On the Interpretation of Giving, Taking, and Destruction in Dictator Games and Joy-of-Destruction Games
The literature on dictator [D] games seems to demonstrate that some people are quite altruistic (nice), whereas the literature on joy-of-destruction [JoD] games shows that some people may be quite nasty. We study to what extent these behaviors are context dependent: If people are nice or nasty, are they consistently so? Or are niceness and nastiness dependent on circumstances? What are some of these circumstances? And what role does efficiency play in this context? We study these issues in a counter-balanced within-subject design of one-shot D and JoD games across three treatments (between-subjects). We find that people’s niceness, and nastiness, are indeed choice set, and context, dependent. When take-options and add-options (mirror images of give-options in standard D games and destruction options in standard JoD games) were added, we find considerable heterogeneity in types but relatively little behavior that can be considered clearly inconsistent, i.e., both nice and nasty. Consistent with previous evidence, we also find that subjects pay considerable attention to efficiency considerations. Mach-IV scores and other demographic characteristics have larger – but not large – effects on niceness (giving decision) than nastiness (destruction decision) where they, in our setting, essentially make no difference. Importantly, the order of decision elicitation implicit in our counter-balanced within-subject design, and, intriguingly, the definition of the relevant reference point (especially for giving decisions), matter for the interpretation of the results.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Australian School of Business Building, Sydney 2052|
Fax: +61)-2- 9313- 6337
Web page: http://www.economics.unsw.edu.au/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Frank, Bjorn, 1998. "Good news for experimenters: subjects do not care about your welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 171-174, November.
- James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
- James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2007.
"Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects,"
07-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1607-1636, 09.
- James Andreoni, 2007. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001459, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Loukas Balafoutas & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2011.
"Norm Enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment,"
Department of Economics - Working Papers Series
1133, The University of Melbourne.
- Balafoutas, Loukas & Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2012. "Norm enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1773-1785.
- Loukas Balafoutas & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2012. "Norm enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," Working Papers 2012-12, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
- Loukas Balafoutas & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2012. "Norm enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00385, The Field Experiments Website.
- Le Zhang & Andreas Ortmann, 2012. "A reproduction and replication of Engel’s meta-study of dictator game experiments," Discussion Papers 2012-44, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
- Klaus Abbink & Benedikt Herrmann, 2009.
"The Moral Costs of Nastiness,"
2009-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
- Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Marina Schröder, 2012.
"The Desire to Influence Others,"
FEMM Working Papers
120027, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
- Schröder, Marina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2014. "The Desire to Influence Others," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100283, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
- Guillaume Fréchette, 2012.
"Session-effects in the laboratory,"
Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 485-498, September.
- Engelmann Dirk & Strobel Martin, 2002.
"Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments,"
015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
- Andreas Ortmann & John Fitzgerald & Carl Boeing, 2000. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History: A Re-examination," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 81-100, June.
- 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), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
- Vernon Smith, 2002. "Method in Experiment: Rhetoric and Reality," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 91-110, October.
- Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
- Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
- Zizzo, Daniel John & Fleming, Piers, 2011.
"Can experimental measures of sensitivity to social pressure predict public good contribution?,"
Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 239-242, June.
- Daniel John Zizzo & Piers Fleming, 2010. "Can experimental measures of sensitivity to social pressure predict public good contribution?," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-03, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
- John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
- 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.
- Kimbrough Erik O. & Reiss J. Philipp, 2012. "Measuring the Distribution of Spitefulness," Research Memorandum 040, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
- Charles R. Plott & Kathryn Zeiler, 2007. "Exchange Asymmetries Incorrectly Interpreted as Evidence of Endowment Effect Theory and Prospect Theory?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1449-1466, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2012-50. 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: (Gabriele Gratton)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.