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A note on testing guilt aversion

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  • Bellemare, Charles
  • Sebald, Alexander
  • Suetens, Sigrid

Abstract

We compare three approaches to test for guilt aversion in two economic experiments. The first approach elicits second-order beliefs using self-reports. The second approach discloses first-order beliefs of matched players to decision makers, which are taken as exogenous second-order beliefs of decision makers. The third approach lets decision makers make choices conditional on a sequence of possible first-order beliefs of matched players. We find that the first and third approach generate similar results, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The second approach, however, generates significantly higher levels of ‘kindness’ for low levels of beliefs: at a second-order belief of zero, the probability of choosing the ‘kind’ action is between 43 and 65 percentage points higher than with the other approaches.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellemare, Charles & Sebald, Alexander & Suetens, Sigrid, 2017. "A note on testing guilt aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 233-239.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:102:y:2017:i:c:p:233-239
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2016.11.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Attanasi, Giuseppe & Rimbaud, Claire & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2018. "Embezzlement and Guilt Aversion," IZA Discussion Papers 11956, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Charles Bellemare & Alexander Sebald & Sigrid Suetens, 2018. "Heterogeneous guilt sensitivities and incentive effects," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(2), pages 316-336, June.
    3. Bellemare, Charles & Sebald, Alexander & Suetens, Sigrid, 2019. "Guilt aversion in economics and psychology," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 52-59.
    4. Bellemare, Charles & Sebald, A. & Suetens, Sigrid, 2019. "Guilt Aversion in Economics and Psychology," Discussion Paper 2019-017, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. repec:spr:jesaex:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40881-017-0043-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ronald Peeters & Marc Vorsatz, 2018. "Simple guilt and cooperation," Working Papers 1801, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2018.
    7. Weiwei Tasch & Daniel Houser, 2018. "Social Preferences and Social Curiosity," Working Papers 1067, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    8. Weiwei Tasch & Daniel Houser, 2018. "Social Preferences and Social Curiosity," Working Papers 1067, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    9. Amrish Patel & Alec Smith, 2018. "Guilt and participation," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2018-01, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Guilt aversion; Elicitation method;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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