©2018 BY EMMA HEIKENSTEN

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WORK IN PROGRESS

MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE: DO MORE GOALS LEAD TO MORE SAVINGS?

To save money is difficult and savings are often lower than what people wish and plan for. In this paper I examine whether goal setting and the effect of multiple goals can motivate people to save more. With an app created to help their users to reach their savings goals I run a field experiment with 3700 participants over the course of one year - introducing one additional savings goal for the treated group and compare the level of savings to an untouched control group. I also test the effect of different default values on the added goal. The addition of an exogenous savings goal does not increase average savings neither does the high default target value. Moreover, savings for initial goals are not affected, i.e. there is no crowding out effect or sign of demotivation. Exploratory analysis show that the treatment motivates the lower part of the distribution and there are significantly fewer people with zero savings in the treatment group. In addition, the treatment has a positive and significant effect on savings when outliers at the very top of the distribution are excluded. 

SHINE A LIGHT ON THE BRIGHT: THE EFFECT OF AWARDS ON CONFIDENCE TO SPEAK UP IN GENDER-TYPED KNOWLEDGE WORK 

(with Jana Gallus) 

Knowledge exchange is important for organizational performance. Previous work on the micro-level sources of suboptimal exchange has focused on motivational and cognitive reasons. We emphasize the importance of beliefs and their contingency on environmental factors. Our lab experimental evidence shows how self-stereotyping can lead to systematically suboptimal knowledge transfer by high-ability women in male-typed STEM fields. We test whether recognition increases group members’ confidence to contribute ideas (“speak up”), and whether the form of recognition (private feedback, virtual award, face-to-face award ceremony) matters for closing the gender gap. We find that recognition increases high-ability individuals’ confidence to speak up. Importantly, the form of recognition (its publicness) matters: the gender gap disappears when awards are celebrated in a face-to-face ceremony. Exploratory analyses suggest the importance of trust and perceived legitimacy to lead the team as psychological channels for this effect.

SIMON SAYS: EXAMINING GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ADVICE SEEKING IN THE LAB.

(with Siri Isaksson) (working paper here)

Advice seeking is an important part of both professional and personal decision making. In this paper, we investigate gender differences in the propensity to seek costly advice and if the gender of the advisor influences this decision. Over two treatments, we vary the amount of information that advisees receive about advisors on the quality of their advice. We also use two types of questions, mathematical and verbal, to test the effect of stereotyped domains. Our findings suggest that women seek less advice than men. This result is driven by men seeking more advice on verbal tasks, and women seeking less advice when information about it's quality is introduced. Furthermore, the advisor's gender does not influence the decision to seek advice and we do not find that advisees seek more  advice from advisors of the same gender.

IN FAVOR OF GIRLS: ADULTS TRUST GIRLS MORE THAN BOYS FOR ADVICE

(with Siri Isaksson)
In this paper, we examine whether adults (N=123) engage in gender discrimination when seeking advice from children (N=38). To answer this question, we collect data from the five seasons of the Swedish Game Show ”Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” where adult contestants choose a boy or a girl from 5th grade to help them earn large amounts of money by answering questions from the primary school curriculum. We observe that girls are 9.5 percentage points more likely to be asked for advice than boys. This corresponds to a 18,1 percent gap in favor of girls.

GENDER DIFFERENCES IN REVENGE AND STRATEGIC PLAY: A NATURAL EXPERIMENT

(with Sirus Dehdari and Siri Isaksson)
This paper provides new evidence of gender differences in retaliatory behavior. Using game show data from a natural setting where stakes are high, we ask whether men are more likely to retaliate following an attack and whether the gender of the target matters for this decision. The behavior studied in this paper is the decision of to whom to send the question to in a quiz show setting. We observe a 23 percent gender gap in the propensity to retaliate: women are less likely to seek revenge. The gender of the target matters for women but not for men, with women being more likely to retaliate against men than women. In addition, we show that retaliation is a successful way of averting future attacks in the short term. This is especially true for women, yet we find that women seek less revenge than men.

IS TIME OUR FRIEND OR ENEMY? THE IMPACT OF TIMING ON ONLINE EXPERIMENTATION

(with Ming Yin and Yiling Chen) 
In this paper, we investigate the effect of timing on results of online experiments that are conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). We test whether there are significant differences in participant demographics and behavioral results in a number of important economics and cognitive experiments across different points in time—both at different times during a day and at two periods that are four months apart. We find that there are indeed significant hourly variations in both demographic and behavioral results. In addition, some experimental results are not consistent in a longer time frame of several months. These results suggest that the timing of an MTurk-based experiment may influence its results. Thus, we recommend that researchers using MTurk workers as their data collection source should not only focus on obtaining large samples at one point in time, but also collect data at different points in time and consider both hourly and monthly variations in the experimental data obtained. This will increase the representativeness of the sampled population, both in terms of their demographics and behavior, and thus help improve generalizability of experimental results obtained on MTurk.

PUBLISHED PAPERS (CLICK FOR LINK)