Elicited Beliefs and Social Information in Modified Dictator Games: What Do Dictators Believe Other Dictators Do?
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
January 15, 2009
We use subjects' actions in modified dictator games to perform a within-subject classification of individuals into four different types of interdependent preferences: Selfish, Social Welfare maximizers, Inequity Averse and Competitive. We elicit beliefs about other subjects' actions in the same modified dictator games to test how much of the existent heterogeneity in others' actions is known by subjects. We find that subjects with different interdependent preferences in fact have different beliefs about others' actions. In particular, Selfish individuals cannot conceive others being non-Selfish while Social Welfare maximizers are closest to the actual distribution of others' actions. We finally provide subjects with information on other subjects' actions and re-classify individuals according to their (new) actions in the same modified dictator games. We find that social information does not affect Selfish individuals, but that individuals with interdependent preferences are more likely to change their behavior and tend to behave more selfishly.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: Interdependent preferences, social welfare maximizing, inequity aversion, belief elicitation, social information, experiments, mixture-of-types models, LeeX
JEL Classification: C72, C9, D81working papers series
Date posted: April 8, 2009
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