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Let Me See You! A Video Experiment on the Social Dimension of Risk Preferences

  • Werner Gueth

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • M. Vittoria Levati

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • Matteo Ploner

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Strategic Interaction Group)

Previous studies have shown that decision makers are less other-regarding when their own payoff is risky than when it is sure. Empirical observations also indicate that people care more about identifiable than unidentifiable others. In this paper, we report on an experiment designed to explore whether rendering the other identifiable - via a short speechless video - can affect the relation between other-regarding concerns and attitudes toward social risk. For this sake, we elicit risk attitudes under two treatments differing in whether the actor can see the other or not. We find that seeing the other does not affect behavior significantly: regardless of the treatment, individuals are mainly self-oriented as to social allocation of risk, though they are other-regarding with respect to expected payoff levels.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2007-005.

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Date of creation: 20 Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-005
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  1. Geoffrey Brennan & Werner Güth & Luis G. Gonzalez & M. Vittoria Levati, 2005. "Attitudes toward Private and Collective Risks in Individual and Strategic Choice Situations," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-22, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  2. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2007. "Testing Guilt Aversion," Working Papers in Economics 14/07, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  3. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2008. "What's in a name? Anonymity and social distance in dictator and ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-35, October.
  4. M. Vittoria Levati & Werner Güth & Matteo Ploner, 2005. "On the social dimension of time and risk preferences: An experimental study," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-26, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  5. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
  6. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S., 1999. "The sound of silence in prisoner's dilemma and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-57, January.
  7. Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
  8. Burnham, Terence C., 2003. "Engineering altruism: a theoretical and experimental investigation of anonymity and gift giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-144, January.
  9. Jenni, Karen E & Loewenstein, George, 1997. "Explaining the "Identifiable Victim Effect."," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 235-57, May-June.
  10. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
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