opinions across our seven specific scenarios. In particular, the data indicate a perception that costs and benefits matter, so that such practices might, in fact, be appropriate when the topic is important, and there is no other way to gather data. We also survey former undergraduate students (126 respondents) who had participated in experiments, again finding considerable heterogeneity in views. Compared to researchers, students have different attitudes about deceptive methods in the specific scenarios and are apparently mostly only bothered by such practices when this affects their pay. A real surprise is that few students express awareness of the no-deception policy at their former schools.

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