Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The endogenous nature of the measurement of social preferences

Smith, John (2010): The endogenous nature of the measurement of social preferences.

WarningThere is a more recent version of this item available.
[img]
Preview
PDF
MPRA_paper_35078.pdf

Download (214Kb) | Preview

Abstract

We present evidence against the standard assumptions that social preferences are stable and can be measured in a reliable, nonintrusive manner. Researchers often measure social preferences by posing dictator type allocation decisions. The Social Value Orientation (SVO) is a particular sequence of dictator decisions. We vary the order in which the SVO and a lager stakes dictator game are presented. In our first study, we find that prosocial subjects act even more prosocially when the SVO is administered first, whereas selfish subjects are unaffected by the order. In our second study, we vary the order of the SVO and a nonstandard dictator game. We do not find the effect found in the first study. This suggests that the first result is driven by choices involving the size of surplus. Although we cannot determine whether the timing affects preferences or the measure of preferences, our results are incompatible with the assumptions that social preferences are stable and can be measured in a reliable, nonintrusive manner.

Available Versions of this Item

UB_LMU-Logo
MPRA is a RePEc service hosted by
the Munich University Library in Germany.