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Regular version of the site

Research Seminar 2021/2022

Laboratory runs a regular research seminar in experimental studies of human behaviour. Regular participants are researchers and research students in psychology, economics, neuroscience, mathematical and statistical modelling of individual and collective behaviour in economic context broadly defined.

Time:  12 pm - 1 pm (UTC+3) unless otherwise noted

Location: Online in Zoom, link sent out to interested participants  (please, contact Tatiana Libenson)

Working language: English



Pre-defence of term papers:

Daria Pavkina (HSE) "Economics of Healthcare and Medical Decision Making"
Abstract: The purpose of my work is to analyse the influence of addictive behaviour caused by the usage of the over-the-counter medicines on consumers and producers. The idea is that addictive behaviour has potentially damaging effect on job performance including loss of productivity and motivation. In addition, I am interested in the significance of the effect on labour activity of these consumers. Speaking of a producer’s point of view, it is important to understand whether addiction, that might arise from the misuse of the drug, leads to  higher sales on the market. 
Xenia Lebedeva (HSE) "Behavioral Health Economics"
Abstract: My area of interest is Russian case of drinking culture. Our country is well-known for its alcohol misuse history, yet little is known about fight methods. The idea is to analyse economic damage brought by alcohol overconsumption, its impact on health industry and labour market. Final idea to test is whether development of drinking culture may help us to overcome the alcoholic curse.
Alexander Rozmanov (University of Tyumen) "Information asymmetry in a risk-taking competition: a laboratory experiment"
Abstract: The purpose of my research is to study how information asymmetry affects the decision-making process in a risk-taking competition. In our model, players represent small and big firms in a competitive environment, in which they are able to choose risk levels of their actions. In addition, big firms have the opportunity to observe competitors’ intermediate progress and adjust their strategy. To obtain the data, we design a laboratory experiment. Our main hypothesis is that information acquisition affects risk-taking behavior in a presence of asymmetry.
Darya Grin (University of Tyumen) "Mining centralization as an additional volatility driver: an experimental investigation of cryptocurrency markets"
Abstract: Recent studies on cryptomarkets have identified a trend towards the centralization of cryptocurrency mining. An additional point of interest in cryptomarkets is an unjustifiably high price in relation to growing mining costs. In this study, we focus on mining centralization as a significant volatility driver. The research method is an economic experiment based on the Automated Market Maker (AMM) system which is an alternative to traditional market exchange for cryptocurrencies. In our treatments, we compare different organization types such as individual miners and pool of miners.

Kirill Afanasev (HSE), Tatiana Zhuravleva (HSE)

“Study of social norms in corruption using experimental approach”

Abstract: The research project is aimed to study the role of social norms in corruptive behaviour using the specific case of harassment bribery, where public officials have a possibility to harass a bribe from a citizen in order to provide a service he is entitled to. Golofast (2021) has found that normative expectations are not consistent with observed behaviour. People believe that harassment of a bribe is considered to be unacceptable by society but public officials still harass and citizens expect them to get involved into this type of corruption. At the same time we do not observe the normative consensus about paying or rejecting a harassed bribe. In the current study we plan to manipulate expectations and analyze whether harassment behavior is conditional upon empirical and normative expectations. Expectations are going to be shifted by anchors – hypothetical results of the harassment bribery experiment and imaginary survey on normative acceptance.

13/01 Gari WalkowitzLeading Research Fellow of International Laboratory for Experimental and Behavioural Economics, HSE

"People Prefer Moral Discretion to Algorithms: Algorithm Aversion Beyond Intransparency" - joint work with Matthias Uhl and Johanna Jauernig

Abstract: We explore aversion to the use of algorithms in moral decision-making. So far, this aversion has been explained mainly by the fear of opaque decisions that are potentially biased. Using incentivized experiments, we study which role the desire for human discretion in moral decision-making plays. This seems justified in light of evidence suggesting that people might not doubt the quality of algorithmic decisions, but still reject them. In our first study, we found that people prefer humans withdecision-making discretion to algorithms that rigidly apply exogenously given human-created fairness principles to specific cases. In the second study, we found that people do not prefer humans to algorithms because they appreciate flesh-and-blood decision-makers per se, but because they appreciate humans’ freedom to transcend fairness principles at will. Our results contribute to a deeper understanding of algorithm aversion. They indicate that emphasizing the transparency of algorithms that clearly follow fairness principles might not be the only element for fostering societal algorithm acceptance and suggest reconsidering certain features of the decision-making process.
16/12 Heike Hennig-Schmidt, Chief Research Fellow of International Laboratory for Experimental and Behavioural Economics, HSE

