I want YOU! An experiment studying motivational effects when assigning distributive power


Will the fact that a person is selected among others on the basis of personal information affect that person's behavior? In our experiment participants first answer a personality questionnaire. They then play a 3-person game: one of the three players decides, after inspecting the personality questionnaires, between an outside option and granting allocation power over a pie to one of the other two players. Treatments differ in the procedure by which distribution power is assigned: to a randomly determined or to a knowingly selected partner. Results show that knowingly selected allocators keep less for themselves than randomly selected ones. We also find evidence that knowingly selected allocators treat selectors more generously than the third player. However, these effects become weaker over time.

Published as: ¡I Want You! an Experiment Studying Motivational Effects When Assigning Distributive Power in Labour Economics , Vol. 13, No. 1, 1--17, January, 2006