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Payment Choice, Image Motivation and Contributions to Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • Adriaan R. Soetevent

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of payment choice on charitable giving with a door-to-door fund-raising field experiment. Respondents can donate cash only, use debit only, or have both options. Cash donations have lower visibility vis-à-vis solicitors than debit card donations. When debit replaces cash, participation drops by 87 percent. Conditional on participation, donors in the Debit-only treatment give more than donors in Cash-only. In Cash&Debit, almost all donors prefer cash; participation decreases compared to Cash-only. Physical attractiveness of both female and male solicitors increases contributions. Solicitor self-confidence has a negative impact. (JEL D14, D64, L31)

Suggested Citation

  • Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2011. "Payment Choice, Image Motivation and Contributions to Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 180-205, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:180-205
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.1.180
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Friedrichsen, Jana & König, Tobias & Schmacker, Renke, 2018. "Social image concerns and welfare take-up," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 174-192.
    2. Bassanini, Andrea & Caroli, Eve & Fontaine, François & Rebérioux, Antoine, 2021. "Escaping social pressure: Fixed-term contracts in multi-establishment firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 697-715.
    3. He, Haoran & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2017. "Are group members less inequality averse than individual decision makers?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 111-124.
    4. Goytom Abraha Kahsay & Laura Mørch Andersen & Lars Gårn Hansen, 2014. "Price reactions when consumers are concerned about pro-social reputation," IFRO Working Paper 2014/09, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    5. Friedrichsen, Jana & Engelmann, Dirk, 2018. "Who cares about social image?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 61-77.
    6. Toke R. Fosgaard & Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2018. "Promises undone: How committed pledges impact donations to charity," IFRO Working Paper 2018/03, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    7. Karlan, Dean & McConnell, Margaret A., 2014. "Hey look at me: The effect of giving circles on giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 402-412.
    8. Borgloh, Sarah & Dannenberg, Astrid & Aretz, Bodo, 2013. "Small is beautiful—Experimental evidence of donors’ preferences for charities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 242-244.
    9. Petrishcheva, Vasilisa & Riener, Gerhard & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2020. "Loss aversion in social image concerns," DICE Discussion Papers 356, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    10. Argo, Nichole & Klinowski, David & Krishnamurti, Tamar & Smith, Sarah, 2020. "The completion effect in charitable crowdfunding," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 17-32.
    11. Friedrichsen, Jana & König, Tobias & Schmacker, Renke, 2016. "Welfare stigma in the lab: Evidence of social signaling," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-208, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    12. Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Pham Khanh, Nam, 2011. "Funding a New Bridge in Rural Vietnam: A field experiment on conditional cooperation and default contributions," Working Papers in Economics 503, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    13. Andrea Bassanini & Giorgio Brunello & Eve Caroli, 2017. "Not in My Community: Social Pressure and the Geography of Dismissals," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 429-483.
    14. Nur Annisa Hasniawati & Eva R. Lase & Akhis R. Hutabarat, 2020. "Indonesian Household Payment Choice: A Nested Logit Analysis," Journal of Central Banking Theory and Practice, Central bank of Montenegro, vol. 9(special i), pages 291-313.
    15. Cartwright, Edward & Patel, Amrish, 2013. "How category reporting can improve fundraising," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 73-90.
    16. Axel Sonntag & Daniel John Zizzo, 2015. "On Reminder Effects, Drop-Outs and Dominance: Evidence from an Online Experiment on Charitable Giving," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(8), pages 1-17, August.
    17. 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.
    18. Jing Jian Xiao & Chunsheng Tao, 2020. "Consumer finance/household finance: the definition and scope," China Finance Review International, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 11(1), pages 1-25, June.
    19. Runnemark, Emma & Hedman, Jonas & Xiao, Xiao, 2014. "Do Consumers Pay More Using Debit Cards than Cash? An Experiment," Working Papers 2014:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    20. Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Ozbay, 2014. "Effect of an audience in public goods provision," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(2), pages 200-214, June.
    21. Yokoo, Hide-Fumi & 横尾, 英史, 2020. "Ethics of randomized field experiments: Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," Discussion Papers 2020-07, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    22. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13579 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Owens, Mark F. & Rennhoff, Adam D. & Baum, Charles L., 2018. "Consumer demand for charitable purchases: Evidence from a field experiment on Girl Scout Cookie sales," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 47-63.
    24. Onderstal, Sander & Schram, Arthur J.H.C. & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2013. "Bidding to give in the field," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 72-85.
    25. Onderstal, Sander & Schram, Arthur J.H.C. & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2014. "Reprint of: Bidding to give in the field," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 87-100.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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    1. Payment Choice, Image Motivation and Contributions to Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2011) in ReplicationWiki

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