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Motives of pro-social behavior in individual versus collective decisions – a comparative experimental study

  • Ivo Bischoff

    ()

    (University of Kassel)

  • Thomas Krauskopf

    ()

    (University of Kassel)

We investigate the motives of pro-social behavior in collective decisions in an economic experiment. It compares individual behavior in private and collective decisions in a unified experimental setup. Subjects are given an individual endowment and have to decide how much of it to donate to charity. The experiment is combined with two long questionnaires that provide us with background information on subjects and enables us to learn more about the motives driving their behavior. Contrary to theoretical predictions, the distribution of amounts donated individually is remarkably similar to the distribution of amounts proposed for collective donation. In regressions, we find individual donations to be driven by consequentialist motives, social norms and moral convictions. In collective decisions, neither the motiverelated variables nor any of the control variables are found significant. Comparing subjects’ affective state before and after the experiment, we find that individual donations create a feeling of warm glow while collective donations do not. On the other hand, the change in affective state in the collective decision is higher the higher the amount proposed for the collective donation. This pattern is consistent with expressive motives.

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File URL: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/19-2013_bischoff.pdf
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Paper provided by Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) in its series MAGKS Papers on Economics with number 201319.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in
Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201319
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  1. Klor, Esteban F. & Shayo, Moses, 2010. "Social identity and preferences over redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 269-278, April.
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  8. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1645-1664, July.
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  12. Ivo Bischoff & Henrik Egbert, 2010. "Social information and bandwagon behaviour in voting: an economic experiment," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201005, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  13. Shayo, Moses & Harel, Alon, 2012. "Non-consequentialist voting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 299-313.
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  15. Blanchet, Didier & Fleurbaey, Marc, 2006. "Selfishness, altruism and normative principles in the economic analysis of social transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  16. Bischoff, Ivo & Heinemann, Friedrich & Hennighausen, Tanja, 2013. "What Makes Me See Inequality as Just?," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 133(1), pages 1-21.
  17. Ivo Bischoff & Björn Frank, 2011. "Good news for experimenters: Subjects are hard to influence by instructorsʹ cues," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(4), pages 3221-3225.
  18. Konow, James, 2010. "Mixed feelings: Theories of and evidence on giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 279-297, April.
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  21. Borgloh, Sarah & Dannenberg, Astrid & Aretz, Bodo, 2010. "Small is beautiful: Experimental evidence of donors' preferences for charities," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-052, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  22. Korenok Oleg & Edward L. Millner & Laura Razzolini, 2010. "Impure Altruism in Dictators’ Giving," Working Papers 1002, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2011.
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