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Guilt Aversion in (New) Games: the Role of Vulnerability

Author

Listed:
  • Giuseppe Attanasi

    (Université Côte d'Azur
    CNRS, GREDEG, France)

  • Claire Rimbaud

    (Université Lyon 2
    GATE CNRS)

  • Marie-Claire Villeval

    (Université Lyon 2
    GATE CNRS)

Abstract

From the literature we know that contextual factors modulate guilt aversion, such as pre-play communication and social closeness. In this study, we investigate whether a particular feature of the game itself = the vulnerability of the co-players = affects a player's guilt aversion. We deem that a co-player is (i) ex-post vulnerable when her final payoff depends on the decision-maker's actions, and (ii) ex-ante vulnerable when the use of her initial endowment depends on the decision-maker's actions. In a laboratory experiment, we introduce four (new) three-player trust games played within-subjects, varying whether the trustees can condition their decision on the belief of another player who is ex-post vulnerable and/or ex-ante vulnerable. We put forward a portable model of lexicographic altruism and role-dependent guilt, where the trustee can only be altruistic toward the most disadvantaged player and can feel guilty simply because of his role in the game. We find that trustees' guilt aversion is insensitive to the opponents' vulnerability and to the role of the vulnerable player.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Attanasi & Claire Rimbaud & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2020. "Guilt Aversion in (New) Games: the Role of Vulnerability," GREDEG Working Papers 2020-15, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2020-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Guilt aversion; vulnerability; psychological game theory; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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