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Individual Preferences for Giving

  • Raymond Fisman

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University)

  • Shachar Kariv

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Daniel Markovits

    (Yale Law School, Yale University)

This paper reports an experimental test of individual preferences for giving. We use graphical representations of modified Dictator Games that vary the price of giving. This generates a very rich data set well- suited to studying behavior at the level of the individual subject. We test the data for consistency with preference maximization, and we recover underlying preferences and forecast behavior using both nonparametric and parametric methods. Our results emphasize that classical demand theory can account surprisingly well for behaviors observed in the laboratory and that individual preferences for giving are highly heterogeneous, ranging from utilitarian to Rawlsian to perfectly selfish.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/game/papers/0504/0504007.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0504007.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 14 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0504007
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 41
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bolton, Gary E, 1991. "A Comparative Model of Bargaining: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1096-136, December.
  3. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  4. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
  5. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which Is The Fair Sex? Gender Differences In Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312, February.
  6. Afriat, Sidney N, 1972. "Efficiency Estimation of Production Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(3), pages 568-98, October.
  7. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
  8. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2002. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," CAM Working Papers 2002-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  9. Cox, J. & Friedman, D. & Gjerstad, S., 2006. "A Trackable Model of Reciprocity and Fairness," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1181, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  10. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  11. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  12. William T. Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Timothy R. Berry, 2001. "GARP for Kids: On the Development of Rational Choice Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1539-1545, December.
  13. Varian, H.R., 1991. "Goodness of Fit for Revealed Preference Tests," Papers 13, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  14. Cox, James C, 1997. "On Testing the Utility Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1054-78, July.
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