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Does Competition Affect Giving? An Experimental Study

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Author Info

  • John Duffy

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Tatiana Kornienko

    (University of Stirling)

Abstract

We explore whether natural human competitiveness can be exploited to stimulate charitable giving in a controlled laboratory experiment involving three different treatments of a sequential ``dictator game.'' Without disclosing the actual amounts given and kept, in each period players are publicly ranked -- by the amount they give away, by the amount they keep for themselves, or spuriously. Our results are generally supportive of the hypothesis that competitive urges can encourage or frustrate altruistic behavior, depending on the competitive frame. We find some support for an alternative hypothesis that relative concerns are due to information-gathering rather than competition.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/exp/papers/0508/0508002.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0508002.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 13 Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0508002

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 44
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Dictator game; repeated decisions; charitable giving; altruistic behavior; competitive altruism; status; relative standing; tournaments; motivation; information-based relative concerns;

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References

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  1. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-28, September.
  2. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
  3. Jim Andreoni & Larry Samuelson, 2003. "Building Rational Cooperation," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000068, www.najecon.org.
  4. Noussair, Charles N & Plott, Charles R & Riezman, Raymond G, 1995. "An Experimental Investigation of the Patterns of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 462-91, June.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cagri S. Kumru & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "The Effect of Status on Charitable Giving," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 709-735, 08.
  7. 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.
  8. Gary E Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 1997. "A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1889, David K. Levine.
  9. Postlewaite, Andrew, 1998. "The social basis of interdependent preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 779-800, May.
  10. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  11. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  13. Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-82, May.
  14. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  15. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status In Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188, February.
  16. Timothy N. Cason & Vai-Lam Mui, 1998. "Social Influence in the Sequential Dictator Game," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-37, Monash University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Catherine Eckel & Rick Wilson, 2007. "Social learning in coordination games: does status matter?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 317-329, September.
  2. Felix Munoz-Garcia, 2008. "Competition for status acquisition in public good games," Working Papers 2008-12, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.

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