January 2016

IZA DP No. 9674: The Preference Survey Module: A Validated Instrument for Measuring Risk, Time, and Social Preferences

revised version published in: Management Science, 2023, 69 (4), 1935–195

This paper presents an experimentally validated survey module to measure six key economic preferences – risk aversion, discounting, trust, altruism, positive and negative reciprocity – in a reliable, parsimonious and cost-effective way. The survey instruments included in the module were the best predictors of preferences revealed in incentivized choice experiments. We also offer a streamlined version of the module that has been optimized and piloted for applications where time efficiency and simplicity are paramount, such as international telephone surveys.