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EUI Interdisciplinary Experimental Working Group

Dates:
  • Wed 20 Nov 2019 13.30 - 15.45
  Add to Calendar 2019-11-20 13:30 2019-11-20 15:45 Europe/Paris EUI Interdisciplinary Experimental Working Group

Heike Solga (WZB Berlin Social Science Center) “Experimental studies in educational and labor market research – advantages and limitations” Causality is of growing concern in sociological research. Advances in statistical methods (like matching, instrumental variables, difference-in-difference designs etc.) are one indicator of this development. The increasing application of experimental designs (like audit studies, vignette studies, intervention studies or field experiments) in sociological research, especially in educational and labor market research, is another indicator of this concern. Like in medicine and natural sciences, experimental designs seem to become the “gold standard” of claiming causality also in sociology. In this lecture, I will present designs and findings from three experimental studies of my own work: an audit study on the importance of cognitive and non-cognitive skills for job entry, a vignette study with employers for hiring young migrants (from Spain) after the financial crisis, and a field experiment on the impact of financial information on the realization of college plans of high school students. For each example, I will also discuss the demanding prerequisites for a successful set-up of the studies – including a lot of institutional as well as descriptive knowledge for the experimental research question – and the lessons we have learnt but also their limitations in terms of causal explanation/understanding. The aim of the lecture is thus twofold: first, to provide an overview of my experimental work and their exciting findings, and second, to provoke a discussion with the audience on the advantages and limitations of experimental studies, appropriate interpretations of their findings, and the value of descriptive and institutional studies for them. Daniele Nosenzo (Luxembourg Institute for Socio Economic Research and University of Nottingham) “Law and Norms: Empirical Evidence” A large theoretical literature argues laws exert a causal effect on norms. This paper is the first to provide a clean empirical test of the proposition. Using an incentivized vignette experiment, we directly measure social norms relating to actions subject to legal thresholds. Results from three samples with around 800 subjects drawn from universities in the UK and China, and the UK general population, show laws often, but not always, influence norms. The strength of the effect varies across different scenarios, with some evidence that it is more powerful when law-breaking is more likely to be intentional and accurately measurable. Co-author: Tom Lane

Conference Room DD/MM/YYYY
  Conference Room

Heike Solga (WZB Berlin Social Science Center) “Experimental studies in educational and labor market research – advantages and limitations” Causality is of growing concern in sociological research. Advances in statistical methods (like matching, instrumental variables, difference-in-difference designs etc.) are one indicator of this development. The increasing application of experimental designs (like audit studies, vignette studies, intervention studies or field experiments) in sociological research, especially in educational and labor market research, is another indicator of this concern. Like in medicine and natural sciences, experimental designs seem to become the “gold standard” of claiming causality also in sociology. In this lecture, I will present designs and findings from three experimental studies of my own work: an audit study on the importance of cognitive and non-cognitive skills for job entry, a vignette study with employers for hiring young migrants (from Spain) after the financial crisis, and a field experiment on the impact of financial information on the realization of college plans of high school students. For each example, I will also discuss the demanding prerequisites for a successful set-up of the studies – including a lot of institutional as well as descriptive knowledge for the experimental research question – and the lessons we have learnt but also their limitations in terms of causal explanation/understanding. The aim of the lecture is thus twofold: first, to provide an overview of my experimental work and their exciting findings, and second, to provoke a discussion with the audience on the advantages and limitations of experimental studies, appropriate interpretations of their findings, and the value of descriptive and institutional studies for them. Daniele Nosenzo (Luxembourg Institute for Socio Economic Research and University of Nottingham) “Law and Norms: Empirical Evidence” A large theoretical literature argues laws exert a causal effect on norms. This paper is the first to provide a clean empirical test of the proposition. Using an incentivized vignette experiment, we directly measure social norms relating to actions subject to legal thresholds. Results from three samples with around 800 subjects drawn from universities in the UK and China, and the UK general population, show laws often, but not always, influence norms. The strength of the effect varies across different scenarios, with some evidence that it is more powerful when law-breaking is more likely to be intentional and accurately measurable. Co-author: Tom Lane


Location:
Conference Room

Affiliation:
Department of Economics
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Organiser:
Prof. Klarita Gërxhani (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences)
Prof. Michèle Belot ((EUI - Department of Economics))

Speaker:
Prof. Daniele Nosenzo (Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research (LISER))
Prof. Heike Solga (WZB Berlin)
 
 

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