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On the relation between impulses to help and causes of neediness: An experimental study

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  • Buitrago, Gelkha
  • Gueth, Werner
  • Levati, Maria Vittoria

Abstract

A novel two-person "charity game", related to the "Samaritan's Dilemma" [Buchanan, J.M., 1975. The samaritan's dilemma. In: Phelps, E.S. (Ed.), Altruism, Morality and Economic Theory. Russel Sage Foundation, New York, pp. 71-85], is used to experimentally investigate the relation between helpers' behavior and poor recipients' reaction to aid. We distinguish two treatments differing in whether the causes of neediness are verifiable or not. Helping behavior does not vary significantly between treatments, but is positively correlated with dictator giving, suggesting idiosyncratic attitudes to help. Needy subjects are unaffected by anticipated help, but react optimally to chance.

Suggested Citation

  • Buitrago, Gelkha & Gueth, Werner & Levati, Maria Vittoria, 2009. "On the relation between impulses to help and causes of neediness: An experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 80-88, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:80-88
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lübbe, Ingmar & Bolle, Friedel, 2011. "Who helps whom? Risk taking and solidarity in a virtual world experiment," Discussion Papers 310, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    2. Rousu, Matthew C. & Baublitz, Sara J., 2011. "Does perceived unfairness affect charitable giving? Evidence from the dictator game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 364-367, August.
    3. Costard, Jano & Bolle, Friedel, 2011. "Solidarity, responsibility and group identity," Discussion Papers 309, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.

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