Experimental Economics

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 414–420 | Cite as

The effects of the take-option in dictator-game experiments: a comment on Engel’s (2011) meta-study

  • Le Zhang
  • Andreas Ortmann
Original Paper


In this paper, we report a replication of Engel’s (Exp. Econ. 14(4):583–610, 2011) meta-study of dictator game experiments. We find Engel’s meta-study of dictator game experiments to be robust, with one important exception: the coding of the take-option (List in J. Polit. Econ. 115(3):482–493, 2007; Bardsley in Exp. Econ. 11(2):122–133, 2008; Cappelen et al. in Econ. Lett. 118(2):280–283, 2013). While Engel reports this as having no statistically significant effect, in our replications, we find an economically and statistically significant negative effect on giving in line with the relevant literature.


Dictator game experiments Meta-analysis Giving Normalized giving Take-option 

JEL Classification

C24 C91 D03 


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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNSWSydneyAustralia

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