Economics Seminar (IBE): Theo Offerman, University of Amsterdam


3:30 to 5 p.m., Feb. 21, 2024


Theo Offerman, Professor of Behavioral Game Theory, University of Amsterdam

The Demand for (Useless) Communication
(Robin Aarts, Boris van Leeuwen, Theo Offerman and Paul Smeets)

In many organizations, people spend a substantial part of their time participating in meetings. While meetings often help groups to make better decisions, simply aggregating opinions can also be effective. In this project, we investigate people’s demand for communication. In a laboratory experiment, we measure people’s willingness to pay to communicate face-to-face for different tasks and compare their willingness to pay to the value-added of communication. We find that, on average, people pay too much for communication, and the value-added of communication does not predict people’s willingness to pay to communicate. Instead, people are willing to pay more for tasks that they consider more difficult.