What's behind image? towards a better understanding of image-driven behavior
Tobias Regner ()
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Tobias Regner: FSU Jena
No 2018-020, Jena Economic Research Papers from Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
Our experimental design systematically varies image concerns in a dictator/trust game. In comparison to the baseline, we either decrease the role of self-image concerns (by providing an excuse for selfish behavior) or increase the role of social-image concerns (by conveying the transfer choice to a third person). In this set up, we analyze the underlying processes that motivate subjects to give less/more. Controlling for distributional preferences and expectations, our results indicate that moral emotions (guilt and shame) are a significant determinant of pro-social behavior. The disposition to guilt explains giving in the baseline, while it does not when an excuse for selfish behavior exists. Subjects' disposition to shame is correlated to giving when their choice is public and they can be identified.
Keywords: social preferences; pro-social behavior; experiments; guilt aversion; reciprocity; self-image concerns; social-image concerns; trust game (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C91 D03 D80 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-soc
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2018-020
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