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How Sunday, price, and social norms influence donation behaviour

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  • Martin, Richard
  • Randal, John

Abstract

We describe a natural field experiment investigating donation behaviour. The setting was an art gallery where donations could be deposited into a transparent box in the foyer. Two aspects of the donation environment were manipulated: signs on the donation box and the initial contents of the box. We used three sign treatments: a control with no sign, a sign that thanked donors, and a sign that indicated donations would be matched. We used two initial contents treatments: one with relatively little money ($50) and one with four times as much. The average donation per donor was significantly larger in the $200 treatments but this was offset by a decrease in the propensity to donate. In the matching treatments donations were significantly larger both at the per donor and per visitor level. A control variable turned out to have the largest influence on donation behaviour: the day of the week. The average donation per visitor was 51% higher on Sundays, when compared to every other day of the week.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 722-727

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:5:p:722-727

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Natural field experiment Donation Charity Price Social norms;

References

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  1. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2006. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence From a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 12338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daniel Rondeau & John List, 2008. "Matching and challenge gifts to charity: evidence from laboratory and natural field experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 253-267, September.
  3. Martin, Richard & Randal, John, 2008. "How is donation behaviour affected by the donations of others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 228-238, July.
  4. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  5. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman, 2008. "Subsidizing charitable contributions: a natural field experiment comparing matching and rebate subsidies," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 234-252, September.
  6. Rachel Croson & Jen Shang, 2008. "The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions," Natural Field Experiments 00322, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  8. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
  9. John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. repec:feb:natura:0053 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Rousu, Matthew C. & Baublitz, Sara J., 2011. "Does perceived unfairness affect charitable giving? Evidence from the dictator game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 364-367, August.

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