Catherine Eckel

Catherine Eckel
Texas A&M University | TAMU · Department of Economics

University of Virginia 1983

About

211
Publications
71,119
Reads
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11,278
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2012 - present
Texas A&M University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 1983 - June 2005
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (211)
Article
We examine giving to an in-group member relative to an out-group member in the third party (other-other) dictator game. Individuals are randomly assigned to real groups under a “weak” and a “strong” condition, and also assigned to artificial groups using the minimal group paradigm. We compare the effect of the type of group on subject’s allocation...
Article
Cronyism in firms arises when favoritism toward an ingroup affects personnel decisions. Two main motives underlie cronyism: profit, if an ingroup employee works harder; or altruism, if used to transfer resources. In a lab‐experiment trust game with naturally‐occurring groups, an employer (proposer) faces an employee (responder) who is or is not an...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted lab experiments at a historically black university (HBCU), replicating the design and procedure, but not the results, of previous stereotype threat studies. The experimental design has two factors: stereotype salience (priming) and the identity of the experimenter (a less-threatening black woman vs. a more-threatening white man). Unlik...
Article
We analyze the behavioral determinants of extreme punishment in intergroup conflict. Individuals contribute to team production by a tedious real effort task. Teams compete for a prize in asymmetric tournaments. Asymmetries are implemented as differences in the time available to complete the task and are generated by nature or by the decisions of on...
Article
How can charities solicit high-capacity donors to provide the funds for matching grants and leadership gifts? In conjunction with Texas A&M University’s fundraising organizations, we conducted a field experiment to study whether high-income donors respond to nonpersonal solicitations. We also designed the experiment to test the impact of allowing f...
Chapter
In this Chapter, we define, categorize and describe how Lab-in-the-Field experiments answer questions that concern specific subject populations or particular contexts, concentrating on economics-style experiments in particular. We discuss how to identify questions that require Lab-in-the-Field methods. We then explain how to develop a Lab-in-the-Fi...
Chapter
In this Chapter, we define, categorize and describe how Lab-in-the-Field experiments answer questions that concern specific subject populations or particular contexts, concentrating on economics-style experiments in particular. We discuss how to identify questions that require Lab-in-the-Field methods. We then explain how to develop a Lab-in-the-Fi...
Article
Full-text available
We offer a unified conceptual, behavioral, and econometric framework for optimal fundraising that deals with both synergies and discrepancies between approaches from Economics, Marketing, Psychology and Sociology. The purpose is to offer a framework that can bridge differences and open a dialogue between disciplines in order to facilitate optimal f...
Article
Full-text available
An influential result in the literature on charitable giving is that matching subsidies dominate rebate subsidies in raising funds. We investigate whether this result extends to ‘unit donation’ schemes, a popular alternative form of soliciting donations. There, the donors’ choices are about the number of units of a charitable good to fund at a give...
Article
We use “real donation” laboratory experiments to compare independent fundraising, where donation requests from different charities arrive sequentially to potential donors, with coordinated fundraising, where donation requests from different charities arrive simultaneously. We find that coordinated fundraising generates significantly larger total do...
Article
Full-text available
We address gender differences in leader effectiveness and followers’ perceptions of leaders’ effectiveness. Our experimental design removes gender-linked factors that might affect leadership success, such as risk-taking and competitiveness. We employ a repeated weakest-link coordination game. Subjects first complete 10 periods without a leader, and...
Article
We examine the impact of perceived worthiness and financial self‐interest on charitable giving. Both participants and recipients come from a low‐income, predominantly African‐American community in the United States. To examine this issue, we introduce a “Comparative Dictator Game,” where participants make dictator allocations for four possible reci...
Article
Full-text available
Charities operate at different levels: national, state, or local. We test the effect of the level of the organization on charitable giving in a sample of adults in two Texas communities. Subjects make four charitable giving “dictator game” decisions from a fixed amount of money provided by the experimenter. Three decisions target different charitab...
Article
In many principal-agent settings, the effort provided by the agent benefits a third party. In these settings, the quality of the work is determined, at least in part, by pro-social motivations. We present lab experiments that utilize a new three-player trust game to examine one such setting, care provision. Players include a principal, an agent, an...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a strategic element into the dictator game by allowing recipients to select their dictator. Recipients are presented with the photographs of two dictators and the envelopes containing their allocations, and are then asked to select which dictator’s gift they would like to receive. The recipient is paid the contents of the enve...
