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. DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.01.002
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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides a simply theory to explain the impact of sanctions on a regime's policies and behavior. Sanctions are generally put to strip the target country from its available rents and weaken the government's stance against growing discontent in the population. We show however that sanctions may give legitimacy to an incumbent government by influencing the optimal level of religious ideology provided by the state and further stabilizing its grip to power and rents. While in a good state of nature sanctions build resilience as long as religious ideology among the population is strong, at bad times they compel the target country to move towards ideological moderation. In a world of asymmetric information, the target country always finds it optimal to send a signal that truly represents the prevailing state of nature in order to induce learning and reach a win–win outcome.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 03/2015; 111. DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2014.12.018
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted framed field experiments (FFEs) with local forest users in Tanzania. The harvest decisions are well below the individually optimal ones, suggesting significant non- pecuniary motivations. The participants display more pro-social behaviour than similar studies have shown, indicating that the forest specific framing influences participants’ behaviour. We tested three different conservation treatments: command and control (CAC), payment for environmental services (PES) and community forest management (CFM). CFM is as efficient as CAC in increasing pro-social forest use, despite not directly affecting the pecuniary gain. PES - as designed here - is the least effective treatment, but the results might be parameter sensitive. Women use forests more intensively than men, but are also more responsive to the treatments. The behavioural validity of the experiment is supported by strong correlation between behaviour in the experiment and in stated real life, while treatment validity cannot be tested directly. FFEs should become a supplement to traditional impact assessments (IA) of conservation policies, as it avoids many challenges that traditional IA methods face.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.03.007
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    ABSTRACT: Exploiting findings that losses loom larger than gains, studies have shown that framing manipulations can increase productivity of workers. Using a natural field experiment that exogenously manipulates wage bonuses within contests in a Chinese high-tech manufacturing facility, we show that how loss aversion affects worker behavior critically depends on the incentive scheme as well as the framing manipulation. Four sets of two identical teams competed against each other to win a bonus given to the team, within a set, with the higher average hourly productivity over the week. In each set, the bonus was framed as a reward or gain for one team and as a punishment or loss for the other. Average weekly productivity was slightly higher under the loss treatment, but this increase was statistically insignificant. However, the team under the loss treatment was at least 35% more likely to win the contest. As teams’ payoffs are based on relative productivity under a contest, framing effect is much stronger in terms of relative productivity. Finally, workers seemingly responded to the bonus by increasing the quality of production as well as quantity—defect rate fell as productivity increased.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.014
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    ABSTRACT: We experimentally study the effect of framing and size of large windfall gains on the redistribution of such gains. Randomly selected individuals from villages in Bangladesh were invited to take part in dictator experiments where they received endowments worth up to five months of average household income and were asked to distribute the endowment between themselves and other individuals. We manipulated whether dictators could GIVE to or TAKE from another individual (i.e. whether the endowment was allocated to the dictator or other individual) and whether the endowment was moderate (LOW) or very large (HIGH). We also provided dictators with the option to reconsider their original decision. We find that dictators allocate almost nine times more to other individuals under the TAKE than the GIVE frame when stakes are HIGH, even after they could reconsider their choices. In addition, we find that proportions allocated to other individuals dramatically drop when stakes increase under the GIVE but not the TAKE frame. The results provide novel evidence on the role of framing and stakes for pro-sociality.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.015
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    ABSTRACT: Exclusion has long been employed as a common disciplinary measure against defectors, both at work and in social life. In this paper, we study the effect of excludability - exclusion of the lowest contributor - on contributions in three different team production settings. We demonstrate theoretically and experimentally that exclusion increases contributions. Exclusion is particularly effective in production settings where the average or maximum effort determines team production. In these settings, we observe almost immediate convergence to full contribution. In settings where the minimum effort determines team production, exclusion leads to a large increase in contributions only if the value of the excluded individual's contribution to the public good is redistributed among the included individuals.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.03.005
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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the impact of rare event experience and observation on risk-taking. Matching detailed individual, household, and community-level surveys with behavioral field experiment data, we are able to further illuminate the mechanisms underlying individual risk taking after natural disasters. In addition to detailed survey data, individual propensity to undertake risk was elicited under a framed experiment setting from 192 respondents in flooded and 192 respondents in non flooded villages matched using propensity data. In the context of rural Punjab, Pakistan, we find that individuals who live in areas affected by the 2010 floods do exhibit higher risk aversion but there is significant individual variation. In addition, individuals who have personal experience of floods in the flooded villages exhibit lower risk aversion pointing towards a mitigating effect of personal experience. In multiple rounds of the experiment, we also find that the change in strategy between rounds depends on the severity of losses experienced and on the number of floods previously experienced in one's lifetime.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.03.001
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    ABSTRACT: Research suggests that the much higher HIV prevalence among young women in sub-Saharan Africa than among males of their age cohort is linked to the high prevalence of age-disparate sexual partnerships, and that incorrect beliefs about the relationship between age and HIV-risk are partly responsible. We report the results of an experiment that tests whether a simple, computer-based “HIV risk game” leads to better understanding of the relationship between HIV-risk and age among low-income South African adolescents than a version of the traditional “brochure approach” to dispensing information does. Our results are striking. The randomly-assigned treatment group, which receives repeated doses of information about the link between age and HIV-risk as feedback to their own responses to simple questions about relative HIV-risk, is significantly more likely to correctly identify which of a pair of hypothetical men or women of different ages is more likely to have HIV than the control group. Subjects in the treatment group answer, on average, 1.65 times as many questions about HIV risk and age correctly as those in the control group. We also find that subjects’ (particularly female subjects’) beliefs about HIV risk among women are less accurate than their beliefs about HIV risk among men. Finally, a follow-up survey with no significant difference in attrition rates between those in the treatment and control groups, shows substantially higher information retention among treatment subjects than among control subjects.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.020
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    ABSTRACT: We present a theory of discrete choice with information costs that supports deliberate stochastic choice. We use a unique experimental dataset to distinguish between errors arising from limitations on a decision maker's cognitive abilities and conscious disregard of information. Experimental evidence strongly favors the latter explanation. The data also allows us to directly estimate the shape and size of information costs for individual participants. Furthermore, in line with a dynamic extension of our theory, we find that accumulated knowledge of the environment improves response consistency.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.022
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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. DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2014.11.008
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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. DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2014.12.009
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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; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.011
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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; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.013
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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; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.012
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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; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.010
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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; DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.008