My co-author in Houston put a joint working paper online about experiments in China. The abstract:

We compare the characteristics and regression coefficients between the participants in a field experiment in China and the survey population from which they were recruited. The experimental participants were more educated, younger, more likely to be male, more risk-loving and work fewer hours than the more general population. The estimates of their regression coefficients in the standard analyses of wages, happiness and entrepreneurship differed significantly from non-participants, indicating that inferences drawn from experimental samples may not hold for more representative groups of the population.

One Response to Working paper on Chinese experiments

  1. Yes and worth recording. Candidates who self-select for an experiment don’t replicate the populations that the experimental designer thinks they come from. My only surprise is that many of the differences are not more drastic.

    Of course asking questions in an experiment and in the field will provide different answers and both will differ from actual non-hypothetical behavior.

    Next study?

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