The Importance of Rank Position

Date: 2013-09
By: Richard Murphy
Felix Weinhardt
We find an individual’s rank within their reference group has effects on later objective outcomes. To evaluate the impact of local rank, we use a large administrative dataset tracking over two million students in England from primary through to secondary school. Academic rank within primary school has sizable, robust and significant effects on later achievement in secondary school, conditional on national test scores. Moreover we find boys gain four times more in later test scores from being top compared to girls. We provide evidence for a mechanism using matched survey data, which shows that rank affects an individual’s self-concept. The paper discusses other potential channels but concludes that malleable non-cognitive skills such as confidence and belief in own ability are most likely to generate these results. We put forward a basic model where rank effects costs and effort allocation when faced with multiple tasks. We believe this is the first large-scale study to show large and robust effects of rank position on objective outcomes of that have consequences in the labour market.
Keywords: Rank, non-cognitive skills, peer effects
JEL: I21

Confusion and Learning in the Voluntary Contributions Game

Confusion and Learning in the Voluntary Contributions Game
Date:     2013-01
By:     Spiros Bougheas (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
Jeroen Nieboer (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
Martin Sefton (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

We investigate experimentally the effect of consultation (unincentivized advice) on choices under risk in an incentivized investment task. We compare these choices to two benchmark treatments: one with isolated individual choices, and a second with group choice after communication. Our benchmarking treatments replicate earlier findings that groups take more risk than individuals in the investment task . In our consultation treatments we find evidence of peer effects: there is significant correlation of decisions within the peer group. However, average risk taking is not significantly different from the benchmark treatment with isolated individual choices. This latter result underlines the importance of payoff-commonality for bringing about higher risk-taking in groups.

Keywords:     experimental economics, choice under risk, advice, social influence, peer effects

==notes by yinung=

此篇和已發表在 Experimental Economics 題目竟然完全相同

Bayer, Ralph-C., Elke Renner, and Rupert Sausgruber. “Confusion and learning in the voluntary contributions game." Experimental Economics (2013): 1-19. [link to EE]


We use a limited information environment to assess the role of confusion in the repeated voluntary contributions game. A comparison with play in a standard version of the game suggests, that the common claim that decision errors due to confused subjects biases estimates of cooperation upwards, is not necessarily correct. Furthermore, we find that simple learning cannot generate the kind of contribution dynamics commonly attributed to the existence of conditional cooperators. We conclude that cooperative behavior and its decay observed in public goods games is not a pure artefact of confusion and learning.