Bernd Irlenbusch

Bernd Irlenbusch
University of Cologne | UOC · Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences

About

97
Publications
22,052
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3,680
Citations
Citations since 2017
14 Research Items
1363 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250

Publications

Publications (97)
Preprint
Full-text available
Artificial Intelligence (AI) increasingly becomes an indispensable advisor. New ethical concerns arise if AI persuades people to behave dishonestly. In an experiment, we study how AI advice (generated by a Natural-Language-Processing algorithm) affects (dis)honesty, compare it to equivalent human advice, and test whether transparency about advice s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Curbing bribery presents a global grand challenge. Increasingly bribery occurs across national jurisdictions. While behavioral approaches to study bribery have gained popularity to help design better anti-corruption policies, research has merely examined bribery within single nations. Here we provide first behavioral insights on cross-national brib...
Article
We contribute to the pressing question of how organizational design influences corporate wrongdoing by studying different decision structures — simultaneous vs. sequential — in experimental coordination games. Participants can report private information honestly, or lie to increase their own, as well as the group’s, payoff. In simultaneous decision...
Preprint
Full-text available
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a trusted advisor in people's lives. A new concern arises if AI persuades people to break ethical rules for profit. Employing a large-scale behavioural experiment (N = 1,572), we test whether AI-generated advice can corrupt people. We further test whether transparency about AI presence, a common...
Article
We report two experimental studies testing how a cognitive feeling of similarity affects dishonesty in individual and collaborative tasks when cheating hurts others. By employing a novel die-in-the-box paradigm with a total of 1080 subjects, we find that a sense of similarity (vs. dissimilarity) tends to increase dishonesty in settings highlighting...
Article
Full-text available
Der „Ethikbeirat HR-Tech“ beschäftigte sich 15 Monate lang mit dem Einsatz von künstlicher Intelligenz im Personalmanagement. Jetzt liegen die Handlungsempfehlungen vor.
Article
We analyze the effects of limited feedback on beliefs and contributions in a repeated public goods game setting. In a first experiment, we test whether exogenously determined feedback about a good example (i.e., the maximum contribution in a period) in contrast to a bad example (i.e., the minimum contribution in a period) induces higher contributio...
Article
We study how help can be fostered by means of a team bonus in the presence of rank-order tournaments. In a simple model we combine elements of relative rewards and a team bonus and study their effect on effort, help and sabotage. Quite intuitively the theoretical analysis suggests that team members help less as relative rewards increase. This probl...
Article
Full-text available
We studied gender diversity and performance in endogenously formed teams in a repeated teamwork setting. In our experiment, the participants (N = 168, 84 women and 84 men) chose whether to perform a cooperative task only with members of the own gender or in a mixed-gender team. We found that independent of the choice of team, in the initial period,...
Article
We incorporate a four-eyes-mechanism on the briber’s side into a bribery game. Our results are mixed. We find no effect of the mechanism in a one-shot setting, but a reduction of bribes when the setting is repeated.
Article
Full-text available
We set up a laboratory experiment to investigate systematically how varying the magnitude of outside options — the payoffs that materialize in case of a bargaining breakdown — of proposers and responders influences players' demands and game outcomes (rejection rates, payoffs, efficiency) in ultimatum bargaining. We find that proposers as well as re...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we examine the influence of two goal compensation schemes on lying behavior. Based on the die rolling task of Fischbacher/Föllmi-Heusi (2013), we apply an individual goal incentive scheme and a team goal incentive scheme. In both settings individuals receive a fixed bonus when attaining the goal. We find that under team goal incenti...
Article
Full-text available
How to hire voluntary helpers? We shed new light on this question by reporting a field experiment in which we invited 2859 students to help at the ‘ESA Europe 2012’ conference. Invitation emails varied non-monetary and monetary incentives to convince subjects to offer help. Students could apply to help at the conference and, if so, also specify the...
Article
Full-text available
We experimentally investigate how different information about others’ individual contributions affects conditional cooperators’ willingness to cooperate in a one-shot linear public goods game. We find that when information about individual contributions is provided, contributions are generally higher than when only average information is available....
