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Imagine being a nice guy: A note on hypothetical vs. incentivized social preferences

Listed author(s):
  • Christoph Bühren
  • Thorben C. Kundt

We conducted an experimental study on social preferences using dictator games similar to Fehr et al. (2008). Our results show that social preferences differ between subjects who receive low-stakes monetary rewards for their decisions and subjects who consider hypothetical stakes. Our findings indicate that, apart from incentives, gender plays an important role for the categorization of different social preferences.

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Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

Volume (Year): 10 (2015)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 185-190

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Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:10:y:2015:i:2:p:185-190
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
  4. Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Föllmi-Heusi, 2013. "Lies In Disguise—An Experimental Study On Cheating," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 525-547, 06.
  5. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-755, September.
  6. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
  7. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "The relative price of fairness: gender differences in a punishment game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 143-158, August.
  8. Bühren Christoph & Kundt Thorben C., 2014. "Does the Level of Work Effort Influence Tax Evasion? Experimental Evidence," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 65(2), pages 137-158, August.
  9. Ben-Ner, Avner & Kramer, Amit & Levy, Ori, 2008. "Economic and hypothetical dictator game experiments: Incentive effects at the individual level," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1775-1784, October.
  10. Mosi Rosenboim & Tal Shavit, 2012. "Whose money is it anyway? Using prepaid incentives in experimental economics to create a natural environment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(1), pages 145-157, March.
  11. repec:lus:reveco:v:65:y:2014:i:2:p:209-230 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  13. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  14. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Verhoogen, Eric & Burks, Stephen, 2005. "The effect of stakes in distribution experiments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 393-398, March.
  15. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
  16. 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.
  17. Christoph Bühren & Thorben C. Kundt, 2013. "Worker or Shirker – Who Evades More Taxes? A Real Effort Experiment," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201326, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  18. Bauer, Michal & Chytilová, Julie & Pertold-Gebicka, Barbara, 2011. "Effects of Parental Background on Other-Regarding Preferences in Children," IZA Discussion Papers 6026, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  20. Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2005. "Are People Inequality-Averse, or Just Risk-Averse?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(3), pages 375-396, 08.
  21. Sefton, Martin, 1992. "Incentives in simple bargaining games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 263-276, June.
  22. Fehr, Ernst & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Sutter, Matthias, 2013. "The development of egalitarianism, altruism, spite and parochialism in childhood and adolescence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 369-383.
  23. Daruvala, Dinky, 2010. "Would the right social preference model please stand up!," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 199-208, February.
  24. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
  25. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  26. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
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