How do risk attitudes affect pro-social behavior? Theory and experiment
We explore how risk preferences affect pro-social behavior in risky environments. We analyze a modified dictator game in which the dictator could, by reducing her own sure payoff, increase the odds that an unknown recipient wins a lottery. We first augment a standard social preferences model with reference-dependent risk attitudes and then test the model's predictions for the dictator's giving behavior using a laboratory experiment. As predicted by the model, giving behavior in the experiment is affected by the baseline risk faced by the recipient, the effectiveness of transfers in reducing baseline risk, and the dictator's degree of loss aversion.