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Altruism and Donations

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  • Sao-Wen Cheng

    ()

  • Andreas Wagener

Abstract

We examine two types of altruism and their implications for voluntary giving. Philanthropists are altruists who wish to enhance the well-being of others, while individuals with merit-good preferences only wish to further the consumption of certain merit goods by others. Philanthropic donors prefer to make cash donations, while donors with merit-good preferences prefer to give in kind. The equilibrium of a donations-game with a philanthropic donor and recipients is efficient, while the equilibrium of a game with a single donor with merit-good preferences is not. Both equilibria are inefficient if there are multiple donors with strategic interaction amongst them.

Suggested Citation

  • Sao-Wen Cheng & Andreas Wagener, 2000. "Altruism and Donations," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 92-00, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  • Handle: RePEc:sie:siegen:92-00
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    File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-siegen.de/vwl/repec/sie/papers/92-00.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
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    3. Maria Racionero, 2000. "Optimal Redistribution with Unobservable Preferences for an Observable Merit Good," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(4), pages 479-501, August.
    4. Bernheim, B Douglas & Bagwell, Kyle, 1988. "Is Everything Neutral?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 308-338, April.
    5. Takayama,Akira, 1985. "Mathematical Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521314985.
    6. Besley, Timothy, 1988. "A simple model for merit good arguments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 371-383, April.
    7. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    8. Peltzman, Sam, 1973. "The Effect of Government Subsidies-in-Kind on Private Expenditures: The Case of Higher Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(1), pages 1-27, Jan.-Feb..
    9. Smith, Vincent H. & Kehoe, Michael R. & Cremer, Mary E., 1995. "The private provision of public goods: Altruism and voluntary giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 107-126, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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