Motives for Sharing in Social Networks

46 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011 Last revised: 30 Nov 2011

See all articles by Ethan A. Ligon

Ethan A. Ligon

University of California, Berkeley; Giannini Foundation

Laura Schechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics; University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics

Date Written: November 30, 2011

Abstract

What motivates people in rural villages to share? We first elicit a baseline level of sharing using a standard, anonymous dictator game. Then using variants of the dictator game that allow for either revealing the dictator's identity or allowing the dictator to choose the recipient, we attribute variation in sharing to three di erent motives. The first of these, directed altruism, is related to preferences, while the remaining two are incentive-related (sanctions and reciprocity). We observe high average levels of sharing in our baseline treatment, while variation across individuals depends importantly on the incentive-related motives. Finally, variation in measured reciprocity within the experiment predicts observed `real-world' gift-giving, while other motives measured in the experiment do not predict behavior outside the experiment.

Keywords: experiment, altruism, reciprocity, risk-sharing

JEL Classification: C92, C93, D03, D64, D85, O17

Suggested Citation

Ligon, Ethan A. and Schechter, Laura, Motives for Sharing in Social Networks (November 30, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1763920 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1763920

Ethan A. Ligon

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

207 Giannini Hall #3310
Berkeley, CA 94720-3310
United States

Giannini Foundation

UC Davis
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Laura Schechter (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

427 Lorch St.
Madison, WI 53706-1503
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics ( email )

William H. Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

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