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Developing Countries in Need: Which Characteristics Appeal Most to People when Donating Money?


  • Paul Hansen
  • Nicole Kergozou
  • Stephen Knowles
  • Paul Thorsnes


A discrete choice experiment was conducted to discover the relative importance of five characteristics of developing countries considered by people when choosing countries to donate money to. The experiment was administered via an online survey involving almost 700 university student participants (potential donors). The most important recipient country characteristic for participants on average is hunger and malnutrition, followed by child mortality, quality of infrastructure, income per capita, and, least importantly, ties to the donor's home country. A cluster analysis of participants' individual 'part worth utilities' representing the relative importance of the country characteristics reveals they are not strongly correlated with participants' demographic characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Hansen & Nicole Kergozou & Stephen Knowles & Paul Thorsnes, 2014. "Developing Countries in Need: Which Characteristics Appeal Most to People when Donating Money?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(11), pages 1494-1509, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:50:y:2014:i:11:p:1494-1509
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2014.925542

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
    2. Nunnenkamp, Peter & Weingarth, Janina & Weisser, Johannes, 2009. "Is NGO aid not so different after all? Comparing the allocation of Swiss aid by private and official donors," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 422-438, December.
    3. Christie Smith, 2009. "Revealing monetary policy preferences," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2009/01, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    4. Etang, Alvin & Fielding, David & Knowles, Stephen, 2012. "Giving to Africa and perceptions of poverty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 819-832.
    5. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
    6. Branas-Garza, Pablo, 2006. "Poverty in dictator games: Awakening solidarity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 306-320, July.
    7. Frode Alfnes & Maren Bachke & Mette Wik, 2012. "Eliciting donor preferences," Artefactual Field Experiments 00098, The Field Experiments Website.
    8. Trumbull, William N & Wall, Howard J, 1994. "Estimating Aid-Allocation Criteria with Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 876-882, July.
    9. Simon Feeny & Matthew Clarke, 2007. "What Determines Australia's Response to Emergencies and Natural Disasters?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 40(1), pages 24-36, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bachke, Maren Elise & Alfnes, Frode & Wik, Mette, 2017. "Information and donations to development aid projects," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 23-28.
    2. Madsen, Jakob B., 2016. "Barriers to Prosperity: Parasitic and Infectious Diseases, IQ, and Economic Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 172-187.
    3. Edwin Muchapondwa & Samson Mukanjari, 2014. "Understanding Chinese and Western Development Finance in Uganda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2014-087, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Muchapondwa, Edwin & Mukanjari, Samson, 2014. "Understanding Chinese and Western development finance in Uganda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe," WIDER Working Paper Series 087, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Roel Wijland & Paul Hansen & Fatima Gardezi, 2016. "Mobile nudging: Youth engagement with banking apps," Journal of Financial Services Marketing, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 21(1), pages 51-63, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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