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Self-selection into laboratory experiments: pro-social motives versus monetary incentives

Abeler, Johannes; Nosenzo, Daniele

Authors

Johannes Abeler johannes.abeler@economics.ox.ac.uk

Daniele Nosenzo daniele.nosenzo@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Laboratory experiments have become a wide-spread tool in economic research. Yet, there is still doubt about how well the results from lab experiments generalize to other settings. In this paper, we investigate the self-selection process of potential subjects into the subject pool. We alter the recruitment email sent to first year students, either mentioning the monetary reward associated with participation in experiments; or appealing to the importance of helping research; or both. We find that the sign-up rate drops by two-thirds if we do not mention monetary rewards. Appealing to subjects’ willingness to help research has no effect on sign-up. We then invite the so-recruited subjects to the laboratory to measure their pro-social and approval motivations using incentivized experiments. We do not find any differences between the groups, suggesting that neither adding an appeal to help research, nor mentioning monetary incentives affects the level of social preferences and approval seeking of experimental subjects.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2014
Journal Experimental Economics
Print ISSN 1386-4157
Electronic ISSN 1386-4157
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 2
APA6 Citation Abeler, J., & Nosenzo, D. (2014). Self-selection into laboratory experiments: pro-social motives versus monetary incentives. Experimental Economics, 18(2), doi:10.1007/s10683-014-9397-9
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10683-014-9397-9
Keywords Methodology, Selection bias, Laboratory experiment, Field
experiment, Other-regarding behavior, Social preferences Social approval, Experimenter demand
Publisher URL http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10683-014-9397-9
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10683-014-9397-9

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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