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Inequalities between Others Do Matter: Evidence from Multiplayer Dictator Games

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  • David Macro

    () (ICS/FSW, Utrecht University, Padualaan 14, 3584CH Utrecht, The Netherlands)

  • Jeroen Weesie

    () (ICS/FSW, Utrecht University, Padualaan 14, 3584CH Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Abstract

Social motives are frequently used to explain deviations from selfishness in non-strategic settings such as the Dictator Game. Previous research has mainly focused on two-player games; the workings of social motives in multiplayer Dictator Games are less well understood. A core feature of multiplayer games is that players can consider inequalities between others, in addition to outcomes that have two-player analogues, such as social efficiency and the inequality between self and others. We expect that existing models of social motives can be improved if players are allowed to consider the inequality between others. Results from two laboratory experiments confirm this: motives for the inequality between others were found, and these motives could not be reduced to motives with dyadic analogues. Explorative analyses show that our findings are robust to a number of potential misspecifications: motives for the inequality between others were also found when utility included non-linear evaluations of inequality, and when alternative types of self-other comparison mechanisms were modeled. Thus, to adequately capture social motives in multiplayer games, models should account for the complexities of the multiplayer setting. We speculate that our findings also hold for strategic games; but further research is needed to elucidate this.

Suggested Citation

  • David Macro & Jeroen Weesie, 2016. "Inequalities between Others Do Matter: Evidence from Multiplayer Dictator Games," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(2), pages 1-23, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:7:y:2016:i:2:p:11-:d:68042
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social motives; game theory; games; non-selfish preferences; welfare; inequality; multi-player games; Dictator Game;

    JEL classification:

    • C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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