Sommersemester 2021

05.05.2021Fabian Herweg, Universität Bayreuth - at 5 p.m.!
 Prices versus Quantities with Morally Concerned Consumers (joint work with Klaus M. Schmidt)

It is widely believed that an environmental tax (price regulation) and cap-and-trade (quantity regulation) are equally efficient in controlling pollution when there is no uncertainty. We show that this is not the case if some consumers (firms, local governments) are morally concerned about pollution and the pollution price is constrained to be inefficiently low. Emissions are lower and material welfare is higher with price regulation. Furthermore, quantity regulation gives rise to dysfunctional incentive and distribution effects. It shifts the burden of adjustment to the poor and discourages voluntary efforts to reduce pollution, while price regulation makes these efforts effective.
19.05.2021Nora Szech, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
 Choice Architecture and Incentives Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Intentions and Test Demand (joint work with Marta Serra-Garcia)

Willingness to vaccinate and test are critical in the COVID-19 pandemic. We study the effects of two measures to increase vaccination and testing: "choice architecture" and monetary compensations. Choice architecture has the goal of "nudging" people into a socially desired direction without affecting their choice options. Compensations reward vaccine takers and are already in use by some organizations. Yet there is the concern that compensations may decrease vaccination if compensations erode intrinsic motivation to vaccinate. We show that both approaches, compensations and choice architecture, significantly increase COVID-19 test and vaccine demand. Yet, for vaccines, low compensations can backfire.
16.06.2021Abu Siddique, Technische Universität München
 Forced Displacement, Mental Health, and Child Development: Evidence from the Rohingya Refugees

Forced displacement is a major driver of mental disorders among refugees worldwide. Poor mental health of adult refugees, particularly mothers, is also considered a risk fac- tor for the psychological well-being and development of their children. In this paper, we experimentally examine the extent to which a rigorous psychoeducation program promote psychological well-being of refugee mothers and socioemotional, physical, and cognitive development of their children under the age of 2 years. Through a clustered randomized controlled trial among the severely persecuted Rohingya refugees residing in Bangladesh, roughly 3,500 mother-child pairs were given weekly psychosocial support for a year that includes psychoeducation and parenting counselling for mothers and play activities for children. We find that the intervention led to significant improvements in: (i) psycho- logical trauma and depression of mothers and children, (ii) communication, gross-motor, problem-solving, and personal-social skills of children, and (iii) happiness and belonging- ness of mothers. A causal mediation analysis suggests that the psychological well-being of mothers is the primary channel of impact on children’s development. The intervention also caused the mental health of mothers to be more aligned with the mental health of their sons, but not with their daughters. Finally, we also find that the intervention had a stronger impact on the mental health of mothers that were highly exposed to violence and persecutions during the 2016-17 Rohingya genocide in Myanmar than mothers with minimal exposure.
30.06.2021Zuzana Fungacova, Bank of Finland
 Does Experience of Banking Crises Affect Trust in Banks? (joint with Eeva Kerola and Laurent Weill)

This paper investigates how past experience with banking crises influences an individual’s trust in banks. We combine data on banking crises for the period 1970-2014 with individual data on trust in banks for 52 countries. We find that experiencing a banking crisis diminishes a person’s trust in banks, and that high exposure to banking crises is negatively related to trust in banks. An individual’s age at the time of the crisis is important, and significant for individuals between 51 and 60 years of age at the time of the banking crisis. Both severe and mild crises diminish trust in banks, but banking crisis with larger impact on the real economy hits also young people’s trust, while less severe banking crises mainly degrade trust of more mature people. The detrimental effect for trust in banks seems to be connected specifically to systemic banking crises. Other types of financial crises incur no significant effect. Overall, our results indicate that banking crises generate previously unrecognized costs for the economy in the form of a lasting reduction of trust in banks.
07.07.2021Adam Eric Greenberg, Bocconi University Milan (Italy)
 Undersum Bias

We demonstrate robust evidence for a phenomenon we call undersum bias. When intuitively evaluating sequences of numbers, people substantially underestimate their sums. Undersum bias arises for many combinations of numbers (i.e., different variances, sums, and sequence lengths) and across multiple contexts (i.e., calories, money, or simple numbers). The bias arises as an online process and withstands both incentives for accuracy as well as for overestimation. We show that undersum bias is both a sizable and consequential cause of overconsumption and overspending behaviors.