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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. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
  2. Linardi, Sera & McConnell, Margaret A., 2008. "Volunteering and image concerns," Working Papers 1282, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Ariely, Dan & Bracha, Anat & Meier, Stephan, 2007. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," IZA Discussion Papers 2968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Xiaofei (Sophia) Pan & Daniel Houser, 2011. "Competition for Trophies Triggers Male Generosity," Working Papers 1022, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
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  7. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2004. "Gender and competition at a young age," Framed Field Experiments 00151, The Field Experiments Website.
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  9. 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.
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  14. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
  15. 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.
  16. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  17. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  18. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Generosity, anonymity, gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 42-49, September.
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