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Charitable Giving, Emotions, And The Default Effect

Author

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  • Lenka Fiala
  • Charles N. Noussair

Abstract

We report an experiment to study the effect of defaults on charitable giving. In three different treatments, participants face varying default levels of donation. In three other treatments that are paired with the first three, they receive the same defaults, but are informed that defaults are thought to have an effect on their donation decisions. The emotional state of all individuals is monitored throughout the sessions using Facereading software, and some participants are required to report their emotional state after the donation decision. We find that the default level has no effect on donations, and informing individuals of the possible impact of defaults also has no effect. The decision to donate is independent of prior emotional state, unless specific subgroups of participants are considered. Donors experience a negative change in the valence of their emotional state subsequent to donating, when valence is measured with Facereading software. This contrasts with the selfreport data, in which donating correlates with a more positive reported subsequent emotional state.
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Suggested Citation

  • Lenka Fiala & Charles N. Noussair, 2017. "Charitable Giving, Emotions, And The Default Effect," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1792-1812, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1792-1812
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecin.12459
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    Cited by:

    1. Gagnon, Nickolas & Noussair, C., 2016. "Does Reciprocity Persist Over Time?," Research Memorandum 033, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    2. repec:eee:soceco:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:139-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Breaban, Adriana & van de Kuilen, Gijs & Noussair, Charles, 2016. "Prudence, Personality, Cognitive Ability and Emotional State," Discussion Paper 2016-030, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Schulz, Jonathan F. & Thiemann, Petra & Thöni, Christian, 2018. "Nudging generosity: Choice architecture and cognitive factors in charitable giving," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 139-145.
    5. Breaban, Adriana & Van De Kuilen, Gijs & Noussair, Charles N., 2016. "Prudence, emotional state, personality, and cognitive ability," Other publications TiSEM 0ac205ac-aee3-4df2-82ee-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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