26.09.2016

New Publication in Nature Communications

Altruistic punishment does not increase with the severity of norm violations in the field, Nature Communications, 2016, 7, 13327 (Loukas Balafoutas, Nikos Nikiforakis & Bettina Rockenbach).

Abstract

The degree of human cooperation among strangers is a major evolutionary puzzle. A prominent explanation is that cooperation is maintained because many individuals have a predisposition to punish those violating group-beneficial norms. A critical condition for cooperation to evolve in evolutionary models is that punishment increases with the severity of the violation. Here we present evidence from a field experiment with real-life interactions that, unlike in lab experiments, altruistic punishment does not increase with the severity of the violation, regardless of whether it is direct (confronting a violator) or indirect (withholding help). We also document growing concerns for counter-punishment as the severity of the violation increases, indicating that the marginal cost of direct punishment increases with the severity of violations. The evidence suggests that altruistic punishment may not provide appropriate incentives to deter large violations. Our findings thus offer a rationale for the emergence of formal institutions for promoting large-scale cooperation among strangers.

[link to paper] [press release (German)]

26.09.2016

New Publication in the European Economic Review

The competitive advantage of honesty, European Economic Review, 2016, 89, 407-424 (Mark Pigors & Bettina Rockenbach).

Abstract

We study competitive markets where firms may lie to their workers to reduce costs. Consumers may benefit from firms’ dishonesty through lower market prices. Does firms’ (dis-)honesty affect consumers’ purchasing decisions? Our experiment shows that when honesty is fully transparent, it can provide a competitive advantage: Honest firms sell more and – despite higher costs – achieve higher profits. This finding is in line with our equilibrium predictions when allowing for dishonesty-averse consumers. By identifying circumstances in which consumers – although not the addressee of dishonesty – “punish” firms for their within-firm dishonesty, we contribute both to behavioral ethics and behavioral industrial organization.

[link]

11.04.2016

New Publication in German Economic Review

Designing Institutions for Social Dilemmas, German Economic Review, forthcoming (Bettina Rockenbach & Irenaeus Wolff).

Abstract

Considerable experimental evidence has been collected on rules enhancing contributions in public goods dilemmas. These studies either confront subjects with pre-specified rules or have subjects choose between different rule environments. In this paper, we completely endogenize the institution design process by asking subjects to design and repeatedly improve rule sets for a public goods problem in order to investigate which rules social planners facing a social dilemma “invent” and how these rules develop over time. We make several noteworthy observations, in particular the strong and successful use of framing, the concealment of individual contribution information and the decreasing use of punishment.

23.06.2015

New Publication in Management Science

Consumer Social Responsibility, Management Science, forthcoming (Mark Pigors & Bettina Rockenbach).

Abstract

We investigate the emergence of socially responsible (SR) production through consumer decisions. Our experimental treatments vary market competitiveness and consumers’ information on social responsibility in production. We show that – irrespective of consumers’ information – SR production reduces monopolistic supplier’s profit and is therefore unlikely to emerge. With supplier competition, SR production positively influences consumers’ buying decisions and suppliers offering SR products achieve significantly higher profits, as long their price is not too high. Our results yield valuable insights into the possibilities and limitations of promoting SR production through consumer behavior, and provide evidence for positive effects of competition on moral behavior.

[pdf]

28.10.2014

New Publication in PNAS

Direct and indirect punishment among strangers in the field. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 2014, published ahead of print October 27, 2014 (Loukas Balafoutas, Nikos Nikiforakis, and Bettina Rockenbach).

Significance

Why do humans cooperate in one-time interactions with strangers? The most prominent explanations for this long-standing puzzle rely on punishment of noncooperators, but differ in the form punishment takes. In models of direct punishment, noncooperators are punished directly at personal cost, whereas indirect reciprocity assumes that punishment is indirect by withholding rewards. To resolve the persistent debate on which model better explains cooperation, we conduct the first field experiment, to our knowledge, on direct and indirect punishment among strangers in real-life interactions. We show that many people punish noncooperators directly but prefer punishing indirectly by withholding help when possible. The occurrence of direct and indirect punishment in the field shows that both are key to understanding the evolution of human cooperation.

 Link to article

 Press release in German

14.03.2014

New Publication

Reward and Punishment in Social Dilemmas, in: Series of Human Cooperation, Oxford University Press, 2014 (Paul A.M. van Lange, Bettina Rockenbach, Toshio Yamagashi)

  • Inaugural volume of the Series in Human Cooperation
  • Brings together new contributions from psychology, sociology, and economics
  • First edited volume to cover the topic of reward and punishment in social dilemmas
  • Highlights how the functions of reward and punishment in society reflect the psychology, economics, and neuroscience of human cooperation

       [details]

13.02.2014

New Publication in Economic Letters

Honesty in tournaments, Economic Letters, 2014, 123, 90-93 (Julian Conrads, Bernd Irlenbusch, Rainer Michael Rilke, Anne Schielke, Gari Walkowitz)

Abstract

We apply the die rolling experiment of Fischbacher and Föllmi-Heusi (2013) to a two-player tournament incentive scheme. Our treatments vary the prize spread. The data highlights that honesty is more pronounced when the prize spread is small.

