29 May

PhD Defence Paul Kornelis Bokern

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Arno Riedl, Prof. Dr. Hans Schmeets, Prof. Dr. Peter Werner

Co-supervisor: Dr. Jona Linde

Keywords: Risk, time, and social preferences, elicitation methods, self-employed

"Measuring is Knowing? Eliciting Preferences in the General Population"

Preferences are fundamental characteristics of individuals and have been shown to be predictive of decisions in a variety of domains. For example, people's willingness to take risks (risk preferences) has been shown to affect investment and occupational decisions. The willingness to defer immediate gratification (time preferences) is related to saving and retirement decisions, and caring about others (social preferences) affects donating behaviour and attitudes toward redistribution. This thesis is about measuring preferences in a general population sample of the Netherlands. Preferences are elicited with methods that ask people to make actual decisions, usually with real (financial) incentives, from which preferences are inferred (revealed preferences), and methods that ask people to state their own perception of their preferences (stated preferences). The thesis contributes to a better understanding of (i) the validity of measures, (ii) the stability of measures after experiencing life events and during a crisis, and (iii) differences between self-employed workers and employees in their preferences.

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