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Motives for Sharing in Social Networks

Publication Date:
Jan 2011
Project Programs:
Behavioral Economics

What motivates people in rural villages to share? Using variants of dictator games we measure two preference-related motives for sharing (benevolence and directed altruism), and two incentive-related motives (sanctions and reciprocity). Most sharing in the experiment can be explained by benevolence, but variation in sharing is explained more equally by the two classes of motives. Finally, variation in sharing within the experiment is correlated with observed ‘real-world’ gift-giving, while other motives measured in the experiment don’t seem to be useful in predicting behavior outside the experiment.

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