Sebastian Schaube, Ph.D. Candidate in Economics

I am a Ph.D candidate at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics

Contact Information

Bonn Graduate School of Economics

Adenaueralle 24-42, room 0.082

53113 Bonn

phone: +49-228-739212


Research interests: Social Preferences, Behavioral Economics, Public Economics

Curriculum Vitae


Institution formation and cooperation with heterogeneous agents

(with Sebastian Kube, Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch, Elina Khachatryan), European Economic Review 78 (2015), 248–268

Working Papers

The Impact of Self-Selection on Performance - IZA DP No. 11365

(with Lukas Kießling & Jonas Radbruch )

In many natural environments, carefully chosen peers influence individual behavior. In this paper, we examine how self-selected peers affect performance in contrast to randomly assigned ones. We conduct a field experiment in physical education classes at secondary schools. Students participate in a running task twice: first, the students run alone, then with a peer. Before the second run,we elicit preferences for peers. We experimentally vary the matching in the second run and form pairs either randomly or based on elicited preferences. Self-selected peers improve individual performance by .14-.15 SD relative to randomly assigned peers. While self-selection leads to more social ties and lower performance differences within pairs, this altered peer composition does not explain performance improvements. Rather, we provide evidence that self-selection has a direct effect on performance and provide several markers that the social interaction has changed

To whom you may compare: Preferences for peers (preliminary version available upon request)

(with Lukas Kießling & Jonas Radbruch )

Influence of peers is widely spread throughout many domains of our life like consumption, general well-being, and individual performance on the job or in school. However, peers that have an influence on us are not randomly selected, but might be carefully chosen. This paper describes students’ preferences for peers and presents evidence on the individual determinants of peer choice. We find that students on average prefer peers of higher ability, but these preferences vary with their personality traits. Higher competitiveness, lower extraversion, and an internal locus of control are associated with preferences for superior peers. Taking social network information into account, we find homophily in agreeableness and attitudes for social comparisons even conditional on friendship ties. Regarding the design of peer assignment mechanisms, our results highlight the importance of accounting for the multidimensionality of peer preferences.

Cooperation and Redistribution: Does "bundling" foster institution formation? (preliminary version available upon request)

(with Sebastian Kube)

Social preferences are frequently thought to be key to mitigating cooperation problems. Yet, when it comes to the endogenous implementation of rules that are designed to overcome cooperation problems, there is growing evidence that social preferences can potentially hamper the joint formation of such "governing institutions". The problem is particularly pronounced if returns from cooperation are not evenly distributed among participating parties. In this paper, we analyze such situations, both from a theoretical and empirical perspective, to explore to what extent formal redistribution can alleviate the implementation problem. We find that bundling, i.e., embedding formal redistribution rules into the governing institution and letting parties decide over the adaptation of this combined institution, induces very high implementation rates. By contrast, coordination problems arise if redistribution is also available separately from, rather than being an integral component of, the governing institution; resulting in significantly lower cooperation rates compared to the bundled case.

Peer Evaluations and Compensation Schemes (preliminary version available upon request)

Peer evaluations are frequently used if an employee’s performance is hard or even impossible to observe by a principal. If, however, the evaluating peer is in direct competition with the evaluated peer for bonuses or promotions, incentives for truthful reporting might be reduced.In this paper I analyze such situations theoretically and empirically using a laboratory experiment to explore to what extent team incentives and thereby reciprocity can encourage truthful evaluations. The laboratory experiment uses a real effort task and a rank‐order tournament, where the prizes are distributed on basis of the mutual evaluations of the tournament participants. I find that the answer to the question depends on whether the participants i) can evaluate their peers individually or ii) have to rank them. Truthful rankings occur more frequently in the latter case, where any untruthful evaluation implies rewarding a peer for lower performance. By contrast, individual evaluations are less likely to reward agents for high efforts, as few positive evaluations are given. If team incentives are removed the frequency of truthful evaluations drops even further, irrespective of the particular evaluation mechanism, rendering the results of the tournament basically meaningless.

Current Projects

Making your own Luck - Redistribution when Chances are Merited (with Louis Strang)

Workload Sharing in a Real Effort Dictator Game (with Jonas Radbruch)