Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Minimizing learning in repeated real-effort tasks

Rau, Holger A.
Sölch, Christian
Volume: 22
Pages: 239 - 248
Month: June
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2019
Keywords: Experimental methods; Learning behavior; Real effort

In this paper, we discuss learning behavior and the heterogeneity of subjects’ ability to perform in real-effort tasks. We present a task, which aims to minimize learning in repeated settings. In the task participants encrypt words into numbers. We randomize the numbers in the allocation table and the position of the words in the table after a puzzle was solved. We report data where subjects work repeatedly in the task for ten periods. We find a very weak learning behavior of 2% between periods 1–5 and periods 6–10 of the data. The data demonstrate that subjects show a small heterogeneity in performance. Our results also show that women perform better in the task. Hence, the task is also adequate for settings, which aim to analyze gender settings where female participants have an advantage. This may be helpful as many tasks find a male advantage or no gender difference.