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Economic and Hypothetical Dictator Game Experiments: Incentive Effects at the Individual Level

  • Avner Ben-Ner

    ()

  • Ori Levy

    ()

The paper compares behavior in economic dictator game experiments played with actual money (amounts given by "dictator" subjects) with behavior in hypothetical dictator game experiments where subjects indicate what they would give, although no money is actually exchanged. The average amounts transferred in the two experiments are remarkably similar. Moreover, we uncover meaningful individual differences in real and hypothetical allocations and demonstrate the importance of two personality traits - agreeableness and extraversion - in reconciling them. We conclude that extraverts are "all talk;" agreeable subjects are "for real."

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Paper provided by Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus) in its series Working Papers with number 0305.

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Handle: RePEc:hrr:papers:0305
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  1. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
  2. Ben-Ner, Avner & Kong, Fanmin & Putterman, Louis, 2004. "Share and share alike? Gender-pairing, personality, and cognitive ability as determinants of giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 581-589, October.
  3. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
  4. Avner Ben-Ner & Famin Kong & Louis Putterman & Dan Magan, . "Reciprocity in a Two-Part Dictator Game," Working Papers 0902, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  5. Holm, Hakan J., 2000. "Gender-Based Focal Points," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 292-314, August.
  6. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
  7. Rydval, Ondrej & Ortmann, Andreas, 2004. "How financial incentives and cognitive abilities affect task performance in laboratory settings: an illustration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 315-320, December.
  8. Sefton, Martin, 1992. "Incentives in simple bargaining games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 263-276, June.
  9. Hunter, Katrina & Kemp, Simon, 2004. "The personality of e-commerce investors," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 529-537, August.
  10. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
  11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
  12. Avner Ben-Ner & Brian McCall & Massoud Stephane & Hua Wang, . "Identity and Self-Other Differentiation in Work and Giving Behaviors: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0805, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  13. Boone, Christophe & De Brabander, Bert & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, 1999. "The impact of personality on behavior in five Prisoner's Dilemma games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 343-377, June.
  14. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
  15. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  16. Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon, 2002. "Using the Machiavellianism instrument to predict trustworthiness in a bargaining game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 49-66, February.
  17. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  18. Brandstatter, Hermann & Guth, Werner, 2000. "A psychological approach to individual differences in intertemporal consumption patterns," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 465-479, October.
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