Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 738: Do People Care about Social Context? Framing Effects in Dictator Games

Anna Dreber (), Tore Ellingsen (), Magnus Johannesson () and David Rand ()
Additional contact information
Anna Dreber: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Tore Ellingsen: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Magnus Johannesson: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
David Rand: Harvard University, Postal: Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University, 1 Brattle Sq Suite 6, Cambridge MA, 02138, USA

Abstract: Many previous experiments document that behavior in multi-person settings responds to the name of the game and the labeling of strategies. Usually these studies cannot tell whether frames affect preferences or beliefs. In this Dictator game study, we investigate whether social framing effects are also present when only one of the subjects makes a decision, in which case the frame may only affect preferences. We find that behavior is insensitive to social framing.

Keywords: beliefs; preferences; framing effects; altruism; cooperation

JEL-codes: C70; C91; D03; D64

38 pages, September 14, 2011

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