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Social preferences in the online laboratory: a randomized experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Jérôme Hergueux

    (Sciences Po - Sciences Po)

  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UL - Université de Lorraine - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg)

Abstract

Internet is a very attractive technology for the implementation of experiments, both in order to obtain larger and more diverse 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 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 control the assignment of subjects between the Internet and a traditional university laboratory. We apply the comparison to the elicitation of social preferences in a Public Good game, a dictator game, an ultimatum bargaining game and a trust game, coupled with an elicitation of risk aversion. This comparison concludes in favor of the reliability of behaviors elicited through the Internet. We moreover find a strong overall parallelism in the preferences elicited in the two settings. The paper also reports some quantitative differences in the point estimates, which always go in the direction of more other-regarding decisions from online subjects. This observation challenges either the predictions of social distance theory or the generally assumed increased social distance in internet interactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jérôme Hergueux & Nicolas Jacquemet, 2015. "Social preferences in the online laboratory: a randomized experiment," Post-Print halshs-00984211, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00984211
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-014-9400-5
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00984211
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    Cited by:

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    2. Jérôme Hergueux & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2016. "Leveraging the Honor Code: Public Goods Contributions under Oath," Working Papers halshs-01379060, HAL.
    3. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander G James & Stéphane Luchini & James J Murphy & Jason F Shogren, 2021. "Do truth-telling oaths improve honesty in crowd-working?," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(1), pages 1-18, January.
    4. Antonio A. Arechar & Simon Gächter & Lucas Molleman, 2018. "Conducting interactive experiments online," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(1), pages 99-131, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Grewenig, Elisabeth & Lergetporer, Philipp & Simon, Lisa & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2018. "Can Online Surveys Represent the Entire Population?," IZA Discussion Papers 11799, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Irene Maria Buso & Daniela Di Cagno & Sofia De Caprariis & Lorenzo Ferrari & Vittorio Larocca & Francesca Marazzi & Luca Panaccione & Lorenzo Spadoni, 2020. "The Show Must Go On: How to Elicit Lablike Data on the Effects of COVID-19 Lockdown on Fairness and Cooperation," Working Papers CESARE 2/2020, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    8. Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Müller, Daniel, 2020. "Social preferences and political attitudes: An online experiment on a large heterogeneous sample," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    9. Thomas Fackler & Nadzeya Laurentsyeva, 2020. "Gravity in Online Collaborations: Evidence from GitHub," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 21(03), pages 15-20, September.
    10. Valeria Burdea & Jonathan Woon, 2021. "Online Belief Elicitation Methods," CESifo Working Paper Series 8823, CESifo.
    11. Katrin Schmelz & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2015. "Social Distance and Control Aversion: Evidence from the Internet and the Laboratory," TWI Research Paper Series 100, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Cherry, Todd L. & James, Alexander G. & Murphy, James, 2021. "The impact of public health messaging and personal experience on the acceptance of mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 415-430.
    15. 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.
    16. Sabrina Artinger & Nir Vulkan, 2016. "Does Group Size Matter for Behavior in Online Trust Dilemmas?," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(11), pages 1-10, November.
    17. Hindsley, Paul & McEvoy, David M. & Morgan, O. Ashton, 2020. "Consumer Demand for Ethical Products and the Role of Cultural Worldviews: The Case of Direct-Trade Coffee," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C).
    18. 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.
    19. Marcus Giamattei & Kyanoush Seyed Yahosseini & Simon Gächter & Lucas Molleman, 0. "LIONESS Lab: a free web-based platform for conducting interactive experiments online," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 0, pages 1-17.
    20. van den Akker, Olmo R. & van Assen, Marcel A.L.M. & van Vugt, Mark & Wicherts, Jelte M., 2020. "Sex differences in trust and trustworthiness: A meta-analysis of the trust game and the gift-exchange game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    21. Marcus Giamattei & Kyanoush Seyed Yahosseini & Simon Gächter & Lucas Molleman, 2020. "LIONESS Lab: a free web-based platform for conducting interactive experiments online," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 6(1), pages 95-111, June.
    22. Katrin Schmelz & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2020. "Reactions to (the absence of) control and workplace arrangements: experimental evidence from the internet and the laboratory," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 23(4), pages 933-960, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social experiment; Field experiment; Internet Methodology; Randomized assignment;
    All these keywords.

    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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