Astrid Matthey's research while affiliated with Umweltbundesamt, Germany and other places

Publications (23)

Article
Full-text available
Self-signaling models predict less selfish behavior in a probabilistic giving setting as individuals are expected to invest in a pro-social identity. However, there is also substantial evidence that people tend to exploit situational excuses for selfish choices (for instance, uncertainty) and behave more selfishly. We contrast these two motivations...
Article
We conduct a modified dictator game in order to analyze the role self-image concerns play in other-regarding behavior. While we generally follow Konow (2000), a cognitive dissonance-based model of other-regarding behavior in dictator games, we relax one of its assumptions as we allow for individual heterogeneity among individuals’ standards of be...
Article
Full-text available
A central understanding in experimental economics is that subjects’ decisions in the lab are independent of history. We test whether this assumption of between-experiment independence is indeed justified. We analyze experiments with an allocation decision (like a dictator or ultimatum game) and find that participation in previous experiments tends...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate to what extent genuine social preferences can explain observed other-regarding behavior. In a dictator game variant subjects can choose whether to learn about the consequences of their choice for the receiver. We find that a majority of subjects showing other-regarding behavior when the payoffs of the receiver are known, choose to ig...
Article
This paper takes a critical look at the challenges and achievements in the reform of the Russian power industry. Russian politics emphasized restructuring and pri- vatization, which are widely seen as preconditions for attracting private investment. However, progress along this line has been slow and there are is little hope that the current deadlo...
Article
If resource consumption is to be reduced through economic “de-growth”, individuals in industrialized countries may have to accept a reduction in their consumption levels. In democratic societies, implementing this process requires the consent of a majority of the population. However, as long as people have high reference levels of consumption, lowe...
Article
Full-text available
Experimental and empirical evidence shows that the utility an individual derives from a certain state depends on the reference state she compares it to. According to economic theory, the reference state is determined by past, present and future outcomes of either the individual herself or her reference group. The experiment described in this paper...
Article
Experimental and empirical evidence shows that the utility an individual de-rives from a certain state depends on the reference state she compares it to. According to economic theory, this reference state is determined by the past, present and future outcomes of either the individual herself or her reference group. The experiment described in this...
Article
Private banks often blame state guarantees to distort competition by giv- ing public banks the advantage of lower funding costs. In this paper I show that if borrowers perceive the public bank as supporting economic develop- ment, private banks may be able to separate firms by self selection, enter the market, and obtain profits in equilibrium desp...
Article
The paper introduces the concept of adjustment utility, that is, reference-dependent utility from expectations. It offers an explanation for observed preferences that cannot be explained with existing models, and yields new predictions for individual decision making. The model gives a simple explanation for, e.g., why people are reluctant to change...
Article
The higher our aspirations, the higher the probability that we have to adjust them downwards when forming more realistic expectations later on. This paper shows that the costs induced by high aspirations are not trivial. We ?rst develop a theoretical framework to identify the factors that determine the effect of aspirations on expected utility. The...
Article
In economic theory, utility depends on past, present and future outcomes. The experiment described in this paper suggests that utility also depends on people's attitudes, and that it can easily be manipulated through these attitudes. The results imply, ?rst, that purely outcome-based models of individual utility may be incomplete. Second, that refe...
Article
We investigate to what extent genuine social preferences can explain observed other-regarding behavior. In a social dilemma situation (a dictator game variant), people can choose whether to learn about the consequences of their choice for the receiver. We �nd that a majority of the people that show other-regarding behavior when the payoffs of the r...
Thesis
Die Dissertation besteht aus drei Kapiteln. Im ersten Kapitel wird unter der Bezeichnung “Adjustment Utility” eine neue Komponente individuellen Nutzens eingeführt. Mit einem Experiment, daß ich mit Studenten durchgeführt habe, zeige ich erst, daß diese Nutzenkomponente existiert. Dann entwickele ich ein Modell, welches aufzeigt, wann und in welche...
