Experimental Economics Seminar for March 22

Seminars | March 18, 2013

Join us for the next ICES Experimental Economics Seminar of the semester, featuring Alistair Wilson.

Professor Wilson, of the University of Pittsburgh, will discuss his paper Social Information Transmission: Rating Incentives and Strategic Behavior. The talk will take place on Friday, March 22, from 4:00 to 5:30pm, in room 648 of the Truland Building, Arlington campus.


Social information sharing, in particular online ratings, have become increasingly important to helping consumers make better, more informed choices over competing products. However, to our knowledge there has been little work focused on mechanisms to incentivize this type of information sharing. Our project, using novel theory and laboratory experiments, analyzes several incentive schemes, each of which parallels an extant mechanism. For each incentive type our theory predicts qualitatively different outcomes, while our laboratory experiments are designed to gauge these differences and examine our theory’s robustness to human behavior. Our initial findings indicate room for improving information transfer and efficiency with incentives. However, those mechanisms that tradeoff even a small amount of strategic-alignment for greater information provision substantially degrade final outcomes in the lab, even where there is the possibility for a theoretical gain.

Visit the Seminar schedule to learn more about upcoming speakers.

<<< Back to News Page