IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v81y2012i1p74-81.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Anonymity in the dictator game revisited

Author

Listed:
  • Franzen, Axel
  • Pointner, Sonja

Abstract

Giving in the dictator game has often been interpreted as evidence of other-regarding preferences. We suspect that giving is determined by subjects’ attempts to appear fair in the eyes of recipients and the experimenter. Therefore, we investigate behavior in the dictator game by using the randomized response technique to increase anonymity. Overall, 290 subjects participated in two experiments. The results demonstrate that the randomized response technique reduces giving to negligible amounts compared to the standard double blind condition. Thus, our results suggest that individuals closely follow egoistic motives in the dictator game when anonymity is convincingly implemented.

Suggested Citation

  • Franzen, Axel & Pointner, Sonja, 2012. "Anonymity in the dictator game revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 74-81.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:1:p:74-81
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.09.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111002332
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
    2. Neilson, William S., 2009. "A theory of kindness, reluctance, and shame for social preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 394-403, May.
    3. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    4. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    5. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
    6. Broberg, Tomas & Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Is generosity involuntary?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 32-37, January.
    7. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 285-300, October.
    8. Branas-Garza, Pablo, 2006. "Poverty in dictator games: Awakening solidarity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 306-320, July.
    9. Alexander W. Cappelen & Karl Ove Moene & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2008. "Rich meets Poor - An International Fairness Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-098/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
    11. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
    12. Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-282, May.
    13. Oxoby, Robert J. & Spraggon, John, 2008. "Mine and yours: Property rights in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 703-713, March.
    14. List, John A. & Cherry, Todd L., 2008. "Examining the role of fairness in high stakes allocation decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-8, January.
    15. Ball, Sheryl & Eckel, Catherine C., 1998. "The economic value of status," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 495-514.
    16. Rankin, Frederick W., 2006. "Requests and social distance in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-36, May.
    17. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
    18. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
    19. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    20. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
    21. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Luis M. Miller, 2008. "Moral distance in dictator games," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 344-354, April.
    22. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S., 1999. "The sound of silence in prisoner's dilemma and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-57, January.
    23. Cherry, Todd L., 2001. "Mental accounting and other-regarding behavior: Evidence from the lab," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 605-615, October.
    24. Arkes, Hal R. & Joyner, Cynthia A. & Pezzo, Mark V. & Nash, Jane Gradwohl & Siegel-Jacobs, Karen & Stone, Eric, 1994. "The Psychology of Windfall Gains," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 331-347, September.
    25. Frohlich, Norman & Oppenheimer, Joe & Bernard Moore, J., 2001. "Some doubts about measuring self-interest using dictator experiments: the costs of anonymity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 271-290, November.
    26. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2008. "What's in a name? Anonymity and social distance in dictator and ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-35, October.
    27. Dana, Jason & Cain, Daylian M. & Dawes, Robyn M., 2006. "What you don't know won't hurt me: Costly (but quiet) exit in dictator games," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 193-201, July.
    28. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kritikos, Alexander S. & Tan, Jonathan H. W., 2014. "Would I Care if I Knew? Image Concerns and Social Confirmation in Giving," IZA Discussion Papers 8739, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. te Velde, Vera L., 2018. "Beliefs-based altruism as an alternative explanation for social signaling behaviors," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 177-191.
    3. Isabel Thielmann & Daniel W. Heck & Benjamin E. Hilbig, 2016. "Anonymity and incentives: An investigation of techniques to reduce socially desirable responding in the Trust Game," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(5), pages 527-536, September.
    4. Nadine Chlaß & Peter G. Moffatt, 2017. "Giving in Dictator Games - Experimenter Demand Effect or Preference over the Rules of the Game?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-044, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    5. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & García-Segarra, Jaume & Ritschel, Alexander, 2018. "Performance curiosity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-17.
    6. Matteo M. Galizzi & Daniel Navarro Martinez, 2015. "On the external validity of social-preference games: A systematic lab-field study," Economics Working Papers 1462, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Matteo M. Galizzi & Daniel Navarro-Martinez, 2019. "On the External Validity of Social Preference Games: A Systematic Lab-Field Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(3), pages 976-1002, March.
    8. Kogler, Christoph & Olsen, Jerome & Bogaers, Rebecca I., 2020. "Enhanced anonymity in tax experiments does not affect compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 390-398.
    9. Axel Franzen & Sonja Pointner, 2013. "The external validity of giving in the dictator game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-169, June.
    10. Greiff, Matthias & Egbert, Henrik, 2016. "The Pay-What-You-Want Game and Laboratory Experiments," MPRA Paper 75222, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Tobias Regner & Astrid Matthey, 2015. "Do reciprocators exploit or resist moral wiggle room? An experimental analysis," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-027, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    12. Marc Keuschnigg & Tobias Wolbring, 2015. "Disorder, social capital, and norm violation: Three field experiments on the broken windows thesis," Rationality and Society, , vol. 27(1), pages 96-126, February.
