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Giving and sorting among friends: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment

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  • Binzel, Christine
  • Fehr, Dietmar

Abstract

Among residents of an informal housing area in Cairo, we examine how dictator giving varies by the social distance between subjects - friend versus stranger - and by the anonymity of the dictator. While giving to strangers is high under anonymity, we find - consistent with Leider et al. (2009) - that (i) a decrease in social distance increases giving, (ii) giving to a stranger and to a friend is positively correlated, and (iii) more altruistic dictators increase their giving less under non-anonymity than less altruistic dictators. However, friends are not alike in their altruistic preferences, suggesting that an individual's intrinsic preferences may not necessarily be shaped by his (or her) peers. Instead, reciprocal motives seem important, indicating that social relationships may be valued differently when individuals are financially dependent on them.

Suggested Citation

  • Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Giving and sorting among friends: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-207, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2013207
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1815-1851.
    2. Ben d'Exelle & Arno Riedl, 2010. "Directed generosity and network formation: Network dimension matters," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-15, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    3. Ligon, Ethan & Schechter, Laura, 2012. "Motives for sharing in social networks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 13-26.
    4. Kovarik, Jaromir & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Cobo Reyes, Ramón, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," IKERLANAK 2009-35, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    5. Cox, Donald & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2008. "Extended Family and Kinship Networks: Economic Insights and Evolutionary Directions," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2010. "What Do We Expect from Our Friends?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 120-138, March.
    7. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Cobo-Reyes, Ramón & Espinosa, María Paz & Jiménez, Natalia & Kovárík, Jaromír & Ponti, Giovanni, 2010. "Altruism and social integration," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 249-257, July.
      • Brañas Garza, Pablo & Cobo Reyes, Ramón & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Jiménez, Natalia & Kovarik, Jaromir & Ponti, Giovanni, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," DFAEII Working Papers 2009-35, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
      • Brañas Garza, Pablo & Cobo Reyes, Ramón & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Jiménez, Natalia & Kovarik, Jaromir & Ponti, Giovanni, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," IKERLANAK 2009-35, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    8. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
    9. Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Social distance and trust: Experimental evidence from a slum in Cairo," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 99-106.
    10. Vollan, Björn, 2011. "The difference between kinship and friendship: (Field-) experimental evidence on trust and punishment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 14-25, February.
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    13. Bezu, Sosina & Holden, Stein T., 2013. "Generosity and social distance in dictator game field experiments with and without a face," CLTS Working Papers 1/13, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    14. Jacob K. Goeree & Margaret A. McConnell & Tiffany Mitchell & Tracey Tromp & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "The 1/d Law of Giving," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 183-203, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Batista, Catia & Silverman, Dan & Yang, Dean, 2015. "Directed giving: Evidence from an inter-household transfer experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 2-21.
    2. d'Exelle, Ben & Riedl, Arno, 2016. "Gender differences and social ties effects in resource sharing," Research Memorandum 023, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    3. Ben D’Exelle & Christine Gutekunst & Arno Riedl, 2017. "Gender and bargaining: Experimental evidence from rural Uganda," WIDER Working Paper Series 155, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Lenel, Friederike & Steiner, Susan, 2017. "Insurance and Solidarity: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Cambodia," IZA Discussion Papers 10986, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Farai Jena, 2016. "The remittance behaviour of Kenyan sibling migrants," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    giving; reciprocity; social distance; networks; sorting;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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