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Do people tip strategically, to improve future service? Theory and evidence

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  • Ofer H. Azar

Abstract

A central question about tipping is whether people tip strategically, to improve future service, or only because tipping is a social norm. I present a theoretical model that incorporates psychological utility associated with tipping (because it is a social norm) and allows tipping to be motivated also by future service considerations. The model predicts that if future service is a reason for tipping, the sensitivity of tips to service quality should be higher for repeating customers than for non-repeating ones. Surveys of 597 restaurant customers are analysed and suggest that future service is not a reason for tipping.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 515-527

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:40:y:2007:i:2:p:515-527

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Cited by:
  1. Azar, Ofer H., 2005. "Incentives and Service Quality in the Restaurant Industry: The Tipping – Service Puzzle," MPRA Paper 4457, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2006.
  2. Lynn, Michael & Jabbour, Patrick & Kim, Woo Gon, 2012. "Who uses tips as a reward for service and when? An examination of potential moderators of the service–tipping relationship," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 90-103.
  3. Azar, Ofer H., 2011. "Business strategy and the social norm of tipping," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 515-525, June.
  4. Azar, Ofer H., 2012. "The effect of the minimum wage for tipped workers on firm strategy, employees and social welfare," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 748-755.
  5. Holland, Steven J., 2009. "Tipping as risk sharing," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 641-647, August.
  6. Azar, Ofer H., 2009. "Tipping motivations and behavior in the US and Israel," MPRA Paper 20304, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ofer H. Azar & Yossi Tobol, 2008. "Tipping as a Strategic Investment in Service Quality: An Optimal-Control Analysis of Repeated Interactions in the Service Industry," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 246-260, July.
  8. Azar, Ofer H., 2006. "Tipping, firm strategy, and industrial organization," MPRA Paper 4485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Greenberg, Adam Eric, 2014. "On the complementarity of prosocial norms: The case of restaurant tipping during the holidays," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 103-112.
  10. Sari, Nazmi, 2013. "On anti-smoking regulations and tobacco consumption," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 60-67.
  11. Ockenfels, Axel & Werner, Peter, 2014. "Scale manipulation in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 138-142.
  12. D'Agostino, Elena & Lisciandra, Maurizio, 2012. "Enforceable vs. non-enforceable contracts: a theoretical appraisal with fair players," MPRA Paper 41261, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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