Revealed Altruism

37 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2008

See all articles by James C. Cox

James C. Cox

Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Daniel Friedman

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Vjollca Sadiraj

Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 1, 2005

Abstract

Abstract. This paper develops a theory of revealed preferences over one's own and others' monetary payoffs. We introduce "more altruistic than" (MAT), a partial ordering over preferences, and interpret it with known parametric models. We also introduce and illustrate "more generous than" (MGT), a partial ordering over opportunity sets. Several recent discussions of altruism focus on two player extensive form games of complete information in which the first mover (FM) chooses a more or less generous opportunity set for the second mover (SM). Here reciprocity can be formalized as the assertion that an MGT choice by the FM will elicit MAT preferences in the SM and, fur thermore, that the effect on preferences is stronger for acts of commision than acts of ommision by FM. We state and prove propositions on the observable consequences of these assertions. Then we test those propositions using existing data from investment games with dictator controls and Stackelberg games and new data from Stackelberg mini-games. The test results provide support for the theory of revealedaltruism.

Suggested Citation

Cox, James C. and Friedman, Daniel and Sadiraj, Vjollca, Revealed Altruism (November 1, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1283955 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1283955

James C. Cox (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Daniel Friedman

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Vjollca Sadiraj

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

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