Calendar

May
25
Thu
Colloquium: Sabine Neuhofer – University of Vienna @ CESS Seminar Room
May 25 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Title
Need-based Justice in Social Exchange Networks

Abstract
We examine experimentally whether heterogeneous needs affect the distribution of outcomes in small and negatively connected exchange networks. We operationalize an individual need as a threshold of points an actor has to obtain in a negotiation in order to earn additional income in a subsequent real effort task. In contrast to previous exchange network experiments, an offer is not restricted to the negotiating dyad but can allocate the endowment to all network members. Contrary to the standard rational choice assumption, our results show that the majority of accepted offers fulfill the needs of all actors in the network. Moreover, the network structure, the ranking of needs, as well as the interaction of these factors, significantly affect the distribution of resources in the network.

May
26
Fri
Seminar: David Gill – Purdue University @ Nuffield College, Butler Room
May 26 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Title:
Using Goals to Motivate College Students: Theory and Evidence from Field Experiments

Abstract:
Will college students who set goals for themselves work harder and perform better? In theory, setting goals can help time-inconsistent students to mitigate their self-control problem. In practice, there is little credible evidence on the causal effects of goal setting for college students. We report the results of two field experiments that involved almost four thousand college students in total. One experiment asked treated students to set goals for performance in the course; the other asked treated students to set goals for a particular task (completing online practice exams). We find that performance-based goals had no discernible impact on course performance. In contrast, task-based goals had large and robust positive effects on the level of task completion, and task-based goals also increased course performance. Further empirical analysis indicates that the increase in task completion induced by setting task-based goals caused the increase in course performance. We also find that taskbased goals were more effective for male students. We develop new theory that reinforces our empirical results by suggesting two key reasons why task-based goals might be more effective than performance-based goals: overconfidence and uncertainty about performance. Since task-based goal setting is low-cost, scaleable and logistically simple, we conclude that our findings have important implications for educational practice and future research.

May
31
Wed
Seminar: Bart Wilson – Chapman University @ Nuffield College, Butler Room
May 31 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Title
The Meaning of Property in Things (link to the paper)

Abstract
What is property, and why does our species happen to have it? In this paper I explore how Homo sapiens acquires and cognizes the custom of property and why this might be relevant to understanding how property works in the 21st century. I first support the claim that property is a universal and uniquely human custom and then I argue that humans locate the meaning of property within a thing. Using philosophy of property law and actual property disputes, I also explain (a) how my theory generates a testable hypothesis, (b) how the bundle of sticks metaphor inverts how we cognize property, and (c) how social scientists can no longer think about property as an external constraint imposed upon an individual.

Jun
7
Wed
Seminar: Catherine Hafer – New York University
Jun 7 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Title
TBA

Abstract
TBA

Jun
12
Mon
Colloquium: Jasmine Bhatia @ CESS Meeting Room
Jun 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Title
Strongmen or Technocrats? A Conjoint Experiment Testing Leadership Preferences in Afghanistan

Abstract
New democracies beset by political violence often opt for political settlements that draw informal power brokers and former combatants into formal leadership positions. However, there is little empirical evidence about how these political settlements are viewed by the public, and to what extent they may impact the political legitimacy of the state. Drawing from an original dataset from Afghanistan, this study uses conjoint analysis to estimate leadership preferences in three provinces. The findings suggest that, contrary to prevailing beliefs about the appeal of traditional leaders or military strongmen, Afghans strongly prefer leaders who are young and highly educated.

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