The Effect of Social Information in the Dictator Game with a Taking Option

27 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2019 Last revised: 15 Oct 2019

See all articles by Tanya O'Garra

Tanya O'Garra

Economics Department, Middlesex University

Valerio Capraro

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Psychology

Praveen Kujal

Middlesex University

Date Written: July 29, 2019

Abstract

We experimentally study how redistribution choices are affected by positive and negative information regarding the behaviour of a previous participant in a dictator game with a taking option. We use the strategy method to identify behavioural ‘types’, and thus distinguish ‘conformists’ from ‘counter-conformists’, and unconditional choosers. Unconditional choosers make up the greatest proportion of types (about 80%) while only about 20% of subjects condition their responses to social information. We find that both conformity and counter-conformity are driven by a desire to be seen as moral (the ‘symbolization’ dimension of moral identity). The main difference is that, conformity is also driven by a sensitivity to what others think (‘attention to social comparison’). Unconditional giving (about 30% of players) on the other hand is mainly driven by the centrality of moral identity to the self (the ‘internalization' dimension of moral identity). Social information thus seems to mainly affect those who care about being seen to be moral. The direction of effect however depends on how sensitive one is to what others think.

Keywords: dictator game, social information, anti-social information, conformism, anti-conformism

JEL Classification: C70, C71, C72, C78, C91, C92, D30, D63, D80, D83

Suggested Citation

O'Garra, Tanya and Capraro, Valerio and Kujal, Praveen, The Effect of Social Information in the Dictator Game with a Taking Option (July 29, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3428449 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3428449

Tanya O'Garra (Contact Author)

Economics Department, Middlesex University ( email )

The Burroughs
London, NW4 4BT
United Kingdom

Valerio Capraro

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Psychology ( email )

Praveen Kujal

Middlesex University ( email )

The Burroughs
London, NW4 4BT
United Kingdom

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