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Let Me See You! A Video Experiment on the Social Dimension of Risk Preferences



Previous studies have shown that individuals are less other-regarding when their own payoff is risky than when it is sure. Empirical observations also indicate that people care more about identifiable than unidentifiable others. We report on an experiment designed to explore whether rendering the other identifiable—via a speechless video—can affect the relation between other-regarding concerns and preferences over social risk. For this sake, we elicit risk attitudes under two treatments differing in whether the actor can see the other or not. We find that seeing the other does not affect behavior significantly: regardless of the treatment, individuals are self-oriented as to allocation of risk, though they are other-regarding with respect to expected payoffs.

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  • Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2011. "Let Me See You! A Video Experiment on the Social Dimension of Risk Preferences," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 211-225, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2011_211

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brennan, Geoffrey & González, Luis G. & Güth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria, 2008. "Attitudes toward private and collective risk in individual and strategic choice situations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 253-262, July.
    2. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2010. "Testing guilt aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 95-107, January.
    3. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
    4. Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
    5. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2008. "On The Social Dimension Of Time And Risk Preferences: An Experimental Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 261-272, April.
    6. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    7. Jenni, Karen E & Loewenstein, George, 1997. "Explaining the "Identifiable Victim Effect."," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 235-257, May-June.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexia Gaudeul, 2013. "Social preferences under uncertainty," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-024, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Bixter, Michael T. & Luhmann, Christian C., 2014. "Shared losses reduce sensitivity to risk: A laboratory study of moral hazard," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 63-73.

    More about this item


    Risk attitudes; other-regarding concerns; identifiability;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


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