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"I" on You: Identity in the Dictator Game


  • Anita Kopányi-Peuker

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Jin Di Zheng

    (Nanjing Audit University)


We study a giver’s generosity depending on her relationship with the recipient and the observer. We assign different group identities to the players using a variation of the minimumgroup paradigm, and test the effect of group memberships on altruistic giving in the dictator game with a passive observer. The results show that the dictator gives the least when she is from a different group than the other two. We further show that dictators give more when there is no observer. This is driven by male subjects who react more to the presence of the observer.

Suggested Citation

  • Anita Kopányi-Peuker & Jin Di Zheng, 2019. ""I" on You: Identity in the Dictator Game," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-049/II, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20190049

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
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    7. Joy A. Buchanan & Matthew K. McMahon & Matthew Simpson & Bart J. Wilson, 2017. "Smile, Dictator, You're on Camera," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 84(1), pages 52-65, July.
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    More about this item


    dictator game; observer; group identity; laboratory experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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