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Englmaier, Florian and Gebhardt, Georg (2016): Social dilemmas in the laboratory and in the field. In: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Vol. 128: pp. 85-96

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We observe each subject in laboratory public good experiments and in one of three treatments of a field experiment. These treatments differ with respect to the presence or absence of a social dilemma. With the social dilemma present in the field, subjects who contribute less in the laboratory provide less effort. Selecting individuals according to laboratory contribution increases productivity as much as selecting on ability. This correlation disappears in the two treatments without a social dilemma. We conclude that we can use laboratory experiments to learn about behaviour in situations that share the game form but not necessarily the frame. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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