SBEE Seminar Series: Topi Miettinen

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad

The Social, Behavioral and Experimental Economics lecture series is sponsored by the School of Information, the Ross School of Business and the Department of Economics. Speakers from U.S. and international universities present their research at weekly seminars during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Note: SBEE Seminars take place from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm. 

Exploration in Teams and the Encouragement Effect: Theory and Experimental Evidence


This paper analyzes a two-person, two-stage model of sequential exploration, where both information and payoff externalities exist, and tests the derived hypotheses in the laboratory. We theoretically show that even when agents are self-interested and perfectly rational, the information externality induces an encouragement effect: a positive effect of first-player exploration on the optimality of the second-player exploring as well. When agents have other-regarding preferences and imperfectly optimize, the encouragement effect is strongest. The explorative nature of the game raises the expected surplus compared to a payoff equivalent public goods game. We empirically confirm our main theoretical predictions using a novel experimental paradigm. Our findings are relevant for motivating and managing groups and teams innovating not only for private but also, and especially so, for public goods.

Speaker Bio

Topi Miettinen completed his Master's degree in Economics at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki in 2001, and his PhD at the University College London in 2006. He started his postgraduate career at Max Planck Institute of Economics in Werner Güth's group. He then moved to the Stockholm School of Economics before returning to his home town Helsinki and its Center of Economic Research in 2010. Since 2011 he has held first an assistant professor position and now a tenure at Hanken School of Economics whose economics department resides at the Helsinki Center of Economic Research.  He is also the head of the economics department at Hanken.