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Social preferences in the online laboratory: a randomized experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Jérôme Hergueux

    () (IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris)

  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    () (PSE - Paris School of Economics, BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

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," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-00984211, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose: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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    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. Grewenig, Elisabeth & Lergetporer, Philipp & Simon, Lisa & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2018. "Can Online Surveys Represent the Entire Population?," IZA Discussion Papers 11799, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Arechar, Antonio A. & Gächter, Simon & Molleman, Lucas, 2017. "Conducting Interactive Experiments Online," IZA Discussion Papers 10517, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9527-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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

    Social experiment; Field experiment; Internet Methodology; Randomized assignment;

    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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