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Gift Giving. Your last gift. What was the last gift you received (money counts)? Who gave it to you (parent, grandparent, friend)? What would you estimate.

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Presentation on theme: "Gift Giving. Your last gift. What was the last gift you received (money counts)? Who gave it to you (parent, grandparent, friend)? What would you estimate."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gift Giving

2 Your last gift. What was the last gift you received (money counts)? Who gave it to you (parent, grandparent, friend)? What would you estimate the price the person paid to buy it? What is the minimum you would have to spend to buy something that would give you the same non-sentimental enjoyment? On what? Why do you value or not value this gift?

3 Waldfogel 1993 asked a similar question. “… amount of cash such that you are indifferent between the gift and the cash, not counting the sentimental value of the gift." Price range% yieldStandard error N $0-$2585.85.6102 $26-$5074.43.482 $51-$10089.84.247 Over $10088.54.247 Overall83.92.8246 Average yield of non-cash gifts.

4 Todd’s last gift From the university, for our success. I have to choose from –A mixed case of Hardy’s Riddles wine. –Two bottles of Champagne. –The special “Fairtrade” Chocolate Hamper. –“The Nature of Britian” by Alan Titchmarch –“Saving Planet Earth” by Tony Juniper –Donation of £25 to St. Petrock’s charity for the homeless or the University Foundation Fund.

5 Waldfogel concluded that Dead weight loss between $4 billion and $13 billion for xmas gifts.

6 Deadweight loss. Initial endowment After gift For same price could have had. Loss

7 Three questions Types of givers: –Aunts/uncles, parents, friends, grandparents, siblings, significant others. Who gave the most (or least) expensive gifts? Who gave the highest (or lowest) yield? Who was most (or least) likely to give cash?

8 Who gave what. Who gavePrice paidYield% cash Parent$135.6087%10% Grandparent$75.9063%42% Aunt/Uncle$64.6064%14% Sibling$28.3086%6% Friend$25.3099%6% Significant Other$25.4092%0%

9 Why is there gift giving? Take a minute to discuss with you neighbor as to why people give gifts. Reasons: 1.Pleasant to receive /give 2.Tradition, locked in. Obligation. 3.Gift exchange. 4.Repayment for loss/pain caused. 5.Reward. 6.Can pretend to give more than you actually do. 7.Self image to giver.

10 Why? Psychological reasons and economic reasons. Why is there a psychological value? Shouldn’t “evolution” get rid of it? There is an economic loss to gift giving. Could it ever make economic sense? Could it ever make sense to give a gift rather than money?

11 Reasons for valuing the gift. Reason# /155 The gift showed a lot of thought50 Wanted but felt shouldn’t buy it for self50 Wanted but never remembered to buy22 Wouldn’t have wanted to shop for it.20 Wouldn’t have bought but may grow to appreciate it. 19 Giver has better taste than oneself.18 Item is not readily available13 You didn’t know this item was available6

12 Some economic reasons Insurance: weddings, hunter-gatherers. Intergenerational loan. Paternalistic. Is this economic? Search: –Giver has better taste than oneself. –Item is not readily available –You didn’t know this item was available –Wouldn’t have wanted to shop for it. –Wanted but never remembered to buy

13 Todd Kaplan and Bradley Ruffle (2007) "Here's something you never asked for, didn't know existed, and can't easily obtain: A search model of gift giving". Motivation claim that gift giving is welfare reducing rests on 2 (unrealistic) assumptions: 1) gift recipients possess full information as to whereabouts of goods they desire 2) gift recipients are able to obtain such goods costlessly Kaplan and Ruffle (KR) break with this literature by relaxing these assumptions: 1) they add uncertainty about the existence & location of goods and 2) search costs to resolve this uncertainty importance of search-cost savings in modern gift giving can be heard in common expressions of gratitude upon receipt of a gift: "where did you find it? I've looked all over for this item."

14 Simplified Model There is a giver and a receiver. The giver is at a store and has to decide whether or not to buy a gift for the receiver. The receiver would have to spend c to visit the store. The gift costs p to purchase. There is an α chance of the good having value v (>p) to the receiver (otherwise it is worth 0).

