Week 5 | Game Design Finalized!!!
This week, I finalized the game and started writing the instructions, but I still haven’t figured out whether I’m running a “lab” experiment or an online survey. Dr. Wang recommended that I spend a day or two in Google or Apple’s cafeteria if I am doing the in-person experiment. She said “they’ll find it cute and interesting and want to participate.”
Currently, I’m writing the instruction sheet as if I am doing the in-person run, but I need to make another copy of the instructions and game design in the form of a survey. There shouldn’t be that big of a difference between the two copies—just some minor changes here and there, especially with the incentives. In-person experiment will probably utilize a conversion rate between tokens and candy while online survey will utilize a conversion rate between tokens and money.
Instructions Rough Draft (No government protection treatment)
As I mentioned last week, my three treatments are no government protection, FDIC-insured, and government protected. Their general game design and instructions are very similar, so I’ll just explain one of them. This is also the first draft of the design, so there will likely be small changes compared to the final version!
“You will participate in an economic decision-making game with 4 other participants. Each one of you have 100 tokens saved in the public account at the beginning of the game. The game will last for 2 minutes. Within the 2 minutes, you are allowed to take any amount of tokens out of the public account or keep it in the account. Tokens taken out can be used to purchase candy in a market at the end of the game while tokens kept in the account receive a multiplier. If tokens are kept in the account for the entire duration of the game, the number of tokens in the account are multiplied by 1.2x. All tokens possessed at the end of the game can be redeemed for candy.
If a total of more than 50 tokens are taken out by the 5 participants, all tokens kept in the public accounts will disappear. Tokens that were already taken out of the account are safe and can be redeemed for candy. For example, if one participant takes out 35 tokens, another participant takes out 20 tokens, a third participant takes out 5 tokens, and the rest of the participants decide to keep their tokens in the public account, the three people receive their requested tokens; however, because the sum of the tokens taken out is greater than 50, the tokens that are still in the account will disappear and no one will have access to those tokens.
Even if 50 tokens or less are taken out, there is still a 20% chance that the public account will fail at the end of the game, meaning no one will have access to their tokens that are in the account. You will not know how many tokens other participants have taken out during the game.
Now, I will give you a response sheet. At the top left hand of the response sheet is your unique ID. If you wish to take tokens out, you must record the number on the response sheet. If you are not taking tokens out, please write down “0.”
Originally I had 10 people in a single game, but that’s too much to manage and recruit in a single run so I’m going with 5 instead.
I also increased the multiplier and chance of failure from .1 to .2 so there’s more incentive there. For example, if I end up using a conversion ratio of 10:1 for tokens to candy, a 1.1 multiplier is just a difference of 1 candy—not a big difference :/.
The 50 token threshold is not a random number; it’s derived from a 10% required reserve ratio. Since there’s 500 tokens in the public account, I figured that the threshold where the bank would start defaulting would be 10% of that.
Please let me know if there’s anything confusing. The instructions need to be as clear and concise as possible so there’s no confounding errors or misunderstanding in the experiment.
Next week, I’m going to run some preliminary tests with friends and family to see whether I need to change anything. Weeks 7 and 8 I want to collect and analyze data. The rest of the weeks will be dedicated to writing up my findings and policy proposal!
Until next time,