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Decomposing desert and tangibility effects in a charitable giving experiment

Reinstein, David and Riener, Gerhard (2012) 'Decomposing desert and tangibility effects in a charitable giving experiment.' Experimental Economics, 15 (1). pp. 229-240. ISSN 1386-4157

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Abstract

Several papers have documented that when subjects play with standard laboratory “endowments” they make less self-interested choices than when they use money they have either earned through a laboratory task or brought from outside the lab. In the context of a charitable giving experiment we decompose this into two common artifacts of the laboratory: the intangibility of money (or experimental currency units) promised on a computer screen relative to cash in hand, and the distinct treatment of random “windfall” gains relative to earned money. While both effects are found to be significant in non-parametric tests, the former effect, which has been neglected in previous studies, has a stronger impact on total donations, while the latter effect has a greater impact on the probability of donating. These results have clear implications for experimental design, and also suggest that the availability of more abstract payment methods may increase other-regarding behavior in the field.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: House money effect; Experimental methodology; Tangibility; Public goods; Charitable giving; Individu
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2012 14:33
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2013 15:27
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2942

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