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Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment

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  • David K. Levine

    (Department of Economics, UCLA)

Abstract

We examine a simple theory of altruism in which players' payoffs are linear in their own monetary income and their opponents. The weight on the opponent's income is private information and varies in the population, depending, moreover, on what the opponent's coefficient is believed to be. Using results of ultimatum experiments and the final round of a centipede experiment, we are able to pin down relatively accurately what the distribution of altruism (and spite) in the population is. This distribution is then used with a reasonable degree of success to explain the results of the earlier rounds of centipede and the results of some public goods contribution games. In addition, we show that in a market game where the theory of selfish players does quite well, the theory of altruism makes exactly the same predictions as the theory of selfish players. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.1998.0023
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 1 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 593-622

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:1:y:1998:i:3:p:593-622

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  1. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  2. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 1995. "Consistency and cautious fictitious play," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-7), pages 1065-1089.
  3. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1995. "Reputation and Equilibrium Selection in Games with a Patient Player," Levine's Working Paper Archive 103, David K. Levine.
  4. J. Ledyard, 1997. "Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," Levine's Working Paper Archive 509, David K. Levine.
  5. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1997. "Predation, reputation , and entry deterrence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1460, David K. Levine.
  6. Prasnikar, Vesna & Roth, Alvin E, 1992. "Considerations of Fairness and Strategy: Experimental Data from Sequential Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 865-88, August.
  7. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
  8. R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
  9. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1995. "Evolutionary Drift and Equilibrium Selection," Working papers 9529, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1992. "An Experimental Study of the Centipede Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 803-36, July.
  11. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  12. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "Measuring Subject’s Losses in Experimental Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 370, David K. Levine.
  13. Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
  14. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  15. J. Van Huyck & R. Battalio & F. Rankin, 1996. "On the Evolution of Convention: Evidence from Coordination Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 548, David K. Levine.
  16. Andreoni, J. & Miller, J.H., 1996. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Study of Rationality and Altruism," Working papers 9601, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  17. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
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