Online Belief Elicitation Methods
Valeria Burdea and
No 8823, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo
We evaluate the quality of beliefs elicited from online respondents, comparing several characteristics of two widely used elicitation mechanisms (the Binarized Scoring Rule - BSR - and a stochastic variation of the Becker-deGroot-Marshak mechanism -BDM) against a ﬂat fee baseline for a variety of beliefs (induced probabilities, ﬁrst-order factual knowledge, second-order knowledge of others). We ﬁnd the ﬂat-fee method is the most time-eﬃcient, the BDM is the most diﬃcult to understand, and there are no diﬀerences in the average accuracy of induced beliefs across conditions. However, the methods are signiﬁcantly diﬀerent in terms of the frequency of ﬁrst-order and second-order beliefs reported at exactly 50%: the ﬂat-fee method leads to the most mass on this belief, followed by BDM and BSR. We also ﬁnd that incentives increase accuracy for less-educated participants, and that attention, numeracy, and education are positively associated with the quality of induced beliefs across methods. Our results suggest that the quality of beliefs elicited in online environments may depend less on the formal incentive compatibility properties of the elicitation procedure (whether the procedure prevents “dishonest” reporting) than on the diﬃculty of comprehending the task and how well incentives induce cognitive eﬀort (thereby inducing subjects to quantify or construct their beliefs).
Keywords: belief elicitation; incentives; online experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C81 C89 D83 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-neu
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