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Altruism, equity and reciprocity in a gift-exchange experiment: An encompassing approach
Charness, Gary; Haruvy, Ernan
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
Considerable experimental evidence suggests that non-pecuniary motivesmust be addressed when modeling behavior in economic contexts. Recentmodels of non-pecuniary motives can be classified as either altruism-based, equity-based, or reciprocity-based. We estimate and compareleading approaches in these categories, using experimental data. Wethen offer a flexible approach that nests the above three approaches,thereby allowing for nested hypothesis testing and for determiningthe relative strength of each of the competing theories. In addition,the encompassing approach provides a functional form for utility in different settings without the restrictive nature of the approaches nested within it. Using this flexible form for nested tests, we findthat intentional reciprocity, distributive concerns, and altruisticconsiderations all play a significant role in players' decisions.
Behavioral and Experimental Economics
inequality aversion
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