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Effciency concern under asymmetric information

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  • Winschel, Evguenia
  • Zahn, Philipp

Abstract

Experimental evidence from simple distribution games supports the view that some individuals have a concern for the effciency of allocations. This motive could be important for the implementation of economic policy proposals. In a typical lab experiment, however, individuals have much more information available than outside the lab. We conduct a lab experiment to test whether asymmetric information influences prosocial behavior in a simple non-strategic interaction. In our setting, a dictator has only limited knowledge about the benefits his prosocial action generates for a recipient. We find that a substantial share of subjects behaves proscially and a concern for effciency plays an important role. In our experiment the information asymmetry is actually effciency-enhancing as more subjects behave prosocially than under symmetric information.

Suggested Citation

  • Winschel, Evguenia & Zahn, Philipp, 2012. "Effciency concern under asymmetric information," Working Papers 13-07, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:33005
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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