Warm-Glow Giving and Freedom to be Selfish


Economic Journal

août 2017, vol. 127, n°603, pp.1381–1409

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision

Warm-glow refers to prosocial behaviour that causes the actor to experience positive feelings, apart from its social implications. We study an individual who enjoys taking a prosocial action that incurs a private cost because such actions improve his social image. A private cost obtains only in the presence of a more selfish option, implying a preference for freedom to behave selfishly. We provide behavioural foundations for this model by building upon the experimental findings on motivation crowding out. Our theory distinguishes between warm-glow and other motivations for giving, and subsumes Andreoni’s (1989, 1990) model of public good provision