Michèle Belot

Michèle Belot
The University of Edinburgh | UoE · School of Economics

PhD Economics Tilburg University

About

66
Publications
13,725
Reads
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2,487
Citations
Citations since 2017
13 Research Items
1030 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - present
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (66)
Article
This article reviews recent evidence on the effectiveness of using small monetary and non-monetary incentives to encourage children to choose healthier foods. We discuss the rationale for using such incentives from the perspective of behavioral economics, and discuss the controversial aspects of such interventions. In reviewing the evidence, we com...
Article
Objectives: The study examined the relationship between maternal exposure to stress during pregnancy and children's food preferences and diet in a low socioeconomic status (SES) population. Methods: Indices of exposure to stress were constructed based on retrospective self-reported experience of stressful events during pregnancy (such as death of c...
Article
We investigate experimentally the effects of daily-like stressors on immediate and planned food choices, in a sample of low socioeconomic status (SES) mothers. We design a novel stress protocol that aims to mimic everyday stressors experienced by low socioeconomic status individuals. The protocol consists of budget and time allocation tasks to be p...
Article
This paper tests an intervention aimed at facilitating (cognitively) the adoption of healthy dietary habits. We provide easy-to-understand information about the risks of developing diabetes or heart diseases and give easy-to-follow dietary recommendations to minimize these risks. We implement two variations, one consisting of generic information, t...
Article
We study if (dis)honest behavior is persistent. We investigate this by exposing participants to different incentives to lie over time. Some participants are first exposed to high incentives and then to lower incentives; for others the reverse. If (dis)honest behavior is persistent, the propensity to lie depends on past incentives. We find no eviden...
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Full-text available
Objective To develop and evaluate a low-cost computer-based tool to elicit dietary choices in an incentive compatible manner, which can be used on-line or as part of a laboratory study. Methods The study was conducted with around 255 adults. Respondents were asked to allocate a fixed monetary budget across a choice of around a hundred grocery item...
Article
There are many assignment processes in which agents are given the opportunity to unilaterally select a match. Resulting allocations can be inefficient if agents do not internalize the consequences of their choice on others. To test this formally, we study how other‐regarding behaviors vary across two decision contexts: when subjects make a pure all...
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We provide experimental evidence on the ability to detect deceit in a buyer–seller game with asymmetric information. Sellers have private information about the value of a good and sometimes have incentives to mislead buyers. We examine if buyers can spot deception in face-to-face encounters. We vary whether buyers can interrogate the seller and the...
Article
We conduct a field experiment in 31 primary schools in England to test the effectiveness of different temporary incentives on increasing choice and consumption of fruit and vegetables at lunchtime. In each treatment, pupils received a sticker for choosing a fruit or vegetable at lunch. They were eligible for an additional reward at the end of the w...
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This study investigates the issue of self-selection of stakeholders into participation and collaboration in policy-relevant experiments. We document and test the implications of self-selection in the context of randomised policy experiment we conducted in primary schools in the UK. The main questions we ask are (1) is there evidence of selection on...
Article
This study exploits the opening of the experimental lab in Oxford to compare the behavior of students and non-students in a number of classic experimental games, some of which involve other-regarding preferences (Trust Game, Dictator Game, and Public Goods Game) and others which have game forms that are strategically challenging (Beauty-contest and...
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We provide …field experimental evidence of the effects of monitoring in a context where productivity is multi-dimensional and only one dimension is monitored and incentivized. We hire students to do a job for us. The job consists of identifying euro coins. We study the direct effects of monitoring and penalizing mistakes on work quality and evaluat...
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Many randomized controlled trials require participants to opt in. Such self-selection could introduce a potential bias, because only the most optimistic may participate. We revisit this prediction. We argue that in many situations, the experimental intervention is competing with alternative interventions participants could conduct themselves outsid...
Article
We propose a novel experimental design to study counterproductive behaviour in a principal agent setting. The design allows us to study and derive clean measures of different forms of counterproductive behaviour in a controlled but non-obtrusive manner. We ask participants to complete a specific task (identify euro coins) and to report their output...
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Full-text available
There is a large body of evidence of apparently spontaneous mimicry in humans. This phenomenon has been described as "automatic imitation" and attributed to a mirror neuron system, but there is little direct evidence that it is involuntary rather than intentional. Cook et al. supplied the first such evidence in a unique strategic game design that g...
Article
Much empirical evidence shows that female and male partners look alike along a variety of attributes. It is, however, unclear how this positive sorting comes about because marriage is an equilibrium outcome arising from a process that entails searching, meeting, and choosing one another. This study takes advantage of unique data to shed light on th...
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Full-text available
We provide experimental evidence on the ability to detect deceit in a buyer–seller game with asymmetric information. Sellers have private information about the value of a good and sometimes have incentives to mislead buyers. We examine if buyers can spot deception in face-to-face encounters. We vary whether buyers can interrogate the seller and the...
Article
Full-text available
This paper uses a unique set of new indicators enabling us to test the effects of cultural barriers on migration between OECD countries. Using data on migration flows between 22 OECD countries over the period 1990–2003, we find strong evidence for the negative effect of cultural differences on international migration flows. Cultural barriers do a m...
Article
