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Does generosity generate generosity? An experimental study of reputation effects in a dictator game

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  • Servátka, Maros

Abstract

Previous experimental literature on reputation studies its effects in environments where they are often confounded with strategic behavior. This paper explores how information about the paired subject's previous action affects one's own behavior in a non-strategic environment of a dictator game. The experiment consists of two treatments in which dictators can give money to the paired player: one where the recipient is a stranger and the other where the dictator has information on the recipient's reputation. The data provide evidence that on average the dictators send more money to recipients with a reputation for being generous than to recipients with no reputation. The results contribute to our understanding of how impulses towards generous (or selfish) behavior might arise.

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  • Servátka, Maros, 2010. "Does generosity generate generosity? An experimental study of reputation effects in a dictator game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 11-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:1:p:11-17
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    Cited by:

    1. Servátka, Maroš & Tucker, Steven & Vadovič, Radovan, 2011. "Words speak louder than money," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 700-709.
    2. Tammi, Timo, 2013. "Dictator game giving and norms of redistribution: Does giving in the dictator game parallel with the supporting of income redistribution in the field?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 44-48.
    3. Herne, Kaisa & Lappalainen, Olli & Kestilä-Kekkonen, Elina, 2013. "Experimental comparison of direct, general, and indirect reciprocity," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 38-46.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator game Experiment Generosity Indirect reciprocity Reputation Social context;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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