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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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    1. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Anonymity, reciprocity, and conformity: Evidence from voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1047-1060.
    2. Gabrielle Fack & Camille Landais, 2010. "Are Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving Efficient? Evidence from France," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, pages 117-141.
    3. Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Debit or credit?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    4. Borzekowski, Ron & Kiser, Elizabeth K., 2008. "The choice at the checkout: Quantifying demand across payment instruments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 889-902, July.
    5. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 544-555.
    6. Franses, Philip Hans & Kippers, Jeanine, 2007. "An empirical analysis of euro cash payments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1985-1997, November.
    7. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 747-782.
    8. Grossman, Zachary, 2010. "Self-Signaling Versus Social-Signaling in Giving," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7320x2cp, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    9. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1625-1644.
    10. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, January.
    11. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1605-1623.
    12. Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "Debit or credit?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 358-366, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jana Friedrichsen & Dirk Engelmann, 2017. "Who Cares about Social Image?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1634, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Thomas de Haan & Theo Offerman & Randolph Sloof, 2015. "Money Talks? An Experimental Investigation Of Cheap Talk And Burned Money," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 1385-1426, November.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    7. Cartwright, Edward & Patel, Amrish, 2013. "How category reporting can improve fundraising," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 73-90.
    8. He, Haoran & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2017. "Are group members less inequality averse than individual decision makers?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 111-124.
    9. Onderstal, Sander & Schram, Arthur J.H.C. & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2014. "Reprint of: Bidding to give in the field," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 87-100.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13579 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Onderstal, Sander & Schram, Arthur J.H.C. & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2013. "Bidding to give in the field," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 72-85.

    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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