We analyze discrimination against less attractive people on a TV game show with high stakes. The game has a rich structure that allows us to disentangle the relationship between attractiveness and the determinants of a player’s earnings. Unattractive players perform no worse than attractive ones, and are equally cooperative in the prisoner’s dilemm...
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Full-text available
Sjef Ederveen 3 CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis One of the basic principles of the European Economic Area is the freedom of movement of workers. In practice, migration within and between EU countries is extremely low, despite the presence of important economic differentials. One attractive explanation for the low mobility patter...
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Abstract We analyze experimental evidence on whether untrained subjects can predict how trustworthy an individual is. Two players on a TV show play a high stakes prisoner’s dilemma with pre-play communication. Our subjects report probabilistic beliefs that each player cooperates, before and after communication. Subjects correctly predict that women...
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Like active labour market programmes, grade repetition could generate two types of effects: better/worse outcomes due to programme participation (i.e. the fact that pupils repeat a particular grade). This is what the existing literature on grade repetition has focused on. Another potential outcome is the ‘threat’ effect of grade repetition. Pupils...
Article
We present experimental evidence on favouritism practices. Children compete in teams in a tournament. After the first round of a real effort task, children indicate which group member they would prefer to do the task in the second round, for the benefit of the team. Friends are much more likely to be chosen than others after controlling for perform...
Article
This paper provides field evidence on the effects of diet on educational outcomes, exploiting a campaign lead in the UK in 2004, which introduced drastic changes in the meals offered in the schools of one borough - Greenwich - shifting from low-budget processed meals towards healthier options. We evaluate the effect of the campaign on educational o...
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This study investigates the following questions: Is it harder to distinguish and remember people if they are of another race? And do memory limitations have discriminatory implications? To answer these questions, I conduct an experiment in a laboratory environment. Participants are presented with a set of potential candidates of different races - E...
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Full-text available
Like active labour market programmes (ALPMs), grade repetition could generate two types of effects. Better/worse outcomes due to programme participation (i.e. the fact that pupils repeat a particular grade). This is what the existing literature on grade repetition has focused on. Another potential outcome is the ‘threat’ effect of grade repetition....
Article
This paper investigates the effects of a teacher strike on student achievement. From May 1990 until November 1990 teachers in the French community of Belgium stroked to obtain a salary increase. We exploit the political division of Belgium in a French community and a Flemish community, with similar educational institutions, for estimating the long-...
Article
Both in the UK and in the US, we observe puzzling gender asymmetries in the propensity to outmarry: Black men are more likely to have white spouses than Black women, but the opposite is true for Chinese: Chinese men are half less likely to be married to a White person than Chinese women. We argue that differences in height distributions, combined w...
Article
We study the role of communication in a high stakes prisoner's dilemma, using data from a television game show. 40 Percent of the players voluntarily promise to cooperate, and these players are 50 percentage points more likely to cooperate than players who do not volunteer a promise. However, promises that arise in response to an explicit question...
Article
Full-text available
This study compares the behavior of students and non-students in a number of classic experimental games. We find that students are more likely to behave as homo-economicus agents than non-students in games involving other-regarding preferences (Dictator Game, Trust Game and Public Good Game). These differences persist even when controlling for demo...
Article
A common finding in analyses of geographic mobility is a strong association between past movement and current mobility. We argue that one of the driving forces behind this pattern is the strength of local social ties outside the household. We use data from the British Household Panel Survey on the location of the three closest friends and the frequ...
Article
This study presents evidence from a field experiment on the prevalence of favoritism among children. Children compete in groups in a tournament in a real effort experiment with two rounds. The children report which group member they prefer to do the task in the second round, providing them with a small privilege. Using information about their socia...
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Full-text available
This paper evaluates the effects of grade retention on attainment by exploiting a reform introduced in 2001 in the French-Speaking Community of Belgium whereby the possibility of grade retention in grade 7 was reintroduced. It uses the Synthetic Control Method to identify the best possible pre-treatment control. Data come from three waves of the PI...
Article
We analyze behavior on a TV game show where players' earnings depend upon several factors. Attractive players fare better than less attractive ones, even though they perform no differently on every dimension. They also exhibit and engender the same degree of cooperativeness. Nevertheless, they are substantially less likely to be eliminated by their...
Article
We examine fluctuations in the predicted educational attainment of newly arrived legal U.S. immigrants between 1972 and 1999 by combining data from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service with the Current Population Survey. A mid-1980s decline gave way to a noticeable improvement in the skill base of the immigrant population between 1987 an...
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This paper derives new results on the welfare effects of employment protection. Using data from 17 OECD countries, we show that there exists an inverse U-shape relationship between employment protection and economic growth. Using a simple theoretical model with non-contractible specific investments, we show that over some range increasing employmen...
Article
We analyze a large stakes prisoner's dilemma game played on a TV show. Players cooperate 40% of the time, demonstrating that social preferences are important; however, cooperation is significantly below the 50% threshold that is required for inequity aversion to sustain cooperation. Women cooperate significantly more than men, while players who hav...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyzes behaviour on a TV game show where players' monetary payoffs depend upon an array of factors, including ability in answering questions, perceived cooperativeness and the willingness of other players to choose them. We find a substantial beauty premium and are able to disentangle contributing factors. Attractive players perform no...
