David Masclet

French National Centre for Scientific Research, Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France

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Publications (82)29 Total impact

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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; 112. DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.002 · 1.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new experiment that explores gender differences in both performance and compensation choices. While most of the previous studies have focused on tournament vs. piece-rate schemes, the originality of our study consists in examining the gender gap in the context of a flat wage scheme. Our data indicate that females exert a significantly higher effort than men in fixed payment schemes. We find however no gender difference in performance under the tournament scheme, due to a combination of two effects. On the one hand, men more significantly increase their effort when switching from a flat wage to a tournament scheme. On the other hand, when switching from the flat wage to a tournament scheme, women have less margin to increase performance since their effort was already relatively high with a flat wage. We also find that females are more likely than males to choose a flat-wage scheme than a tournament. This gap however narrows dramatically when feedback on previous experience is provided.
    Journal of Economic Psychology 01/2015; 47. DOI:10.1016/j.joep.2015.01.003 · 1.21 Impact Factor
  • Vivian Lei, David Masclet, Filip Vesely
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    ABSTRACT: Trust is fragile. It is hard to build but easy to destroy. In this paper, we explore the fragility of trust in a stylized laboratory environment. We ask whether transgression outside a direct send-and-return relationship destroys trust and, if so, whether a competition against outsiders or an apology for misdeeds helps restore it. We find that transgression significantly reduces trust and that the broken trust can be greatly restored by group competition. Communication via an apology, impersonal or not, has an insignificant impact. By contrast, offering explanations for misbehavior is as effective as group competition.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 12/2014; 108. DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2014.09.001 · 1.01 Impact Factor
  • David L. Dickinson, David Masclet
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    ABSTRACT: Experimental studies have shown that sanctions effectively deter free riding within groups. However, the over-use of costly punishment may actually harm overall welfare. A main reason for over-punishment is that free-riders generate negative emotions that likely favor excessive punishments. In this paper we ask whether the venting of one's emotions in different ways can reduce the level of excessive punishment in a standard VCM-with-punishment environment while preserving the norm enforcement properties of punishment. We find that venting emotions reduces (excessive) punishment, and under certain conditions the net effect is an increase in final payoffs (i.e., welfare) to the group.
    Journal of Public Economics 11/2014; 122. DOI:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.10.008 · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Do individuals trained in law enforcement punish or reward differently from typical student subjects? We analyze norm enforcement behavior of newly appointed police commissioners in both a Voluntary Contribution Mechanism game and a Common Pool Resource game. Our experimental design includes treatments where a reward or sanction institution is exogenously imposed, as well as treatments with endogenous selection of the norm enforcement institution. Compared to a standard student-subject pool, police commissioners cooperate significantly more in both games. With exogenous institutions, police commissioners bear a higher burden of punishment costs than non-police subjects. When the norm enforcement institution is endogenous, all subjects vote more in favor of rewards over sanctions, but police subjects with some work experience are more likely to vote for sanctions. Police subjects also reward and sanction more than the others when the institution results from a majority vote.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 01/2014; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2441933
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    ABSTRACT: Do individuals trained in law enforcement punish or reward differently from typical student subjects? We analyze norm enforcement behavior of newly appointed police commissioners in both a Voluntary Contribution Mechanism game and a Common Pool Resource game. Our experimental design includes treatments where a reward or sanction institution is exogenously imposed, as well as treatments with endogenous selection of the norm enforcement institution. Compared to a standard student-subject pool, police commissioners cooperate significantly more in both games. With exogenous institutions, police commissioners bear a higher burden of punishment costs than non-police subjects. When the norm enforcement institution is endogenous, all subjects vote more in favor of rewards over sanctions, but police subjects with some work experience are more likely to vote for sanctions. Police subjects also reward and sanction more than the others when the institution results from a majority vote.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 01/2014; 126. DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2441700
  • Management Science 01/2014; 60(1):38-55. DOI:10.1287/mnsc.2013.1747 · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Gabin Langevin, David Masclet, Fabien Moizeau
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    ABSTRACT: We use data from the Trajectoires et Origines survey to analyze the labor-market outcomes of both second-generation immigrants and their French native counterparts. Second-generation immigrants have on average a lower probability of employment and lower wages than French natives. We find however considerable differences between second-generation immigrants depending on their origin: while those originating from Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey are less likely to be employed and receive lower wages than French natives, second-generation immigrants with Asian or Southern- and Eastern-European origins do not differ significantly from their French native counterparts. The employment gap between French natives and secondgeneration immigrants is mainly explained by differences in their education; education is also an important determinant of the ethnic wage gap. Finally we show that these differences in educational attainment are mainly explained by family background. Although the role of discrimination cannot be denied, our findings do point out the importance of family background in explaining lifelong ethnic inequalities.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 09/2013; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2342288
