Experimental Economics

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 442–456 | Cite as

Time as a medium of reward in three social preference experiments

Original Paper

Abstract

We use time, rather than money, as the salient component of subjects’ incentives in three workhorse experimental paradigms. The use of waiting time can be interpreted as a special type of real effort condition, in which it is particularly straightforward to achieve experimental control over incentives. The three experiments, commonly employed to study social preferences, are the dictator game, the ultimatum game and the trust game. All subjects in a session earn the same participation fee, but their choices affect the time at which they are permitted to leave the laboratory. Decisions that are associated with greater own payoff translate into the right to depart earlier. The modal proposal in both the dictator and ultimatum games is an equal split of the waiting time. In the trust game, there is substantial trust and reciprocity. Overall, social preferences are evident in time allocation decisions. We compare subjects’ decisions over time and money and find no significant differences in average decisions. The pattern of results suggests that results obtained in the laboratory with money as the medium of reward generalize to other reward media.

Keywords

Dictator game Ultimatum game Trust game Time 

JEL Classification

C70 C91 D63 D64. 

Supplementary material

10683_2014_9415_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 24 kb)

References

  1. Ariely, D., Loewenstein, G., & Prelec, D. (2003). ’Coherent arbitrariness’: Stable demand curves without stable preferences. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118(1), 73–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berg, J., Dickhaut, J., & McCabe, K. (1995). Trust, reciprocity, and social history. Games and Economic Behavior, 10(1), 122–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berger, R., Rauhut, H., Prade, S., & Helbing, D. (2012). Bargaining over time in ultimatum game experiments. Social Science Research, 41(2), 372–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berns, G., Capra, C., Moore, S., & Noussair, C. (2007). A shocking experiment: New evidence on probability weighting and common ratio violations. Judgment and Decision Making, 2(4), 234–242.Google Scholar
  5. Bruyneel, A., Dewitte, S., Diecidue, E., & Festjens, A. (2013). About time: Individuals value risky time gains and losses linearly. Catholic University of Leuven, Mimeo.Google Scholar
  6. Cooper, D. J., & Dutcher, E. G. (2011). The dynamics of responder behavior in ultimatum games: A meta-study. Experimental Economics, 14(4), 519–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coursey, D., Hovis, J., & Schulze, W. (1987). The disparity between willingness to accept and willingness to pay measures of value. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 102(3), 679–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Engel, C. (2011). Dictator games: A meta study. Experimental Economics, 14, 583–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Oosterbeek, H., Sloof, R., & van de Kuilen, G. (2004). Cultural differences in ultimatum game experiments: Evidence from a meta-analysis. Experimental Economics, 7, 171–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Saini, R., & Monga, A. (2008). How i decide depends on what i spend: Use of heuristics is greater for time than for money. Journal of Consumer Research, 34(6), 914–922.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Smith, V. (1982). Microeconomic systems as an experimental science. American Economic Review, 72(5), 923–955.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and CentERTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Erasmus School of EconomicsErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations