, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 349-371

Do people care about social context? Framing effects in dictator games

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Abstract

Many previous experiments document that behavior in multi-person settings responds to the name of the game and the labeling of strategies. With a few exceptions, these studies cannot tell whether frames affect preferences or beliefs. In three large experiments, we investigate whether social framing effects are also present in Dictator games. Since only one of the subjects makes a decision, the frame can affect behavior merely through preferences. In all the experiments, we find that behavior is insensitive to social framing. We discuss how to reconcile the absence of social framing effects in Dictator games with the presence of social framing effects in Ultimatum games.