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Do Social PreferencesIncrease Productivity? Field experimental evidence from fishermen in Toyoma Bay

  • Jeffrey Carpenter


  • Erika Seki


We provide a reason for the wider economics profession to take social preferences, a concern for the outcomes achieved by other reference agents, seriously. Although, we show that student measures of social preference elicited in an experiment have little external validity when compared to measures obtained from a field experiment with a population of participants who face a social dilemma in their daily lives (i.e. team production), we do find strong links between the social preferences of our field participants and their productivity at work. We also find that the stock of social preferences evolves endogeously with respect to how widely team production is utilized.

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Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0515.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0515
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  1. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
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  3. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  5. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steve Tucker & Marie Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and non Monetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Post-Print halshs-00144848, HAL.
  6. Abigail Barr & Pieter Serneels, 2009. "Reciprocity in the workplace," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 99-112, March.
  7. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Burks, Stephen V. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2004. "Comparing Students to Workers: The Effects of Social Framing on Behavior in Distribution Games," IZA Discussion Papers 1341, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  9. Joseph Henrich, 2000. "Does culture matter in economic behavior? Ultimatum game bargaining among the machiguenga," Artefactual Field Experiments 00067, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2004. "Punishing Free-Riders: How Group Size Affects Mutual Monitoring and the Provision of Public Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 1337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Abigail Barr & Pieter Serneels, 2004. "Wages and Reciprocity in the Workplace," Development and Comp Systems 0409064, EconWPA.
  12. Seki, E. & Platteau, J.P., 1998. "Coordination and Pooling Arrangements in Japanese Coastal Fisheries," Papers 208, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
  13. Dean Karlan, 2004. "Using experimental economics to measure social capital and predict financial decisions," Artefactual Field Experiments 00074, The Field Experiments Website.
  14. Ernst Fehr & Simon G├Ąchter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  15. Seki, Erika, 2006. "Effects of rotation scheme on fishing behaviour with price discrimination and limited durability: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 106-135, June.
  16. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  17. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1994. "Human Relations in the Workplace," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 684-717, August.
  18. Cleve Willis & John Stranlund & Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2000. "Local environmental control and institutional crowding-out," Artefactual Field Experiments 00028, The Field Experiments Website.
  19. John List, 2004. "Young, selfish, and male: Field evidence of social preferences," Natural Field Experiments 00298, The Field Experiments Website.
  20. 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.
  21. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2002. "Why Social Preferences Matter -- The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition, Cooperation and Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C1-C33, March.
  22. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital And Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 909, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
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