Global Evidence on Economic Preferences
This paper studies the global variation in economic preferences. For this purpose, we present the Global Preference Survey (GPS), an experimentally validated survey dataset of time preference, risk preference, positive and negative reciprocity, altruism, and trust from 80,000 individuals in 76 countries. The data reveal substantial heterogeneity in preferences across countries, but even larger within-country heterogeneity. Across individuals, preferences vary with age, gender, and cognitive ability, yet these relationships appear partly country specific. At the country level, the data reveal correlations between preferences and bio-geographic and cultural variables such as agricultural suitability, language structure, and religion. Variation in preferences is also correlated with economic outcomes and behaviors. Within countries and subnational regions, preferences are linked to individual savings decisions, labor market choices, and prosocial behaviors. Across countries, preferences vary with aggregate outcomes ranging from per capita income, to entrepreneurial activities, to the frequency of armed conflicts.
We thank the editor, Andrei Shleifer, and three anonymous referees. For comments and discussions we are grateful to Johannes Hermle, Benedikt Herrmann, Fabian Kosse, Guido Neidhoefer, and seminar participants at Caltech, CESifo Area Conference on Behavioural Economics, Columbia Business School, EALE conference in Ghent, Bozen-Bolzano, IZA Bonn, LISER, LMU Munich, Maastricht, SITE Experimental Economics, Stockholm, UC San Diego, Bologna, Copenhagen, Konstanz, Toulouse, Virginia, and Berlin. Ammar Mahran provided outstanding research assistance and Markus Antony outstanding administrative support. Falk acknowledges financial support from the European Research Council through ERC # 209214. Dohmen acknowledges financial support from NWO Vidi grant 452-10-006, and from Netspar. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Armin Falk & Anke Becker & Thomas Dohmen & Benjamin Enke & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2018. "Global Evidence on Economic Preferences*," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 133(4), pages 1645-1692. citation courtesy of