October 2014

IZA DP No. 8579: De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum: An Experimental Investigation

Published under different title, "Searching for Preference Stability in a State Dependent World", in Journal of Economic Psychology, 2017, 62: 17- 32.

The goal of this paper is to examine stability in preferences using the Stigler-Becker state-dependent framework. Using a randomized intervention that changes the opportunity sets of individuals we construct a unique panel data from an artefactual field experiment and evaluate whether the change in the state space influences our selected indicators of preferences: risk, competitiveness, and confidence. We find that there is considerable heterogeneity of preferences across individuals at a point in time; risk and competitive preferences inter-temporally are consistent with state-dependent preferences, while measures of confidence seem to depend on past experiences.