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The endogenous nature of social preferences

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  • Smith, John

Abstract

This paper presents evidence which challenges the view that techniques which are designed to measure the social preferences of subjects can always be accomplished in a nonintrusive manner. We find evidence that such measurements can influence the preferences which they are designed to measure. Researchers often measure social preferences by posing a series of dictator game allocation decisions; we use a particular technique, Social Value Orientation (SVO). In our experiment we vary the order of the SVO measurement and a lager stakes dictator game. We find that subjects with prosocial preferences act even more prosocially when the SVO measurement is administered first, whereas those with selfish preferences are unaffected by the order of the measurement. Additionally, we find evidence that this difference is driven by the presence of choices involving the size of surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, John, 2009. "The endogenous nature of social preferences," MPRA Paper 16599, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16599
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/16599/1/MPRA_paper_16599.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    3. Van Huyck John B. & Battalio Raymond C. & Beil Richard O., 1993. "Asset Markets as an Equilibrium Selection Mechanism: Coordination Failure, Game Form Auctions, and Tacit Communication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 485-504, July.
    4. Ruffle, Bradley J., 1998. "More Is Better, But Fair Is Fair: Tipping in Dictator and Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 247-265, May.
    5. Gert Cornelissen & Siegfried Dewitte & Luk Warlop, "undated". "Social Value Orientation as a Moral Intuition: Decision-Making in the Dictator Game," Working Papers 322, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    6. Buckley, Neil & Mestelman, Stuart & Shehata, Mohamed, 2003. "Subsidizing public inputs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 819-846, March.
    7. Gert Cornelissen & Siegfried Dewitte & Luk Warlop, 2007. "Social value orientation as a moral intuition: Decision-making in the dictator game," Economics Working Papers 1028, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    8. Morton Deutsch, 1958. "Trust and suspicion," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 2(4), pages 265-279, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2003. "Is fairness used instrumentally? Evidence from sequential bargaining," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 467-489, August.
    11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2005. "Managing diversity by creating team identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 371-392, November.
    12. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Libman, Alexander, 2012. "Перераспределительные Конфликты И Факторы Культуры В Новой Политической Экономии
      [Redistributive Conflicts and Culture in the New Political Economy]
      ," MPRA Paper 48192, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Other-Regarding Preferences; Social Value Orientation; Dictator Game;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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