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Why tip? An empirical test of motivations for tipping car guards

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Author Info

  • Saunders, Stephen G.
  • Lynn, Michael

Abstract

From a mainstream economic perspective, tipping is often seen as a rather anomalous or irrational economic activity since consumers could legally and willingly avoid paying tips altogether. Nevertheless, this pervasive economic activity generates tens of billions of dollars in income a year, worldwide. In order to better understand this seemingly irrational behavior to tip, this study investigates other potential motives for tipping that draw from the behavioral economics and psychology literature. We test several of these motives in the context of tipping car guards in South Africa and find evidence supporting the ideas that tipping is motivated by desires to: reward good quality service, help service workers, and gain social approval.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 106-113

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:1:p:106-113

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

Related research

Keywords: Tipping Car guard Service quality Gratuity Social norm;

References

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  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. Ofer Azar, 2005. "Who do we tip and why? An empirical investigation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(16), pages 1871-1879.
  3. Ofer H. Azar, 2005. "Why pay extra? Tipping and the importance of social norms and feelings in economic theory," Microeconomics 0503005, EconWPA.
  4. Orn Bodvarsson & William Luksetich & Sherry McDermott, 2003. "Why do diners tip: rule-of-thumb or valuation of service?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(15), pages 1659-1665.
  5. Hayley McEwen & Anthony Leiman, 2008. "The Car Guards of Cape Town: A Public Good Analysis," SALDRU Working Papers 25, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  6. Conlin, Michael & Lynn, Michael & O'Donoghue, Ted, 2003. "The norm of restaurant tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 297-321, November.
  7. Ofer Azar, 2010. "Do people tip because of psychological or strategic motivations? An empirical analysis of restaurant tipping," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(23), pages 3039-3044.
  8. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve? The case of tipping," Others 0309001, EconWPA.
  9. Lynn, Michael & McCall, Michael, 2000. "Gratitude and gratuity: a meta-analysis of research on the service-tipping relationship," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 203-214.
  10. Lynn, Michael & Zinkhan, George M & Harris, Judy, 1993. " Consumer Tipping: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 478-88, December.
  11. R. Keith Schwer & Rennae Daneshvary, 2000. "Tipping participation and expenditures in beauty salons," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(15), pages 2023-2031.
  12. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "The Social Norm of Tipping: A Review," Others 0309006, EconWPA.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.

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