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You've Earned It: Combining Field and Lab Experiments to Estimate the Impact of Human Capital on Social Preferences

  • Pamela Jakiela
  • Edward Miguel
  • Vera L. te Velde

We combine data from a field experiment and a laboratory experiment to measure the causal impact of human capital on respect for earned property rights, a component of social preferences with important implications for economic growth and development. We find that higher academic achievement reduces the willingness of young Kenyan women to appropriate others' labor income, and shifts players toward a 50-50 split norm in the dictator game. This study demonstrates that education may have long-run impacts on social preferences, norms and institutions beyond the human capital directly produced. It also shows that randomized field experiments can be successfully combined with laboratory experiment data to measure causal impacts on individual values, norms, and preferences which cannot be readily captured in survey data.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16449.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16449.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16449
Note: ED POL
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  8. Kremer, Michael Robert & Miguel, Edward A. & Thorton, Rebecca L, 2004. "Incentives to Learn," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9kc4p47q, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  14. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2007. "The Formation of Beliefs: Evidence from the Allocation of Land Titles to Squatters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 209-241, 02.
  15. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
  16. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
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