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Motives for sharing in social networks

  • Ligon, Ethan


    (University of California, Berkeley. Dept of agricultural and resource economics)

  • Schechter, Laura

    (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

What motivates people in rural villages to share? We first elicit a baseline level of sharing using a standard, anonymous dictator game. Then using variants of the dictator game that allow for either revealing the dictator's identity or allowing the dictator to choose the recipient, we attribute variationin sharing to three different motives. The first of these, directed altruism, is related to preferences, while the remaining two are incentive-related(sanctions and reciprocity). We observe high average levels of sharing in ourbaseline treatment, while variation across individuals depends importantlyon the incentive-related motives. Finally, variation in measured reciprocity within the experiment predicts observed 'real-world' gift-giving, while other motives measured in the experiment do not predict behavior outside the experiment.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy in its series CUDARE Working Paper Series with number 1120.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:are:cudare:1120
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  1. Laura Schechter & Ethan Ligon, 2013. "Structural Experimentation to Distinguish between Models of Risk Sharing with Frictions," 2013 Meeting Papers 174, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  6. Laura Schechter, 2007. "Theft, Gift-Giving, and Trustworthiness: Honesty Is Its Own Reward in Rural Paraguay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1560-1582, December.
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  9. Michael R. Carter & Marco Castillo, 2011. "Trustworthiness and Social Capital in South Africa: Analysis of Actual Living Standards Data and Artifactual Field Experiments," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 695 - 722.
  10. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2009. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," NBER Working Papers 15629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 3046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1815-1851, November.
  17. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  18. Raymond Fisman & Shachar Kariv & Daniel Markovits, 2005. "Individual Preferences for Giving," Game Theory and Information 0504007, EconWPA.
  19. 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.
  20. Richard A. Posner, 1979. "A Theory of Primitive Society with Special Reference to Law," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 7, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  21. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 209-244.
  23. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
  24. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
  25. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "Testing Theories of Fairness - Intentions Matter," IEW - Working Papers 063, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  26. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1992. "Solidarity Networks in Preindustrial Societies: Rational Peasants with a Moral Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 147-74, October.
  27. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
  28. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
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