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Subsidizing Charitable Giving with Rebates or Matching: Further Laboratory Evidence


  • Catherine C. Eckel

    () (School of Social Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas)

  • Philip J. Grossman

    () (Department of Economics, St. Cloud State University)


We examine two different ways to subsidize charitable giving: by a rebate (returning a portion of the donation to the giver) or by a match (adding additional donations to the giver's donation). In previous experimental research, we have shown that participants give more to charity under the match than under an equivalent rebate. The previous within-subject experimental design required participants to make a series of decisions under both types of subsidy. Each decision consisted of an allocation of an endowment between the subject and a charity chosen by the subject from a specified list. This article examines whether that result is an artifact of the previous within-subjects design: subjects may have failed to fully distinguish the two types of subsidy. In the current article, we report results from a between-subjects design, where participants are required to make only one type of decision—involving rebates or involving matching subsidies. Our results confirm previous findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2006. "Subsidizing Charitable Giving with Rebates or Matching: Further Laboratory Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 794-807, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:72:4:y:2006:p:794-807

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers


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