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Let Me See You! A Video Experiment on the Social Dimension of Risk Preferences

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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that individuals are less other-regarding when their own payoff is risky than when it is sure. Empirical observations also indicate that people care more about identifiable than unidentifiable others. We report on an experiment designed to explore whether rendering the other identifiable—via a speechless video—can affect the relation between other-regarding concerns and preferences over social risk. For this sake, we elicit risk attitudes under two treatments differing in whether the actor can see the other or not. We find that seeing the other does not affect behavior significantly: regardless of the treatment, individuals are self-oriented as to allocation of risk, though they are other-regarding with respect to expected payoffs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its journal AUCO Czech Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 5 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 211-225

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Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2011_211

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Keywords: Risk attitudes; other-regarding concerns; identifiability;

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  1. M. Vittoria Levati & Werner Güth & Matteo Ploner, 2005. "On the social dimension of time and risk preferences: An experimental study," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-26, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  2. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S., 1999. "The sound of silence in prisoner's dilemma and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-57, January.
  3. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  4. Jenni, Karen E & Loewenstein, George, 1997. "Explaining the "Identifiable Victim Effect."," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 235-57, May-June.
  5. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2007. "Testing Guilt Aversion," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 683, Stockholm School of Economics.
  6. Geoffrey Brennan & Werner Güth & Luis G. Gonzalez & M. Vittoria Levati, 2005. "Attitudes toward Private and Collective Risks in Individual and Strategic Choice Situations," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-22, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  7. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
  8. Burnham, Terence C., 2003. "Engineering altruism: a theoretical and experimental investigation of anonymity and gift giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-144, January.
  9. Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
  10. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2008. "What's in a name? Anonymity and social distance in dictator and ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-35, October.
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