    13. Gasiorowska, Agata, 2012. "Psychologiczne skutki aktywacji idei pieniędzy a obdarowywanie bliskich [The psychological consequences of mere exposure to money and gift-giving]," MPRA Paper 48170, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Andersson, Per A. & Erlandsson, Arvid & Västfjäll, Daniel & Tinghög, Gustav, 2020. "Prosocial and moral behavior under decision reveal in a public environment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    15. Saima Naeem & Asad Zaman, 2014. "Gender and Ultimatum in Pakistan: Revisited," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 1-14.
    16. Tobias Regner, 2018. "Reciprocity under moral wiggle room: Is it a preference or a constraint?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 779-792, December.
    17. Panizza, Folco & Vostroknutov, Alexander & Coricelli, Giorgio, 2019. "Meta-Context and Choice-Set Effects in Mini-Dictator Games," Research Memorandum 010, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    18. Alex Shaw & Shoham Choshen-Hillel, 2017. "It’s not fair: Folk intuitions about disadvantageous and advantageous inequity aversion," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 12(3), pages 208-223, May.
    19. Kassas, Bachir & Palma, Marco A., 2019. "Self-serving biases in social norm compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 388-408.
    20. Abhinash Borah & Raghvi Garg, 2020. "Torn between want and should: Self regulation and behavioral choices," Working Papers 29, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.
    21. Jeffrey Winking, 2014. "Anonymity versus Privacy in the Dictator Game: Revealing Donor Decisions to Recipients Does Not Substantially Impact Donor Behavior," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(12), pages 1-11, December.
    22. Axel Franzen & Sonja Pointner, 2013. "Giving according to preferences: Decision-making in the group dictator game," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 2, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences, revised 24 Jan 2014.
    23. Hanna Freudenreich & Marcela Ibanez & Stephan Dietrich & Oliver Musshoff, 2018. "Formal insurance, risk sharing, and the dynamics of other-regarding preferences," Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (DARE) Discussion Papers 266532, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    24. Lisa Bruttel & Florian Stolley, 2018. "Gender Differences in the Response to Decision Power and Responsibility—Framing Effects in a Dictator Game," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-16, May.
    25. Ulf Liebe & Veronika A. Andorfer & Patricia A. Gwartney & Jürgen Meyerhoff, 2014. "Ethical Consumption and Social Context: Experimental Evidence from Germany and the United States," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 7, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Breitmoser, Yves & Vorjohann, Pauline, 2018. "Welfare-Based Altruism," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 89, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    2. Matteo M. Galizzi & Daniel Navarro Martinez, 2015. "On the external validity of social-preference games: A systematic lab-field study," Economics Working Papers 1462, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Matteo M. Galizzi & Daniel Navarro-Martinez, 2019. "On the External Validity of Social Preference Games: A Systematic Lab-Field Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(3), pages 976-1002, March.
    4. Kassas, Bachir & Palma, Marco A., 2019. "Self-serving biases in social norm compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 388-408.
    5. Murnighan, J. Keith & Wang, Long, 2016. "The social world as an experimental game," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 80-94.
    6. Rigdon, Mary & Ishii, Keiko & Watabe, Motoki & Kitayama, Shinobu, 2009. "Minimal social cues in the dictator game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 358-367, June.
    7. Ogawa, Kazuhito & Takemoto, Toru & Takahashi, Hiromasa & Suzuki, Akihiro, 2012. "Income earning opportunity and work performance affect donating behavior: Evidence from dictator game experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 816-826.
    8. Heinz, Matthias & Juranek, Steffen & Rau, Holger A., 2012. "Do women behave more reciprocally than men? Gender differences in real effort dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 105-110.
    9. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth, 2013. "Selfishness As a Potential Cause of Crime. A Prison Experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    10. Takanori Ida & Kazuhito Ogawa, 2012. "Inequality aversion, social discount, and time discount rates," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 314-329, April.
    11. Bruttel, Lisa & Stolley, Florian, 2020. "Getting a yes. An experiment on the power of asking," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    12. 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.
    13. Pablo Brañas-Garza, 2008. "Expected Behavior in the Dictator Game," ThE Papers 08/12, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    14. Elena Cettolin & Arno Riedl & Giang Tran, 2017. "Giving in the face of risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 95-118, December.
    15. Jacobsen, Karin J. & Eika, Kari H. & Helland, Leif & Lind, Jo Thori & Nyborg, Karine, 2011. "Are nurses more altruistic than real estate brokers?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 818-831.
    16. Subhashish Modak Chowdhury & Joo Young Jeon, 2012. "Income effect and altruism," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 12-04, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    17. Ismael Rodriguez-Lara & Luis Moreno-Garrido, 2012. "Self-interest and fairness: self-serving choices of justice principles," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(1), pages 158-175, March.
    18. Alevy, Jonathan E. & Jeffries, Francis L. & Lu, Yonggang, 2014. "Gender- and frame-specific audience effects in dictator games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 50-54.
    19. Lisa Bruttel & Florian Stolley, 2018. "Gender Differences in the Response to Decision Power and Responsibility—Framing Effects in a Dictator Game," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-16, May.
    20. Pamela Jakiela & Edward Miguel & Vera Velde, 2015. "You’ve earned it: estimating the impact of human capital on social preferences," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 385-407, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Other-regarding preferences; Fairness; Dictator game; Experimental game theory; Randomized response technique;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:1:p:74-81. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nithya Sathishkumar). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.