Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Self-Selection into Economics Experiments Is Driven by Monetary Rewards

Contents:

Author Info

  • Abeler, Johannes

    ()
    (University of Oxford)

  • Nosenzo, Daniele

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

Laboratory experiments have become a wide-spread tool in economic research. Yet, there is still doubt about how well the results from lab experiments generalize to other settings. In this paper, we investigate the self-selection process of potential subjects into the subject pool. We alter the recruitment email sent to first-year students, either mentioning the monetary reward associated with participation in experiments; or appealing to the importance of helping research; or both. We find that the sign-up rate drops by two-thirds if we do not mention monetary rewards. Appealing to subjects' willingness to help research has no effect on sign-up. We then invite the so-recruited subjects to the laboratory to measure a range of preferences in incentivized experiments. We do not find any differences between the three groups. Our results show that student subjects participate in experiments foremost to earn money, and that it is therefore unlikely that this selection leads to an over-estimation of social preferences in the student population.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7374.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7374.

as in new window
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7374

Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information:
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:

Related research

Keywords: methodology; selection bias; laboratory experiment; field experiment; other-regarding behavior; social preferences; social approval; experimenter demand;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting - Productivity, Preferences and Gender," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University 360, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, 06.
  3. Falk, Armin & Heckman, James J, 2010. "Lab Experiments are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7620, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Kocher, Martin G. & Cherry, Todd & Kroll, Stephan & Netzer, Robert J. & Sutter, Matthias, 2008. "Conditional cooperation on three continents," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 18211, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Neil Buckley & Kenneth Chan & James Chowhan & Stuart Mestelman & Mohamed Shehata, 2001. "Value Orientations, Income and Displacement Effects, and Voluntary Contributions," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 183-195, October.
  6. 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).
  7. Park, Eun-Soo, 2000. "Warm-glow versus cold-prickle: a further experimental study of framing effects on free-riding," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 405-421, December.
  8. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 1996. "Value Orientations, Expectations and Voluntary Contributions in Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 817-45, July.
  9. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1998. "Public good provision and public bad prevention: The effect of framing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 143-161, January.
  10. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman, 2000. "Volunteers and Pseudo-Volunteers: The Effect of Recruitment Method in Dictator Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 107-120, October.
  11. Jon Anderson & Stephen Burks & Jeffrey Carpenter & Lorenz Götte & Karsten Maurer & Daniele Nosenzo & Ruth Potter & Kim Rocha & Aldo Rustichini, 2013. "Self-selection and variations in the laboratory measurement of other-regarding preferences across subject pools: evidence from one college student and two adult samples," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 170-189, June.
  12. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2008. "What's in a name? Anonymity and social distance in dictator and ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-35, October.
  13. John List, 2006. "Field experiments: A bridge between lab and naturally occurring data," Artefactual Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00083, The Field Experiments Website.
  14. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
  15. Robin Cubitt & Michalis Drouvelis & Simon Gaechter & Ruslan Kabalin, 2009. "Moral Judgments in Social Dilemmas: How Bad is Free Riding?," Discussion Papers, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 2009-15, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  16. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  17. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin, 2010. "You get what you pay for: Incentives and Selection in the Education System," Research Memorandum 011, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  18. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  20. Jenni, Karen E & Loewenstein, George, 1997. "Explaining the "Identifiable Victim Effect."," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 235-57, May-June.
  21. M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner & Stefan Traub, 2011. "Are conditional cooperators willing to forgo efficiency gains? Evidence from a public goods experiment," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1-2), pages 47-57.
  22. Michal Krawczyk, 2011. "What brings your subjects to the lab? A field experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 482-489, November.
  23. Kei Tsutsui & Daniel John Zizzo, 2010. "Group status, minorities, and trust," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS), School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. 10-10, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  24. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  25. Hans-Martin Gaudecker & Arthur Soest & Erik Wengström, 2012. "Experts in experiments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 159-190, October.
  26. Michèle Belot & Raymond Duch & Luis Miller, 2010. "Who should be called to the lab? A comprehensive comparison of students and non-students in classic experimental games," Discussion Papers, University of Oxford, Nuffield College 2010001, University of Oxford, Nuffield College.
  27. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  28. Laurent Muller & Martin Sefton & Richard Steinberg & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Strategic Behavior and Learning in Repeated Voluntary-Contribution Experiments," Discussion Papers, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 2005-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  29. Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
  30. Burks, Stephen & Carpenter, Jeffrey & Goette, Lorenz, 2009. "Performance pay and worker cooperation: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 458-469, June.
  31. Jan Stoop & Charles N. Noussair & Daan van Soest, 2012. "From the Lab to the Field: Cooperation among Fishermen," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(6), pages 1027 - 1056.
  32. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  33. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 35-54, April.
  34. 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).
  35. Benedikt Herrmann & Christian Thöni, 2009. "Measuring conditional cooperation: a replication study in Russia," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 87-92, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Are there biases from monetary rewards in experimental economics?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-08-28 14:58:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. 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, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-9.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7374. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.