Article
This experiment is a first attempt to analyse whether reference states adjust to expectations within short time. The results suggest that this is not the case. High aspirations, by inducing high reference states, can thus lead to persistent utility losses when outcomes fall short of them. The paper uses an indirect approach to determine the referen...
Article
Full-text available
People get used to their expectations just as they get used to their income or consumption level. This affects their utility and economic decision making. I formalize this idea in a model where people form reference states with respect to their expectations. This allows me to explain observed preferences regarding future outcomes that cannot be exp...
Article
Three results emerge from a simple experiment on imitation. First, I find behavior which strongly suggests an intention to imitate. Second, players im- itate successful other players rather than repeating successful actions. Third, to find imitation examples, players use several periods of memory. This lends support to learning models with a non-tr...
Article
Experimental and field evidence show that people perceive and evaluate new risks differently from risks that are common. In particular, people get used to the presence of certain risks and become less eager to avoid them. We explain this observation by including risks in the reference states of individuals, which requires a more general concept of...
Article
Restricted access to finance is often stated as one of the main obstacles to the development of the SME sector in Russia. In this paper, we propose a new lending strategy that allows private banks to profitably increase financing of this sector in spite of being at a disadvantage compared to the state owned Sberbank. By building a reputation for to...
Article
In many economies, small and medium-sized firms have no direct access to the financial markets but depend on bank loans. In the market for bank loans, competition is often distorted by state banks enjoying lower funding costs than private banks due to a state guaran- tee on their liabilities. In this paper, we argue that if the state bank's guarant...
Article
We analyze individual behavior in a secretary search problem. Our ex- perimental design allows us to directly observe individual search strategies, rather than inferring them from stopping times as in earlier studies. The results suggest that subjects' search is i) too short on average, confirming previous findings, ii) very heterogeneous, both acr...

Citations

... This setup offers a moral/situational excuse for behaving selfish by introducing uncertainty. See Exley (2015) or Regner and Matthey (2017) for similar designs. ...
... Inclusion of efficiently playing agents and exclusion of inefficiently playing agents has the flavor of reward and punishment, respectively, two mechanisms much investigated in cooperation problems 43,[45][46][47][48][49] . However, for coordination games, very little is known about the effect of punishment 50,51 and, to our knowledge, nothing about the effect of reward. We do not observe a significant effect of including efficiently playing agents into one's neighborhood, which contrasts with the positive effect of reward identified in some cooperation problems 49 . ...
... With regard to the role of expectations on subsequent decision making, while research has investigated our ability to remember social partners who treated us either well or poorly, e.g., [41][42][43]46,47,60] and, more recently, how economic interactions and expectation violations affect subsequent memories of interaction partners [50], none of these studies, to the best of our knowledge, have investigated how these interactions and expectations affect the way people subsequently behave in future contexts. With this aim in mind, we employed (unannounced in advance) a standard Dictator Game following the Ultimatum Game, in which participants played the role of allocator and where the recipient had previously played as proposer in the Ultimatum Game. ...
... There is a wealth of potential for this with higher aspirations associated with higher academic performance and likelihood of attaining tertiary education, higher wages and job prestige as well as drive for self betterment (Kiyama, 2010;Leung, Chen, and Lam, 2010;Staff, Harris, Sabates, and Briddell, 2010;Koo and Fishbach, 2010). Augmenting aspirations may also reduce risk taking behaviour through establishing realistic expectations or minimising hedonic adaptation (the tendency for updating of goals to erode gains in SWB) (March, 1988;Matthey, 2008;Easterlin, McVey, Switek, Sawangfa, and Zweig, 2010;Graham and Oswald, 2010;Lucas, 2007). Also it is hoped exposing further limitations of ...
