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Relational Altruism and Giving in Social Groups

Author

Listed:
  • Kimberley Ann Scharf
  • Sarah Smith

Abstract

Much fundraising is done by individuals within existing social groups. Exploiting a unique dataset, we demonstrate (i) a positive relationship between social group size and the number of donations; (ii) a negative relationship between group size and the size of individual donations; (iii) no clear relationship between group size and the total amount raised. Free riding with respect to the activity being funded cannot explain the relationship between group size and donation size, 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 altruism”.

Suggested Citation

  • Kimberley Ann Scharf & Sarah Smith, 2016. "Relational Altruism and Giving in Social Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 5952, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5952
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5952.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    online giving; fundraising; social groups; donations; charity; altruism;

    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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