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The purpose of this report is to review one of the classical experimental works written by Andreoni and Miller AM, named as Giving according to GARP: an experimental test of the consistency of preferences for Altruism. In this paper, basing on modified dictator game outcomes the authors research the consistency and rationality of altruistic behavior and comes up with the most important conclusion that altruism is consistent preference and can be captured in standard economic models

In the section 1, I review the main content of the paper, including experimental design, checking rationality, estimating preferences, prediction, jealous preferences. Section 2 suggests some implications and outside-laboratory applications derived from the experiment outcomes both by the authors and my personal ideas. Section 3 will discuss on weakness of the models both on microeconomic side and experimental side and illustrate how to solve these problems. Section 4 is a final conclusion.

In conclusion, in my perspective, A&M’s paper could be placed an important position for two points of views. Firstly, their experiments are the simplest and most influential generalization of dictator game that is exploited in a great deal of other works. Secondly, the outcomes provide a strong argument that classical theory can totally account well for altruistic behaviors of laboratory agents. Following that, the CES utility function provides a good estimation for the collected data. Thirdly, the authors conclude that individual preferences are heterogeneous, ranging from perfectly selfish, Rawlsian and utilitarian and they should be investigated at individual level.

Besides the contribution above, I argue that there remain many questionable problems in their works. Some of them, e.g., which relate to experimental design, have been solved by other works whereas, others, particularly which are theoretical frameworks, are still open. An implicit assumption in this paper is linear and smooth budget constraint; however, for example, if income also depends on price, the non-linear budget should be taken into consideration. Or a more general question is that among many hypothesis, including social preferences, such as inequality aversion, altruism; interdependent preferences, intention based reciprocity and axiomatic approach, which can provide the best interpretation for economic phenomena, which work best on the collected data?

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