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Reputation and influence in charitable giving: an experiment

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  • David Reinstein

    ()

  • Gerhard Riener

    ()

Abstract

Abstract Previous experimental and observational work suggests that people act more generously when they are observed and observe others in social settings. But the explanation for this is unclear. An individual may want to send a signal of her generosity in order to improve her own reputation. Alternately (or additionally) she may value the public good or charity itself and, believing that contribution levels are strategic complements, give more in order to influence others to give more. We perform the first series of laboratory experiments that can separately estimate the impact of these two social effects, and test whether realized influence is consistent with the desire to influence, and whether either of these are consistent with anticipated influence. We find that �leaders� are influential only when their identities are revealed along with their donations, and female leaders are more influential then males. Identified leader�s predictions suggest that are aware of their influence. They respond to this by giving more than either the control group or the unidentified leaders. We find mixed evidence for �reputation-seeking.�

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Theory and Decision.

Volume (Year): 72 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 221-243

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Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:72:y:2012:i:2:p:221-243

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100341

Related research

Keywords: Charitable giving; Experimental design; Reputation; Influence; Peer effects; Altruism;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Zizzo, Daniel John, 2013. "Claims and confounds in economic experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 186-195.
  2. Regner, Tobias & Riener, Gerhard, 2012. "Motivational cherry picking," DICE Discussion Papers 68, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  3. Markus Pasche, 2013. "What Can be Learned from Behavioural Economics for Environmental Policy?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-020, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Diane Reyniers & Richa Bhalla, 2013. "Reluctant altruism and peer pressure in charitable giving," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(1), pages 7-15, January.
  5. Sabrina Teyssier & Fabrice Etilé & Pierre Combris, 2012. "Social- and Self-Image Concerns in Fair-Trade Consumption: Evidence from Experimental Auctions for Chocolate," PSE Working Papers halshs-00722592, HAL.
  6. Daniel John Zizzo, 2011. "Do dictator games measure altruism?," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 12-03, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  7. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00722592 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Carlsson, Fredrik & He, Haoran & Martinsson, Peter, 2010. "Windfall vs. Earned Money in the Laboratory: Do They Affect the Behavior of Men and Women Differently?," Working Papers in Economics 468, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  9. David Hugh-Jones & Alexia Katsanidou & Gerhard Riener, 2009. "Political Discrimination in the Aftermath of Violence: the case of the Greek riots," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 30, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  10. David Hugh-Jones & David Reinstein, 2009. "Anonymous Rituals," Economics Discussion Papers 670, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

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