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Self-Signaling Versus Social-Signaling in Giving

  • Grossman, Zachary

I investigate the relative importance of social-signaling versus self-signaling in driving giving. I derive specific qualitative predictions about how the response of an image-motivated dictator to a change in the probability that her choice will be implemented depends crucially on the information available to the relevant observer. A probabilistic dictator-game experiment tests the joint, relative, and independent effects of self-signaling and social-signaling. The results provide little evidence of self-signaling, but stronger evidence of social-signaling, particularly in a large subsample that excludes likely `selfish types'.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt7320x2cp.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt7320x2cp
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  1. Broberg, Tomas & Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Is generosity involuntary?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 32-37, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Grossman, Zachary, 2010. "Strategic Ignorance and the Robustness of Social Preferences," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt60b93868, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  4. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 990-1008, June.
  5. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  6. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  7. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 35-54, April.
  9. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  10. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context--a field experiment in 30 churches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2301-2323, December.
  11. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sobel, Joel., 1985. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Working Papers 565, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  12. Roland BĂ©nabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence And Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915, August.
  13. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-73, June.
  14. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
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