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Wallflowers Doing Good: Field and Lab Evidence of Heterogeneity in Reputation Concerns

  • Daniel Jones

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh)

  • Sera Linardi

    ()

    (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), University of Pittsburgh
    Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh)

An extensive literature on reputation signaling has focused on the desire for positive reputation. In our paper we provide field and lab evidence that some individuals are averse to any form of reputation; this aversion correlates with gender in a prosocial setting. We formalize our hypotheses of these “wallflower” types in a theoretical model. Our experimental results are consistent with the model’s prediction that wallflowers will deflect unwanted attention by signaling that they are an “average altruism type” relative to their audience. Our findings suggest caution in using public observation to incentivize intrinsically motivated behavior among females.

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File URL: http://www.linardi.gspia.pitt.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Wallflowers_JonesLinardi2012.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 485.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:485
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  1. 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 544-55, March.
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  5. James Andreoni & Eleanor Brown & Isaac C. Rischall, 1999. "Charitable Giving by Married Couples: Who Decides and Why Does it Matter?," Department of Economics Working Papers 1999-07, McMaster University.
  6. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Anonymity, Reciprocity, and Conformity: Evidence from Voluntary Contributions to a National Park in Costa Rica," Discussion Papers dp-08-03-efd, Resources For the Future.
  7. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
  8. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mellström, Carl & Johannesson, Magnus, 2005. "Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?," Working Papers in Economics 180, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2008.
  10. Linardi, Sera & McConnell, Margaret A., 2008. "Volunteering and image concerns," Working Papers 1282, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Generosity, anonymity, gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 42-49, September.
  13. Linardi, Sera & McConnell, Margaret A., 2011. "No excuses for good behavior: Volunteering and the social environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 445-454.
  14. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2007. "Public Observability of Decisions and Voluntary Contributions in a Multiperiod Context," Public Finance Review, , vol. 35(2), pages 176-198, March.
  15. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  16. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 1999. "Collective action as a social exchange," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 341-369, July.
  17. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context--a field experiment in 30 churches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2301-2323, December.
  18. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
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