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Social Preferences and Social Curiosity

Weiwei Tasch () and Daniel Houser ()
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Weiwei Tasch: Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University
Daniel Houser: Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University

No 1067, Working Papers from George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science

Abstract: Social preferences have been implicated in many important economic behaviors. Building on Fehr and Schmidt (1999), we here investigate connections between social preferences and the demand for information about others’ economic decisions and outcomes, which we denote “social curiosity.†Using data from laboratory experiments with sequential public goods games, we estimate guilt and envy at the individual level, and examine their impact on social curiosity. We find that those with greater sensitivity to guilt display greater social curiosity. Further, we find that social curiosity is beneficial in that knowing others’ economic decisions and outcomes promotes cooperation and economic efficiency.

Keywords: Laboratory Experiment; Inequality Aversion; Social Curiosity; Information; Sequential Public Goods Game (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D83 D91 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-ltv and nep-upt
Date: 2018-10
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