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Altruistic behavior in a representative dictator experiment


We conduct a representative dictator game in which students and random members of the community choose both what charity to support and how much to donate to the charity. We find systematic differences between the choices of students and community members. Community members are much more likely to write in their own charity, community members donate significantly more ($17), on average, and community members are much more likely (32%) to donate the entire $100 endowment. Based on this evidence, it does not appear that student behavior is very representative in the context of the charitable donations and the dictator game.

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Correspondence to Jeffrey Carpenter.

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Carpenter, J., Connolly, C. & Myers, C.K. Altruistic behavior in a representative dictator experiment. Exper Econ 11, 282–298 (2008).

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  • Altruism
  • Dictator game
  • Field experiment
  • Representativeness


  • C72
  • C93
  • D64