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Give and Take in Dictator Games

Alexander Cappelen, Ulrik H. Nielsen, Erik Sørensen, Bertil Tungodden and Jean-Robert Tyran
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Ulrik H. Nielsen: University of Copenhagen, Postal: Copenhagen, Denmark

No 14/2012, Discussion Paper Series in Economics from Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

Abstract: It has been shown that participants in the dictator game are less willing to give money to the other participant when their choice set also includes the option to take money. We examine whether this effect is due to the choice set providing a signal about entitlements in a setting where entitlements initially may be considered unclear. We find that the share of positive transfers depends on the choice set even when there is no uncertainty about entitlements, and that this choice-set effect is robust across a heterogenous group of participants recruited from the general adult population in Denmark. The findings are consistent with dictator giving partly being motivated by a desire to signal that one is not entirely selfish or by a desire to follow a social norm that is choice-set dependent.

Keywords: Dictator game; motivation; choice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 9 pages
Date: 2012-07-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-hpe and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

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