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Generosity across contexts

Author

Listed:
  • Alexander L. Davis
  • Nadja R. Jehli
  • John H. Miller
  • Roberto A. Weber

Abstract

Extensive research in economics explores generosity in monetary allocations. However, generosity often involves the allocation of non-monetary goods or experiences. Existing evidence suggests that generosity may be higher in such contexts, though no direct comparison exists. Here, we compare generosity in decisions that vary whether allocations are monetary or non-monetary. In two experiments, generosity is significantly higher in non-monetary contexts. Thus, the typical monetary laboratory dictator game may underestimate generosity in many non-laboratory contexts where allocations are non-monetary. We find weaker relationships between individuals’ allocation decisions across monetary and non-monetary contexts than for allocations that hold constant the monetary nature of the context.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander L. Davis & Nadja R. Jehli & John H. Miller & Roberto A. Weber, 2011. "Generosity across contexts," ECON - Working Papers 050, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Mar 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:050
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism; generosity; non-monetary; harm; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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