Experimental Economics

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 385–407 | Cite as

You’ve earned it: estimating the impact of human capital on social preferences

  • Pamela Jakiela
  • Edward Miguel
  • Vera L. te Velde
Original Paper


We combine data from a randomized evaluation and a laboratory experiment to measure the causal impact of human capital on respect for earned property rights, a component of social preferences with important implications for economic growth and development. We find that higher academic achievement reduces the willingness of young Kenyan women to appropriate others’ labor income, and shifts players toward a 50–50 split norm in a modified dictator game. This study demonstrates that education may have long-run impacts on social preferences, norms and institutions beyond the human capital directly produced.


Social preferences Education Experiment 



We thank Raymond Fisman, Shachar Kariv, and numerous conference and seminar participants for helpful comments. Francois Gerard provided excellent research assistance. All errors are our own.

Supplementary material

10683_2014_9409_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (115 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 116 kb)


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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Jakiela
    • 1
  • Edward Miguel
    • 2
  • Vera L. te Velde
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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