University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 50
44 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2011 Last revised: 18 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 5, 2015
Extensive research in economics explores generosity in monetary allocations. However, generosity often involves the allocation of non-monetary goods or experiences. Existing evidence suggests that generosity may be higher in such contexts, though no direct comparison exists. Here, we compare generosity in decisions that vary whether allocations are monetary or non-monetary. In two experiments, generosity is significantly higher in non-monetary contexts. Thus, the typical monetary laboratory dictator game may underestimate generosity in many non-laboratory contexts where allocations are non-monetary. We find weaker relationships between individuals’ allocation decisions across monetary and non-monetary contexts than for allocations that hold constant the monetary nature of the context.
Keywords: Altruism, generosity, non-monetary, harm, experiment
JEL Classification: D03, D64, C91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Davis, Alexander L. and Jehli, Nadja R. and Miller, John H. and Weber, Roberto A., Generosity Across Contexts (March 5, 2015). University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 50. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1969403 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1969403