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Three essays in behavioral economics

Authors Li, King King
Issue Date 2008
Summary This paper studies altruism and reciprocity of Buddhist monks. We conduct a set of double-blind within-subject behavioral game experiments with Buddhist monks in southern India, including dictator, ultimatum, jealousy, and trust game. The Buddhist monks are more altruistic than other non-monk subjects reported in the literature. They also display a distinct “kind to unkind” reciprocity attitude, instead of the conventional attitude of “unkind to unkind”. Surprisingly, most subjects do not choose to let the other player receive the maximum possible amount in the jealousy game. Within subject analysis of choices made across the games shows that the subjects follow the golden rule as a moral principle. These results are incompatible with the implications of theoretical models based on inequality aversion (Fehr and Schmidt, 1999; Bolton and Ockenfels, 2000), quasi-maximin preference (Charness and Rabin, 2002), and intentioned-based reciprocity (Rabin, 1993). The decisions of the subjects are found to be positively correlated with the number of schooling years in Buddhism.
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2008
Language English
Format Thesis
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