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Is More Information Always Better? An Experimental Study of Charitable Giving and Hurrican Katrina

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Author Info

  • Catherine Eckel

    ()
    (School of Economics, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas)

  • Philip J. Grossman

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Saint Cloud State University)

  • Angela Milano

    ()
    (School of Economics, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas)

Abstract

We report results of an experiment designed to assess the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the pattern and level of charitable contributions of donors. The study includes an experimental measure of charitable giving and targets three charities: the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Oxfam International. In the experiment subjects make allocation decisions from three endowments ($10, $20, and $50) and with four different matching subsidies (0%, 25%, 50%, and 100%), with the matching amount provided by the experimenter. Two locations (Texas and Minnesota) and two information conditions are used. Survey measures of sympathy, risk perceptions, and perceptions of Katrina victims are also collected. The probability and amount of giving are responsive to the experimental design parameters—the endowment and match. We find evidence of “Katrina overload” as those closest to the disaster respond negatively to Katrina-related priming information. Perceptions of the psychological attitudes of the victims of the disaster have a significant effect on the amount given.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 74 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 388-411

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:74:1:y:2007:p:388-411

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Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/
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Cited by:
  1. Richard P.C Brown & Gareth Leeves & Prabha Prayaga, 2012. "Sharing Norm Pressures and Community Remittances: Evidence from a Natural Disaster in the Pacific Islands," Discussion Papers Series 471, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  2. de Oliveira, Angela C.M. & Croson, Rachel T.A. & Eckel, Catherine, 2011. "The giving type: Identifying donors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 428-435.
  3. Kidd, Michael & Nicholas, Aaron & Rai, Birendra, 2013. "Tournament outcomes and prosocial behaviour," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 387-401.
  4. Sarah Brown & Mark N. Harris & Karl Taylor, 2009. "Modelling Charitable Donations to an Unexpected Natural Disaster: Evidence from the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Working Papers 2009015, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2009.
  5. Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2011. "Relative Earnings and Giving in a Real-Effort Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3330-48, December.
  6. yamamura, eiji, 2008. "Learning Effect And Social Capital: A Case Study Of Natural Disaster From Japan," MPRA Paper 10249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ryo Ishida, . "Determinants of Charitable Giving to Unexpected Natural Disasters: Evidence from Two Major Earthquakes in Japan," Discussion papers ron256, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan.
  8. yamamura, eiji, 2009. "Effects of interactions among social capital, income, and learning from experiences of natural disasters: A case study from Japan," MPRA Paper 16223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Stringham, Edward & Snow, Nicholas, 2008. "The broken trailer fallacy: seeing the unseen effects of government policies in post-Katrina New Orleans," MPRA Paper 26099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2013. "Sharing One's Fortune? An Experimental Study on Earned Income and Giving," IZA Discussion Papers 7294, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Neslihan Uler, 2011. "Public goods provision, inequality and taxes," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 287-306, September.
  12. Boschini, Anne & Muren, Astri & Persson, Mats, 2009. "Constructing Gender in the Economics Lab," Research Papers in Economics 2009:15, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  13. Pedro Rey-Biel & Roman M. Sheremeta & Neslihan Uler, 2011. "(Bad) Luck or (Lack of) Effort?: Comparing Social Sharing Norms between US and Europe," Working Papers 11-11, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  14. Anat Bracha & Julian C. Jamison, 2012. "Shifting confidence in homeownership: the Great Recession," Public Policy Discussion Paper 12-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  15. Philip J. Grossman & Mana Komai & James E. Jensen, 2012. "Leadership and Gender in Groups: An Experiment," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 42-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.

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