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Dictator games in the lab and in nature: External validity tested and investigated in Ugandan primary schools

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  • Abigail Barr
  • Andrew Zeitlin

Abstract

This paper tests the external validity of a simple Dictator Game as a laboratory analogue for a naturally occurring policy-relevant decision-making context. In Uganda, where teacher absenteeism is a problem, primary school teachers’ allocations to parents in a Dictator Game are positively but weakly correlated with their time allocations to teaching and, so, negatively correlated with their absenteeism. Guided by a simple theoretical model, we find that the correlation can be improved by allowing for (a) variations in behavioural reference points across teachers and schools and (b) the positive effect if some School Management Committees on teacher attendance.

Suggested Citation

  • Abigail Barr & Andrew Zeitlin, 2010. "Dictator games in the lab and in nature: External validity tested and investigated in Ugandan primary schools," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-11
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/2010-11text.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yann Girard & Florian Hett, 2013. "Competitiveness in dynamic group contests: Evidence from combined field and lab data," Working Papers 1303, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 01 Apr 2013.
    2. Abigail Barr & Lawrence Bategeka & Madina Guloba & Ibrahim Kasirye & Frederick Mugisha & Pieter Serneels & Andrew Zeitlin, 2012. "Management and Motivation in Ugandan Primary Schools: An impact evaluation report," Working Papers PIERI 2012-14, PEP-PIERI.
    3. Matteo M. Galizzi & Daniel Navarro Martinez, 2015. "On the external validity of social-preference games: A systematic lab-field study," Economics Working Papers 1462, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. Galizzi, Matteo M. & Navarro-Martínez, Daniel, 2017. "On the external validity of social preference games: a systematic lab-field study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84088, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Abigail Barr & Andrew Zeitlin, 2011. "Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    6. Axel Franzen & Sonja Pointner, 2013. "The external validity of giving in the dictator game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-169, June.
    7. Walkowitz, Gari, 2017. "On the Validity of Cost-Saving Methods in Dictator-Game Experiments: A Systematic Test," MPRA Paper 83309, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Stephen V. Burks & Daniele Nosenzo & Jon Anderson & Matthew Bombyk & Derek Ganzhorn & Lorenz Goette & Aldo Rustichini, 2015. "Lab Measures of Other-Regarding Preferences Can Predict Some Related on-the-Job Behavior: Evidence from a Large Scale Field Experiment," Discussion Papers 2015-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    9. Uri Gneezy & Alex Imas, 2016. "Lab in the Field: Measuring Preferences in the Wild," CESifo Working Paper Series 5953, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Bezu, Sosina & Holden, Stein T., 2013. "Generosity and social distance in dictator game field experiments with and without a face," CLTS Working Papers 1/13, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
    11. Clot, Sophie & Stanton, Charlotte Y., 2014. "Present bias predicts participation in payments for environmental services: Evidence from a behavioral experiment in Uganda," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 162-170.
    12. Britton, Jack & Propper, Carol, 2016. "Teacher pay and school productivity: Exploiting wage regulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 75-89.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public service; Education; Experiments; Africa; external validity; Methodology;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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