Tel. +34 93 542 2575
Available for Interviews at
China International Conference in Economics (CICE), December 14-15
Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA), January 3-5, San Diego, US
Experimental Economics. Behavioral Economics. Management.
"Bridging the Gap Between the Lab and the Field: Dictator Games and Donations" (with D. Martínez-Navarro) (Job Market Paper)
There is a growing concern about the extent to which laboratory games generalize to social behaviors outside the lab. In this paper, we explore the characteristics that lab games should have to correlate better with the field behaviors they may want to address. For this, we focus on dictator games and on charitable giving in the field. We face the same participants with different versions of the dictator game and with two different field situations outside the lab: one in which they can donate money to a charity and one in which they can show interest in volunteering by checking charity information. The games are designed to include step by step contextual elements that make them similar to our first field situation. We find a dramatic increase in the lab-field correlation with the first situation as contextual elements are incorporated. However, making the games more similar to the first situation does not increase correlation with the second one, showing that pro-social behavior is highly context-specific. Our results demonstrate that context-free games have small predictive power in the field, but this gap can be substantially bridged by bringing the right contextual field elements into the lab. This also highlights the importance of establishing close links between lab and field research.
Research Papers in Progress
“Social Preference Games Go to Work: Testing for External Validity in the Workplace”(with P. Liang and D. Navarro-Martinez)
In this paper, we systematically assess the external validity of social preferences elicited in a variety of social preference games, using a comprehensive data-set collected at the workplace. Specifically, we worked with 5 high-end hotels in China. In total, 305 employees (including 118 managers) working there participated in our study. All the participants played the same set of social preference games. They also answered survey questions about perceived respect and fairness inside the company, together with a big-five personality questionnaire. At the same time, all participants were rated by their supervisors in relation to their work performance using a standard Organizational Citizenship Behavior scale. The hotels also provided us with detailed records of the employees’ actual work performance in the last two years. Using this data, we compare decisions in different social preference games with different measures of work performance, controlling for perceived respect and fairness in the organization.
“Comparing Pro-social Behavior in the Lab and the Field over Time: A Day-reconstruction Study” (with D. Navarro-Martinez)
In this paper, we try to see whether preferences elicited in a variety of social preference games predict pro-social behavior in daily life over an extended period of time. To this end, we tracked 3 83 participants for two weeks. In the initial session, all participants played a variety of social preference games and answered a set of surveys measuring personality traits. In the following two weeks, at the end of each day the participants were required to report all the pro-social behaviors they did that day by answering our day-reconstruction survey. In total, about 2000 pro-social behaviors were reported. For each pro-social behavior, we have very detailed information, e.g., the general description, the recipient of the behavior, the time spent on it, the monetary cost, and the subjective valuation of the desirability of that behavior. All this detailed information was coded and rated by two impartial judges to get different pro-sociality scores. This allows us to compare social preferences elicited in lab games with daily pro- social behaviors reported during the study.