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Abstract

What motivates people in rural villages to share? We first elicit a baseline level of sharing using a standard, anonymous dictator game. Then using variants of the dictator game that allow for either revealing the dictator's identity or allowing the dictator to choose the recipient, we attribute variation in sharing to three different motives. The first of these, directed altruism, is related to preferences, while the remaining two are incentive-related (sanctions and reciprocity). We observe high average levels of sharing in our baseline treatment, while variation across individuals depends importantly on the incentive-related motives. Finally, variation in measured reciprocity within the experiment predicts observed `real-world' gift-giving, while other motives measured in the experiment do not predict behavior outside the experiment.

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