Blog 2017

Ice cream study generates media feedback


My joint paper with Michael Kirchler, "Immaterial and Monetary Gifts in Economic Transactions. Evidence from the Field. " has been accepted at Experimental Economics. In it, we explore the effect of complimenting or tipping the salesperson in a fast-food restaurant on the amount of ice cream or the weight of durum doner provided. The twist about the design is that we give the compliment or tip prior to the product's preparation.

We find that giving a compliment results in about 10% more ice cream in the cone, and tipping (about 10%) results in about 17% more ice cream. In the picture to the right, the left-hand cone was ordered normally, while the right-hand cone resulted from ordering and adding the sentence "You have the best ice cream in town".

In the case of the durum doner, the effects are not as strong (it is harder to pack more ingredients into a fixed-size bread), but in the compliment treatment, they increase over time. When we visit the same salesperson five days in a row, doner weight increases by 7% (23g) relative to the baseline when we compliment, while it stays relatively constant at 4% (17g) higher than in the baseline when we tip.

There has also been significant media reaction to the publication. A selection (see the full list in Media echo):

Kirchler, M., Palan, S., 2018. Immaterial and monetary gifts in economic transactions. Evidence from the field, Experimental Economics 21(1), 205–230, DOI: 10.1007/s10683-017-9536-1.

Article on insider trading research in "Die Presse"


"Die Presse", one of Austria's leading daily newspapers, recently published an article on my and Thomas Stöckl's research into insider trading legislation, mainly referring to our forthcoming paper in Journal of Financial Markets. The German-language article was titled "Der Börse sind Paragraphen egal" and can be viewed on the newspaper's website.

"The Case for Anarchy", by David Friedman


David D. Friedman recently visited the University of Graz and gave a talk on his ideas about a society without government. Hosted by the Economics Club Graz and the Austrian Libertarian Movement, he made the case that private institutions could provide the same services central governments do in most countries. While I see several problems with aspects of his plan, he offered some interesting ideas and a point of view that provokes thought. David allowed for recordings to be taken, so feel free to listen to his talk, in full, below.

2017-06-06 Friedman - The Case for Anarchy.mp3