Empathic Responsiveness: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment on Giving to Welfare Recipients
AbstractThis paper reports a surprising finding from an experiment on giving to welfare recipients. The experiment tests how offers of money in n-donor dictator games are affected by 1) donors' humanitarian and egalitarian values and 2) direct information about the recipients' work-preferences. People who are self-reported humanitarians and egalitarians have giving that is highly elastic with respect to the apparent worthiness of the recipient. Among high scoring humanitarian-egalitarians, the median offer to a recipient who appeared industrious was $5.00, while the median offer to a recipient who appeared lazy was only $1.00. Among low scoring humanitarian-egalitarians, the median offer was $1.00 in both conditions. I refer to this combination of altruism and equity/reciprocity as empathic responsiveness. This finding can be rationalized by a model of inequity aversion.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Working Papers with number 2101.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
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Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com
Fairness; Social Preferences; Redistributive Politics; Empathy; Equity; Attitudinal Measures; Dictator Games; Public Goods Experiments;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
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- HÃ¥ Holm & Peter Engseld, 2005. "Choosing Bargaining Partnersâ€”An Experimental Study on the Impact of Information About Income, Status and Gender," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 183-216, September.
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