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Changing Preferences: An Experiment and Estimation of Market-Incentive E§ects on Altruism

Author

Listed:
  • Undral Byambadalai

    () (Boston University)

  • Ching-to Albert Ma

    () (Boston University)

  • Daniel Wiesen

    () (University of Cologne)

Abstract

This paper studies how altruistic preferences are changed by markets and incentives. We conduct a laboratory experiment in a within-subject design. Subjects are asked to choose health care qualities for hypothetical patients in monopoly, duopoly, and quadropoly. Prices, costs, and patient benefits are experimental incentive parameters. In monopoly, subjects choose quality to tradeoff between profits and altruistic patient benefits. In duopoly and quadropoly, we model subjects playing a simultaneous-move game. Each subject is uncertain about an opponentÌ s altruism, and competes for patients by choosing qualities. Bayes-Nash equilibria describe subjects' quality decisions as functions of altruism. Using a nonparametric method, we estimate the population altruism distributions from Bayes-Nash equilibrium qualities in di§erent markets and incentive conÖgurations. Markets tend to reduce altruism, although duopoly and quadropoly equilibrium qualities are much higher than those in monopoly. Although markets crowd out altruism, the disciplinary powers of market competition are stronger. Counterfactuals confirm markets change preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Undral Byambadalai & Ching-to Albert Ma & Daniel Wiesen, 2019. "Changing Preferences: An Experiment and Estimation of Market-Incentive E§ects on Altruism," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2019-11, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2019-011
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    preferences; altruism; markets; incentives;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C57 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Econometrics of Games and Auctions
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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