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

  • Binzel, Christine
  • Fehr, Dietmar

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.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior with number SP II 2013-207.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2013207
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  1. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1992. "Solidarity Networks in Preindustrial Societies: Rational Peasants with a Moral Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 147-74, October.
  2. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Mobius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "What Do We Expect from Our Friends?," Microeconomics Working Papers 23053, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  3. Mobius, Markus & Do, Quoc-Anh & Leider, Stephen & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," Scholarly Articles 3054685, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Riedl Arno & Exelle Ben d, 2010. "Directed Generosity and Network Formation: Network Dimension Matters," Research Memorandum 065, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  5. Kovarik, Jaromir & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Cobo Reyes, Ramón, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," DFAEII Working Papers 2009-05, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    • 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Ligon, Ethan & Schechter, Laura, 2012. "Motives for sharing in social networks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 13-26.
  8. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2001. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, And The Family: Evidence From Transfer Behavior In Low-Income Rural Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 389-407, August.
  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. Cox, Donald & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2008. "Extended Family and Kinship Networks: Economic Insights and Evolutionary Directions," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  11. 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.
  12. 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, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  13. 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.
  14. Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Cobo Reyes, Ramón & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni, 2006. "Altruism in the (Social) Network," DFAEII Working Papers 2006-04, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    • 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.
  15. Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Cynthia Kinnan & Horacio Larreguy, 2014. "Social Networks as Contract Enforcement: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field," NBER Working Papers 20259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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