Experimental Economics

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 589–603

Are social preferences related to market performance?


DOI: 10.1007/s10683-012-9315-y

Cite this article as:
Leibbrandt, A. Exp Econ (2012) 15: 589. doi:10.1007/s10683-012-9315-y


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 preferencesMarket performanceExternal validityQuality misrepresentationOpen-air markets

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia