Experiments and Behavior

 

My crop science background taught me experimental design back in the 1980s and my PhD work on farming systems and the potetial of agroforestry Technologies in Zambia utilized both on station and on farm experimental data. My work on preferences using experiments started back in the 1990s and includes studies of risk preferences and time preferences of poor rural households in Ethiopia, Indonesia and Zambia. The research has aimed at assessing how these preferences are related to the level of poverty of households as well as some of the behavioural consequences of their preferences. Such behavioural consequences may also have important policy implications and may provide a basis for interventions on poverty, equity or environmental grounds. For example:

 

  • Are poor households mining their natural resource base because they are too poor and myopic to be able to conserve it?
  • Can smart interventions be designed to reduce welfare losses due to time inconsistent behavior?
  • Can smart safety nets be provided that can protect poor households from falling into poverty traps?
  • Can smart subsidy programs be designed that can help poor households climb out of poverty and achieve higher welfare levels?
  • How can experiments be used to learn more about how people adapt to climate change

My recent work includes

  • Experiments to assess intrahousehold collaboration, gender balance in decision-making, generosity and intra-household cooperation in the project "Joint land certification: Towards Empowerment or Marginalization?" funded by the Research Council of Norway and in studies of youth livelihood opportunities in Ethiopia (With Sosina Bezu)
  • Experiments to assess how climate risk and shocks affect technology adoption and whether EU theory or Prospect Theory is more appropriate to predict behavior
  • Experiments to assess input demand in agriculture that introduces larger exogenous price variation than what can be found in survey data
  • Experiments with youth to assess whether generosity and trust among youth differs depending on social distance on socio-economic background and context.

 

 

Recent contributions:

 

2017

Conference presentations

Presentation at the Nordic Conference in Development Economics at Gothenburg University, 12-13. June 2017: Subjective Probability Weighting and Input Use Intensity. Powerpoint Paper Link.

 

My presentation at the SEEDEC conference at University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 20-21. April 2017: Exchange Asymmetries in Productive Assets: Tools, Fertilizer or Cash? Link

 

I presented the paper "Bounded awareness and anomalies in intertemporal choice: Google Earth as metaphor and model", coauthored with John Quiggin at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Norwegian Association of Economists, at Oslo Business School, January 3-4, 2017.

 

 

Journal papers:

Holden, S. T. and Quiggin, J. (2017). Bounded awareness and anomalies in intertemporal choice: Zooming in Google Earth as both metaphor and model. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, DOI: 10.1007/s11166-017-9254-2.

 

Tadesse, M. A., Alfnes, F., Erenstein, O., Holden, S. T. (2017). Demand for a labor-based drought insurance scheme in Ethiopia: a stated choice experiment approach. Agricultural Economics, doi: 10.1111/agec.12351. Link

 

Holden, S. T. and Quiggin, J. (2017). Climate risk and state-contingent technology adoption: shocks, drought tolerance and preferences. European Review of Agricultural Economics 44 (2), 285–308. doi: 10.1093/erae/jbw016. Link

 

Working papers:

Holden, S. T. and Quiggin, J. (2017). Probability Weighting and Input Use Intensity in a State-Contingent Framework. CLTS Working Paper No. 8/2017. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway. Link.

 

Earlier journal papers

 

Holden, S. T. and Westberg, N. B. (2016). Exploring technology use under climate risk and shocks through an experimental lens. African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 10 (1): 47-62. Link

 

Bezu, S. and Holden, S.T. (2015). Generosity and sharing among villagers:Do women give more?. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 57: 103-111. Link

 

Ghebru, H. and Holden, S.T. (2015). Technical Efficiency and Productivity Differential Effects of Land Right Certification: A Quasi-Experimental Evidence. Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture 54 (1): 1-31. Link

 

Holden, S. T. and Lunduka, R. (2014). Input Subsidies, Cash Constraints and Timing of Input Supply. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 96(1): 290–307.Link

 

Working papers:

 

Bezu, S. and Holden, S. T. (2015). Street based self-employment: A poverty trap or a stepping stone for migrant youth in Africa? CLTS Working Paper No. 4/2015. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway. Link

 

Holden, S. T. and Quiggin, J. (2015). Bounded awareness and anomalies in intertemporal choice: Google Earth as metaphor and model. School of Economics and Business Working paper No. 13/2015. Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway. Link

 

Holden, S. T (2015). Risk Preferences, Shocks and Technology Adoption: Farmers’ Responses to Drought Risk. CLTS Working Paper No. 3/2015. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway. Link

