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Give and take in dictator games

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Author Info

  • Cappelen, Alexander W.
  • Nielsen, Ulrik H.
  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.
  • Tungodden, Bertil
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

Abstract

It has been shown that participants in the dictator game are less willing to give money to the other participant when their choice set also includes the option to take money. We examine whether this effect is due to the choice set providing a signal about entitlements in a setting where entitlements initially may be considered unclear. We find that the share of positive transfers depends on the choice set even when there is no uncertainty about entitlements, and that this choice-set effect is robust across a heterogenous group of participants recruited from the general adult population in Denmark. The findings are consistent with dictator giving partly being motivated by a desire to signal that one is not entirely selfish or by a desire to follow a social norm that is choice-set dependent.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 118 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 280-283

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:118:y:2013:i:2:p:280-283

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

Related research

Keywords: Dictator game; Choice set; Social preferences; Experiments;

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References

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  1. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
  2. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1607-1636, 09.
  3. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  4. 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.
  5. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," Working Papers 02-06, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  6. Cappelen, Alexander W & Konow, James & Sorensen, Erik O & Tungodden, Bertil, 2010. "Just luck: an experimental study of risk taking and fairness," MPRA Paper 24475, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  9. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan E. Alevy & Francis L. Jeffries & Yonggang Lu, 2013. "Gender- and Frame-specific Audience Effects in Dictator Games," Working Papers 2013-02, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.

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