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Is there selection bias in laboratory experiments? The case of social and risk preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Nikos Nikiforakis

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon, Departement of Economics [Melbourne] - Faculty of Business and Economics [Melbourne] - University of Melbourne)

  • Blair L. Cleave

    (Departement of Economics [Melbourne] - Faculty of Business and Economics [Melbourne] - University of Melbourne)

  • Robert Slonim

    (University of Sydney, School of economics - The University of Sydney)

Abstract

Laboratory experiments are frequently used to examine the nature of individual preferences and inform economic theory. However, it is unknown whether the preferences of volunteer participants are representative of the population from which the participants are drawn or whether they differ due to selection bias. We examine whether the social and risk preferences of participants in a laboratory experiment represent the preferences of the population from which they are recruited. To answer this question, we measured the preferences of 1,173 students in a classroom experiment. Separately, we invited all students to participate in a laboratory experiment. We find that the social and risk preferences of students who attend the laboratory experiment do not differ significantly from the preferences of the population from which they were recruited. Moreover, participation decisions based on social and risk preferences do not differ significantly across most subgroups, with the exception that female participants are on average less risk averse than female non-participants, and male participants are more risk averse than male non-participants.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Nikos Nikiforakis & Blair L. Cleave & Robert Slonim, 2013. "Is there selection bias in laboratory experiments? The case of social and risk preferences," Post-Print halshs-00943212, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00943212
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00943212
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Selection bias; Laboratory experiments; External validity; Social preferences; Risk preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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