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Sharing One's Fortune? An Experimental Study on Earned Income and Giving

  • Tonin, Mirco


    (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)

  • Vlassopoulos, Michael


    (University of Southampton)

In this paper we investigate the relationship between earnings and charitable giving. We set up a real effort experiment, in which subjects enter data in four one-hour occasions and are paid a piece rate. From the second occasion onwards, we randomly assign half of the subjects to a treatment with higher piece rates. At the end we ask subjects whether they want to donate a share of their earnings to a charity of their choice. We find that, despite large differences in earnings due to the different piece rates, subjects receiving the higher piece rate are actually less likely to give, and that givers in the two groups give the same share of their total earnings. Charities receive the same average donation from members of the two groups indicating that subjects in this experiment do not treat charitable giving as a normal good.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7294.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7294
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  4. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2012. "Social Incentives Matter: Evidence from an Online Real Effort Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6716, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri D. Hole & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2005. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1611, CESifo Group Munich.
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  7. Mayo, John W. & Tinsley, Catherine H., 2009. "Warm glow and charitable giving: Why the wealthy do not give more to charity?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 490-499, June.
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  12. Pedro Rey-Biel & Roman Sheremeta & Neslihan Uler, 2011. "(Bad) Luck or (Lack of) Effort?: Comparing Social Sharing Norms between US and Europe," Working Papers 584, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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  14. 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 464-77, June.
  15. Gill, David & Stone, Rebecca, 2009. "Fairness and desert in tournaments," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0903, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
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  17. Ruffle, Bradley J., 1998. "More Is Better, But Fair Is Fair: Tipping in Dictator and Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 247-265, May.
  18. Christina M. Fong, 2007. "Evidence from an Experiment on Charity to Welfare Recipients: Reciprocity, Altruism and the Empathic Responsiveness Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1008-1024, 07.
  19. Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2011. "Relative Earnings and Giving in a Real-Effort Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3330-48, December.
  20. Fredrik Carlsson & Haoran He & Peter Martinsson, 2013. "Easy come, easy go," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 190-207, June.
  21. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  22. Gerald E. Auten & Holger Sieg & Charles T. Clotfelter, 2002. "Charitable Giving, Income, and Taxes: An Analysis of Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 371-382, March.
  23. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  24. Oxoby, Robert J. & Spraggon, John, 2008. "Mine and yours: Property rights in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 703-713, March.
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