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Bad luck vs. self-inflicted neediness – An experimental investigation of gift giving in a solidarity game

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  • Nadja Trhal
  • Ralf Radermacher

Abstract

We experimentally examine the impact of self-inflicted neediness on the solidarity behavior of subjects. In one treatment in our solidarity experiment all subjects face the same probability of becoming needy, in the other treatment subjects have the choice between a secure payment and a lottery including a certain probability of becoming needy. Then we ask all subjects how much they will give to losers in their group thus investigating if people are willing to give the same gifts whether or not subjects are responsible for inequality in payoffs. We found evidence for allocative as well as for procedural utility concerns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Cologne, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 28.

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Date of creation: 21 Aug 2006
Date of revision: 07 Mar 2008
Handle: RePEc:kls:series:0028

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Keywords: solidarity game; self-inflicted neediness; responsibility; procedural utility;

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References

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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, . "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not only What, but also How Matters," IEW - Working Papers 129, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  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. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
  4. Gary E Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 2005. "Fair Procedures: Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 1054-1076, October.
  5. Kurt Devooght & Erik Schokkaert, 1999. "Responsibility-Sensitive Fair Compensation in Different Cultures," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 46, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  6. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2005. "Beyond outcomes: measuring procedural utility," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 90-111, January.
  9. John Bone & John Hey & John Suckling, 2004. "A Simple Risk-Sharing Experiment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 23-38, January.
  10. Gary Charness, University of California, Santa Barbara and Garance Genicot,Georgetown University, 2004. "An Experimental Test of Risk-Sharing Arrangements," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-02, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  13. Buchner, Susanne & Coricelli, Giorgio & Greiner, Ben, 2007. "Self-centered and other-regarding behavior in the solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 293-303, February.
  14. Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
  15. 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.
  16. Sen, Amartya, 1995. "Rationality and Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 1-24, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Simone Gobien & Björn Vollan, 2013. "Playing with the social network: Social cohesion in resettled and non-resettled communities in Cambodia," Working Papers 2013-16, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  2. Landmann, Andreas & Vollan, Björn & Frölich, Markus, 2012. "Insurance versus Savings for the Poor: Why One Should Offer Either Both or None," IZA Discussion Papers 6298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Costard, Jano & Bolle, Friedel, 2011. "Solidarity, responsibility and group identity," Discussion Papers 309, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
  4. Lübbe, Ingmar & Bolle, Friedel, 2011. "Who helps whom? Risk taking and solidarity in a virtual world experiment," Discussion Papers 310, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
  5. Bolle, Friedel & Costard, Jano, 2013. "Who shows solidarity with the irresponsible?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2013-308, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. Jason Aimone & Daniel Houser, 2012. "What you don’t know won’t hurt you: a laboratory analysis of betrayal aversion," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 571-588, December.
  7. Ralf Radermacher & Johannes Brinkmann, 2011. "Insurance for the Poor?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 103(1), pages 63-76, April.

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