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Temporal stability and psychological foundations of cooperation preferences

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  • Volk, Stefan
  • Thöni, Christian
  • Ruigrok, Winfried

Abstract

A core element of economic theory is the assumption of stable preferences. We test this assumption in public goods games by repeatedly eliciting cooperation preferences in a fixed subject pool over a period of five months. We find that cooperation preferences are very stable at the aggregate level, and, to a smaller degree, at the individual level, allowing us to predict future behavior fairly accurately. Furthermore, our results provide evidence on the psychological foundations of cooperation preferences. The personality dimension ‘Agreeableness’ is closely related to both the type and the stability of cooperation preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 81 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 664-676

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:2:p:664-676

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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Keywords: Social preferences; Preference stability; Conditional cooperation; Free riding; Personality; Big-Five;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cheung, Stephen L., 2011. "New Insights into Conditional Cooperation and Punishment from a Strategy Method Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 5689, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Simon Gächter, 2014. "Human Pro-Social Motivation and the Maintenance of Social Order," Discussion Papers 2014-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Thöni, Christian & Tyran, Jean-Robert & Wengström, Erik, 2012. "Microfoundations of social capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(7-8), pages 635-643.
  4. Lankau, Matthias & Bicskei, Marianna & Bizer, Kilian, 2012. "Cooperation preferences in the provision of public goods: An experimental study on the effects of social identity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 148, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  5. Anna Conte & M. Vittoria Levati & Natalia Montinari, 2014. "Experience in Public Goods Experiments," Jena Economic Research Papers 2014-010, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  6. Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. & Wollbrant, Conny, 2012. "Strong, Bold, and Kind: Self-Control and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas," Discussion Papers in Economics 12706, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "The behavioral validity of the strategy method in public good experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-25, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Lohse, Johannes & Goeschl, Timo & Diederich , Johannes, 2014. "Giving is a question of time: Response times and contributions to a real world public good," Working Papers 0566, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  9. Smith, John, 2010. "The endogenous nature of the measurement of social preferences," MPRA Paper 23282, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Markus Sass & Joachim Weimann, 2012. "The Dynamics of Individual Preferences in Repeated Public Good Experiments," FEMM Working Papers 120002, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  11. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Jones, Garett & Weel, Jaap, 2014. "Average player traits as predictors of cooperation in a repeated prisoner's dilemma," MPRA Paper 55383, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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