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They Come to Play: Supply Effects in an Economic Experiment

  • Jeffrey Carpenter

    ()

  • Allison Liati

    ()

  • Brian Vickery

    ()

Our experiment challenges the standard, social preference, interpretation of choices in the double blind dictator game. In our bilateral treatment both groups are endowed with $20, any fraction of which can be passed to a randomly determined player in the other group. Because both groups have $20 to start, neither inequality aversion nor altruism should motivate people to give. Despite this, the allocations in this treatment are identical to our replication of the standard double blind game implying that altruism might be the wrong interpretation of giving. Instead, we hypothesize that giving might be driven by participants coming to the lab ready “to play.” The fact that there is a strong correlation between participant responses to an attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder questionnaire and both the rate and level of giving provides direct support for this hypothesis. We also show that having players earn their endowments attenuates the bias.

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0602.pdf
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Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0602.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0602
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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Jeffrey P. Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews, 2012. "Norm Enforcement: Anger, Indignation, Or Reciprocity?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 555-572, 05.
  4. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," Working Papers 02-06, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  5. Avner Ben-Ner & Famin Kong & Louis Putterman & Dan Magan, . "Reciprocity in a Two-Part Dictator Game," Working Papers 0902, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  6. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "Third Party Punishment and Social Norms," IEW - Working Papers 106, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Matthias Benz & Stephan Meier, 2008. "Do people behave in experiments as in the field?—evidence from donations," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 268-281, September.
  8. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  9. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
  10. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
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