WORK IN PROGRESS
Time preferences and medication adherence: A field experiment with pregnant women in South Africa with Kai Barron, Mette Trier Damgaard and Lisa Norrgren
When do reminders work? Memory constraints and medical adherence with Kai Barron, Mette Trier Damgaard
The effectiveness of many health recommendations and treatment plans depends on the extent to which individuals follow them. For the individual, medication adherence involves an inter-temporal trade-off between expected future health benefits and immediate effort costs. Therefore examining time-preferences may help us to understand why some people fail to follow health recommendations and treatment plans. In this paper, we use a simple, unobtrusive real-effort task implemented via text message to elicit the time preferences of pregnant women in South Africa.
We find evidence that both our measured discount factor and time-inconsistency are predictive of self-reported adherence to the recommendation of taking iron supplements daily during pregnancy.
This suggests that patience plays a role in determining medication adherence patterns.
Reminders can successfully change behavior, but their effectiveness varies substantially. To understand when reminders work, we develop a theoretical model which decomposes reminders into three key mechanisms i) focusing attention, ii) providing information and iii) moral suasion. We test our model predictions in a field experiment sending reminders to increase iron supplement adherence to 4000 pregnant women in South Africa. We document a strong baseline demand for reminders, which increases further after exposure. Pure reminders and reminders with moral suasion increase stated adherence while informational reminders decrease adherence. A structural estimation guides our policy discussion.
Arbitrage Or Narrow Bracketing?
On Using Money to Measure Discounting with James Andreoni, Mike Kuhn, Silvia Saccardo and Yang Yang
If experimental subjects arbitrage against market interest rates when making intertemporal allocations of cash, the data will reveal nothing about subjects' discounting, only uncovering subjects' market interest rates. If subjects instead frame choices narrowly, they will plan to spend cash rewards when received, implying cash has properties similar primary rewards. We test arbitrage directly by forcing all transactions with subjects to go exclusively through their financial institutions via instant electronic transfers. If subjects wish to arbitrage, this should make it as easy and salient as possible. Our evidence contradicts arbitrage, and finds evidence of present bias, supporting the view that money payments in experiments can be treated as a primary reward.
Do multi price offers in supermarkets increase household food waste? with Milica Mormann
This research demonstrates how retail promotions can lead to overbuying of food items, resulting in an increase in household food waste. The results from a large-scale field experiment with the data from 40,000 perishable vegetable purchases from eight supermarkets across Sweden show that consumers exposed to multiple-unit offers (e.g., "2 for X") purchased more compared to those exposed to a single unit discount (e.g., "1 for X/2"). A follow-up survey showed that these additional items are subsequently less likely to be consumed, leading to an increase in household food waste. The effect of multiple-unit offers on purchased quantity are reduced when the savings compared to buying one unit are made salient or when a nudge reminds consumers to consider their consumption. These results provide important insights into factors that increase food waste, and to the power of retailers to negatively, and also positively, impact important societal and environmental causes.
Annoyance costs of reminders with Janna Ter Mer
In this study we replicate the findings by Damgaard and Gravert (2018) that sending reminders comes at a cost. In a large-scale field experiment, we vary the cadence of reminders for participating in a research study to understand how people form beliefs about reminder frequency.
Peer Evaluation in Tournaments with Martin Dufwenberg and Katja Görlitz
We want to win, but we also care about our reputation. We conduct a psychological game-theoretic analysis of the tradeoff between increasing ones chances of winning a tournament and not being identified as a cheater by fellow contestants. We extend the model by Dufwenberg & Dufwenberg (2018) on perceived cheating aversion to a multi-player setting with subjective performance evaluations. We then test the model predictions
in a lab experiment.
She Could Not Agree More: The Role of Failure Attribution in Shaping the Gender Gap in Competition Persistence with Manar Alnamlah
In competitive and high-reward domains such as corporate leadership and entrepreneurship, women are not only underrepresented but they are also more likely to drop-out after failure. In this study, we conducted a laboratory experiment to investigate the influence of attributing failure to one of the three causal attributions - luck, effort, and ability - on the gender difference in competition persistence. Participants compete in a real effort task and then their success or failure is attributed to one of three causal attributions. We find significant gender differences in competition persistence when failure is attributed to a lack of ability, with women dropping out more. On the contrary, when suggested that failure was due to lack of luck, women’s competition persistence after failure increases relative to men. We find no gender difference when failure is attributed to a lack of effort. Our findings have important implications for designing feedback mechanisms to reduce the gender gap in competitive domains.
Lightbulb Moments - Inertia in the retail electricity market
Attentive and active consumers that respond to prices and market signals are a key component of healthy markets. However, consumers’ electricity plan choices are highly persistent over time. I conduct a randomized controlled trial with a randomly drawn, representative sample of the Danish population to understand whether consumers are making rational choices in a well-functioning market or whether the observed inaction is a result of misinformation about the savings, hassle costs, or preferences. I can link the survey data to administrative data on contract choices, electricity consumption and demographics such as income, education and household characteristics for 200,000 representative Danes. This allows me to compare their intentions to switch to their actual switching decisions and how this is affected by information and hassle cost reduction.
Gender differences in submission strategies? A survey of early-career economists with Katrine Thornfeld Sørensen
We investigate whether the gender gap in economic publications can be explained by different submission strategies of male and female economists. We conduct an online survey among early-career economics faculty of top 50 institutions focusing on the submission trajectories of job market papers as well as personal and institutional characteristics. Our results suggest that there are no significant differences in submission strategies for this early-career sample.