Prof. Dr. Gerald Eisenkopf

Kurzlebenslauf

Gerald Eisenkopf studierte Psychologie, Wirtschaftswissenschaften und Internationale Beziehungen in Berlin (FU), Padua und St Andrews. Er promovierte 2007 in Wirtschaftswissenschaften an der Universität Konstanz, wo er auch bis 2016 als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter und Juniorprofessor tätig war. Seit Oktober 2016 ist er Professor für Betriebswirtschaftslehre mit dem Schwerpunkt Management sozialer Dienstleistungen an der Universität Vechta. In seinen Forschungsprojekten untersucht er die Verhaltenswirkung von ökonomischen Steuerungsinstrumenten. Dies geschieht zum einen im Rahmen experimenteller Grundlagenforschung als auch in verschiedenen Feldstudien, hier mit einem besonderen Anwendungsfokus auf den Bildungsbereich. 

Einen ausführlichen Lebenslauf von Herrn Eisenkopf finden Sie hier CV.

 

 

 

 

Publikationen

Abstract

The paper studies how leadership recommendations and leading-by-example shape group behavior. The experimental results from an intergroup contest show that the leaders are the key drivers of contest expenditure. They increase their expenditure substantially once they make recommendations to the followers. The leaders’ expenditure recommendations have a highly significant impact on the investments of followers. The additional impact of leading by example confirms the relevance of the alignment of words and deeds. A second experiment replicates the treatments in a non-competitive voluntary contribution game. In this setting, the opportunity for making recommendations has an even stronger impact on the leader’s expenditure. For a given level of leader expenditure, the behavior of followers remains remarkably consistent across the two experiments but the additional impact of leading by example is not significant anymore. 

Abstract

 

The paper studies the impact of partisan advisors in economic conflicts. In the experiment these lobbyists can give recommendations to their contestants. The results show that recommendations do not increase contest intensity even though most contestants follow them rather closely. However, the lobbyists effectively undermine nonbinding agreements that aim at reducing contest expenditure between the conflict parties.

 

 

Abstract

We present experimental evidence on the influence of emotions on litigation. Our experiment compares the impact of an intentional taking of points, resulting in an unfair outcome, to that of an exogenous taking. The intentional taking induces negative emotions (e.g., anger), but this emotional arousal does not influence litigant behavior in terms of either filing a case or spending litigation effort. Our observation is independent of litigation being a one-staged or a (possibly) two-staged contest (i.e., one with an an appeal).

Abstract

The paper studies an experimental conflict in a repeated game and tests the robustness of communication as an intermediate conflict resolution instrument. The results show a strong and persistent impact of communication. Most conflict parties refrain from conflict expenditures even after the opportunity for communication has expired. Third party involvement with punishment options does not enhance this effect while contesting one prize rather than multiple prizes reduces it. Conflict resolution is less successful even in the long term if initial conflict intensity is rather high.

 

Keywords 

Conflict resolution, Experiment, Communication, Social preferences

Abstract 

Incentives shape how much people contribute to the welfare of a group. These incentives do not restrict the opportunities but they change the costs of contributions. This paper studies how the random assignment of such incentives affects perceived distributive justice among group members. Do people consider differences in incentives similar to unequal opportunities, that is, situations in which some people have a lower chance to make a high contribution? The results from a real effort experiment show that the economic framing of incentives matters in this context. If some people do not work for the common good because of rather large private costs, they appreciate these ‘negative incentives’ similarly to unequal opportunities. They do not do so, and become less egalitarian, if lower effort for the group increases the chance for private gains (‘positive incentives’). Interestingly, participants reward group members who do not limit their expected contributions to the group despite adverse incentives.

 

Keywords 

distributive justice, unequal incentives, experiment, entitlements

 

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Abstract 

Independent decision makers are appointed to promote trust by shielding investors from rent appropriation efforts of insiders. We conduct experiments to show how the appointment procedures for such third parties influence the trust of investors and the actual distributions of returns on investment. We find that when the third party is randomly assigned, investments significantly increase in response to positive returns on investment. Investments are similarly high when insiders select anonymous third parties. However, a simple one-sided reputation mechanism between the third party and the insider (but not the investor) diminishes trust and eliminates the benefits of a supposedly independent third party. In a second experiment we show that the trust of investors, evidenced by their investment level, surprisingly does not depend on whether the decision to delegate to an independent third party or not is taken by insiders themselves or exogenously imposed by a random device.

