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Pro-Social Behavior, Reciprocity or Both?

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  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Stephan Meier

Abstract

Empirical evidence is provided for the importance of non-reciprocal pro-social behavior of individuals in an anonymous, n-person pure public good setting. A unique panel data set of 136,000 observations is matched with an extensive survey. Even under anonymous conditions, a large number of individuals are prepared to donate a not insignificant sum of money. Cooperation conditional on giving by specific other persons (reciprocity) is present but the causal relationship is ambiguous. It is crucially important, whether, and in what way, one is asked to donate. Identification with the organization is also important.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, "undated". "Pro-Social Behavior, Reciprocity or Both?," IEW - Working Papers 107, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:107
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    Cited by:

    1. Ashraf, Nava & Bohnet, Iris & Piankov, Nikita, 2003. "Is Trust a Bad Investment?," Working Paper Series rwp03-047, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Berentsen Aleksander & Rocheteau Guillaume, 2003. "On the Friedman Rule in Search Models with Divisible Money," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, December.
    3. Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "Matching Donations - Subsidizing Charitable Giving in a Field Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 181, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Aleksander Berentsen & Esther Br�gger & Simon L�rtscher, "undated". "On Cheating and Whistle-Blowing," IEW - Working Papers 153, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2005. "Cooperation under the threat of expulsion in a public goods experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1421-1435, August.
    6. Ernst Fehr & Joseph Henrich, 2003. "Is Strong Reciprocity a Maladaptation? On the Evolutionary Foundations of Human Altruism," CESifo Working Paper Series 859, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Argandoña, Antonio, 2010. "From action theory to the theory of the firm," IESE Research Papers D/855, IESE Business School.
    8. Josep Rosanas, 2008. "Beyond Economic Criteria: A Humanistic Approach to Organizational Survival," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 78(3), pages 447-462, March.
    9. Rosanas, Josep M., 2006. "Beyond economic criteria: A humanistic approach to organizational survival," IESE Research Papers D/654, IESE Business School.
    10. Reto Foellmi & Urs Meister, 2005. "Product-Market Competition in the Water Industry: Voluntary Non-discriminatory Pricing," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 115-135, June.
    11. Dannenberg, Astrid, 2009. "The dispersion and development of consumer preferences for genetically modified food -- A meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2182-2192, June.
    12. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, "undated". "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior - Testing �Conditional Cooperation� in a Field Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 162, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Goods; Pro-social behavior; Reciprocity; Donation;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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