Cappelen presents at University of Bergen

1 February 2017 10:46

(updated: 1 February 2017 10:59)

Cappelen presents at University of Bergen

On February 2, The Choice Lab researcher Alexander Cappelen presents the project “False Positives and False Negatives in Distributive Choices”.

Cappelen presents at the Faculty Seminar at the Department of Economics, University of Bergen.

Date: February 2
Time: 12:45-14:00
Place: Seminar room on the top floor of the Faculty of Social Sciences building adjacent to the Department of Economics at UiB.

The presented paper is a joint project with fellow The Choice Lab researcher Bertil Tungodden, and Cornelius Cappelen (University of Bergen).

Abstract
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.