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To give or not to give? Equity, efficiency and altruistic behavior in an artefactual field experiment

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  • Pelligra, Vittorio
  • Stanca, Luca

Abstract

We investigate the relative importance of the equity and efficiency motives for altruistic behavior using an artefactual field experiment. A set of binary dictator games is implemented within a telephone survey conducted with a representative sample of adults. The results indicate that, overall, equity plays a more important role than efficiency for the decision to give. Relative to the general population, young individuals are less concerned with inequality, while individuals with higher education are more concerned with social welfare. This indicates that lab experiments, generally implemented with young and educated university students, may lead to overestimate the importance of efficiency, relative to equity, as a determinant of altruistic behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Pelligra, Vittorio & Stanca, Luca, 2013. "To give or not to give? Equity, efficiency and altruistic behavior in an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:46:y:2013:i:c:p:1-9
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2013.05.015
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    2. van Rijn, Jordan & Quinones, Esteban J. & Barham, Bradford L., 2017. "An Experimental Test of Gender Differences in Charitable Giving: Empathy Is at the Heart of the Matter," Staff Paper Series 586, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    3. Becchetti, Leonardo & Pelligra, Vittorio, 2014. "Information & belief elicitation effects on charitable giving: An artefactual field experiment," AICCON Working Papers 132-2014, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    4. Frigau, Luca & Medda, Tiziana & Pelligra, Vittorio, 2019. "From the field to the lab. An experiment on the representativeness of standard laboratory subjects," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 160-169.
    5. Cécile Bazart & Dimitri Dubois & Kate Farrow & Lisette Ibanez & Alain Marciano & Nathalie Moureau & Rustam Romaniuc & Julie Rosaz & Sébastien Roussel, 2017. "NORMES : NORmes sociales, Motivations Externes et internes, et politiques publiqueS," Working Papers hal-02938187, HAL.
    6. Laurent Denant-Boemont & Matthieu Leprince & Matthieu Pourieux, 2019. "Distributive Preferences of Public Representatives: A Field-in-the-Lab Experiment," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2019-05-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
    7. Leonardo Becchetti & Vittorio Pelligra & Tommaso Reggiani, 2017. "Information, belief elicitation and threshold effects in the 5X1000 tax scheme: a framed field experiment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(6), pages 1026-1049, December.
    8. van Rijn, Jordan & Barham, Bradford & Sundaram-Stukel, Reka, 2016. "An Experimental Approach to Comparing Similarity- and Guilt-Based Charitable Appeals," Staff Paper Series 584, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    9. van Rijn, Jordan & Barham, Bradford & Sundaram-Stukel, Reka, 2017. "An experimental approach to comparing similarity- and guilt-based charitable appeals," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 25-40.
    10. Leonardo Becchetti & Vittorio Pelligra, 2014. "Information and belief elicitation effects on charitable giving: An artefactual field experiment," CEIS Research Paper 306, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 Feb 2014.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism; Equity; Efficiency; Field experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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