Fall 2017

CESS Experimental Economics Seminar

(all seminars take place at 19 W 4th street, room 517)

Weekly Seminar: Katie Coffman, “Beliefs about Gender” (Thursday, December 14th, 2017)

We conduct a laboratory experiment on the determinants of beliefs about own and others’ ability across different domains. A preliminary look at the data points to two distinct forces: miscalibration in estimating performance depending on the difficulty of tasks and gender stereotypes. We develop a theoretical model that separates these forces and apply it to analyze a large laboratory dataset in which participants estimate their own and a partner’s performance on questions across different domains. We find that participants greatly overestimate not only their own ability but also that of others, suggesting that miscalibration is a substantial, first-order factor in stated beliefs. Gender stereotypes also have strong predictive power for beliefs. Our findings help interpret evidence on gender gaps in self-confidence.


Weekly Seminar: David Gill, “Using Goals to Motivate College Students: Theory and Evidence from Field Experiments” (Thursday, November 30th, 2017)

I am an applied microeconomist who uses game theory and experiments to understand how people and firms behave. My research intersects with labor economics and industrial organization. More specifically, I am interested in: (i) incorporating empirically motivated and psychologically more realistic assumptions into formal models of behavior; (ii) developing testable predictions of the formal models when people or firms interact; and (iii) using laboratory experiments to test these predictions. The goal is to identify empirically important deviations from traditional microeconomic assumptions that help to explain economic behavior and guide policymakers.


Weekly Seminar: Devesh Rustagi, “Waiting for Napoleon? Democracy and Reciprocity Across Social Groups” (Thursday, November 2nd, 2017)

What explains large and persistent differences in reciprocity across social groups?  This paper exploits variation in historical experience of democracy over space and time in Switzerland to highlight its strong positive association with reciprocity today.  Individuals from regions that experienced democracy since the Middle Ages display stronger reciprocity than individuals from regions that acquired democracy only after the invasion by Napoleon.  Because historical democracy was widespread in Swiss German but limited in Swiss French-speaking regions, individuals from these groups differ widely in their reciprocity.  The difference, however, disappears when we compare Swiss Germans and Swiss French from regions without historical democracy.  These results are not capturing current institutions, beliefs, migration, historical dynasties, language and other group-specific characteristics.  Further results suggest that the emergence of historical democracy was due to idiosyncratic events and that its effect on reciprocity persists due to intergenerational transmission.


Weekly Seminar: Roman M. Sheremeta, “Why Are We So Competitive” (Thursday, October 12th, 2017)

Roman Sheremeta is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and a research affiliate at the Economic Science Institute at Chapman University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University. The focus of his research is in experimental economics and game theory, with applications to behavioral economics, conflict resolution, industrial organization, public and labor economics.

The presentation will be loosely based on the paper “Impulsive Behavior in Competition: Testing Theories of Overbidding in Rent-Seeking Contests.” https://ideas.repec.org/p/chu/wpaper/16-21.html


 Weekly Seminar: Drew Fudenberg, Predicting and Understanding Initial Play” (Thursday, October 5th, 2017)

Drew Fudenberg is the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at MIT.  He received an A.B. in applied mathematics from Harvard College in 1978, and a Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1981.  Fudenberg’s work on game theory ranges from foundational work on learning and equilibrium to the analysis of repeated games and reputation effects to the study of particular games, competition between firms, and other topics in theoretical industrial organization.  More recently he has worked on topics in behavioral economics and decision theory such as self-control and stochastic choice.


Weekly Seminar: Isabel Trevino, “Strategic Uncertainty and Information Structures  in Coordination Games” (Thursday, September 14, 2017)

Isabel Trevino is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at UC San Diego. She received her PhD in Economics from New York University.  Her research is in the areas of microeconomic theory and experimental economics.




Upcoming Seminars

Seminars will resume March 2018