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Social Preferences: Some Thoughts from the Field

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  • John A. List

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637; and National Bureau of Economics Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138-5398)

Abstract

This review steps back from the burgeoning economics literature on measuring social preferences and considers more carefully the empirical evidence from the lab and the field. I place the claims from the ardent supporters of the literature into three bins: one for claims that are supported by the data upon closer scrutiny, one for claims that are not supported by the data upon closer scrutiny, and one for claims that may or may not be true. The third set of claims highlights important theoretical and empirical investigations that need to be done to further our understanding of the nature and import of social preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (05)
Pages: 563-583

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Handle: RePEc:anr:reveco:v:1:y:2009:p:563-583

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Related research

Keywords: nonstandard preferences; lab and field experiments;

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References

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  1. Uri Gneezy & John A. List, 2006. "Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments," NBER Working Papers 12063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andreoni,J. & Brown,P.M. & Vesterlund,L., 1999. "What makes an allocation fair? : Some experimental evidence," Working papers 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1988. "Experimental Tests of a Sequential Equilibrium Reputation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-36, January.
  4. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," Working Papers 02-06, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  5. Werner Güth & Carsten Schmidt & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Bargaining outside the lab - a newspaper experiment of a three-person ultimatum game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 449-469, 03.
  6. John List, 2006. "The behavioralist meets the market: Measuring social preferences and reputation effects in actual transactions," Natural Field Experiments 00300, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Jeffrey Carpenter & Cristina Connolly & Caitlin Myers, 2008. "Altruistic behavior in a representative dictator experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 282-298, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Falk, Armin & Meier, Stephan & Zehnder, Christian, 2011. "Did We Overestimate the Role of Social Preferences? The Case of Self-Selected Student Samples," IZA Discussion Papers 5475, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Cunyat, Antoni & Sloof, Randolph, 2011. "Employee types and endogenous organizational design: An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 553-573.
  3. Jeffery Flory & Uri Gneezy & Kenneth Leonard & John List, 2012. "Sex, competitiveness, and investment in offspring: On the origin of preferences," Artefactual Field Experiments 00072, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Jan Stoop, 2014. "From the lab to the field: envelopes, dictators and manners," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 304-313, June.
  5. Franziska Barmettler & Ernst Fehr & Christian Zehnder, 2011. "Big experimenter is watching you! Anonymity and prosocial behavior in the laboratory," ECON - Working Papers 027, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. John List, 2013. "Using field experiments to change the template of how we teach economics," Artefactual Field Experiments 00389, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Kim, Min-Taec & Slonim, Robert, 2012. "The Multi-Dimensional Effects of Reciprocity on Worker Effort: Evidence from a Hybrid Field-Laboratory Labor Market Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6410, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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