Heterogeneous guilt sensitivities and incentive effects
- 466 Downloads
Psychological games of guilt aversion assume that preferences depend on (beliefs about) beliefs and on the guilt sensitivity of the decision-maker. We present an experiment designed to measure guilt sensitivities at the individual level for various stake sizes. We use the data to estimate a structural choice model that allows for heterogeneity, and permits that guilt sensitivities depend on stake size. We find substantial heterogeneity of guilt sensitivities in our population, with 60% of decision makers displaying stake-dependent guilt sensitivity. For these decision makers, we find that average guilt sensitivities are significantly different from zero for all stakes considered, while significantly decreasing with the level of stakes.
KeywordsGuilt sensitivity Psychological game theory Heterogeneity Stakes Dictator game
JEL ClassificationA13 C91
The authors thank audiences of seminars at the universities of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Gothenborg, Heidelberg, Innsbruck, Mannheim, Munich, Pennsylvania, and Tilburg, at the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena, at the Nordic Conference of Behavioral and Experimental Economics in Stockholm, and at IMEBE in Madrid for helpful comments. Furthermore, we would like to thank the editor and two anonymous referees for very helpful comments. Suetens acknowledges financial support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) through the VIDI program (Project No. 452-11-012).
- Attanasi, G., Battigalli, P., and Nagel, R. (2013). Disclosure of belief-dependent preferences in a trust game. Mimeo.Google Scholar
- Bicchieri, C. (2006). The grammar of society: The nature and dynamics of social norms. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Greiner, B. (2004). The online recruitment system ORSEE 2.0—A guide for the organization of experiments in economics. Technical report, University of Cologne, Working Paper Series in Economics 10.Google Scholar
- Selten, R. (1967). Die Strategiemethode zur Erforschung des Eingeschränkt Rationalen Verhaltens im Rahmen eines Oligopolexperiments. In H. Sauermann (Ed.), Beiträge zur Experimentellen Wirtschaftsforschung (pp. 136–168). Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr.Google Scholar
- Trautmann, S. T., & van de Kuilen, G. (2015). Belief elicitation: A horse race among truth serums. Economic Journal (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- Yang, Y., Onderstal, S., & Schram, A. (2012). Inequity aversion revisited. Working paper, University of Amsterdam.Google Scholar