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Paradigmatic Experiments: the Dictator Game

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  • Francesco Guala
  • Luigi Mittone

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Abstract

Recent experiments with the Dictator Game (and the ensuing discussions) have been affected by considerable confusion regarding the purpose of this design. A common complaint is that the design gives rise to fragile regularities and therefore is of little use for theory-testing. We take issue with this view, and instead argue that the Dictator Game is potentially a very useful tool for experimental game theory, if properly used. It is particularly useful for investigating social norms, but economists have failed to take advantage of the Dictator Game because they still lack an adequate theory of norms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series CEEL Working Papers with number 0807.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0807

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Cited by:
  1. Bhirombhakdi, Kornpob & Potipiti, Tanapong, 2012. "Performance of a reciprocity model in predicting a positive reciprocity decision," MPRA Paper 40954, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Tammi, Timo, 2013. "Dictator game giving and norms of redistribution: Does giving in the dictator game parallel with the supporting of income redistribution in the field?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 44-48.
  3. Guala, Francesco & Mittone, Luigi, 2010. "Paradigmatic experiments: The Dictator Game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 578-584, October.
  4. Lotz, Sebastian & Schlösser, Thomas & Cain, Daylian M. & Fetchenhauer, Detlef, 2013. "The (in)stability of social preferences: Using justice sensitivity to predict when altruism collapses," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 141-148.
  5. Daniel John Zizzo, 2011. "Do dictator games measure altruism?," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 12-03, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  6. Le Zhang & Andreas Ortmann, 2012. "A reproduction and replication of Engel’s meta-study of dictator game experiments," Discussion Papers 2012-44, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  7. Zizzo, Daniel John, 2013. "Claims and confounds in economic experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 186-195.

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