IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/journl/hal-02548954.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Ambiguity and excuse-driven behavior in charitable giving

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Garcia

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France)

  • Sébastien Massoni

    (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

A donation may have ambiguous costs or ambiguous benefits. Behavior in a laboratory experiment suggests that individuals use this ambiguity strategically as a moral wiggle room to act less generously without feeling guilty. Such excuse-driven behavior is more pronounced when the costs of a donation -rather than its benefits- are ambiguous. However, the importance of excuse-driven behavior is comparable under ambiguity and under risk. Individuals exploit any type of uncertainty as an excuse not to give, regardless of the nature of this uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Garcia & Sébastien Massoni & Marie Claire Villeval, 2020. "Ambiguity and excuse-driven behavior in charitable giving," Post-Print hal-02548954, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02548954
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103412
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02548954
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ola Andersson & Håkan J. Holm & Jean-Robert Tyran & Erik Wengström, 2016. "Deciding for Others Reduces Loss Aversion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(1), pages 29-36, January.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    3. Freundt, Jana & Lange, Andreas, 2017. "On the determinants of giving under risk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 24-31.
    4. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    5. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    6. Haisley, Emily C. & Weber, Roberto A., 2010. "Self-serving interpretations of ambiguity in other-regarding behavior," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 614-625, March.
    7. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
    8. Andreas Ortmann & Ralph Hertwig, 2002. "The Costs of Deception: Evidence from Psychology," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(2), pages 111-131, October.
    9. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-319, June.
    10. Pollmann, Monique M.H. & Potters, Jan & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2014. "Risk taking by agents: The role of ex-ante and ex-post accountability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 387-390.
    11. Soo Hong Chew & Bin Miao & Songfa Zhong, 2017. "Partial Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1239-1260, July.
    12. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Aurelien Baillon & Laetitia Placido & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 695-723, April.
    13. Sujoy Chakravarty & Glenn W. Harrison & Ernan E. Haruvy & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2011. "Are You Risk Averse over Other People's Money?," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 77(4), pages 901-913, April.
    14. Elena Cettolin & Arno Riedl & Giang Tran, 2017. "Giving in the face of risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 95-118, December.
    15. Zachary Grossman & Joël J. van der Weele, 2017. "Self-Image and Willful Ignorance in Social Decisions," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 173-217.
    16. Saucet, Charlotte & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "Motivated memory in dictator games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 250-275.
    17. Kristoffer Eriksen & Ola Kvaløy, 2010. "Do financial advisors exhibit myopic loss aversion?," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 24(2), pages 159-170, June.
    18. Jack Stecher & Timothy Shields & John Dickhaut (deceased), 2011. "Generating Ambiguity in the Laboratory," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(4), pages 705-712, April.
    19. John R. Hamman & George Loewenstein & Roberto A. Weber, 2010. "Self-Interest through Delegation: An Additional Rationale for the Principal-Agent Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1826-1846, September.
    20. Michal Krawczyk & Fabrice Le Lec, 2010. "‘Give me a chance!’ An experiment in social decision under risk," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(4), pages 500-511, December.
    21. Krawczyk, Michał, 2019. "What should be regarded as deception in experimental economics? Evidence from a survey of researchers and subjects," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 110-118.
    22. Christine L. Exley, 2015. "Excusing Selfishness in Charitable Giving: The Role of Risk," Discussion Papers 15-013, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    23. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant, 2018. "It's Not A Lie If You Believe It. Lying and Belief Distortion Under Norm-Uncertainty," PPE Working Papers 0012, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    24. Charlotte Saucet & Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Motivated memory in dictator games," Post-Print halshs-02193604, HAL.
    25. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2011. "Uncertainty Equivalents: Testing the Limits of the Independence Axiom," NBER Working Papers 17342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Bock, Olaf & Baetge, Ingmar & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2014. "hroot: Hamburg Registration and Organization Online Tool," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 117-120.
    27. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    28. Charlotte Saucet & Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Motivated Memory in Dictator Games," Working Papers halshs-01981626, HAL.
    29. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
    30. 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.
    31. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    32. J. Michelle Brock & Andreas Lange & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2013. "Dictating the Risk: Experimental Evidence on Giving in Risky Environments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 415-437, February.
    33. König-Kersting, Christian & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2016. "Ambiguity attitudes in decisions for others," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 126-129.
    34. Dana, Jason & Cain, Daylian M. & Dawes, Robyn M., 2006. "What you don't know won't hurt me: Costly (but quiet) exit in dictator games," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 193-201, July.
