Yotam Margalit, Moses Shayo, 31 January 2021

The impact of markets on participants' values and political preferences has long been a contested issue.  This column uses a large field experiment to evaluate the effects of engagement in financial markets. Participants from a national sample in England were randomly assigned substantial sums they could invest in stocks or non-financial assets over a six-week period. Results show that investment in stocks led to a more right-leaning outlook on society and economics, including issues like personal responsibility, merit, and the role of luck in economic success. It also increased support for market-friendly policies and less regulation. 

William C. Boning, John Guyton, Ronald Hodge, Joel Slemrod, Ugo Troiano, 25 May 2018

Tax evasion remains a pervasive problem. Fighting it efficiently is crucial, as resources spent on enforcement can’t be spent elsewhere in society. This column describes the outcomes of an enforcement experiment targeting at-risk firms in the US. Notification of risk status by letter saw an increase in remittances of 34%, while notification by in-person visit increased remittances by 276%. Remitted taxes also increased for the network neighbours of firms that received an in-person visit.

Michael Kosfeld, Susanne Neckermann, Xiaolan Yang, 08 May 2016

Employees care about more than just money. Understanding these non-monetary motivations can help organisations incentivise performance. This column presents evidence from a field experiment that explored the motivational effects of ‘meaningful’ work. Recognition and meaning are found to have substitutive motivational effects, while monetary incentives and meaning have additive effects. 

Mirco Tonin, Michael Vlassopoulos, 28 May 2010

What motivates workers in their job? This column presents evidence from a recent field experiment suggesting that women are motivated by concern about the social cause pursued by their employer, while men are not. This may provide new insight into the gender earnings gap.


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