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Experiments to test a bargaining game for reducing pollution

The purpose of this project is to test a bargaining game developed by Saborio-Rodriguez, Kwasnica and Shortle (2013) using experiments in a laboratory. In the game an environmental agreement to deal with water pollution is negotiated among three players located along a river. Negotiation leads to social optimum reduction in emission accompanied by a set of monetary transfers.


Positional Concerns among the Poor: Does Reference Group Matter? Evidence from Survey Experiments

Abstract: Previous research studies suggest a lower degree of positional concerns among people from poor countries. Yet the evidence is limited and most often builds on the assumption that people's reference groups are the same across all individuals. We conduct a survey experiment in urban Ethiopia that is modified to include multiplicity of reference groups. We estimate positional concerns considering various reference groups to test whether the low positional concerns found in the literature are due to misspecification of the reference groups.


    Curbing coca cultivation in Colombia — A framed field experiment

    This paper investigates the efficiency of carrot and stick policies to reduce investment in coca cultivation in rural Colombia. To measure behavioral responses to anti-drug policies, we conducted a framed field experiment with farmers living in one of the most important coca growing areas. Our experimental design allows identifying heterogeneous producer types and measuring their behavioral response to carrots and sticks. We provide an example on how knowledge on distribution types can be used to design an optimal anti-drug policy.


      Conditional cooperation and disclosure in developing countries

      Understanding the motivations behind people’s voluntary contributions to public goods is crucial for the broader issues of economic and social development. By using the experimental design of Fischbacher, Gächter, and Fehr (2001), we investigate the distribution of contribution types in two developing countries with very high collectivism rating – Colombia and Vietnam – and compare our findings with those previously found in developed countries.


        Group decision making under risk: An experiment with student couples

        In an experiment, we study risk-taking of cohabitating student couples, finding that couples’ decisions are closer to risk-neutrality than single partners’ decisions. This finding is similar to earlier experiments with randomly assigned groups, corroborating external validity of earlier results.


        Climate negotiations under scientific uncertainty

        How does uncertainty about “dangerous” climate change affect the prospects for international cooperation? Climate negotiations usually are depicted as a prisoners’ dilemma game; collectively, countries are better off reducing their emissions, but self-interest impels them to keep on emitting. We provide experimental evidence, grounded in an analytical framework, showing that the fear of crossing a dangerous threshold can turn climate negotiations into a coordination game, making collective action to avoid a dangerous threshold virtually assured.


        Social Background, Cooperative Behavior, and Norm Enforcement

        Studies have shown that there are differences in cooperative behavior across countries. Furthermore, differences in the use and the reaction on the introduction of a norm enforcement mechanism have been documented in cross-cultural studies, recently. We present data which prove that stark differences in both dimensions can exist even within the same town. For this end, a unique data set was created, based on public goods experiments conducted in Cape Town, South Africa.


        Experimentos de Campo y Economía del Desarrollo

        En el capítulo trata los experimentos de campo en el marco de la economía del desarrollo. A pesar de que el grueso de nuestra experiencia y la mayoría de nuestros ejemplos provienen de América Latina, hemos tratado de preparar un texto cuya aplicabilidad trascienda este contexto geográfico.


        Should we tax or let firms trade emissions? An experimental analysis with policy implications for developing countries

        In this paper we use laboratory experiments to test the theoretical predictions derived by Villegas-Palacio and Coria (2010) about the effects of the interaction between technology adoption and incomplete enforcement. They show that under Tradable Emissions Permits (TEPs), and in contrast to taxes, the fall in permit price produced by adoption of environmentally friendly technologies reduces the benefits of violating the environmental regulation at the margin and leads firms to improve their compliance behavior. Moreover, when TEPs are used, the regulator can speed up the diffusion of new technologies since the benefits from adopting the new technology increase with the enforcement stringency.


        The Effect of Ambiguous Risk and Coordination on Farmer´s Adaptation to Climate Change-A Framed Field Experiment

        The risk of losses of income and productive means due to adverse weather can differ significantly among farmers sharing a productive landscape, and is of course hard to estimate, or even “guesstimate” empirically. Moreover, the costs associated with investments in reduced vulnerability to climatic events are likely to exhibit economies of scope. We explore the implications of these characteristics on farmer's decisions to adapt to climate change using a framed field experiment applied to coffee farmers in Costa Rica. As expected, we find high levels of risk aversion, but even using that as a baseline, we further find that farmers behave even more cautiously when the setting is characterized by unknown or ambiguous risk (i.e. poor or non-reliable risk information). Secondly, we find that farmers, to a large extent, coordinated their decisions to secure a lower adaptation cost, and that communication among farmers strongly facilitated coordination.