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    ABSTRACT: Le marché du travail offre de nombreux exemples de discrimination, tant au niveau des salaires que dans les recrutements. Cet article a pour objectif de contribuer à la littérature en mettant en évidence l’existence de pratiques discriminatoires à l’embauche dans le cadre d’une expérience en laboratoire en effort réel. Dans cette expérience, l’employeur (le principal) doit recruter un employé (l’agent) afin de réaliser un effort de production. Le principal résultat de cette étude est qu’en l’absence d’une information pertinente sur la productivité des agents, le principal fonde sa décision d’embauche sur des signaux tels que le sexe ou le niveau de diplôme de l’agent. Ces résultats traduisent l’existence d’une discrimination à l’embauche à l’égard des femmes. De plus, cette discrimination n’a pas pour origine un favoritisme intra-groupe et serait potentiellement de nature statistique. Nous montrons à travers cette expérience l’intérêt de l’usage des expérimentations en laboratoire comme outils pertinents afin de tester les mécanismes amenant à la discrimination et l’efficacité des actions visant à sa disparition.
    Revue d'économie politique 04/2013; 123:333-351. DOI:10.3917/redp.233.0333 · 0.06 Impact Factor
  • Revue française d économie 01/2013; XXVIII(2):121. DOI:10.3917/rfe.132.0121
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    David Masclet, Thierry Pénard
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    ABSTRACT: Feedback systems are claimed to be a crucial component of the success of electronic marketplaces like eBay or Amazon Marketplace. This article aims to compare the effects of various feedback systems on trust between anonymous traders, through a set of experiments based on the trust game. Our results indicate that trust is significantly improved by the introduction of a reputation feedback system. However, such mechanisms are far from being perfect and are vulnerable to strategic ratings and reciprocation. Our findings indicate that some changes in rating rules may significantly improve the efficiency of feedback systems, by avoiding strategic rating or reciprocation, and hence stimulate trust and trustworthiness among traders. In particular, a system in which individuals are not informed of their partner's rating decision before making their own decision provides better results, both in terms of trust and earnings.
    Applied Economics 12/2012; 44(35):4553-4573. DOI:10.1080/00036846.2011.591740 · 0.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates experimentally gender and race discrimination in hiring decisions through a simple controlled setting where employers can observe workers’ individual characteristics before recruiting them. In this paper, we explore whether discrimination, if any, is statistical or taste-based. For this purpose, we varied across our treatments the level of information available to the employer during the hiring stage regarding workers’ potential ability. When no relevant information on ability is provided, we observe both significant gender and race discrimination. The introduction of information on ability or competitiveness reduces discrimination significantly, suggesting that discrimination is mainly due to a lack of information rather than preferences. Our findings indicate however that the reduction in discrimination strongly depends on the nature of the additional information available.
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    SIMON CORNÉE, DAVID MASCLET, GERVAIS THENET
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    ABSTRACT: We experimentally examine to what extent long-term "lender—borrower" relationships mitigate moral hazard. The originality of our research lies in recruiting not only students but also commercial and social bankers. The opportunity to engage in bilateral long-term relationships mitigates the repayment problem. Lenders take advantage of their long-term situation by increasing their rates. Consequently, borrowers are incited to take more risk. Improving information disclosure ameliorates the repayment but does not incite lenders to offer more credits. Social bankers exhibit a higher probability of granting a loan and make fairer credit offers to borrowers than the other subject pools do.
    Journal of money credit and banking 08/2012; 44(5). DOI:10.2307/23256560 · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new experimental design that permits us to explore gender differences in both performance and compensation choice. We design a game in which participants are asked to choose between a flat wage and a tournament scheme and to perform under each scheme. Our data indicate that men and women of similar ability differ in both performance and compensation choice. Men are more likely to choose a tournament than a flat wage scheme. These findings reflect both higher women (men)’s concerns for equality (competitive preferences) and stronger men’s overconfidence. Our data also indicate significant gender differences in effort provision. Men increase significantly more their effort than women when moving from a flat wage to a tournament. More surprisingly, our data show that women provide significantly more effort than men under a flat wage scheme despite the absence of any penalty for shirking and the fastidious and boring dimension of the task. This gender gap remains highly significant after controlling for several individual and social preferences. As such, we believe that an interpretation in terms of gender differences in intrinsic motivation is the most consistent with all of our experimental findings.
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    ABSTRACT: We examine experimentally how and why voluntary contributions are affected by sequentiality. Instead of deciding simultaneously in each round, subjects are randomly ordered in a sequence which differs from round to round. We compare sessions in which subjects observe the contributions from earlier decisions in each round (“sequential treatment with information”) to sessions in which subjects decide sequentially within rounds, but cannot observe earlier contributions (“sequential treatment without information”). We also investigate whether average contributions are affected by the length of the sequence by varying group size. Our results show that sequentiality alone has no effect on contributions, but that the level of contributions increases when subjects are informed about the contributions of lower‐ranked subjects. We provide evidence that the so‐called “leadership effect” vanishes within rounds, and that group size has no significant impact on the average level of contributions in our sequential contribution games. (JEL C92, H41, D63)
