The 1/d law of giving

Jacob K. Goeree, Margaret A. McConnell, Tiffany Mitchell, Tracey Tromp, Leeat Yariv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations


We combine survey data on friendship networks and individual characteristics with experimental observations from dictator games. Dictator offers are primarily explained by social distance, giving follows a simple inverse distance law. While student demographics play a minor role in explaining offer amounts, individual heterogeneity is important for network formation. In particular, we detect significant homophilous behavior; students connect to others similar to themselves. Moreover, the network data reveal a strong preference for cliques, students connect to those already close. The study is one of the first to identify network architecture with individual behavior in a strategic context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-203
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Microeconomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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    Goeree, J. K., McConnell, M. A., Mitchell, T., Tromp, T., & Yariv, L. (2010). The 1/d law of giving. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 2(1), 183-203.