Give and Take in Dictator Games

23 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2012

See all articles by Alexander W. Cappelen

Alexander W. Cappelen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Ulrik Nielsen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Erik Sorensen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Bertil Tungodden

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Jean-Robert Tyran

University of Vienna; University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 6, 2012

Abstract

It has been shown that participants in the dictator game are less willing to give money to the other participant when their choice set also includes the option to take money. We examine whether this effect is due to the choice set providing a signal about entitlements in a setting where entitlements initially may be considered unclear. We find that the share of positive transfers depends on the choice set even when there is no uncertainty about entitlements, and that this choice-set effect is robust across a heterogeneous group of participants recruited from the general adult population in Denmark. The findings are consistent with dictator giving partly being motivated by a desire to signal that one is not entirely selfish or by a desire to follow a social norm that is choice-set dependent.

Keywords: dictator game, choice set, social preferences, experiments

JEL Classification: C91, D63

Suggested Citation

Cappelen, Alexander W. and Nielsen, Ulrik and Sorensen, Erik and Tungodden, Bertil and Tyran, Jean-Robert, Give and Take in Dictator Games (July 6, 2012). Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 12-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2122306 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2122306

Alexander W. Cappelen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Ulrik Nielsen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

Erik Sorensen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway

Bertil Tungodden

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

Jean-Robert Tyran (Contact Author)

University of Vienna ( email )

Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1
Vienna, Vienna 1090
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/jean-robert.tyran/

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark
+45 353 23 027 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ku.dk/tyran/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
48
Abstract Views
1,161
PlumX Metrics