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Selection into Experiments: Evidence from a Population of Students

Jonathan Schulz (), Uwe Sunde, Petra Thiemann and Christian Thöni

No 12807, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This study investigates the selection into lab experiments among university students based on data from two cohorts of a university's first-year students. The analysis combines two experiments: a classroom experiment in which we elicited measures for risk, time, social preferences, confidence, and cognitive skills using standard measures from the experimental literature; and a recruitment experiment that varied information provided in a typical e-mail recruitment procedure for lab participants. In the recruitment experiment, students were randomly assigned to four conditions that highlighted altruistic motives or financial incentives. We find significant treatment effects: mentioning financial incentives boosts the participation rate in lab experiments by 50 percent. In terms of selection, we find that more selfish individuals and individuals with higher cognitive reflection scores are more likely to participate in experiments, but we find little evidence for selection along risk preferences, time preferences, and overconfidence. Although the recruitment conditions affect participation rates, they do not alter the composition of the participant sample in terms of behavioral measures and cognitive skills.

Keywords: classroom experiment; selection; recruitment; preferences; cognitive abilities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D64 H41 L3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 47 pages
Date: 2019-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-neu and nep-ore
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6)

Published - revised version published in: Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 2022, 98, 101871

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Working Paper: Selection into Experiments: Evidence from a Population of Students (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Selection into Experiments: Evidence from a Population of Students (2019) Downloads
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