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Jingjing Zhang

Biography

Jingjing Zhang joins UTS as a Senior Lecturer. The unifying theme of her research is applying experimental methods to design better institutions for voting and committee decisions, rent-seeking contests, resource allocations, collective decision-making under risk, auctions and matching. She has published in top journals including Games and Economic Behavior, Experimental Economics, Social Choice and Welfare and Economic Inquiry. She was awarded grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, UTS Business research grant, etc. She is the Co-director of the UTS Behavioral Lab and the manager of the Centre for Policy and Market Design.

CV

For more information, please check out her Personal website.

Senior Lecturer, Economics Discipline Group
Ph.D. (Purdue University)
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 3064
Can supervise: Yes

Journal articles

Casari, M., Zhang, J. & Jackson, C. 2016, 'Same process, different outcomes: group performance in an acquiring a company experiment', Experimental Economics.
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© 2015 Economic Science Association It is still an open question when groups perform better than individuals in intellective tasks. We report that in an Acquiring a Company game, what prevailed when there was disagreement among group members was the median proposal and not the best proposal. This aggregation rule explains why groups underperformed with respect to a 'truth wins benchmark and why they performed better than individuals deciding in isolation in a simple version of the task but worse in the more difficult version. Implications are drawn on when to employ groups rather than individuals in decision making.
Goeree, J.K. & Zhang, J. 2014, 'Communication & competition', Experimental Economics, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 421-438.
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Charness and Dufwenberg (Am. Econ. Rev. 101(4):1211-1237, 2011) have recently demonstrated that cheap-talk communication raises efficiency in bilateral contracting situations with adverse selection. We replicate their main finding and extend their design to include competition between agents. We find that communication and competition act as "substitutes:" communication raises efficiency in the absence of competition but not with competition, and competition raises efficiency without communication but lowers efficiency with communication. We briefly review some behavioral theories that have been proposed in this context and show that each can explain some but not all features of the observed data patterns. Our findings highlight the fragility of cheap-talk communication and may serve as a guide to refine existing behavioral theories. © 2013 Economic Science Association.
Sheremeta, R.M. & Zhang, J. 2014, 'Three-player trust game with insider communication', Economic Inquiry, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 576-591.
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We examine behavior in a three-player trust game in which the first player may invest in the second and the second may invest in the third. Any amount sent from one player to the next is tripled. The third player decides the final allocation among three players. The baseline treatment with no communication shows that the first and second players send significant amounts and the third player reciprocates. Allowing insider communication between the second and the third players increases cooperation between these two. Interestingly, there is an external effect of insider communication: the first player who is outside communication sends 54% more and receives 289% more than in the baseline treatment. As a result, insider communication increases efficiency from 44% to 68%. © 2013 Western Economic Association International.
Cason, T.N., Sheremeta, R.M. & Zhang, J. 2012, 'Communication and efficiency in competitive coordination games', Games and Economic Behavior, vol. 76, no. 1, pp. 26-43.
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Costless pre-play communication has been found to effectively facilitate coordination and enhance efficiency in games with Pareto-ranked equilibria. We report an experiment in which two groups compete in a weakest-link contest by expending costly efforts. Allowing intra-group communication leads to more aggressive competition and greater coordination than control treatments without any communication. On the other hand, allowing inter-group communication leads to less destructive competition. As a result, intra-group communication decreases while inter-group communication increases payoffs. Our experiment thus provides an example of an environment where communication can either enhance or damage efficiency. This contrasts sharply with experimental findings from public goods and other coordination games, where communication always enhances efficiency and often leads to socially optimal outcomes. © 2012 Elsevier Inc..
Zhang, J. & Casari, M. 2012, 'How groups reach agreement in risky choices: An experiment', Economic Inquiry, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 502-515.
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This paper studies how groups resolve disagreement in lottery choices. In an experiment, subjects submit individual proposals, exchange chat messages, and must reach unanimity. Overall, group choices are more coherent and closer to risk neutrality than individuals'. The proposal of the minority prevails in about one instance out of five. About one third of the groups do not reach immediate agreement after communication. In these groups, extrovert subjects are more likely to lead the group outcome than confused or conscientious subjects. The amount, equality, and timing of chat messages help us to predict which choice prevails in the group. © 2011 Western Economic Association International.
Sheremeta, R.M. & Zhang, J. 2010, 'Can groups solve the problem of over-bidding in contests?', Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 175-197.
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This study reports an experiment that examines whether groups can better comply with theoretical predictions than individuals in contests. Our experiment replicates previous findings that individual players significantly overbid relative to theoretical predictions, incurring substantial losses. There is high variance in individual bids and strong heterogeneity across individual players. The new findings of our experiment are that groups make 25% lower bids, their bids have lower variance, and group bids are less heterogeneous than individual bids. Therefore, groups receive significantly higher and more homogeneous payoffs than individuals. We elicit individual and group preferences toward risk using simple lotteries. The results indicate that groups make less risky decisions, which are possible explanations for lower bids in contests. Most importantly, we find that groups learn to make lower bids from communication and negotiation between group members. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.