Article
Economic interactions often take place in open communities, in which agents are free to leave a community to join a more preferred one. Tiebout (1956) conjectured that "voting with feet" might generate considerable efficiency gains since individuals with different preferences sort themselves into different communities that suit them most. We provid...
Article
In three studies (S1–S3; N = 256) we investigated whether moral hypocrisy (MH) is motivated by conscious impression management concerns or whether it is self-deceptive. In a dictator game, MH occurred both within participants (saying one thing, doing another; S1) and between participants (doing one thing when it is inconsequential, doing another th...
Article
We apply the die rolling experiment of Fischbacher and Föllmi-Heusi (2013) to a two-player tournament incentive scheme. Our treatments vary the prize spread. The data highlights that honesty is more pronounced when the prize spread is small.
Article
We investigate the influence of two popular compensation schemes on subjects’ inclination to lie by adapting an experimental setup of Fischbacher and Heusi (2008). Lying turns out to be more pronounced under team incentives than under individual piece-rates, which highlights a fairly neglected feature of compensation schemes. Moreover, when disenta...
Conference Paper
In his classic article “An Essay on Bargaining” Schelling (1956) argues that ignorance might actually be strength rather than weakness. We test and confirm Schelling’s conjecture in a simple take-it-or-leave bargaining experiment where the proposer can choose between two possible offers. Option A always gives the proposer a higher payoff than optio...
Article
In his classic article “An Essay on Bargaining” Schelling (1956) argues that ignorance might actually be strength rather than weakness. We test and confirm Schelling's conjecture in a simple take-it-or-leave-it bargaining experiment where the proposer can choose between two possible offers. Option A always gives the proposer a higher payoff than op...
Article
We analyze two team settings in which one member in a team has stronger incentives to contribute than the others. If contributions constitute a sacrifice for the strong player, the other team members are more inclined to cooperate than if contributions are strictly dominant for the strong player.
Article
Full-text available
Although relative performance schemes are pervasive in organizations, reliable empirical data on induced sabotage behavior are almost nonexistent. We study sabotage in repeated tournaments in a controlled laboratory experiment and observe that effort and sabotage are higher for higher wage spreads. Additionally, we find that also in the presence of...
Chapter
“Behaviour cannot be invented in the armchair. It has to be observed.” This statement by Reinhard Selten (1998, p. 414) is particularly true and relevant when designing organisations and incentive schemes with the aim to motivate employees and facilitate coordination and cooperation in firms. Experiments are a powerful tool to observe behaviour und...
Article
Full-text available
This high-stakes experiment investigates the effect on buyers of mandatory disclosures concerning an insurance policy's value for money (the claims ratio) and the seller's commission. These information disclosures have virtually no effect despite most buyers claiming to value such information. Instead, our data reveal that whether the subject is ge...
Article
The most famous element in Bentham’s theory of punishment, the Panopticon Prison, expresses his view of the two purposes of punishment, deterrence and special prevention. This paper inves-tigates Bentham’s intuition in a public goods lab experiment, by manipulating how much infor-mation on punishment experienced by others is available to would-be o...
Article
Full-text available
Economic and social interactions often take place in open communities but the dynamics of the community choice process and its impact on cooperation of its members are yet not well understood. We experimentally investigate community choice in social dilemmas. Participants repeatedly choose between a community with and an alternative without punishm...
Article
Team leaders often provide incentives for cooperation. A challenging question is how different incentive schemes and their actual choice by the leader shape the team’s culture and contribute to the team’s success. To shed light on this issue we investigate how a leader chooses between rewards or punishment in an experimental team setting and how te...
Preprint
Full-text available
Broken Windows: the metaphor has changed New York and Los Angeles. Yet it is far from undisputed whether the broken windows policy was causal for reducing crime. In a series of lab experiments we put one component of the theory to the test. We show that first impressions are causal for cooperativeness in three different institutional environments:...
