Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Does Competition Affect Giving?

Duffy and Kornienko (2009) ask Does Competition Affect Giving?
Charities often devise fund-raising strategies that exploit natural human competitiveness in combination with the desire for public recognition. We explore whether institutions promoting competition can affect altruistic giving - even when possibilities for public acclaim are minimal. In a controlled laboratory experiment based on a sequential “dictator game”, we find that subjects tend to give more when placed in a generosity tournament, and tend to give less when placed in an earnings tournament - even if there is no award whatsoever for winning the tournament. Further we find that subjects’ experimental behavior correlates with their responses to a post-experiment questionnaire, particularly questions addressing altruistic and rivalrous behavior. Based on this evidence, we argue that behavior in our experiment is driven, in part, by innate competitive motives.

1 comment:

Kevin Denny said...

Interesting..personally I find the ostentatious giving of charity (see glossy society magazines for examples) to be odious in the extreme.