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Social Image or Social Norm?: Re-examining the Audience Effect in Dictator Game Experiments

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  • Chulyoung Kim

    (Yonsei University)

  • Sang-Hyun Kim

    (Yonsei University)

Abstract

Andreoni and Bernheim (2009) considers a variant of the dictator game in which an exogenous force, called "nature", overturns the dictator's decision with some known probability. They find that as the likelihood of nature's intervention increased, more subjects mimicked the nature's move. We replicate their experiment, and examine a new treatment in which the dictator's decision is revealed to the recipient even when the dictator mimics nature's move. We find that (i) many dictators' decisions were affected by nature's intervention even when their choice was observed by the recipient, which suggests that the intervention altered not only the incentive to signal one's fair-mindedness but also the perception of appropriate action, but (ii) still dictators' behavior under the two treatments differed significantly, which suggests that the audience effect also matters greatly in AB's and our experiments.

Suggested Citation

  • Chulyoung Kim & Sang-Hyun Kim, 2018. "Social Image or Social Norm?: Re-examining the Audience Effect in Dictator Game Experiments," Working papers 2018rwp-134, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:yon:wpaper:2018rwp-134
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    Keywords

    Social image; Social norm; Dictator game; Altruism;
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