Near and Generous? Gift Propensity and Chosen Emotional Distance
AbstractThis experimental study asks whether generosity decreases emotional distance, a question pertinent to human service quality. Highly vulnerable service recipients may not enforce quality standards. Quality can then be viewed as an act of generosity, a gift from the provider to the recipient. For a human service provider that sympathizes with the recipient, delivering poor quality is psychologically costly. To reduce this cost she may increase emotional distance. Since human service quality presupposes social interaction and involvement, quality is reduced further. The mechanism – which can account for vicious and virtuous circles in the provision of quality – is explored in a binary dictator game where the recipients pay-off is uncertain. The dictator decides whether to know the recipients pay-off and how. Subjects are more eager to inquire about their recipients pay-off when they themselves have been generous, and to do so by contacting the recipient when the recipient correctly perceives that action to be kind.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 06/2011.
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 10 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
More information through EDIRC
human services; emotional distance; cognitive dissonance; generosity; dictator game;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-03-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-03-19 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2011-03-19 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2011-03-19 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2011-03-19 (Neuroeconomics)
- NEP-SOC-2011-03-19 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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DFAEII Working Papers
2005-14, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
- Pablo Brañas-Garza & Miguel Angel Durán & María Paz Espinosa, 2005. "The role of personal involvement and responsibility in dictatorial allocations: a classroom investigation," ThE Papers 05/21, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
- Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
- Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
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