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Learning by fund-raising

Author

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  • Alvaro J. Name-Correa

    () (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

Abstract From experience, fund-raisers become more efficient solicitors. This paper offers a full characterization of the optimal solicitation strategy when there are learning economies. The characterization is recursive, and does not require equilibrium computations. Our main results are that (1) the fund-raiser may now solicit a “ net free-rider”—a donor whose contribution falls below the marginal solicitation cost; (2) the number of solicitations is non-monotonic in the learning rate; and (3) a solicitation technology with high overhead but low marginal costs is likely to be optimal if income distribution in the population is relatively homogenous. The complementary case with a decreasing returns to scale technology is also considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Alvaro J. Name-Correa, 2017. "Learning by fund-raising," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 21(4), pages 291-316, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:reecde:v:21:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10058-017-0207-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s10058-017-0207-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alvaro J. Name-Correa & Huseyin Yildirim, 2013. "A Theory of Charitable Fund-Raising with Costly Solicitations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 1091-1107, April.
    2. John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-180, Spring.
    3. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
    4. Roberts, Russell D, 1987. "Financing Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 420-437, April.
    5. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
    6. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    7. Argote, L. & Epple, D., 1990. "Learning Curves In Manufacturing," GSIA Working Papers 89-90-02, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    8. C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    9. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1982. "Charitable Giving and “Excessive†Fundraising," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 193-212.
    10. Jacques Cremer & Michael H. Riordan, 1987. "On Governing Multilateral Transactions with Bilateral Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(3), pages 436-451, Autumn.
    11. Andreoni, James & McGuire, Martin C., 1993. "Identifying the free riders : A simple algorithm for determining who will contribute to a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 447-454, July.
    12. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-230, March.
    13. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. A. M. Spence, 1981. "The Learning Curve and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 49-70, Spring.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fund-raising; Solicitation cost; Charitable giving;

    JEL classification:

    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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