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Emphasising the Problem or the Solution in Charitable Fundraising for International Development

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  • Jeremy Clark
  • Arlene Garces-Ozanne
  • Stephen Knowles

Abstract

We conduct a laboratory experiment to test the effect on charitable donations to international development NGOs (INGOs) of emphasising current deprivation in a developing country, versus emphasising the potential good a donation can achieve. Using a double-blind dictator experiment with earned endowments, we find that varying the information/emphasis has no significant effect on total donations, nor on the probability of donating. We find suggestive evidence that an emphasis on current deprivation may raise the variance of donations, and thus the size of donations conditional on donating, but the effect is not significant in hurdle models that explicitly recognise this.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Clark & Arlene Garces-Ozanne & Stephen Knowles, 2018. "Emphasising the Problem or the Solution in Charitable Fundraising for International Development," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(6), pages 1082-1094, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:54:y:2018:i:6:p:1082-1094
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2017.1308490
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
    2. Jeffrey Carpenter & Cristina Connolly & Caitlin Myers, 2008. "Altruistic behavior in a representative dictator experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 282-298, September.
    3. Karlan, Dean & McConnell, Margaret A., 2014. "Hey look at me: The effect of giving circles on giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 402-412.
    4. Knowles, Stephen & Servátka, Maroš, 2015. "Transaction costs, the opportunity cost of time and procrastination in charitable giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 54-63.
    5. 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.
    6. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    7. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Fielding & Stephen Knowles & Kirsten Robertson, 2017. "Alcohol Expenditure, Generosity and Empathy," Working Papers 1711, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2017.

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