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Motivational crowding out effects in charitable giving: Experimental evidence

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  • Müller, Stephan
  • Rau, Holger A.

Abstract

This paper tests motivational crowding out in the domain of charitable giving. A novelty is that our experiment isolates alternative explanations for the decline of giving, such as strategic considerations of decision-makers. Moreover, preference elicitation allows us to focus on the reaction of donors characterized by different degrees of intrinsic motivation. In the charitable-giving setting subjects donate money to the German “Red Cross” in two consecutive donations. The first dictator game is modified, i.e., donors face with equal probability an ex post reimbursement or a subsequent payment. The second game is a standard dictator game. We find that after an ex post change in the price of giving of the first donation, substantially more donors with a high degree of intrinsic motivation decrease donations than subjects with a low degree of intrinsic motivation and donors who did not experience a price effect. In a replication study we find support for these results for subjects who have previously participated in at least one economic experiment.

Suggested Citation

  • Müller, Stephan & Rau, Holger A., 2020. "Motivational crowding out effects in charitable giving: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:76:y:2020:i:c:s0167487018300667
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2019.102210
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    2. Umer, Hamza, 2023. "Effectiveness of random payment in Experiments: A meta-Analysis of dictator games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism; Dictator game; Experiment; Motivational crowding out;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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