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Essays on behavioural and organizational economics

Ozdemir, Duygu (2018) Essays on behavioural and organizational economics. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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This thesis consists of three self-contained experimental studies focusing on conformity behavior in the leader appointment process, self-group risk preferences of elected leaders and performance feedback mechanisms. In Chapter 1, I investigate discrimination against women in election settings and whether group dynamics undermine women’s chances to become leaders. I conduct a voting experiment which tests the effect of the candidate’s gender on voting behavior, and the role of conformity. Consistent with the predictions of a simple model, subjects tend to vote for candidates who exhibit similar (risk) preferences. Information on the gender of the candidates mitigates proximity concerns of the voter especially in favor of the male candidate. Yet, there is no conclusive result for the gender bias. The results also confirm that conformity is a significant factor in group decision-making. In Chapter 2, I analyze the mechanism which induces the difference between self and group risk attitudes of elected leaders. I focus on two motivations: a “leadership effect”, that is created by the competition and the sense of responsibility of the leadership status, and a “group concern” of the leader. The results show that elected leaders significantly become more risk-seeking when deciding on behalf of a group compared to their individual decisions. Meeting the expectations of group members seems the main driver of this observed behavioral change. In Chapter 3, in a setting where feedback is given strategically by a supervisor, we theoretically and experimentally analyze how employees interpret the received feedback in forming beliefs of themselves and whether feedback communicates the iv actual performance information truthfully. We found that information transmission occurs only in verifiable feedback mechanisms and private-verifiable is the most informative mechanism. We observed lying-aversion among principles: the results indicate a lying cost, and there is a tendency to send the true information where lying is profitable.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Duygu Ozdemir
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 08:55
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2018 08:55

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