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The 1/d Law of Giving

Author

Listed:
  • Jacob K. Goeree
  • Margaret A. McConnell
  • Tiffany Mitchell
  • Tracey Tromp
  • Leeat Yariv

Abstract

We combine survey data on friendship networks and individual characteristics with experimental observations from dictator games. Dictator offers are primarily explained by social distance, giving follows a simple inverse distance law. While student demographics play a minor role in explaining offer amounts, individual heterogeneity is important for network formation. In particular, we detect significant homophilous behavior; students connect to others similar to themselves. Moreover, the network data reveal a strong preference for cliques, students connect to those already close. The study is one of the first to identify network architecture with individual behavior in a strategic context. (JEL D44, H82)

Suggested Citation

  • Jacob K. Goeree & Margaret A. McConnell & Tiffany Mitchell & Tracey Tromp & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "The 1/d Law of Giving," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 183-203, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:2:y:2010:i:1:p:183-203 Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.2.1.183
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charness, Gary & haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2001. "Social Distance and Reciprocity: The Internet vs. the Laboratory," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3dt073wb, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-869.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
    4. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1815-1851.
    5. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Social Incentives in the Workplace," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 417-458.
    6. Skreta, Vasiliki & Veldkamp, Laura, 2009. "Ratings shopping and asset complexity: A theory of ratings inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 678-695.
    7. Arun Sundararajan, 2004. "Local Network Effects and Network Structure," Industrial Organization 0412011, EconWPA.
    8. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Leeat Yariv, 2008. "Similarity and Polarization in Groups," Working Papers 08-27, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    9. David Marmaros & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "How Do Friendships Form?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 79-119.
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    11. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 153-174.
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    13. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1019-1053, October.
    14. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
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    16. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • H82 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Property

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