Joint Research Projects 2016

1.Laboratory experiments on decision-making in unstructured interaction

The main goal of this research project is to design and implement experiments for a) problems that typically would be considered and solved by following the axiomatic approach and b) for theories that have traditionally developed without feedback from empirical evidence. We believe that, just like Microeconomics and Non-cooperative Game Theory have been substantially transformed by incorporating and accommodating empirical
findings from the experimental laboratory, Cooperative Game Theory and other related axiomatic and normative fields would also benefit from experimental testing. Taking the development of Behavioral Microeconomics (Bowles, 2004) and Behavioral Game Theory (Camerer, 2003) as an example, this project aims at contributing to the creation of Behavioral Cooperative Game Theory. By doing so, we would not only study important, but for-practical-reasons neglected, fundamental questions like (unstructured) bargaining and coalition formation, but we would also engage in discussion with neighboring fields as Political Science and Philosophy, for example.

In other words, this project is planning to take the experimental method as used by Psychologists and mainly by Economists to study human decision-making into unexplored territories of Economics. The potential
contributions are twofold. On the one hand, the project is going to gather empirical data with direct relevance to the above-mentioned fields, while on the other hand it is going to contribute to the discussion on experimental methodology with novel experimental tools and designs.

As a first step, we are going to look at two-person unstructured bargaining problems in order to check the empirical relevance of the solution concepts offered by theory (e.g., Nash bargaining solution, Kalai-Smorodinsky solution, egalitarian solution, deal-me-out solution, etc.) and the underlying axioms (efficiency, scale covariance, independence of irrelevant alternatives, monotonicity, etc.).

Robert Veszteg (core member of CPPE), Noemi Navarro (Université de Bordeaux)

2. Does Democracy Imply Free Media? An Empirical Assessment

Although democratic theorists argue that free media are intrinsic to democracy, empirical research emphasizes free elections much more than free media in measuring democracy. Recently, some scholars of comparative politics have argued that authoritarian regimes with certain characteristics have incentives to permit (at least partially) free media, while other scholars have demonstrated that democratically elected
leaders may face circumstances in which they will try to constrain media freedom. In light of these works, this project will examine the empirical relationship between media freedom ratings produced by scholars and media monitoring organizations and several widely used indicators of democracy. To do so, we will compile and analyze a global dataset from 1996-2016.
The primary objective of this project is to assess whether, and to what extent, variation in the level of media freedom among democracies, relative to dictatorships, and declines in media freedom, within democratic countries, challenge the conventional wisdom that democracy consistently implies free and independent media. Although most democratic constitutions mandate freedom of the press, what scholars and international observers believe to constitute media freedom varies across countries and over time. Measures
designed to compare media freedom reflect these different conceptions. Thus, this project also will evaluate the conceptualization and operationalization of media freedom and of democracy in order to show how the conclusions that one draws regarding the empirical relationship between media freedom and the level of democracy or type of regime depend on the measures one employs. Finally, the project also will consider the
institutional correlates of media freedom variation within democracies. In particular, we will compare the levels and fluctuations in media freedom in presidential and parliamentary democracies, and we will examine whether the relationship between media freedom and party system characteristics depends on the system of government, and vice versa.

Professor Keiichi Kubo (core member of CPPE), Professor Marisa Kellam (associate member of CPPE),
Professor Elizabeth A. Stein who is currently a visiting assistant professor and post-doctoral fellow on Global Media, Development, and Democracy at the School of Global & International Studies at Indiana University.

3. Relative Age in School and Suicide Risk

A growing body of literature has examined the relationship between children’s relative age in a grade and their academic performance. Evidence collected in many parts of the world suggests that, compared to older students, students who are relatively younger at school entry tend to perform worse on achievement tests, are more likely to be held back a grade in elementary school, and are less likely to attend college. A more recent research suggests that relative age effects have broader consequences than was previously supposed; Using individual data of death by adolescents and young adults in Japan from 1989 to 2010, Matsubayashi and Ueda (2015, PLOS ONE) has found that those who were born right before the school cutoff day and thus youngest in their cohort have higher mortality rates by suicide, compared to their peers who were born right after the cutoff date and thus older. However, it remains to be understood why individuals who were relatively younger at school have higher suicide risk. This study seeks to understand what makes relatively young students vulnerable by analyzing individual survey data on students in Japan.

Haruko Noguchi (core member of CPPE), Michiko Ueda (associate member of CPPE)

4. Developments of Growth Models Considering Firm Heterogeneity and Cross-country Asymmetry

The Melitz model, a monopolistic competition trade model with firm heterogeneity, is one of the representative trade models today, and there has also been some research on incorporating it into the R&D-based endogenous growth models. However, all such growth models depend on the assumption of symmetry across countries. The purpose of this research is to develop growth models considering firm heterogeneity and cross-country asymmetry.

Takumi Naito (core member of CPPE)

5. Tracing the Semantics of Scientific Arguments in Hybrid Media

Scientific arguments in society are inexhaustible; from the justification of space programs after cold war to the nuclear issues after the great East Japan earthquake. On the other hand, the stage of those arguments is now moved from traditional mass-media to "hybrid media" environment which includes information and communication technology such as social network sites. How the disputes are performed, and what are the meanings of the experts, journalism or public relations in this hybrid media environment? In this study, we will investigate the characteristics of contemporary scientific arguments with using mixed methods.

Mikihito, Tanaka (core member of CPPE), Daisuke, Yoshinaga (Graduate School of Political Science)

6.Traders’ expectations & asset price management policy in financial market

In this project, we consider how traders expect asset prices in financial markets, and how they trade assets based on their expectations. And then, we study how to control financial crises like bank runs, bubble, and cruses, and what is the optimal monetary policy.
Our approach is a combination of experimental & theoretical ones. We plan to have experiments of traders’ expectations when the central bank intervenes in asset markets. By using those experimental data, we construct a behavior model to explain the expectations, and show a theoretical model of asset trading with banking sectors.
Furthermore, the above behavioral model will be connected to the framework of microeconomics of banking. Then, we show a new model which is parts of rational expectations models with heterogeneous traders whose behavior is consistent with the experimental data.

Yukihiko Funaki (core member of CPPE), Ryuichiro Ishikawa (associate member of CPPE)