Giving in dictator games: Experimenter demand effect or preference over the rules of the game?
Nadine Chlass and
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Nadine Chlass: University of Jena
Peter Moffatt: University of East Anglia
No 17-05, Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) from School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
Which preference underlies giving in dictator games? To date, the experimental evidence has either been interpreted as a preference over the distribution of pay-offs, or as an experimenter demand effect. We show that under strict dictator-dictator as well as strict dictator-recipient anonymity, giving in dictator games springs from a preference over the distribution of decision rights. In contrast, concerns which trigger experimenter demand (Andreoni and Bernheim 2009) are negatively correlated with dictator game giving. Our experiments cover a series of dictator game variants which have sparked the experimenter demand debate. In addition, we identify the sets of ethical ideals that dictators em-ploy to derive the 'right' course of action in a formal moral judgement test and model dictator transfers econometrically by means of dictators' actual ethical ideals. Our results explain the lionâ€™s share of results from the literature: lower transfers when dictators earn the pie (Cherry et al. 2002); lower transfers when 'take' options are available (List 2007; Bardsley 2008); lower transfers when anonymity is lifted (Hoffmann et al. 1994); generous dictators consistently pre-ferring to avoid the game altogether, if given the option (Lazear et al. 2012), and findings that social norms and beliefs cause dictator transfers (Krupka and Weber 2013; Di Tella et al. 2015; Kimbrough and Vostroknutov 2015).
Keywords: altruism; dictator games; moral judgement; experimenter demand effect; equality of decision rights; purely procedural preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-gth and nep-soc
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Jessica Pointer, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
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