Meta-Context and Choice-Set Effects in Mini-Dictator Games
Alexander Vostroknutov and
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Folco Panizza: university of trento
Alexander Vostroknutov: General Economics 1 (Micro)
Giorgio Coricelli: university of southern california
No 10, Research Memorandum from Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE)
Knowing that some action is possible in principle, even if not available, could affect behaviour. This may happen because a game is perceived as part of a larger game or ‘metacontext’ that includes its outcomes as a proper subset. In an experiment we test the effects of meta-context and specific choice sets on pro-social behaviour in a series of binary mini-Dictator games by eliciting participants’ normative evaluations, fitting a norm-dependent utility, and analysing the residuals. We find that participants’ normative evaluations in mini-Dictator games derive from the meta-context (a standard Dictator game) and explain a sizeable portion of variance in choices. Restricted choice sets of mini-Dictator games also influence participants’ decisions: they take into account dictator’s losses and recipient’s gains from choosing the prosocial action as fractions of their respective maximum payoffs. This choice-set effect correlates with individual measures of rule-following propensity supporting the idea that it is also normative. Thus, there are two types of normative reasoning that contribute to pro-social behaviour: a meta-context and a choice-set effect.
Keywords: mini-Dictator games; meta-context; choice-set effects; norms; norm-dependent utility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-hpe and nep-upt
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:unm:umagsb:2019010
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