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Mechanisms for Enhancing the Credibility of an Adviser: Prepayment and Aligned Incentives

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Author Info

  • Patt, Anthony G.

    (Harvard U)

  • Bowles, Hannah Riley
  • Cash, David W.

    (Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs)

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    Abstract

    We tested the effectiveness of prepayment for advice and aligned incentives as mechanisms for enhancing trust in unfamiliar advisers in decision-making under uncertainty. Participants were low-income Zimbabweans who played two rounds of the Monty Hall three-door game. In round 1, participants who purchased advice were significantly more likely to follow advice for how to win the game than were participants who received free advice. In round 2, the apparent effectiveness of advisers’ suggestions in round 1 moderated participants’ propensity to follow advice. If the round 1 advice appeared wrong, the credibility enhancing benefits of prepayment diminished. If the advice appeared right, the benefits of prepayment maintained. Hypotheses with regard to the benefits of aligned incentives received only weak support.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp06-010.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp06-010

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    1. Tilman Slembeck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2002. "Do Institutions Promote Rationality? An Experimental Study of the Three-Door Anomaly," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-21, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    2. Patt, Anthony, 2001. "Understanding uncertainty: forecasting seasonal climate for farmers in Zimbabwe," Risk, Decision and Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 105-119, June.
    3. Camerer, Colin F. & Hogarth, Robin M., 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Working Papers 1059, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    4. Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1988. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," Discussion Papers 808, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    5. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
    6. Claude Fluet & Paolo G. Garella, 1999. "Advertising and Prices as Signals of Quality in a Regime of Price Rivalry," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9903, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    7. Friedman, Daniel, 1998. "Monty Hall's Three Doors: Construction and Deconstruction of a Choice Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 933-46, September.
    8. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
    9. Richard H. Thaler & Eric J. Johnson, 1990. "Gambling with the House Money and Trying to Break Even: The Effects of Prior Outcomes on Risky Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(6), pages 643-660, June.
    10. Yaniv, Ilan, 2004. "Receiving other people's advice: Influence and benefit," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-13, January.
    11. Burnham, Terence & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L., 2000. "Friend-or-foe intentionality priming in an extensive form trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 57-73, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gino, Francesca, 2008. "Do we listen to advice just because we paid for it? The impact of advice cost on its use," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 234-245, November.
    2. Gino, Francesca & Shang, Jen & Croson, Rachel, 2009. "The impact of information from similar or different advisors on judgment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 287-302, March.
    3. Andrea Damm & Katharina Eberhard & Jan Sendzimir & Anthony Patt, 2013. "Perception of landslides risk and responsibility: a case study in eastern Styria, Austria," Natural Hazards, International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 69(1), pages 165-183, October.

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