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A comprehensive comparison of students and non-students in classic experimental games

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  • Belot, Michele
  • Duch, Raymond
  • Miller, Luis

Abstract

This study exploits the opening of the experimental lab in Oxford to compare the behavior of students and non-students in a number of classic experimental games, some of which involve other-regarding preferences (Trust Game, Dictator Game, and Public Goods Game) and others which have game forms that are strategically challenging (Beauty-contest and Second-price Auction). We find that students are more likely to behave as selfish and rational agents than non-students. Our findings suggest that students are different than non-students with respect to their social preferences and their ability to reason strategically. Experiments using students are likely to overestimate the extent of selfish and rational behavior in the general population.

Suggested Citation

  • Belot, Michele & Duch, Raymond & Miller, Luis, 2015. "A comprehensive comparison of students and non-students in classic experimental games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 26-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:113:y:2015:i:c:p:26-33
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Meier, Stephan & Pierce, Lamar & Vaccaro, Antonino & La Cara, Barbara, 2016. "Trust and in-group favoritism in a culture of crime," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 78-92.
    2. Goeschl, Timo & Kettner, Sara Elisa & Lohse, Johannes & Schwieren, Christiane, 2015. "What do we learn from public good games about voluntary climate action? Evidence from an artefactual field experiment," Working Papers 0595, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    3. Alexander W. Cappelen & Ulrik H. Nielsen & Bertil Tungodden & Jean-Robert Tyran & Erik Wengström, 2016. "Fairness is intuitive," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 727-740, December.
    4. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:1:p:368-382 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gregory E. Kersten & Tomasz Wachowicz & Margaret Kersten, 2016. "Competition, Transparency, and Reciprocity: A Comparative Study of Auctions and Negotiations," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 693-722, July.
    6. John, Katrin & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2015. "School-track environment or endowment: What determines different other-regarding behavior across peer groups?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 122-141.
    7. Vollmer, Elisabeth & Hermann, Daniel & Mußhoff, Oliver, 2017. "The disposition effect in farmers' selling behavior: An experimental investigation," DARE Discussion Papers 1701, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    8. Kettner, Sara Elisa & Waichman, Israel, 2016. "Old age and prosocial behavior: Social preferences or experimental confounds?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 118-130.
    9. Goeschl, Timo & Lohse, Johannes, 2016. "Cooperation in Public Good Games. Calculated or Confused?," Working Papers 0626, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Laboratory experiments; Subject pools; Convenience samples;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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