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Immoral criminals? An experimental study of social preferences among prisoners

Sigbjørn Birkeland (), Alexander Cappelen, Erik Sørensen and Bertil Tungodden
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Sigbjørn Birkeland: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

No 15/2011, Discussion Paper Series in Economics from Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper studies the pro-social preferences of criminals by comparing the behavior of a group of prisoners in a lab experiment with the behavior of a benchmark group recruited from the general population. We find a striking similarity in the importance the two groups attach to pro-social preferences in both in strategic and non-strategic situations. This result also holds when the two groups interact. Data from a large internet experiment,matched with official criminal records, suggest that our main finding from the lab experiment is not influenced by the additional scrutiny experienced by participants in prison.

Keywords: Pro-social preferences; Criminals; Lab experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 K40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2011-09-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cis, nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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