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

Date: 2013
By: 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. —
Keywords: giving,reciprocity,social distance,networks, sorting
JEL: C93 D64 L14 O12

Is Giving Equivalent to Not Taking in Dictator Games?

Date: 2013-04
By: Korenok Oleg (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)
Edward L. Millner (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)
Laura Razzolini (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)
We answer the question: Is giving equivalent to not taking? We show that, if giving is equivalent to not taking, impure altruism could account for List’s (2007) finding that the payoff to recipients in a dictator game decreases when the dictator has the option to take. We examine behavior in dictator games with different taking options but equivalent final payoffs. We find that the recipients tend to earn more as the amount the dictator must take to achieve a given final payoff increases. We conclude that not taking is not equivalent to giving and agree with List (2007) that the current social preference models fail to rationalize the observed data.
Keywords: Dictator Game; Impure Altruism; Taking
JEL: C91