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Economics, Gratitude, and Warm Glow

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  • J. Atsu Amegashie

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Guelph)

Abstract

People feel a sense of gratitude when they receive gifts, transfers, or assistance. Based on psychological literature, I argue that gratitude is different from standard notions of reciprocity. Indeed, people derive utility from in-kind transfers (i.e., feel grateful), even if they do not like or do not consume the gift. This is because it is the thought that counts, so long as the donor made a genuine and sincere effort to make the recipient happy. I incorporate a sense of gratitude into preferences and use it to rationalize Andreoni (1989, 1990) warm-glow of giving. This addresses a critique of Andreoni’s model by Brekke, Kverndokk, and Nyborg (Journal of Public Economics, 2003). I am also able to explain the effect of social distance on the degree of redistribution, why government charitable donations may not crowd out private charitable contributions, the Keynesian effects of government debt, intrinsic motivation, donations to not-for-profit organizations and the practice of thanking anonymous referees in academia.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 0601.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gue:guelph:2006-1

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Related research

Keywords: altruism; charity; gratitude; psychology; warm-glow.;

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References

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  1. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1986. "On the Voluntary and Involuntary Provision of Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 789-93, September.
  2. Johan Lagerl–f, 2004. "Efficiency-enhancing signalling in the Samaritan's dilemma," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 55-69, 01.
  3. Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
  4. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  5. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1997. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," Working Papers 97-37, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Duncan, Brian, 2004. "A theory of impact philanthropy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2159-2180, August.
  7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  8. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  9. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  11. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2003. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2202, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
  13. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  14. Roberts, Russell D, 1984. "A Positive Model of Private Charity and Public Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 136-48, February.
  15. Colin Camerer & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. "Neuroeconomics: How neuroscience can inform economics," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000484, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  17. Warr, Peter G., 1982. "Pareto optimal redistribution and private charity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 131-138, October.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. HowTo: Altruism and the â??Warm Glowâ? effect
    by zooeygoethe in Economic Objectorvism on 2007-12-26 18:01:33
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Jones & Michael McKee, 2008. "Giving To Ingrates?," Working Papers 08-06, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  2. Garofalo, Giuseppe & Morganti, Patrizio, 2010. "Il finanziamento degli investimenti in R&S. Gli effetti sulla crescita e sulla struttura finanziaria," MPRA Paper 23551, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. J. Atsu Amegashie, 2006. "Intentions and Social Interactions," Working Papers 0602, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.

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