This paper tests the external validity of a simple Dictator Game as a laboratory analogue for a naturally policy-relevant decision-making context. In Uganda, where teacher absenteeism is a problem, primary school teachers' allocations to parents in a Dictator Game are positively but weakly correlated with their time allocations to teaching and, so, negatively correlated with their absenteeism. Guided by a simple theoretical model, we find that the correlation can be improved by allowing for (a) variations in behavioural reference points across teachers and schools and (b) the positive effect of some School Management Committees on teacher attendance.
CSAE Economics Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. CSAE WPS/2010-11, 21 pp.