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Getting a Yes. An Experiment on the Power of Asking

Lisa Bruttel (), Florian Stolley () and Verena Utikal

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper studies how the request for a favor has to be devised in order to maximize its chance of success. We present results from a mini-dictator game laboratory experiment in which giving entails an efficiency gain. Before the dictator decides, the recipient can send a free-form text message to the dictator. We find that the content of a message and its form do matter in the decision to give. Putting effort into the message by writing in a humorous and creative way pays off. We argue that this can be interpreted in terms of reciprocity. Mentioning reasons why the money is needed increases the generosity of dictators as well. Additionally, we find differences in the behavior of male and female dictators. Only men react positively to efficiency arguments, while only women react to messages that emphasize the specific power and responsibility of the dictator.

Keywords: dictator game; communication; inequality; experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 D64 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-05-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-exp
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Related works:
Journal Article: Getting a yes. An experiment on the power of asking (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Getting a Yes: An Experiment on the Power of Asking (2019) Downloads
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