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Is It Just Legitimacy of Endowments? An Experimental Analysis of Unilateral Giving

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  • Luigi Mittone

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  • Matteo Ploner

    ()

Abstract

Deviations from standard game theoretical predictions have been repeatedly observed in basic Dictator Games. Different interpretations have been provided to these deviations. On the one hand, empirical (among others, Forsythe et al., 1994) and theoretical works (among others, Bolton and Ockenfels, 2000; Fehr and Schmidt, 1999) have adopted the explanation based on other-regarding concerns. On the other hand, potential weaknesses in standard design of the game have been stressed. Evidence collected shows that when controlling for reputation considerations (Hoffman et al., 1996) and for legitimacy of assets (Cherry et al., 2002) behavior observed in the experiments is very close to that predicted by standard game theory. Results from our experiment suggest that the relevance of these two factors in explaining observed behavior may be overestimated by previous contributions. Relevant deviations from selfish equilibrium are registered in a condition of full-anonymity when assets to be shared are earned by the dictators and, simultaneously, recipients are allowed to work without being rewarded for their effort.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Mittone & Matteo Ploner, 2006. "Is It Just Legitimacy of Endowments? An Experimental Analysis of Unilateral Giving," CEEL Working Papers 0602, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0602
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    File URL: http://www-ceel.economia.unitn.it/papers/papero06_02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David Reinstein & Gerhard Riener, 2012. "Decomposing desert and tangibility effects in a charitable giving experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(1), pages 229-240, March.
    2. Heinz, Matthias & Juranek, Steffen & Rau, Holger A., 2012. "Do women behave more reciprocally than men? Gender differences in real effort dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 105-110.
    3. Ismael Rodriguez-Lara & Luis Moreno-Garrido, 2012. "Self-interest and fairness: self-serving choices of justice principles," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(1), pages 158-175, March.
    4. Ogawa, Kazuhito & Takemoto, Toru & Takahashi, Hiromasa & Suzuki, Akihiro, 2012. "Income earning opportunity and work performance affect donating behavior: Evidence from dictator game experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 816-826.
    5. Reinstein, David & Reiner, Gerhard, 2009. "Desert and Tangibility: Decomposing House Money Effects in a Charitable Giving Experiment," Economics Discussion Papers 2937, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

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