SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
() and Magnus Johannesson
Abstract: We develop a simple model of generous behavior. It is
based on the premise that some people are generous, but everyone wants to
appear generous. Although non-monetary donations are always inefficient,
our model predicts donors to favor non-monetary donations when the
inefficiency is relatively small and when the recipient is sufficiently
rich. The model helps to explain the prevalence of volunteering, the nature
of Christmas gifts, and the taboo against paying cash in return for
friendly favors. The model also explains why it is socially more acceptable
to ask for favors than for money.
Keywords: Altruism; Non-monetary gifts; Volunteering; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: A13; J20; (follow links to similar papers)
23 pages, February 1, 2007
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