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Relational Warm Glow and Giving in Social Groups

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  • Kimberley Ann Scharf
  • Sarah Smith

Abstract

We study charitable giving within social groups. Exploiting a unique dataset, we establish three key relationships between social group size and fundraising outcomes: (i) a positive relationship between group size and the total number of donations; (ii) a negative relationship between group size and the amount given by each donor; (iii) no relationship between group size and the total amount raised by the fundraiser. We rule out classic free-riding to explain these relationships since the number of social group members is only a subset of total contributors. Instead, the findings are consistent with the notion that giving in social groups is motivated by “relational” warm glow.

Suggested Citation

  • Kimberley Ann Scharf & Sarah Smith, 2014. "Relational Warm Glow and Giving in Social Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 4879, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4879
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4879.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. R. Mark Isaac & James M. Walker, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-199.
    2. Sarah Smith & Frank Windmeijer & Edmund Wright, 2015. "Peer Effects in Charitable Giving: Evidence from the (Running) Field," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(585), pages 1053-1071, June.
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    6. Castillo, Marco & Petrie, Ragan & Wardell, Clarence, 2014. "Fundraising through online social networks: A field experiment on peer-to-peer solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 29-35.
    7. Scharf, Kim, 2011. "Private Provision of Public Goods and Information Diffusion in Social Groups," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 48, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    8. Adriaan Soetevent, 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context-a field experiment in thirty churches," Framed Field Experiments 00198, The Field Experiments Website.
    9. Meer, Jonathan, 2011. "Brother, can you spare a dime? Peer pressure in charitable solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 926-941.
    10. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Argo, Nichole & Klinowski, David & Krishnamurti, Tamar & Smith, Sarah, 2020. "The completion effect in charitable crowdfunding," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 17-32.
    2. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/326 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sanders, Michael & Smith, Sarah, 2016. "Can simple prompts increase bequest giving? Field evidence from a legal call centre," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 179-191.
    4. Michael Sanders & Sarah Smith, 2014. "A warm glow in the after life? The determinants of charitable bequests," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 14/326, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    5. Name-Correa, Alvaro J. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2016. "“Giving” in to social pressure," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 99-116.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    online giving; fundraising; social groups; donations; charity; warm glow;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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