Highlights

We investigate the effect of increasing competition in different tournaments
on honesty.

We adapt the experimental setup of Fischbacher and Föllmi-Heusi (2013).

On average we find that honesty is more pronounced when the prize spread
is small.

However, our results suggest individual heterogeneity of lying costs

[pdf]

13.02.2014

Social and Economic Behavior Conference in Cologne

This one-day conference brings together researchers from the different nodes of the Competence Area and Economic Behavior.

18 February 2014

Venue
Neuer Senatssaal, Main Building,
University of Cologne
8.45 a.m. - 5 p.m.

[link]

13.02.2014

Doctoral Awards Ceremony of the WiSo Faculty

On February 7, 2014, the doctoral certificates have been presented to the graduates at the doctoral awards ceremony of the WiSo faculty. Professor Dr. Bettina Rockenbach (Associate Dean of Research and Young Academics) held the speech. [link]

13.02.2014

Discussion Paper in IZA

Circumstantial Risk: Impact of Future Tax Evasion and Labor Supply Opportunities on Risk Exposure, IZA, 2014, DP No. 7917 (Philipp Doerrenberg, Denvil Duncan, Christopher Zeppenfeld)

Abstract

This paper examines whether risk-taking in a lottery depends on the opportunity to respond to the lottery outcome through additional labor effort and/or tax evasion. Previous empirical attempts to answer this question face identification issues due to self-selection into jobs that facilitate tax evasion and labor effort flexibility. We address these identification issues using a laboratory experiment (N = 180). Subjects have the opportunity to invest earned income in a lottery and, depending on randomly assigned treatment states, have the opportunity to respond to the lottery outcome through evasion and/or extra labor effort. We find strong evidence that ex-post access to labor opportunities reduces ex-ante risk willingness while access to tax evasion has no effect on risk behavior. We discuss possible explanations for this result based on the existing literature. [pdf]

13.12.2013

Doctoral Awards Ceremony of the WiSo Faculty

On December 13, 2013, the doctoral certificates have been presented to the graduates at the doctoral awards ceremony of the WiSo faculty. Professor Dr. Bettina Rockenbach (Associate Dean of Research and Young Academics) held the speech. [link]

05.12.2013

Election of Professor Dr. Bettina Rockenbach as a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Leopoldina is the academy with the most members in Germany and one of the most established science academies of the world. Since 2008, the Leopoldina represents the German Sciences in international boards. [details]

05.12.2013

New Publications

Measuring Lying Aversion, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2013, 93, 293-313 (Uri Gneezy, Bettina Rockenbach, Marta Serra-Garcia) [details]

The Royal Lie, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2013, 93, 305-313 (Mareike Hoffmann, Thomas Lauer, Bettina Rockenbach) [details]

15.11.2013

Job offer CLER

Job offer as a student assistant
The Cologne Laboratory for Economic Reserach (CLER) is currently looking for motivated students with interests in IT. PDF [details]

17.04.2013

Prof. Dr. Bettina Rockenbach in scobel (3sat)

In the 3sat telecast scobel Prof. Rockenbach and Gerd Gigrenzer (MPI Berlin) talk about human decisions, rationality, and game theory.

18.04.2013

1211 Game Theory

In addition to the exercise class, at tutorial is offered by  David Saxler.

Time: Wednesday 10 - 11.30

Location: 2.B11 (210 Bauwens building)

Start: 24.04.2013

07.02.2013

New Publication

The Inter- Group Comparison – Intra Group Cooperation Hypothesis: Comparisons between Groups Increase Efficiency in Public Goods Provision, PLOS ONE, 2013, 8/2: e56152. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056152 (Robert Böhm and Bettina Rockenbach). [link]

12.02.2013

Doctoral award ceremony of the WiSo faculty

Friday, February 1

 [link]

06.12.2012

Paper Workshop in Experimental Economics

The Workshop is organized by Prof. Dr. Bettina Rockenbach. It offers the opportunity to present advanced papers in Experimental Economics.

Dates/Location: 

Fri Jan 18, 2013 from 10-18, Modulbau, seminar room 3

further information

05.12.2012

Forthcoming Publications

Measuring Lying Aversion, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization Vol. 93, 293-313 (Uri Gneezy, Bettina Rockenbach, Marta Serra-Garcia)

The Royal Lie, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization Vol. 93, 305-313 (Mareike Hoffmann, Thomas Lauer, Bettina Rockenbach)

22.11.2012

Prof. Dr. Bettina Rockenbach

Since October 1, 2012, Prof. Bettina Rockenbach is the new  Associate Dean of Research and Young Academics of the WiSo faculty.

Prof. Bettina Rockenbach has been elected in the academic advisory council of the Stiftung Institut für Weltwirtschaftschaft for four years. further information

01.05.2012

New Publication

On the interaction of the stick and the carrot in social dilemmas, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2012, 299, 139-143 (Manfred Milinski and Bettina Rockenbach) [link]

 

15.02.2012

New Publication

Sharing Information, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2012, 81, 689-698 (Bettina Rockenbach and Abdolkarim Sadrieh) [link]