Are Social Preferences Stable over Time?
We use a combination of two natural experiments and one field experiment tomeasure people’s prosocial behavior in terms of voluntary money and labor time contributions to an archetypicalpublic good – a bridge – in rural Vietnam, at three different points in time from 2005 to 2010. Since the experiments are far apart in time, potentially confounding effects of moral licensing and moral cleansing are presumably small, if at all existent. We find a strong positive and statistically significant correlation between voluntary contributions in these experiments, whether correcting for other covariates or not.This result suggests that prosocial preferences are at least partly stable over long periods of time.
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