Random Dictators: A First Investigation into Social Von Neumann Morgenstern Preferences
20 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2010
Date Written: September 2008
We analyse behavior in lottery choice problems that assign payoffs to the decision maker and one other subject. Lotteries are based on randomly generated 2x2 games where the column player’s choice is replaced by a draw from an urn. We find that the vast majority of subjects displays behavior that might have been generated by a monotone von Neumann Morgenstern utility function. Remarkably, most subjects appear to be fully selfish. We also compare behavior in these lotteries with actual game playing.
Keywords: Social preferences, von Neumann Morgenstern utility, uncertainty
JEL Classification: C72, C90
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation