The Spirit of Giving: Impure Altruism in Funeral Contracts

In an archival study of 385 funerals, we find that executors spend more on funerals they planned for others than for themselves. Considered with seven experiments addressing selection effects and supernatural, reciprocal, and reputational confounds, we identify the utility of giving itself (“warm-glow”) as the driver of this self-other difference.


Ximena Garcia-Rada, Sarah Whitley, Dan Ariely, and Carey Morewedge (2017) ,"The Spirit of Giving: Impure Altruism in Funeral Contracts ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 45, eds. Ayelet Gneezy, Vladas Griskevicius, and Patti Williams, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 222-227.


Ximena Garcia-Rada, Harvard University, USA
Sarah Whitley, Boston University, USA
Dan Ariely, Duke University, USA
Carey Morewedge, Boston University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 45 | 2017

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