Effciency concern under asymmetric information

Winschel, Evguenia ; Zahn, Philipp

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URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/33005
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-330056
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2012
The title of a journal, publication series: Working Paper Series
Volume: 13-07
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > VWL, Wirtschaftspolitik (Grüner)
MADOC publication series: Department of Economics > Working Paper Series
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: D82 , C91,
Abstract: Experimental evidence from simple distribution games supports the view that some individuals have a concern for the effciency of allocations. This motive could be important for the implementation of economic policy proposals. In a typical lab experiment, however, individuals have much more information available than outside the lab. We conduct a lab experiment to test whether asymmetric information influences prosocial behavior in a simple non-strategic interaction. In our setting, a dictator has only limited knowledge about the benefits his prosocial action generates for a recipient. We find that a substantial share of subjects behaves proscially and a concern for effciency plays an important role. In our experiment the information asymmetry is actually effciency-enhancing as more subjects behave prosocially than under symmetric information.

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