Experimental Economics

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 398–417 | Cite as

Social communication and discrimination: a video experiment

  • Ben Greiner
  • Werner Güth
  • Ro’i Zultan


We report on an experiment using video technology to study effects of communication on donations to and discrimination between potential receivers. The experimental design eliminates strategic factors by allowing two receivers to unilaterally communicate with an anonymous dictator before the latter decides on her gifts. Through the use of three communication setups (none, audio, and audio-visual) we analyze purely social effects of communication. A silent video channel leads to discrimination between potential receivers based on impression formation, but does not affect average levels of donations. When the auditory channel is added, average donations increase. The social processes invoked by the visual and audio channels are heterogeneous and communicator-specific but not unsystematic.


Bargaining Communication Discrimination n-Person dictator game Video experiment 

JEL Classification

C72 C91 D64 

Supplementary material

10683_2011_9305_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (80 kb)
ONLINE APPENDIX for Social Communication and Discrimi-nation: A Video Experiment. (PDF 80.4 kB)


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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EconomicsUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute of EconomicsJenaGermany
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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