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Risk and Inequality Aversion in Social Dilemmas

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Author Info

  • Brice Magdalou

    ()
    (CEREGMIA, Universit� des Antilles et de la Guyane, campus de Schoelcher, B.P. 7209, F-97275 Schoelcher C�dex, France.)

  • Dimitri Dubois

    ()
    (LAMETA, CNRS, Universit� Montpellier 1, CNRS, avenue de la mer, site Richter, C.S. 79606, F-34960 Montpellier C�dex 2, France.)

  • Phu Nguyen-Van

    ()
    (BETA, CNRS, Universit� de Strasbourg, 61 avenue de la For�t Noire, F-67085 Strasbourg C�dex, France.)

Abstract

We experimentally investigate cooperative behavior in a social dilemma situation, where the socially efficient outcome may be encouraged by risk aversion and/or inequality aversion.The first part of our experiment is devoted to the elicitation of subjects' aversion profile, taking care to not confuse the two dimensions. Subjects are then grouped by three according to their aversion profiles, and interact in a repeated social dilemma game. In this game, agents are characterised by a social status so that higher the agent's status, higher will be her earnings. Cooperation is costly for a majority of agents at each period, but statuses can be reversed in future periods. We show that cooperation is strongly influenced by the group's aversion profile. Groups averse in both dimensions cooperate more than groups averse in only one dimension. Moreover cooperation seems to be more affected by risk aversion, whereas one might interpret cooperative behavior as an inequality averse or altruistic attitude.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), Vietnam in its series Working Papers with number 09.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision: Feb 2009
Handle: RePEc:dpc:wpaper:0909

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Related research

Keywords: Risk aversion; Inequality aversion; Social preferences; Social dilemmas; Experimental economics;

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References

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  1. Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2004. "Social learning and voluntary cooperation among like-minded people," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-12, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  2. 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.
  3. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00086039 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Cowell, Frank A. & Schokkaert, Erik, 2001. "Risk perceptions and distributional judgments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 941-952, May.
  5. 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.
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  7. Kodde, David A & Palm, Franz C, 1986. "Wald Criteria for Jointly Testing Equality and Inequality Restriction s," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1243-48, September.
  8. 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.
  9. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  10. Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2005. "Are People Inequality-Averse, or Just Risk-Averse?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(3), pages 375-396, 08.
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  13. 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.
  14. Amiel, Yoram & Cowell, F. A. & Polovin, Avraham, 2001. "Risk perceptions, income transformations and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 964-976, May.
  15. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1973. "Some further results on the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 188-204, April.
  16. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Who wants to redistribute?: The tunnel effect in 1990s Russia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 87-104, April.
  17. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 35-54, April.
  18. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  19. Yoram Kroll & Liema Davidovitz, 2003. "Inequality Aversion versus Risk Aversion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(277), pages 19-29, February.
  20. Amiel, Yoram & Creedy, John & Hurn, Stan, 1999. " Measuring Attitudes towards Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 83-96, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Sabrina Teyssier, 2009. "Inequity and Risk Aversion in Sequential Public Good Games," Post-Print halshs-00422669, HAL.
  2. 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.

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