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Revealed Altruism

  • Cox, James C.
  • Friedman, Daniel
  • Sadiraj, Vjollca

This pap er develops a theory of revealed preferences over oneís own and othersímonetary payo§s. We intro duce ìmore altruistic thanî(MAT), a partial ordering over preferences, and interpret it with known parametric mo dels. We also intro duce and illustrate ìmore generous thanî (MGT), a partial ordering over opp ortunity sets. Several recent discussions of altruism fo cus on two player extensive form games of complete information in which the Örst mover (FM) cho oses a more or less generous opp ortunity set for the second mover (SM). Here recipro city can b e formalized as the assertion that an MGT choice by the FM will elicit MAT preferences in the SM and, fur- thermore, that the e§ect on preferences is stronger for acts of commision than acts of ommision by FM. We state and prove prop ositions on the observable consequences of these assertions. Then we test those prop ositions using exist- ing data from investment games with dictator controls and Stackelb erg games and new data from Stackelb erg mini-games. The test results provide supp ort for the theory of revealed altruism.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt6rb5t4mc.

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Date of creation: 14 Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt6rb5t4mc
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  1. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, . "Direct Tests of Models of Social Preferences and a New Model," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-13, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Jul 2010.
  2. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, . "A Theory of Reciprocity," IEW - Working Papers 006, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  5. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  6. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
  8. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  9. 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.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Sonnemans, Joep & Dijk, Frans van & Winden, Frans van, 2006. "On the dynamics of social ties structures in groups," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 187-204, April.
  12. James Cox & Daniel Friedman & Steven Gjerstad, 2004. "A Tractable Model of Reciprocity and Fairness," Experimental 0406001, EconWPA.
  13. Ronald Bosman & Frans van Winden, 2002. "Emotional Hazard in a Power-to-take Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 147-169, January.
  14. Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Renner, Elke, 2000. "The moonlighting game: An experimental study on reciprocity and retribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 265-277, June.
  15. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2001. "Stackelberg Beats Cournot: On Collusion and Efficiency in Experimental Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 749-65, October.
  17. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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