Preference Heterogeneity in Experiments: Comparing the Field and Laboratory
UCF Economics Working Paper No. 04-21
35 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2005 Last revised: 7 Jan 2008
Date Written: July 2007
Do laboratory experiments provide a reliable basis for measuring field preferences? Economists recognize that preferences can differ across individuals, but only a few attempts have been made to elicit individual preferences for representative samples of a population in a particular geographical area, region or country. Our primary objective is to directly compare estimates of preferences elicited from a convenience sample and the estimates for the wider population from which that sample is drawn. We examine the strengths and weaknesses of laboratory and field experiments to detect differences in preferences over risk and time that are associated with standard, observable characteristics of the individual.
Keywords: Field experiments, lab experiments, risk aversion, discount rates
JEL Classification: C93, C91, D81, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation