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What do we expect of others?

Brañas-Garza, Pablo and Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael (2014): What do we expect of others?

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Abstract

We report experimental data on expectations about generosity in a dictator game in which dictators first divide the pie and then make a guess about the donation of other dictators. In our experiment, recipients have to guess the donation that they are going to receive from their own dictator as well as the donation of other dictator, whose choice does not affect their own payoffs. Our findings indicate that property rights are important to explain guesses, as dictators predict a smaller donation from other dictators than recipients do. We also observe that the involvement in the game is crucial as recipients expect other dictators to be more generous than their own dictator. When we compare guesses with actual donations, we see that dictators' guesses are positively correlated with their own transfer and that recipients overestimate the kindness of other dictators, as they expect them to be more kind than what they actually are.

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