Université de Fribourg

Nobody’s Innocent : The Role of Customers in the Doping Dilemma

Buechel, Berno ; Emrich, Eike ; Pohlkamp, Stefanie

In: Journal of sports economics, 2016, vol. 17, no. 8, p. 767-789

Customers who boycott an organization after some scandal may actually exacerbate the fraud problem they would like to prevent. This conclusion is derived from a game- theoretic model that introduces a third player into the standard inspection game. Focusing on the example of doping in professional sports, we observe that doping is prevalent in equilibrium because customers undermine an...

Université de Fribourg

Condorcet winners on median spaces

Buechel, Berno

In: Social Choice and Welfare, 2014, vol. 42, no. 3, p. 735-750

We characterize the outcome of majority voting for single-peaked preferences on median spaces. This large class of preferences covers a variety of multi-dimensional policy spaces including products of lines (e.g. grids), trees, and hypercubes. Our main result is the following: If a Condorcet winner (i.e. a winner in pairwise majority voting) exists, then it coincides with the appropriately...

Université de Fribourg

Robust equilibria in location games

Buechel, Berno ; Roehl, Nils

In: European Journal of Operational Research, 2015, vol. 240, no. 2, p. 505-517

In the framework of spatial competition, two or more players strategically choose a location in order to attract consumers. It is assumed standardly that consumers with the same favorite location fully agree on the ranking of all possible locations. To investigate the necessity of this questionable and restrictive assumption, we model heterogeneity in consumers’ distance perceptions by...

Université de Fribourg

Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity

Buechel, Berno ; Hellmann, Tim ; Kloessner, Stefan

In: Journal of economic dynamics and control, 2015, vol. 52, p. 240-257

We study a dynamic model of opinion formation in social networks. In our model, boundedly rational agents update opinions by averaging over their neighbors’ expressed opinions, but may misrepresent their own opinion by conforming or counter-conforming with their neighbors. We show that an agent׳s social influence on the long-run group opinion is increasing in network centrality and...

Public access from Oct 23, 2021
Université de Fribourg

If I can do it, so can you! : Peer effects on perseverance

Buechel, Berno ; Mechtenberg, Lydia ; Petersen, Julia

In: Journal of economic behavior and organization, 2018, vol. 15, p. 301-314

Successful performance – be it in school, at the job, or in sports activities – requires perseverance, i.e., persistent work on a demanding task. We investigate in a controlled laboratory experiment how an individual's social environment affects perseverance. We find evidence for two kinds of peer effects: being observed by a peer can postpone the decision to give up, while observing a...

Public access from Oct 23, 2021
Université de Fribourg

The swing voter’s curse in social networks

Buechel, Berno ; Mechtenberg, Lydia

In: Games and economic behavior, 2019, vol. 118, p. 241-268

We study communication in social networks prior to a majority vote on two alternative policies. Some agents receive a private imperfect signal about which policy is correct. They can recommend a policy to their neighbors in the social network prior to the vote. We show theoretically and empirically that communication can undermine efficiency and hence reduce welfare in a common-interest...

Public access from Oct 23, 2021
Université de Fribourg

The strength of weak leaders : an experiment on social influence and social learning in teams

Buechel, Berno ; Kloessner, Stefan ; Lochmueller, Martin ; Rauhut, Heiko

In: Experimental economics, 2019, p. 1-35

We investigate how the selection process of a leader affects team performance with respect to social learning. We use a laboratory experiment in which an incentivized guessing task is repeated in a star network with the leader at the center. Leader selection is either based on competence, on self-confidence, or made at random. In our setting, teams with random leaders do not underperform....

Université de Fribourg

Restrictions in Spatial Competition : The Effects on Firms and Consumers

Buechel, Berno ; Klein, Jan F.

In: Homo economicus, 2016, vol. 33, no. 1-2, p. 157-172

Despite the rich stream of research that evolved from Hotelling’s spatial competition model, the fact that firms’ strategies are constrained by their technological capabilities, the legal environment, or overriding corporate strategies is commonly neglected. We study a model of Hotelling–Downs competition in which two firms choose a position along a one-dimensional market given that...

Université de Fribourg

The dynamics of continuous cultural traits in social networks

Buechel, Berno ; Hellmann, Tim ; Pichler, Michael M.

In: Journal of economic theory, 2014, vol. 154, p. 274-309

We consider an overlapping generations model where continuous cultural traits are transmitted from an adult generation to the children. A weighted social network describes how children are influenced not only by their parents but also by other role models within the society. Parents can invest into the purposeful socialization of their children by strategically displaying a cultural trait...

Université de Fribourg

Black Sheep or Scapegoats? : Implementable Monitoring Policies under Unobservable Levels of Misbehavior

Buechel, Berno ; Muehlheusser, Gerd

In: The journal of legal studies, 2016, vol. 45, no. 2, p. 331-366

An authority delegates a monitoring task to an agent. Thereby, it can observe the number of detected offenders but not the monitoring intensity chosen by the agent or the resulting level of misbehavior. We provide a necessary and sufficient condition for the implementability of monitoring policies. When several monitoring intensities lead to an observationally identical outcome, only the...