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Ambiguity and excuse-driven behavior in charitable giving

Thomas Garcia (), Sébastien Massoni () and Marie Claire Villeval ()
Additional contact information
Thomas Garcia: Univ Lyon, Université Lumière Lyon 2, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France; QuBE - School of Economics and Finance, QUT, Brisbane, Australia
Sébastien Massoni: QuBE - School of Economics, Finance and Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, QUT, Brisbane, Australia

No 1826, Working Papers from Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon

Abstract: A donation may have ambiguous costs or ambiguous benefits. In a laboratory experiment, we show that individuals use this ambiguity strategically as a moral wiggle room to behave less generously without feeling guilty. Such excuse-driven behavior is more pronounced when the costs of a donation -rather than its benefits- are ambiguous. However, the importance of excuse-driven behavior is comparable under ambiguity and under risk. Individuals exploit any type of uncertainty as an excuse not to give, regardless of the nature of this uncertainty.

Keywords: Ambiguity; excuse-driven behavior; charitable giving; social preferences; experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D64 D81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-upt
Date: 2018
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