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Article
Explanations of Service Gratuities and Tipping: Evidence from Individual Differences in Tipping Motivations and Tendencies
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (2015)
  • Michael Lynn
Abstract
Consumers often give service workers gifts of money in the form of tips. Desires to help servers, reward service, buy future service, buy social status/esteem, avoid social sanctions, and fulfill internalized social obligations have all been proposed as possible explanations for this behavior, but surprisingly little research has documented the effects of these desires/motives. Results of an online survey indicate that self-reported individual differences in each of these motives for tipping predict the likelihood of tipping, uncertainty about the general likelihood of tipping, and/or tip sizes among those who tip. Results also indicate that the effects of future-service and duty motives on tipping likelihood vary across service occupations and that duty motives have opposite effects on the likelihood of tipping and on the size of tip left by those who do tip – increasing the former while decreasing the latter. Finally, results indicate that reward, altruistic, and esteem motives for tipping are positively related to attitude toward tipping while avoidance and duty motives for tipping are negatively related to attitude toward tipping. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed along with directions for future research.
Keywords
  • tipping,
  • social norms,
  • motivation
Publication Date
April, 2015
Publisher Statement
Required Publisher Statement
© Wiley. Final version published as: Lynn, W. M. (2015). Explanations of service gratuities and tipping: Evidence from individual differences in tipping motivations and tendencies. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 55, 65-71. doi:10.1016/j.socec.2015.01.002
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Citation Information
Lynn, W. M. (2015). Explanations of service gratuities and tipping: Evidence from individual differences in tipping motivations and tendencies [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/x