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Small is beautiful—Experimental evidence of donors’ preferences for charities

  • Borgloh, Sarah
  • Dannenberg, Astrid
  • Aretz, Bodo

This paper studies the effect of information about a charity’s size on individuals’ donations to that charity. We conducted a framed field experiment with a non-student sample, in which subjects had the opportunity to donate to various charitable causes. The results show that if subjects are to choose between large organizations with high annual revenues and small organizations with low revenues, they prefer the small organizations, supporting thereby the prediction of the impact philanthropy model.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 120 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 242-244

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:120:y:2013:i:2:p:242-244
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. Konow, James, 2010. "Mixed feelings: Theories of and evidence on giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 279-297, April.
  2. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2008. "The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions," Natural Field Experiments 00322, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  4. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-28, September.
  5. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2009. "A Field Experiment in Charitable Contribution: The Impact of Social Information on the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1422-1439, October.
  6. Andreoni, James & Payne, A. Abigail, 2011. "Is crowding out due entirely to fundraising? Evidence from a panel of charities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 334-343.
  7. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context--a field experiment in 30 churches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2301-2323, December.
  8. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Anonymity, Reciprocity, and Conformity: Evidence from Voluntary Contributions to a National Park in Costa Rica," Discussion Papers dp-08-03-efd, Resources For the Future.
  9. Martin, Richard & Randal, John, 2008. "How is donation behaviour affected by the donations of others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 228-238, July.
  10. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  11. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior - Testing ‘Conditional Cooperation’ in a Field Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 162, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
  13. Duncan, Brian, 2004. "A theory of impact philanthropy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2159-2180, August.
  14. 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.
  15. John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-80, Spring.
  16. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
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