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

  • Nicole M. Baran
  • Paola Sapienza
  • Luigi Zingales

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15654.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15654.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15654
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  1. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
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