 

Keywords 

Third Parties, Trust, Specific Investments, Residual Control, Experiment

 

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Abstract 

Corporate fraud typically involves deceptive financial statements that are harmful for some stakeholders. We analyze how preferences for honesty and economic fairness shape the punishment of such untruthful statements. Our laboratory experiment disentangles the crucial confound that, for deceptive financial statements, larger deviations from the truth imply both a stronger violation of the honesty norm and an increase in economic harm. Our study measures how people punish increased dishonesty controlling for the corresponding economic harm. We find that punishment increases with the size of the lie. This behavioral pattern is driven by people who are honest themselves. Our results suggest that popular demand for punitive measures in case of financial scandals reflects a genuine interest in the enforcement of social 

Abstract 

We present results from a field experiments at Swiss high schools in which we compare the effectiveness of teaching methods in economics. We randomly assigned classes into an experimental and a conventional teaching group, or a control group that received no specific instruction. Both of our teaching treatments improve economic understanding considerably while effect sizes are almost identical. However, student ability crucially affects learning outcomes as more able students seem to benefit disproportionately from classroom experiments while weaker students lose out. Supplemental data indicates that our experimental treatment crowded out time for adequately discussing the subject, which may have limited less able students to generate a profound understanding. Furthermore there is no robust impact of economic training on social preferences, measured as both individual behavior in incentivized decisions or political opinions.

 

Keywords

Education of Economics, Classroom Experiments, Conventional Teaching, Field Experiments, Indoctrination

 

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Abstract 

Competitive advantage is typically based on a unique nexus of firm-specific investments that creates inimitable quasi-rents. Because it is impossible to write complete contracts on how to distribute the quasi-rents, stakeholders tend to underinvest in firm-specific assets to avoid the hold-up risk. This paper empirically tests the effect of third-party ownership on specific investments. Third-party ownership assigns the rights of residual control to independent fiduciaries. We conduct variations of the trust game, in which a third party, rather than the receiver, distributes the returns on investments. A randomly chosen third party with a fixed payment induces larger investments over time although the experimental design rules out reputation building. If receivers select the third parties, this benefit vanishes. If the third party receives a reward for the appointment, investments actually decrease. Investors (unwarrantedly) fear lower back transfers in such cases.

 

Keywords 

Third Parties Specific Investments Residual Control Experiment 

 

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Abstract 

We study the effects of random assignment to coeducational and single-sex classes on the academic performance of female high school students. Our estimation results show that single-sex schooling improves the performance of female students in mathematics. This positive effect increases if the single-sex class is taught by a male teacher. An accompanying survey reveals that single-sex schooling also strengthens female students’ self-confidence and renders the self-assessment of their mathematics skills more level-headed. Single-sex schooling thus has profound implications for human capital formation and the mind-set of female students.

 

Keywords 

gender math gap, single-sex education, coeducation, natural experiment

 

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Abstract

People do not like to delegate the distribution of favors. To explain this reluctance we disentangle reward motives in an experiment, in which an investor can directly transfer money to a trustee or delegate this decision to another investor. Varying the transfer values of investor and delegate, we find that the trustee’s rewards follow a rather simple pattern. In all situations, both investors are rewarded, but the person who ultimately decides gets a higher reward. Unlike studies on the punishment of delegated unkind decisions our results do not reveal sophisticated reward behavior that takes the responsibility of people into account.

 

Keywords

Delegation, trust, reciprocity, intentions, experiment

Abstract

In intergroup contests a manager advises and motivates her group’s members. Her rewards often depend on the subsequent contest expenditure of the members. I test whether such incentives undermine the credibility and effectiveness of a manager’s efforts. In the different experimental treatments the managers either benefit from very high or low expenditure or get a predetermined payment. The results show that different management incentives shape the expenditure of the group members even if managers have an advisory role only. However, group members follow recommendations more closely if management compensation is not linked to contest expenditures.

