Theory and Decision 74 (3):357-382 (2013)

Most of the existing literature on social preferences either tests whether certain characteristics of the social context influence individual decisions, or tries to estimate parameters of social preference functions describing such behavior at the level of the entire population. In the present paper, we are concerned with measuring parameters of social preference functions at the individual level. We draw upon concepts developed for eliciting other types of utility functions, in particular the literature on decision making under incomplete information. Our method derives parameters of social preference functions from indifference statements about the distribution of payoffs a group. We apply our method in a controlled social preference experiment to establish the external validity of estimated parameters. Our results show the expected relationships to some external factors and also a strong correspondence between parameter estimates and factors that, according to the subjects’ own descriptions, influenced their behavior. We also find that some concepts discussed in the literature on social preferences, in particular envy toward players receiving a larger payoff, have very diverse and complex effects at the individual level.
Keywords Social preferences  Parameter estimation  External validity  Experiment  Indifference values
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11238-012-9312-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,360
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Drawing Lessons From Case Studies by Enhancing Comparability.Attilia Ruzzene - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (1):99-120.
Experimental Localism and External Validity.Francesco Guala - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1195-1205.
The Mental Life of Some Machines.Hilary Putnam - 1967 - In Hector-Neri Castaneda (ed.), Intentionality, Minds and Perception. Wayne State University Press.
How Validity Travelled to Economic Experimenting.Floris Heukelom - 2011 - Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (1):13-28.


Added to PP index

Total views
46 ( #232,244 of 2,448,923 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #443,144 of 2,448,923 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes