Global Evidence on Economic Preferences

Armin Falk, Anke Becker, Thomas Dohmen, Benjamin Enke, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article studies the global variation in economic preferences. For this purpose, we present the Global Preference Survey (GPS), an experimentally validated survey data set of time preference, risk preference, positive and negative reciprocity, altruism, and trust from 80,000 people 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 biogeo-graphic 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, labormarket 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1645-1692
Number of pages48
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Volume133
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • ACADEMIC SELF-CONCEPT
  • RISK ATTITUDES
  • GENDER-DIFFERENCES
  • COGNITIVE-ABILITY
  • PUNISHMENT
  • TRUST
  • DETERMINANTS
  • COOPERATION
  • CULTURE
  • ACHIEVEMENT

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