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Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey This paper presents new evidence on the distribution of risk attitudes in the population, using a novel set of survey questions and a representative sample of roughly 22,000 individuals living in Germany. Using a question that asks about willingness to take(More)
People are reciprocal if they reward kind actions and punish unkind ones. In this paper we present a formal theory of reciprocity. It takes into account that people evaluate the kindness of an action not only by its consequences but also by its underlying intention. The theory is in line with the relevant stylized facts of a wide range of experimental(More)
Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability? Is the way that people make risky choices, or tradeoffs over time, related to cognitive ability? This paper investigates whether there is a link between cognitive ability, risk aversion, and impatience, using a representative sample of the population and incentive compatible measures. We conduct(More)
This paper explores the interface between personality psychology and economics. We examine the predictive power of personality and the stability of personality traits over the life cycle. We develop simple analytical frameworks for interpreting the evidence in personality psychology and suggest promising avenues for future research. Lex Borghans is a(More)
This paper shows that identical offers in an ultimatum game generate systematically different rejection rates depending on the other offers that are available to the proposer. This result casts doubt on the consequentialist practice in economics to define the utility of an action solely in terms of the consequences of the action irrespective of the set of(More)
Recent theoretical contributions depart from the usual practice of treating individual attitude endowments as a black box, by assuming that these are shaped by the attitudes of parents and other role models. Attitudes include fundamental preferences such as risk preference, and crucial beliefs about the world, such as trust. This paper provides evidence on(More)
During the last two decades economists have made much progress in understanding incentives, contracts and organizations. Yet, they constrained their attention to a very narrow and empirically questionable view of human motivation. The purpose of this paper is to show that this narrow view of human motivation may severely limit understanding the determinants(More)
While confounding factors typically jeopardize the possibility of using observational data to measure peer effects, field experiments offer the potential for obtaining clean evidence. In this paper we measure the output of subjects who were asked to stuff letters into envelopes, with a remuneration completely independent of output. We study two treatments.(More)