Economics at your fingertips  

Playing a Game or Making a Decision? Methodological Issues in the Measurement of Distributional Preferences

Matthias Greiff, Kurt A. Ackermann () and Ryan O. Murphy ()
Additional contact information
Kurt A. Ackermann: ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Stadthausstrasse 14, 8400 Winterthur, Switzerland
Ryan O. Murphy: Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Blümlisalpstrasse 10, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland

Games, 2018, vol. 9, issue 4, 1-25

Abstract: In terms of role assignment and informational characteristics, different contexts have been used when measuring distributional preferences. This could be problematic as contextual variance may inadvertently muddle the measurement process. We use a within-subjects design and systemically vary role assignment as well as the way information is displayed to subjects when measuring distributional preferences in resource allocation tasks as well as proper games. Specifically we examine choice behavior in the contexts of role certainty, role uncertainty, decomposed games, and matrix games. Results show that there is large heterogeneity in the choices people make when deciding how to allocate resources between themselves and some other person under different contextual frames. For instance, people make more prosocial choices under role uncertainty as compared to role certainty. Furthermore, altering the way information is displayed given a particular situation can have a more dramatic effect on choice behavior than altering the situation itself. That is, depending on how information is displayed, people may behave as if they would perform a non-strategic decision making task when in fact they are playing a proper game characterized by strategic interdependence.

Keywords: distributional preferences; framing; individual differences; other regarding preferences; social preferences; Social Value Orientation (SVO) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C C7 C70 C71 C72 C73 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf) (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

Games is currently edited by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Berger

More articles in Games from MDPI, Open Access Journal
Bibliographic data for series maintained by XML Conversion Team ().

Page updated 2019-04-16
Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:9:y:2018:i:4:p:80-:d:174482