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Anonymity in the dictator game revisited

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  • 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
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    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

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