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Surprising Gifts - Theory and Laboratory Evidence

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Author Info

  • Kiryl Khalmetski
  • Axel Ockenfels
  • Peter Werner

Abstract

People do not only feel guilt from not living up to others' expectations (Battigalli and Dufwenberg (2007)), but may also like to exceed them. We propose a model that generalizes the guilt aversion model to capture the possibility of positive surprises when making gifts. A model extension allows decision makers to care about others' attribution of intentions behind surprises. We test the model in two dictator game experiments. Experiment 1 shows a strong causal effect of recipients' expectations on dictators' transfers. Moreover, in line with our model, the correlation between transfers and expectations can be both, positive and negative, obscuring the effect in the aggregate. Experiment 2 shows that dictators care about what recipients know about the intentions behind surprises.

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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 61.

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Date of creation: 09 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:kls:series:0061

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Related research

Keywords: guilt aversion; surprise seeking; dictator game; consensus effect;

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References

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  1. Grossman, Zachary, 2010. "Self-Signaling Versus Social-Signaling in Giving," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7320x2cp, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Guerra, Gerardo & John Zizzo, Daniel, 2004. "Trust responsiveness and beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 25-30, September.
  3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  4. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
  5. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1607-1636, 09.
  6. 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.
  7. Edlin, Aaron S. & Shannon, Chris, 1998. "Strict Monotonicity in Comparative Statics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 201-219, July.
  8. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  9. Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
  10. Bellemare, Charles & Sebald, Alexander & Strobel, Martin, 2010. "Measuring the Willingness to Pay to Avoid Guilt: Estimation Using Equilibrium and Stated Belief Models," IZA Discussion Papers 4803, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Milgrom, P. & Shannon, C., 1991. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Papers 11, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Giuseppe Attanasi & Pierpaolo Battigalli & Rosemarie Nagel, 2013. "Disclosure of Belief-Dependent Preferences in a Trust Game," Working Papers 506, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Kiryl Khalmetski, 2013. "The Hidden Value of Lying: Evasion of Guilt in Expert Advice," 2013 Papers pkh266, Job Market Papers.

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