Working Papers:

+ Preferences for the Resolution of Uncertainty and the Timing of Information

[45-min presentation]

Revision Requested, Journal of Economic Theory


If it has happened/ you want to know it sooner./ Otherwise, you’ll wait.

We present results from a laboratory experiment designed to identify preferences over the resolution of uncertainty and timing of non-instrumental information acquisition in a rich choice set. We test theoretical predictions along three dimensions: early vs. late resolution, one-shot vs. gradual, and positive vs. negative skew. Treatments vary whether the outcome previously has been determined, as in an information structure, or is determined later, as in a compound lottery. We find that individuals prefer to delay uncertainty resolution when the outcome has not been determined and prefer to expedite uncertainty resolution when the outcome has already occurred. We find no evidence of an aversion to gradual resolution in either context.


+ Timing of Communication

with Puja Bhattacharya and Arjun Sengupta         [Instructions] [30-min presentation]

Revision Requested, The Economic Journal


Promises are good/ but cooperation fades./ Reports are better.

We experimentally demonstrate that a communication regime where a worker communicates about his intended effort is less effective in i) soliciting truthful information, and ii) motivating effort, than a regime where he communicates about his past effort. Our experiment uses a real-effort task, which additionally allows us to demonstrate the effects of communication on effort over time. We show that the effects of ex-ante promises are short-lived as compared to ex-post communication. Our results reveal that the timing of communication is a critical feature that merits attention in the design of mechanisms for information transmission in strategic settings.


+ Teams Promise But Do Not Deliver

with Puja BhattacharyaJohn Kagel, and Arjun Sengupta            [Instructions] [20-min presentation]

Revision Requested, Games and Economic Behavior


People will promise./ It makes them cooperate./ But don’t trust a group!

The literature on pre-play communication suggests people fulfill promises because doing so avoids guilt. Our results indicate this conclusion does not apply to team decision makers. In our experiment, individuals and teams participate in a hidden-action trust game with and without pre-play communication. Both make non-binding promises to cooperate at the same rate, but individuals live up to their promises while teams do not. Teams first decide on their action and use non-binding communication to support their chosen action. Teams and individuals receiving non-binding communication generally trust promises and choose to cooperate, and do so at similar rates.


+ Dynamic Risk Preferences Under Realized and Paper Outcomes

Revision Requested, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization


More risk after wins/but play safe after losses./Realized and paper.

We conduct a large-scale test of dynamic risk preferences. Using the bomb risk elicitation task, we find evidence of the reinforcement effect–individuals take on more risk after a gain and take on less risk after a loss. Furthermore, we exogenously vary whether these outcomes are “realized” or on paper, according to the distinction put forth by Imas (2016). We find little difference in the responses to realized and paper outcomes in this domain.


Works in Progress:

+ A Systematic Test of the Independence Axiom

with Ritesh Jain

Independence fails/But not due to certainty./It’s the opposite!

+ Randomization Across Domains: Testing Theories of Probability Matching and Convex Preferences

with Marina Agranov and Paul J. Healy

People randomize./ Theories can’t explain it./ Is it a heuristic?

+ Preferences Over Decision Rules

with John Rehbeck

Agree with a rule/But then choices violate./Which preference wins?

+ Explaining Conditional Cooperation in Repeated Public Goods Games

with Paul J. Healy,         [20-min presentation]

Contributions fall/ in repeated PG games./ It’s guilt aversion.

+ Testing the Axiomatic Foundation of Risky Intertemporal Choice

Does DEU hold/ without present certainty?/ Let’s test axioms.

+ How Randomization Impacts Response Times

with Ian Krajbich

Indifference is slow./Does flipping a coin speed up?/When might it help you?