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Social preferences under risk: an experimental analysis

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  • Bradler, Christiane

Abstract

The literature on social preferences provides overwhelming evidence of departures from pure self-interest of individuals. Experiments show that people care about others' well-being and their relative standing. This paper investigates whether this type of behavior persists when risk comes into play. I devise an experiment which sheds light on the interrelation of risk and social preferences by measuring (1) individual risk preferences, (2) interpersonal risk preferences, and (3) social preferences under certainty. The results reveal that a large share of subjects choose to accept more risk or less potential gain than individually preferred in order to increase another subject's payoff. Further, the willingness to do so appears to be influenced by the need of the other person and her potential relative standing. Surprisingly, the results do not suggest that a subject's social behavior under risk is related to his social concerns exhibited under certainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Bradler, Christiane, 2009. "Social preferences under risk: an experimental analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-077, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:09077
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexia Gaudeul, 2013. "Social preferences under uncertainty," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-024, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Winschel, Evguenia & Zahn, Philipp, 2012. "Effciency concern under asymmetric information," Working Papers 13-07, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    3. Adam, Marc T.P. & Kroll, Eike B. & Teubner, Timm, 2014. "A note on coupled lotteries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 96-99.
    4. Winschel, Evguenia & Zahn, Philipp, 2014. "When ignorance is bliss : information asymmetries enhance prosocial behavior in dicator games," Working Papers 13-07, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    5. Sheheryar Banuri & Stefan Dercon & Varun Gauri, 2019. "Biased Policy Professionals," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 33(2), pages 310-327.
    6. Utz Weitzel & Diemo Urbig & Sameeksha Desai & Mark Sanders & Zoltán J. Ács, 2015. "The good, the bad, and the talented: Entrepreneurial talent and selfish behavior," Chapters, in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 2, pages 24-41, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Sebastian Olschewski & Marius Dietsch & Elliot A. Ludvig, 2019. "Anti-social motives explain increased risk aversion for others in decisions from experience," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 14(1), pages 58-71, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social preferences; risk; other-regarding behavior; inequality aversion;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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