... And yet we do it"(2008, p. 220). Neste sentido, alguns estudos mostram que felicidade e dinheiro não são diretamente ou necessariamente correlacionados(MATTHEY, 2010;MASFERRER-DODAS et al, 2012; SKIDELSKY e SKIDELSKY, 2012).O autor destaca que em um padrão de desenvolvimento sem crescimento, o consumo teria que tomar outro caminho, em que seria consumidos mais serviços que não geram transumo. O que incluiria mais bens públicos e acarretaria um ambiente menos contaminado e menos espécies ameaçadas, o que geraria benefícios à sociedade como um todo. ...
... 4 Based on the type, priming can occur via the speed of processing (Reisberg 2007), via items of a similar form or meaning (Biederman and Cooper 1992), via exposure repetition (Forster and Davis 1984), via items sharing similar semantic features (Ferrand and New 2003), or via stimuli that trigger visuomotor system effects (Klotz and Wolff 1995). In addition, priming has been shown to influence subsequent behavior in the context of various stimuli: visual, spatial, physical, olfactory, and verbal cues (Kay et al. 2004, Biederman andCooper 1992), and most recently temporal stimuli (Trope and Liberman 2000, Huber et al. 2002, Blandin and Dehaene 2002, Fujita et al. 2006, Kivetz and Tyler 2007, Ebert and Prelec 2007, Mannetti et al. 2009, Naccache, Zauberman et al. 2009, Yashar and Lami 2010, Bauer, Muller and Usher 2009 For recent economic studies that explicitly consider priming in individual decision-making, see Matthey (2010), Benjamin, Choi, and Strickland (2010), and Cohn et al. (2015). 6 Shah, Shafir, and Mullainathan (2015) document various recent behavioral biases, including priming, in the context of economic decision-making. ...
... Our experimental design is inspired by the seminal paper by Dana et al. (2007) who coined the phrase "moral wiggle room": decision makers make use of ways to justify their selfish behavior that allow them to maintain a positive self-image while acting egoistically. Building on their paper, an extensive body of literature has replicated and extended their insights on the exploitation of moral wiggle room (Larson and Capra, 2009;Feiler, 2014;Matthey and Regner, 2011;Grossman, 2014;Grossman and van der Weele, 2017;Exley, 2016;Momsen and Ohndorf, 2022;Kessler and Exley, 2021;Kajackaite, 2015). However, there is also research that does not find evidence of self-serving motivated ignorance in the absence of revelation costs (Lind et al., 2019;Momsen and Ohndorf, 2020b;Felgendreher, 2018), indicating that there are situational and behavioral boundaries to the occurrence of the phenomenon. ...
... Flavin (1981) points out that whenever a household observes that its current realization of income is greater than what it had anticipated, it revises upward its expectations of future income, and because this means it is revising upward its permanent income, it also revises its consumption decisions accordingly. Furthermore, it is likely that a household's expectation about its future consumption has an impact on its current level of utility (Abeler, Falk, Goette, & Huffman, 2011;Kőszegi & Rabin, 2009;Matthey, 2008). ...
... The contradictory ndings for games where social preferences are dominant provide striking evidence of this. Some studies conclude that RT is lower for self-interested choices (Brañas-Garza et al., 2015;Fischbacher et al., 2013;Matthey and Regner, 2008;Wengström, 2009), whereas other studies nd that the equitable or fair split is associated with a lower RT (Cappelletti et al., 2011;Halali et al., 2011;Lotito et al., 2013). Under the auxiliary assumption that instinctive choices require less time, these studies arrive at opposing conclusions of what behavior has evolved to be instinctive. ...
... Experimental evidence for expectations and beliefs driving reference point formation and hence behavior abounds (Abeler, 2011;Ericson et al., 2011). Goals can also explicitly act as reference points via loss aversion 5 to help overcome present-bias and self-control problems (Heath et al., 1999;Suvorov and van de Ven, 2008;Koch and Nafziger, 2011), yet excessively high goals can be counterproductive (Matthey et al, 2007). However, much relevant research on goals is either theoretical or experimental, and little is known about whether temporary goals suggested through mobile health platforms outside of a laboratory might influence behavior via loss aversion and reference-dependent utility. ...