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Tipping as risk sharing

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  • Holland, Steven J.
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    Abstract

    Tipping is often dismissed as an exception to the assumption of rational economic agents. This paper describes situations where tipping is, in fact, an effective mechanism for risk sharing and welfare improvement. When risk-averse customers purchase a service with uncertain quality, tipping can reduce the customer's exposure to risk by making part of the price of the service discretionary. These findings help explain why we tend to tip restaurant workers but not retail workers and why some high-risk service providers, such as lawyers and automobile mechanics, are not typically tipped.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5H-4VNH3Y8-6/2/c4ca6cd7bfc0bffba5ee9104eb112971
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 641-647

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:4:p:641-647

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

    Related research

    Keywords: Tipping Gratuity Social norm Rational choice Risk-aversion;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Ofer H. Azar, 2005. "Why pay extra? Tipping and the importance of social norms and feelings in economic theory," Microeconomics 0503005, EconWPA.
    2. Ofer H. Azar, 2005. "Who Do We Tip and Why? An Empirical Investigation," Labor and Demography 0502005, EconWPA.
    3. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
    4. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve? The case of tipping," Others 0309001, EconWPA.
    5. Ofer Azar, 2005. "The Social Norm of Tipping: Does it Improve Social Welfare?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 85(2), pages 141-173, 08.
    6. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "The Social Norm of Tipping: A Review," Others 0309006, EconWPA.
    7. 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.
    8. Frank, Robert H, 1987. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 593-604, September.
    9. Epps, Thomas W., 1981. "Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for the Mean-Variance Portfolio Model With Constant Risk Aversion," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 169-176, June.
    10. Ofer H. Azar, 2004. "Optimal Monitoring with External Incentives: The Case of Tipping," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 170-181, July.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Bernstein, Lisa, 1992. "Opting Out of the Legal System: Extralegal Contractual Relations in the Diamond Industry," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 115-57, January.
    15. Ofer H. Azar, 2007. "Do people tip strategically, to improve future service? Theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 515-527, May.
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