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Generosity across contexts

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

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 050.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision: Mar 2015
Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:050
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