        Saving lives versus life-years in rural Bangladesh: an ethical preferences approach

        Using a random sample of individuals in rural Bangladesh, this paper investigates people's ethical preferences regarding relative values of lives when it comes to saving lives of individuals of different ages. By assuming that an individual has preferences concerning different states of the world, and that these preferences can be described by an individual social welfare function, the individuals' preferences for life-saving programs are elicited using a pair-wise choice experiment involving different life-saving programs.


        Choice Experiments in Enviromental Impact Assessment: The Toro 3 Hydroelectric Project and the Recreo Verde Tourist Center in Costa Rica

        Choice experiments, a stated preference valuation method, are proposed as a tool to assign monetary values to environmental externalities during the ex-ante stages of environmental impact assessment. This case study looks at the impacts of the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity’s Toro 3 hydroelectric project and its affects on the Recreo Verde tourism center in San Carlos, Costa Rica.


        A choice experiment on coca cropping

        From 1997 to 2005, an astonishing 5200 million USD was invested to reduce cocaine production in Colombia, the world's main cocaine producer. However, little is known about the effectiveness of policies targeting coca cultivation. This paper uses a survey-based experiment to evaluate the effects of the two main policies: eradication and alternative development programs.


        Farmers’ Choice between Public Goods and Agricultural Extension Packages in Ethiopia: A Stated Preference Analysis

        Currently, there is a general dichotomy in rural development policies. This dichotomy between extension-driven adoption of modern inputs on the one hand, and community-driven local public goods on the other hand, is particularly evident in the highlands of Ethiopia. Despite the obvious trade-offs between these two approaches, the target populations seldom get the chance to express their preferences for them.


        Does Relative Position Matter in Poor Societies? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Rural Ethiopia

        The authors investigated attitudes toward positionality among rural farmers in northern Ethiopia, using a tailored two-part survey experiment. On average, they found positional concerns neither in income per se, nor in income from aid projects among the farmers. These results support the claim that positional concerns are correlated with absolute level of income of a country.


        Paying the Price of Sweetening Your Donation: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

        Using a natural field experiment in a recreational site, a public good almost fully dependent on voluntary donations, the authors explored the crowding-out effect of gift rewards. First, they investigated whether receiving a map in appreciation of a donation crowded out prosocial behavior and found no significant effect of giving the map. Second, they explored the effect of adding the map to a treatment designed to increase donations. Interestingly, when the gift was combined with their attempt to trigger reputational and self image motives, the probability of donating decreased significantly, compared to the social reference treatment alone.


        Small but Effective Moves towards A Greener China

        Ten years ago, there was hardly any environmental enforcement by civil society or by the markets in China. In 1999–2000, the World Bank collaborated on a pilot programme with the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, Nanjing University, the Zhenjiang Environmental Protection Bureau in Jiangsu Province and the Hohhot Academy of Environmental Sciences in Inner Mongolia.


        The Effect of Risk, Ambiguity, and Coordination on Farmers´Adaptation to Climate Change: A Framed Field Experiment

        The authors used a framed field experiment with coffee farmers in Costa Rica after tropical storm Alma to explore how farmers react to different levels of risk to income and productive means from extreme weather under measurable and unmeasurable uncertainty. They also examined whether investment costs to reduce vulnerability exhibit economies of scope.


        Conditional Cooperation and Social Group: Experimental Results from Colombia

        There is growing interest in understanding whether behavior is the same across locations. By holding cross- and within-country dimensions constant (in contrast to previous studies on cross-group comparisons of conditional cooperation), the authors investigated cooperative behavior between social groups in the same location. Their results reveal significantly different cooperation behavior, suggesting that different social groups exhibit differences both in terms of composition of types and extent of conditional cooperation.


        Small but Effective Moves towards A Greener China

        Ten years ago, there was hardly any environmental enforcement by civil society or by the markets in China. In 1999–2000, the World Bank collaborated on a pilot programme with the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, Nanjing University, the Zhenjiang Environmental Protection Bureau in Jiangsu Province and the Hohhot Academy of Environmental Sciences in Inner Mongolia.