Anderson, Jon Burks, Stephen V. Carpenter, Jeffrey Götte, Lorenz Maurer, Karsten Nosenzo, Daniele Potter, Ruth Rocha, Kim Rustichini, Aldo
Year of Publication:
CeDEx Discussion Paper Series 2012-14
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.
methodology selection bias laboratory experiment field experiment otherregarding behavior social preferences prisoner's dilemma truckload trucker