Article
Full-text available
We examine the impact of social distance in dictator game giving. The study is conducted in a field setting with high stakes (two days’ wages). The sample is a representative sample from eleven low-income Mexican villages. Subjects make multiple dictator decisions simultaneously, in a comparative dictator game. We show the relationship between soci...
Article
Several studies present evidence of correlations between prenatal testosterone exposure measured with the 2D:4D ratio and behaviors such as pro-social behavior, risk and patient attitudes, and self-employment. Individuals exposed prenatally to higher levels of testosterone have lower levels of risk aversion, higher levels of patience and invest mor...
Article
We reinvestigate the question first posed by Glaeser et al. (2000): Do survey measures about trust predict actual trusting behavior? This important study established that the behavior in an incentivized trust game is not correlated with the responses to the most widely used survey measures of trust. We conduct a replication and a reinvestigation of...
Article
Full-text available
The Holt and Laury (American Economic Review, 92(5), 1644–1655, 2002) mechanism (HL) is the most widely-used method for eliciting risk preferences in economics. Participants typically make ten decisions with different variance options, with one of these choices randomly chosen for actual payoff. For this mechanism to provide an accurate measure of...
Article
Several studies have shown a relationship between the stocks of migrants and country-level investment in the home country; however the mechanism through which this relationship operates is still unexplored. We use a field experiment in which participants who are recent immigrants send information about risky decisions to others in their social netw...
Article
We conduct a framed field experiment in two Dallas neighborhoods to examine how common identity affects individual contributions to local public goods. The participants’ common identity is primed to make neighborhood membership salient before individuals make donations to local non-profit organizations. We find that the identity treatment is sensit...
Article
Eckel and Füllbrunn (2015) report a striking gender effect in experimental asset markets: Markets with only men produce substantial price bubbles while markets with only women sometimes produce negative bubbles. A possible explanation might be that common expectations about the behavior of men and women in a market drive the bubble formation. If we...
Book
Full-text available
Political trust – of citizens in government, parliament or political parties – has been centre stage in political science for more than half a century, reflecting ongoing concerns about the legitimacy of representative democracy. This Handbook offers the first truly global perspective on political trust and integrates the conceptual, theoretical, m...
Article
Big data, that is, data that are byproducts of our lives rather than designed for research purposes, are the newest of the information highway innovations. One of the important challenges to social and behavioral science data collection, curation, and dissemination for the foreseeable future is to link diverse forms of data in a way that is cumulat...
Article
We reinvestigate the question first posed by Glaeser, Laibson, Scheinkman and Soutter (2000, GLSS hereafter): What is the best measure of trust for predicting trusting behavior? This important study, cited over 2,100 times, established that the behavior in the investment game, an incentivized measure of trust, is not correlated with the responses t...
Article
Risky Curves: On the empirical failure of expected utility theory, Daniel Friedman , R. Mark Isaac , Duncan James and Shyam Sunder . Routledge, 2014, xiii + 137 pages. - Volume 32 Issue 3 - Catherine C. Eckel
Article
Full-text available
When groups compete for resources, some groups will be more successful than others, forcing out less successful groups. Group-level selection is the most extreme form of group competition, where the weaker group ceases to exist, becoming extinct. We implement group-level selection in a controlled laboratory experiment in order to study its impact o...
Data
Contribution stage. It is the same for each treatment. (TIF)
Data
Information screen after the first block for Group Extinction and Group Comparison Low Earning Groups. In both treatments subjects are given the same information. Only in the Group Extinction treatment do those groups exit the experiment. (TIF)
Data
Percentage of Group Contributions in the First Block broken out by treatment. Standard error bars are overlaid on the figure. (TIF)
Data
Distributions of decisions across the First Block (periods 1–10). The vertical axis indicates the percentage of contributions to the public good. The horizontal axis indicates the amount of the contribution to the public good. Values at the extreme left indicate zero contributions. Values at the extreme right indicate contributing everything. (TIF)
Data
Distributions of decisions across all 20 periods. The vertical axis indicates the percentage of contributions to the public good. The horizontal axis indicates the amount of the contribution to the public good. Values at the extreme left indicate zero contributions. Values at the extreme right indicate contributing everything. (TIF)
Data
Comparison of Intact Groups Across Block 1 and Block 2. A comparison of the performance of intact groups that played both in Block 1 (horizontal axes) and Block 2 (vertical axes). Any marker above the 45-degree dashed line represents a group that contributes more in the second block than in the first, and the opposite for markers below the line. No...
