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Temporal stability and psychological foundations of cooperation preferences

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  • Volk, Stefan

    ()

  • Thoeni, 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, but less so at the individual level. Nevertheless, individual preferences are sufficiently stable to predict future behavior fairly accurately. Our results also 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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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1101.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1101.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2011:01

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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. Thöni, Christian & Tyran, Jean-Robert & Wengström, Erik, 2012. "Microfoundations of social capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(7-8), pages 635-643.
  2. 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, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics 0566, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  3. Martin G. Kocher & Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny Wollbrant, 2013. "Strong, Bold, and Kind: Self-Control and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas," CESifo Working Paper Series 4200, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Cheung, Stephen L., 2012. "New Insights into Conditional Cooperation and Punishment from a Strategy Method Experiment," Working Papers, University of Sydney, School of Economics 2012-01, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. John Smith, 2012. "The endogenous nature of the measurement of social preferences," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 11(2), pages 235-256, December.
  7. Simon Gächter, 2014. "Human Pro-Social Motivation and the Maintenance of Social Order," Discussion Papers, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 2014-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Anna Conte & M. Vittoria Levati & Natalia Montinari, 2014. "Experience in Public Goods Experiments," Jena Economic Research Papers, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics 2014-010, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  9. Fischbacher, Urs & Gächter, Simon & Quercia, Simone, 2012. "The behavioral validity of the strategy method in public good experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 897-913.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

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