Optimal Altruism in Public Good Provision


Date: 2014-01-29
By: Robert Hahn
Robert Ritz
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cam:camdae:1403&r=net
We present a model of altruistically-minded-yet rational-players contributing to a public good. A key feature is the tension between altruism and “crowding-out" effects (players’ efforts are strategic substitutes). We find that more altruistic behaviour can raise or reduce welfare, depending on the fine details of the environment. It is almost always optimal for a player to act more selfishly than her true preference. We discuss applications to a range of public good problems, including global climate policy. Our results highlight that it may be difficult to infer social preferences from observed behaviour.
Keywords: Altruism, climate policy, crowding out, public goods
JEL: D03 H23 H41 Q58

An experimental study of sorting in group contests

YNY: 這是一篇比較 group 之組成成員能力不同下, 所形成 overbidding 的實驗文獻。

Date: 2014-01
By: Philip Brookins (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
John Lightle (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
Dmitry Ryvkin (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:fsu:wpaper:wp2014_01_01&r=net
We study experimentally the effects of sorting in contests between groups of heterogeneous players whose within-group efforts are perfect substitutes. The theory predicts that higher aggregate effort will be reached when variation in ability between groups is lower, i.e., by a more balanced sorting. In the experiment, we assign subjects to four types — A, B, C, and D — ranked by their cost of effort, with A having the lowest and D having the highest cost, and conduct contests between two groups of two players each. In the Balanced treatment, (A,D) groups (i.e., groups comprised of a type A and a type D player) compete with (B,C) groups, whereas in the Unbalanced treatment, (A,B) groups compete with (C,D) groups. We find substantial heterogeneity and overinvestment of efforts by all types in both treatments, including the “underdog" (C,D) group which surprisingly is not demoralized by the unbalanced matching. Despite strong overbidding, relative aggregate efforts are remarkably close to equilibrium predictions both between treatments and between groups within each treatment. The results confirm the prediction that balanced sorting leads to higher aggregate effort.
Keywords: contest, group, sorting, heterogeneous players, experiment
JEL: C72 C91 M54 D72

Information and consumer fraud in a signalling model

Date: 2014-01
By: Silvia Martínez-Gorricho (Dpto. Análisis Económico Aplicado)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2014-01&r=net
This article considers a two-sided private information model. We assume that two exogenously given qualities are offered in a monopolistic market. Prices are fixed. A low quality seller chooses to be either honest (by charging the lower market price) or dishonest (by charging the higher price). We discuss the signaling role of the consumer’s private information on the equilibrium level of dishonesty, incidence of fraud and trade. We demonstrate that the equilibrium incidence of fraud is nonmonotonic in the buyer’s private information when the prior belief favors the low-quality seller strongly enough. This result holds as long as information is noisy and regardless of its private or public nature. Welfare consequences are ambiguous.
Keywords: Consumer Fraud; Asymmetric Information; Price Signalling
JEL: D42 D82 G14 L15 L51

Graduated Response Policy and the Behavior of Digital Pirates: Evidence from the French Three-Strike (Hadopi) Law

YNY: 這是一篇分析法國2009年實施的 Hadopi law (有在 P2P 網路的軟體盜版行為之法律: 前2次不罰, 第3次偵測到才罰) 的實證影響, 透過網路問卷。