Article
Corruption in the public sector erodes tax compliance and leads to higher tax evasion. Moreover, corrupt public officials abuse their public power to extort bribes from the private agents. In both types of interaction with the public sector, the private agents are bound to face uncertainty with respect to their disposable incomes. To analyse effect...
Article
Corruption in the public sector erodes tax compliance and leads to higher tax evasion. Moreover, corrupt public officials abuse their public power to extort bribes from the private agents. In both types of interaction with the public sector, the private agents are bound to face uncertainty with respect to their disposable incomes. To analyse effect...
Article
Corruption in the public sector erodes tax compliance and leads to higher tax evasion. Moreover, corrupt public officials abuse their public power to extort bribes from the private agents. In both types of interaction with the public sector, the private agents are bound to face uncertainty with respect to their disposable incomes. To analyse effect...
Article
Full-text available
Broken Windows: the metaphor has changed New York and Los Angeles. Yet it is far from undisputed whether the broken windows policy was causal for reducing crime. In a series of lab experiments we show that first impressions are indeed causal for cooperativeness in three different institutional environments: absent targeted sanctions; with decentral...
Article
We investigate an experimental representatives' trust game which resembles trust relationships between representatives of organisations. Personality traits of subjects are elicited by a personality questionnaire (Cattell's 16 PF-R) which is well established in personnel psychology. For the first time, personality traits are linked to actually obser...
Article
From an employer's perspective, a tournament should induce agents to exert productive activities but refrain from destructive ones. We experimentally test the predictive power of a tournament model which suggests that (within a reasonable framework) productive and destructive activities are influenced neither by the number of agents taking part in...
Article
In games of social learning individuals tend to give too much weight to their own private information relative to the information that is conveyed by the choices of others. In this paper we investigate differences between individuals and small groups as decision makers in information cascade situations. In line with results from social psychology o...
Article
Full-text available
In corporate contests, employees compete for a prize. Ideally, contests induce employees to exert productive effort which increases their probability of winning. In many environments, however, employees can also improve their own ranking position by harming their colleagues. Such negative incentive effects of corporate contests are largely unexplor...
Article
Withdrawal rights protect buyers in distance selling, for example when ordering via the Internet. After introducing such a law in Germany the proportion of returned goods drastically increased although most sellers had already offered a return option before. We experimentally investigate scenarios in which sellers can voluntarily offer a withdrawal...
Article
How to design compensation schemes to motivate team members appears to be one of the most challenging problems in the economic analysis of labour provision. We shed light on this issue by experimentally investigating team-based compensations with and without bonuses awarded to the highest contributors in teams.A purely team-based compensation schem...
Article
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) serve more than 5 million households in developing countries. A crucial variable for MFI schemes is the interest rate to be charged from borrowers. This paper studies the behavioural impacts of the repayment burden on repayment performance. In a laboratory experiment, we vary the amount a borrower group has to repay...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the fundamental patterns and determinants of human cooperation and the maintenance of social order in human societies is a challenge across disciplines. The existing empirical evidence for the higher levels of cooperation when altruistic punishment is present versus when it is absent systematically ignores the institutional competitio...
Article
Controllability is the decisive advantage of experimental research. Therefore this method suggests itself for investigating clear-cut hypothesis regarding the impact of managerial design issues on organisational behaviour. The current paper reviews selective experimental findings on behaviour under various incentives schemes. It is found that the e...
Article
Full-text available
The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) in the European Monetary Union shall deter countries from running excessive deficits by the threat of punishment, executed conditional on the outcome of a multistage voting procedure. We examine voting behaviour in an experiment which closely resembles the SGP’s design and find that the SGP enables larger countri...
Article
Microfinance programs provide poor people with small loans given to jointly liable self-selected groups. Follow-up loans provide incentives to repay. We experimentally investigate the influence of those features on strategic default. Each group member invests in an individual risky project, whose outcome is known only to the individual investor. Su...
Article
We experimentally investigate behavior in sequential one-shot transactions which are governed by non-binding contracts. In a second, incomplete information treatment, contracts are binding for some players. While according to traditional game-theoretical analysis no trade is expected in the first treatment, full trade should result in the latter. H...
