Bosco, Luigi (2008): Power, hierarchy and social preferences.
Download (99kB) | Preview
I ran an experiment in order to evaluate the relationship, if any, between power, or the search for power, and the degree of altruism. In particular I experimentally tested whether an organization structured in a strictly hierarchical way was able to reduce the degree of altruism of a group of experimental subjects. The subjects were divided into groups and played a series of dictator and ultimatum games with the members of other groups; for each experimental euro that they earned, the experimenter assigned half of it to the group. Two different settings were analyzed according to how this group surplus was distributed among group members. In the control setting (treatment A) the group surplus was distributed equally among group members, while in the power setting (treatment B) there was a ranking of the earnings in the group, and the subject who earned the higher sum was given the power to decide the distribution scheme of the group different from her own. It was found that the introduction of a hierarchical structure generated a significant decrease in the rate of altruism, measured in terms of the allocation given to the receiver in the dictator game. In this case the tournament among group members for leadership and the competition for power was a very strong means to induce behaviour more in line with the classical assumption of economics. A remarkable gender effect emerges, suggesting that women seem less attracted and trapped by competition for power.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Power, hierarchy and social preferences|
|Keywords:||Altruism, Dictator game, Ultimatum game, Hierarchy|
|Subjects:||C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C9 - Design of Experiments > C92 - Laboratory, Group Behavior
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D64 - Altruism ; Philanthropy
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C9 - Design of Experiments > C91 - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
|Depositing User:||luigi bosco|
|Date Deposited:||19. Nov 2008 06:37|
|Last Modified:||13. May 2015 08:08|
Andreoni, James, (1989), Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence. Journal of Political Economy, XCVII, 1447-1458.
Bognanno, Michael L., 2001, Corporate Tournaments, Journal of Labor Economics 19, pp.290-315.
Bohnet, I. and B. Frey (1999), The sound of silence in prisoner’s dilemma and dictator games, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, 3 vol. 38 pp. 335-39
Bosco, L. and M. Marcheselli (2006) Power and Social Preferences: The Role of Hierarchy in Promoting Selfishness. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=942907
Bowles, S. (1998): Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions,” Journal of Economic Literature, 36, 75–111.
Bowles, S. (2006), Social Preferences and Public Economics: Are good laws a substitute for good citizens? University of Siena, Quaderni del Dipartiemnto di Economia Politca n.496
Bowles, Samuel and Gintis, Herbert, (2002) The Evolution of Strong Reciprocity, Santa Fe Institute Working Paper. Camerer, C. (2003) Behavioural Game Theory Princeton University Press
Camerer, C. and E. Fehr (2002) Measuring social norms and preferences using experimental games: A guide for social scientists, in Henrich et al. (Ed) Foundation of Human Sociality Experimental and Ethnographic Evidence from 15 Small-Scale Societies,
Camerer, C. and E. Fehr (2006) When does “Economic Man” dominates Social Behaviour” , Science, 311, 47-52
Datta Gupta, N. A. Poulsen, C. Villeval, (2005), Male and Female Competitive Behaviour- Experimental evidence, GATE Working Paper, 05-12
Eckel, C and P. Grossman, (forthcoming) “Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence.” Forthcoming in Handbook of Experimental Results, edited by C. Plott and V. Smith. New York, Elsevier.
Eckel, C. and P. Grossman, (1996) Altruism in anonymous dictator games, Games and Economic Behaviour, 6, 181-91 Fehr, Ernst and Schmidt, Klaus, 1999. A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation Quarterly Journal of Economics, 114, 817-868.
Fehr, Ernst, Fischbacher, Urs and Gächter, Simon, (2002). Strong Reciprocity, Human Cooperation and the Enforcement of Social Norms. Human Nature, 3, 1-25.
Fong, C. (2006) Evidence from an experimental on Charity o welfare recipients: Recipocity, altruism and emphatic responsiveness hypothesis, mimeo
Fred Hirsch (1976), The Social Limits to Growth, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1976
Frey, B. and R. Jegen, (2001) Motivation Crowding Theory, Journal of Economic Surveys 15:5 589
Garrouste, P. and S. Saussier (2205) Looking for a theory of the firm: Future challenger, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 58 pp. 178–199
Heijden, E. van der, Potters, J., and Sefton, M. (forthcoming). "Hierarchy and Opportunism in Teams." Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization
Hoffam, E., K. McCabe, K. Shachat and V. Smith (1994) Preferences, property rights and anonymity in bargaining games, Games and Economic Behaviour 7 pp. 346-80
Holmstrom, B. and J. Tirole. (1989). The Theory of the Firm." in R. Schmalensee and R. Willig, eds., Handbook of Industrial Organization. New York: North Holland, pp. 61-133.
Holmström, B., and P. Milgrom. (1994). The Firm as an Incentive System,” American. Economic Review, 84, pp. 972–91 Lazear, E., and S. Rosen, (1981), Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts, Journal of Political Economy 89, pp. 841-864.
Loewenstein, George, Thompson, Leigh and Bazerman, Max, 1989. Social Utility and Decision Making in Interpersonal Contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, LVII, 426-441.
Pagano, U. (1999) Is power an economic good ? in S. Bowles, N. Framzini and U. Pagano (eds) The politics and Economics of Power, Routledge, London
Price, J. (2006), "Gender Differences in the Response to Competition", Cornell University, available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=933667
Sobel, Joel (2005) Interdependent Preferences and Reciprocity, Journal of Economic Literature Vol. XLIII, pp. 392–436