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Essays on Market Experiments

Essays on Market Experiments

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While the topics of the three essays in this dissertation vary widely, the methodology and purpose of each chapter is common. Laboratory methods are employed to better understand how people respond to incentives, adding to the ability of economics to explain human behavior. The first essay seeks to determine whether potential sellers are able to anticipate and take advantage of the "Winner's Curse". The second essay involves an experimental test of Gary Becker's rational criminal behavior theory using a revealed preference framework in the spirit of the practical economics started by Paul Samuelson. I find that choices are consistent with revealed preference axioms, and thus rational, allowing for estimation of demand for stolen loot. This further lends support to the idea that economic models can explain criminal behavior. The third essay presents an experiment designed to determine the effects of contract convexity on an executive's decision making process, relative to an expected-value equivalent linear contract.