Communication in context: Interpreting promises in an experiment on competition and trust [in PNAS with A. Casella, N. Kartik, S. Turban]

Citation:  Casella, A., Kartik, N., Sanchez, L., & Turban, S. (2018). Communication in context: Interpreting promises in an experiment on competition and trust. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Abstract:  How much do people lie, and how much do people trust communication when lying is possible? An important step toward answering these questions is understanding how communication is interpreted. This paper establishes in a canonical experiment that competition can alter the shared communication code: the commonly understood meaning of messages. We study a sender–receiver game in which the sender dictates how to share $10 with the receiver, if the receiver participates. The receiver has an outside option and decides whether to participate after receiving a nonbinding offer from the sender. Competition for play between senders leads to higher offers but has no effect on actual transfers, expected transfers, or receivers’ willingness to play. The higher offers signal that sharing will be equitable without the expectation that they should be followed literally: Under competition “6 is the new 5.”

PDF Download: Communication in Context (PNAS Final)

Working Papers

Storable Votes and Quadratic Voting: An Experiment on Four California Propositions

Abstract:  Storable Votes and Quadratic Voting are voting systems designed to account for voters’ intensity of preferences. We test their performance in
two samples of California residents using data on four initiatives prepared for the 2016 California ballot. We bootstrap the original samples and generate two sets of 10,000 multi-elections simulations. As per design, both systems induce minority victories and result in higher expected welfare relative to majority voting. In our parametrization, quadratic voting induces more minority victories and achieves higher average welfare, but causes more frequent inefficient minority victories. The results are robust to different plausible rules-of-thumb in casting votes.

PDF Download: Storable Votes and Quadratic Voting (01.19.19)

Media Coverage: NewScientist

Work in Progress

Ambiguity in Social Learning: A Test of the Multiple Priors Hypothesis.

Abstract:  Are there differences in learning when information is ambiguous relative to when it is not? This paper explores how the introduction of ambiguity in a social learning game affects the strategies chosen by players. We test the multiple priors model in a laboratory experiment of informational cascades. Our findings suggest a high level of probabilistic sophistication in part of our subjects and provide limited support for the multiple priors hypothesis. Although a substantial number of subjects exhibit the traditional ambiguity averse preferences in an independent elicitation task, we conclude that ambiguity has little to no effect in social learning even when we restrict attention to ambiguity averse subjects.

PDF Download: Multiple Priors in Social Learning

Salience-Weighed Utility over Presentations: A Test of Salience in Intertemporal Choice.

Abstract: Coming Soon.

 PDF Download: Coming Soon