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Sorting, Prices, and Social Preferences

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  • Edward Lazear
  • Ulrike Malmendier
  • Roberto Weber

Abstract

What impact do social preferences have in market-type settings where individuals can sort in response to relative prices? We show that sorting behavior can distinguish between individuals who like to share and those who share but prefer to avoid the sharing environment altogether. In four laboratory experiments, prices and social preferences interact to determine the composition of sharing environments: Costless sorting reduces the number of sharers, even after inducing positive reciprocity. Subsidized sharing increases entry, but mainly by the least generous sharers. Costly sharing reduces entry, but attracts those who share generously. We discuss implications for real-world giving with sorting.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12041.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12041

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  1. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
  2. Oberholzer-Gee Felix & Eichenberger Reiner, 2008. "Fairness in Extended Dictator Game Experiments," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-21, July.
  3. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
  4. Lazear, Edward P., 1990. "The timing of raises and other payments," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 13-48, January.
  5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  6. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin A & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "On Expectations and the Monetary Stakes in Ultimatum Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 289-301.
  7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
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