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Self-selection and variations in the laboratory measurement of other-regarding preferences across subject pools: evidence from one college student and two adult samples

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  • Jon Anderson
  • Stephen Burks
  • Jeffrey Carpenter
  • Lorenz Götte
  • Karsten Maurer
  • Daniele Nosenzo

    ()

  • Ruth Potter
  • Kim Rocha
  • Aldo Rustichini

Abstract

We measure the other-regarding behavior in samples from three related populations in the upper Midwest of the United States: college students, non-student adults from the community surrounding the college, and adult trainee truckers in a residential training program. The use of typical experimental economics recruitment procedures made the first two groups substantially self-selected. Because the context reduced the opportunity cost of participating dramatically, 91 % of the adult trainees solicited participated, leaving little scope for self-selection in this sample. We find no differences in the elicited other-regarding preferences between the self-selected adults and the adult trainees, suggesting that selection is unlikely to bias inferences about the prevalence of other-regarding preferences among non-student adult subjects. Our data also reject the more specific hypothesis that approval-seeking subjects are the ones most likely to select into experiments. Finally, we observe a large difference between self-selected college students and self-selected adults: the students appear considerably less pro-social. Copyright Economic Science Association 2013

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 170-189

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:16:y:2013:i:2:p:170-189

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

Related research

Keywords: Methodology; Selection bias; Laboratory experiment; Field experiment; Other-regarding behavior; Social preferences; Prisoner’s dilemma; Truckload; Trucker; C90; D03;

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Cited by:
  1. Khadjavi, Menusch & Lange, Andreas, 2013. "Prisoners and their dilemma," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 163-175.
  2. Abeler, Johannes & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2013. "Self-Selection into Economics Experiments Is Driven by Monetary Rewards," IZA Discussion Papers 7374, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Pelligra, Vittorio & Stanca, Luca, 2013. "To give or not to give? Equity, efficiency and altruistic behavior in an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-9.

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