Giving and Sorting Among Friends: Evidence from a Lab-in-The-Field Experiment

11 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2013

See all articles by Christine Binzel

Christine Binzel

Heidelberg University - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics

Dietmar Fehr

Heidelberg University - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics

Abstract

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: social distance, reciprocity, giving, networks, sorting

JEL Classification: C93, D64, L14, O12

Suggested Citation

Binzel, Christine and Fehr, Dietmar, Giving and Sorting Among Friends: Evidence from a Lab-in-The-Field Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7516, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2314811 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2314811

Christine Binzel (Contact Author)

Heidelberg University - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics ( email )

Bergheimer Straße 58
Heidelberg, 69115
Germany

Dietmar Fehr

Heidelberg University - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics ( email )

Grabengasse 14
Heidelberg, D-69117
Germany

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