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Economic and hypothetical dictator game experiments: Incentive effects at the individual level

  • Ben-Ner, Avner
  • Kramer, Amit
  • Levy, Ori

The paper compares behavior in economic dictator game experiments played with actual money (amounts given by "dictator" subjects) with behavior in hypothetical dictator game experiments where subjects indicate what they would give, although no money is actually exchanged. The average amounts transferred in the two experiments are remarkably similar. We uncover meaningful individual differences in real and hypothetical allocations and demonstrate the importance of two personality traits - agreeableness and extraversion - in reconciling them. We conclude that extraverts are "all talk;" agreeable subjects are "for real".

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 1775-1784

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:1775-1784
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Brandstatter, Hermann & Guth, Werner, 2000. "A psychological approach to individual differences in intertemporal consumption patterns," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 465-479, October.
  2. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
  3. Sefton, Martin, 1992. "Incentives in simple bargaining games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 263-276, June.
  4. Rydval, Ondrej & Ortmann, Andreas, 2004. "How financial incentives and cognitive abilities affect task performance in laboratory settings: an illustration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 315-320, December.
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  7. Avner Ben-Ner & Louis Putterman, 1999. "Reciprocity in a Two Part Dictator Game," Working Papers 99-28, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  8. Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon, 2002. "Using the Machiavellianism instrument to predict trustworthiness in a bargaining game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 49-66, February.
  9. Ben-Ner, Avner & Kong, Fanmin & Putterman, Louis, 2004. "Share and share alike? Gender-pairing, personality, and cognitive ability as determinants of giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 581-589, October.
  10. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
  11. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Camerer, Colin F. & Hogarth, Robin M., 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Working Papers 1059, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  15. Avner Ben-Ner & Brian P. McCall & Massoud Stephane & Hua Wang, 2006. "Identity and Self-Other Differentiation in Work and Giving Behaviors: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 2006.103, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  16. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
  17. Holm, Hakan J., 2000. "Gender-Based Focal Points," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 292-314, August.
  18. Hunter, Katrina & Kemp, Simon, 2004. "The personality of e-commerce investors," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 529-537, August.
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