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Temporal stability and psychological foundations of cooperation preferences

  • Volk, Stefan

    ()

  • Thoeni, Christian

    ()

  • Ruigrok, Winfried

    ()

A core element of economic theory is the assumption of stable preferences. We test this assumption in public goods games by repeatedly eliciting cooperation preferences in a fixed subject pool over a period of five months. We find that cooperation preferences are very stable at the aggregate level, but less so at the individual level. Nevertheless, individual preferences are sufficiently stable to predict future behavior fairly accurately. Our results also provide evidence on the psychological foundations of cooperation preferences. The personality dimension 'Agreeableness' is closely related to both the type and the stability of cooperation preferences.

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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1101.pdf
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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1101.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2011:01
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