Global Evidence on Economic Preferences

80 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017

See all articles by Armin Falk

Armin Falk

briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Anke Becker

Harvard University

Thomas J. Dohmen

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Maastricht University - Business Investment Research Center (BIRC)

Benjamin Enke

Harvard University

David Huffman

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Swarthmore College

Uwe Sunde

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

This paper studies the global variation in economic preferences. For this purpose, we present the Global Preference Survey (GPS), an experimentally validated survey dataset of time preference, risk preference, positive and negative reciprocity, altruism, and trust from 80,000 individuals in 76 countries. The data reveal substantial heterogeneity in preferences across countries, but even larger within-country heterogeneity. Across individuals, preferences vary with age, gender, and cognitive ability, yet these relationships appear partly country specific. At the country level, the data reveal correlations between preferences and bio-geographic and cultural variables such as agricultural suitability, language structure, and religion. Variation in preferences is also correlated with economic outcomes and behaviors. Within countries and subnational regions, preferences are linked to individual savings decisions, labor market choices, and prosocial behaviors. Across countries, preferences vary with aggregate outcomes ranging from per capita income, to entrepreneurial activities, to the frequency of armed conflicts.

Suggested Citation

Falk, Armin and Becker, Anke and Dohmen, Thomas and Enke, Benjamin and Huffman, David and Sunde, Uwe, Global Evidence on Economic Preferences (October 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23943. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3057174

Armin Falk (Contact Author)

briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Schaumburg-Lippe-Stra├če 5-9
Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.briq-institute.org/

Anke Becker

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Thomas Dohmen

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Maastricht University - Business Investment Research Center (BIRC) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands
+31-43-388 3832 (Phone)
+31-43-388 4856 (Fax)

Benjamin Enke

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Huffman

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Swarthmore College

500 College Ave
Swarthmore, PA 19081
United States

Uwe Sunde

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

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