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Temporal stability and psychological foundations of cooperation preferences

abstract A core element of economic theory is the assumption of stable preferences. We test this assumption in public goods games by repeatedly eliciting cooperation preferences in a fixed subject pool over a period of five months. We find that cooperation preferences are very stable at the aggregate level, and, to a smaller degree, at the individual level, allowing us to predict future behavior fairly accurately. Furthermore, our results provide evidence on the psychological foundations of cooperation preferences. The personality dimension ‘Agreeableness’ is closely related to both the type and the stability of cooperation preferences.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Social preferences; Preference stability; Conditional cooperation; Free riding; Personality; Big-Five
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 2-2012
journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
publisher Elsevier (Amsterdam)
ISSN 0167-2681
ISSN (online) 1879-1751
DOI 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.10.006
volume of journal 81
number of issue 2
page(s) 664-676
review double-blind review
   
profile area SEPS - Economic Policy
citation Volk, S., Thoeni, C., & Ruigrok, W. (2012). Temporal stability and psychological foundations of cooperation preferences. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 81(2), 664-676, DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2011.10.006.