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Title:Social preferences in the lab: A comparison of students and a representative population PDF Logo
Authors:Cappelen, Alexander W.
Nygaard, Knut
Sørensen, Erik Ø.
Tungodden, Bertil
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:CESifo working paper: Behavioural Economics 3511
Abstract:Can lab experiments on student populations serve to identify the motivational forces present in society at large? We address this question by conducting, to our knowledge, the first study of social preferences that brings a nationally representative population into the lab, and we compare their behavior to the behavior of different student populations. Our study shows that students may not be informative of the role of social preferences in the broader population. We find that the representative participants differ fundamentally from students both in their level of selfishness and in the relative importance assigned to different moral motives. It is also interesting to note that while we do not find any substantial gender differences among the students, males and females in the representative group differ fundamentally in their moral motivation.
Subjects:social preferences
representative population
dictator game
trust game
JEL:C91
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

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