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Altruism spillovers: Are behaviors in context-free experiments predictive of altruism toward a naturally occurring public good

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  • Laury, Susan K.
  • Taylor, Laura O.

Abstract

This paper addresses the external validity of experiments investigating the characteristics of altruism in the voluntary provision of public goods. We conduct two related experiments that allow us to examine whether individuals who act more altruistically in the context-free environment are also more likely to act altruistically toward a naturally-occurring public good. We find that laboratory behavior can be predictive of contributions toward naturally-occurring goods, but not in a uniform way. In fact, parametric measures of altruism do a poor job of predicting which subjects are most likely to contribute to a naturally-occurring public good.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 65 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 9-29

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:65:y:2008:i:1:p:9-29

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  1. Anderson, Simon P. & Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 1998. "A theoretical analysis of altruism and decision error in public goods games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 297-323, November.
  2. Nick Hanley & Robert Wright & Vic Adamowicz, 1998. "Using Choice Experiments to Value the Environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 413-428, April.
  3. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-99, February.
  4. Todd L. Cherry & Thomas Crocker & Jason F. Shogren, 2001. "Rationality Spillovers," Working Papers 01-02, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  5. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Laury, Susan K., 2002. "Private costs and public benefits: unraveling the effects of altruism and noisy behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 255-276, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jan Stoop & Charles N. Noussair & Daan van Soest, 2012. "From the Lab to the Field: Cooperation among Fishermen," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(6), pages 1027 - 1056.
  2. Maren Bachke & Frode Alfnes & Mette Wik, 2012. "Eliciting donor preferences," Artefactual Field Experiments 00098, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2013. "Trust, Growth and Well-being: New Evidence and Policy Implications," IZA Discussion Papers 7464, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. de Oliveira, Angela C.M. & Croson, Rachel T.A. & Eckel, Catherine, 2011. "The giving type: Identifying donors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 428-435, June.
  5. Antonio Estache, 2010. "A survey of impact evaluations of infrastructure projects, programs and policies," Working Papers ECARES 2010_005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Pham, Khanh Nam, 2012. "Social preferences are stable over long periods of time," Working Papers in Economics 531, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Grijalva, Therese & Berrens, Robert P. & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2011. "Species preservation versus development: An experimental investigation under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 995-1005, March.
  8. Ovchinnikova, Natalia V. & Czap, Hans J. & Lynne, Gary D. & Larimer, Christopher W., 2009. ""I don't want to be selling my soul": Two experiments in environmental economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 221-229, March.
  9. Carlsson, Fredrik & He, Haoran & Martinsson, Peter, 2009. "Easy come, easy go - The role of windfall money in lab and field experiments," Working Papers in Economics 374, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  10. Fredrik Carlsson & Haoran He & Peter Martinsson, 2013. "Easy come, easy go," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 190-207, June.
  11. Czap, Natalia V. & Czap, Hans J. & Khachaturyan, Marianna & Lynne, Gary D. & Burbach, Mark, 2012. "Walking in the shoes of others: Experimental testing of dual-interest and empathy in environmental choice," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 642-653.
  12. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & Geoffrey W. Fisher, 2010. "Religious Identity and Economic Behavior," NBER Working Papers 15925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Martin Leroch & Carlo Reggiani & Gianpaolo Rossini & Eugenio Zucchelli, 2012. "Religious attitudes and home bias: theory and evidence from a pilot study," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1206, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  14. Voors, Maarten & Turley, Ty & Kontoleon, Andreas & Bulte, Erwin & List, John A., 2012. "Exploring whether behavior in context-free experiments is predictive of behavior in the field: Evidence from lab and field experiments in rural Sierra Leone," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(3), pages 308-311.
  15. Bouma, Jetske & Bulte, Erwin & van Soest, Daan, 2008. "Trust and cooperation: Social capital and community resource management," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 155-166, September.
  16. Czap, Hans J. & Czap, Natalia V., 2011. "Donating-selling tradeoffs and the influence of leaders in the environmental goods game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 743-752.

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