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A simple message may increase giving among those who ‘hide behind a small cake’: Evidence from dictator games

(with Byeong-Hak Choe, Jason Shogren, and Benjamin White)

Preliminary abstract

In a standard dictator game with complete information, Diana (dictator) gets (an endowment of) $10 and sends $4 to Raj (recipient). In a counterfactual world, Diana gets the same $10 and is aware that Raj knows that the endowment could be $5 or $10. Instead of giving $4, in this world Diana tells Raj she got $5 and sends only $2. Why? We show that by manipulating what the recipient expects to receive with a lie about the size of the endowment (i.e., ‘hiding behind the small cake), people like Diana get to keep more money and to avoid some of the guilt they would have otherwise felt. On the bright side, we also find that few people exploit the information asymmetry. Furthermore, a simple message stating that the recipient hopes to receive 45% of the endowment is most effective to increase giving among people like Diana (i.e., people who exploit the information asymmetry).

JEL codes: D64, D82, D91, C90

Keywords: psychological games, fairness, lying, guilt, altruism, information asymmetry

Status
  • [x] Design
  • [x] Data collection
  • [x] Data analysis
  • [x] Writing in progress
  • [ ] First complete draft

A replication of ‘Does decision error decrease with risk aversion?’ (Experimental Economics, 2017)

(with Esteban Méndez-Chacón)

Status
  • [x] Design
  • [x] Data collection
  • [x] Data analysis
  • [x] Writing in progress
  • [ ] First complete draft