    Economic Inquiry 07/2012; 50(3):567–584. DOI:10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00415.x · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Andreoni (1995) showed that pure framing effects may influence contribution in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms (VCM) by comparing a standard public goods game, called the positive frame condition (giving to the public good), with a negative frame condition (taking from the public good) where the subjects' choice to purchase a private good makes the other subjects worse off. This paper aims at testing the robustness of such framing effects in the context of Provision Point Mechanisms (PPM). Our approach is original in that it combines both framing and provision point dimensions by comparing maintaining (taking from the public good) and creating (giving to the public good) contexts using Provision Point experiments. Consistent with previous findings, we find that individuals tend to be less cooperative in the maintaining frame than in the creating frame. Our results also show that the framing effects are stronger under a PPM than under a VCM and increase with the provision point level. These results may have important consequences for the management of environmental resources.
    Ecological Economics 04/2011; 70(6):1200-1210. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.01.023 · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new experimental evidence of how framing affects decisions in the context of a lottery choice experiment for measuring risk aversion. We investigate framing effects by replicating the Holt and Laury’s (Am. Econ. Rev. 92:1644–1655, 2002) procedure for measuring risk aversion under various frames. We first examine treatments where participants are confronted with the 10 decisions to be made either simultaneously or sequentially. The second treatment variable is the order of appearance of the ten lottery pairs. Probabilities of winning are ranked either in increasing, decreasing, or in random order. Lastly, payoffs were increased by a factor of ten in additional treatments. The rate of inconsistencies was significantly higher in sequential than in simultaneous treatment, in increasing and random than in decreasing treatment. Both experience and salient incentives induce a dramatic decrease in inconsistent behaviors. On the other hand, risk aversion was significantly higher in sequential than in simultaneous treatment, in decreasing and random than in increasing treatment, in high than in low payoff condition. These findings suggest that subjects use available information which has no value for normative theories, like throwing a glance at the whole connected set of pairwise choices before making each decision in a connected set of lottery pairs. KeywordsRisk aversion–Lottery choice experiment–Framing effects–Experience effects–Incentive effects
    Experimental Economics 03/2011; 15(1):128-144. DOI:10.1007/s10683-011-9293-5 · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use skin conductance responses and self-reports of hedonic valence to study the emotional basis of cooperation and punishment in a social dilemma. Emotional reaction to free-riding incites individuals to apply sanctions when they are available. The application of sanctions activates a "virtuous emotional circle" that accompanies cooperation. Emotionally aroused cooperators relieve negative emotions when they punish free riders. In response, the free-riders experience negative emotions when punished, and increase their subsequent level of cooperation. The outcome is an increased level of contribution that becomes the new standard or norm. For a given contribution level, individuals attain higher levels of satisfaction when sanctioning institutions are in place.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 02/2011; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.1800733
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    ABSTRACT: We develop a model that accounts for the decay of the average contribution observed in experiments on voluntary contributions to a public good. The novel idea is that people's moral motivation is "weak." Their judgment about the right contribution depends on observed contributions by group members and on an intrinsic "moral ideal." We show that the assumption of weakly morally motivated agents lead to the decline of the average contribution over time. The model is compatible with persistence of over-contributions, variability of contributions (across and within individuals), and the "restart effect." Furthermore, it offers a rationale for conditional cooperation.
    Journal of Public Economic Theory 01/2011; 15(5). DOI:10.2139/ssrn.1752249 · 0.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We study antisocial preferences in simple money-burning tasks. A decision maker can choose whether or not to reduce another person’s payoff at an own cost. We vary across tasks the initial endowment of the decider and the victim. We find that most conventional expectations are refuted: Subjects burn more when inequality is advantageous than when it is disadvantageous. Equitable distributions are particularly prone to destruction. These effects are reversed, however, when the equivalent tasks are framed as creation instead of destruction.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 01/2011; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.1752335

Publication Stats

816 Citations
29.00 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2015
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
    • Emory University
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2004–2014
    • Université de Rennes 2
      Roazhon, Brittany, France
  • 2004–2012
    • Université de Rennes 1
      • Faculté des Sciences Economiques
      Roazhon, Brittany, France
  • 2009–2011
    • CIRANO
      Québec, Quebec, Canada
  • 2007
    • Université du Québec à Montréal
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2005
    • Tilburg University
      Tilburg, North Brabant, Netherlands
  • 2000
    • Purdue University
      West Lafayette, Indiana, United States