Speaker: Giovanni Ponti & Kerstin Pull, LUISS; University of Tübingen
Presentation 1: Giovanni Ponti (LUISS)
Title: "How Many Economists does it take to Change a Light Bulb? A Natural Field Experiment on Technology Adoption"
Abstract: This paper explores factors that impact residential adoption of environmental technologies by comparing approaches to technology adoption from economics and psychology. We design a large scale door-to-door field experiment in the spirit of Della Vigna, List, and Malmendier (2009) that identifies the influence of prices, “social pressure” and “curiosity” on the decision to adopt such technologies. We also develop a theoretical model of adoption and perform structural estimation and welfare calculations. Empirical results suggest that both prices and social norms influence the purchase decision and encourage adoption. Interestingly, our results suggest a monetary value for social norms in the range of 30-70% ($1.40 - $3.50) of the $5.00 purchase price for CFLs. However, these factors work on different margins. Whereas social norms have greatest import on the extensive margin, prices work along both the intensive and extensive margins (therefore influencing the number of packages purchased.
Presentation 2: Kerstin Pull (University of Tübingen)
Title:"Positional Preferences and Narcissistic Rivalry"
Abstract: Various findings from surveys and experiments indicate that the relative rank or position in comparison to others is important for many individuals (positional preferences). However, it has largely been unclear why and how people differ in their positional preferences. The present study investigates positional preferences with a series of mini-dictator games, considering different facets of positional preferences (inferiority aversion and superiority seeking) and distinguishing positional preferences from other behavioral motives (equity seeking, efficiency seeking, and pure self-interest). The association between the personality trait narcissistic rivalry and positional choices is analyzed, holding other personal factors constant. Narcissistic rivalry is significantly positively related to positional choices and explains both inferiority aversion and superiority seeking. As these choices are associated with lower efficiency and partly even with own costs for the decision maker, our study highlights important problems that can be associated with narcissism.