On Individual Decision Making and Responsibility for Others

Fornasari, Federico (2016) On Individual Decision Making and Responsibility for Others. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

PDF - Doctoral Thesis


Individuals' concerns for others have been the focus of many experimental investigations since the first appearance of the dictator game, which pointed out that, when people have to allocate resources and determine their own and others' payoffs, they decide accordingly to some well-defined distributional preferences. These, depending on the decisional setting and on individuals, are able to generate discrepancies between decisions that only affect the decision maker and choices that have consequences on others' payoffs. Starting from these considerations, the three studies presented in this thesis have the aim to picture the state of the art in the literature related to decision making and responsibility for others. Specifically, Chapter 2 presents an overview of past contributions, providing an analysis of three different experimental literatures: dictator games, delegated decision making under risk, and leadership in cooperation; the last two are then experimentally investigated more in details in the following chapters. Specifically, Chapter 3 focuses on investment in risk protection when risk is borne either by the decision maker or by another individual. In addition to this, the analysis manipulates who is the subject providing the resources to buy risk protection. Laboratory observations are assessed against behavioral predictions obtained from a linear model for social preferences to test its predictive power in this domain. Chapter 4 drives the attention to the effect of leadership in a public good experiment. Leaders take part to a public good game, aware of the fact that every decision they make directly affects their followers, who can be either passive players or have the opportunity to send short messages to their leader. This experimental setting allows to observe how people decide for themselves and others when involved in strategic interaction.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Economics and Management (within the School in Social Sciences, till the a.y. 2010-11)
PhD Cycle:28
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-P/01 ECONOMIA POLITICA
Repository Staff approval on:09 May 2016 09:11

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