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Social Preferences under Risk - An Experimental Analysis

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  • Christiane Bradler

    (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

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    Abstract

    The literature on social preferences provides overwhelming evidence of departures from pure self-interest of individuals. Experiments show that people care about others' well-being and their relative standing. This paper investigates whether this type of behavior persists when risk comes into play. I devise an experiment which sheds light on the interrelation of risk and social preferences by measuring (1) individual risk preferences, (2) interpersonal risk preferences, and (3) social preferences under certainty. The results reveal that a large share of subjects choose to accept more risk or less potential gain than individually preferred in order to increase another subject’s payoff. Further, the willingness to do so appears to be influenced by the "need" of the other person and her potential relative standing. Surprisingly, the results do not suggest that a subject’s social behavior under risk is related to his exhibited social concerns exhibited under certainty.

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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 2009-022.

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    Date of creation: 23 Mar 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-022

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    Keywords: social preferences; risk; other-regarding behavior; inequality aversion;

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    Cited by:
    1. Winschel, Evguenia & Zahn, Philipp, 2012. "Effciency Concern under Asymmetric Information," Working Papers 13-07, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    2. Alexia Gaudeul, 2013. "Social preferences under uncertainty," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-024, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
    3. Winschel, Evguenia & Zahn, Philipp, 2014. "When Ignorance is Bliss* : Information Asymmetries Enhance Prosocial Behavior in Dicator Games," Working Papers 13-07, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    4. Weitzel, Utz & Urbig, Diemo & Desai, Sameeksha & Sanders, Mark & Acs, Zoltan, 2010. "The good, the bad, and the talented: Entrepreneurial talent and selfish behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 64-81, October.

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