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Promoting helping behavior with framing in dictator games

  • Branas-Garza, Pablo

A number of recent papers on double-blind dictator games have obtained significant generous behavior when information regarding the recipient or any other social context is provided. In contrast, the lack of information discourages other-regarding behavior and the subject’s behavior closely approximates the game-theoretic prediction based on the selfishness assumption. This paper uses framing to explore the role of helping—behavior in dictator games. The whole experiment includes both classroom and regular experiments for the baseline and the framing treatment. To promote these motivations we included a “non—neutral” sentence at the end of the instructions, which reads “Note that he relies on you”. Our baseline and framed DG are statistically different from each other, indicating that the additional sentence promotes generous-regarding behavior.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 28 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 477-486

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:28:y:2007:i:4:p:477-486
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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  1. Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Durán, Miguel A., 2005. "Do experimental subjects favor their friends?," DFAEII Working Papers 2005-12, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Dean Karlin & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "What's Psychology Worth? A Field Experiment in the Consumer Credit Market," NBER Working Papers 11892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Burnham, Terence C., 2003. "Engineering altruism: a theoretical and experimental investigation of anonymity and gift giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-144, January.
  4. Norman Frohlich & Joe Oppenheimer & Anja Kurki, 2004. "Modeling Other-Regarding Preferences and an Experimental Test," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 91-117, 04.
  5. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Dean Karlan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "What's Advertising Content Worth? Evidence from a Consumer Credit Marketing Field Experiment," Working Papers 968, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Branas-Garza, Pablo, 2006. "Poverty in dictator games: Awakening solidarity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 306-320, July.
  8. Khalil, Elias L., 2004. "What is altruism?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 97-123, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Durán, Miguel A. & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz, 2005. "The role of personal involvement and responsibility in dictatorial allocations: A classroom experiment," DFAEII Working Papers 2005-14, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  11. 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 653-60, June.
  12. Khalil, Elias L., 2004. "What is altruism? A reply to critics," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 141-143, February.
  13. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
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