Mine, Ours or Yours? Unintended Framing Effects in Dictator Games

17 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2018

See all articles by Andreas Bergh

Andreas Bergh

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Lund University - Department of Economics

Philipp C. Wichardt

University of Rostock - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 28, 2018

Abstract

This paper reports results from a classroom dictator game comparing the effects of three different sets of standard instructions. As was shown by Oxoby and Spraggon (2008), inducing a feeling of entitlement (one subject earning the endowment) strongly affects allocations in dictator games towards the owner of the money (both dictator and receiver). The present results show that seemingly small differences in instructions induce fundamentally different perceptions regarding entitlement. Behavior is affected accordingly, i.e. instructions inducing subjects to perceive the task as distributive rather than a task of generosity lead to higher allocations to receivers (average 52% vs. 35%). A theoretical explanation integrating monetary as well as social incentives and emphasizing potential effects of uncertainty about the latter is discussed (cf. Bergh and Wichardt, 2018).

Keywords: Dictator Game, Framing Effects, Property Rights, Social Preference

JEL Classification: C70, C91, D63

Suggested Citation

Bergh, Andreas and Wichardt, Philipp C., Mine, Ours or Yours? Unintended Framing Effects in Dictator Games (March 28, 2018). IFN Working Paper No. 1205, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3152427

Andreas Bergh (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden
0707790734 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se/web/AndreasB

Lund University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7082
S-220 07
Lund
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.nek.lu.se/

Philipp C. Wichardt

University of Rostock - Department of Economics ( email )

Ulmenstr. 69
Rostock, 18057
Germany

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