This is a decision-making study. Please do not talk or communicate with any other participants during the study. If you have any questions, please raise your hand and a monitor will come to answer your questions privately.
In this study, you will participate in an interaction with other participants. Each participant begins with health points and their health points can increase or decrease depending on everyone's choices. At the end of the study, you will be paid based on your final health, 20 cents for each point.
The decisions that you make are anonymous and the other participants will not know who made which decisions. Your decisions will affect your own payment and other people’s payments, so please carefully read these instructions.
In this interaction, you will look for a job in order to pay bills at the end of each month. The bills are the cost of meeting basic needs such as food, shelter, and medicine. If you cannot pay the bills, then you do not meet your basic needs and your health suffers. To avoid this, you can ask your neighbor for help. Your neighbor then decides whether or not to send money to help you pay the bills. Your neighbor can also request help from you and you can choose whether or not to send money.
Importantly, both you and your neighbor will not know for sure whether the other person has found a job. And, both individuals can request money whether they find a job or not.
These steps repeat for a series of months until a monitor announces that the interaction is over. Your final health at the end determines your additional earnings in the study, 20 cents per health point.
Please locate the work panel on your screen. Each month, you will look for a job by clicking the button labeled “Look for Job!” You have a 50% chance of finding a job and a 50% chance of unemployment. If you find a job, you earn a wage of 20. If you are unemployed, you earn 0. Your earnings will appear in your wallet in the money panel.
Your wallet shows the money you have available to spend for the month. Each month, you also have to pay bills of -6 to meet your basic needs. If you cannot pay the bills, then your health decreases by -12. If you can pay your bills, then you spend any leftover money on extra goods that boost your health by 1 point for each dollar spent. Note that you always spend any money in your wallet at the end of the month to boost your health as much as you can.
You can ask your neighbor for help each month. If you ask, your neighbor decides whether to send 6 dollars to cover your bills or to send 0 dollars. Your neighbor can also ask you for help, and if so, you similarly decide whether to send 6 or 0 dollars. Any money that you send or receive is deducted from or added to your wallet. Note that you cannot send money if you have 0 in your wallet, or if you do not receive a request.
Each month, you have a 50% chance of finding a job that pays 20 in wages.
Next, you decide whether to request help from your neighbor and whether to send money if your neighbor requests help.
Last, you pay bills and spend any remaining money to boost your health, 1 point per dollar.
Each dollar you put toward your health adds 1 health point.
If you cannot pay bills of -6, your health suffers and you lose -12 health points.
These steps repeat each month for a series of months until a monitor announces that the interaction is over. You then earn 20 cents per health point based on your final health.
You have completed all 24 months. Your final health is .
Please sit quietly until everyone else has completed the study.
After everyone is finished, you will take a brief survey.