Welcome to my academic homepage!

Here you will find my papers and CV.

I work as Experiments Lead for Google Germany and I am a research affiliate at the Alfred-Weber-Institute, the economics department of the University of Heidelberg.

Previously, I worked as a Post-Doc researcher at the University of Heidelberg and as a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods. I did my PhD at the International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World (IMPRS Uncertainty) and the University of Jena.

At Google, I am primarily engaged in running marketing experiments. In my free time, I pursue research in Experimental and Behavioral Economics as well as in Political Economy. My research is unrelated to my work at Google.


email: isabelmarcin'at'gmail.com


Communication is More than Information Sharing: The Role of Status-Relevant Knowledge (with Michael Kurschilgen) (Games and Economic Behavior, 2019, Vol.113, pp. 651-672 ) (working paper version)

In cheap talk games where senders' accuracy of information depend on their background knowledge, a sender with image concerns may want to signal that she is knowledgeable despite having material incentives to lie. These image benefits may, in turn, depend on the type of knowledge and its perceived social status. Theoretically, we show that when some senders care sufficiently about their image, there is both a non-informative babbling equilibrium, and a separating equilibrium, in which the average sender's message is informative and receivers always follow. In a laboratory experiment, we vary the social status of knowledge (1) by providing senders with multiple-choice questions on either (a) broadsheet topics (general knowledge) or (b) tabloid topics, and (2) by systematically modifying the degree of difficulty. We find truth-telling rates to be significantly higher when senders can signal high-status knowledge.

Communication and voting in heterogeneous committees: An experimental study (with Mark Le Quement) (Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, in press) (working paper version)

We study experimentally the effectiveness of communication in common value committees exhibiting publicly known heterogeneous biases. We test models assuming respectively self-interested and strategic-, joint payoff-maximizing- and cognitively heterogeneous agents. These predict varying degrees of strategic communication. We use a 2 × 2 design varying the information protocol (communication vs exogenous public signals) and the group composition (heterogeneous vs homogeneous). Results are only consistent with the third model. Roughly 80% of (heuristic) subjects truth-tell and vote with the majority of announced signals. Remaining (sophisticated) agents lie strategically and approximately apply their optimal decision rule.

Institutional endogeneity and third-party sanctions in social dilemmas (with Pedro Robalo,Franziska Tausch) ( Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2019, Vol. 161, pp. 243-264) (working paper version)

This paper studies experimentally how the endogeneity of sanctioning institutions affects the severity of punishment in social dilemmas. We allow individuals to vote on the introduction of third-party-administered sanctions, and compare situations in which the adoption of this institution is endogenously decided via majority voting to situations in which it is exogenously imposed by the experimenter. Our experimental design addresses the self-selection and signaling effects that arise when subjects can vote on the institutional setting. We find that punishment is significantly higher when the sanctioning institution is exogenous, which can be explained by a difference in the effectiveness of punishment. Subjects respond to punishment more strongly when the sanctioning institution is endogenously chosen. As a result, a given cooperation level can be reached through milder punishment when third-party sanctions are endogenous. However, overall efficiency does not differ across the two settings as the stricter punishment implemented in the exogenous one sustains high cooperation as subjects interact repeatedly.

Testing the Endowment Effect for Default Rules (with Andreas Nicklisch) (2017, Review of Law and Economics, 13(2))

This paper explores potential endowment effects of contractual default rules. For this purpose, we analyze the Hadley liability default clause in a model of bilateral bargaining of lotteries against safe options. The liability default clause determines the right for the safe payoff option. We test the model in series of laboratory experiments. The results reveal a substantial willingness-to-accept to willingness-to-pay gap for the right to change lotteries against safe options. Even if we apply the incentive compatible Becker-DeGroot-Marschak value elicitation mechanism, there is a significant gap indicating a robust endowment effect caused by default rules. Differences of expected values of the lotteries and the safe options consistently decrease the gaps. Implications for applications of default rules in the law are discussed.