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Social Influence in the Sequential Dictator Game

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Abstract

This paper introduces the sequential dictator game to study how social influence may affect subjects' choices when making dictator allocations. Subjects made dictator allocations of 840 before and after learning the allocation made by one other subject in the Relevant Information treatment, or the birthday of one other subject in the Irrelevant Information treatment. Subjects on average become more self-regarding in the Irrelevant Information treatment, but observing relevant information constrains some subjects from moving toward more self-regarding choices. We also find that subjects who exhibit more self-regarding behavior on their first decisions are less likely to change choices between their first and second decisions, and the use of the Strategy Method in this setting does not significantly alter choices. The relationships between our findings and the economic and psychological literature regarding how social influence operates are also explored.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy N. Cason & Vai-Lam Mui, 1998. "Social Influence in the Sequential Dictator Game," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-37, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:archive-37
    DOI: 10.1006/jmps.1998.1213
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