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Preference heterogeneity in experiments: Comparing the field and laboratory

  • Andersen, Steffen
  • Harrison, Glenn W.
  • Lau, Morten Igel
  • Rutström, E. Elisabet

Do laboratory experiments provide a reliable basis for measuring field preferences? Economists recognize that preferences can differ across individuals, but only a few attempts have been made to elicit individual preferences for representative samples of a population in a particular geographical area, region or country. Our primary objective is to directly compare estimates of preferences elicited from a convenience sample and the estimates for the wider population from which that sample is drawn. We examine the strengths and weaknesses of laboratory and field experiments to detect differences in preferences over risk and time that are associated with standard, observable characteristics of the individual.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 73 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 209-224

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:73:y:2010:i:2:p:209-224
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  5. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
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  16. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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