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Give and Take in Dictator Games

Author

Listed:
  • Alexander W. Cappelen

    (wegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research))

  • Ulrik H. Nielsen

    (University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics)

  • Erik Ø. Sørensen

    (Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics)

  • Bertil Tungodden

    (Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

It has been shown that participants in the dictator game are less willing to give money to the other participant when their choice set also includes the option to take money. We examine whether this effect is due to the choice set providing a signal about entitlements in a setting where entitlements initially may be considered unclear. We find that the share of positive transfers depends on the choice set even when there is no uncertainty about entitlements, and that this choice-set effect is robust across a heterogenous group of participants recruited from the general adult population in Denmark. The findings are consistent with dictator giving partly being motivated by a desire to signal that one is not entirely selfish or by a desire to follow a social norm that is choice-set dependent.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander W. Cappelen & Ulrik H. Nielsen & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2012. "Give and Take in Dictator Games," Discussion Papers 12-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1204
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator game; choice set; social preferences; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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