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Hey look at me: The effect of giving circles on giving

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  • Karlan, Dean
  • McConnell, Margaret A.

Abstract

We conduct a randomized field experiment with a Yale service club and find that the promise of public recognition increases giving. Some may claim that they give when offered public recognition in order to motivate others to give too, rather than for the more obvious expected private gain from increasing one's social standing. To tease apart these two theories, we also conduct a laboratory experiment with undergraduates. We find that patterns of giving are more consistent with a desire to improve social image than a purely altruistic desire to motivate others’ contributions. We discuss the external validity of our lab findings for other settings.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:106:y:2014:i:c:p:402-412
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.06.013
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prosocial behavior; Experiments; Voluntary contributions; Social image;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

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