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Can we infer social preferences from the lab? Evidence from the trust game

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  • Nicole M. Baran
  • Paola Sapienza
  • Luigi Zingales

Abstract

We show that a measure of reciprocity derived from the Berg et al. (1995) trust game in a laboratory setting predicts the reciprocal behavior of the same subjects in a real-world situation. By using the Crowne and Marlowe (1960) social desirability scale, we do not find any evidence that a desire to conform to social norms distorts results in the lab, yet we do find evidence that it affects results in the field.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicole M. Baran & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2010. "Can we infer social preferences from the lab? Evidence from the trust game," NBER Working Papers 15654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15654
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    Cited by:

    1. Potters, Jan & Stoop, Jan, 2016. "Do cheaters in the lab also cheat in the field?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 26-33.
    2. Riedl, A.M. & Smeets, P.M.A., 2013. "Social preferences and portfolio choice," Research Memorandum 051, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    3. Kamas, Linda & Preston, Anne, 2012. "Distributive and reciprocal fairness: What can we learn from the heterogeneity of social preferences?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 538-553.
    4. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2010. "Civic Capital as the Missing Link," CEPR Discussion Papers 7757, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Galizzi, Matteo M. & Navarro-Martínez, Daniel, 2018. "On the external validity of social preference games: a systematic lab-field study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84088, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2011. "Economic incentives and social preferences: substitutes or complements?," Department of Economics University of Siena 617, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    7. Frijters, Paul & Kong, Tao Sherry & Liu, Elaine M., 2015. "Who is coming to the artefactual field experiment? Participation bias among Chinese rural migrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 62-74.
    8. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Mahmud, Minhaj & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Trust, trust games and stated trust: Evidence from rural Bangladesh," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 286-298.
    9. Slonim, Robert & Wang, Carmen & Garbarino, Ellen & Merrett, Danielle, 2013. "Opting-in: Participation bias in economic experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 43-70.
    10. repec:eee:ecoser:v:10:y:2014:i:c:p:195-201 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Deckers, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian & Pinger, Pia & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2017. "Socio-economic status and inequalities in children's IQ and economic preferences," DICE Discussion Papers 274, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    12. Blair L. Cleave & Nikos Nikiforakis & Robert Slonim, 2010. "Is There Selection Bias in Laboratory Experiments?," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1106, The University of Melbourne.
    13. Stephen V. Burks & Daniele Nosenzo & Jon Anderson & Matthew Bombyk & Derek Ganzhorn & Lorenz Goette & Aldo Rustichini, 2015. "Lab Measures of Other-Regarding Preferences Can Predict Some Related on-the-Job Behavior: Evidence from a Large Scale Field Experiment," Discussion Papers 2015-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    14. Kamas, Linda & Preston, Anne, 2015. "Can social preferences explain gender differences in economic behavior?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 525-539.
    15. Delavande, Adeline & Zafar, Basit, 2015. "Stereotypes and Madrassas: Experimental evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 247-267.
    16. Gill, Andrej & Heinz, Matthias & Schumacher, Heiner, 2014. "Trust, trustworthiness and selection into the financial industry," CFS Working Paper Series 458, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    17. Andrea Essl & Frauke von Bieberstein & Michael Kosfeld & Markus Kröll, 2018. "Sales Performance and Social Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 7030, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Tagat, Anirudh & Kapoor, Hansika, 2017. "The trust broker game: A three-player trust game with probabilistic returns and information asymmetry," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-33, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    19. Essl, Andrea & von Bieberstein, Frauke & Kosfeld, Michael & Kröll, Markus, 2018. "Sales Performance and Social Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 11505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Keane, Christopher R. & Lafky, Jonathan M. & Board, Oliver J., 2012. "Altruism, reciprocity and health: A social experiment in restaurant choice," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 143-150.
    21. Bell, Andrew & Zhang, Wei & Nou, Keosothea, 2016. "Pesticide use and cooperative management of natural enemy habitat in a framed field experiment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 1-13.
    22. Li, Jennifer & Massa, Massimo & Zhang, Hong, 2016. "Culture vs. Bias: Can Social Trust Mitigate the Disposition Effect?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11474, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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