2018 (15), №3

Non-Monetary Motivation in Economic Experiments: Case of Dictator and Ultimatum Games



For citation: 

Gladyrev, D. A. (2018). Non-Monetary Motivation in Economic Experiments: Case of Dictator and Ultimatum Games. Zhurnal Economicheskoj Teorii [Russian Journal of Economic Theory], 15(3), 536-539


The article considers popular experimental instruments in economics — Dictator and Ultimatum games as well as the motivation of players. One of the key rules of economic experiments is to create a motivation for participants; otherwise, they will not make rational decisions. This rule is necessary for research. However, experiments are often conducted for the educational purposes during courses of behavioral and experimental economics. The issue is that a professor cannot pay real money to participants. Therefore, a good decision is to reward students with course points. Such a solution is an example of nonmonetary motivation. The article considers the results of the experiments conducted by the author during teaching “Behavioral and experimental economics” and “Experimental methods in economics” in the Ural Federal University. Course points created the motivation in these experiments. The article shows that students with non-monetary motivation lose virtual money easier, especially in the Dictator game. These results correspond to previous research, which have proved that the shares of offers in Dictator and Ultimatum games are inversely proportional to the size of the initial sum of money (the level of motivation). Nevertheless, the difference between experiments results of Dictator and Ultimatum games conducted during classes lead me to the idea that such motivation is enough to reproduce the most important conclusions.

Dmitriy Anatol’evich Gladyrev –  Senior Lecturer, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N.Yeltsin (Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation; e-mail: unc-dg@mail.ru).