Date of Original Version

6-10-2009

Type

Working Paper

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

Laboratory experiments on social preferences typically do not allow for sorting, while many field settings do. We demonstrate a strong effect of sorting when introduced in the laboratory. Across four experiments, most individuals who share with others do so reluctantly, preferring to avoid the opportunity to share. The attractiveness of the sorting option strongly affects the composition of self-selected participants. Subsidized entry into the sharing environment attracts those who share the least. Costly entry attracts few participants, but those share large amounts. Finally, we find that a similar proportion of sharers opt out even after inducing positive reciprocity.

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