Fairness in Extended Dictator Game Experiments : The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Zulehner, Christine / Schirle, Tammy

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Fairness in Extended Dictator Game Experiments

Felix Oberholzer-Gee1 / Reiner Eichenberger2

1Harvard University,

2University of Fribourg,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 8, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.1718, July 2008

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We test the robustness of behavior in dictator games by offering allocators the choice to play an unattractive lottery. With this lottery option, mean transfers from allocators to recipients substantially decline, partly because many allocators now keep the entire endowment for themselves (without playing the lottery). In our standard dictator game, the median transfer amounts to 41% of the dictators' endowment. Once the lottery option is present, the median transfer falls to zero. Introducing an additional unattractive choice thus leads subjects to violate the weak axiom of revealed preference (WARP).

Keywords: dictator game; fairness

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