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Group polarization in the team dictator game reconsidered

  • Luhan, W.J.
  • Kocher, Martin G.
  • Sutter, Matthias

While most papers on team decision-making find that teams behave more selfishly, less trustingly and less altruistically than individuals, Cason and Mui (1997) report that teams are more altruistic than individuals in a dictator game. Using a within-subjects design we re-examine group polarization by letting subjects make individual as well as team decisions in an experimental dictator game. In our experiment teams are more selfish than individuals, and the most selfish team member has the strongest influence on team decisions. Various explanations for the different findings in Cason and Mui (1997) and in our paper are discussed.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 18216.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in Experimental Economics 1 12(2009): pp. 26-41
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:18216
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  1. Sutter, Matthias, 2005. "Are four heads better than two? An experimental beauty-contest game with teams of different size," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 41-46, July.
  2. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational†Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
  3. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  4. Kugler, Tamar & Bornstein, Gary & Kocher, Martin G. & Sutter, Matthias, 2007. "Trust between individuals and groups: Groups are less trusting than individuals but just as trustworthy," Munich Reprints in Economics 18202, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "Public Goods Experiments Without Confidentiality: A Glimpse Into Fund-Raising," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000520, David K. Levine.
  6. Kocher, Martin G. & Sutter, Matthias, 2005. "The decision maker matters: Individual versus group behaviour in experimental beauty-contest games," Munich Reprints in Economics 18213, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. James C. Cox & Stephen C. Hayne, . "Barking Up the Right Tree: Are Small Groups Rational Agents?," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-02, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  8. Bettina Kuon & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Barbara Mathauschek, 1999. "Teams Take the Better Risks," Discussion Paper Serie B 452, University of Bonn, Germany.
  9. Kfir Eliaz & Debraj Ray & Ronny Razin, 2006. "Choice Shifts in Groups: A Decision-Theoretic Basis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1321-1332, September.
  10. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  11. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  12. Blinder, Alan S & Morgan, John, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better than One? Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 789-811, October.
  13. 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.
  14. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-83, September.
  15. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Gender composition in teams," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 50-54, September.
  16. Ronald Bosman & Frans van Winden, 2002. "Emotional Hazard in a Power-to-take Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 147-169, January.
  17. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
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