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To give or not to give? Equity, efficiency and altruistic behavior in an artefactual field experiment

Vittorio Pelligra and Luca Stanca ()

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2013, vol. 46, issue C, 1-9

Abstract: We investigate the relative importance of the equity and efficiency motives for altruistic behavior using an artefactual field experiment. A set of binary dictator games is implemented within a telephone survey conducted with a representative sample of adults. The results indicate that, overall, equity plays a more important role than efficiency for the decision to give. Relative to the general population, young individuals are less concerned with inequality, while individuals with higher education are more concerned with social welfare. This indicates that lab experiments, generally implemented with young and educated university students, may lead to overestimate the importance of efficiency, relative to equity, as a determinant of altruistic behavior.

Keywords: Altruism; Equity; Efficiency; Field experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C78 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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