Cappelen presents at University of Innsbruck
On 27 April, The Choice Lab Researcher Alexander Cappelen presents the paper "False positives and false negatives in distributional choices" at the University of Innsbruck
The paper is joint work with The Choice Lab researcher Bertil Tungodden and affiliated researcher Cornelius Cappelen, and is presented as a part of the SFB Research Seminar series at University of Innsbruck, Austria.
When benefits and burdens are distributed, decision makers are often faced with a trade-off between giving someone more than their fair share, false positives, and giving someone less than their fair share, false negatives. We present the results from the first experimental study of how people make trade-offs between these two mistakes. The study examines how an uninvolved third party makes the choice between a distribution that involves giving a payment to a number of workers who do not deserver payment and a distribution that involves not giving a payment to a number of workers who deserve payment. In a large representative sample of participants from the US and Norway, we find that a majority are false negative averse in the sense that they are more concerned with avoiding false negatives than with avoiding false positives. We also find that the aversion to false negatives is related to political affiliation, with right-wing voters being more concerned with avoiding false positives averse than others.