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Individual Preferences for Giving, 97 AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW 1858 (2007)


We utilize graphical representations of Dictator Games which generate rich individual-level data. Our baseline experiment employs budget sets over feasible payoff-pairs. We test these data for consistency with utility maximization, and we recover the underlying preferences for giving (tradeoffs between own payoffs and the payoffs of others). Two further experiments augment the analysis. An extensive elaboration employs three-person budget sets to distinguish preferences for giving from social preferences (tradeoffs between the payoffs of others). And an intensive elaboration employs step-shaped sets to distinguish between behaviors that are compatible with well-behaved preferences and those that are compatible only with not well-behaved cases.

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