15 Two ways of getting the good If the receiver travels to the store, the social benefit is α (v-p)-c If the giver buys the good for the receiver, the social benefit is α v-p When is gift buying better than shopping? α v-p> α (v-p)-c Or c>(1- α )p Thus, we have gift giving if c>(1- α )p and α v>p

16 Interpretation of requirements Gifts when c>(1- α )p and α v>p Grandmother effect: when α is low, give cash since α v0>buy, gg>buy>0, buy>0>gg, buy>gg>0

17 Why not trade? Can’t the giver simply make a profit buying from the store and selling to the receiver? In such a case, the receiver would only buy the good if it is worth v (with probability α). The receiver would not be willing to purchase the good for a price of v. That would leave him indifferent. Go back to (c,v,p,α)=(1,2,1,.6). If the giver spends 1, at a sales price of 2, he would on average receive 1.2 for a profit of.2. How much must he get to make a profit?

18 Why not trade? We can interpret our model as an information acquisition model. The giver knows more than the about the good. The giver knows this is something the receiver potential wants (with prob α ). The giver may at other times see other products with lower α. The cost c is what it costs for the receiver to learn whether it is something he wants. Trade would not solve this basic problem, since the receiver would still have to spend c and without doing so the giver would have incentive to push unwanted products. (The stereo/car/fashion salesman.)

19 Need to go to lab

20 Signalling in the Lab: Treatment 1 Payoffs: Proposer, Responder FleeFight Beer (Strong)$2.00, $1.25$1.20, $0.75 Quiche (Strong)$1.00, $1.25$0.20, $0.75 Beer (Weak)$1.00, $0.75$0.20, $1.25 Quiche (Weak)$2.00, $0.75$1.20, $1.25 For a strong proposer, (Beer, flee)> (Beer, fight)>(Quiche, flee)>(Quiche, fight). For a weak proposer, (Quiche, flee)>(Quiche, fight)>(Beer, flee)>(Beer, fight). Strong chooses Beer and Weak chooses Quiche

21 Signalling in the Lab: Treatment 1 Payoffs: Proposer, Responder FleeFight Beer (Strong)$2.00, $1.25$1.20, $0.75 Quiche (Strong)$1.00, $1.25$0.20, $0.75 Beer (Weak)$1.00, $0.75$0.20, $1.25 Quiche (Weak)$2.00, $0.75$1.20, $1.25 Responder now knows that Beer is the choice of the strong type and Quiche is the choice of the weak type. For Beer he flees, for Quiche he fights.

22 Signalling in the Lab: Treatment 1 Payoffs: Proposer, Responder FleeFight Beer (Strong)$2.00, $1.25$1.20, $0.75 Quiche (Strong)$1.00, $1.25$0.20, $0.75 Beer (Weak)$1.00, $0.75$0.20, $1.25 Quiche (Weak)$2.00, $0.75$1.20, $1.25 So the equilibrium is For strong, (Beer, Flee) For weak, (Quiche, Fight) This is called a separating equilibrium. Any incentive to deviate?

23 Signalling in the Lab: Treatment 1 Payoffs: Proposer, Responder FleeFight Beer (Strong)$2.00, $1.25$1.20, $0.75 Quiche (Strong)$1.00, $1.25$0.20, $0.75 Beer (Weak)$1.00, $0.75$0.20, $1.25 Quiche (Weak)$2.00, $0.75$1.20, $1.25 What did you do? In the last 5 rounds, there were 32 Strong and 13 Weak proposers 13 32

24 Treatment 2. Payoffs: Proposer, Responder FleeFight Beer (Strong)$1.40, $1.25$0.60, $0.75 Quiche (Strong)$1.00, $1.25$0.20, $0.75 Beer (Weak)$1.00, $0.75$0.20, $1.25 Quiche (Weak)$1.40, $0.75$0.60, $1.25 Can we have a separating equilibrium here?. If the proposer is weak, he can choose Beer and get $1.00 instead of $0.60.

25 Treatment 2. Payoffs: Proposer, Responder FleeFight Beer (Strong)$1.40, $1.25$0.60, $0.75 Quiche (Strong)$1.00, $1.25$0.20, $0.75 Beer (Weak)$1.00, $0.75$0.20, $1.25 Quiche (Weak)$1.40, $0.75$0.60, $1.25 Can we have a separating equilibrium here?. If the proposer is weak, he can choose Beer and get $1.00 instead of $0.60.

