NBER

Daniel Houser

George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MSN 1B2
Fairfax, VA, 22030

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: George Mason University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2020A New Mechanism to Alleviate the Crises of Confidence in Science-With An Application to the Public Goods Game
with Luigi Butera, Philip J. Grossman, John A. List, Marie-Claire Villeval: w26801
Creation of empirical knowledge in economics has taken a dramatic turn in the past few decades. One feature of the new research landscape is the nature and extent to which scholars generate data. Today, in nearly every field the experimental approach plays an increasingly crucial role in testing theories and informing organizational decisions. Whereas there is much to appreciate about this revolution, recently a credibility crisis has taken hold across the social sciences, arguing that an important component of Fischer (1935)'s tripod has not been fully embraced: replication. Indeed, while the importance of replications is not debatable scientifically, current incentives are not sufficient to encourage replications from the individual researcher's perspective. We analyze a novel mechanism ...
January 2020Leverage and Asset Prices: An Experiment.
with Marco Cipriani, Ana Fostel: w26701
We develop a model of leverage that is amenable to laboratory implementation and gather experimental data. We compare two identical economies: in one economy, agents cannot borrow; in the other, they can leverage a risky asset to issue debt. Leverage increases asset prices in the laboratory. This increase is significant and quantitatively close to what theory predicts. Moreover, also as theory suggests, leverage allows gains from trade to be realized in the laboratory. Finally, the mechanism generating the price increase in the lab is due to the asset role as collateral, and different from what we would observe with a simple credit line or bigger cash endowments.
November 2019Endogenous Leverage and Default in the Laboratory
with Marco Cipriani, Ana Fostel: w26469
We study default and endogenous leverage in the laboratory. To this purpose, we develop a general equilibrium model of collateralized borrowing amenable to laboratory implementation and gather experimental data. In the model, leverage is endogenous: agents choose how much to borrow using a risky asset as collateral, and there are no ad-hoc collateral constraints. When the risky asset is financial, namely, its payoff does not depend on ownership (such as a bonds), collateral requirements are high and there is no default. In contrast, when the risky asset is non-financial, namely, its payoff depends on ownership (such as a firm), collateral requirements are lower and default occurs. The experimental outcomes are in line with the theory's main predictions. The type of collateral, whether fina...
January 2015On the Origins of Dishonesty: From Parents to Children
with John A. List, Marco Piovesan, Anya Savikhin Samek, Joachim Winter: w20897
Acts of dishonesty permeate life. Understanding their origins, and what mechanisms help to attenuate such acts is an underexplored area of research. This study takes an economics approach to explore the propensity of individuals to act dishonestly across different economic environments. We begin by developing a simple model that highlights the channels through which one can increase or decrease dishonest acts. We lend empirical insights into this model by using an experiment that includes both parents and their young children as subjects. We find that the highest level of dishonesty occurs in settings where the parent acts alone and the dishonest act benefits the child rather than the parent. In this spirit, there is also an interesting effect of children on parents’ behavior: in the child...

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