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

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  • Dean Karlan
  • Margaret A. McConnell

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 find 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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17737.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17737

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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. 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.
  2. Karlan, Dean & List, Jonathan A., 2012. "How Can Bill and Melinda Gates Increase Other People's Donations to Fund Public Goods?," Working Papers 101, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Anthony B. Atkinson & Peter G. Backus & John Micklewright & Cathy Pharoah & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2012. "Charitable giving for overseas development: UK trends over a quarter century," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 175(1), pages 167-190, 01.
  5. Stephen Knowles & Maros Servatka, 2014. "Transaction Costs, the Opportunity Cost of Time and Inertia in Charitable Giving," Working Papers 1401, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2014.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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