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Self Selection Does Not Increase Other-Regarding Preferences among Adult Laboratory Subjects, but Student Subjects May Be More Self-Regarding than Adults

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Author Info

  • Jon Anderson

    (University of Minnesota, Morris)

  • Stephen V. Burks

    (University of Minnesota, Morris)

  • Jeffrey Carpenter

    (Middlebury College)

  • Lorenz Goette

    (University of Lausanne)

  • Karsten Maurer

    (Iowa State University)

  • Daniele Nosenzo

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Ruth Potter

    (University of Minnesota, Morris)

  • Kim Rocha

    (University of Minnesota, Morris)

  • Aldo Rustichini

    (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

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 first two groups were recruited according to procedures commonly used in experimental economics and therefore subjects self-selected into the experiment. Because the structure of their training program reduced the opportunity cost of participating dramatically, 91% of the solicited trainees participated in the third group, so there was 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 into this type of experiment is unlikely to bias inferences with respect to non-student adult subjects. At the same time, we find a large difference between self-selected students and self-selected adults: the students appear considerably less pro-social.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2010-22.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2010-22

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Related research

Keywords: methodology; selection bias; laboratory experiment; field experiment; other-regarding behavior; social preferences; truckload; trucker;

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  1. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Kyriaki Remoundou & Drichoutis Andreas & Phoebe Koundouri, 2010. "Warm glow in charitable auctions: Are the WEIRDos driving the results?," DEOS Working Papers 1028, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  2. Koch, Christian, 2013. "The Virtue Ethics Hypothesis: Is there a nexus between virtues and well-being?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80054, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Cleave, Blair L. & Nikiforakis, Nikos & Slonim, Robert, 2011. "Is There Selection Bias in Laboratory Experiments? The Case of Social and Risk Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 5488, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Slonim, Robert & Wang, Carmen & Garbarino, Ellen & Merrett, Danielle, 2012. "Opting-In: Participation Biases in the Lab," IZA Discussion Papers 6865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Stoop, Jan, 2012. "From the lab to the field: envelopes, dictators and manners," MPRA Paper 37048, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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