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Social norms and gift behavior: Theory and evidence from Romania

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  • Mitrut, Andreea
  • Nordblom, Katarina

Abstract

In many developing and transitional countries with limited public income redistribution, inter-household transfers in general, and gifts in particular, are sizable and very important. We use unique Romanian survey data that enables us to isolate pure gifts from other private transfers. We explicitly focus on the importance of community-wide social norms, and find that they indeed play a major role for both the occurrence and the values of gifts. More exactly, our results suggest that the overall predominant gift motive among Romanian households is a norm of reciprocity. Moreover, this norm seems to be dominating for gifts to middle- and high-income households. Even though poor households receive to the same extent, norms of both impure altruism and reciprocity tend to be important. Hence, although the poor may not reciprocate gifts to the same extent as the rich, they still receive, since there is a social norm to give, especially to the poor.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 54 (2010)
Issue (Month): 8 (November)
Pages: 998-1015

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:54:y:2010:i:8:p:998-1015

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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Keywords: Gifts Transfers Altruism Reciprocity Romania Social norms;

References

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Cited by:
  1. Zachary Zimmer & Codrina Rada & Catalin Stoica, 2013. "Migration, Location and Provision of Support to Old-Age Parents: The Case of Romania," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2013_09, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
  2. Beyene, Berhe Mekonnen, 2012. "The Link between International Remittances and Private Interhousehold Transfers," Memorandum 14/2012, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Andreea Mitrut & François-Charles Wolff, 2010. "Do private and public transfers received affect life satisfaction? Evidence from Romania," Working Papers hal-00546280, HAL.

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