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Self-serving biases in social norm compliance

Bachir Kassas () and Marco Palma ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2019, vol. 159, issue C, 388-408

Abstract: The social stigma against the payoff-maximizing strategy in dictator games is being accepted by more researchers as the most accurate rationalization for the divergence between classical economic theory and laboratory behavior in this setting. By constructing a fake entitlement treatment, where dictator role assignment was purely random, but masqueraded in a way that was open for interpretation, we investigate whether social norm compliance is an inclination or obligation in dictator experiments. We provide compelling evidence that dictators are not predisposed to seek adherence with prevailing social norms, but instead, interpreted the setting to serve their own self-interest.

Keywords: Dictator giving; Double hurdle model; Fake entitlement; Social norms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C70 C91 D90 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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