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Social preferences in the online laboratory : A randomized experiment

Author

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  • Jérôme Hergueux

    () (LaRGE - Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie, IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris)

  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, BETA - Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

Internet is a very attractive technology for experiments implementation, both in order to reach more diverse and larger samples and as a field of economic research in its own right. This paper reports on an experiment performed both online and in the laboratory, designed so as to strengthen the internal validity of decisions elicited over the Internet. We use the same subject pool, the same monetary stakes and the same decision interface, and randomly assign two group of subjects between the Internet and a traditional University laboratory to compare behavior in a set of social preferences games. This comparison concludes in favor of the reliability of behaviors elicited through the Internet. Our behavioral results contradict the predictions of social distance theory, as we find that subjects allocated to the Internet treatment behave as if they were more altruistic, more trusting, more trustworthy and less risk averse than laboratory subjects. Those findings have practical importance for the growing community of researchers interested in using the Internet as a vehicle for social experiments and bear interesting methodological lessons for social scientists interested in using experiments to research the Internet as a field.

Suggested Citation

  • Jérôme Hergueux & Nicolas Jacquemet, 2012. "Social preferences in the online laboratory : A randomized experiment," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00748615, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00748615 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00748615
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jérôme Hergueux & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2016. "Leveraging the Honor Code: Public Goods Contributions under Oath," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01379060, HAL.
    2. Xiu Chen & Fuhai Hong & Xiaojian Zhao, 2016. "Concentration and Unpredictability of Forecasts in Artificial Investment Games," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 1608, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.
    3. Antonio A. Arechar & Simon Gaechter & Lucas Molleman, 2017. "Conducting interactive experiments online," Discussion Papers 2017-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    4. Katrin Schmelz & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2015. "Social Distance and Control Aversion: Evidence from the Internet and the Laboratory," TWI Research Paper Series 100, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit�t Konstanz.
    5. Yann Algan & Yochai Benkler & Mayo Fuster Morell & Jerome Hergueux, 2013. "Cooperation in Peer-Production Economy: Experimental Evidence from Wikipedia," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5ulf84sluc9, Sciences Po.
    6. Ros-Galvez, Alejandro & Rosa-García, Alfonso, 2014. "Private provision of a public good: cooperation and altruism of internet forum users," MPRA Paper 57560, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Hans-Theo Normann & Till Requate & Israel Waichman, 2014. "Do short-term laboratory experiments provide valid descriptions of long-term economic interactions? A study of Cournot markets," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(3), pages 371-390, September.
    8. Joy A. Buchanan & Matthew K. McMahon & Matthew Simpson & Bart J. Wilson, 2016. "Smile, Dictator, You’re on Camera," Working Papers 1061, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    9. Rudolf Kerschbamer & Daniel Muller, 2017. "Social preferences and political attitudes: An online experiment on a large heterogeneous sample," Working Papers 2017-16, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    randomized assignment.; randomized assignment; Social experiment; field experiment; internet; methodology; allocation aléatoire.; expériences de terrain; expériences en laboratoire; Méthode expérimentale;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General

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