Article
Full-text available
A simple principal agent problem is experimentally investigated in which a principal repeatedly sets a wage and an agent responds by choosing an effort level. The principal's payoff is determined by the agent's effort. In a first setting the principal can only set a fixed wage in each period. In a second setting the principal has the possibility to...
Article
In spring 2000, the British government auctioned off licences for Third Generation mobile telecommunications services. In the preparation of the auction, two designs involving each a hybrid of an English and a sealed-bid auction were considered by the government: A discriminatory and a uniform price variant. We report an experiment on these two des...
Article
Full-text available
Tournament incentive schemes offer payments dependent on relative performance and are intended thereby to motivate agents to exert productive effort. Unfortunately, however, an agent may also be tempted to degrade the production of his competitors in order to improve the own relative position. We investigate whether this sabotage problem is mitigat...
Article
Full-text available
The question of how mechanisms sustaining cooperation in social dilemmas may evolve is still not answered satisfactorily. In this paper we experimentally investigate the performance and the reception of endogenously chosen institutions for enhancing cooperation in public good provision. We find that the initially low acceptance of the punishment in...
Article
We investigate a simple buyer/seller transaction, which is governed by a non-binding contract. In a first treatment none of the two players has to adhere to the contract but in a second, incomplete information treatment the contract may be binding for the buyer. According to normative game theory no trade is expected in the first treatment, but ful...
Article
If organizations implement incentive systems in which rewards depend on relative rather than on absolute performance, activities are induced from at least two dimensions: (i) productive activities increase the own output of an agent whereas (ii) destructive ones (called sabotage) reduce the output of the competitors. Unfortunately, the sabotage dim...
Article
We build a simple model of trust as an equilibrium phenomenon, departing from standard "selfish" preferences in a minimal way. Agents who are on the receiving end of an offer to transact can choose whether to cheat and take away the entire surplus, taking into account a "cost of cheating." The latter has an idiosyncratic component (an agent's type)...
Article
Corruption in the public sector erodes tax compliance and leads to higher tax evasion. Moreover, corrupt public officials abuse their public power to extort bribes from the private agents. In both types of interaction with the public sector, the private agents are bound to face uncertainty with respect to their disposable incomes. To analyse effect...
Article
The impact of transparency on the extent of reciprocal behavior is investigated in a simple repeated gift exchange experiment where principals set wages and agents respond by choosing effort levels that, with a random component, determine principals’ payoff. It is shown that direct reciprocal behavior is much stronger in a more transparent situatio...
Article
We experimentally investigate a simple version of Holmström's career concerns model in which firms compete for agents in two consecutive periods. Profits of firms are determined by agents’ unknown ability and the effort they choose. Before making second-period wage offers firms are informed about first-period profits. In a different treatment firms...
Article
Since recently, rank order tournaments have become quite popular for providing incentives in employment relationships. However, the consequences of different tournament designs are widely unexplored. This paper experimentally investigates different tournament design alternatives along two dimensions: tournament size and prize structure. We find tha...
Article
We introduce and experiment the Fisherman’s Game in which the application of economic theory leads to four different benchmarks. Non-cooperative sequential rationality predicts one extreme outcome while the core (which coincides with the competitive market equilibrium) predicts the other extreme. Intermediate, disjoint outcomes are predicted by fai...
Article
Many renewable resources are in intergenerational common pools, exploited by one generation after another. In our experiment, the stock available to each generation depends on the extent of exploitation by previous generations and on resource's growth rate, which is either “slow” or “fast.” Subjects show altruistic restraint in exploitation, but no...
Article
The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) in the EU's economic and monetary union (EMU) aims to assure sound public finances in the EMU Member States by providing for sanctions against countries with excessive deficits. We experimentally examine the voting procedure of the SGP and find that the institutional rules are not at all satisfactory. As an insti...
Chapter
Es wird der Einfluss von impliziten Anreizen durch Karriereperspektiven auf das Leistungsverhalten von realen Agenten empirisch untersucht. Dies erscheint notwendig, da die Anreizeffekte zwar theoretisch belegt sind, ihre Relevanz für tatsächliches Verhalten von Arbeitnehmern jedoch noch weitgehend ungeklärt ist. ■ In einem experimentellen Arbeitsm...
