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Is a Donor in Hand Better Than Two in the Bush? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Craig E. Landry
  • Andreas Lange
  • John A. List
  • Michael K. Price
  • Nicholas G. Rupp

Abstract

This study examines why people initially give to charities, why they remain committed to the cause, and what factors attenuate these influences. Using an experimental design that links donations across distinct treatments separated in time, we present several results. For example, previous donors are more likely to give, and contribute more, than other donor types. Yet, how previous donors were acquired is critical: agents initially attracted by an economic mechanism are more likely to continue giving than agents attracted by a nonmechanism factor. From a methodological viewpoint, our study showcases the benefit of moving beyond an experimental design that focuses on short-run substitution effects. (JEL C93, D64, D82, H41, L31, Z12)

Suggested Citation

  • Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2010. "Is a Donor in Hand Better Than Two in the Bush? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 958-983, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:3:p:958-83
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.3.958
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sieg, Holger & Zhang, Jipeng, 2012. "The importance of managerial capacity in fundraising: Evidence from land conservation charities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 724-734.
    2. repec:eee:soceco:v:69:y:2017:i:c:p:18-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Krieg, Justin & Samek, Anya, 2017. "When charities compete: A laboratory experiment with simultaneous public goods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 40-57.
    4. ITO Koichiro & IDA Takanori & TANAKA Makoto, 2015. "The Persistence of Moral Suasion and Economic Incentives: Field experimental evidence from energy demand," Discussion papers 15014, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    5. 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.
    6. repec:eee:jeborg:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:26-31 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Craig Landry & Andreas Lange & John List & Michael Price & Nicholas Rupp, 2011. "The Hidden Benefits of Control: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00594, The Field Experiments Website.
    8. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2011. "Is There a 'Hidden Cost of Control' in Naturally-Occurring Markets? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 17472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Yeomans, Mike, 2017. "Do people donate more when they perceive a single beneficiary whom they know? A field experimental test of the identifiability effect," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 96-103.
    10. Altmann, Steffen & Traxler, Christian, 2014. "Nudges at the dentist," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 19-38.
    11. 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.
    12. Boyer, Pierre C. & Dwenger, Nadja & Rincke, Johannes, 2016. "Do norms on contribution behavior affect intrinsic motivation? Field-experimental evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 140-153.
    13. Meer, Jonathan, 2017. "Does fundraising create new giving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 82-93.
    14. Jean-Pierre Dubé & Xueming Luo & Zheng Fang, 2015. "Self-Signaling and Prosocial Behavior: a Cause Marketing Mobile Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Carpenter, Jeffrey, 2017. "The sequencing of gift exchange: A field trial," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 26-31.
    16. repec:eee:eecrev:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:48-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:soceco:v:73:y:2018:i:c:p:99-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:eee:joepsy:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:57-72 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2015. "Incentives and the Design of Charitable Fundraisers: Lessons from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 8952, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Andreas Löschel & Dirk Rübbelke, 2014. "On the Voluntary Provision of International Public Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(322), pages 195-204, April.
    21. Thomas Mayer, 2012. "Ziliak and McClosky?s Criticisms of Significance Tests: A Damage Assessment," Working Papers 126, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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    1. Is a Donor in Hand Better Than Two in the Bush? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment (AER 2010) in ReplicationWiki

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