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Frey, B. S., Meier, S. (2004). Pro-social behavior in a natural setting. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 54, 65–88

Empirical evidence is provided for the importance of pro-social behavior of individuals in an anonymous, n-person public good setting. A unique panel data set of 136,000 observations is matched with an extensive survey. Even under anonymous conditions, a large number of individuals are prepared to donate quite a significant sum of money. Cooperation conditional on giving by specific other persons is present, but the causal relationship is ambiguous. The  manner in which one is asked to donate is crucial. Identification with the organization, and with specific groups, is also important.

Authors

Frey, Bruno S.

Bruno S. Frey is Full Professor of Economics at the University of Zurich, Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Science at the Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick, UK, and Research Director of CREMA - Centre for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts, Switzerland. He is...

Meier, Stephan

Stephan Meier is an Assistant Professor at Columbia Business School and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision-Making at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Zurich, was previously a senior economist at the Boston Fed...

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