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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

Related research

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

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References

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  1. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2005. "What Can Be Learned About Peer Effects Using College Roommates? Evidence From New Survey Data and Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20054, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  2. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Anonymity, Reciprocity, and Conformity: Evidence from Voluntary Contributions to a National Park in Costa Rica," Discussion Papers dp-08-03-efd, Resources For the Future.
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  13. Meer, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 2009. "The impact of athletic performance on alumni giving: An analysis of microdata," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 287-294, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Lambarraa, Fatima & Riener, Gerhard, 2012. "On the norms of charitable giving in Islam: A field experiment," DICE Discussion Papers 59, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  3. Jonathan Meer & Harvey S. Rosen, 2012. "Does Generosity Beget Generosity? Alumni Giving and Undergraduate Financial Aid," NBER Working Papers 17861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Edwards, James T. & List, John A., 2014. "Toward an understanding of why suggestions work in charitable fundraising: Theory and evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-13.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.

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