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Self-Signaling Versus Social-Signaling in Giving

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  • Grossman, Zachary

Abstract

I investigate the relative importance of social-signaling versus self-signaling in driving giving. I derive specific qualitative predictions about how the response of an image-motivated dictator to a change in the probability that her choice will be implemented depends crucially on the information available to the relevant observer. A probabilistic dictator-game experiment tests the joint, relative, and independent effects of self-signaling and social-signaling. The results provide little evidence of self-signaling, but stronger evidence of social-signaling, particularly in a large subsample that excludes likely `selfish types'.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt7320x2cp.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt7320x2cp

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Keywords: charitable giving; altruism; dictator game; self-image; self-signaling; signaling; beliefs-dependent preferences; Social and Behavioral Sciences;

References

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  1. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2009. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," NBER Working Papers 15629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Roland BĂ©nabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence And Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915, August.
  3. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 990-1008, June.
  5. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  6. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context--a field experiment in 30 churches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2301-2323, December.
  7. Broberg, Tomas & Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Is generosity involuntary?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 32-37, January.
  8. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
  9. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sobel, Joel., 1985. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Working Papers, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences 565, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  10. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-73, June.
  12. Grossman, Zachary, 2010. "Strategic Ignorance and the Robustness of Social Preferences," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara qt60b93868, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  13. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 35-54, April.
  14. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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