Experimental Evidence of Self-Image Concerns as Motivation for Giving
AbstractWe conduct an experiment in which subjects make a series of decisions of allocating an endowment of £10 between themselves and a passive recipient that is either a charity or the experimenter. When making these decisions subjects are informed that one of them will be chosen randomly at the end to determine payoffs. After all decisions have been made and it has been revealed which decision will determine payoffs we offer subjects an opportunity to opt out from their initial decision and receive £10 instead. We find that around one third of subjects choose to opt out. The fact that a subject decides to revise a decision to give and chooses instead to exit and keep the whole amount – an option that was available when she made the first decision and was not exercised – indicates that giving in the first instance was not motivated solely by altruism toward the recipient. We argue that opting out indicates that giving is also motivated by self-image concerns.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6388.
Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2013, 90, 19-27
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Other versions of this item:
- Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2013. "Experimental evidence of self-image concerns as motivation for giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 19-27.
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-03-21 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2012-03-21 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2012-03-21 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2012-03-21 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2012-03-21 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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