Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness
In both dictator and impunity games, one player, the dictator, divides a fixed amount of money between himself and one other, the recipient. Recent lab studies of these games have produced seemingly inconsistent results, reporting substantially divergent amounts of dictator giving. Also, one prominent explanation for some of these differences, the impact of experimenter observation, displayed weak explanatory power in a different but related lab game. Data from the new experiment reported here offers some explanations. We find that dictators determine how much they will give on the basis of the total money available for the entire experimental session, not on the basis of what is available per game. This explains the reported differences between impunity and dictator studies. When distributing a gift among several recipients, individual dictators show little tendency towards equal treatment. Also, we find no evidence for the experimenter observation effect. Comparison with earlier experiments suggests that differences in the context of the game, affected by differences in written directions and independent of experimenter observation, account for differences across dictator studies. We propose a hypothetical decision procedure, based on the notion that dictator giving originates with personal and social rules that effectively constrain self-interested behavior. The procedure provides a link between dictator behavior and a broader class of laboratory phenomena.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 27 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
|Note:||Received August 1993/Final version April 1994 received additional support from a Research Initiation Grant, Penn State University. We are grateful for the comments of Jon Baron and an anonymous referee. Special thanks to Keith Ord for his advice on statistical analysis and to Shelly Geers for her assistance in running the experiments.-->|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/economic+theory/journal/182/PS2|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jogath:v:27:y:1998:i:2:p:269-299. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.