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Young, selfish, and male: Field evidence of social preferences

  • John List

This study examines social preferences in three distinct field environments. In the first field setting, I allow consumers of all age and education levels to participate in one-shot and multiple-shot public goods games in a well-functioning marketplace. The second field study, an actual university capital campaign, gathers data from mail solicitations sent to 2,000 Central Florida residents. In the third field experiment, I examine data from an uncontrolled environment, a television gameshow, which closely resembles the classic prisoner's dilemma game. Several insights emerge; perhaps the most provocative is that age and social preferences appear linked.

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Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Natural Field Experiments with number 00298.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00298
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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  2. Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Berk, Jonathan B & Hughson, Eric & Vandezande, Kirk, 1996. "The Price Is Right, but Are the Bids? An Investigation of Rational Decision Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 954-70, September.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Bram Cadsby, Charles & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1998. "Choosing between a socially efficient and free-riding equilibrium: Nurses versus economics and business students," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-192, October.
  6. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
  7. John List, 2006. "Friend or Foe? A Natural Experiment of the Prisoner's Dilemma," Natural Field Experiments 00483, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Peter Bohm, 1984. "Revealing demand for an actual public good," Framed Field Experiments 00129, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Metrick, Andrew, 1995. "A Natural Experiment in "Jeopardy!"," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 240-53, March.
  10. Beetsma, Roel & Schotman, Peter C, 1998. "Measuring Risk Attitudes in a Natural Experiment: Data from the Television Game Show LINGO," CEPR Discussion Papers 1893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. John List, 2001. "Do explicit warnings eliminate the hypothetical bias in elicitation procedures? Evidence from field auctions for sportscards," Framed Field Experiments 00163, The Field Experiments Website.
  12. Rafael Tenorio & Timothy N. Cason, 2002. "To Spin or Not to Spin? Natural and Laboratory Experiments from "The Price is Right"," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 170-195, January.
  13. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  14. Josef Falkinger, 2000. "A Simple Mechanism for the Efficient Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 247-264, March.
  15. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  16. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Privately provided public goods in a large economy: The limits of altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-73, February.
  17. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. "Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
  18. Robert Gertner, 1993. "Game Shows and Economic Behavior: Risk-Taking on "Card Sharks"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 507-521.
  19. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
  20. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  21. Feldstein, Martin S & Taylor, Amy, 1976. "The Income Tax and Charitable Contributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1201-22, November.
  22. Keeler, James P & James, William L & Abdel-Ghany, Mohamed, 1985. "The Relative Size of Windfall Income and the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 209-15, June.
  23. Bohm, Peter, 1994. "Time Preference and Preference Reversal among Experienced Subjects: The Effects of Real Payments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1370-78, November.
  24. Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
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