Amsterdam Brain and Cognition (ABC)

Center for Research in Experimental Economics and political Decision-making (CREED)

CREED research lines within ABC

The Center

The Center for Research in Experimental Economics and political Decision-making (CREED) is a research institute at the Faculty of Economics and Econometrics (FEE) at the University of Amsterdam. Its research programme consists of three main projects: (i) economics of political decision makers, (ii) bounded rationality and institutions, and (iii) experimental economics.

Collective action, influence, and group decisions

Programme coordinator: Prof. dr. Arthur Schram and Prof. dr. Frans van Winden

Subject: In this research line we are interested in the behavioural determinants and the modelling of the participation of individuals in collective action (e.g. voting, cooperation in social dilemmas, interest group formation), political influence (e.g. strategic information transmission), and group vs. individual decision-making. Theoretical modelling, laboratory experimentation, as well as computer simulation techniques are employed.

Key publications:

    • Gillet, J., Schram, A., & Sonnemans, J. (2009). The Tragedy of the Commons Revisited: The Importance of Group Decision-Making. Journal of Public Economics, 93, 785-797.
    • Großer, J. & Schram, A.J.H.C. (2006). Neighborhood Information Exchange And Voter Participation: An Experimental Study. American Political Science Review, 100, 235-248.
    • Sadiraj, V., Tuinstra, J. & Winden, F.A.A.M. van (2006). A computational electoral competition model with social clustering and endogenous interest groups as information brokers. Public Choice, 129, 169-187.

    Economic significance and modelling of affect

    Programme coordinator: Prof. dr. Frans van Winden

    Subject: Recently, economists have become interested in the interface between economics and psychology (behavioural economics). So far, only few economists have picked up an interest in emotions as behavioural determinant, but attention is growing. The same holds for the interface between neuroscience and economics (neuroeconomics). Our goal is to investigate the importance of (different) emotions for economic behaviour and to explore how their influence can be incorporated in formal models of behaviour. Various techniques are considered (among which, neuroimaging). Areas focused on are: bargaining, decision making under uncertainty (investment), and the development of social ties.

    Key publications:

      • Bosman, R. & Winden, F.A.A.M. van (2002). Emotional Hazard in a Power-to-Take Experiment. The Economic Journal, 112, 147-169.
      • F. van Dijk, J. Sonnemans and F. van Winden (2002). Social Ties in a Public Good Experiment, Journal of Public Economics, 85, 275-299.
      • Hopfensitz and F. van Winden (2008., Dynamic Choice, Investment, and Emotions. Theory and Decision, 64, 249-300.

      Belief formation, risk attitude, learning, and incentives

      Programme coordinator: Prof. dr. Joep Sonnemans

      Subject: In this research line attention is focused on bounded rationality and its relation to cognition. Subjects of interest include the formation of beliefs, the assessment of probabilities, the relative importance of imitation vs. beliefs. Also, the impact and optimality of incentives (institutions) are investigated.

      Key publications:

        • Offerman, T.J.S., Potters, J., and Sonnemans, J. (2002). Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment. Review of Economic Studies, 69, 973-997.
        • Offerman, T.J.S., Sonnemans, J.H., Kuilen, G. van de, and Wakker, P.P. (to appear). A Truth-Serum for Non-Bayesians: Correcting Proper Scoring Rules for Risk Attitudes. Review of Economic Studies.
        • Hommes, C., Sonnemans, J.H., Tuinstra, J. and Van de Velden, H. (to appear) Learning in Cobweb Experiments. Macroeconomic Dynamics.
        • Heemeijer, P., Hommes, C., Sonnemans, J.H., and Tuinstra, J. (2009). Price Stability and Volatility in Markets with Positive and Negative Expectations Feedback: An Experimental Investigation. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 33, 1052-1072.

        Evolution of cooperation and networks

        Programme coordinator: Prof. dr. Arthur Schram

        Subject: The key objective is to provide a systematic and integrated study of the simultaneous evolution of social behaviour and social institutions. Social behaviour refers to costly other-regarding behaviour. This may be driven by, e.g., fairness or altruistic motivations and may take the form of trust and/or positive or negative reciprocity. Social norms (so called ‘informal institutions’) may guide this behaviour. The ‘rules of the game’ or ‘formal institutions’ determine how individuals interact. These might be organized rules (for example by the government) or spontaneous rules (for example, amongst neighbours). Social behaviour and social institutions interact. On the one hand, behaviour is driven by the institutions under which it takes place. On the other hand, institutions are man-made. The relationship is dynamic; i.e., behaviour and institutions evolve over time in an interrelated way. In this project, we study this evolutionary process. The main focus is on trust and indirect as well as direct reciprocity, for example taking shape as altruistic punishment, which may be institutionalised in norms or through formal institutions.

        Key publications:

          • Seinen, I. and A.J.H.C. Schram (2006): Social Status and Group Norms: Indirect Reciprocity in a Mutual Aid Experiment. European Economic Review 50, 2006, 581-602.
          • Veelen, M. van (2006): Why Kin and Group Selection Models May not be Enough to Explain Human Other-Regarding Behaviour. Journal of Theoretical Biology 242, 790-797.
          • Veelen, M. van (forthcoming): Hamilton's Missing Link. Journal of Theoretical Biology.

          Functioning and design of markets

          Programme coordinator: Prof. dr. Theo Offerman

          Subject: There is a growing awareness that in order to design markets and auctions we need to understand the behavioural principles of the people participating in these institutions. In this line of research, we investigate how institutions affect people's behaviour and economic outcomes at the aggregate level. Theoretical analysis is combined with laboratory experimentation to pursue these questions.

          Key publications:

            • Goeree, J.K. & Offerman, T. (2002) Efficiency in Auctions with Private and Common Values. American Economic Review, 92(3), 625-643.
            • Goeree, J.K. & Offerman, T.J.S. (2004). The Amsterdam Auction. Econometrica, 72, 281-294.
            • Goeree, J.K., Maasland, E., Onderstal, S., & Turner, J. (2005). How (Not) to Raise Money. Journal of Political Economy 113, 897-918.

            Published by  Amsterdam Brain and Cognition (ABC)

            18 May 2017