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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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Laboratory experiments; Subject pools; Convenience samples;
    All these keywords.

    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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