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Give and Take in Dictator Games

Author

Listed:
  • Cappelen, Alexander W.

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Nielsen, Ulrik H.

    (University of Copenhagen)

  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Tungodden, Bertil

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

    (University of Vienna)

Abstract

It has been shown that participants in the dictator game are less willing to give money to the other participant when their choice set also includes the option to take money. We examine whether this effect is due to the choice set providing a signal about entitlements in a setting where entitlements initially may be considered unclear. We find that the share of positive transfers depends on the choice set even when there is no uncertainty about entitlements, and that this choice-set effect is robust across a heterogenous group of participants recruited from the general adult population in Denmark. The findings are consistent with dictator giving partly being motivated by a desire to signal that one is not entirely selfish or by a desire to follow a social norm that is choice-set dependent.

Suggested Citation

  • Cappelen, Alexander W. & Nielsen, Ulrik H. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "Give and Take in Dictator Games," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 14/2012, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2012_014
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
    3. Alexander W. Cappelen & James Konow & Erik ?. S?rensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2013. "Just Luck: An Experimental Study of Risk-Taking and Fairness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1398-1413, June.
    4. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
    5. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
    6. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1607-1636, September.
    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. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
    9. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Grossman, Philip J. & Eckel, Catherine C., 2015. "Giving versus taking for a cause," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 28-30.
    2. repec:spr:climat:v:142:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-017-1959-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marco Faillo & Matteo Rizzolli & Stephan Tontrup, 2016. "Thou shalt not steal (from hard-working people)An experiment on respect for property claims," Econometica Working Papers wp58, Econometica.
    4. Oleg Korenok & Edward Millner & Laura Razzolini, 2014. "Taking, giving, and impure altruism in dictator games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(3), pages 488-500, September.
    5. Fosgaard, Toke R. & Hansen, Lars Gårn & Wengström, Erik, 2014. "Understanding the nature of cooperation variability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 134-143.
    6. Alevy, Jonathan E. & Jeffries, Francis L. & Lu, Yonggang, 2014. "Gender- and frame-specific audience effects in dictator games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 50-54.
    7. Korenok Oleg & Edward L. Millner & Laura Razzolini, 2017. "Taking Aversion," Working Papers 1702, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
    8. Woods, Daniel & Servátka, Maroš, 2016. "Nice to You, Nicer to Me: Does Self-Serving Generosity Diminish the Reciprocal Response?," MPRA Paper 74565, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Schröder, Marina, 2016. "Materialistic, pro-social, anti-social, or mixed – A within-subject examination of self- and other-regarding preferences," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 114-124.
    10. Leibbrandt, Andreas & Maitra, Pushkar & Neelim, Ananta, 2015. "On the redistribution of wealth in a developing country: Experimental evidence on stake and framing effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 360-371.
    11. Kettner, Sara Elisa & Waichman, Israel, 2016. "Old age and prosocial behavior: Social preferences or experimental confounds?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 118-130.
    12. Breitmoser, Yves & Vorjohann, Pauline, 2018. "Welfare-Based Altruism," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 89, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    13. Le Zhang & Andreas Ortmann, 2014. "The effects of the take-option in dictator-game experiments: a comment on Engel’s (2011) meta-study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(3), pages 414-420, September.
    14. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:468-481 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:eee:jeborg:v:150:y:2018:i:c:p:397-403 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Joo Young Jeon & Bibhas Saha, 2016. "Gender differences in the giving and taking variants of the dictator game," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 14-09R, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    17. Zhang, Le & Ortmann, Andreas, 2016. "Pro-social or anti-social, or both? A within- and between-subjects study of social preferences," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 23-32.
    18. van Soest, Daan & Stoop, Jan & Vyrastekova, Jana, 2016. "Toward a delineation of the circumstances in which cooperation can be sustained in environmental and resource problems," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-13.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator game; motivation; choice;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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