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Decision-making Procedures: A General Theory and Its Field Experimental Test

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  • Kirchsteiger, Georg
  • Aldashev, Gani
  • Sebald, Alexander

Abstract

It is a persistent finding in psychology and experimental economics that people's behavior is not only shaped by outcomes but also by decision-making procedures. In this paper we develop a general framework capable of modelling these procedural concerns. Within the context of psychological games we define procedures as mechanisms that influence the probabilities of reaching different endnodes. We show that for such procedural games a sequential psychological equilibrium always exists. Applying this approach within a principal-agent context we show that the way less attractive jobs are allocated is crucial for the effort exerted by agents. This prediction is tested in a field experiment, where some subjects had to type in data, whereas others had to verify the data inserted by the typists. The controllers' wage was 50% higher than that of the typists. In one treatment the less attractive typists' jobs were allocated directly, whereas in the other treatment the allocation was done randomly. As predicted, random allocation led to higher effort levels of the typists than direct appointment.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirchsteiger, Georg & Aldashev, Gani & Sebald, Alexander, 2009. "Decision-making Procedures: A General Theory and Its Field Experimental Test," CEPR Discussion Papers 7365, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7365
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mertins, Vanessa & Egbert, Henrik & Könen, Tanja, 2013. "The effects of individual judgments about selection procedures: Results from a power-to-resist game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 112-120.
    2. Henry Penikas & Yulia Titova, 2012. "Modeling Policy Response to Global Systemically Important Banks Regulation," HSE Working papers WP BRP 02/FE/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    3. Mertins Vanessa & Albert Max, 2015. "Does Participation Increase Outcome Acceptance? Evidence from a Power-to-take Experiment," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(6), pages 584-607, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Appointment procedures; Procedural concerns; Psychological game theory;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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