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Taking, Giving, and Impure Altruism in Dictator Games

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

We show that, if giving is equivalent to not taking, impure altruism could account for List's (2007) finding that the payoff to recipients in a dictator game decreases when the dictator has the option to take. We examine behavior in dictator games with different taking options but equivalent final payoff possibilities. We find that recipients tend to earn more as the amount the dictator must take to achieve a given final payoff increases, a result consistent with the hypothesis that the cold prickle of taking is stronger than the warm glow of giving. We conclude that not taking is not equivalent to giving and agree with List (2007) that the current social preference models fail to rationalize the observed data.

Suggested Citation

  • Korenok Oleg & Edward L. Millner & Laura Razzolini, 2013. "Taking, Giving, and Impure Altruism in Dictator Games," Working Papers 1301, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:1301
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James Andreoni, 1995. "Warm-Glow versus Cold-Prickle: The Effects of Positive and Negative Framing on Cooperation in Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-21.
    2. Korenok, Oleg & Millner, Edward L. & Razzolini, Laura, 2013. "Impure altruism in dictators' giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 1-8.
    3. 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.
    4. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    7. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    8. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    9. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Nielsen, Ulrik H. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2013. "Give and take in dictator games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 280-283.
    10. Philip J. Grossman & Catherine C. Eckel, 2012. "Giving versus Taking: A “Real Donation” Comparison of Warm Glow and Cold Prickle," Monash Economics Working Papers 40-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    11. 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.
    12. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
    13. Korenok, Oleg & Millner, Edward L. & Razzolini, Laura, 2012. "Are dictators averse to inequality?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 543-547.
    14. 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.
    15. Philip J. Grossman & Catherine C. Eckel, 2012. "Giving versus Taking: A “Real Donation” Comparison of Warm Glow and Cold Prickle in a Context-Rich Environment," Monash Economics Working Papers 20-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Alexander, 2015. "On the nature of pessimism in taking and giving games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 50-57.
    2. Grossman, Philip J. & Eckel, Catherine C., 2015. "Giving versus taking for a cause," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 28-30.
    3. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Joo Young Jeon & Bibhas Saha, 2014. "Eye-image in Experiments: Social Cue or Experimenter Demand Effect?," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 067, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    4. Korenok, Oleg & Millner, Edward & Razzolini, Laura, 2017. "Feelings of ownership in dictator games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 145-151.
    5. Marco Faillo & Matteo Rizzolli & Stephan Tontrup, 2016. "Thou shalt not steal (from hard-working people)An experiment on respect for property claims," Econometica Working Papers wp58, Econometica.
    6. Serhiy Kandul & Olexandr Nikolaychuk, 2017. "I deserve more! An experimental analysis of illusory ownership in dictator games," IRENE Working Papers 17-12, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Korenok Oleg & Edward L. Millner & Laura Razzolini, 2017. "Taking Aversion," Working Papers 1702, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
    8. Breitmoser, Yves & Vorjohann, Pauline, 2018. "Welfare-Based Altruism," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 89, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    9. Zarghamee, Homa S. & Messer, Kent D. & Fooks, Jacob R. & Schulze, William D. & Wu, Shang & Yan, Jubo, 2017. "Nudging charitable giving: Three field experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 137-149.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:482-493 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Joo Young Jeon & Bibhas Saha, 2016. "Gender differences in the giving and taking variants of the dictator game," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 14-09R, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator Game; Impure Altruism; Taking;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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