The size and distribution of donations: Effects of number of recipients
Whereas much literature exists on ``choice overload'', less is known about effects of numbers of alternatives in donation decisions. We hypothesize that donations increase with the number of recipients, albeit at a decreasing rate, and reflect donors' knowledge of the recipients. Donations involve different concepts of fairness---equity and equality---and these can interact with numbers of alternatives. In two experiments, respondents indicated how they would donate lottery winnings of 50 Euros. Results showed, first, that more was donated to non-governmental organizations and campaigns that respondents knew better. Second, total donations increased with the number of recipients albeit at a decreasing rate. Third, when limited to giving to only one of multiple alternatives, donors gave less than when this restriction did not apply. Fourth, variability of donations can both increase and decrease with the number of potential recipients. We comment on theoretical and practical implications as well as suggesting issues for future research.
Volume (Year): 6 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 (October)
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"Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782.
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- Craig Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2005. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 11611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782.
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