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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
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  13. 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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