Date: 2014
By: MICHAEL ARNOLD (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)
ERIC DARMON (CREM, University of Rennes)
SYLVAIN DEJEAN (CREM, LR-MOS, University of La Rochelle)
THIERRY PENARD (CREM, University of Rennes 1 & University of Delaware)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dlw:wpaper:14-07.&r=net
Most developed countries have tried to restrain digital piracy by strength- ening laws against copyright infringement. In 2009, France implemented the Hadopi law. Under this law individuals receive a warning the first two times they are detected illegally sharing content through peer to peer (P2P) networks. Legal action is only taken when a third violation is detected. We analyze the impact of this law on individual behavior. Our theoretical model of illegal be- havior under a graduated response law predicts that the perceived probability of detection has no impact on the decision to initially engage in digital piracy, but may reduce the intensity of illegal file sharing by those who do pirate. We test the theory using survey data from French Internet users. Our econometric results indicate that the law has no substantial deterrent effect. In addition, we find evidence that individuals who are better informed about the law and piracy alternatives substitute away from monitored P2P networks and illegally access content through unmonitored channels.
Keywords: Digital Piracy, digital media, Hadopi, three-strikes law, property rights
JEL: L82 O34 K42 D11

The Value of Connections: Evidence from the Italian-American Mafia

YNY: 這是一篇難得一見的研究主題, 以吸毒的幫派紀錄估計組織犯罪網路之網路外部性和其價值。

Date: 2014-01
By: Mastrobuoni, Giovanni (University of Essex)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7925&r=net
Using declassified Federal Bureau of Narcotics (毒品) records on 800 US Mafia members active in the 1950s and 1960s, and on their connections within the organized crime network, I estimate network effects on gangsters’ economic status. Lacking information on criminal proceeds, I measure economic status exploiting detailed information about their place of residence. Housing values are reconstructed using current deflated transactions recorded on Zillow.com. I deal with the potential reverse causality between the economic status and the gangster’s position in the network exploiting exogenous exposure to potential pre-immigration connections. In the absence of pre-immigration data I use the informational content of surnames, called isonomy, to measure the place of origin. The instrument is valid as long as conditional on the characteristics of the gangsters (including the region of birth and a rich set of controls about the gangsters’ legal and illegal activities) such exposure influences the gangsters’ importance in- side the network (called centrality) but not the preference for specific housing needs. A standard deviation increase in closeness centrality increases economic status by between one forth (OLS) and one standard deviation (2SLS).
Keywords: mafia, networks, centrality, housing prices, value of connections, crime, surnames, isonomy
JEL: A14 C21 D23 D85 K42 Z13

Boundedly Rational Opinion Dynamics in Directed Social Networks: Theory and Experimental Evidence

Date: 2014-01
By: Pietro Battiston
Luca Stanca
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:mib:wpaper:267&r=net
This paper investigates opinion dynamics and social influence in directed communication networks. We study the properties of a generalized boundedly rational model of opinion formation in which individuals aggregate the information they receive by using weights that are a function of their neighbors’ indegree. We then present an experiment designed to test the predictions of the model. We find that both Bayesian updating and boundedly rational updating à la DeMarzo et al. (2003) are rejected by the data. Consistent with our theoretical predictions, the social influence of an agent is positively and significantly affected by the number of individuals she listens to. When forming their opinions, agents do take into account the structure of the communication network, although in a sub-optimal way.
Keywords: Social Networks, Learning, Social In uence, Bounded Rationality
JEL: D85 D83 A14 L14 Z13

Endogenous product compatibility choice under Cournot competition with a network externality

Date: 2014-01
By: Tsuyoshi Toshimitsu (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:kgu:wpaper:115&r=net
We provide a simple model of endogenous product compatibility choice under Cournot competition with a network externality. Using the model, we consider how the degree of a network externality and product substitutability affects the choice regarding product compatibility. In particular, if the degree of the network externality is larger than that of the product substitutability, there exist multiple equilibria, involving imperfect, partial, and perfect compatibility. However, if another assumption formula regarding a spillover effect, which is a component of network size, is made, i.e., the converter case, there is a unique equilibrium, i.e., perfect compatibility, irrespective of the degree of the network effect versus product substitutability. Furthermore, we show that a perfectly compatible product standard is socially optimal and analyze, therefore, whether a social dilemma arises in the network products market.
Keywords: product compatibility, network externality, fulfilled expectation; Cournot duopoly, horizontally differentiated product
JEL: D21 D43 D62 L15