Thorsten Chmuralogo

Current Projects:

Learning in experimental 2 × 2 games

revise & resubmit at Games and Economic Behavior

joint work with Sebastian Goerg and Reinhard Selten

Abstract: In this paper we introduce two new learning models: impulse matching learning and action sampling learning. These two models together with the models of self-tuning EWA and reinforcement learning are applied to 12 different 2 × 2 games and their results are compared with the results from experimental data. Our results are two-fold: While the simulations with impulse matching and action sampling learning, successfully replicate the experimental data on the aggregate level, individual behavior is best described by self-tuning EWA. Nevertheless, impulse matching learning has the second highest score for the individual data and in addition, only self-tuning EWA and impulse matching learning lead to better round-by-round predictions as the observed aggregate frequencies from the experiments do, which means only they adjust their predictions correctly over time.


Gift exchange with migrant workers and students in China

joint work with Sebastian Goerg

Abstract: In this experiment we investigate the determinants of wage discrimination. Therefore, we conducted two gift-exchange experiments in Shanghai and Ningbo (both China) involving students and migrant workers. Students act in the role of employers and decide about the wage of the migrant workers, while the migrant workers choose their effort level given the actual wage. The employers can condition the wages only on the workers' origin. The workers' home province is the only criteria to differentiate between the migrant workers.

We observe a high variance in wages across provinces. Combining our lab results with real world data, we can investigate the determinants of wage discrimination. In our setting wages are positively influenced by the economic power of the workers' home provinces, and negatively influenced by the geographical distance between the employers' and workers' home provinces and the ethnical heterogeneity in workers' provinces. The same pattern is observed within a pure student sample.


At the Mercy of the Prisoner Next Door – Using an Experimental Measure of Selfishness as a Criminological Tool

joint work with Christoph Engel and Markus Englerth

Abstract: Do criminals maximise money? Are criminals more or less selfish than the average subject? Can prisons apply measures that reduce the degree of selfishness of their inmates? Using a tried and tested tool from experimental economics, we cast new light on these old criminological ques- tions. In a standard dictator game, prisoners give a substantial amount, which calls for more refined versions of utility in rational choice theories of crime. Prisoners do not give less than average subjects, not even than subjects from other closely knit communities. This speaks against the idea that people commit crimes because they are excessively selfish. Finally those who receive better marks at prison school give more, as do those who improve their marks over time. This suggests that this correctional intervention also reduces selfishness.



An Experimental Investigation of Loyalty Schemes in the BRIC Countries and Germany

joint work with Frauke Mattison Thompson

Abstract: This article examines the usage of loyalty schemes in the BRIC-countries and Germany. Specifically, using experimental data from consumers in Germany, Brazil, China, India and Russia, it investigates how culture impacts on loyalty schemes usage. The preliminary findings show that Chinese consumers significantly prefer loyalty schemes to German consumers do. This provides support for the influence of culture in determining the loyalty behavior of consumers. The findings contribute to the understanding of loyalty in the German and Chinese market place and should allow practitioners to better focus their marketing strategies towards these consumers.


The Tobin Tax - a Game-Theoretical and an Experimental Approach

joint work with Johannes Kaiser and Thomas Pitz

Abstract: In the nineteen seventies, James Tobin suggested the introduction of a trans- action tax on the currency market to cope with exchange rate volatility. We investigate the consequences of the introduction of such a tax on an asset market model from a game-theoretic and an experimental point of view. Our main results include in respect to our model that contrary to the situation in game-theoretic equilibrium, the Tobin tax i) reduces trade volume, ii) reduces volatility, iii) increases market efficiency, and iv) decreases earnings inequality.


Working Papers

Perceptions and Misconceptions: Multi Channel Beliefs, Economic Preferences, Trust and Cooperation Decisions in the UK (England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), (2014).

(With Cormac Bryce and Joel Stiebale)

Wage Discrimination: Experiments with migrant workers and students in China (2014). 

(With Sebastian Goerg)

Currency Transaction Taxes: Tobin and Spahn Tax, (2014).

(With Heng Lei)

Goal setting – Consistancy, or how many losses can we accept. (2014).

(With Pia Weiss)

Escondido Orange Game:  A Difficulty in Rationalizing Experimental Data, (2014).

(With Ning Neil Yu)

A Case of Unstable Ambiguity Attitudes in Partnership Dissolving Auction Experiments, (2014).

(With Ning Neil Yu). 


Insider Trading and Asymmetric Information, (2014).

(With David Bauder).


Risk Attitudes, Development, and Growth. Macroeconomic evidence from experiments in 30 Countries, (2013).

(With: Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Peter Martinsson). 

At the Mercy of the Prisoner Next Door Using an Experimental Measure of Selfishness as a Criminological Tool, (2010). Max Planck Preprint.

(With Christoph Engel, Markus Englerth, Thomas Pitz).

Selfishness as a potential cause of crime: A prison experiment (2013). Max Planck Preprint.

(With Christoph Engel and Markus Englerth).

The Impact of Personal Characteristics on Loyalty Program Choice (2013).

(With Frauke Mattison Thompson).

The Tobin Tax: A Game-Theoretical and an Experimental Approach, (2006).

Bonn Econ Discussion Paper.

(With Johannes Kaiser and Thomas Pitz).


Experiments and Simulations on Day-to-Day Route Choice Behaviour, (2003).

CESIFO Working Paper No. 900, Munich.

(With Reinhard Selten, Michael Schreckenberg, Thomas Pitz and Sebastian Kube).