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Does Competition Affect Giving? An Experimental Study

Author

Listed:
  • John Duffy

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Tatiana Kornienko

    (University of Stirling)

Abstract

We explore whether natural human competitiveness can be exploited to stimulate charitable giving in a controlled laboratory experiment involving three different treatments of a sequential ``dictator game.'' Without disclosing the actual amounts given and kept, in each period players are publicly ranked -- by the amount they give away, by the amount they keep for themselves, or spuriously. Our results are generally supportive of the hypothesis that competitive urges can encourage or frustrate altruistic behavior, depending on the competitive frame. We find some support for an alternative hypothesis that relative concerns are due to information-gathering rather than competition.

Suggested Citation

  • John Duffy & Tatiana Kornienko, 2005. "Does Competition Affect Giving? An Experimental Study," Experimental 0508002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0508002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 44
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/exp/papers/0508/0508002.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    6. Gary E Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 1997. "A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1889, David K. Levine.
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    8. Cagri S. Kumru & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "The Effect of Status on Charitable Giving," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 709-735, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Catherine Eckel & Rick Wilson, 2007. "Social learning in coordination games: does status matter?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(3), pages 317-329, September.
    2. Félix Muñoz-García, 2011. "Competition for status acquisition in public good games," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 549-567, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator game; repeated decisions; charitable giving; altruistic behavior; competitive altruism; status; relative standing; tournaments; motivation; information-based relative concerns;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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