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Incentives to learn calibration : a gender-dependent impact

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Miscalibration can be defined as the fact that people think that their knowledge is more precise than it actually is. In a typical miscalibration experiment, subjects are asked to provide subjective confidence intervals. A very robust finding is that subjects provide too narrow intervals at the 90% level. As a result a lot less than 90% of correct answers fall inside the 90% intervals provided. As miscalibration is linked with bad results on a experimental financial market (Biais et al., 2005) and entrepreneurial success is positively correlated with good calibration (Regner et al., 2006), it appears interesting to look for a way to cure or at least reduce miscalibration. Previous attempts to remove the miscalibration bias relied on extremely long and tedious procedures. Here, we design an experimental setting that provides several different incentives, in particular strong monetary incentives ; i.e. that make miscalibration costly. Our main result is that a thirty-minute training session has an effect on men's calibration but no effect on women's.

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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number v08088.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:v08088

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Keywords: Miscalibration; overconfidence; incentives; gender effect.;

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  1. Biais, Bruno & Hilton, Denis & Mazurier, Karine & Pouget, Sébastien, 2004. "Judgmental Overconfidence, Self-Monitoring and Trading Performance in an Experimental Financial Market," IDEI Working Papers 259, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Cesarini, David & Sandewall, Orjan & Johannesson, Magnus, 2006. "Confidence interval estimation tasks and the economics of overconfidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 453-470, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Madiès, Thierry & Villeval, Marie Claire & Wasmer, Malgorzata, 2013. "Intergenerational attitudes towards strategic uncertainty and competition: A field experiment in a Swiss bank," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 153-168.

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