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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Korenok Oleg & Edward L. Millner & Laura Razzolini, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Other-Regarding Preferences: Dictators Give to Help the Less Fortunate," Working Papers 0807, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0807
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    File URL: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~okorenok/DictatorEquity_2009-07-27.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
    6. Konow, James, 2006. "Mixed Feelings: Theories and Evidence of Warm Glow and Altruism," MPRA Paper 2727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Konow, James, 2010. "Mixed feelings: Theories of and evidence on giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 279-297, April.
    2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2010. "On inequity aversion: A reply to Binmore and Shaked," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 101-108, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator game; Other-regarding preferences; Altruism;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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