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Does Entitlement Crowd Out Efficiency or Equality Seeking? - Selling the Roles in Generosity Game Experiments -

  • Agnes Bäker


    (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

  • Werner Güth


    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • Kerstin Pull

    (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

  • Manfred Stadler

    (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

In generosity games, one agreement payoff is exogenously given, whereas the other is endogenously determined by the proposer's choice of the "pie" size. This has been shown to induce pie choices which are either efficiency or equality seeking. In our experiment, before playing the generosity game, participants are asked to buy their role via a random price mechanism. This should entitle them to exploit the chances which their role provides and at the same time avoid the selection bias of competitive auctions. We find that entitlement crowds out equality seeking and strengthens efficiency seeking. Interpreting participants' willingness to pay as an aspiration level of how much they want to earn, our design further allows us to test for satisficing behavior. Indeed, we find evidence for satisficing behavior in the data.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2010-091.

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Date of creation: 14 Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as "Entitlement and the efficiency-equality trade-off: an experimental study" by Agnes Bäker, Werner Güth, Kerstin Pull, Manfred Stadler, in: Theory and Decision March 2013,
Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-091
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  1. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2009. "Making the World a better Place: Experimental evidence from the generosity Game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-071, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
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