Article
Full-text available
Essential characteristics of corruption are (1) reciprocity relationships between bribers and public officials, (2) negative welfare effects, and (3) high penalties when discovered. We separate the influences of these factors in an experiment. In a two-player game, reciprocation is economically inefficient through negative externalities. A control...
Article
The behavioural approach can be applied to both the design of an auction as well as to the implementation of a bidding strategy. This paper reports a case study in which we assisted a bidder in the German DCS1800 auction in the preparation for its bidding. We describe the various steps on this path: First, information that may be scattered in the c...
Article
We introduce and experiment the Fisherman's Game in which the application of economic theory leads to four different benchmarks. Non-cooperative sequential rationality predicts one extreme outcome while the core (which coincides with the competitive market equilibrium) predicts the other extreme. Intermediate, disjoint outcomes are predicted by fai...
Chapter
Die vorliegende Studie beschäftigt sich mit dem strategischen Einsatz von Turnier- und Teamentlohnungsschemata und dem sich daraus ergebenden Leistungsverhalten von Agenten. Der Studie liegen experimentell gewonnene Daten zu Grunde. Diese Herangehensweise wurde gewählt, weil die Methoden der experimentellen Wirtschaftsforschung besonders geeignet s...
Article
Full-text available
Corruption in the public sector erodes tax compliance and leads to higher tax evasion. Moreover, corrupt public officials abuse their public power to extort bribes from the private agents. In both types of interaction with the public sector, the private agents are bound to face uncertainty with respect to their disposable incomes. To analyse effect...
Article
We introduce the moonlightinggame. Player A can take money from or pass money to player B, who can either return money or punish player A. Thus, our game allows to study both positively and negatively reciprocal behaviour. One-shot experiments were conducted with and without the possibility of making non-binding contracts beforehand. We find that r...
Article
We introduce the moonlightinggame. Player A can take money from or pass money to player B, who can either return money or punish player A. Thus, our game allows to study both positively and negatively reciprocal behaviour. One-shot experiments were conducted with and without the possibility of making non-binding contracts beforehand. We find that r...
Article
We investigate the concept of mindreading in a trust–reciprocity experiment. Our results show that the Trustees send back more, the stronger the Trustors’ property rights are. But instead of strategically relying on this reciprocal behavior, Trustors tend to unilaterally implement a fair outcome.
Article
A huge amount of recent economic literature is devoted to the theory of incomplete contracts and to the analysis of what rational contractors can achieve given the exogenous incompleteness of contracts. But it is still an open question why contractors achieve much more than this in real life. A non binding contract can be seen as an extreme type of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The abstraction of a centralized memory which has been successfully introduced in shared memory multiprocessors has also been adopted for Distributed Shared Memory (DSM) in loosely coupled, network-based distributed systems as an adequate paradigm to handle shared state. In this paper a concept for a resilient distributed shared memory is elaborate...
Article
The abstraction of a centralized memory which has been successfully introduced in shared memory multiprocessors has also been adopted for Distributed Shared Memory (DSM) in loosely coupled, network-based distributed systems as an adequate paradigm to handle shared state. In this paper a concept for a resilient distributed shared memory is elaborate...
Conference Paper
Distributed shared memory (DSM) is an accepted paradigma for interprocess communication in loosely coupled distributed systems. Distributed object memory (DOM) is an abstraction of DSM which provides sharing of language-level objects. DOM systems which tolerate faults are highly necessary. In this paper, we present different fault-tolerant protocol...
Article
We describe three different treatments of a one-shot trust experiment in which we vary the outcome considered to be fair by inducing different entitlements. Subjects obtain property rights by performing a real effort, non- competitive working task. As expected, we find that the Trustees reciprocate significantly more the more the Trustors are entit...
Article
Enth. 8 Sonderabdr. aus verschiedenen Zeitschr. Erfurt, University, Habil.-Schr., 2004.