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Hey Look at Me: The Effect of Giving Circles on Giving

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Author Info

  • Dean Karlan

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Margaret A. McConnell

    (Harvard School of Public Health)

Abstract

Theories abound for why individuals give to charity. We conduct a field experiment with donors to a Yale University service club to test the impact of a promise of public recognition on giving. Some may claim that they respond to an offer of public recognition not to improve their social standing, but rather to motivate others to give. To tease apart these two theories,we conduct a laboratory experiment with undergraduates, and found no evidence to support the alternative, altruistic motivation. We conclude that charitable gifts increase in response to the promise of public recognition primarily because of individuals' desire to improve their social image.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 1006.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1006

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Keywords: endowments; prosocial behavior; experiments; voluntary contributions; social image;

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Egoistic giving
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-02-01 15:13:00
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Cited by:
  1. Dean Karlan and John A. List, 2012. "How Can Bill and Melinda Gates Increase Other People’s Donations to Fund Public Goods? - Working Paper 292," Working Papers 292, Center for Global Development.
  2. Atkinson, Anthony B. & Backus, Peter G. & Micklewright, John & Pharoah, Cathy & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2008. "Charitable Giving for Overseas Development: UK Trends over a Quarter Century," IZA Discussion Papers 3872, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dean Karlan & John A List, 2012. "How Can Bill and Melinda Gates Increase Other People’s Donations to Fund Public Goods?," Working Papers id:4880, eSocialSciences.
  4. Sander Onderstal & Arthur J.C. Schram & Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2011. "Bidding to give in the Field: Door-to-Door Fundraisers had it right from the Start," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-070/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 10 Nov 2011.
  5. Timothy C. Salmon & Danila Serra, 2013. "Does Social Judgement Diminish Rule Breaking?," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2013-05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Stephen Knowles & Maroš Servátka, 2014. "Transaction Costs, the Opportunity Cost of Time and Inertia in Charitable Giving," Working Papers in Economics 14/05, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  7. 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.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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