Data
Information screen after the first block for Individual Extinction Low Earner. (TIF)
Data
P-values for Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney tests for pairwise treatment differences. The comparisons are for all 20 periods, the first block and the second block. Each comparison includes contributions and earnings information. In the table BSL = Baseline; GC = Group Comparison; IE = Individual Extinction; and GE = Group Extinction. (PDF)
Data
Percentage of Group Contributions in the Second Block broken out by treatment. Standard error bars are overlaid on the figure. (TIF)
Data
Distributions of decisions across the Second Block (periods 11–20). The vertical axis indicates the percentage of contributions to the public good. The horizontal axis indicates the amount of the contribution to the public good. Values at the extreme left indicate zero contributions. Values at the extreme right indicate contributing everything. (TI...
Data
Disaggregated Plots of Baseline data. We use data from 2 Baseline experiments: (i) Baseline with surprise restart (10 + 10 rounds: 6 independent group observations) and (ii) Baseline repeated for 20 rounds (7 independent group observations). Apart from the difference in period 11 we do not find statistically significant differences between them (se...
Data
Information screen after the first block for Individual Extinction High Earner. (TIF)
Data
Information screen after the first block for Group Extinction and Group Comparison High Earning Groups. In both treatments subjects are given the same information. (TIF)
Data
Details about Experimental Design. (PDF)
Data
Individual Level Regressions (Panel Random-effects generalized least squares). An additional control for the period is included. Baseline treatment is the omitted category. (PDF)
Data
Averages by groups across periods for the baseline treatment. The first part of the table indicates the total average MUs given by the group (out of a possible 200 MUs that could be given in each period). The second part of the table presents Wilcoxon rank-sum tests between the Baseline treatments. (PDF)
Data
Average contributions by Winners and Losers. Average percentage contributions by individuals are plotted for each period. 95 percent confidence intervals are plotted separately for each treatment and type of individual. The data are for the first Block of data. Ex post we know who remained in the experiment and who did not. We use this information...
Data
Information screen after contribution stage. It is the same for each treatment. (TIF)
Data
Written Instructions for Experiment. (PDF)
Data
Means (standard deviations) of contributions at the group level. Means are pooled over all periods and then broken out by the first and second blocks. (PDF)
Data
Individual Level Regressions (Panel Random-effects generalized least squares). Analysis is across all periods and then by first and second block. Baseline treatment is the omitted category. (PDF)
Article
This paper compares the effectiveness of rebate and matching subsidies in the field and, to our knowledge, is the first to control for potential bias introduced by the failure to account for donors' awareness of the offered subsidies. Where previous field experiments have typically been limited to either rebate subsidies or matching subsidies, we s...
Article
The use of directed giving - allowing donors to target their gifts to specific organizations or functions - is pervasive in fundraising, yet little is known about its effectiveness. We conduct a field experiment at a public university in which prospective donors are presented with either an opportunity to donate to the unrestricted Annual Fund, or...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a new protocol to elicit preferences over gambles that contain large, asymmetric, low-probability outcomes. Subjects first select their preferred choice from a set of zero-skewness gambles, providing a measure of their preferences for risk as standard deviation. The new lottery choices have the same expected payoffs and standard deviatio...
Article
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the US, with a significantly higher fraction of African Americans who are obese than whites. Yet there is little understanding of why some individuals become obese while others do not. We conduct a lab-in-field experiment in a low-income African American community to investigate whether risk and time pref...
Article
Giving to private charities is commonplace, and the chance to direct one’s gift is a standard fundraising strategy. But voluntary donations to government organizations are less widely known, and the impact of the opportunity to direct a gift is unexplored. We investigate the effect of directed giving on voluntary contributions to government organiz...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that sociology has not ignored the rational actor in ways sometimes claimed by economists. At the same time, we offer examples of how sociological studies, most especially experimental sociology, augment and inform economics about the role of social identity in decision making. We highlight some ways in which economics and sociology develo...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate the effectiveness of two leadership institutions in each of two games: a weakest link and a linear public good game. An “Exemplar” leader is a first mover who commits to a level of contribution; a “Manager” is a first mover who makes cheap talk suggestions to the team members. Our results show that both leadership institutions reduce...
