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New Experimental Results on the Solidarity Game

  • Susanne Büchner
  • Giorgio Coricelli
  • Ben Greiner

This paper revisits and extends the experiment on the solidarity game by Selten and Ockenfels (1998). We replicate the basic design of the solidarity game and extend it in order to t test the robustness of the ‘fixed total sacrifice’ effect and the applied strategy method. Our results only partially confirm the validity of the fixed total sacrifice effect. In a treatment with constant group-endowment rather than constant winner-endowment the predominance of the ‘fixed total sacrifice’ behavior is replaced by ‘fixed relative gift’ behavior. We additionally introduce a measure of personality characteristics and compare its specific components with pro-social gift behavior in our experiments. We don’t find correlations between actual gift behavior and measures of empathy-driven pro-social behavior used in social science.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2003-30.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2003-30
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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
  3. Charness, Gary B & Brandts, Jordi, 1998. "Hot vs. Cold: Sequential Responses and Preference Stability in Experimental Games," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt4kx7d5pv, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  4. Bolton, G. & Katok, E., 1995. "An Experimental Test of the Crowding Out Hypothesis: The Nature of Beneficient Behavior," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 295.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  5. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
  6. John R. Carter & Michael D. Irons, 1991. "Are Economists Different, and If So, Why?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 171-177, Spring.
  7. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  8. Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena, 1995. "An experimental test for gender differences in beneficent behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 287-292, June.
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