IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jrp/jrpwrp/2017-018.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Actions and the self: I give, therefore I am?

Author

Listed:
  • Tobias Regner

    (FSU Jena)

  • Astrid Matthey

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

Abstract

Self-signaling models predict less selfish behavior in a probabilistic giving setting as individuals are expected to invest in a pro-social identity. However, there is also substantial evidence that people tend to exploit situational excuses for selfish choices (for instance, uncertainty) and behave more selfishly. We contrast these two motivations experimentally in order to test which one is more prevalent in a reciprocal giving setting. Trustees' back transfer choices are elicited for five different transfer levels of the trustor. Moreover, we ask trustees to provide their back transfer schedule for different scenarios that vary the implementation probability of the back transfer. This design allows us to identify subjects who reciprocate and analyze how these reciprocators respond when self-image relevant factors are varied. Our results indicate that self-deception is prevalent when subjects make the back transfer choice. Twice as many subjects seem to exploit situational excuses than subjects who appear to invest in a pro-social identity.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Regner & Astrid Matthey, 2017. "Actions and the self: I give, therefore I am?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2017-018, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2017-018
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www2.wiwi.uni-jena.de/Papers/jerp2017/wp_2017_018.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Haisley, Emily C. & Weber, Roberto A., 2010. "Self-serving interpretations of ambiguity in other-regarding behavior," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 614-625, March.
    2. Spiekermann, Kai & Weiss, Arne, 2016. "Objective and subjective compliance: a norm-based explanation of 'moral wiggle room'," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64643, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Identity, Morals, and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 805-855.
    4. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
    5. Zachary Grossman & Joël J. van der Weele, 2017. "Self-Image and Willful Ignorance in Social Decisions," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 173-217.
    6. Tara Larson & C. Monica Capra, 2009. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: Illusory preference for fairness? A comment," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(6), pages 467-474, October.
    7. Ulrike Malmendier & Vera L. te Velde & Roberto A. Weber, 2014. "Rethinking Reciprocity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 849-874, August.
    8. Zachary Grossman, 2014. "Strategic Ignorance and the Robustness of Social Preferences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(11), pages 2659-2665, November.
    9. Joël J. van der Weele & Ferdinand von Siemens, 2014. "Bracelets of Pride and Guilt? An Experimental Test of Self-Signaling in Charitable Giving," CESifo Working Paper Series 4674, CESifo.
    10. Spiekermann, Kai & Weiss, Arne, 2016. "Objective and subjective compliance: A norm-based explanation of ‘moral wiggle room’," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 170-183.
    11. Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
    12. 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.
    13. Grossman, Zachary, 2015. "Self-signaling and social-signaling in giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 26-39.
    14. Ben Greiner, 2004. "The Online Recruitment System ORSEE 2.0 - A Guide for the Organization of Experiments in Economics," Working Paper Series in Economics 10, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    15. Ben Greiner, 2004. "The Online Recruitment System ORSEE - A Guide for the Organization of Experiments in Economics," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    16. 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.
    17. John R. Hamman & George Loewenstein & Roberto A. Weber, 2010. "Self-Interest through Delegation: An Additional Rationale for the Principal-Agent Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1826-1846, September.
    18. Christine L. Exley, 2015. "Excusing Selfishness in Charitable Giving: The Role of Risk," Discussion Papers 15-013, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    19. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tobias Regner, 2018. "What's behind image? towards a better understanding of image-driven behavior," Jena Economic Research Papers 2018-020, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Tobias Regner, 2018. "Reciprocity under moral wiggle room: Is it a preference or a constraint?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 779-792, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Tobias Regner, 2018. "Reciprocity under moral wiggle room: Is it a preference or a constraint?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 779-792, December.
    2. Christine L. Exley & Judd B. Kessler, 2017. "Motivated Errors," Harvard Business School Working Papers 18-017, Harvard Business School, revised May 2018.
    3. Tobias Regner & Astrid Matthey, 2015. "Do reciprocators exploit or resist moral wiggle room? An experimental analysis," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-027, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    4. Exley, Christine L. & Petrie, Ragan, 2018. "The impact of a surprise donation ask," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 152-167.
    5. Christine L. Exley, 2020. "Using Charity Performance Metrics as an Excuse Not to Give," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(2), pages 553-563, February.
    6. Rustichini, Aldo & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "Moral hypocrisy, power and social preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 10-24.
    7. Nadja R. Ging-Jehli & Florian H. Schneider & Roberto A. Weber, 2019. "On Self-Serving Strategic Beliefs," CESifo Working Paper Series 7517, CESifo.
    8. Ging-Jehli, Nadja R. & Schneider, Florian H. & Weber, Roberto A., 2020. "On self-serving strategic beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 341-353.
    9. Lind, Jo Thori & Nyborg, Karine & Pauls, Anna, 2019. "Save the planet or close your eyes? Testing strategic ignorance in a charity context," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 9-19.
    10. Momsen, Katharina & Ohndorf, Markus, 2020. "When do people exploit moral wiggle room? An experimental analysis of information avoidance in a market setup," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    11. Dugar, Subhasish & Mitra, Arnab & Shahriar, Quazi, 2019. "Deception: The role of uncertain consequences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-18.
    12. Ellingsen, Tore & Mohlin, Erik, 2019. "Decency," Working Papers 2019:3, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    13. Tobias Regner, 2018. "What's behind image? towards a better understanding of image-driven behavior," Jena Economic Research Papers 2018-020, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    14. Silvia Saccardo & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2020. "Cognitive Flexibility or Moral Commitment? Evidence of Anticipated Belief Distortion," CESifo Working Paper Series 8529, CESifo.
    15. Momsen, Katharina & Ohndorf, Markus, 2020. "Information Avoidance, Selective Exposure, and Fake(?) News - A Market Experiment," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224637, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Katharina Momsen & Markus Ohndorf, 2019. "Information Avoidance, Selective Exposure, and Fake(?) News-A Green Market Experiment," Working Papers 2019-18, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    17. Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D., 2020. "The development of social strategic ignorance and other regarding behavior from childhood to adulthood," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    18. Kirchkamp, Oliver & Strobel, Christina, 2019. "Sharing responsibility with a machine," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 25-33.
    19. Uri Gneezy & Silvia Saccardo & Marta Serra-Garcia & Roel van Veldhuizen, 2020. "Bribing the Self," CESifo Working Paper Series 8065, CESifo.
    20. Gneezy, Uri & Saccardo, Silvia & Serra-Garcia, Marta & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2020. "Bribing the Self," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 311-324.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social preferences; pro-social behavior; experiments; reciprocity; moral wiggle room; self-image concerns; self-signaling;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2017-018. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.wiwiss.uni-jena.de/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Markus Pasche (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.wiwiss.uni-jena.de/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.