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Ashamed to be selfish

  • Dillenberger, David


    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Sadowski, Philipp


    (Department of Economics, Duke University)

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    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.

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    Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Theoretical Economics.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)

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    Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:674
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    1. Cox, James C. & Friedman, Daniel & Sadiraj, Vjollca, 2009. "Revealed Altruism," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6rb5t4mc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    2. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    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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