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The Heaven Dictator Game: Costless taking or giving

Author

Listed:
  • Aurora García-Gallego

    () (LEE & Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón-Spain)

  • Nikolaos Georgantzis

    () (Burgundy School of Wines and Spirits Business, Dijon-France; LEE-Universitat Jaume I, Castellón-Spain)

  • María José Ruiz-Martos

    () (Dept. de Teoría e Historia Económica, University of Granada, Spain)

Abstract

We present experimental data from the Heaven-Dictator game, a generalization of the dictator game that investigates the overstatement of inequality reduction in the motivation of social preferences. In this game, two players start with equal endowments and the heaven-dictator player, without incurring in any pecuniary cost or profit, chooses among increasing, decreasing or maintaining the earnings of the passive player. Thus, any choice except for the status quo generates unequal payoffs. The design avoids the experimenter demand effect of the standard “give only” version while simultaneously allowing participants to manifest antisocial preferences, inequity aversion or retaliation cannot be called for as motives. We find that the overwhelming majority of subjects, 75.4%, choose to increase their partners’ earnings; however, there is a non-negligible 24.6% of subjects that either choose the status quo (11.9%) or to decrease (12.7%) their partners’ earnings. Based on the psychological literature on music as a mood-inducing stimulus and on the effects of mood on helping behavior, we study the effect of exposure to different types of music on the heaven-dictator choices. Overall, observed preferences are independent of the music condition.

Suggested Citation

  • Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzis & María José Ruiz-Martos, 2018. "The Heaven Dictator Game: Costless taking or giving," Working Papers 2018/07, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  • Handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2018/07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    experiment; behavior; other-regarding preferences; music; dictator game;

    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

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