Generosity Across Contexts
Alexander L. Davis
affiliation not provided to SSRN
John H. Miller
Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences
Roberto A. Weber
University of Zurich - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
November 1, 2011
University of Zurich Working Paper No. 50
Extensive research in economics explores generosity in monetary allocations, while generosity in non-laboratory contexts often involves the allocation of consumption goods or non-monetary harm. Psychological evidence suggests that generosity may be higher in such contexts. We compare generosity in decisions that vary whether allocations are monetary or non-monetary, and whether they involve utility gains or losses. In two experiments, generosity is higher in non monetary contexts. Thus, the typical monetary laboratory Dictator game may underestimate generosity in many non-laboratory contexts. We find a weak relationship between individuals’ allocation decisions in monetary and non monetary contexts, but a strong relationship within monetary contexts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Altruism, generosity, harm, experiment
JEL Classification: D03, D64, C91working papers series
Date posted: December 7, 2011
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