Article
This paper investigates the impact of student support on performance and time allocation of students in Dutch higher education. In 1996 the maximum duration of grants was reduced by 1 year, and thereby limited to the nominal duration of the study program. This reform could have had substantial financial consequences for students. We evaluate the ef...
Article
I argue that the reason why the United States prefers a lower level of employment protection than the European countries lies in the differences in gains and costs from geographical mobility. I present a model in which labour migration and employment protection are both determined endogenously. The labour market is modelled within a matching framew...
Article
Full-text available
Much empirical evidence shows that female and male partners look alike along a variety of attributes. It is however unclear whether this positive sorting is the result of either assortative or agreed-upon preferences or of meeting opportunities. We assess the nature of dating preferences and the relative importance of preferences and opportunities...
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...
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Full-text available
Marriage data show a strong degree of positive assortative mating along a variety of attributes. But since marriage is an equilibrium outcome, it is unclear whether positive sorting is the result of preferences rather than opportunities. We assess the relative importance of preferences and opportunities in dating behaviour, using unique data from a...
Article
Full-text available
If participation in the labour market helps to secure women's outside options in the case of divorce/separation, an increase in the perceived risk of marital dissolution may accelerate the increase in female labour supply. This simple prediction has been tested in the literature using time and/or spatial variation in divorce legislation (e.g., acro...
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
This paper considers the effects of migration costs on human capital investments. We argue that migration costs hurt high-skilled workers relatively more than low-skilled workers. High-skilled workers often have specific skills that oblige them to consider a wider market than low-skilled workers. In such a context, migration costs discourage invest...
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Full-text available
In recent years some OECD countries were successful in lowering the unemployment rate substantially while other countries were not. In this paper we investigate to what extent successful countries implemented a comprehensive set of institutional reforms. We present a theoretical framework to investigate the relationship between unemployment and lab...
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This thesis is a contribution to the field of labor economics. It investigates the effects of labor market institutions, such as the labor taxes, unemployment benefits, labor standards and industrial relations systems on the labor market performance. It also raises the question of their legitimacy, from a welfare point of view and provides some exp...
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Full-text available
Employment protection is often related to costs incurred by firms when they fire a worker. The stability of the employment relationship, enhanced by employment protection, is also favourable to the productivity of the job. We analyse employment protection focusing on this trade-off between adjustment costs and productivity. We show that from a welf...
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Full-text available
This special issue of the European Journal of Population focuses on possible economic consequences of low fertility in Europe. This introduction reviews the history of falling fertility in Europe and the literature that explores its causes, its potential implications, and possible policy responses. It also summarizes the evolution of thinking about...
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The development of the unemployment rate differs substantially between OECD countries. In this paper we investigate to what extent these differences are related to labor market institutions. In our analysis we use data of eighteen OECD countries over the period 1960–1994 and show that the way in which institutions interact is important. J. Japan. I...
Article
In this paper, we argue that the reason why the United States prefer a lower level of employment protection than the European countries lies in the differences in gains and costs from geographical mobility. We present a model where labor migration and employment protection are both determined endogenously. The labor market is modeled within a match...
Article
Full-text available
Since unification, the debate about Germany's poor economic performance has focused on supply-side weaknesses, and the associated reform agenda sought to make low-skill labour markets more flexible. We question this diagnosis using three lines of argument. First, effective restructuring of the supply side in the core advanced industries was carried...
Article
Full-text available
This paper evaluates the effects of grade retention by exploiting a reform introduced in 2001 in the French Community of Belgium whereby the possibility of grade retention in Grade 7 was reintroduced. We use data from three waves of the PISA study (corresponding to periods before and after the reform) to evaluate the effects of grade retention. Mor...
Article
Full-text available
Some evidence suggests that people behave more pro-socially in small groups than in market-like situations. We construct an experiment in which people choose between allocations that affect their payoff and that of others. The choices of some participants are randomly selected to determine payoffs. We test whether people exhibit different other-reg...
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This paper argues that in sectors where workers invest in firm specific knowledge employment protection legislation can raise welfare, employment and average productivity. The model also predicts a U-shaped relation between firing costs and unemployment. Finally, it gives a rationale for the observation that more educated workers tend to have bette...
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Full-text available
Experimental work shows that individuals often do not maximize mon-etary payo¤s. Inequity aversion or conditional cooperation is invoked as a leading explanation for such behavior. While subjects in experiments are usually anonymous, in real life, opportunistic behaviour rarely remains unnoticed by partners or third parties. We examine strategic be...
Article
This paper analyzes behavior on a TV game show where players' monetary payoffs depend upon an array of factors, including ability in answering questions, perceived cooperativeness and the willingness of other players to choose them. We find a substantial beauty premium and are able to disentangle contributing factors. Attractive players perform no...

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