This paper investigates if and how other-regarding preferences governing giving decisions in dictator games are affected in risky environments in which the payoff of the recipient is random. We demonstrate that, whenever the risk is actuarially neutral, the donation of dictators with a purely ex post view of fairness should, in general, be affected by the riskyness of the recipient’s payoff, while dictators with a purely ex ante view should not be. Our experimental data show no statistically significant impact of the recipient’s risk exposure on dictators’ giving decisions and, therefore, give weak empirical support to the purely ex post view of fairness. This result appears to be robust to both the experimental design (within or between subjects) and to the origin of the recipient’s risk exposure (chosen by the recipient or imposed to the recipient).
Other-regarding preferences and giving decision in risky environments: experimental evidence
5 September 2018