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Competition for Trophies Triggers Male Generosity

Author

Listed:
  • Xiaofei (Sophia) Pan

    () (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

  • Daniel Houser

    () (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

Abstract

Cooperation is indispensable in human societies, and much progress has been made towards understanding human pro-social decisions. Formal incentives, such as punishment, are suggested as potential effective approaches despite the fact that punishment can crowd out intrinsic motives for cooperation and detrimentally impact efficiency. At the same time, evolutionary biologists have long recognized that cooperation, especially food sharing, is typically efficiently organized in groups living on wild foods, even absent formal economic incentives. Despite its evident importance, the source of this voluntary compliance remains largely uninformed. Drawing on costly signaling theory, and in light of the widely established competitive nature of males, we hypothesize that unique and displayable rewards (trophies) out of competition may trigger male generosity in competitive social environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaofei (Sophia) Pan & Daniel Houser, 2011. "Competition for Trophies Triggers Male Generosity," Working Papers 1022, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1022
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    File URL: http://www.gmu.edu/schools/chss/economics/icesworkingpapers.gmu.edu/pdf/1022.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kellner, Christian & Reinstein, David & Riener, Gerhard, 2015. "Stochastic income and conditional generosity," DICE Discussion Papers 197, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    2. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/336 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9485-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gary Charness & David Masclet & Marie Claire Villeval, 2014. "The Dark Side of Competition for Status," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(1), pages 38-55, January.
    5. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:1:p:397-408 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:esx:essedp:762 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:bri:cmpowp:14/336 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Clingingsmith, David & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "Status and the Demand for Visible Goods: Experimental Evidence on Conspicuous Consumption," MPRA Paper 68202, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Daniel Jones & Sera Linardi, 2014. "Wallflowers: Experimental Evidence of an Aversion to Standing Out," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(7), pages 1757-1771, July.
    10. Tor Eriksson & Lei Mao & Marie Claire Villeval, 2017. "Saving face and group identity," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(3), pages 622-647, September.
    11. Xiaofei Pan & Daniel Houser, 2011. "Social Approval, Competition, and Cooperation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000299, David K. Levine.
    12. Fabio Galeotti & Daniel Zizzo, 2014. "What happens if you single out? An experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(3), pages 703-729, October.
    13. Christian Kellner & David Reinstein & Gerhard Riener, 2017. "Conditional generosity and uncertain income: Evidence from five experiments," Discussion Papers 1707, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    14. repec:pit:wpaper:485 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Leonie Gerhards & Neele Siemer, 2014. "Private versus Public Feedback - The Incentive Effects of Symbolic Awards," Economics Working Papers 2014-01, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    16. Leonie Gerhards & Neele Siemer, 2016. "The Impact Of Private And Public Feedback On Worker Performance—Evidence From The Lab," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1188-1201, April.
    17. Jingping Li & Yohanes E. Riyanto, 2017. "Category Reporting In Charitable Giving: An Experimental Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 397-408, January.

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    Keywords

    cooperation; competition; gender; trophy; evolution;

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