Department/School

Accounting

Date of this version

6-2010

Document Type

Article

Keywords

payment timing, information, decision uncertainty, show-up fee, participation payment

Abstract

This paper reports the results of an experiment designed to study how subjects’ decision making may be affected by the timing of participation payments (or show-up fees). The experiment follows Davis et al. (J. Econ. 30:69–95, 2004) where subjects were asked to make a sequential purchase decision and were given the opportunity to purchase information about the value of a good prior to a decision to purchase the good itself. There, subjects purchased information less often than expected which was interpreted as risk-seeking behavior. Here, we test a payment hypothesis by varying the timing of the participation payment. Payment of a show-up fee before the decision-making stages of the experiment increases information purchase, which we interpret as an increase in risk-averse behavior.

Published in

Journal of Experimental Economics

Citation/Other Information

Vol 13 189-205