Future seminars


2017-06-01 Severine Tousseart (London School of Economics)
Eliciting temptation and self-control through menu choices: a lab experiment.
Room: E0.15, 16:00-17:15.
Unlike present-biased individuals, Gul and Pesendorfer (2001) agents may pay to restrict choice sets despite expecting to resist temptation, thus eliminating self-control costs. I design an experiment to identify these self-control types, where the temptation was to read a story during a tedious task. The identification strategy relies on a two-step procedure. First, I measure commitment demand by eliciting subjects’ preferences over menus, which did or did not allow access to the story. I then implement their preferences using a random mechanism, allowing me to observe subjects who faced the choice, yet preferred commitment. A quarter to a third of subjects can be classified as self-control types according to their preferences. Of those facing the choice, virtually all self-control types behaved as they anticipated and resisted temptation. These findings suggest that policies restricting the availability of tempting options could have much larger welfare benefits than predicted by present bias models.


2017-06-15 Heikki Rantakari (University of Rochester)
Relational Influence.
Room: E5.22, 16:00-17:15.
An uninformed principal elicits non-contractible recommendations from a privately informed agent regarding the quality of projects. The agent is biased in favor of implementation and no credible communication is possible in a one-shot setting. In a repeated setting, the fear of losing future influence can sustain informative communication, but the agent's willingness to remain truthful depends on the extent to which he expects the principal to listen to him. In a stationary equilibrium, the principal always implements mediocre projects at a sub-optimally high frequency to reward honesty, while she may either favor or discriminate against high- quality projects. In a non-stationary equilibrium, the principal will further condition the agent's future influence on today's proposals, with the admission of mediocre alternatives rewarded with increased future influence while rejections of high-quality projects are further punished by lowering the agent's future influence. The acceptance of high-quality projects builds up influence when the agent's current influence is not too high, but erodes the influence when the agent is already highly influential.


2017-07-10 Gary Charness (UCSB)
Room: E0.522, 16:00-17:15.
No abstract available.