“The Formation of Physician Altruism” - joint work with Arthur E. Attema, Matteo M. Galizzi, Mona Groß, Yassin Karay, Olivier L’Haridon, Daniel Wiesen

Abstract: We study how patient-regarding altruism is formed by medical education. We structurally estimate altruistic preferences using experimental data from a large sample of medical students (N=733) in Germany at different stages in their studies. The estimates reveal substantial heterogeneity in altruistic preferences of medical students. Patient-regarding altruism is highest for freshmen, significantly declines for students in the course of medical studies, and tends to increase again for last year students, who assist in clinical practice. Also, patient-regarding altruism is higher for females and positively associated to general altruism. Altruistic medical students have lower income expectations and are more likely to choose surgery and pediatrics as their preferred specialty.


02/12 Galina Besstremyannaya (Senior Research Fellow of International Laboratory for Macroeconomic Analysis, HSE) “Heterogeneous Effects of Incentive Contracts in Healthcare: Evidence from Medicare Reform”
Abstract: The paper analyzes heterogeneous hospital behavior in response to an incentive scheme with linear increase of the reward function for measured quality. The main contribution of the paper is to reassess a stylized fact in the literature, which asserts that pay-forperformance systems lead to greater improvements from providers with lower baseline quality. We suggest that this “fact” is the result of measurement error, and we develop a structural model and an estimation approach to recover the effects of the linear incentive scheme on quality. Compared to threshold-based incentive schemes that pay a flat bonus for meeting a quality target, where incentives operate mostly for providers below and near to the target, linear incentives may have large effects on providers with any initial level of quality. The predictions of our theoretical model, which are verified empirically using the longitudinal data for US Medicare hospitals involved in value-based purchasing, show a direct association between prior quality and quality improvement owing to the incentive scheme. We argue that the differences between true quality and its measurable proxy may cause regression towards the mean, which needs to be excluded in empirical estimations of the impact of the incentive scheme. Our theoretical model suggests that the effect of the inaccuracy in quality measurement can also be diminished by increasing the share of hospital funds at risk. An extension of the model considers fixed cost of hospital’s investment into quality improvement. The hospitals split into two groups, and the effect of incentive on quality increase in the group that chooses to bear the fixed cost is larger than in the group that refuses the burden of the fixed cost.
14/10 Egor Bronnikov (MRes Student, Graduate School of Economics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands) "Illusory Distributional Difference between Egalitarianism and Libertarianism under High Trust?  Experimental Study on Interpersonal Trust-Building"
Abstract: Enhancing trust to a higher level is known to result in better obligations compliance, greater legal justice, less corruption,  better-educated individuals concerned about public good, faster economic growth, strength institutional legal system and general prosperity.
In this paper, we propose an experimental investigation of a novel channel of trust-building mechanisms. The experiment aims to verify whether individual fairness satisfaction results in a higher level of trust and trustworthiness.
If documented the major implication will be that even a high level of inequality occurred due to the libertarian fairness rules of income distribution might be balanced and turned to equal allocation.
16/09 Grigory Chernov (HSE), Ivan Susin (HSE)   “Learning Asymmetry”
Abstract: When the outcomes of economic interactions are unequal, do people attribute those outcomes to luck, merits and abilities of the agents themselves or to the game being rigged? We want to experimentally study how people learn that the game is rigged when it is rigged.  What factors help or hinder this understanding? How noise and luck affect this kind of learning? We use 2 similar repeated zero-sum games: symmetric (fair) and asymmetric (unfair). Every 15 periods in a 150 rounds experiment we measure through BDM the willingness to pay to exchange role to a favorable one. Our preliminary (unfair game) results show that (a) the BDM bids are lower than fair value (b) they are lower than empirical difference between symmetric/asymmetric roles' payoffs (c) one third of the sample bids zero and does not report noting asymmetry (d) bids are quite static.
30/09 at 2:30 pm (UTC+3) Grigory Chernov (HSE) Pre-defense of the dissertation "Models of Learning in Economic Experiments"
The thesis is available here"Models of Learning in Economic Experiments"



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