Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/121167
Authors: 
Kellner, Christian
Reinstein, David
Riener, Gerhard
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
DICE Discussion Paper 197
Abstract: 
We study how other-regarding behavior extends to environments with uncertain income and conditional commitments. Should fundraisers ask a banker to donate "if he earns a bonus" or wait and ask after the bonus is known? Standard EU theory predicts these are equivalent; loss-aversion and signaling models both predict a larger commitment before the bonus is known; theories of affect predict the reverse. In field and lab experiments, we allow people to donate from lottery winnings, varying whether they decide before or after learning the lottery's outcome. Males are more generous when making conditional donations before knowing the outcome, while females' donations are unaffected. Males also commit more in treatments where income is certain but the donation's collection is uncertain. This supports a signaling explanation: it is cheaper to commit to donate before the uncertainty is unresolved, thus a larger donation is required to maintain a positive image. This has implications for experimental methodology, for fundraisers, and for our understanding of pro-social behavior.
Subjects: 
social preferences
contingent decision-making
signaling
uncertainty
prospect theory
affective state
gender
charitable giving
public goods
experiments
field experiments
bonuses
JEL: 
D64
C91
L30
D01
D84
ISBN: 
978-3-86304-196-0
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.