Experimental Economics

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 589-603

First online:

Are social preferences related to market performance?

  • Andreas LeibbrandtAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Monash University Email author 

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This paper combines laboratory with field data from professional sellers to study whether social preferences are related to performance in open-air markets. The data show that sellers who are more pro-social in a laboratory experiment are also more successful in natural markets: They achieve higher prices for similar quality, have superior trade relations and better abilities to signal trustworthiness to buyers. These findings suggest that social preferences play a significant role for outcomes in natural markets.


Social preferences Market performance External validity Quality misrepresentation Open-air markets

JEL Classification

C91 C93 D49