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Mine, Ours or Yours? Unintended Framing Effects in Dictator Games

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Listed:
  • Bergh, Andreas

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Wichardt, Philipp C.

    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

Abstract

This paper reports results from a classroom dictator game comparing the effects of three different sets of standard instructions. As was shown by Oxoby and Spraggon (2008), inducing a feeling of entitlement – one subject earning the endowment – strongly affects allocations in dictator games towards the owner of the money (both dictator and receiver). The present results show that seemingly small differences in instructions induce fundamentally different perceptions regarding entitlement. Behavior is affected accordingly, i.e. instructions inducing subjects to perceive the task as distributive rather than a task of generosity lead to higher allocations to receivers (average 52% vs. 35%). A theoretical explanation integrating monetary as well as social incentives and emphasizing potential effects of uncertainty about the latter is discussed (cf. Bergh and Wichardt, 2018).

Suggested Citation

  • Bergh, Andreas & Wichardt, Philipp C., 2018. "Mine, Ours or Yours? Unintended Framing Effects in Dictator Games," Working Paper Series 1205, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator games; Framing effects; Property rights; Social preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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