Behavioral Economics in the Field
Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
- Chair: Devin Pope, University of Chicago
How Much Does Your Boss Make? The Effects of Salary Comparisons
AbstractWe study how employees learn about the salaries of their peers and managers, and how those beliefs affect their behavior. We conducted a field experiment with a sample of 2,000 employees from a multi-billion-dollar corporation. We combine rich data from surveys and administrative records with an experiment that provided some employees with accurate information about the salaries of others. First, we document large misperceptions about salaries and identify some of the sources of these misperceptions. Second, we find significant behavioral elasticities with respect to the perceived salaries of other employees. These effects are different for horizontal and vertical comparisons: while higher perceived peer salary decreases effort, output and retention, higher perceived manager salary has a positive effect on those same outcomes. We discuss evidence on the underlying mechanisms, and implications for pay inequality and pay transparency.
Changes in Nutrient Intake at Retirement
AbstractWhile the literature finding a decrease in food expenditures at retirement suggests households do not adequately save for retirement, subsequent evidence that nutrient intake is unaffected by retirement tempers these concerns. Both pooling corss-sectional datasets spanning more than forty years and using longitudinal data, we find that nutrient intake falls at retirement. Improvements in dietary intake data collection methods, which reduced survey non-response and increased reported dietary intake, can reconcile the differences between our results and previous findings.
Intertemporal Choice Experiments and Large Stakes Behavior
AbstractIf experimental choices are reflective of time preferences and diminishing marginal utility,then they should meaningfully predict such large stakes smoothing decisions. In a sample of around 450 Guatemalan conditional cash transfer recipients, we find that preferences for smooth payment plans are closely predicted at both the aggregate and individual level by
experimental measures of diminishing marginal utility and patience. These represent the first findings on the predictive content of experimentally elicited intertemporal preferences for large stakes decisions.
University of Chicago
- D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics