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Pro-Social Behavior, Reciprocity or Both?

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  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Stephan Meier

Abstract

Empirical evidence is provided for the importance of non-reciprocal pro-social behavior of individuals in an anonymous, n-person pure public good setting. A unique panel data set of 136,000 observations is matched with an extensive survey. Even under anonymous conditions, a large number of individuals are prepared to donate a not insignificant sum of money. Cooperation conditional on giving by specific other persons (reciprocity) is present but the causal relationship is ambiguous. It is crucially important, whether, and in what way, one is asked to donate. Identification with the organization is also important.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 107.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:107

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Keywords: Public Goods; Pro-social behavior; Reciprocity; Donation;

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  1. R. Isaac & Deborah Mathieu & Edward Zajac, 1991. "Institutional framing and perceptions of fairness," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 329-370, September.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Ernst Fehr & Joseph Henrich, 2003. "Is Strong Reciprocity a Maladaptation? On the Evolutionary Foundations of Human Altruism," CESifo Working Paper Series 859, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
  3. Reto Föllmi & Urs Meister, . "Product-Market Competition in the Water Industry: Voluntarily Nondiscriminatory Pricing," IEW - Working Papers 115, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Aleksander Berentsen & Esther Brügger & Simon Lörtscher, . "On Cheating and Whistle-Blowing," IEW - Working Papers 153, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, . "On the Friedman Rule in Search Models with Divisible Money," IEW - Working Papers 155, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Argandoña, Antonio, 2010. "From action theory to the theory of the firm," IESE Research Papers D/855, IESE Business School.
  7. Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2005. "Cooperation under the threat of expulsion in a public goods experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1421-1435, August.
  8. Nava Ashraf & Iris Bohnet & Nikita Piankov, 2004. "Is Trust a Bad Investment?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  9. Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, . "Matching Donations - Subsidizing Charitable Giving in a Field Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 181, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Rosanas, Josep M., 2006. "Beyond economic criteria: A humanistic approach to organizational survival," IESE Research Papers D/654, IESE Business School.

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