EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Testing Guilt Aversion

Tore Ellingsen (), Magnus Johannesson (), Sigve Tjøtta () and Gaute Torsvik

No 683, SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance from Stockholm School of Economics

Abstract: Guilt averse individuals experience a utility loss if they believe they let someone down. In particular, generosity depends on what the donor believes that the recipient expects to receive. In experimental work, several authors have identified a positive correlation between such second-order donor beliefs and generous behavior, as predicted by the guilt aversion hypothesis. However, the correlation could alternatively be due to a “false consensus effect,” i.e., the tendency of people to believe others to think like themselves. In order to test the guilt aversion hypothesis more rigorously, we conduct three separate experiments: a dictator game experiment, a complete information trust game experiment, and a hidden action trust game experiment. In the experiments we inform donors about the beliefs of their respective recipients, while eliciting these beliefs so as to maximize recipient honesty. The correlation between generous behavior and donors’ second-order beliefs is close to zero in all three experiments.

Keywords: guilt aversion; beliefs; generosity; experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-soc and nep-upt
Date: 2007-12-07
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (13) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0683.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Testing guilt aversion (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Testing Guilt Aversion (2007) Downloads
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: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:hastef:0683

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance from Stockholm School of Economics The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Helena Lundin ().

 
Page updated 2019-07-22
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0683