To Give or Not To Give? Equity, Efficiency and Altruistic Behavior in a Survey-Based Experiment
AbstractThis paper presents the results of a survey-based experiment on the role of equity and efficiency for altruistic behavior. Using simple binary decisions for a representative pool of subjects, we find that both equity and efficiency are relevant for the decision to give. However, contrary to the findings in several laboratory experiments, our results indicate that equity plays a major role for altruistic behavior. Differences in relative payoffs have a significant effect on the decision to give. When giving is not costly, more than half of the subjects prefer equal payoffs to a socially efficient but unequal allocation. When giving is Pareto-improving, half the subjects choose to sacrifice a higher payoff in order to avoid payoff inequality. We also find that preferences, as revealed by experimental choices, are largely consistent with reported pro-social activities, while only weakly related to self-reported well-being.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 202.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision: Dec 2010
Altruism; Inequality-Aversion; SocialWelfare; Envy; Large-Scale Experiment;
Other versions of this item:
- V. Pelligra & L. Stanca, 2010. "To Give or Not To Give? Equity, Efficiency and Altruistic Behavior in a Survey-Based Experiment," Working Paper CRENoS 201032, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-02-05 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2011-02-05 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2011-02-05 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HAP-2011-02-05 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-SOC-2011-02-05 (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.:
- Charness, Gary & Grosskopf, Brit, 2001.
"Relative payoffs and happiness: an experimental study,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-328, July.
- Charness, Gary B & Grosskopf, Brit, 2000. "Relative Payoffs And Happiness: An Experimental Study," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt8389x8z2, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Brit Grosskopf, 2000. "Relative Payoffs and Happiness: An Experimental Study," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1263, Econometric Society.
- Gary Charness & Brit Grosskopf, 1999. "Relative payoffs and happiness: An experimental study," Economics Working Papers 436, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2000.
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