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Small-world conservatives and rigid liberals: Attitudes towards sharing in self-proclaimed left and right

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  • Thomsson, Kaj M.
  • Vostroknutov, Alexander

Abstract

We experimentally explore the way political preferences shape giving behavior. We find no difference in average giving between the Left and the Right in a Dictator game environment. However, we find the reasons for giving to be different. Right-leaning individuals give according to a norm-dependent utility that takes into account the beliefs of the receiver. The behavior of left-leaning individuals is not shaped by such an interaction between norms and beliefs. We conclude that right-wingers choose in accordance with a “small world” view, where giving is shaped by social interaction, while left-wingers appear rigid in their reaction to social context.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomsson, Kaj M. & Vostroknutov, Alexander, 2017. "Small-world conservatives and rigid liberals: Attitudes towards sharing in self-proclaimed left and right," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 181-192.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:135:y:2017:i:c:p:181-192
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.01.023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gächter, Simon & Gerhards, Leonie & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2017. "The importance of peers for compliance with norms of fair sharing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 72-86.
    2. Maite D. Laméris & Richard Jong-A-Pin & Rasmus Wiese, 2018. "An Experimental Test of the Validity of Survey-Measured Political Ideology," CESifo Working Paper Series 7139, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Rudolf Kerschbamer & Daniel Muller, 2017. "Social preferences and political attitudes: An online experiment on a large heterogeneous sample," Working Papers 2017-16, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experimental economics; Social norms; Liberals; Conservatives; Sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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