IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mpg/wpaper/2015_15.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

If the Worst Comes to the Worst. Dictator Giving When Recipient’s Endowments are Risky

Author

Listed:
  • Christoph Engel

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Sebastian Goerg

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

Abstract

Donors may often not be sure whether a recipient really deserves their help. Does this uncertainty deter generosity? In an experiment we find that, to the contrary, under most specifications of uncertainty, dictators give more, compared with the donation the same dictator makes to a recipient they know to have the expected value of the endowment with certainty. They are particularly concerned about the possibility that a recipient leaves the lab with no payoff from the game.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph Engel & Sebastian Goerg, 2015. "If the Worst Comes to the Worst. Dictator Giving When Recipient’s Endowments are Risky," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2015_15, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2015_15
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2015_15online.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charness, Gary & haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2001. "Social Distance and Reciprocity: The Internet vs. the Laboratory," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3dt073wb, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-869.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Alexander K. Koch & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "Giving in Dictator Games: Regard for Others or Regard by Others?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 223-231, July.
    5. Brennan, Geoffrey & González, Luis G. & Güth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria, 2008. "Attitudes toward private and collective risk in individual and strategic choice situations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 253-262.
    6. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    7. Haisley, Emily C. & Weber, Roberto A., 2010. "Self-serving interpretations of ambiguity in other-regarding behavior," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 614-625, March.
    8. Bartling, Björn & Engl, Florian & Weber, Roberto A., 2014. "Does willful ignorance deflect punishment? – An experimental study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 512-524.
    9. Shupp, Robert & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Schmidt, David & Walker, James, 2013. "Resource allocation contests: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 257-267.
    10. Silvester Van Koten & Andreas Ortmann & Vitezslav Babicky, 2013. "Fairness in Risky Environments: Theory and Evidence," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(2), pages 1-35, May.
    11. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1652-1678.
    12. Alexander W. Cappelen & James Konow & Erik ?. S?rensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2013. "Just Luck: An Experimental Study of Risk-Taking and Fairness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1398-1413.
    13. Gustavo Caballero, "undated". "Information Effect Regarding Inequality of Opportunities on Redistribution: A Lab Experiment," Working Papers 2014-75, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 15 Oct 2014.
    14. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 1607-1636.
    15. Alexander W. Cappelen & James Konow & Erik ?. S?rensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2013. "Just Luck: An Experimental Study of Risk-Taking and Fairness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1398-1413.
    16. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
    17. Roberta Piergiovanni & Martin Carree & Enrico Santarelli, 2012. "Creative industries, new business formation, and regional economic growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 539-560.
    18. Frignani, Nicola & Ponti, Giovanni, 2012. "Risk versus social preferences under the veil of ignorance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 143-146.
    19. Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "The role of role uncertainty in modified dictator games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(2), pages 160-180, May.
    20. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-844, September.
    21. Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena, 1998. "An experimental test of the crowding out hypothesis: The nature of beneficent behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 315-331.
    22. Sandroni Alvaro & Ludwig Sandra & Kircher Philipp, 2013. "On the Difference between Social and Private Goods," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-27, June.
    23. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Forecasting Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Study Using Actual and Forecast Gamble Choices," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-01, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    24. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 2012. "Fairness, risk preferences and independence: Impossibility theorems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 606-612.
    25. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J. & Johnston, Rachel M., 2005. "An experimental test of the crowding out hypothesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1543-1560.
    26. Heinrich, Timo & Weimann, Joachim, 2013. "A note on reciprocity and modified dictator games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 202-205.
    27. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
    28. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1644-1655.
    29. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 67-80.
    30. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 166-193.
    31. Jo?l J. van der Weele & Julija Kulisa & Michael Kosfeld & Guido Friebel, 2014. "Resisting Moral Wiggle Room: How Robust Is Reciprocal Behavior?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 256-264.
    32. J. Michelle Brock & Andreas Lange & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2013. "Dictating the Risk: Experimental Evidence on Giving in Risky Environments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 415-437.
    33. Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "A tractable model of process fairness under risk," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 803-813, October.
    34. de Oliveira, Angela C.M. & Croson, Rachel T.A. & Eckel, Catherine, 2011. "The giving type: Identifying donors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 428-435.
    35. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
    36. de Oliveira, Angela C.M. & Croson, Rachel T.A. & Eckel, Catherine, 2011. "The giving type: Identifying donors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 428-435.
    37. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator Game; Uncertainty; Donation;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2015_15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marc Martin). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/mppggde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.