From the Field to the Lab. An Experiment on the Representativeness of Standard Laboratory Subjects

TitleFrom the Field to the Lab. An Experiment on the Representativeness of Standard Laboratory Subjects
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsL. Frigau, T. Medda, V. Pelligra
Number2017_04
KeywordsExperiments, External Validity, Methodology, Prosocial Behavior
Abstract

We replicate in the lab an artefactual field experiment originally run with a representative sample of the population. Our results show that, despite the many differences between university students and representative subjects from the whole population, the two samples closely follow a common behavioral pattern in a set of binary dictator games. The only exception seems to be represented by a significant difference in those situations where self-interest plays a prominent role. This gap is mainly related to the academic background of the participants: our sample of undergraduate economics students, in fact, differs in its degree of self-interested choices both from the representative group of the population and from its sub-sample of students from heterogeneous disciplines.

Citation Key7049
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