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The Social Norm of Tipping: A Review

Author

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  • Ofer H. Azar

    (Northwestern University)

Abstract

Tipping is an important phenomenon, both because of its economic magnitude and because of the insights it suggests about economic behavior in general. It is closely related to several areas in economics, including labor economics, industrial organization, social economics, behavioral economics, and public policy. Unfortunately, no published article integrates and synthesizes the research on tipping. This makes it hard for scholars to get an overview of this research area without reading dozens of articles. The purpose of this article is therefore to give the readers the state of the art in the research on tipping. In addition to summarizing and synthesizing the previous research on tipping, the article includes many original ideas and suggests topics for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "The Social Norm of Tipping: A Review," Others 0309006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0309006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ruffle, Bradley J., 1998. "More Is Better, But Fair Is Fair: Tipping in Dictator and Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 247-265, May.
    2. Conlin, Michael & Lynn, Michael & O'Donoghue, Ted, 2003. "The norm of restaurant tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 297-321, November.
    3. Azar, Ofer H., 2004. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve?: The case of tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-64, May.
    4. Ofer H. Azar, 2004. "Optimal Monitoring with External Incentives: The Case of Tipping," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 170-181, July.
    5. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "Tipping: The Economics of a Social Norm," Labor and Demography 0309002, EconWPA.
    6. Bodvarsson, Orn B. & Gibson, William A., 1994. "Gratuities and customer appraisal of service: Evidence from Minesota restaurants," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 287-302.
    7. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    8. Lynn, Michael & Grassman, Andrea, 1990. "Restaurant tipping: an examination of three 'rational' explanations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 169-181, June.
    9. Ofer Azar, 2005. "The Social Norm of Tipping: Does it Improve Social Welfare?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 85(2), pages 141-173, August.
    10. Ruffle, Bradley J., 1999. "Gift giving with emotions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 399-420, July.
    11. Jacob, Nancy L & Page, Alfred N, 1980. "Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization: The Buyer Monitoring Case," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 476-478, June.
    12. Lynn, Michael & Zinkhan, George M & Harris, Judy, 1993. " Consumer Tipping: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 478-488, December.
    13. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "The implications of tipping for economics and management," Others 0309002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Lynn, Michael & McCall, Michael, 2000. "Gratitude and gratuity: a meta-analysis of research on the service-tipping relationship," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 203-214.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why Do We Still Tip?
      by ? in Pacific Standard. Smart Journalism. Real Solutions. on 2013-11-07 00:00:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Azar, Ofer H., 2011. "Business strategy and the social norm of tipping," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 515-525, June.
    2. Holland, Steven J., 2009. "Tipping as risk sharing," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 641-647, August.
    3. Azar, Ofer H., 2004. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve?: The case of tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-64, May.
    4. Ofer H. Azar & Yossi Tobol, 2008. "Tipping as a Strategic Investment in Service Quality: An Optimal-Control Analysis of Repeated Interactions in the Service Industry," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 246-260, July.
    5. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "The implications of tipping for economics and management," Others 0309002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Saunders, Stephen G. & Lynn, Michael, 2010. "Why tip? An empirical test of motivations for tipping car guards," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 106-113, February.
    7. Lynn, Michael & Jabbour, Patrick & Kim, Woo Gon, 2012. "Who uses tips as a reward for service and when? An examination of potential moderators of the service–tipping relationship," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 90-103.
    8. Lynn, Michael, 2015. "Service gratuities and tipping: A motivational framework," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 74-88.
    9. Azar, Ofer H., 2009. "Tipping motivations and behavior in the US and Israel," MPRA Paper 20304, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Matthew Parrett, 2011. "Customer Discrimination in Restaurants: Dining Frequency Matters," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 87-112, June.
    11. Parrett, Matt, 2015. "Beauty and the feast: Examining the effect of beauty on earnings using restaurant tipping data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 34-46.
    12. Azar, Ofer H., 2004. "The history of tipping--from sixteenth-century England to United States in the 1910s," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 745-764, December.
    13. Parrett, Matt, 2011. "Do people with food service experience tip better?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 464-471.
    14. Mary Gatta, 2009. "Restaurant servers, tipping, and resistance," Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(1/2), pages 70-82, March.
    15. Ofer Azar, 2009. "Incentives and service quality in the restaurant industry: the tipping-service puzzle," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(15), pages 1917-1927.
    16. Azar, Ofer H., 2006. "Tipping, firm strategy, and industrial organization," MPRA Paper 4485, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tipping; Social norms; Consumer behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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