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Ashamed to be selfish

Author

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  • Dillenberger, David

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Sadowski, Philipp

    () (Department of Economics, Duke University)

Abstract

We study a decision maker (DM) who has preferences over choice problems, which are sets of payoff-allocations between herself and a passive recipient. An example of such a set is the collection of possible allocations in the classic dictator game. The choice of an allocation from the set is observed by the recipient, whereas the choice of the set itself is not. Behaving selfishly under observation, in the sense of not choosing the normatively best allocation, inflicts shame on DM. We derive a representation that identifies DM's private ranking of allocations, her subjective norm, and shame. The normatively best allocation can be further characterized as the Nash solution of a bargaining game induced by the second-stage choice problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Dillenberger, David & Sadowski, Philipp, 2012. "Ashamed to be selfish," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(1), January.
  • Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:674
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-869.
    2. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2008. "Revealed Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 31-69, January.
    3. 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.
    4. 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Saito, Kota, 2015. "Impure altruism and impure selfishness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PA), pages 336-370.
    2. Gorno, Leandro, 2016. "Additive representation for preferences over menus in finite choice settings," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 41-47.
    3. Riella, Gil, 2013. "Preference for Flexibility and Dynamic Consistency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2467-2482.
    4. Zak, F., 2014. "Psychological Games in the Theory of Choice. II. Shame, Regret, Egoism and Altruism," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 12-40.
    5. Vadim Cherepanov & Tim Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2013. "Revealed preferences and aspirations in warm glow theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(3), pages 501-535, November.
    6. Gustavo Adolfo Caballero Orozco, 2016. "Luck and Effort: Learning about Income from Friends and Neighbors," 2016 Papers pca706, Job Market Papers.
    7. Daley, Brendan & Sadowski, Philipp, 2017. "Magical thinking: A representation result," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(2), May.
    8. Name-Correa, Alvaro J. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2016. "“Giving” in to social pressure," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 99-116.
    9. Noor, Jawwad & Takeoka, Norio, 2015. "Menu-dependent self-control," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-20.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shame; selfishness; subjective norm; dictator game; Nash bargaining solution;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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