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Selection into Experiments: Evidence from a Population of Students

Schulz, Jonathan ; Sunde, Uwe ; Thiemann, Petra LU and Thöni, Christian (2019) In Working Papers
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... (More)
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. (Less)
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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Working paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
classroom experiment, selection, recruitment, preferences, cognitive abilities, C93, D64, H41, L30
in
Working Papers
issue
2019:18
pages
46 pages
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
28c6e0dc-95f3-40a2-9a67-c06f8f64dccf
alternative location
https://swopec.hhs.se/lunewp/abs/lunewp2019_018.htm
date added to LUP
2019-11-29 13:11:40
date last changed
2019-11-29 13:11:40
@misc{28c6e0dc-95f3-40a2-9a67-c06f8f64dccf,
  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.},
  author       = {Schulz, Jonathan and Sunde, Uwe and Thiemann, Petra and Thöni, Christian},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {2019:18},
  series       = {Working Papers},
  title        = {Selection into Experiments: Evidence from a Population of Students},
  url          = {https://swopec.hhs.se/lunewp/abs/lunewp2019_018.htm},
  year         = {2019},
}