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Guilt aversion revisited: An experimental test of a new model

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  • Kawagoe, Toshiji
  • Narita, Yusuke

Abstract

In this paper, we experimentally investigate the guilt aversion hypothesis by using a trust game with pre-play communication. For this purpose, we first develop a new version of guilt aversion called personal guilt aversion. It is shown that the new version is consistent with extant experimental results in the literature and thus cannot be rejected by any of them. Given this observation, we then design an experiment that can test the new as well as original versions of the guilt aversion hypothesis. In contrast to the prediction of both versions of the hypothesis, we find that the correlation between elicited beliefs and (trustful or trustworthy) behavior is almost zero even in an environment with pre-play communication. Thus, our experimental result provides a case against the guilt aversion hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Kawagoe, Toshiji & Narita, Yusuke, 2014. "Guilt aversion revisited: An experimental test of a new model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 1-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:102:y:2014:i:c:p:1-9 DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.02.020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Shoji, Masahiro, 2017. "Eliciting Guilt Sensitivity to Predict Real-World Behavior," MPRA Paper 81451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Khalmetski, Kiryl, 2016. "Testing guilt aversion with an exogenous shift in beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 110-119.
    3. Hauge, Karen Evelyn, 2016. "Generosity and guilt: The role of beliefs and moral standards of others," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 35-43.
    4. Pelligra, Vittorio & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2016. "Responding to (Un)Reasonable Requests," IZA Discussion Papers 10189, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. repec:spr:jesaex:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40881-017-0043-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Khalmetski, Kiryl & Ockenfels, Axel & Werner, Peter, 2015. "Surprising gifts: Theory and laboratory evidence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 163-208.
    7. Eric Cardella, 2016. "Exploiting the guilt aversion of others: do agents do it and is it effective?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 80(4), pages 523-560, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Guilt aversion; Trust; Belief; Communication; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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