Article
Full-text available
Do women and men behave differently in financial asset markets? Our results from an asset market experiment show a marked gender difference in producing speculative price bubbles. Mixed markets show intermediate values, and a meta-analysis of 35 markets from different studies confirms the inverse relationship between the magnitude of price bubbles...
Article
Full-text available
http://chronicle.com/article/Big-Data-Big-Obstacles/151421/?cid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en
Article
This paper replicates four highly cited, classic lab experimental studies in the provision of public goods. The studies consider the impact of marginal per capita return and group size; framing (as donating to or taking from the public good); the role of confusion in the public goods game; and the effectiveness of peer punishment. Considerable atte...
Article
Full-text available
Uniform customer-class pricing can do much of the work of congestion-based or time-of-day pricing in communication or wireless networks. A monopolist exploits differences in the stochastic characteristics of demands. If demands are correlated and the firm faces a capacity constraint, then it can set prices to reduce the variability of aggregate dem...
Article
We conduct a field experiment with low-income subjects in Dallas, Texas. We examine voluntary, informal risk sharing using a visual representation of the solidarity game developed for low-literacy populations. We find substantially more ‘fixed gift to loser’ behavior and less ‘egotistical’ behavior than in previous studies. Individuals who display...
Article
Previous research demonstrates that individuals vary in their social preferences. Less well-understood is how group composition affects the behavior of different social preference types. Does one bad apple really spoil the bunch? This paper exogenously identifies experimental participants’ social preferences, then systematically assigns individuals...
Article
Full-text available
Catherine C. Eckel of Texas A&M University reviews, “Emotions and Consumption Behaviour” by Isabella Soscia. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: “Examines how emotions function in consumers from both a psychological and a managerial perspective. Discusses consumer emotions and behavior; happiness and unhappiness; pride and sense of guilt; ang...
Article
Full-text available
We conduct a framed field experiment in two Dallas neighborhoods to examine how common identity affects individual contributions to local public goods. The participants’ common identity is primed to make neighborhood membership salient before individuals make donations to local non-profit organizations. We find that the effect of the identity prime...
Article
We present lab experiments that utilize a new three-player game designed to capture key features of care provision. We discuss results from the baseline game and test two sets of treatments designed to gauge the impact of potential policy interventions. The first varies the budget subsidy provided to the care manager, and the second alters the effe...
Article
This paper addresses the question of what determines a poor credit score. We compare estimated credit scores with measures of impulsivity, time preference, risk attitude, and trustworthiness, in an effort to determine the preferences that underlie credit behavior. Data is collected using an incentivized decision-making lab experiment, together with...
Article
The more prepared people are, the less harm they will suffer when disaster strikes. Yet anecdotal and empirical evidence shows that people overestimate their preparedness and are underprepared. While a robust literature has matured around hazards, risk, and vulnerability, and disaster policy, politics, and management, the literature about individua...
Article
Do women and men behave differently in financial asset markets? Our results from an asset market experiment using the Smith, Suchaneck, and Williams (1988) framework show marked gender difference in producing speculative price bubbles. Using 35 markets from different studies, a meta-analysis confirms the inverse relationship between the magnitude o...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To examine the relationship between physical activity stages of change and preferences for financial risk and time. Design: A cross-sectional, community-based study. Setting: A low-income, urban, African-American neighborhood. Subjects: One hundred sixty-nine adults. Measures: Self-reported physical activity stages of change-preco...
Article
Full-text available
We consider two alternatives to inaction for governments combating terrorism, which we term Deterrence and Prevention. Deterrence – investing in resources that reduce the impact of an attack – generates a negative externality to other governments, making their countries a more attractive objective for terrorists, while Prevention – investing in res...
Article
Full-text available
[Author Affiliation]Rick K Wilson, * Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, MS 24, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA; E-mail: rkw@rice.edu .Catherine C Eckel, [dagger] Sara & John Lindsey Professor, Department of Economics, Texas AM E-mail: ceckel@econmail.tamu.edu .[Acknowledgment]Thanks to Haley H...