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Decomposing Altruism - An Experiment to Measure Motivations for Giving by Demographic Group

Mayo, Robert (2017): Decomposing Altruism - An Experiment to Measure Motivations for Giving by Demographic Group.

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Abstract

I conduct an on-line experiment to decompose giving in a dictator game into amounts motivated by pure altruism and amounts motivated by the warm glow of giving as defined in Andreoni (1989). By manipulating the price of benefit to the recipient while holding the price of the act of giving constant, I estimate separate values for giving motivated by warm glow and giving motivated by pure altruism,. I find significant evidence of both pure altruism and warm glow as motivations for the amounts sent to an anonymous recipient. However, I also find a large gender difference in the motivation for giving. Females are significantly less sensitive to the price of benefit to the recipient than are males, suggesting females are motivated relatively more by warm glow and relatively less by pure altruism, while men display the opposite behavior.

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