When Ignorance is Bliss* : Information Asymmetries Enhance Prosocial Behavior in Dicator Games


Winschel, Evguenia ; Zahn, Philipp


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/36632
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-366320
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2014
The title of a journal, publication series: Working Paper Series
Volume: 13-07
Place of publication: Mannheim
Edition: [Überarb. Version]
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,
Keywords (English): Asymmetric Information , Prosocial Behavior , Efficiency Concern , Inequality Aversion , Dictator Game
Abstract: In most laboratory experiments concerning prosocial behavior subjects are fully informed how their decision influences the payoff of other players. Outside the laboratory, however, individuals typically have to decide without such detailed knowledge. To asses the effect of information asymmetries on prosocial behavior, we conduct a laboratory experiment with a simple non-strategic interaction. A dictator has only limited knowledge about the benefits his prosocial action generates for a recipient. We observe subjects with heterogenous social preferences. While under symmetric information only individuals with the same type of preferences transfer, under asymmetric information different types transfer at the same time. As a consequence and the main finding of our experiment, uninformed dictators behave more prosocially than informed dictators.

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Winschel, Evguenia ; Zahn, Philipp (2014) When Ignorance is Bliss* : Information Asymmetries Enhance Prosocial Behavior in Dicator Games. Open Access Working Paper Series Mannheim 13-07 [Working paper]
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