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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Working Papers with number 2101.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
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
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joe Seidel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.