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Let Me See You! A Video Experiment on the Social Dimension of Risk Preferences

Keywords: Risk attitudes , other-regarding concerns , identifiability

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Abstract:

Previous studies have shown that individuals are less other-regarding when their own payoff is risky than when it is sure. Empirical observations also indicate that people care more about identifiable than unidentifiable others. We report on an experiment designed to explore whether rendering the other identifiable—via a speechless video—can affect the relation between other-regarding concerns and preferences over social risk. For this sake, we elicit risk attitudes under two treatments differing in whether the actor can see the other or not. We find that seeing the other does not affect behavior significantly: regardless of the treatment, individuals are self-oriented as to allocation of risk, though they are other-regarding with respect to expected payoffs.

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