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Do people avoid opportunities to donate?

Author

Listed:
  • Knutsson, Mikael
  • Martinsson, Peter
  • Wollbrant, Conny

Abstract

We use a natural field experiment to investigate the hypothesis that generosity is partly involuntary, by examining whether individuals tend to avoid opportunities to act generously. In Sweden, new recycling machines for bottles and cans with an option of donating the returned deposit to charity were gradually introduced in one of the largest store chains. We find a substantial decline in recycling the month these new machines were introduced and a further decline in the following months. These results indicate that individuals avoid opportunities to act generously and corroborate findings from both lab and field studies supporting the claim that generous behavior is partly involuntary.

Suggested Citation

  • Knutsson, Mikael & Martinsson, Peter & Wollbrant, Conny, 2013. "Do people avoid opportunities to donate?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 71-77.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:71-77
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.07.015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:155:y:2018:i:c:p:403-426 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen, 2016. "Online fundraising, self-image, and the long-term impact of ask avoidance," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145535, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:658-667 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daniel Schwartz & Elizabeth A. Keenan & Alex Imas & Ayelet Gneezy, 2017. "Opting-in to Prosocial Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 6840, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Hungerman, Daniel & Rinz, Kevin & Weninger, Tim & Yoon, Chungeun, 2018. "Political campaigns and church contributions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 403-426.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Generosity; Donations; Natural field experiment; Avoidance behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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