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Experimental Evidence on Other-Regarding Preferences: Dictators Give to Help the Less Fortunate

  • Korenok Oleg

    ()

    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Edward L. Millner

    ()

    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Laura Razzolini

    ()

    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

In the typical dictator game, the majority of dictators choose to pass at least a portion of their endowment to recipients who are given no endowment. We modify the dictator game by giving the recipient an endowment. We then measure the impact of varying the recipient’s endowment on the amount passed by the dictator. As the recipient’s endowment increases, the majority of dictators decrease the amount passed and pass nothing when endowments are equalized. We conclude that in the typical dictator game most dictators pass because they care about the recipients who are given no endowments.

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File URL: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~okorenok/DictatorEquity_2009-07-27.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2009
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File URL: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~okorenok/Instructions.pdf
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Paper provided by VCU School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0807.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision: Aug 2009
Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0807
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Web page: http://www.business.vcu.edu/economics
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  1. 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.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J. & Johnston, Rachel M., 2005. "An experimental test of the crowding out hypothesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1543-1560, August.
  4. Konow, James, 2006. "Mixed Feelings: Theories and Evidence of Warm Glow and Altruism," MPRA Paper 2727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  6. 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, vol. 37(3), pages 315-331, November.
  7. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
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