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Dictating the Risk: Experimental Evidence on Giving in Risky Environments

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  • J. Michelle Brock
  • Andreas Lange
  • Erkut Y. Ozbay

Abstract

We study if and how social preferences extend to risky environments. We provide experimental evidence from different versions of dictator games with risky outcomes and establish that preferences that are exclusively based on ex post or on ex ante comparisons cannot generate the observed behavioral patterns. The more money decision-makers transfer in the standard dictator game, the more likely they are to equalize payoff chances under risk. Risk to the recipient does, however, generally decrease the transferred amount. Ultimately, a utility function with a combination of ex post and ex ante fairness concerns may best describe behavior. (JEL C72, D63, D64, D81)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 415-37

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:1:p:415-37

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.1.415
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  1. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
  3. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  4. Sandroni Alvaro & Ludwig Sandra & Kircher Philipp, 2013. "On the Difference between Social and Private Goods," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 27, June.
  5. Chambers, Christopher P., 2012. "Inequality aversion and risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1642-1651.
  6. Alexander W. Cappelen & James Konow & Erik ?. S?rensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2013. "Just Luck: An Experimental Study of Risk-Taking and Fairness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1398-1413, June.
  7. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
  8. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Trust, Risk and Betrayal," Working Paper Series rwp03-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Charlotte Klempt & Kerstin Pull, 2010. "Committing to Incentives: Should the Decision to Sanction be Revealed or Hidden?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  10. Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "A tractable model of process fairness under risk," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 803-813, October.
  11. Grant, Simon, 1995. "Subjective Probability without Monotonicity: Or How Machina's Mom May Also Be Probabilistically Sophisticated," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 159-89, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Möllerström, Johanna & Reme, Bjørn-Atle & Sørensen, Eric Ø., 2014. "Luck, Choice and Responsibility: An Experimental Study of Fairness Views," Working Paper Series 1014, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Hoffmann, Magnus & Kolmar, Martin, 2013. "Intention-based fairness preferences in two-player contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 276-279.
  3. Magnus Hoffmann & Martin Kolmar, 2013. "Distributional Preferences in Probabilistic and Share Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 4184, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Alexia Gaudeul, 2013. "Social preferences under uncertainty," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-024, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  5. Riedl A.M. & Cettolin E., 2013. "Justice under uncertainty," Research Memorandum 036, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
  6. Natalia Montinari & Michela Rancan, 2013. "Social preferences under risk : the role of social distance," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/90, European University Institute.
  7. Winschel, Evguenia & Zahn, Philipp, 2014. "When Ignorance is Bliss* : Information Asymmetries Enhance Prosocial Behavior in Dicator Games," Working Papers 13-07, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  8. Luciano Andreozzi & Matteo Ploner & Ivan Soraperra, 2013. "Justice among strangers. On altruism, inequality aversion and fairness," CEEL Working Papers 1304, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  9. Frederik Schwerter, 2013. "Social Reference Points and Risk Taking," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse11_2013, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Jan 2014.
  10. Andersson, Ola & Holm, Håkan J. & Tyran, Jean-Robert & Wengström, Erik, 2013. "Risking Other People’s Money: Experimental Evidence on Bonus Schemes, Competition, and Altruism," Working Paper Series 989, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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