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Social desirability, approval and public good contribution

Author

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  • Daniel John Zizzo

    (University of East Anglia)

  • Piers Fleming

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

Behaviour in public good experiments is usually attributed partly to rational self-interest and partly to social norms and preferences. This paper examines if sensitivity to social desirability affects public good contribution and in what way. A pre-experimental measure of social desirability (SDS17) was used to match partners in a two-person public good game. Half the participants received experimenter approval based upon their investment. Contrary to predictions, the highest public good investment was by low social desirability participants in the approval condition. Social desirability was not positively related to pro-social behaviour. We consider its relation to experimental and social conformity.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel John Zizzo & Piers Fleming, 2009. "Social desirability, approval and public good contribution," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 09-11, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:09-11
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    File URL: https://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/166500/14307614/CBESS-09-11.pdf/d705978d-b8d8-4a1e-8538-5c35d71eb7f2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    2. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
    3. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
    4. Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
    5. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
    6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    7. M Perugini & J H W Tan & D J Zizzo, 2010. "Which is the More Predictable Gender? Public Good Contribution and Personality," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 15(1), pages 83-110, March.
    8. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
    9. Daniel Zizzo, 2003. "Verbal and Behavioral Learning in a Probability Compounding Task," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 54(4), pages 287-314, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bereket Kebede & Daniel John Zizzo, 2011. "Envy and Agricultural Innovation: An Experimental Case Study from Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-06, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    2. Koch, Christian, 2013. "The Virtue Ethics Hypothesis: Is there a nexus between virtues and well-being?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80054, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Zizzo, Daniel John & Fleming, Piers, 2011. "Can experimental measures of sensitivity to social pressure predict public good contribution?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 239-242, June.

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