Experimental Subjects are Not Different
Experiments using economic games are becoming a major source for the study of human social behavior. These experiments are usually conducted with university students who voluntarily choose to participate. Across the natural and social sciences, there is some concern about how this “particular” subject pool may systematically produce biased results. Focusing on social preferences, this study employs data from a survey experiment conducted with a representative sample of a city’s population (N=765). We report behavioral data from five experimental decisions in three canonical games: dictator, ultimatum and trust games. The dataset includes students and non-students as well as volunteers and nonvolunteers. We separately examine the effects of being a student and being a volunteer on behavior, which allows a ceteris paribus comparison between self-selected students (students*volunteers) and the representative population. Our results suggest that self-selected students are an appropriate subject pool for the study of social behavior.
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"Measuring inequity aversion in a heterogeneous population using experimental decisions and subjective probabilities,"
Other publications TiSEM
f17bda32-98f9-4580-ab3f-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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5488, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Blair Cleave & Nikos Nikiforakis & Robert Slonim, 2013. "Is there selection bias in laboratory experiments? The case of social and risk preferences," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 372-382, September.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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- Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
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