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Strassmair, Christina (20. March 2009): Can intentions spoil the kindness of a gift? - An experimental study. Discussion Papers in Economics 2009-4




Consider a situation where person A undertakes a costly action that benefits person B. This behavior seems altruistic. However, if A expects a reward in return from B, then A's action may be motivated by the expected rewards rather than by pure altruism. The question we address in this experimental study is how B reacts to the intentions of A. We vary the probability, with which the second mover in a trust game can reciprocate, and analyze effects on second mover behavior. Our results suggest that the perceived kindness and its rewards are not spoiled by expected rewards.