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Now or never! The effect of deadlines on charitable giving: Evidence from two natural field experiments

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  • Damgaard, Mette Trier
  • Gravert, Christina

Abstract

Do time constraints impact charitable giving? This paper develops a simple model to show how deadlines could affect the propensity to make a charitable donation. We then conduct two field experiments to show empirically the effect of deadlines on charitable giving. About 53,000 prior donors of a large Danish charity received e-mails and text messages with varying deadlines for giving. We find no effect of deadlines on the propensity to give. Instead we observe a “now-or-never” effect; either donations are made immediately or not at all.

Suggested Citation

  • Damgaard, Mette Trier & Gravert, Christina, 2017. "Now or never! The effect of deadlines on charitable giving: Evidence from two natural field experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 78-87.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:78-87
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2016.04.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    2. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Gravert, Christina, 2018. "The hidden costs of nudging: Experimental evidence from reminders in fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 15-26.
    3. Toke R. Fosgaard & Adriaan (A.R.) Soetevent, 2018. "Promises Undone: How Committed Pledges Impact Donations to Charity," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-044/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Steffen Altmann & Christian Traxler & Philipp Weinschenk, 2017. "Deadlines and Cognitive Limitations," CESifo Working Paper Series 6761, CESifo.
    5. Richard C. Hanna & Scott D. Swain & Paul D. Berger, 2016. "Optimizing time-limited price promotions," Journal of Marketing Analytics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(2), pages 77-92, July.
    6. Damien Besancenot & Radu Vranceanu, 2019. "Pledges as a Social Influence Device: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers hal-02176269, HAL.
    7. Fosgaard, Toke R. & Soetevent, Adriaan, 2018. "Promises Undone," Research Report 2018006, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    8. Knowles, Stephen & Servátka, Maroš & Sullivan, Trudy & Genç, Murat, 2017. "Deadlines, Procrastination, and Forgetting in Charitable Tasks: A Field Experiment," MPRA Paper 83694, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Field experiment; Charitable giving; Time preference; Deadline; Avoiding-the-ask;

    JEL classification:

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

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