    35. Kota Saito, 2013. "Social Preferences under Risk: Equality of Opportunity versus Equality of Outcome," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 3084-3101, December.
    36. 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 653-660, June.
    37. Cooper, David J., 2014. "A Note on Deception in Economic Experiments," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 111-114, August.
    38. Stephan Meier & Charles D. Sprenger, 2015. "Temporal Stability of Time Preferences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 273-286, May.
    39. 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.
    40. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Christine L. Exley & Judd B. Kessler, 2019. "Motivated Errors," NBER Working Papers 26595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Claire Rimbaud & Alice Soldà, 2021. "Avoiding the Cost of your Conscience: Belief Dependent Preferences and Information Acquisition," Working Papers 2114, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    3. Danae Arroyos-Calvera & Rebecca McDonald & Daniel Read & Bruce Rigal, 2020. "Unpacking moral wiggle room: Information preferences and not information itself predict generosity," Discussion Papers 20-19, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    4. Claire Rimbaud & Alice Soldà, 2021. "Avoiding the Cost of your Conscience: Belief Dependent Preferences and Information Acquisition," Working Papers 2114, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    5. Abhinash Borah, 2021. "Moral Hypocrisy in Social Preferences," Working Papers 53, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.
    6. Cyril Atkinson-Clement & Eléonore Pigalle, 2021. "What can we learn from Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on human behaviour? The case of France’s lockdown," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 1-12, December.
    7. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Kovářík, Jaromír & Lopez-Martin, Maria del Carmen, 2020. "No moral wiggles in e5 and e1,000 dictator games under ambiguity," MPRA Paper 98132, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Comportements (non) éthiques et stratégies morales," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 70(6), pages 1021-1046.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Engel, Christoph & Goerg, Sebastian J., 2018. "If the worst comes to the worst: Dictator giving when recipient’s endowments are risky," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 51-70.
    2. Breitmoser, Yves & Vorjohann, Pauline, 2018. "Welfare-Based Altruism," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 89, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    3. Sebastian Olschewski & Marius Dietsch & Elliot A. Ludvig, 2019. "Anti-social motives explain increased risk aversion for others in decisions from experience," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 14(1), pages 58-71, January.
    4. Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Comportements (non) éthiques et stratégies morales," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 70(6), pages 1021-1046.
    5. Elena Cettolin & Arno Riedl & Giang Tran, 2017. "Giving in the face of risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 95-118, December.
    6. Dorian Jullien, 2016. "Under Uncertainty, Over Time and Regarding Other People: Rationality in 3D," GREDEG Working Papers 2016-20, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    7. Tim Kraft & León Valdés & Yanchong Zheng, 2018. "Supply Chain Visibility and Social Responsibility: Investigating Consumers’ Behaviors and Motives," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 20(4), pages 617-636, October.
    8. Snir, Avichai, 2014. "When choosing to be almost certain of winning can be better than choosing to win with certainty," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 135-146.
    9. Danae Arroyos-Calvera & Rebecca McDonald & Daniel Read & Bruce Rigal, 2020. "Unpacking moral wiggle room: Information preferences and not information itself predict generosity," Discussion Papers 20-19, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    10. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth, 2013. "Selfishness As a Potential Cause of Crime. A Prison Experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    11. Bartling, Björn & Engl, Florian & Weber, Roberto A., 2014. "Does willful ignorance deflect punishment? – An experimental study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 512-524.
    12. García-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Ruiz-Martos, María J., 2019. "The Heaven Dictator Game: Costless taking or giving," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    13. Campos-Mercade, Pol & Meier, Armando N. & Schneider, Florian H. & Wengström, Erik, 2021. "Prosociality predicts health behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 195(C).
    14. Leder, Johannes & Betsch, Tilmann, 2016. "Risky choice in interpersonal context: Do people dare because they care?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-23.
    15. Matteo M. Galizzi & Daniel Navarro-Martinez, 2019. "On the External Validity of Social Preference Games: A Systematic Lab-Field Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(3), pages 976-1002, March.
    16. Gauriot, Romain & Heger, Stephanie A. & Slonim, Robert, 2020. "Altruism or diminishing marginal utility?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 24-48.
    17. Bartling, Björn & Grieder, Manuel & Zehnder, Christian, 2017. "Competitive pricing reduces wasteful counterproductive behaviors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 34-47.
    18. Sean Fahle & Santiago I. Sautua, 2021. "How do risk attitudes affect pro-social behavior? Theory and experiment," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 101-122, July.
    19. Ernesto Mesa-Vázquez & Ismael Rodriguez-Lara & Amparo Urbano, 2019. "Standard vs random dictator games. The effect of role uncertainty on generosity," ThE Papers 20/05, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    20. Rustichini, Aldo & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "Moral hypocrisy, power and social preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 10-24.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Excuse-driven behavior; Charitable giving; Social preferences; Experiment; Ambiguity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02548954. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: CCSD (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.