NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

You've Earned It: Combining Field and Lab Experiments to Estimate the Impact of Human Capital on Social Preferences

Pamela Jakiela, Edward Miguel, Vera L. te Velde

NBER Working Paper No. 16449
Issued in October 2010
NBER Program(s):   ED   POL

We combine data from a field experiment and a laboratory experiment to measure the causal impact of human capital on respect for earned property rights, a component of social preferences with important implications for economic growth and development. We find that higher academic achievement reduces the willingness of young Kenyan women to appropriate others' labor income, and shifts players toward a 50-50 split norm in the dictator game. This study demonstrates that education may have long-run impacts on social preferences, norms and institutions beyond the human capital directly produced. It also shows that randomized field experiments can be successfully combined with laboratory experiment data to measure causal impacts on individual values, norms, and preferences which cannot be readily captured in survey data.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16449

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