Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (J ECON BEHAV ORGAN )

Publisher: Elsevier

Journal description

The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization is devoted to theoretical and empirical research concerning economic decision, organization and behavior and to economic change in all its aspects. Its specific purposes are to foster an improved understanding of how human cognitive, computational and informational characteristics influence the working of economic organizations and market economies and how an economy's structural features lead to various types of micro and macro behavior, to changing patterns of development and to institutional evolution. Research with these purposes that explore the interrelations of economics with other disciplines such as biology, psychology, law, anthropology, sociology and mathematics is particularly welcome. The journal is eclectic as to research method; systematic observation and careful description, simulation modeling and mathematical analysis are all within its purview. Empirical work, including controlled laboratory experimentation, that probes close to the core of the issues in theoretical dispute is encouraged.

Current impact factor: 1.01

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2009 Impact Factor 1.081

Additional details

5-year impact 1.44
Cited half-life 9.10
Immediacy index 0.19
Eigenfactor 0.02
Article influence 1.16
Website Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization website
Other titles Journal of economic behavior & organization, Journal of economic behavior and organization
ISSN 0167-2681
OCLC 6974696
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print allowed on any website or open access repository
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on authors' personal website, or institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository, without embargo, where there is not a policy or mandate
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and the publisher exists.
    • Permitted deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate, may be required to comply with embargo periods of 12 months to 48 months .
    • Set statement to accompany deposit
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to journal home page or articles' DOI
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PubMed Central after 12 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 18/10/2013
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The paper models auctions with bidders who have reference dependent preferences and who may be loss averse. The endogenous reference point is defined as either the ex-ante or the interim expected price of the good, depending on whether bidders are naive or sophisticated. Equilibria with consistent reference points are shown to exist and are fully characterised. The model predicts that in equilibrium bidders both overbid and underbid in comparison to the standard risk neutral Nash equilibrium strategies.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 04/2015; 112.
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    ABSTRACT: In periods of high energy demand, utilities frequently issue “emergency” appeals for conservation over peak hours to reduce brownout risk. We estimate the impact of such appeals using high-frequency data on actual and forecasted electricity generation, pollutant emission measures, and real-time prices. Our results suggest a perverse impact; while there is no significant reduction in grid stress over superpeak hours, such calls lead to increased off-peak generation, CO2 emissions, and price volatility. We postulate that consumer attempts at load shifting lead to this result.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015; 110.
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    ABSTRACT: We design a laboratory experiment to test for image motives in a setting where decisions signal intelligence to a social audience. Money-maximizing behavior in the experiment sorts subjects by academic ability, as measured by performance on verbal analogy questions, across two levels of question difficulty. Sorting behavior is publicly revealed in our “audience” treatment, facilitating social signaling. In the “intrinsic only” treatment, the signaling mechanism was explained but decisions were kept private. In the control, there was no discussion of the signaling mechanism and all decisions were private. We find that intrinsic only subjects were significantly more likely to choose the high-type action than the control. In comparison, subjects were significantly less likely to choose the signal in the audience treatment, when doing so was publicly observed. The effects are more pronounced in males. The results suggest that social observation can demotivate individuals when decisions signal intelligence, despite evidence that the underlying trait was privately considered desirable. Audience effects have a less predictable impact on behavior in this setting as compared to the near universally positive findings from the altruism and trust literature. Our experimental design can be easily adapted to study image motives in a broad set of environments using revealed preferences.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015; 110.
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    ABSTRACT: I analyze the decision by ex-ante identical group members with private preferences who must choose between two simple power-sharing schemes: collegial rule and rotational rule. Under collegial rule, members simultaneously express their preferred decisions, and the final decision takes the form of a simple compromise: the average of expressed decisions. Under rotational rule, one member is given the full authority to make decisions for a period of time, but this role (potentially) rotates among members. I identify the trade off between preference aggregation and information aggregation, and its interaction with group size and the extent of preference alignment among members.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we show that collective action by environmentally aware/green consumers, who derive benefits from consuming environmentally cleaner products, can reduce pollution and improve social welfare in the same manner as pollution taxes or subsidies for reducing pollution can. We construct a model with two competing firms each producing a good of different environmental quality and two types of consumers with high and low preferences for environmental quality and characterize a benchmark equilibrium in which each consumer acts individually and disregards that his decision to buy a good may affect the level of pollution. We then show that, compared to the benchmark equilibrium, collective action by consumers with high preference who take into account the impact of their combined decision to buy a good on pollution will result in an equilibrium with not only lower pollution and higher social welfare, but also higher prices and profits for the firms.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: We present a series of experiments that investigates whether tendencies to acknowledge entitlement owing to effort and productivity are associated with within-society economic status. Each participant played a four-person dictator game under one of two treatments, under one initial endowments were earned, under the other they were randomly assigned. The experiments were conducted in the United Kingdom, and South Africa. In both locations we found that relatively well-off individuals make allocations to others that reflect those others’ initial endowments more when those endowments were earned rather than random; among relatively poor individuals this was not the case.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the yield improvements associated with the adoption of new farming technologies and modern inputs, technology diffusion amongst small-scale farmers in developing countries is slow. In this context, given the inherently risky environments in which farmers in the developing world operate, poor households are thought to be caught in a risk-induced poverty trap; specifically, poorer households that are unable to insulate themselves from consumption risk avoid these risks by opting for lower return, lower risk agriculture, and thus do not benefit from technological innovation. Using a series of laboratory experiments in a South African setting, this paper examines whether the provision of a framed index insurance product induces individuals to opt into riskier but potentially more profitable activities. To do so, we use a simple gambling task with real monetary prizes to elicit subjects’ risk preferences. Elicited risk preferences are applied to the uptake of credit and insurance in a series of framed insurance simulation games. Experiment participants are small-scale and subsistence urban food growers. Overall, the results of the experiment lend empirical weight to the poverty-trap argument. Firstly, a high degree of risk aversion is evident among the sample. Secondly, risk-averse individuals are more likely to opt into traditional agriculture (reflected as traditional seeds in the experiment) and are less likely to use modern farming inputs that require financing (high-yield varieties) despite the availability of insurance. The results indicate that the provision of index insurance is not a panacea for the problem of promoting technology diffusion to small-scale farmers in the developing world, but that residual production risk and basis risk must be considered in the contract design.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we investigate the possibility of sunspot equilibria to emerge from a process of learning and adaptation on agents’ beliefs. We consider both finite state Markov sunspots and sunspots in autoregressive form, and derive conditions for the existence of an heterogeneous equilibrium where only a fraction of agents condition their forecasts on the sunspot. We then show that when the fraction of agents conditioning their forecasts on a sunspot changes over time, under evolutionary dynamics, these restrictions need to evolve endogenously with population shares. We argue that such requirement questions the possibility of sunspot equilibria to emerge through a process of evolution and adaptation on agents’ beliefs: in order for a sunspot equilibrium to emerge, all agents must simultaneously coordinate on the same sunspot variable at the same time.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: We use an evolutionary model to simulate agents who choose between two options with stochastically varying payoffs. Two types of agents are considered: individual learners, who rely on trial-and-error methods, and social learners, who imitate the wealthiest sampled individual. Agents adapt to changing environments within one generation by using their respective learning strategy. The frequency of the agent types adapts between generations according to the agents’ acquired wealth. During the course of evolution, social learning becomes dominant, resulting in three major effects: First, for better or worse, the decisions of social learners are more exaggerated than those of individual learners. Second, social learners react with a delay to changes in the environment. Third, the behavior of social learners becomes more and more detached from reality. We argue that our model gives insights into economic systems and markets.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015; 58.
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    ABSTRACT: We introduce a model of super-exponential financial bubbles with two assets (risky and risk-free), in which fundamentalist and chartist traders co-exist. Fundamentalists form expectations on the return and risk of a risky asset and maximize their constant relative risk aversion expected utility with respect to their allocation on the risky asset versus the risk-free asset. Chartists are subjected to social imitation and follow momentum trading. Allowing for random time-varying herding propensity, we are able to reproduce several well-known stylized facts of financial markets such as a fat-tail distribution of returns and volatility clustering. In particular, we observe transient faster-than-exponential bubble growth with approximate log-periodic behavior and give analytical arguments why this follows from our framework. The model accounts well for the behavior of traders and for the price dynamics that developed during the dotcom bubble in 1995-2000. Momentum strategies are shown to be transiently profitable, supporting these strategies as enhancing herding behavior.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides evidence for the effectiveness of performance pay to government health workers and how performance pay interacts with demand-side information. In a controlled study covering 145 child day-care centers, I implement three separate treatments. First, I engineer an exogenous change in compensation for childcare workers from fixed wages to performance pay. Second, I only provide mothers with information without incentivizing the workers. Third, I combine the first two treatments. This helps us identify if performance pay and public information are complements or substitutes in reducing child malnutrition. I find that combining incentives to workers and information to mothers reduces weight-for-age malnutrition by 4.2 percentage points in 3 months, although individually the effects are negligible. This complementarity is shown to be driven by better mother-worker communication and the mother feeding more calorific food at home. There is also a sustained long-run positive impact of the combined treatment after the experiment concluded.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Several previous studies have highlighted the role of feedback mechanisms in the success of electronic marketplaces. This paper contends that the effectiveness of online feedback mechanisms passes through two channels, namely a ‘reputational’ effect that has been largely documented in the literature, but also a ‘(dis)approval’ effect that has received less attention. We attempt to isolate these two effects using an experimental approach. For this purpose, we compare two experimental feedback systems that differ in the set of information available to participants. In the first feedback system, each player can observe the feedback profile of the other party, whereas in the second feedback system, this information is private. Our findings indicate that both systems improve cooperation. However, we observe that private feedback is less efficient in enhancing trust and trustworthiness than systems in which rating profiles are observed by partners. This finding is due to both a reduction of the number of assigned ratings and a lower impact of private ratings on subsequent decisions. All these results suggest that even if social (dis)approval matters, rating observability–and thus reputation–remains critical to induce honest behavior and improve efficiency in markets characterized by imperfect information.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: We estimate the effect of stock market fluctuations on subjective wellbeing and mental health using Australian survey data over the period 2001-2012, which includes the Global Financial Crisis. A particular innovation of the paper is the use of a variety of satisfaction measures - overall, financial, employment - and the use of a stylised lifecycle investment model. These features, coupled with a robust identification strategy based on comparing survey respondents interviewed in the same quarter and location, allow us to better understand individual reactions to stock market changes. We find that stock market increases lead to a significant but modest increase in life satisfaction and mental health. This effect is driven by young and middle-aged males, and is stronger for those with direct exposure to the stock market. For young cohorts, the stock market index acts as a leading indicator of employment prospects, whilst for older cohorts it acts directly on financial satisfaction.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 02/2015;