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Effort is not a monotonic function of skills: Results from a global mobile experiment

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  • Grabiszewski, Konrad
  • Horenstein, Alex

Abstract

At the core of economic theory is the monotonicity hypothesis: an agent’s effort, as a function of their skills, is either non-decreasing or non-increasing, but not both. To test this hypothesis, we use data from Blues and Reds, a mobile app designed to conduct economic experiments that consists of a series of interactive puzzles. The sample includes 6,463 subjects from 141 countries. We measure subjects’ skills and effort levels using their response times. We replicate the same test 22 times. Surprisingly, each time we find that the optimal effort is not a monotonic function of skills but rather has a U-shape contradicting the monotonicity hypothesis.

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  • Grabiszewski, Konrad & Horenstein, Alex, 2020. "Effort is not a monotonic function of skills: Results from a global mobile experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 634-652.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:176:y:2020:i:c:p:634-652
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.05.011
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhi Li & Po-Hsuan Lin & Si-Yuan Kong & Dongwu Wang & John Duffy, 2021. "Conducting large, repeated, multi-game economic experiments using mobile platforms," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(4), pages 1-18, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monotonicity of choice; Effort; Skills; Experimental game theory; Mobile experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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