Moral Distance and Moral Motivations in Dictator Games

26 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2007

See all articles by Fernando Aguiar

Fernando Aguiar

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pablo Brañas-Garza

Universidad Loyola Andalucia

Luis M. Miller

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Economics

Date Written: August 20, 2007

Abstract

We perform an experimental investigation using a dictator game in which individuals must make a moral decision - to give or not to give an amount of money to poor people in the Third World. A questionnaire in which the subjects are asked about the reasons for their decision shows that, at least in this case, moral motivations carry a heavy weight in the decision: the majority of dictators give the money for reasons of a consequentialist nature. Based on the results presented here and of other analogous experiments, we conclude that dictator behavior can be understood in terms of moral distance rather than social distance and that it systematically deviates from the egoism assumption in economic models and game theory.

Keywords: Dictator game, moral distance, moral motivations, experimental economics

JEL Classification: A13, C72, C91

Suggested Citation

Aguiar, Fernando and Brañas-Garza, Pablo and Miller, Luis M., Moral Distance and Moral Motivations in Dictator Games (August 20, 2007). Jena Economic Research Paper No. 2007-47, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1022028 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1022028

Fernando Aguiar (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pablo Brañas-Garza

Universidad Loyola Andalucia ( email )

c/ Escritor Castilla Aguayo
Córdoba, 14004
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/pablobranasgarza/home

Luis M. Miller

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Economics ( email )

Kahlaische Strasse 10
D-07745 Jena, 07745
Germany

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