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Preference Based Subjective Beliefs

CEIS, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133 Roma, Italy
Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico, Universidad de Alicante, 03071 Alicante, Spain
Department of Economics, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli Roma, 00197 Roma, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Games 2018, 9(3), 50;
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Behavior and Game Theory)
PDF [875 KB, uploaded 16 July 2018]


We test the empirical content of the assumption of preference dependent beliefs using a behavioral model of strategic decision making in which the rankings of individuals over final outcomes in simple games influence their beliefs over the opponent’s behavior. This approach— by analogy with Psychological Game Theory—allows for interdependence between preferences and beliefs but reverses the order of causality. We use existing evidence from a multi-stage experiment in which we first elicit distributional preferences in a Random Dictator Game, then estimate beliefs in a related 2×2 effort game conditional on these preferences. Our structural estimations confirm our working hypothesis on how social preferences shape beliefs: subjects with higher guilt (envy) expect others to put less (more) effort, which reduces the expected difference in payoffs. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychological games; belief identification; social preferences psychological games; belief identification; social preferences

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Giaccherini, M.; Ponti, G. Preference Based Subjective Beliefs. Games 2018, 9, 50.

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