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Don’t Be Ashamed to Say You Didn’t Get Much: Redistributive Effects of Information Disclosure in Donations and Inequity-Aversion in Charitable Giving

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  • L. Becchetti
  • V. Pelligra

    ()

Abstract

We run a modified dictator game experiment to investigate the determinants of donation choices to philanthropic organizations. We find experimentally that the adoption of a simple form of accountability such as the disclosure of information on the ranking of aggregate contributions received bythe organizations has important redistributive effects on donations, leading donors to reallocate significantly their giving from top to bottom performers. Our findings support the hypothesis that individuals have preferences on total donations and their “ideal” distribution and not just on their own giving. Policy consequences of our findings in terms of public and private contribution disclosure rules arediscussed.

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Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 201111.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201111

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Keywords: altruism; strategic information; charitable-giving;

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References

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  1. Armin Falk & Stephan Meier & Christian Zehnder, 2010. "Did we Overestimate the Role of Social Preferences? The Case of Self-Selected Student Samples," CESifo Working Paper Series 3177, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
  3. Morgan, John, 2000. "Financing Public Goods by Means of Lotteries," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 761-84, October.
  4. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2003. "Behavioral Game Theory. Experiments in Strategic Interaction: Colin F. Camerer, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2003, p. 550, Price $65.00/[UK pound]42.95, ISBN 0-691-09039-4," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 717-720, December.
  5. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  6. Matthias Benz & Stephan Meier, . "Do People Behave in Experiments as in the Field? – Evidence from Donations," IEW - Working Papers, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich 248, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2000. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics 0008, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  8. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Laury, Susan K., 2002. "Private costs and public benefits: unraveling the effects of altruism and noisy behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 255-276, February.
  9. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  10. Randolph, William C, 1995. "Dynamic Income, Progressive Taxes, and the Timing of Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 709-38, August.
  11. David C. Ribar & Mark O. Wilhelm, 2002. "Altruistic and Joy-of-Giving Motivations in Charitable Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 425-457, April.
  12. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  13. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2011. "Dare per avere e dare per dare: due universi paralleli," wp.comunite, Department of Communication, University of Teramo 0080, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.

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