Economics - Research Publications

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    By chance or by choice? Biased attribution of others' outcomes when social preferences matter
    Erkal, N ; Gangadharan, L ; Koh, BH (SPRINGER, 2021-09-28)
    Decision makers in positions of power often make unobserved choices under risk and uncertainty. In many cases, they face a trade-off between maximizing their own payoff and those of other individuals. What inferences are made in such instances about their choices when only outcomes are observable? We conduct two experiments that investigate whether outcomes are attributed to luck or choices. Decision makers choose between two investment options, where the more costly option has a higher chance of delivering a good outcome (that is, a higher payoff) for the group. We show that attribution biases exist in the evaluation of good outcomes. On average, good outcomes of decision makers are attributed more to luck as compared to bad outcomes. This asymmetry implies that decision makers get too little credit for their successes. The biases are exhibited by those individuals who make or would make the less prosocial choice for the group as decision makers, suggesting that a consensus effect may be shaping both the belief formation and updating processes. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10683-021-09731-w.
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    Aggregative games and oligopoly theory: short‐run and long‐run analysis
    Anderson, S ; Erkal, N ; PICCININ, D (Wiley, 2020-06-18)
    We compile an IO toolkit for aggregative games and use inclusive best reply functions to deliver oligopoly comparative statics and ranking of firms' actions and profits. Aggregative games apply to additively separable direct and indirect preferences, as well as generalized quadratic forms. The aggregative game structure delivers immediate consumer welfare results if demand functions have the IIA property. We close the model with a monopolistically competitive fringe to show strong neutrality properties for long-run equilibria. These properties underscore a unifying principle in the literature on merger analysis, privatization, Stackelberg leadership, and cost shocks.