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Taking, Giving, and Impure Altruism in Dictator Games

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Author Info

  • Korenok Oleg

    ()
    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Edward L. Millner

    ()
    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Laura Razzolini

    ()
    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

Abstract

We show that, if giving is equivalent to not taking, impure altruism could account for List's (2007) finding that the payoff to recipients in a dictator game decreases when the dictator has the option to take. We examine behavior in dictator games with different taking options but equivalent final payoff possibilities. We find that recipients tend to earn more as the amount the dictator must take to achieve a given final payoff increases, a result consistent with the hypothesis that the cold prickle of taking is stronger than the warm glow of giving. We conclude that not taking is not equivalent to giving and agree with List (2007) that the current social preference models fail to rationalize the observed data.

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File URL: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~okorenok/repec_files/Taking_and_Not_Giving_Resubmit_19_Aug_2013.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by VCU School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1301.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:1301

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Keywords: Dictator Game; Impure Altruism; Taking;

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References

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  1. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  2. Korenok, Oleg & Millner, Edward L. & Razzolini, Laura, 2012. "Are dictators averse to inequality?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 543-547.
  3. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
  4. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  5. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  6. Korenok Oleg & Edward L. Millner & Laura Razzolini, 2010. "Impure Altruism in Dictators’ Giving," Working Papers, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics 1002, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2011.
  7. Philip J. Grossman & Catherine C. Eckel, 2012. "Giving versus Taking: A “Real Donation” Comparison of Warm Glow and Cold Prickle in a Context-Rich Environment," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series, Monash University, Department of Economics 20-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  8. Philip J. Grossman & Catherine C. Eckel, 2012. "Giving versus Taking: A “Real Donation” Comparison of Warm Glow and Cold Prickle," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series, Monash University, Department of Economics 40-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  9. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  10. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
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