The Role of Responsibility in Strategic Risk-Taking
University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics
Matthew O. Jackson
Stanford University - Department of Economics; Santa Fe Institute; Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)
September 19, 2007
We explore play between groups where one member of each 2-person group dictates the play of that group and is therefore responsible for the payoff of the other group member. We compare this to play when the game is the same, but each person is playing only for herself. Consistent with the principle of responsibility-alleviation described in Charness (2000), we find that a sense of responsibility for the welfare of others has an effect. While the issue of responsibility does not appear to influence the decisions of 2/3 of the population, almost 90 percent of the remaining 1/3 of the population plays a less risky strategy when choosing for a group than when playing only for herself.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: Equilibrium Selection, Responsibility, Risk-taking
JEL Classification: A13, B49, C91
Date posted: October 13, 2006
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