Experimental Economics

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 482–489

What brings your subjects to the lab? A field experiment

Open Access


This paper reports a field experiment involving manipulation of invitations to register in an experimental economics subject database. Two types of invitations were sent out: one emphasizing pecuniary and the other non-pecuniary benefits of participation. The former resulted in higher response rate and the strength of this treatment effect was comparable in different groups defined by gender and academic major. In a follow-up test conducted about a year later it was found that individuals recruited by invitations emphasizing monetary benefits were less willing to make an effort to participate in a non-paid survey. The very same survey also showed that they were marginally less altruistic in general.


Experimental economics Recruitment procedures Incentives Selection into experiments 

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economic SciencesUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland

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