We let subjects predict the outcome of an online survey experiment and investigate the causal effects of (i) providing monetary incentives for correct predictions, (ii) providing an anchor of control-group behavior in the experiment, and (iii) participating in the experiment on the accuracy of subjects’ predictions. Therefore, we implement an online-survey experiment among a representative sample of adults aged 18 to 69 years in Germany, and additionally survey a sample of experts (economics professors) from a regularly conducted German expert sample.
Respondents in the representative sample are randomized into six different experimental groups. The first three groups participate in an “information experiment” on preferences for increased school spending. Group 1 receives no information when stating spending preferences; group 2 is informed about average current school spending per student, and respondents in group 3 have the option to acquire the spending-information provided to group 2. Groups 4, 5, and 6 participate in and “prediction experiment” and predict the results of the “information experiment”. Group 4 receives no anchor and no incentive when stating the prediction. Group 5 is offered a monetary incentive for a correct prediction, and group 6 is provided with an anchor. In addition, we study the causal effect of experience on prediction accuracy by letting groups 1, 2, and 3 predict the results in the “information experiment” after participating in that experiment. The experts complete the same prediction task as group 4. Comparing prediction accuracy between experts and non-experts, we investigate whether providing incentives, anchors, and experience to non-experts improves prediction accuracy of the general population towards the levels of experts.