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Where Do Social Preferences Come From?

Chaning Jang () and John Lynham
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Chaning Jang: Department of Psychology, Princeton University

No 2015-8, Working Papers from University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Abstract: Where do preferences for fairness come from? We use a unique field setting to test for a spillover of sharing norms from the workplace to a laboratory experiment. Fishermen working in teams receive random income shocks (catching fish) that they must regularly divide among themselves. We demonstrate a clear correlation between sharing norms in the field and sharing norms in the lab. Furthermore, the spillover effect is stronger for fishermen who have been exposed to a sharing norm for longer, suggesting that our findings are not driven by selection effects. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that work environments shape social preferences.

Keywords: ultimatum game; social preferences; fairness; workplace spillovers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q2 C9 C7 B4 D1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 9 pages
Date: 2015-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-hrm and nep-net
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