On the external validity of social preference games: A systematic lab-field study

Authors: Matteo M. Galizzi and Daniel Navarro-Martínez

Management Science, Vol. 65, No 3, 976-1002, March, 2019

We present a lab-field experiment designed to systematically assess the external validity of social preferences elicited in a variety of experimental games. We do this by comparing behavior in the different games with several behaviors elicited in the field and with self-reported behaviors exhibited in the past, using the same sample of participants. Our results show that the experimental social preference games do a poor job explaining both social behaviors in the field and social behaviors from the past. We also include a systematic review and meta-analysis of previous literature on the external validity of social preference games.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona GSE Working Paper 802