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Voting on a sharing norm in a dictator game

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  • Christoph Vanberg

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany.)

Abstract

I conduct an experiment to assess whether majority voting on a non- binding sharing norm affects subsequent behavior in a dictator game. In a baseline treatment, subjects play a one shot dictator game. In a voting treatment, subjects are ï¬rst placed behind a 'veil of ignorance' and vote on the amount that those chosen to be dictators 'should' give. The outcome of the vote is referred to as a 'non-binding agreement.' The results show that a norm established in this fashion does not induce more 'fairness' on the part of those subsequently chosen to be dictators. In fact, dictators were signiï¬cantly more likely to offer nothing under the treatment. I outline a simple model to account for this 'crowding out' effect of a norm that may demand ‘too much’ of some subjects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2007-036.

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Date of creation: 06 Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-036

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Keywords: Dictator game; communication; voting; promises; agreements; behavioral economics; guilt aversion; reciprocity; fairness; obligations;

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  1. Pablo Brañas-Garza, 2006. "Promoting Helping Behavior with Framing in Dictator games," ThE Papers 06/04, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  2. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
  3. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  5. Christoph Vanberg, 2008. "Why Do People Keep Their Promises? An Experimental Test of Two Explanations -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1467-1480, November.
  6. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
  7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  8. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
  9. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
  10. 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.
  11. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  12. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Mohlin, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2008. "Communication: Content or relationship?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 409-419, March.
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