 

Keywords

Communication, Experiment, Rent-seeking, Management compensation, Group decision making

 

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Abstract

This paper uses experimental data to analyze how competitive behavior is influenced by coaching and peer observation. We study behavior in a sequential contest, considering information about the effort level of subjects in other contests (observation of peers) and information about the payoff-maximizing effort level (coaching) as treatment variables. Presentation of peer effort has a significant impact on the effort levels of first movers but not on second movers’ effort levels. The decisions of second movers were positively influenced (in terms of payoffs) by coaching when this information was presented alone; however, when coaching was presented in combination with peer observation, the quality of second-mover decisions deteriorated.

 

Keywords

Tournament, peer effect, coaching, information, learning

 

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Abstract 

Tournaments require a large gap in prizes in order to induce incentives. The resulting unequal distribution suggests that monetary payoffs are not the only motive that determines agents’ decisions. In our experiment we test theoretical predictions about the role of envy and loss aversion in tournaments. Our results confirm that the limitation of inequity between subjects’ payments implies lower effort while the elimination of losses relative to expectations decreases the variance of effort. They suggest that envy and loss aversion drive behavior in tournaments. Moreover, we show that standard theory provides a good explanation for competitive behavior when envy and loss aversion do not play a role in the decision making process.

 

Keywords 

Tournament, Envy, Loss aversion, Experiment

 

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Abstract

Mediation is a popular process to prevent conflicts over common resources, but there is little clean insight into its effectiveness and mechanisms. Our experimental approach allows for a comprehensive analysis of third-party intervention into potential conflicts and circumvents key problems linked to the analysis of field data. A mediator who credibly threatens punishment in the case of uncooperative behavior achieves the efficient solution in most cases. Similar results are obtained even if the mediator is biased toward one party or has no incentive to intervene. When cooperation fails, communication without credible punishment threats leads to particularly low payouts for the “losing” party.

 

Keywords 

mediation, common resources, communication, experiment

 

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Abstract

We analyze educational institutions’ incentives to set up demanding or lax curricula in duopolistic markets for education with endogenous enrolment of students. We assume that there is a positive externality of student achievement on the local economy. Comparing the case of regulated tuition fees with an unregulated market, we identify the following inefficiencies: Under regulated tuition fees schools will set up inefficiently lax curricula in an attempt to please low-quality students even if schools internalize some of the externality. On the other hand, unregulated schools set up excessively differentiated curricula in order to relax competition in tuition fees. Deregulation gets more attractive if a larger fraction of the externality is internalized.

 

Keywords 

Education, Local Externalities, Product Differentiation, Price Competition, Vouchers

 

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Abstract

We investigate the welfare implications of unfair incentive contracts in comparison with interactions without contracts. Reciprocal people should cooperate conditionally in the latter situation but punish unfairness by non-cooperation. We confirm that some people do cooperate conditionally in a sequential prisoner's dilemma. Furthermore, some subjects do not cooperate if they face an unfair incentive contract in a similar context. However, there is no correlation between these two types of reciprocity. At an aggregate level, all contracts – no matter how fair they are – improve welfare even if agents are conditionally cooperative.

 

Keywords 

Contracts, Prisoner's dilemma, Experiment

 

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Abstract 

The paper investigates if the provision of financial incentives has an impact on the performance of students in educational tests. The analysis is based on data from an experiment with high school students who answered multiple-choice items from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). As in TIMSS, the setup did not discourage students from guessing. Students with a salary based on individual performance did not score significantly better than students with a fixed payout or a payout based on the performance of the entire group. However, incentives have an impact. The group with individualized payments showed significantly more guessing activities than the others

 

Keywords 

incentives, education, school accountability, educational tests, TIMSS

Abstract

The paper analyzes different selection policies in education and business. We show that incorrect self-perceptions combined with imperfect performance measurement may cause significant welfare losses in selective educational systems, in particular if selection starts too early. Of course, these welfare losses can be mitigated by an investment in better ability assessment. However, an affirmative action policy could serve the same purpose as such an investment. We apply our analysis also to diversity management in firms. Based on positive discrimination we establish an efficiency argument for diversity management.

