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Self-Selection and Variations in the Laboratory Measurment of Other-Regarding Preferences Across Subject Pools: Evidence from One College Student and Two Adult Samples

Author

Listed:
  • D Nosenzo

    () (School of Economics, the University of Nottingham)

  • Jon Anderson

    (Division of Science and Mathematics, University of Minnesota)

  • Stephen V Burks

    (Division of Social Science, University of Minnesota)

  • Jeffrey Carpenter

    (Department of Economics, Middlebury College)

  • Lorenz Gotte

    (Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Lausanne)

  • Karsten Maurer

    (Department of Statistics, Iowa State University)

  • Ruth Potter

    (Division of Social Science, University of Minnesota)

  • Kim Rocha

    (Division of Social Science, University of Minnesota)

  • Aldo Rustichini

    (Department of Economics, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

We measure the other-regarding behavior in samples from three related populations in the upper Midwest of the United States: college students, non-student adults from the community surrounding the college, and adult trainee truckers in a residential training program. The use of typical experimental economics recruitment procedures made the first two groups substantially self-selected. Because the context reduced the opportunity cost of participating dramatically, 91% of the adult trainees solicited participated, leaving little scope for self-selection in this sample. We find no differences in the elicited other-regarding preferences between the selfselected adults and the adult trainees, suggesting that selection is unlikely to bias inferences about the prevalence of other-regarding preferences among non-student adult subjects. Our data also reject the more specific hypothesis that approval-seeking subjects are the ones most likely to select into experiments. Finally, we observe a large difference between self-selected college students and self-selected adults: the students appear considerably less pro-social.

Suggested Citation

  • D Nosenzo & Jon Anderson & Stephen V Burks & Jeffrey Carpenter & Lorenz Gotte & Karsten Maurer & Ruth Potter & Kim Rocha & Aldo Rustichini, 2012. "Self-Selection and Variations in the Laboratory Measurment of Other-Regarding Preferences Across Subject Pools: Evidence from One College Student and Two Adult Samples," Discussion Papers 2012-14, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2012-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9527-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Khadjavi, Menusch & Lange, Andreas, 2013. "Prisoners and their dilemma," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 163-175.
    5. John, Katrin & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2015. "School-track environment or endowment: What determines different other-regarding behavior across peer groups?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 122-141.
    6. Pelligra, Vittorio & Stanca, Luca, 2013. "To give or not to give? Equity, efficiency and altruistic behavior in an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-9.
    7. John, Katrin & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2017. "Gender Differences in the Development of Other-Regarding Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 11044, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Antonio A. Arechar & Simon Gaechter & Lucas Molleman, 2017. "Conducting interactive experiments online," Discussion Papers 2017-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    9. Goeschl, Timo & Kettner, Sara Elisa & Lohse, Johannes & Schwieren, Christiane, 2015. "What do we learn from public good games about voluntary climate action? Evidence from an artefactual field experiment," Working Papers 0595, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    10. Johannes Abeler & Daniele Nosenzo, 2013. "Self-selection into Economics Experiments is Driven by Monetary Rewards," Discussion Papers 2013-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    11. Tiziana Medda & Vittorio Pelligra & Tommaso Reggiani, 2016. "Does Experience Affect Fairness and Reciprocity in Lab Experiments?," CERBE Working Papers wpC09, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.
    12. Hoffman, Mitchell & Morgan, John, 2015. "Who's naughty? Who's nice? Experiments on whether pro-social workers are selected out of cutthroat business environments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 173-187.
    13. Johannes Abeler & Daniele Nosenzo, 2015. "Self-selection into laboratory experiments: pro-social motives versus monetary incentives," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(2), pages 195-214, June.
    14. Kamas, Linda & Preston, Anne, 2016. "Are we underestimating inequality aversion? Comparing recruited and classroom subjects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 157-159.
    15. Toke R. Fosgaard, 2018. "Cooperation stability: A representative sample in the lab," IFRO Working Paper 2018/08, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    16. V. Pelligra & T. Reggiani & T. Medda, 2016. "Does Experience Affect Fairness, Reciprocity and Cooperation in Lab Experiments?," Working Paper CRENoS 201610, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    17. Belot, Michele & Duch, Raymond & Miller, Luis, 2015. "A comprehensive comparison of students and non-students in classic experimental games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 26-33.
    18. Tom Lane, 2015. "Discrimination in the laboratory: a meta-analysis," Discussion Papers 2015-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    methodology; selection bias; laboratory experiment; field experiment; other regarding behavior; social preferences; prisoner's dilemma; truckload; trucker.;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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