The Role of Responsibility in Strategic Risk-Taking

22 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2006  

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics

Matthew O. Jackson

Stanford University - Department of Economics; Santa Fe Institute; Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)

Date Written: September 19, 2007

Abstract

We explore play between groups where one member of each 2-person group dictates the play of that group and is therefore responsible for the payoff of the other group member. We compare this to play when the game is the same, but each person is playing only for herself. Consistent with the principle of responsibility-alleviation described in Charness (2000), we find that a sense of responsibility for the welfare of others has an effect. While the issue of responsibility does not appear to influence the decisions of 2/3 of the population, almost 90 percent of the remaining 1/3 of the population plays a less risky strategy when choosing for a group than when playing only for herself.

Keywords: Equilibrium Selection, Responsibility, Risk-taking

JEL Classification: A13, B49, C91

Suggested Citation

Charness, Gary and Jackson, Matthew O., The Role of Responsibility in Strategic Risk-Taking (September 19, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=937034 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.937034

Gary Charness (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics ( email )

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
805-893-2412 (Phone)
805-893-8830 (Fax)

Matthew O. Jackson

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States
1-650-723-3544 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~jacksonm

Santa Fe Institute

1399 Hyde Park Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501
United States

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) ( email )

180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario
Canada

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