University of Arkansas
Foster, Joshua R.
Essays in Pro-social Behavior.
Degree: PhD, 2014, University of Arkansas
This dissertation examines individuals' actions to improve social outcomes when unrecoverable investments are necessary. Situations involving non-pecuniary and pecuniary investments are considered. In the former, the prerequisite of real effort - a non-pecuniary, unrecoverable investment - is examined when said effort determines an individual's ability to procure their preferred social outcome. Theoretical predictions over an individual's effort provision are based on their revealed preferences for the social distribution of wealth according to the general axiom of revealed preference (GARP). Laboratory experiments reveal that individuals' effort provisions do not support the assumption of stable preferences (transitivity) of wealth distribution. Specifically, individuals who reveal a preference for egalitarian outcomes do not exert enough real effort toward said outcomes when all of the wealth can be distributed directly to them. In the latter, pecuniary situation, auction formats that require all bidders to pay their bid (i.e., all-pay auctions) are studied as a way of funding public goods, specifically in the context of charity auctions. An innovative theoretical variation of the war of attrition is designed. This variation requires bidders to make unrecoverable upfront investments in the auction in order to participate, and the amount of one's investment dictates how much one can potentially bid in the auction. In addition, an empirical analysis of this theoretical variation is provided via laboratory experiments. These experiments seek to highlight the bidder-specific and mechanism-specific characteristics that may lead to greater success in charitable fund-raising. The results suggest that auction mechanisms with an incremental bidding design outperform mechanisms with a lump-sum bidding design.
Advisors/Committee Members: Cary Deck, Amy Farmer, Jeffrey Carpenter.
Subjects/Keywords: Behavioral Economics; Economics; Experimental Economics; Pro-social Behavior; Behavioral Economics
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Foster, J. R. (2014). Essays in Pro-social Behavior. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Arkansas. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/2228
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Foster, Joshua R. “Essays in Pro-social Behavior.” 2014. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Arkansas. Accessed February 17, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Foster, Joshua R. “Essays in Pro-social Behavior.” 2014. Web. 17 Feb 2019.
Foster JR. Essays in Pro-social Behavior. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Arkansas; 2014. [cited 2019 Feb 17].
Available from: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/2228.
Council of Science Editors:
Foster JR. Essays in Pro-social Behavior. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Arkansas; 2014. Available from: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/2228