SBEE Seminar Series: Giovanni Ponti

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

201 Lorch Hall, 611 Tappan St., Ann Arbor

Deterministic vs. Stochastic Altruism

We report experimental evidence from a 3-person Dictator Game in which Dictators decide over the distribution of probabilities of winning a fixed, indivisible, monetary prize. This evidence is compared with (i) a standard (control) treatment in which money is perfectly divisible and Dictators allocate shares of the prize across the group members and also with (ii) a “hybrid” protocol by which a fraction of the prize is allocated deterministically, and the remainder by way of a lottery. Dictators’ decisions are framed within a (suitably modified version of) Karni and Safra (2002a)’s model of distributional justice. This allows us to identify consequentialist vs. procedural fairness, also controlling for (own-payoff) risk aversion. Our evidence suggests that, among those not exhibiting a completely selfish behavior, both views of fairness are complementary in explaining subjects’ distributional decisions.

Speaker bio:
Giovanni Ponti received a BSc in economics at the University of Pavia, Italy, and an MSc in economics (1993) and a PhD in economics (1997) from the University College London. He also holds an Italian doctorate from the University of Bologna (1997).

He has authored more than 30 papers which have appeared in the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Theory, Games & Economic Behavior, Review of Economic Dynamics, Review of Economic Design, Social Choice & Welfare, Experimental Economics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, among others.  He is primarily interested in the use of game theory as a modeling language to describe economic environments of interest and the complementary use of theory and experiments to derive theoretical predictions and provide empirical validation.

Recently his focus has shifted more toward behavioral issues, such as the analysis of social preferences, and their relation with other behavioral traits, such as risk or time preferences. In his recent publications he has been more involved in the structural estimation of theoretical models of behavior.

He is currently a Visiting Professor of Economics at The University of Chicago, working on the structural estimation of behavioral models using field experimental data.