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Brother, can you spare a dime? Peer pressure in charitable solicitation

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  • Meer, Jonathan

Abstract

While the effects of peer pressure in charitable giving have been of considerable interest to social scientists, there is little empirical evidence on the magnitude of these effects. A correlation between giving or volunteering by one's peers and one's own giving can be driven by self-selection into groups, common shocks that inspire both the solicitor to ask and the individual to give, or social influence. Using data from a university, this paper analyzes whether alumni are more likely to give and give larger amounts when they are solicited by someone with whom they have social ties. Freshman year roommate assignments and the structure of the university's giving campaigns are used to overcome problems of selection and common shocks. Social ties play a strong causal role in the decision to donate and the average gift size. Additionally, a solicitor's request is much more effective if he or she shares characteristics, such as race, with the alumnus being solicited.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 926-941

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7-8:p:926-941

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Charitable giving Peer effects Social pressure Funding of higher education;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kimberley Ann Scharf & Sarah Smith, 2014. "Relational Warm Glow and Giving in Social Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 4879, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Meer, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 2012. "Does generosity beget generosity? Alumni giving and undergraduate financial aid," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 890-907.
  3. Lambarraa, Fatima & Riener, Gerhard, 2012. "On the Norms of Charitable Giving in Islam: A Field Experiment," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126795, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. James T. Edwards & John A. List, 2013. "Toward an Understanding of why Suggestions Work in Charitable Fundraising: Theory and Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 19665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Castillo, Marco & Petrie, Ragan & Wardell, Clarence, 2014. "Fundraising through online social networks: A field experiment on peer-to-peer solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 29-35.
  6. David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2013. "Can You Spare Some Change For Charity? Experimental Evidence On Verbal Cues And Loose Change Effects In A Dictator Game," Working Papers 1318, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.
  7. Naroditskiy, Victor & Stein, Sebastian & Tonin, Mirco & Tran-Thanh, Long & Vlassopoulos, Michael & Jennings, Nicholas R., 2014. "Referral Incentives in Crowdfunding," IZA Discussion Papers 7995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Jonathan Meer & Oren Rigbi, 2012. "Transactions Costs and Social Distance in Philanthropy: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Papers 1205, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  9. Ayako Wakano & Hiroyuki Yamada & Daichi Shimamoto, 2014. "Does the heterogeneity of project implementers affect the program participation of beneficiaries? : Evidence from rural Cambodia," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-21, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  10. Scharf, Kimberley & Smith, Sarah, 2014. "Relational Warm Glow and Giving in Social Groups," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 193, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  11. Meer, Jonathan, 2014. "Effects of the price of charitable giving: Evidence from an online crowdfunding platform," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 113-124.
  12. Sarah Smith & Kimberley Scharf, 2014. "Relational Warm Glow and Giving in Social Groups," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 13/327, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

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