Dictator games: a meta study

Abstract

Over the last 25 years, more than a hundred dictator game experiments have been published. This meta study summarises the evidence. Exploiting the fact that most experiments had to fix parameters they did not intend to test, in multiple regression the meta study is able to assess the effect of single manipulations, controlling for a host of alternative explanatory factors. The resulting rich dataset also provides a testbed for comparing alternative specifications of the statistical model for analysing dictator game data. It shows how Tobit models (assuming that dictators would even want to take money) and hurdle models (assuming that the decision to give a positive amount is separate from the choice of amount, conditional on giving) provide additional insights.

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Correspondence to Christoph Engel.

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Engel, C. Dictator games: a meta study. Exp Econ 14, 583–610 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10683-011-9283-7

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Keywords

  • Dictator game
  • Meta-study
  • Multiple regression
  • Tobit
  • Hurdle model

JEL Classification

  • C24
  • C91
  • D03