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Conspicuous generosity

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Author Info

  • Ellingsen, Tore
  • Johannesson, Magnus

Abstract

We develop a simple model of generous behavior. It is based on the premise that some people are generous, but everyone wants to appear generous—especially in the eyes of other generous people. Although non-monetary donations are always inefficient, they frequently occur in equilibrium because they facilitate signaling. The model helps to explain the prevalence of volunteering, the nature of Christmas gifts, and the taboo against paying cash in return for friendly favors. Finally, and perhaps most notably, the model explains why it is so common to ask for non-monetary favors and so uncommon to ask for money.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1131-1143

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:9:p:1131-1143

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Altruism; Non–monetary gifts; Volunteering;

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Cited by:
  1. Christiane Bradler & Robert Dur & Susanne Neckermann & Arjan Non, 2013. "Employee Recognition and Performance: A Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 4164, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2011. "Charitable Giving When Altruism and Similarity are Linked," NBER Working Papers 17585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2012. "Experimental Evidence of Self-Image Concerns as Motivation for Giving," IZA Discussion Papers 6388, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ghosh, Suman & Shankar, Kameshwari, 2013. "Red, white and pink: Linking public good contributions to private good sales," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 96-108.
  5. repec:dgr:uvatin:2013038 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Mirco Tonin & Michael Vlassopoulos, 2014. "An experimental investigation of intrinsic motivations for giving," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 76(1), pages 47-67, January.
  7. Cartwright, Edward & Patel, Amrish, 2012. "How Category Reporting Can Improve Fundraising," Working Papers in Economics 522, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  8. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2014. "Charitable giving when altruism and similarity are linked," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 36-49.

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