 

Keywords  

Education, Selection, Affirmative action 

Abstract

This paper confirms the existence of peer effects in a learning process with data from an experiment. The experimental setting offers an insight into the mechanisms of peer interaction and provides complementary information to empirical studies using survey or administrative data. The results show that a partner has a motivational effect even before the actual cooperation takes place. The evidence for optimal group composition is not robust. Some of the “better” students improve the performance of their partner but they induce lower motivation.

 

Keywords 

Learning, Peer Effects, Motivation, Experiment, Economics of Education

 

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Abstract

Quantitative performance measurement is a controversial idea in the public sector. This paper argues that management by measurement is sensible if the measurement methods have a sufficient quality. In particular, quantitative performance measures have to address problems of gaming and monitoring intensity. I look at the assignment of negative weights to poor, but informative, performance measures even if these measures have a positive correlation with the non-contractible performance objective. In a simple agency relationship, I show how a poor measure with negative weight can serve as an indicator for manipulation. However, the benefits derived from a negative weight may come at the price of increased measurement risk. Healthcare and research organizations provide examples of how negative weights can improve performance measurement

 

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Abstract

The paper discusses the impact of performance based selection in secondary education on student incentives. The theoretical approach combines human capital theory with signaling theory. The consideration of signaling offers an explanation for observed performance of educational systems with a standard peer effect argument. More specifically it can be optimal to select students according to ability even if selective systems do not outperform comprehensive systems in tests. Selection achieves the same output with lower private costs for the students. The paper questions the strong focus on educational tests to measure the efficiency of selective systems as long as these tests provide no information about a student’s incentives and private costs.

 

Keywords 

Education, Signalling, Selection, Ability grouping, Incentives 

 

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Abstract 

Most studies find no collusion in tournaments. This result suggests that social preferences are irrelevant in this context. We investigate the impact of social preferences in a tournament using data from a laboratory experiment with two treatments. In a conventional tournament, an agent receives either the full prize or no prize at all. The other tournament provides the same incentives but the actual payment of an agent equals her expected payment. In both treatments the principal chooses between a fair and an unfair contract. Standard economic theory predicts the same effort provision in all situations. Our results show instead that envy between agents and the fairness oft he principal determine the effectiveness of tournaments. Moreover, we observe that collusion between the agents and reciprocity towards the principal are mutually exclusive. 

 

Keywords 

Tournament, Collusion, Envy, Agency problem, Reciprocity 

 

Drittmittelprojekte

There is only limited clean insight into the effectiveness of leadership instruments like leading by example or punishment. This deficit is actually not that surprising because leaders typically only apply their most preferred instruments. Hence we do not know a leader’s performance if she had used another instrument. This shortcoming limits the scope of evidence-based leadership training because we cannot assess the behavioral consequences of specific instruments. To address the identification problem, this project studies the relative effectiveness of leadership instruments (in particular leading by example and punishment) with a sequence of laboratory experiments, building upon and enhancing the recent developments in the behavioral economics of leadership.

Experimental economists typically consider a first mover in a social dilemma as a leader. This leadership by example is an effective instrument to coordinate groups and enhance in-group cooperation, at least if group members have no alternative coordination mechanism at hand. This project will test the effectiveness of such leadership in a context where simple non-binding recommendations facilitate coordination. Moreover, it tests the effectiveness of leading-by-example relative to punishment. Such a test represents a streamlined comparison between transformational and transactional leadership.

The project studies this leadership impact in different environmental contexts (small vs. large groups, with/without additional free-form chat communication, competitive vs. neutral framings). It is well known that such environmental differences shape the inclination of group members to cooperate with each other. These differences can also influence the effectiveness of leadership instruments. For example, the threat of punishment can be more effective in large groups while competitive environments may enhance the impact of leading by example.

Last, but not least, the project studies whether leaders actually choose the more effective instrument. Leading by example is a relative risky instrument because leaders are not sure whether the other group members will actually follow. With punishment, a leader has more control over her own payoff and the earning differences within the group. Hence, leaders might choose the safer rather than the more effective leadership instruments.

