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The effects of the take-option in dictator-game experiments: a comment on Engel’s (2011) meta-study

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  • Le Zhang

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  • Andreas Ortmann

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Abstract

In this paper, we report a replication of Engel’s (Exp. Econ. 14(4):583–610, 2011 ) meta-study of dictator game experiments. We find Engel’s meta-study of dictator game experiments to be robust, with one important exception: the coding of the take-option (List in J. Polit. Econ. 115(3):482–493, 2007 ; Bardsley in Exp. Econ. 11(2):122–133, 2008 ; Cappelen et al. in Econ. Lett. 118(2):280–283, 2013 ). While Engel reports this as having no statistically significant effect, in our replications, we find an economically and statistically significant negative effect on giving in line with the relevant literature. Copyright Economic Science Association 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Le Zhang & Andreas Ortmann, 2014. "The effects of the take-option in dictator-game experiments: a comment on Engel’s (2011) meta-study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(3), pages 414-420, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:17:y:2014:i:3:p:414-420
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-013-9375-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
    2. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
    3. Anna Dreber & Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson & David Rand, 2013. "Do people care about social context? Framing effects in dictator games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 349-371, September.
    4. Le Zhang & Andreas Ortmann, 2012. "On the Interpretation of Giving, Taking, and Destruction in Dictator Games and Joy-of-Destruction Games," Discussion Papers 2012-50, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    5. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    6. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
    7. Le Zhang & Andreas Ortmann, 2012. "A reproduction and replication of Engel’s meta-study of dictator game experiments," Discussion Papers 2012-44, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    8. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Nielsen, Ulrik H. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2013. "Give and take in dictator games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 280-283.
    9. Jeanette Brosig & Thomas Riechmann & Joachim Weimann, 2007. "Selfish in the end? An investigation of consistency and stability of individual behaviour," FEMM Working Papers 07005, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    10. Guala, Francesco & Mittone, Luigi, 2010. "Paradigmatic experiments: The Dictator Game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 578-584, October.
    11. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
    12. Reiner Eichenberger & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 1998. "Rational moralists: The role of fairness in democratic economic politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(1), pages 191-210, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Isabel Thielmann & Daniel W. Heck & Benjamin E. Hilbig, 2016. "Anonymity and incentives: An investigation of techniques to reduce socially desirable responding in the Trust Game," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(5), pages 527-536, September.
    2. Zhang, Le & Ortmann, Andreas, 2016. "Pro-social or anti-social, or both? A within- and between-subjects study of social preferences," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 23-32.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator game experiments; Meta-analysis; Giving; Normalized giving; Take-option; C24; C91; D03;

    JEL classification:

    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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