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Giving in Dictator Games: Regard for Others or Regard by Others?

  • Alexander K. Koch

    ()

    (Royal Holloway, University of London, and IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor), Royal Holloway College, University of London, Department of Economics, Egham TW20 0EX, UK)

  • Hans-Theo Normann

    ()

    (Royal Holloway College, University of London, Department of Economics, Egham TW20 0EX, UK)

Recent bargaining experiments demonstrate an effect of anonymity and incomplete information on behavior. This has rekindled the question whether “fair” behavior is inspired by regard for others or driven by external forces. To test this, we compare a dictator game treatment that provides receivers with information about the source of offers with one that does not, controlling for anonymity in a double-blind setting. Combined with extant results, our findings suggest that about half of dictator giving observed in experiments is internally motivated, and the other half is driven by external factors, such as experimenter observability or regard by receivers.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 75 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 223-231

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:75:1:y:2008:p:223-231
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/
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  1. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
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  10. Frohlich, Norman & Oppenheimer, Joe & Bernard Moore, J., 2001. "Some doubts about measuring self-interest using dictator experiments: the costs of anonymity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 271-290, November.
  11. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  12. Kritikos, Alexander S. & Bolle, Friedel, 2006. "Utility versus Income-Based Altruism," Discussion Papers 249, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
  13. 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 653-60, June.
  14. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
  15. 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.
  16. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-83, September.
  17. Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-82, May.
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