Es gibt nur wenig eindeutige Evidenz zur Effektivität von Führungsinstrumenten wie beispielhafter Führung (leading by example) oder Sanktionierung Dieses Defizit ist nicht einmal überraschend, da Führungspersonen typischerweise nur ihr präferiertes Instrument anwenden. Deshalb kann man die Auswirkung eines anderen Führungsinstruments nicht beobachten. Dieses Identifikationsproblem stellt eine Herausforderung für das evidenzbasierte Training von Führungskräften dar, da man nicht genau die Verhaltensauswirkungen der einzelnen Instrumente beurteilen kann. Im Rahmen dieses Projekts wird deshalb das Identifikationsproblem durch eine Sequenz von Laborexperimenten adressiert, die die relative Effektivität von Führungsinstrumenten (und hier insbesondere Leading by Example und Bestrafung) untersuchen. Das Projekt kann dabei auf die aktuellen Entwicklungen in der verhaltensökonomischen Literatur zu Führungsverhalten aufbauen und diese weiterentwickeln.

In der experimentellen Wirtschaftsforschung gilt der erste Entscheider in einem sozialen Dilemma in der Regel als Führungsperson. Diese Form von Leading by Example stellt ein effektives Instrument zur Koordination von Gruppen und der Erhöhung der Kooperationsbereitschaft in Gruppen dar, zumindest wenn keine alternativen Koordinationsinstrumente zur Verfügung stehen. In dem Projekt wird nun aber die Effektivität von Leading by Example untersucht, wenn durch simple nichtbindende Empfehlungen der Koordinationsprozess erleichtert werden kann. Weiterhin untersucht es die relative Effektivität von Leading by Example im Vergleich zu Sanktionierungsmaßnahmen, was einem vereinfachten Vergleich zwischen dem transformationalen und dem transaktionalen Führungsstil entspricht.

Dieser Vergleich von Führungsinstrumenten wird in unterschiedlichen Kontexten vorgenommen (kleine und große Gruppen, mit und ohne zusätzliche Chat Kommunikation, kompetitives oder neutrales Framing). Es ist bekannt, dass die Unterschiede in solchen Kontextfaktoren die Kooperationsbereitschaft der einzelnen Mitglieder innerhalb ihrer Gruppe beeinflussen. Die Frage ist nun, ob sie auch die Effektivität der Führungsinstrumente tangieren. So kann zum Beispiel die Androhung von Strafmaßnahmen in großen Gruppen besonders effektiv sein, während kompetitive Umgebungen vielleicht eher die Wirkung von beispielhafter Führung fördern.

Zu guter Letzt widmet sich das Projekt noch der Frage, ob Führungspersonen tatsächlich das effektivere Führungsinstrument auswählen. So stellt Leading by Example ein relativ riskantes Führungsinstrument dar, da die Führungsperson nicht weiß, ob die anderen Gruppenmitglieder auch wirklich dem Beispiel folgen werden. Sanktionsmaßnahmen ermöglichen der Führungsperson mehr Kontrolle ihre eigene Auszahlung und die Ertragsunterschiede innerhalb der Gruppe. Deshalb könnten Führungspersonen dazu neigen, dass weniger riskante, aber effektivere Instrument zu nutzen.

The project aimed to provide a better understanding of conflict behavior and in particular conflict prevention and resolution. By using carefully designed economic experiments it focused on the identification of specific facets of conflict behavior that are hard to identify outside a laboratory. The project provided complementary evidence to the multiple empirical studies that use field data. The specific topic in particular regarding the impact of mediating third parties also led helpful insights for practitioners of conflict resolution.

 

Publications from the Project 

Eisenkopf, G. (2019). "Partisan lobbyists in conflicts." European Journal of Political Economy 60: 101811.

Eisenkopf, G. (2018). The long-run effects of communication as a conflict resolution mechanism. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 154, 121-136.

Lehre

Opens external link in new windowWiSe 2019/2020

SoSe 2019

WiSe 2018/2019

SoSe 2018

WiSe 2017 / 2018

SoSe 2017

WiSe 2016 / 2017


Letzte Aenderung: 25.06.2020 · Seite drucken

Kontakt

Raum: T 322
Neuer Markt 32
49377 Vechta 

Tel.: +49 (0) 4441.15 127
Fax: +49 (0) 4441 15 67211
E-Mail: Opens window for sending emailGerald.Eisenkopf

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