26 Treatment 2. Payoffs: Proposer, Responder FleeFight Beer (Strong)$1.40, $1.25$0.60, $0.75 Quiche (Strong)$1.00, $1.25$0.20, $0.75 Beer (Weak)$1.00, $0.75$0.20, $1.25 Quiche (Weak)$1.40, $0.75$0.60, $1.25 Can choosing Beer independent of being strong or weak be an equilibrium? Yes! The responder knows there is a 2/3 chance of being strong, thus flees. This is called a pooling equilibrium.

27 Treatment 2. Payoffs: Proposer, Responder FleeFight Beer (Strong)$1.40, $1.25$0.60, $0.75 Quiche (Strong)$1.00, $1.25$0.20, $0.75 Beer (Weak)$1.00, $0.75$0.20, $1.25 Quiche (Weak)$1.40, $0.75$0.60, $1.25 Did we have a pooling equilibrium? In the last 5 rounds there were 34 strong proposers and 11 weak proposers. Do you think there is somewhat to help the pooling equilibrium to form? 30 4 8 3

28 Treatment 2. Payoffs: Proposer, Responder FleeFight Beer (Strong)$1.40, $1.25$0.60, $0.75 Quiche (Strong)$1.00, $1.25$0.20, $0.75 Beer (Weak)$1.00, $0.75$0.20, $1.25 Quiche (Weak)$1.40, $0.75$0.60, $1.25 At Texas A&M, the aggregate numbers were shown. In the last 5 periods, 23 proposers were strong and 17 weak. 23 3 14

29 Signalling game Spence got the Nobel prize in 2001 for this. There are two players: A and B. Player A is either strong or weak. –Player B will chose one action (flee) if he knows player A is strong –and another action (fight) if he knows player A is weak. Player A can send a costly signal to Player B (in this case it was to drink beer).

30 Signal For signalling to have meaning, –we must have either cost of the signal higher for the weak type. –Or the gain from the action higher for the strong type.

31 Types of equilibria Separating. –Strong signal –Weak don’t signal. Pooling. –Strong and weak both send the signal.

32 Types of equilibria The types of player A are s and w. Let us normalize the value to fleeing as 0. The values are Vs and Vw. The cost to signalling (drinking beer) are Cs and Cw. We get a separating equilibria if Vs-Cs>0 and Vw-Cw<0. We get a pooling equilibria if Vs-Cs<0 and Vw- Cw<0 (no one signals). We may also get a pooling equilibria if Vs-Cs>0 and Vw-Cw>0 and there are enough s types.

33 How does this relate to gift giving? Basically, you get someone a gift to signal your intent. American Indian tribes, a ceremony to initiate relations with another tribe included the burning of the tribe’s most valuable possession,

34 Courtship gifts. Dating Advice. Advice 1: never take such advice from an economist. Advice 2.: –Say that there is someone that is a perfect match for you. You know this, they just haven’t figured it out yet. –Offer to take them to a really expensive place. –It would only make sense for you to do this, if you knew that you would get a relationship out of it. –That person should then agree to go.

35 Valentine’s Day Who bought a card, chocolate, etc? We are forced to spend in order to signal that we “really” care. Say that you are either serious or not serious about your relationship. If your partner knew you were not serious, he or she would break up with you. A card is pretty inexpensive, so both types buy it to keep the relationship going. Your partner keeps the relationship since there is a real chance you are serious. No real information is gained, but if you didn’t buy the card, your partner would assume that you are not serious and break up with you.

36 Higher value and/or Lower Cost Higher value You buy someone a gift to signal that you care. Sending a costly signal means that they mean a lot to you. For someone that doesn’t mean so much, you wouldn’t buy them such a gift. Lower cost The person knows you well. Shopping for you costs them less. They signal that they know you well.

37 Other types of signalling in the world University Education. Showing up to class. Praying. Mobile phone for Orthodox Jews Poker: Raising stakes (partial). Peacock tails. Limit pricing.


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