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Somebody May Scold You! A Dictator Experiment


  • Agnès Festré
  • Pierre Garrouste


In this contribution, we investigate the effects of observation-only and observation with feedback from a third-party in a one-shot dictator game (DG). In addition to a baseline condition (DG), a third-party anonymous subject was introduced who either silently observed or observed and got to give feedback by choosing one of seven messages consisting of varying degree of (dis)satisfaction. We found that observation coupled with feedback increased significantly dictators‟ propositions, while no significant effect is found for observation-only. We conclude that regard by others matters only if it linked to social factors such as communication. This complements the literature arguing that altruistic behavior is instrumental in serving other selfish (or non-purely altruistic) ends such as self-reputation or social approval.

Suggested Citation

  • Agnès Festré & Pierre Garrouste, 2012. "Somebody May Scold You! A Dictator Experiment," GREDEG Working Papers 2012-04, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2012-04

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    dictator game; observation; feedback; ex-ante effect; ex-post effect;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles


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