Search results for: Keyword=D02 [9]

2017
Behaviorally Efficient Remedies – An Experiment
2017/17
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Bonn
2017
Abstract
Under common law, the standard remedy for breach of contract is expectation damages. Under continental law, the standard is specific performance. The common law solution is ex post efficient. But is it also ex ante efficient? We use experimental methods to test whether knowing that non-fulfilment will only lead to damages deters mutually beneficial trade. The design excludes aversion against others willfully breaking their promises. We find that there is indeed less trade if specific performance is not guaranteed, provided the preference for the traded commodity is sufficiently pronounced.
Committing the English and the Continental Way – An Experiment
2017/16
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Bonn
2017
Abstract
On the doctrinal surface, there is a deep divide between common and continental law when it comes to the origin of contractual obligations. Under continental law, in principle a unilateral promise suffices. Common law by contrast requires consideration. When it comes to deciding cases, the divide is much less pronounced. But for the most part the law does not govern people's lives through adjudication. It matches or molds their moral intuitions. We test these intuitions in the lab. If consideration is required, participants believe that all participants make more ambitious promises. But they themselves make a more cautious promise. These two effects cancel out, so that promises are not more likely to be kept with consideration.
Defendant Should Have the Last Word – Experimentally Manipulating Order and Provisional Assessment of the Facts in Criminal Procedure
2017/24
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Bonn
2017
Abstract
From a normative perspective the order in which evidence is presented should not bias legal judgment. Yet psychological research on how individuals process conflicting evidence sug-gests that order could matter. The evidence shows that decision-makers dissolve ambiguity by forging coherence. This process could lead to a primacy effect: initial tentative interpretations bias the view on later conflicting evidence. Or the process could result in a recency effect: the evidence presented last casts decisive light on the case. In two studies (N1 = 221, N2 = 332) we test these competing hypotheses in a mock legal case. Legal orders sometimes even expect judges to provisionally assess the evidence. At least they have a hard time preventing this from happening. To test whether this creates or exacerbates bias, in the second dimensions, we explicitly demand experimental participants to express their leaning, after having seen half of the evidence. We consistently observe recency effects and no interactions with leanings. If the legal order wants to preempt false convictions, defendant should have the last word.
Diffusion of Legal Innovations: The Case of Israeli Class Actions
2017/11
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Bonn
2017
Abstract
In law and economics, it is standard to model legal rules as an opportunity structure. The law’s subjects maximize expected profit, given these constraints. In such a model, the reaction to legal innovation is immediate. This is not what we observe after class action is introduced into Israeli law. For a long time, the new remedy is almost unused. Then the adoption process gains momentum. We discuss alternative options for theorizing the effect. We find that market entry is not only explained by the available information about profitability, but also by the adoption pattern of others. When deciding whether to bring further claims, law firms also react to the experiences they have made themselves. We thus explain the pattern by individual and social learning, and cannot exclude mere social imitation.
Experimental Social Planners: Good Natured, but Overly Optimistic
2017/23
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Bonn
2017
Abstract
Public goods are dealt with in two literatures that neglect each other. Mechanism design advises a social planner that expects individuals to misrepresent their valuations. Experiments study the provision of the good when preferences might be non-standard. We introduce the problem of the mechanism design literature into a public good experiment. Valuations for the good are heterogeneous. To each group we add a participant with power to impose a contribution scheme. We study four settings: the authority has no personal interest and (1) valuations are common knowledge or (2) active participants may misrepresent their types; the authority has a personal interest (3) and must decide before learning her own valuation or (4) knows her own valuation. Disinterested social planners predominantly choose a payment rule that gives every group member the same final payoff, even if misrepresentation is possible. Authorities are overly optimistic about truth telling. Interested social planners abuse their power, except if the opportunity cost of a more balanced rule is small.
Inherited Institutions: Cooperation in the Light of Democratic Legitimacy
2017/01
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Bonn
2017
Abstract
We experimentally investigate whether the procedural history of a sanctioning institution affects cooperation in a social dilemma. Subjects inherit the institutional setting from a previous generation of subjects who either decided on the implementation of the institution democratically by majority vote or were exogenously assigned a setting. In order to isolate the impact of the voting procedure, no information about the cooperation history is provided. In line with existing empirical evidence, we observe that in the starting generation cooperation is higher (lower) with a democratically chosen (rejected) institution, as compared to the corresponding, randomly imposed setting. In the second generation, the procedural history only partly affects cooperation. While there is no positive democracy effect when the institution is implemented, the vote-based rejection of the institution negatively affects cooperation in the second generation. The effect size is similar to that in the first generation.
2016
Institutional Endogeneity and Third-party Punishment in Social Dilemmas
2016/06
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Bonn
2016
Abstract
This paper studies experimentally how the endogeneity of sanctioning institutions affects the severity of punishment in social dilemmas. We allow individuals to vote on the introduction of third-party-administered sanctions, and compare situations in which the adoption of this institution is endogenously decided via majority voting to situations in which it is exogenously imposed by the experimenter. Our experimental design addresses the self-selection and signaling effects that arise when subjects can vote on the institutional setting. We find that punishment is significantly higher when the sanctioning institution is exogenous, which can be explained by a difference in the effectiveness of punishment. Subjects respond to punishment more strongly when the sanctioning institution is endogenously chosen. As a result, a given cooperation level can be reached through milder punishment when third-party sanctions are endogenous. However, overall efficiency does not differ across the two settings as the stricter punishment implemented in the exogenous one sustains high cooperation as subjects interact repeatedly.
Mechanism Design and Intentions
2016/04
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Bonn
2016
Abstract
We introduce intention-based social preferences into mechanism design. We explore information structures that dier with respect to what is commonly known about the weight that agents attach to reciprocal kindness. When the designer has no information on reciprocity types, implementability of an incentive-compatible social choice function is guaranteed if it satises an additional insurance property. By contrast, precise information on reciprocity types may imply that all ecient social choice functions are implementable. We show how these results extend to a two-dimensional mechanism design setting where the agents have private information about their material payo types and their reciprocity types. We also provide a systematic account of the welfare implications of intentionality.
2015
Bargaining in the Absence of Property Rights: An Experiment
2015/19
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Bonn
2015
Abstract
The Coase theorem posits: If [1] property rights are perfect, [2] contracts are enforceable, [3] preferences are common knowledge, and [4] transaction costs are zero, then the initial allocation of property rights only matters for distribution, not for efficiency. In this paper we claim that condition [1] can be dropped and show experimentally that this is also empirically true. This also holds when we frame taking as “stealing”, and when the initial possessor has to work for the good.