 

Holden, S. T. and Bezu, S. (2014). Tools, Fertilizer or Cash? Exchange Asymmetries in Productive Assets. CLTS Working Paper No. 13/2014. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway. Link

 

Holden, S. T. (2014). Risky Choices of Poor People: Comparing Risk Preference Elicitation Approaches in Field Experiments. CLTS Working Paper No. 10/2014. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway. Link

 

Holden, S. T. and Bezu, S. (2014). Are Wives less Selfish than their Husbands? Evidence from Hawk-Dove Game Field Experiments. CLTS Working Paper No. 3/2014. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway. Link

 

Holden, S. T. (2014). Explaining anomalies in intertemporal choice: A mental zooming theory. CLTS Working Paper No. 2/2014. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway.

 

Holden, S. T. and Bezu, S. (2014). Intra-household Coordination, Cooperation and Pareto-efficiency: Lab-in-the-Field Hawk-Dove Game Experiments. Paper presented at the Norwegian Economists' Annual Conference, January 6-7th, 2014.

 

Holden, S. T. and Bezu, S. (2013). Joint Land Certification and Intra-household Decision-making: Towards Empowerment of Wives?. CLTS Working Paper No. 14/2013. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway. Link

 

Bezu, S. and Holden, S. T. (2013). Land Access and Youth Livelihood Opportunities in Southern Ethiopia CLTS Working Paper No. 11/2013. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway. Link

 

Holden, S. T. (2013). High discount rates: - An artifact caused by poorly framed experiments or a result of people being poor and vulnerable? CLTS Working Paper No. 8/2013. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway.

 

Tadesse, M., Alfnes, F., Holden, S. T. and Erenstein, O.(2013). Demand for drought insurance in Ethiopia. Chapter 17 in R. Gommes and F. Kayitakire (Eds.), The challenges of index-based insurance for food security in developing countries. European Union, Luxembourg Publications Office, Luxembourg.

 

Bezu, Sosina and Stein T. Holden (2013). Land Access and Youth Livelihood Opportunities in Southern Ethiopia CLTS Working Paper No. 11/2013. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway. Link

 

Holden, Stein T. (2013). High discount rates: - An artifact caused by poorly framed experiments or a result of people being poor and vulnerable? CLTS Working Paper No. 8/2013. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway. Link

 

Tadesse, M., Alfnes, F., Holden, S. and Erenstein, O.(2013). Demand for drought insurance in Ethiopia. Chapter 17 in R. Gommes and F. Kayitakire (Eds.), The challenges of index-based insurance for food security in developing countries. European Union, Luxembourg Publications Office, Luxembourg.

 

Sosina Bezu and Stein Holden. Generosity and social distance in dictator game field experiments with and without a face. CLTS Working Paper No. 1/2013. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway. Link. Powerpoint

 

Holden, S. T. and Lunduka, R. (2010). Cash Constraints and Sticky Input Expenditures: -Experimental Evidence from Malawi. Paper prepared for presentation at Samfunnsøkonomenes Årskonferanse, 5-7. January 2011, at Norges Handelshøyskole, Bergen. Link

 

Holden, S. T. and Lunduka, R. (2010). Impacts of the fertilizer subsidy program in Malawi: Targeting, household perceptions and preferences. Report to NORAD. Department of Economics and Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Link to paper. Link to blog briefs

 

Earlier publications:

 

Wik, M., Aragie, T. K., Bergland, O. and Holden, S. T. (2004). On the Measurement of Risk Aversion from Experimental Data. Applied Economics 36, 2443-2451. Link

 

Holden, S. T. and Shiferaw, B.(2002). Poverty and Land Degradation: Peasants’ Willingness to Pay to Sustain Land Productivity. In C. B. Barrett, F. M. Place, and A. A. Aboud (eds.), Natural Resource Management in African Agriculture: Understanding and Improving Current Practices. CABI Publishing in Association with International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, Oxon and New York.

 

Holden, S. T., Shiferaw, B. and Wik, M.(1998). Poverty, Market Imperfections, and Time Preferences: Of Relevance for Environmental Policy? Environment and Development Economics 3: 105-130. Abstract

 

Holden, S. T., Shiferaw, B. and Wik, M.(1996). Poverty, Credit Constraints, and Time Preferences: Of Relevance for Environmental Policy? Paper presented at the XXIII International Conference of Agricultural Economists in Sacramento August 1997.

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