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Games 2017, 8(1), 17; doi:10.3390/g8010017

Emotion at Stake—The Role of Stake Size and Emotions in a Power-to-Take Game Experiment in China with a Comparison to Europe

1
PGO Risk Management for Financial Institutions, VU University, Amsterdam 1081 HV, The Netherlands
2
Bonn Econ Lab, Department of Economics, University of Bonn, Bonn 53113, Germany
3
CREED—Amsterdam School of Economics, University of Amsterdam, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Roman Sheremeta and Eric Schniter
Received: 14 January 2017 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates how monetary incentives and emotions influence behavior in a two-player power-to-take game (PTTG). In this game, one player can claim any part of the other's endowment (take rate), and the second player can respond by destroying any part of his or her own endowment. The experiment is run in China. We further compare our findings with the behavior of two European subject pools. Our results give new insights regarding emotion regulation. Even though stake size does not appear to matter for take rates and destruction rates, it does matter for the reaction function of the responder regarding the take rate. When stakes are high, there is less destruction for low and intermediate take rates, and more destruction for high take rates, compared to relatively low stakes. Under low incentives, ‘hot’ anger-type emotions are important for destruction, while ‘cool’ contempt becomes prominent under high monetary incentives. These results suggest emotion regulation in the high-stake condition. Moreover, emotions are found to fully mediate the impact of the take rate on destruction when stakes are low, whereas they only partially do so if stakes are high. Comparing the low-stakes data for China with existing European data, we find similarities in behavior, emotions and emotion intensities, as well as the full mediation of the take rate by emotions. We find some differences related to the type of emotions that are important for destruction. Whereas anger and joy are important in both, in addition, irritation and fear play a role in China, while this holds for contempt in the EU. View Full-Text
Keywords: cross-cultural experiment; emotions; emotion regulation; expectations; incentives; high and low stakes cross-cultural experiment; emotions; emotion regulation; expectations; incentives; high and low stakes
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bosman, R.; Hennig-Schmidt, H.; van Winden, F. Emotion at Stake—The Role of Stake Size and Emotions in a Power-to-Take Game Experiment in China with a Comparison to Europe. Games 2017, 8, 17.

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