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Research in Progress

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    Entrepreneurs: A Longitudinal Study

    with David Cooper (Florida State University) & Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon St Etienne CNRS, University of Lyon)

    This 2-part project investigates if there are specific characteristics that can predict the career direction and success of entrepreneurs over time? In the first project, we collect experimental measures across various domains (e.g. risk attitudes, ambiguity attitudes, time preferences, cooperativeness, competitiveness, attitudes towards deception, innovation performance, personality traits, etc.) and relate these measures to the current occupational status (entrepreneurs vs. non-entrepreneurs; executive – nonexecutive). In a follow-up project, we will collect the same measures and examine the evolution of occupational status 5 years later.

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    Collective Decision Making with Costly Communication

    with Marcello Puca (University of Italian Switzerland - USI) & Simone M. Sepe (The University of Chicago School of Law, Toulouse IAST)

    Many social institutions deliberate prior to making a decision, which allows individuals to share information and aggregate preferences. Yet this also absorbs time and effort. We theoretically and experimentally investigate how groups resolve the tradeoff between costly communication and informative decision-making under three different voting institutions: standard unanimity, concensus unanimity, and simple majority. In addition to varying the cost of communication and voting rule, we also vary the information levels within the group. In one case, all individuals have the same level of information and in the other case, groups have one "expert" (an individiual who has more information than the others).

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    Ability and Team Formation

    with David Cooper (Florida State University) & Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon St Etienne CNRS, University of Lyon)

    This project investigates the degree to which non-pecuniary factors influence the decision of high-ability types to join teams, despite a potential loss in earnings. A simple theory based only on monetary payment results in an outcome where higher ability types would strictly prefer to work under individual pay schemes instead of team. While previous laboratory research indicates this holds under stark conditions, field research has found that high ability individuals often select into teams early. Using a novel online experiment with a demographically rich subject pool, we isolate the role of teaching and social identity as drivers of high ability group take-up rates.

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    Focal Points under Losses

    with Odile Poulsen (University of East Anglia)

    We experimentally examine the power of focal points in coordination games under losses with varying stake sizes (large and small).

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    Sequential Auctions with Budget Constraints

    with Russell Engel (Southern Connecticut State University) & Artie Zillante (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

    We experimentally examine auctions for three private valued items sold sequentially in a series of three ascending (non-clock) auctions to two bidders. In each auction, bidders are endowed with a budget and they are not allowed to bid more than their budget endowment, but they may allocate this endowment through bids freely across auctions. Three treatments (with known budgets) are defined around these constraints: both bidders are unconstrained, both bidders are constrained, asymmetric constraints where one bidder is constrained the other is unconstrained.